From the kitchen of: My parents
I grew up believing my parents’ lumpia was the best. Til this day, I still believe it is. It’s like Italians and their spaghetti sauce. Each family believes their sauce is the best. Well, I certainly believe my parents’ lumpia is the best. If you’re not familiar with lumpia, you should be! It’s so addicting. Lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish, our version of a Chinese egg roll. Every Filipino household does have their own version, it varies with ingredients and size. My parents’ version is made with a simple pork filling and it’s rolled on the longer-side than normal. Each bite is just so heavenly, both sweet and savory. The best part is the crispy wrapper adding texture to every bite.
2 lb. of ground pork
3/4 cup jicama, chopped in food processor
3/4 cup of carrots, chopped in food processor
5 garlic cloves, chopped in food processor
1 small onion, chopped in food processor
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar (brown or white)
1 teaspoon of salt & pepper
2 packets of Wei-Chuan spring roll shells (each packet is 25 sheets)
2 cups of vegetable oil, for frying
1. Process vegetables in food processor. To start, process each vegetable separately in a food processor, which includes the jicama, carrots, garlic and onion.
2. Combine all the ingredients together. Very simply, combine the ground pork, chopped vegetables, sugar, soy sauce, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl until nicely combined.
3. Preparing the rolls. Once the meat mixture is well-combined, it’s time to make the rolls! Rolling a lumpia can be done in 8 simple steps. You can use a ice cream scoop to dish out an even amount of meat onto the wrapper. In step 7, when you’re almost done, dip your finger in egg white to make the wrapper stick to itself. Also, once you’ve made several rolls and you want to stack them on-top of each other, be sure to use plastic wrap in between layers to prevent sticking. Check out the “how to roll lumpia in less than a minute” video clip. Enjoy!
From the kitchen of: The Good Stuff Cookbook by Spike Mendelsohn
You will never open up a frozen bag of French fries ever again after you’ve made them from scratch. There’s nothing like it! It’s a little tedious, but well worth it. The best part about these homemade french fries is that you can flavor them with whatever herbs your heart desires. This recipe from Spike’s cookbook, yes the crazy guy from Top Chef, calls for fresh rosemary and thyme. I had never tried anything like it before. Just delicious.
5 large-size red bliss potatoes
Canola oil for frying, a liter
1/2 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme
salt, preferably sea salt
1. Slice the potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and pat dry. Use the mandoline slicer to cut the potatoes 1/8-inch thick.
2. First round of cooking. In a deep pot, heat about 3 inches of oil until thermometer reads 250°F. Once it reaches that temperature, add about half of the sliced potatoes to the pot. Fry until tender, but have no color. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels on a cookie sheet. Repeat the procedure with remaining potatoes. After all strips are cooked, refrigerate until cool.
3. Chop rosemary and thyme. While the strips are cooling in the fridge, chop the fresh rosemary and thyme. Roughly chop and enjoy the amazing smells.
4. Second round of cooking. After the strips have been cooled in the fridge for 15 minutes or more, reheat the oil to 350°F. Add the cooled potatoes a few handfuls at a time until they fry up golden and crispy. Make sure the oil is hot enough. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. While warm, toss with rosemary, thyme and salt. Enjoy with your favorite condiment and serve immediately!
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