These Filipina helpers dish out their very best recipes for a hearty meal in a new cookbook.
Having worked for more than 30 families between them, long-time friends Lita Patricio, Rose Buenvenida, Jomarcy Bebida, Jetky Marie Amores and Carina Rebuya got together to curate Family Favourites – a cookbook dedicated to their shared love of comfort food.
“We created over 50 everyday recipes for simple meals: new ideas and inspiration for those who are already skillful in the kitchen as well as easy recipes for beginners,” explains co-author Jetky.
But, the cooking guide isn’t just about creating delicious recipes with friends or for families. It’s also their way to make a difference in Singapore through HOME (Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics). On their days off, the women volunteer at the HOME Academy, where thousands of domestic workers attend training to become qualified chefs and bakers along with other professions. Part of the net proceeds from book sales will be donated to the HOME Academy.
“When I started as a helper, I didn’t know much of cooking,” says co-author Lita. “But, I was eager to learn, and I watched and wrote down all of my first employer’s recipes. I was lucky as she was an amazing cook and patient teacher. From there, I was confident enough to start creating my own recipes.”
Co-author Jomarcy advises helpers to keep educating themselves and try cooking courses (at the HOME Academy, if possible), or look for recipes and tutorials online to ignite their “inner chef”.
The five friends have big goals for themselves, too! Other than the donated proceeds, sales of their cookbook will help fund a restaurant and cooking school that they plan to start in the Philippines once they retired from their jobs in SG. Go to Family Favourites to find out more.
Unveil the secrets to a mouth-watering Moroccan stew, as featured in Family Favourites.
Ingredients (serves 5-6)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 kg boneless lamb, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp saffron
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 Ras-el-hanout spice mix
- 100 gr white sugar
- 100 gr butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 500 gr dry plums
- 50 gr roasted white sesame seeds
- 100 gr toasted almonds
- Salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat. Fry lamb pieces for 5 minutes. Add chopped onions, stir fry until onion is translucent.
- Add cinnamon sticks, saffron, black pepper and Ras-el-hanout spice mix. Add water and bring to boil until meat is soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Put white sugar, butter, a glass of water, ground cinnamon and dry plums in a saucepan, and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes on low heat.
- Add caramelised plum mixture to the meat. Cook until gravy is thick while stirring occasionally; season. Serve with roasted white sesame seeds and toasted almonds on top.
By Mizah Salik, April 2019
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