CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 42

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M Pulutan!, the latest cookbook from Marvin Gapultos, is one part Filipino culinary manual and one part guide to a good time. Gaplutos, the food blogger turned ridiculously popular food truck owner, turned cookbook author is an authority on Filipino cuisine. His recipes range from the authentic to the not terribly traditional, as he has shown himself an expert in fusing Filipino ingredients and meth- ods with other cuisines. His Ube Gnocchi and Adobo Confit are brilliant, and Pinkabet is ridiculously good. I’ve been cooking Gapultos’s recipes for years and can tell you without hesitation that they work and his un- derstanding of what it takes to make food good sets him apart. After all of that praise, you can probably guess what I think of Gapul- tos’ new book, Pulutan!. It’s fantastic. From Dried Shrimp on Avocado Toast to Barbecued Bacon with Pineapple Glaze, this is a cookbook that shouldn’t be missed. Gapultos did a little Q&A with me to celebrate his new book. We’ve also got a few recipes from Pulutan! that will be perfect for your fall football shindigs, or if you’re like me, make them for any random day you feel like drinkies and nosh with friends. What one word describes why you decided to deep dive into Filipino cuisine? Culture. What was your coolest food moment ever? Every year, Jonathan Gold (a Pulitzer prize-winning restaurant critic in Los Angeles) hosts a food festival of sorts where some of the city’s best chefs and cooks each prepare a dish or two to serve the hundreds and hundreds of people that attend this event. Those chosen to cook range from prime time, super-power celebrity chefs to owners of mom and pop restaurants, and everything in between. In 2011, back when I ran a food truck, I was lucky enough to be selected to cook at this event, and it still blows my mind that I was actually there. I served Pork Belly and Pineapple Adobo and Lumpia. It was awesome to serve Filipino food on such a grand stage to such a diverse crowd. What are three kitchen tools that you can’t live without? Chef’s knife. Carbon steel pan. Cold beer. If I’m cooking in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that I’ve got one of those three things in my hand. A good chef’s knife should go without saying. Cast iron pans are great, and I have a few, but I prefer my carbon steel pan because it’s just as versatile as cast iron but lighter in weight. I reach for my carbon steel pan for everything from frying eggs, to getting a great sear on a steak, to making grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids. As for the beer? Well, you might argue that it’s not an actual kitchen “tool”, but it sure helps me out when I’ve got three hungry kids running around the house screaming for a grilled cheese. What are your favorite things happening in Filipino cuisine in the US right now? In general, I just love the attention Filipino cuisine is finally receiving. A lot of great Filipino restaurants with really skilled chefs have opened up across the country. And what we’re seeing is that these classically trained chefs are preparing Filipino food with French techniques. This isn’t anything new--Chef Romy Dorotan of Purple Yam in Brooklyn has been doing this exact thing for decades. However, it seems that now there is an influx of young Filipino chefs who have taken this concept and made it their own. All of these chefs are still maintaining and staying true to Filipino flavors withouth watering down or dumbing down the cuisine, and they are serving the food from a new perspective. What is a preparation that is specific to Filipino foodways? What makes it unique? Adobo is the Filipino method of cooking something (i.e. fish, poultry, meat, fruits, veggies) in a mixture containing the following five ingredients: 1. Vinegar, 2. black pepper, 3. bay leaf, 4. garlic, and 5. soy sauce and/or salt. You can definitely add more ingredients beyond those five ingredients, but for me, a Filipino adobo must have those five ingredients at minimum. You can braise some chicken thighs in that mixture, and it becomes Chicken Adobo. Because everyone has their own ratio of these base five ingredients, and because someone can add, for example, a bottle of beer to the mix, or some onions, or some brown sugar, or some pineapple juice, etc. no two adobos are the same. What are your current 5 favorite cookbooks? The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Romy Dorotan and Amy Besa Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young Sippin’ Safari by Beach Bum Berry Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher What are the five ingredients that every Filipino kitchen should have? Filipino vinegar (palm, sugarcane, or coconut). Calamansi limes. Patis (fish sauce). © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.