Monday, June 28, 2010

4th of July Menu: Celebrate Your Independence -- Grill Once, Eat Twice -- BBQ Chicken with Grilled Vegetables and BBQ Chicken Salad Recipes


Here's a favorite family recipe I've reworked from the past to give it a new twist -- grilled vegetables.  With lots of cookouts and entertaining planned for July 4th, I thought it would be nice to feature a recipe that creates such great leftovers for another meal.  Make the BBQ Chicken with Grilled Vegetables one day and serve the BBQ Chicken Salad for lunch or dinner the next.

Use any prepared or homemade barbecue sauce for these recipes. We like a smoky hot one. The grilled chicken recipe is easily multiplied if you need to serve crowds but still want leftovers for the salad.

BBQ Chicken with Grilled Vegetables
Serves 8 (or 4 with leftovers for BBQ Chicken Salad)

If you do not have an outdoor barbecue, the chicken can be broiled and the vegetables oven roasted instead.

2 cups olive oil, plus extra
1 cup lemon juice
½ tsp. black pepper,
½ tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup minced yellow onion
¼ cup prepared BBQ sauce, plus extra
7-8 pounds of chicken parts on the bone
1 small red onion
8 medium zucchinis
8 large tomatoes
4 red bell peppers

Mix 2 cups of olive oil, juice, pepper, salt, garlic, onion and ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce. Set about 1/3 cup aside and use the rest to marinate the chicken pieces for 20 minutes to an hour. Cut the red onion horizontally into slices about ½” thick. Halve zucchinis lengthwise, slice tomatoes in half. Core and seed bell peppers and slice in half. Brush cut surface of vegetables with olive oil.

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken and vegetables until done, turning occasionally. Baste chicken occasionally with reserved 1/3 cup of marinade. When the chicken is about cooked through, lower grill heat (or move chicken off to the side, away from coals) and brush with BBQ sauce. Flip and brush other side. Continue grilling the chicken until it is just cooked. (The chicken should feel firm to the touch but still have some resiliency.) Let rest for 10 minutes so juices are reabsorbed. (The chicken will keep cooking as it rests.) If making the BBQ Chicken Salad, reserve half the chicken and half the vegetables. Serve with additional BBQ sauce.

BBQ Chicken Salad
Serves 4

Do not assemble and mix with salad dressing until just before serving.  Try with all romaine lettuce for a crunchier salad.

1/2 cup oil olive
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2-3 Tbs. prepared BBQ sauce
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
Grilled Vegetables (1/2 of the above recipe)
Grilled Chicken (1/2 of the above recipe)
1 lb. mixed greens
2 cups raw vegetables such as carrots, green onions, cucumbers, radishes, etc.

Whisk together oil, vinegar, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Taste.
Adjust seasonings as needed. Chop grilled vegetables into ½” pieces. Remove skin and bones and shred chicken. Tear salad greens into bite-sized pieces. Slice or chop raw vegetables as desired. Mix chicken, vegetables and greens in large bowl. Toss with dressing or serve with dressing on the side.
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About the photo:  Fireworks over San Francisco Bay

A version of this article first appeared in the j. weekly.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Care and Feeding of Picky Eaters

Erika, of the wonderful In Erika's Kitchen, tweeted today looking for suggestions on how to deal with children who are picky eaters.  I started listing out what worked with my picky eater and before I knew it I had gone from writing a tweet to writing an email to writing a lengthy blog post. 

Consider this a post-in-the-making.  I'm going to add and refine it and maybe add a recipe and photo as I think more about what worked with my two boys growing up. (I had one foodie and one picky eater).

If you have tips or other info to share, please leave a comment.
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Picky eaters can be born or made.
Those who are born that way are probably supertasters (like author and food guru Michael Pollan's kid). That is a whole another issue where what the children taste and smell is so intense that it overwhelms them.

My own picky eater (who at almost 23 is still relatively picky) was made. Unlike some (my mother for instance who was a notoriously picky eater in her childhood since her mother was always pushing food), he didn't become a picky eater from pressure from his parents to eat, but rather from an attempt to shape his own world and control his own life.

