Welcome, 2013!

Two-thousand thirteen will be great just because I promise to make it so! It’s been a while since I visited this blog and was quite surprised to find an ‘old soul’ who knows what PARADADAS are and was I excited!

My Lola (grandma) used to make these snacks and sell them in the market but the family recipe was originally my Grandfather’s and there are tons of versions of this delicious and (un)healthy snack loaded with carbs, protein and fats (Yay!).

So if you are looking for a diet recipe, I don’t think this one’s for you because even if you use vegetables, you’ll still HAVE TO fry the bread face-down and oil will definitely soak the bread, or is it the other way around? Haha. And don’t even think about skipping the oil and using a Teflon pan because then it will not be authentic and possibly won’t taste like how I know it… I haven’t tried using a non-stick pan–but I cannot imagine a dry, non-shiny paradadas, nooooooo! That won’t be right.

I think, whoever made paradadas was so lazy to seal the sides of the bread, much like they do when you make empanadas or meat pies or something. Because you do have to make a filling that you will “spoon” onto a side of the bread, so technically, you won’t stuff it inside like you do with meat pies. It is is an oily French Toast period. It’s a pizza bread made with less glamorous but equally delicious ingredients.

Here is what it looks like:
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I was so busy this Christmas and the days leading to January 1st that I prodded my Mom to make this favorite snack. The ingredients are very basic: some garlic, onions, finely ground pepper, Magic Sarap (that you can buy in Asian or Filipino supermarkets), chopped meat or corned beef, and cubed (or even a smaller cut will do) potatoes. You can also use fish, tofu and vegetables if you don’t feel like eating meat–however, you do have to STILL dip it in egg.

What you do is mix all of these together, cook in oil of your choice. I’m not sure how much she put but the sliced meat (the kind of meat to use is supposed to be a SECRET, but you can use anything you like) is around 1kg. Basically, Capampangan cooking is all about estimating and never scrimping on sodium and fat (ouch), so I can’t really tell. If I were going to cook, I’d use 1 big onion for a kilo of meat, 3 cloves of garlic and lots of potatoes, possibly around 5 really big ones–but hey, it’s my Mom, so she probably cheated and upped everything, including salt and pepper… Cook and set aside.

On New Year’s Eve, I made this wonderful bread from a recipe by the lady from Smitten Kitchen and it is my favorite bread recipe because it is very simple to do and you can very easily substitute all purpose flour in place of whole wheat flour if you wanted white bread. In my bread’s case, I just added sugar because we like ours a bit sweet. Just be careful with the proportions, there are really good resources for bread-baking and substitutions over the internet if you just looked around. But if you want a simple bread recipe, this Lady has it…So here is my bread for the Paradadas filling:
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It was pretty light and big. I used a 9x5in pan and baked it for 40 minutes. Took it out exactly at 12:01–my New Year’s bread. Kitchen smelled great, like i was broiling sweet potatoes or kamotes!

My Mom used it in the morning and prepared it for making the paradadas like so:
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Slice the bread thickly–an inch or a little over like this:
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Use the back of the spoon to put filling on one side of each of the slices and after you’re done with it, prepare an egg that is slightly beaten to dip the side with the filling in. This will help the filling stick to the bread. Also, notice the scraps of smooth bread on the photo. Removing these will make sure that the filling clings to the bread. It takes a lot of practice since bigger potato bits can fall off the bread and into the pan when you fry but the egg will help you “pick up” these bits using the bread.

Oil the pan thinly or just enough to prevent the bread and filling from sticking. The bread slices will soak the oil as you go so refill as needed.

Carefully fry the paradadas face-down. My Mom uses her hands when she’s doing this and if you’re not comfortable with it and feels like you’ll be risking your life, you may use tongs or a flat HEATPROOF spatula…Please don’t ask why your spatula melted if you used a different kind. I cannot answer that!

You’ll know they’re done when the filling sticks and the edges of the bread are a deeper brown.
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You may eat them hot, cold, may freeze and re-heat. Personally, they are best smothered with Filipino-style ketchup (a tad sweeter). Also, my Mom added some sultanas to add very mild tartness and sweetness here and there. It won’t also hurt if you have an ice-cold soda on the side!

You can get an unsliced loaf from your neighborhood bakery and slice it yourself or you can even use hotdog buns like these:
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I compared each of the paradadas and oh my gosh, they actually tasted the same 😉

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!!!

PS. My brother thinks square ones taste better. I think maybe he hit his head driving his old beetle. :-))

PPS. For Karl (and his family who also loves paradadas). Thanks for keeping the Capampangan tradition alive.

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