The arrival of autumn delivers waves of nostalgia. The scent of crayons and number two pencils bring me back to fall afternoons spent at the kitchen table, still dressed in my plaid uniform, busily scribbling away in my marble notebooks. A few steps away, the stock pot is bubbling and brewing, and I begin to salivate as the broth becomes richer in flavor.
This time of year takes me back to dishes that remind me of home, the Filipino classics that I grew up on in a New York kitchen. For today’s Simple Sundays post, I am excited to give you a sneak peek at a guest post I am sharing tomorrow on the blog, Asian in America. Betty Ann Quirino is on a mission to help dispel a misconception recently presented to her by a local food journalist: he claimed that cooks in the United States believe Asian cuisine is expensive to cook because ingredients are hard to find. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While I was born and raised in New York, my parents managed to bring the flavors of their Filipino heritage to our kitchen, despite the fact that ingredients indigenous to the Philippines were not as readily available as they are today. Part of the immigrant experience is adaptation and preservation, and when it comes to food, it absolutely holds true. My mother learned to find appropriate substitutes to recreate the flavors that reminded her and my father of home.
So, when Betty Ann approached me with the challenge of sharing a Filipino dish that is affordable and does not require “ethnic ingredients,” I knew exactly what I would prepare for you. Just look at these ingredients. It doesn’t get any simpler than this, and I certainly don’t think there is anything “exotic” about them.
If you can boil water, you can make Beef Nilaga. I hope you enjoy my guest post and recipe, and I do hope you explore Asian in America’s September theme: Asian Food is Affordable. There are other guest posts in store for Asian in America, and it just goes to show you that the simplest of foods can also be some of the most delicious, even if it comes from an ocean away.