Before he was four he ate anything. Recipe after recipe with ingredients like chickpeas, eggplant, spices and other adult favorites is marked with "even the baby liked it." At four that all stopped. Confused we took him to the doctor. The doctor smiled and said: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is your son is very smart. The bad news is that he is manipulating you."

Our son needed a lot of limit setting (which he tested continually) to thrive back then. The doctor felt our oldest was finding a way to express some boundaries and limits of his own by what he would choose to eat. (Our youngest is whatever the opposite of a picky eater, he's open to new foods, and prefers fruits and vegetables to just about anything else.)

Relived our son was healthy we went from the pediatrician's office armed with only this advice: "Don't make him a separate meal."

I began not saucing the pasta so he could eat his plain, scraping the sauce off a piece of chicken before he was served it and looking for ways to make sure he'd eat healthy meals.

Here are some strategies that worked for us:

1. Asking questions. Why do you like this or not like that? It took us a while to figure out it was the texture of cooked vegetables he couldn't handle, but that he would eat and even ask for raw ones. (My non-picky eater stopped eating broccoli and artichokes for awhile. Finally we figured out he only liked the stems of the broccoli and the leaves of the artichokes. We were happy to accommodate his tastes and share with him.) Kids' taste buds are sensitive as well so overwhelmingly bitter foods can be a problem. If there was a low-fat salad dressing, ketchup, yogurt or salsa to dip them in, so much the better. (Watch portion sizes on the salad dressings). Look for similar foods and put them out to try. Mine went from eating raw carrots to nibbling on jicama, for example.

2. Instituting a three servings a day of fruit and vegetables (excluding juice) rule. Sliced bananas with cinnamon, dried fruits, veggies with dips, celery with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese and raisins, apple slices and other "fun" foods helped get the boys to their three a day. Luckily, they also liked green salads. If they accomplished three servings a day they could have a small cookie or small serving of non-fat pudding or other relatively healthy treat after dinner. (That helped keep their treat consumption down as well). Because juice was extra the boys almost always got their 5 servings a day. To be honest, in the beginning the picky eater's choices were very narrow (carrot sticks and fruits) but eventually he widened his list of acceptable foods.

3. Setting a good example. We always have a full fruit bowl that can be used for snacking at any time and the kids always saw us reaching for fruit as a snack.

4. Posting a list of suggestions on the fridge door of healthy snacks or foods. The kids used to love watching me change the "menu" and get excited by the new choices.

5. Offering no thank you portions. Our rule was you had to try new foods at least three times before you could officially say you didn't like it.

6. Making meal time interesting and compelling, not a time of judgement or criticism about the child's eating style or anything else. Conversation, asking questions, sharing, etc. all help. Dinner time was mandatory for my two even as teens. If you didn't feel like eating, you still had to sit with us until we were done.

In the Bay Area -- Local, Seasonal and Delicious


Thanks to Slow Food San Francisco (and the Local Foods Wheel) for what's in season and in the market for us right now.

Here's the list and write up from Slow Foods.

Some highlights: strawberries, kumquats, leeks, king trumpet mushrooms.

If you are not buying from a farmer or at a locally sourced produce market, be sure to check on the food resource. I'm still seeing asparagus from Mexico, for example, even though our own local crops are available.

Update: 12/10/10 -- For year-round info on what's in season when in California, check out this list.  For a national list, check out this link.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers (Shakshouka) and Homemade Pita Bread

I've heard of short-order cooks, but for one recent j. weekly article, I became a short-order columnist. My editors needed me to make my cooking column about some facet of Israeli cuisine since it would be appearing in a special section with Israel as a theme.  This was complicated by my not being sure exactly how to define Israeli cuisine which is a mix of the seasonings and ingredients from Middle Eastern, Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Yemenite, Moroccan, and many other cultures united by an emphasis on fresh vegetables and herbs.

