January 29, 2012

pork and chicken afritada

Many Filipinos I know will agree that afritada will remain as one of those favorite everyday dishes that our mothers cooked for us which we grew up eating. Perhaps the most popular version is made with chicken but afritada may be made with pork, chicken or a combination of both, which I personally prefer. It may be classified as a basic stew simmered in tomato sauce. However, the use of strong Spanish flavors of pimenton or smoked Spanish paprika with the addition of red bell peppers and potatoes will easily give a clue to the influence of centuries (1521-1898 to be exact) of Spanish rule in the Philippines. 
Spanish influence is not just evident in food but it's imbedded in the Filipino culture as well.
Strong Spanish influence is still very much present not just in food and cooking but in the culture and life of many Filipinos. It became a big part of my life when I went to study at one of the Philippines' oldest universities which was founded by the Spanish friars in 1611. It's interesting that the main building of the university with it's original intricate stonework still stands today as a reminder of that era. I believe that this strong influence will remain and continue to be passed on to many generations to come.


olive oil for pan frying
1/2 lb boneless country style pork*
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat*
2-3 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small red bell pepper, cut into small squares or strips
1 small green bell pepper, cut into small squares or strips
1/2 cup frozen green peas (optional or may be substituted for the green bell pepper)
1 small can tomato sauce or 2 tbsps. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 tsp. paprika or pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
salt and pepper to taste

Pour a little olive oil in a skillet or pan and sear the pork and chicken. Set aside. Lower the heat and in the same pan or skillet, saute the garlic and onions. Return the browned meat to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little water and simmer the meat for a few minutes before adding the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. Pan fry the potatoes in olive oil until cooked and golden brown then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Add the red and green bell then the fried potatoes last. Serve with steamed rice.

*The pork and chicken may also be marinated in soy sauce and lemon juice for a few hours for more flavor before cooking.

No comments:

Post a Comment