my good eats. album on facebook has nearly exploded in the last two months since i’ve had time to actually indulge it. perhaps i should take notes from ferran adria and take a hiatus from the design services profession for six months out of the year to recalibrate in the kitchen. that would be the life, if i ever got to that point.
my cousin jocelyn reached out to me on facebook and suggested that we cook sometime. it’s amazing to me that you still learn new things regularly about people you’ve been related to for your entire life. age wise, i’m situated between jocelyn and lourdes.
she asked me what i wanted to cook and being on this back to basics binge, i suggested we make kare kare from scratch. and she wasn’t messing around with the from scratch part, although i had no idea what i was getting myself into when i said it.
two fascinating ingredients we used are the achiote powder or ground annatto seeds and the banana flowers. the achiote basically gives the kare kare the color. the banana flowers impart a leek-y flavor. if you really want a challenge, mise en place for kare kare.
we even shelled and ground the peanuts for the sauce and toasted our own bagoong (shrimp paste). we used oxtail, which is my current meat cut obsession. however, we resorted to more conventional techniques for cooking it— dredging, browning, and slow cooking it in the soup rather than pressure cooking like my mother likes to do.
a solid exercise in patience and technique for sure but the gratification of conquering such a complex dish is immeasurable.