This month Kulinarya Cooking Club celebrates its First Anniversary with a glimpse into one of the festive Filipino Christmas specialties called Relleno, which simply means a stuffing of any variety of meats, seafood, fish or vegetables.
It is time-consuming to make a good Christmas relleno. I remember how my grandmother would start making Galantina, or stuffed Capon, 48 hours before our family Christmas Lunch. The kitchen would be a beehive of activity, from deboning the chickens to dicing the chorizo, olives, pimientos, chestnuts and whatever else went into the minced pork stuffing. After the chickens were stuffed, the cavities were sewn up neatly and wrapped tightly in muslin. These were then left to marinate in the fridge overnight, then steamed slowly the next morning, and left to cool before serving. It was so delicious!
I haven't had a good Galantina since my grandmother passed on years ago, so to this month's challenge, I bravely said Yes, I can do it! But my nostalgia for the Galantina of my childhood stopped at my attempt to debone the chicken. Granny made it look so easy, but after slicing my thumb and nicking my knuckes, and piercing through the all important chicken skin, I gave up.
So instead I made Camaron Rellenado, or Stuffed King Prawns.
Shell and devein 10 King Prawns, leaving the tail end. Butterfly the prawns and marinate in a teaspoon each of soy sauce and lime, plus 2 minced garlic cloves.
While that's marinating, prepare the stuffing by mixing 250 grams minced pork with garlic (1 or 2 cloves), 4 water chestnuts, 2 spring onions, half a carrot, all finely minced. Add one egg and half a teaspoon of salt, and mix thoroughly.
Take the butterflied prawns and spoon some stuffing on.
Wrap a rasher of bacon around the stuffed prawn and secure bacon end with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the prawns.
Heat a pan with enough oil to deep fry the prawns. Before frying, dip the bacon-wrapped prawns in a thin batter of one beaten egg and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Deep fry until golden brown.
Serve with sweet and sour sauce (to which I added some diced pineapple and onion).
Check out Kulinarya Cooking Club members here.