Saturday, September 28, 2013

Special Chicharon Bulaklak

Special Chicharon Bulaklak. The chicharon bulaklak is made up of pig mesentery, the fatty tissue that hold together the pig’s small intestines. Usually for economics reason the small intestines are separated from the mesentery to make two types of chicharons, Chicharon Bulaklak using the mesentery and Chicharon Bituka using the small intestines.

For today’s Special Chicharon Bulaklak I did not bothered to separate the intestines from the mesentery this makes this Chicharon Bulaklak special. Anyway it would be also difficult to buy the mesentery separately from the intestines.

To make the dish the pig innards are pre-boiled till tender with Pinoy aromatic ingredients. For best results I used an electric deep fryer, this is also safer and easier compared to using a deep frying pan or wok. But again if you do not have the convenience of an electric deep fryer you can use the conventional deep fryer just be very careful as there will be a lot of hot oil splashing.


1 1/2 Kilo pork small intestine with mesentery intact

2-3 pcs bay leaves

1 tbsp peppercorns

1 head garlic crushed


cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

To Clean, Cut the pork intestine/mesentery into manageable sizes. Using a thin sharp knife,make a slit along the outer radius of the small intestine. Wash each pork intestine/mesentery thoroughly with running water. Scrubbing off all solid matter inside the intestines. Do this several time until all the solid particles are removed.

To Pre-boil, put the pork intestine/mesentery in a large sauce pan, pour in water about 2 inches above the intestines. Add in the bay leaf, peppercorns and 1 to 2 tbsp. of salt. Let boil and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Remove the pork intestine/mesentery from the pan and let drain, discard the boiling liquid and other residue. eep refrigerated for several hours to chill or until ready to fry.

To Deep Fry, Cut the pork intestine/mesentery to desired size and evenly season with salt. Add oil on the deep fryer at recommended level. Pre-heat the deep fryer to 200°C or to the highest setting. Now deep fry the pork intestine/mesentery in batches. Expect the oil splashing so replace the deep fryer lid immediately. Deep fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vigorous oil splashing has stopped turn over the pork intestine/mesentery. Continue to deep fry until the intestines/ mesentery color has changed into a nice golden. When done remove from the deep fryer and drain oil in a plater lined with paper kitchen towel. Alternately heat generous amount of oil in a deep frying pan. Deep fry for 3 to 5 minutes in batches or until color change to golden brown and crisp, drain excess oil in a kitchen paper towels.

To Serve, serve with vinegar garlic chili dip.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Restaurant Review - The Old Vine, Wadhurst

Restaurant name: The Old Vine Inn

Location: Wadhurst, East Sussex

Description: Pretty country pub established in 1515 with a nice restaurant and garden and rooms if you want to stay overnight.

Reason for visit: My boyfriend took me llama trekking as a treat - we went to Bluecaps Llama and spent an hour walking through the woods with two very friendly llamas in tow. We went here for lunch afterwards as it was nearby and had been recommended by the owner of Bluecaps.

Me and my llama

I ate: seafood platter, that was designed for sharing as a (large) starter, but I had it to myself as a main course. It came with crusty bread and butter, mackerel pate, prawn and crayfish cocktail, smoked salmon and prawns in filo pastry, anchovies, capers and salad. I think it cost £15.

My companion ate: ham, egg and chips.

The food was: Mine was a really nice change from what I would normally order as a main course. I know it was designed for sharing but I thought there was too much smoked salmon and I would have liked a little more bread - you can see four pieces in the photo but they were tiny. The crayfish cocktail was served in shot glasses which was a nice touch; the prawns wrapped in filo were very nice but I would have liked something to dip them in. I tried a little of the anchovies but didn't really like them. My boyfriend enjoyed his main course but said it was so filling he would have been happy with just egg and chips without the ham.

The service/atmosphere was: Very good, the bar staff were friendly and when I asked if we could sit outside - having noticed they had a few tables out front near the road, though people were smoking - they showed us to a pretty garden out the back.

ham, egg and chips

Price range/value for money: Good value as portions were large and the food was very good quality.

Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely if you are in the area or fancy a drive in the country. I also recommend Bluecaps Llamas!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meal Planning 2013 - Week 39

I've been on holiday for eight days so was really pleased to weigh in at Slimming World when I came back and find I'd lost a pound! It must be all the walking.... I also didn't have particularly big meals while I was in Cambodia, and I was so busy sightseeing in Singapore - and so hot, that I drank lots but never really felt hungry, that one day I skipped both breakfast and dinner, and only had lunch! But it was a good lunch, in the famous Raffles Hotel... I'll have to write a review soon!

Anyway I'm trying to catch up on everything now I'm back and am still in the middle of unpacking but thought I had better work out what I'm going to eat over the coming week (and do some food shopping!).


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch Tuna roll

Dinner Out at choir rehearsal so I will take leftover pizza from my weekend treat - the amount I ate the weekend I got back, I will probably have put back on the pound that I lost!


Breakfast cereal

Lunch out on a teambuilding day with work colleagues

Dinner toad in the hole


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner salmon and veg for me, chicken kiev or similar for the OH (he doesn't eat fish)


Breakfast cereal

Lunch baked potato

Dinner out at a colleague's leaving do


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner Minute steaks marinated with Nando's hot sauce


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch bacon sandwich

Dinner formal dinner at Christ's College, Cambridge - it's my 15 year university reunion!


Breakfast in college canteen

Lunch possibly a sandwich on the train, not sure what time I will be back

Dinner chicken/pork schnitzel

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Black Eyed Pea with Pork Belly, Pinablad a Pusi

Black Eyed Pea with Pork Belly, Pinablad a Pusi. I have searched high and low for the correct Pilipino word for black eyed peas but it seems there is not in the Google at least. I still remember when I was a kid we call it pusi in Ilocano, but pusi sometimes refer to all dried beans. Pinablad is the Ilocano word for boiled beans similar to Ginisang Mungo – Pinablad a Balatong or KBL – Kadyos, Baboy at Langka.

Pinablad a Pusi is a very popular boiled beans soup dish usually with pork or beef hocks or bones. To make the dish it is basically the same with ginisang mungo. Here is the recipe of my Black Eyed Pea with Pork Belly, Pinablad a Pusi.


1 kilo pork belly cut into large pieces

3 cups dried black eyed pea, soaked with water for at least 15 minutes

2 large bag baby spinach

3-4 pieces long green chili

1/2 head garlic, chopped

2 thumb size ginger, peeled, cut into thin strips

1 large size onion, chopped

2 large size tomato, chopped

1/2 cup fish sauce

cooking oil


Cooking procedure:

In a large sauce pan put the black eyed peas and add in enough water to about 2 to 3 inches above the beans line, bring to a boil then add the pork belly and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pork are tender and the black eyed peas start to disintegrate and the desired liquid consistency is achieved. Take out all scum that rises to the surface and add more water as necessary. In a separate wok sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant add in the onion and tomato and continue to stir cook for about a minute. Add in the fish sauce and continue to stir cook for about a minute the add to the the simmering black eyed peas, continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Correct saltines if required. Add in the long chili, cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Now add in the spinach and cook for another half a minute. Serve hot with a lot of rice.