Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bicol Express

I haven't eaten Bicol Express ever since my Bicolana maid, Cita, left more than two months ago.  Cita's Bicol Express was something I looked forward to after the weekly trip to the wet market.  Her version is just the way I like it to be, not so hot (so I can eat a lot, hehehe) and cooked to perfection in the right amount of coconut cream.

For weeks I was craving for this dish synonymous with the Bicol Region.  I know how to cook it but haven't tried doing it specially since I don't have a maid right now. It is easy to cook it but never attempted because of the tedious preparation.  I hate squeezing the grated coconut meat to extract the cream and the milk. On the other hand, I cannot ask my Mom's Pangasinense cook to prepare one for me as I will only be disappointed in the end.  Since my craving is getting intense by the day, I decided to try my hand on cooking the Bicol Express.

At the late hour of 6:30 in the evening, I drove to the nearby wet market to buy the missing ingredients. Bought P20 worth of pepper, one big coconut and had it grated, 100 grams of pork.  Good thing I still had supply of disposable gloves to protect my hands from the hotness of the pepper when I sliced them (this is also one of the reasons why I don't cook this hot dish).  I prepared all the ingredients that go into this dish and saved the squeezing of the coconut meat for last. After twenty minutes, my first attempt of cooking Bicol Express was ready.  It looked right. For ginataang dishes, the oil of the coconut should be evident and the pepper or whatever vegetable was used should not be swimming in the coconut milk.  It was hot for my taste but just the way my hubby wants it.

My Bicol Express

They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.  My daughter ate dinner again after she saw it on the table.  My husband liked it too.  I guess I will be cooking this dish more often in the future.
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