This is an inspired dish from the August issue of Food magazine. They featured Bicol, which means coconuts and chilis. Alas, the day I bought the magazine, I couldn’t buy the ingredients for Bicol Express so I made do with whatever vegetables I could find in the fridge and in the garden. No problem with coconuts as we have several in the garden and just ask the help to pick one or two for my needs. I think we only bought the squash and ginger, and the rest of the vegetables were picked from the garden – malunggay, sitaw, lemongrass and Thai chilis. This is a perfect contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products.
2 cups coconut milk (2nd extraction)
1 lemongrass stem, smashed
1-inch knob of ginger, smashed
1 cup coconut cream (1st extraction)
1 cup squash, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sitaw, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 leaves of malunggay, leaflets only
2 Thai chilis
Salt or patis (fish sauce) to taste
In a pot, mix coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer till broth is halved. Stir occasionally. Add the coconut cream, bring to a boil then add the squash. Continue to simmer till squash is half-cooked. Then, add the sitaw and chilis. Simmer till sitaw is cooked. Add the malunggay and bring to a boil. Season with salt or patis. You may crush the chilis at this point to add some kick to the dish. Serve with rice.
By the way, are you looking for wines to give as gifts? You may be thinking of personalized wine for your friend’s collection. Or to try for wines from around the world. Maybe wine accessories. What would be your choice?