The dish that came to mine is one I think of as "all shook up eggs," more technically known as shakshouka (which is said to mean crazy, all mixed up). This egg dish began as an Ottoman stew. It migrated across Arab lands, was transformed by the foods of the New World and became popular in Northwest Africa. Jews had their impact on the dish as well by cooking the onions in olive oil. Immigrants brought this light entrée to Israel where it is popular for breakfast, brunch or even supper.

Serve shakshouka with fresh pita breads. The recipe below allows you to make the dough ahead and bake the breads the next day. (Here's a link to the column featuring these recipes that appeared in the j. weekly.)

Shakshouka
Serves 4-6

Also spelled shakshooka (among other variants), there are probably as many ways to make it as there are people who cook it.  Some versions substitute mushrooms or spinach for the peppers. Others make it like scrambled eggs instead of cooking the whole eggs on top.  Many add some cumin or paprika to the seasoning mix. Needless to say, it is very versatile and accommodating and always delicious.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups 1/4” thin slices of red and or green bell peppers
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. dried ground oregano
2 cups ½” cubes of tomato
6 eggs
¼ cup minced fresh parsley and or mint

Heat oil in 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté a minute. Add bell peppers, paprika, salt, black pepper and oregano. Sauté for 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauté for 10 minutes. Smooth top of stew, using a spoon to make six indentations. Break an egg into each indent. Lower heat to medium low and cover pan. Cook eggs 3-4 minutes. Remove lid, sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve directly from pan. If desired serve with Greek yogurt and fresh salsa, z’hug or harissa.

Time-Shifting Pita
Makes 10 breads

Make the dough up to two days ahead. These are thicker and tangier than supermarket pitas. Thanks to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Bread Bible” for the inspiration on how to time-shift my recipe. If you want to make the pitas the same day instead of the next morning, don't refrigerate the dough and let rise for about two hours then proceed with shaping and baking the pita breads.

1 package (2 ½ tsp.) yeast
1 1/3 cups of 110 degree water
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil, plus extra

Mix yeast, water and sugar and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy. Mix flour, salt in large bowl. Add yeast mixture and oil. Combine. Knead in bowl until a rough dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface (or in a mixer with dough hook) for 10 minutes, adding flour or water as needed to keep dough pliable and smooth. Oil 3 quart bowl or other container. Press dough into bottom. Oil top of dough. Cover container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or up to two days. (Dough should double in size.) One hour before baking turn oven on to 500 degrees and place a baking sheet on a rack at the lowest point in the oven. Place a second rack as high as possible. A half hour before baking, place a pan with 1” of water on the top rack of the oven. Remove dough from refrigerator, roll into 10 balls and flatten into disks. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 20 minutes. Roll disks into rounds just less than ¼” thick. Let rest 10 minutes. Place rounds 2-3 at a time on hot baking sheet. Bake for about 4 minutes until puffed but not browned. Remove from oven, cover with towel. Let oven reheat a few minutes. Repeat.

Monday, June 21, 2010

For My Old Sugar Savvy (or Paper Palate) Posts -- Click Here

I just realized a lot of the links to my old Sugarsavvy.net posts are broken or have been changed, which means instead of reading my tasting reports about See's Candy or some other candy you are taken to the Wellfed.net home page.

To check out something I've written for Sugar Savvy, please click on my list of posts at the site and then click on the link for the topic you are interested in.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  When I get a chance, I'll update all my posts on Blog Appetit that reference Sugar Savvy with the new links.

Update: If you are having trouble looking for a Well Fed link for cookbook or food magazine review from PaperPalate.net, please click on my author archives on Paper Palate.

Update: 11/4/10 -- It appears all Well Fed links are now out of service.  I'm really bummed since I don't have copies elsewhere of some of this writing.  If they are restored or I can retrieve them in any way, I'll update again.

