The Old Bread and The Kawali Oven

It was already dark. I was about to go home but I rushed back to office  to get the forgotten piece of monay bread. I’ll be in office again the next morning. I could have it for breakfast. However. I do not want to take chances. It might get stale. How can I let it go to waste when many of our kababayan have no food to eat, begging on the streets and digging garbage to find partially rotten foods. So I walked back for the bread and went home after.

The next evening, I found the very same bread inside the microwave oven. Was my effort gone to waste? It was still soft, like newly baked. The baker was sure quite skilled and used quality  ingredients.

It’s now time to put the kawali oven into good use. This simple diy oven composed of: 1) kawali, the magic frying pan, 2) cover, choose the size which fit the kawali, and 3) wire rack, the stand for holding hot cauldron right after cooking. Perhaps it is the most available option.

To reheat. Place the frying pan over the gas stove set to lowest flame. Put the wire rack in pan, then the bread on wire rack. Finally, cover the pan and wait until the desired heat is achieved.

Now my bread is as good as it was!

monay reheating in kawali oven

Cooking Saba Banana in Microwave Oven

One of the simplest way to cook saba banana is by boiling. Ripe saba bananas are place in pot with water. Then boil for 15 to 30 minutes depending on fruit sizes – larger requires longer cooking times.  During boiling, the banana absorbs water, gelatinization of starch occurs and shows color changes. Bananas of optimum ripeness get bigger, heavier and tougher. Overripes on the other hand get softer and lighter. Both exhibits change in peel and pulp color and taste – brownish peel and pulp color and less sweet taste.

I tried another simple method, cooking bananas in microwave oven. I think it is more simple than boiling. It requires no water and needs lesser cooking time.

Sides of bananas were pierced with a fork. This prevented bursting during very fast heating. Placed directly on rotating plate. Then cooked for two minutes at high setting.

ripe saba banana and fork

The single whole banana was steaming hot from the inside and out. Minimal changes on peel and pulp colors were observed. Overripe bananas exhibited shrinkage while the rest were able to maintain their shapes and sizes. It tasted better than plain ripe and boiled bananas and seemed more attractive.

microwave cooked saba bananamicrowave cooked saba banana peeled

The Pan Roasted Peanuts

A vendor went up the bus shouting, “Mani mani mani, sinangag, walang mantika, hindi pinirito!” (Please buy shelled peanuts, it was roasted, not deep-fried, no extra oil! I was too afraid to buy though. It was the time my friend got hepatitis. His doctor assumed it was due to eating street foods.

Sinangag or sangag – a Tagalog word which means roasted on pan or in rotating drum. No oil is used. Cacao beans and coffee beans are cooked by this process.

The term roasted peanuts means four different things according to various recipes around world wide web, cooking by a) oven heating b) microwave method c) drum roasting – like coffee and cacao and d) frying in little or generous amount of oil. Item “a” and “b “can be done with pods intact.

The last mentioned processing method doesn’t seem right. It does not fit the description of the word “sangag“.The right term for it is fried peanuts. Here is the modified version of item “d”, without cooking oil.

raw shelled peanuts with intact testa

a) Put a frying pan on lpg stove. Set the flame to lowest setting to facilitate slow heat transfer and to prevent scorching. We are aiming for a light roast, not a dark coffee-like roast.

b) Place 250 grams shelled peanuts and one clove crushed garlic. Stir continuously for about 35 minutes or until the testa are brown. Take note that adding more peanuts than indicate will increase roasting time significantly.

pan roasted peanuts

I prefer smaller peanuts with intact testa. Bigger variety without skins, hubad, has inferior taste.

Enjoy crunchy peanuts without oil and salt!