When I went on my month and a half long vacation in the Philippines last June, I was thinking whether to stand by the fact that it was a vacation and I should be relaxing and enjoying myself with my family rather than stay attached to my computer, banging on the keyboard and rushing to meet deadlines because besides, I was staying in hotels. I chose the latter. But don't get me wrong. I went for a really low number of recipes to create because after all, I wouldn't be able to stop myself from grabbing a wooden spoon and a saucepan whenever I am close to a kitchen.
My chance came when I stayed in our beach house with a fully-functional basic kitchen. For this post, I want to share with you 3 basic nut recipes that are common in the Philippines. For the props, I just had to invent something. And invent I did as you can see, I used torn pieces of paper and bamboo leaves from the garden. Cooking and photographing had been so much fun with the help of my niece and nephews who just graduated from culinary school.
Everytime I have an upcoming trip to the Philippines, I make a list of the food that I would like to eat and take back home to Italy. I am not kidding. I tend to forget the things that I want to try and kick myself when I get back home because I realized that I forgot to try something. This time though, not only did I have a list but I also added another section. Food to cook. Polvoron is a kind of soft yet compact and crumbly shortbread that is made of flour, powdered milk, sugar and nuts. Its origin is Spanish and since they occupied the Philippines for 300 years, there is a major influence to the Filipino gastronomy. I love polvoron and it is one of the most popular "candy" snacks that both adults and children will never get tired of eating. It is also so easy to make (even if everyone buys the, nowadays) and I remember how I used to make them with my siblings before. There is a polvoron mold that is widely available in the Philippines but can be hard to buy outside the country. In fact, I got mine from there. If you can't have one, use one of those cookie molds with the spring.
Beside a small bowl of garlic roasted peanuts you would always see a cold bottle of beer or a glass of Coke filled with ice. That's how I always picture these peanuts. I love popping them in my mouth while drinking beer because they match perfectly! This is one of the few times when I enjoy munching on crunchy roasted garlic (and not mind the garlic breath it can give me) because really, toasted garlic, peanuts, salt and beer are done to be partners.
It is actually peanut brittle that is the traditional nut brittle in the country and it usually comes from one holiday mountain city close to Manila. There is a reason because the peanut brittle there is really good. For this recipe, I chose cashews instead of peanuts. Like the peanut, cashew is a great alternative to make nut brittle. The cashews trapped in the hard transparent sugar candy makes this sweet snack a pleasure to eat.
There is quite a number nut snacks in the Philippines because nuts like pili, cashew and peanuts grow abundantly there. In fact, I remember harvesting fresh peanuts from small plants that I planted in our garden when I was young. If ever you make them, I hope you enjoy these Filipino delicacies. Enjoy the last weekend of August! Summer is officially over and it's back to work and school for everyone!
You can get these 3 Easy Homemade Snacks with Nuts recipes for She Knows, a great site where I create recipes. If you want to see more of my recipes there, check out my Profile Page.