Update: 12/14/10 - You can find some of these posts by searching the Way Back Machine. To use, click on the link to Sugar Savvy, Paper Palate or Well Fed, copy the url from the address bar for the page the link was on, go to http://waybackmachine.org/ and paste that url in the site's search box.  There's a good chance you'll find it there.  How sweet it was.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Overdue Cookbook Reviews: Steamy Kitchen & Pioneer Woman Cooks

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
Pioneer Woman Cooks

I always have the best of intentions when I plan to review cookbooks. But somehow my wanting to really read the book, try some recipes and just do a thorough job of it ends up with the actual review getting further and further away from being completed.

So to make up for this I’ve decided to do capsule reviews of two books I’ve been meaning to get around posting about on Blog Appetit. Watch for other capsule reviews as I try to get caught up a bit with the flood of cookbooks around here.

The Steamy Kitchen by Jaden Hair --- Like many cookbooks written by bloggers, this one brims with details, asides, stories behind the recipes, personal information and more. By the time you’ve cooked a few of the dishes and read a few of the notes you feel like an old family friend (a feeling that Jaden gives you when you meet her in person, too). The photographs of Jaden, her family and the food (mostly taken by Jaden herself) are beautiful. The recipes are all Asian or inspired by Asian ingredients or techniques. I’ve tried three of the recipes. The Baked Garlic Chilli Wings were outstanding. I made it twice (once with drumsticks) to bring to parties and they were devoured both times. Another, a Brussels sprouts dish stir fried with fish sauce, was also impressive. A third recipe produced a dish that was fine, but not seasoned enough for my taste. If I had not been testing it for a review I would have added more seasoning.

What most impressed me throughout the book were the clear instructions and the thoughtful use of Asian ingredients. Techniques were not necessarily simplified as much as made easy to follow. Dishes that may have called for unfamiliar ingredients were not shied away from and, where appropriate, logical alternatives were offered (such as balsamic vinegar for the fish sauce in the Brussels sprouts recipe). To Jaden, these are everyday ways to cook and she makes sure you feel the same way about it. (Here’s a link to the recipe for the Baked Garlic Chilli Wings from a Miami FL newspaper.)

I’d recommend this to cooks who are just beginning to explore the wonderful world of Asian flavors or for fans of Jaden’s popular blog, Steamy Kitchen.

Disclaimer: I was supposed to have gotten a free copy, but didn’t (long story, but it was my fault, I didn’t follow up). A friend loaned me her copy which I hung on to way too long because I enjoyed reading and using the book.

Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.  Ree, another extremely popular blogger/photographer, has also written a book that gives you not only a good feel for her life and cooking, but also her roles as a ranch wife, parent, teacher (she homeschools her four children). It features a darn good love story, too. It has the same welcoming feel as her Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. No wonder it is rumored that her story has been bought by Hollywood and might star Reese Witherspoon.  I’ve met the real Ree Drummond though, and I think she should play herself; she’s beautiful and engaging. Ree’s recipes are straight forward and lean toward comfort foods. She specializes in step-by-step photography to complement the recipes’ directions.

I haven’t had a chance to cook out of the book yet, but those bloggers who have have given the recipes raves. I particularly have heard great things about her biscuits, meatballs and chili. I look forward to trying those as well as some of the others in the book (especially her French Breakfast Puffs which might go well with the New Orleans coffee with chicory I just bought).  Here is Ree’s recipe for biscuits (and gravy).

Going to Ree’s blog is like going to a multiplex, there are so many choices you might not be able to decide which one to choose – personal essays, recipes, a reader forum, photography tutorial and more. But whichever one you do you'll enjoy.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Ree and the publisher.

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About the photo: My version with drumsticks of Jaden's Baked Garlic Chilli Wings

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wild Animals in South Africa -- World Cup Photo

My guys at the U.S.-England game -- From Left to Right - Seth, Gary, Noah and nephew Asher.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Street Food Around the World

I LOVE street food and intend to write some posts on it whenever I can.  Until then, check out Budget Travel's post on what they consider the 14 top street food venues in the world.  Do I agree with them? Well the ones on the list I've tried (number 4, 9, 13) were great but a lot of them I haven't tried yet. I've also eaten at some I thought should be on the list but weren't.

