About Chef Danny

Danny de la Cuesta’s creative and artistic career spans three decades of prolific output in design, training and consultancy. He graduated in the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication majoring in Broadcast Communications. He pursued his Second degree in Business Management with concentration in Fashion Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York University, USA. He has been designing fashion since the late 70’s, with rich local and international exposures through retail, export and fashion shows. In 1994, he opted to broaden his horizon by extending his artistic calling by means of embarking into a career in Culinary Design. He became the first National Champion of the San Miguel Culinary Cookfest which paved him to pursue a Diploma in Culinary Arts at the Le Cordon Bleu Escole di Cuisine, London Campus, England under the tutelage of Chef Michel Boucheret. He was the past Editor in Chief of Cook Magazine and an active member of The Creative Media Professionals Guild of the Asia and the Pacific.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Comida Ilocandia's Heritage Dishes

1) Bagnet in Ilocos Sur or Chicharon in Ilocos Norte is the Ilocano version of the lechon kawali—pork slabs are boiled in a saline solution, air dried, then twice fried until they are crunchy and golden. In the early days of my childhood, my grandparents cooked bagnet that were stored in burnay- stoneware jars. The jar was loaded to the rim with the pork oil that solidified into lard as its temperature lowered. The lard was used to re-fry the pork before serving or for flavoring vegetable dishes such as the pinakbet, the tang for for the miki soup or to perk up the garlic-fried rice. Lately, it has become a prohibitive condiment for those over thirty.

Ilocano Adobo
2) The Adobo Ilocos is dry compared to any regional cooking versions. The adobo marinade is used profusely in making Longanisa, Dinuguan-(stewed pork blood pudding) and Higado. These recipes differ according to meat cuts and added ingredients when cooking. The use of generous amounts of vinegar and garlic preserves the food for longer periods. It is impossible not to find these food items in every Ilocano household, which is practically served for breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Tinuno on a stick
3) The Tinuno roast pork in Ilocos are cooked in slabs. Marinated in a pungent- garlicky flavored marinade, they are smoked and grilled in high fire for a very short period. The chunks of grilled meat are sliced in bite-sizes then served with the house signature dipping sauce made of vinegar, fish bagoong, ginger and birds eye peppers.  

Ilocos Longanisa
4) The Longanisas are coarsely ground pork mixed with lots of back fat and adobo marinade. The Ilocos Norte version is known to be juicier and more fatal than the ones in Vigan because they contain more fat. These longanisa versions fall on the salty- garlicky side. It is a bit spicier and vinegar-flavored with a hint of paprika and oregano. The best way to cook longanisa is to blanch the sausage in liquid then drip dry. Gently prick each link and let it cook in its own oil under low heat until it turns into golden brown. Expect an appetite-building aroma while these longanisas are cooked.

5) The Higado is the Spanish word for liver. This dish is made with pig’s meat & sweetbread- soaked in brine before slicing to reduce the slimy taste. Higado is a sweet stew made possible by the juices of the roasted red bell peppers, onions and garlic that gives flavor to the sauce then seasoned with Ilocos vinegar and fish paste that builds the savory taste. Preparing the pork liver is the secret in this dish as common mistakes of many Ilocano home cooks. When not properly set up the liver ends tough when cooked.

Cooking these stewed dishes in Ilocos is a ritual for all home cooks. It takes them three days to prepare and cook these heritage fares before they are dished up. However, when served on the table, the meal instantly becomes a feast.

Today these heritage dishes are available in Chef's Danny's Comida Ilocandia for dine in or for bulk orders.

Delivery is on us! 994 7596 / 709 9041 or 09189256603 for reservations. 

Crispy Dinuguan

No comments:

Post a Comment