I have set it to have my husband make a list of food he wants to eat for the week before I go for my weekly groceries. It looks like he likes the idea. I think he is loving it.
Every now and then, he writes down an ingredient that I haven't worked with amd tries to see what I will do with it. "You can cook it on a Friday so you'll habe penty of time to read up." He seem encouraging enough to make me agree.
And I say Bring it on, dear husband! Challenge accepted!
Last week, I cooked something I haven't even tasted or eaten before. Banana blossom in coconut milk or in our native language, ginataang puso ng saging.
I was surprised to see that the cooking procedures are very easy. As my mom always say, you could never go wrong with coconut milk. But I know myself. I have indeed gone wrong with coconut milk. A lot of times. But this time, I've had enough practice with coconut milk. That and the pride that I can take on any kitchen challenge this husband of mine throws at me.
So on to the kitchen on a Friday morning. I look at this piece of beautiful banna blossom. The entire dish is easy and straightforward. The complicated part is how to break down the banana heart. Because really, there's no easy way to break somebody's heart. Am I right?
When you see yellowish pale-colored interior, you can start ripping. Now, cut into the center of the heart vertically. Now, you may be tempted to slice it in a zigzag motion to make it like a broken hearyt (believe me, I thought about it) but keep in mind that you are handling food. Momma always told me, never play with your food.
Now once you've cut the heart in half, you have to be very quick with gour next steps because the exposed interiors of the blossom will turn dark in a matter or seconds. That's the sap being exposed to the air. (I just assumed, but if you come to think of it, there's really no other reason why it would turn dark all of a sudden. Unless of course that's what a broken heart's reaction to the heart break.) This is getting old, I know. But seriously, you have to be quick. Slice the halves thinly, horizontally this time. Do not include the stem. A whole banana heart would yield almost just a cup of shreded slices approximately. (That's all you will get because you're a heart breaker!)
Dredge the slices in rock salt until all surfaces have been covered with salt. You may now let it sit for a few minutes.
Now yoi're done with the complexities, you may start cooking.
Here's what you'll need:
Shrimp (deveined and peeled) about 1/4 kg
Diced pork about 1/4 kg
1 cup of coconut milk (you can buy the coconut milk powder mix at the grocery or you can buy the coconut and squeeze the milk out of it, your choice)
salt & pepper
Here's what you need to do:
- Sautee onions, then garlic.
- Add in the shrimp. I love watching the shrimp change colors when you cook it. It always amazes me.
- Add the pork. Cook until all sides are brownish. Add fish sauce.
- Wait a few more minutes before adding in the banna heart slices. Keep on stirring/mixing until it blends well with the shrimp and pork.
- Once the banna heart slices are slightly limp, add in the coconut milk. Lower the heat on the stove. You don't want to overcook the coconut milk too quickly, you'll end up with burnt curdled brownish thingies I usually see my mom add on her coconut based desserts. You don't want to overcook it in any way because it turns sweet as it cooks. All you have to do it to keep on mixing until the sauce thickens.
- You may add some chilli agents here like red pepper, or paprika, or green peppers. I'm feeding a toddler so we add our chillis on the serving.
My daughter enjoyed this dish. I'm strting to think she only likes dishes that has white sauce in it. Oh, and by the way, it was her birthday last Saturday. No big party or whatever. We just received visits from her granny and aunties.
Anyways, my husband loved the dish as well. I think I passed yet another of his challenges. For this week, I didn't see a challenge ingredient on the list. I guess he still has the banana heart high.
Until our next ingredient challenge!