Monday, June 1, 2009

simple celebration

june 1, 1997, cebu city... k and i became officially on. from then on, we always see to it that we could celebrate our monthsary (so to speak) for the first year and our yearly anniversary for the following years. today, even if we are already married, we still somehow celebrate the day we became boyfriend-girlfriend even in little ways... cooking food or eating out. this time, i chose to prepare a simple pasta dish with my first time-to-make frozen brazo.

this was our dinner, for the 3 of us. still quick and easy to make, my spaghetti with shrimp and tomato sauce.

a handful of spaghetti, cooked as per package direction
1 cup shrimp, cleaned, shelled, deveined, heads discarded
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1-2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup cheese, grated
1/2 cup cheese, grated for the topping
2 tbsp. cooking oil

season shrimps with salt and pepper. heat oil in a wok and fry the shrimps for 2-3 minutes. set aside.

using the same wok, saute garlic and onion until aromatic. then add chicken stock. let simmer until the stock is reduced in half. then add the spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. let boil. season with salt and pepper, sugar and cheese. mix well. then add the cooked shrimps. simmer for another 3-5 mintes more.

pour over the cooked spaghetti and topped with the grated cheese.

then for the dessert, something special for a special occasion... frozen brazo de mercedes. i saw this recipe in a cooking show at qtv11, true confection and seemed to be easy to prepare... just changed an ingredient and then instead of using a 4x7 pan, i used 2, 2-1/2x6-1/2 pans. k and m loved it so much that they kept on asking for more. hehehe...

for the meringue:
4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. confectioner's sugar

for the graham crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. sugar

for the custard:
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup butter, cubed

for the ice cream layer:
1 liter vanilla ice cream

for the meringue:

preheat oven to 250ºF.

grease and line the bottom of an 8x12 inch pan. grease and flour the paper again then spread the meringue on the pan.

beat the egg whites with cream of tartar in a bowl of an electric mixer on high until fine bubbles form. then gradually add the sugar. whip to stiff peaks but not dry.

using an offset spatula, spread the meringue over the prepared pan making sure to fill even the edges. use a cake comb to create texture on the meringue.

bake in the oven for 30 minutes. dust with confectioner's sugar and allow to cool until ready to use.

for the graham crust:
combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl. mix well. place the graham cracker crumbs in a 4x7 rectangular baking dish and evenly spread on the bottom of the pan.

for the custard:
in a double broiler, mix the eggs, condensed milk and vanilla. stir for about 30 minutes or until pouring consistency.

add butter a little at a time until melted and blended in. cook longer to make it thicker. pour over the graham crust and allow to cool to room temp.

for the frozen layer:
leave ice cream at room temperature for about 15 minutes or until softened. mix until consistency of soft serve ice cream. place over the custard layer.

finish off by cutting a 4x7 rectangle from the meringue to fit the size of the container and placing over the ice cream.

place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or until stable before serving.

• • • • • • •

happy 12 years of togetherness to us... xoxo