Here's a link to a New York Times-connected local blogger with info on the vibrant and delicious Oakland taco truck scene. (I have lots to say on that and should really come up with my own post on it sometime!)

Watch for more on street food here at Blog Appetit.

Love to have your street food recommendations or tips on when to eat or not eat street food for my later posts.  Email through my profile or leave a comment below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Delights -- Recipes for Roasted Strawberry Strudel, Strawberry Coconut Vegan Ice Cream and Strawberry Soup

To me no food seems as festive as the bright red strawberry; it makes any celebration from Father’s Day brunch to bridal shower to graduation party that much sweeter with its bright taste and colorful appearance.

Strawberries are relatively local, too. California produces about 85 percent of the nation’s strawberries and the nearby Salinas/Watsonville area produces more than 40 percent of the state’s crop, which results in a plentiful supply of the fruit in the Bay Area. There are also growing regions all around the U.S., so chances are you can find in-season local berries near where you live. The berries, a member of the rose family, are commercially or homegrown in every U.S. state and Canadian province.

These recipes originally appeared in my j. weekly cooking column.  Here is a link if you'd like to read the original. I’m using the word “borscht” to mean a cold soup, and this strawberry version would work well as a starter at a special breakfast or brunch or as a light dessert. The strudel uses commercial filo dough for an easy pastry. The Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream is creamy but dairy free. Try it topped with chocolate sauce, pineapple chunks and toasted coconut flakes for a tropical sundae. Try this recipe from David Lebovitz for the best chocolate sauce ever.  (Coincidentally, it is vegan as well.)

Strawberry “Borscht” (Cold Soup)
Serves 4

This dish reminds me of a "deconstructed" smoothie.  Try it with creme fraiche instead of the yogurt for a more luxurious experience, or non-fat yogurt for a less indulgent one.
1 lb. strawberries
1 ½ - 2 cups orange juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup cubed pineapple (cut into ½” chunks)
1 cup plus ½ cup chopped strawberries (cut into ½” pieces)
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
4 tsp. finely chopped mint

Rinse, drain and hull strawberries. Puree. Measure. There should be 1 ½ - 2 cups of puree. Combine with an equal amount of orange juice, the sugar and the lemon juice. Chill. Just before serving, add pineapple and 1 cup of the strawberry pieces. Mix. Put into individual bowls. Top each serving with ¼ cup yogurt, ¼ of the remaining strawberry pieces and 1 tsp. mint.

Roasted Strawberry Strudel
Serves 6

Roasting the strawberries concentrates the juices, which intensifies the flavor and helps prevent "leakage" while the strudel cooks.
2 lbs. strawberries
4 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. walnut oil (optional)
2 Tbs. finely minced candied (crystallized) ginger
Oil or oil spray for greasing baking trays
4 sheets of filo dough, each 13” x 17”, thawed if frozen
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup bread crumbs
3 Tbs. chopped walnuts

Oil or oil spray for greasing baking tray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, drain and hull berries. Cut into ½ “ pieces. Combine with honey, walnut oil and ginger, spread in single layers on two greased, rimmed baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes until berries are soft and juices are thick and syrupy. Let cool.

Return oven to 350 degrees. Working with one sheet of filo at a time (keep others covered), brush with butter, then top with next sheet. Repeat, ending with the top sheet buttered. Scatter bread crumbs across top. Mound filling in a line about 2-3” wide along the longer edge of the filo dough, leaving a 2” margin from sides and end. Sprinkle nuts over strawberries. Fold filo over filling, fold over the ends and roll up. Brush top and sides with butter. Place seam side down on greased baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Serves 6

There is no dairy in this recipe, which makes it perfect for vegans, but delicious for everyone. You can substitute agave nectar or honey for the sugar if you'd like. Taste the resulting syrup. Remember that it will taste less sweet when it is cold, so you'll need to adjust accordingly.
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 lb. strawberries
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp. almond extract

Mix sugar and water in a small pot. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Wash, drain and hull berries. Puree. Measure 1 ½ cups of puree for ice (save rest for another use). Mix puree with sugar water, lime juice, coconut milk and almond extract. Chill. Pour into ice cream maker and churn as per manufacturer’s instructions. Pack into airtight container and freeze for 2 hours up to 4 days. Take out of freezer 20 minutes before serving.

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fyi -- this is my first major post using the new blog post editor and photo upload and it put in some spacing I can't seem to get rid of. Sorry for the glitch and I'll try to clean up sometime when I understand it better.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coming Soon: SF Food Crawl, Asian Greens, Homemade Pita and Strawberries

The title kind of this post kinda says it all -- lots to watch out for.
I'm also planning to take advantage of the new Blogger design options and update the look of the blog.
More soon (probably, anyway)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Filipino Cooking Class at Oakland Asian Cultural Center



I've taken two Filipino cooking classes from the Asian Seasonal Cooking Class series at Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

This slide show and recipes are from the first, which was last November. Watch for a more complete write up and photos from the more recent class this past May. In the meantime, if you live in Oakland, the OACC is fighting for its programming which is threatened by severe cuts by one of its major funders, the Oakland (CA) City Council. Please email your city council member and let him or her know you support the work of the OACC in preserving and transmitting local Asian cultures. For more on the OACC, click here. For info on how to contact your city council representative, contact Jennifer Chu, Development Coordinator, at jchu@oacc.cc.

If you want to learn more about why I, a Jew of Russian-German heritage, regard this Asian American organization as important, please read this post.

Back to the cooking class. We made a classic comfort food dish from the Philippines -- arroz caldo or lugo or lugaw -- a rice soup a little like Chinese jook or congee but with sweet (glutinous) rice. The soup had a rich, full flavor from the chicken stock, with lots of other flavorings and seasonings. Here is a link to the pdf with all the info on that workshop and the recipe. The workshop was led by Herna Cruz-Louie, the Executive Director and Co-Founder for American Center of Philippine Arts. The recipe below is hers and used with her permission and with her directions and notes.

LUGAW (LUGAO) / ARROZ CALDO
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

- Small whole chicken (orThighs and Wings)
- Fried Tofu
- Celery
- Garlic
- Onions
- Ginger
- Kosher Salt
- Whole Black Peppercorns
- Canola Oil
- Sweet (Glutinous) Rice
- Fish Sauce
- Scallions

CHICKEN BROTH:

- Small Whole Chicken or Thighs and Wings ( about 3 /2 lb..)
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorn

Combine all of the ingredients with 10 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is tender (about 30 minutes).
**Prep all your ingredients for the Lugaw while you wait!**

Transfer chicken pieces with tongs to a plate to cool. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer into another large saucepan and bring back to a slight simmer over low to medium heat. Continue to simmer, adjusting the heat if necessary while we cook the Lugaw.

When the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and use your fingers to remove meat from the bones and shred the chicken.

**LUGAW:

- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 heads of garlic (cloves peeled and crushed)
- 1 fresh ginger, 2-inch piece (peeled and julienned)
- 1 medium-sized onion, diced
- 1 cup of sweet (glutinous) rice
- 8-10 cups of homemade chicken broth (to preference)
- fish sauce (to taste)
- 1 cup of fried tofu
- fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- 5 scallions, sliced for garnish

Warm 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic cloves (1 head of garlic) and cook in the oil until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the garlic out of the saucepan and onto a paper towel lined plate or bowl to drain.

Using the oil left in the pan, add the peeled and julienned ginger, diced onions and the remainder of the crushed garlic cloves to the pan and saute until the onion is translucent. Add 1 cup of sweet rice and saute until the rice is evenly coated with oil. Add 1 cup of warm chicken broth and stir until most of the broth is absorbed. Continue adding a cup of chicken broth at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to break down. This will take 30-45 minutes. Add less broth for a thicker consistency.

Stir in the shredded chicken, fried tofu, 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (to taste) and black pepper (to taste). Ladle the Lugaw into individual serving bowls and top off each bowl with sliced scallions and Fried Garlic.