PETTE Santos Jorolan is one lucky lady. Aside from being the keeper of her parents? heirloom recipes, she now finds two of her children doing their own fresh takes on classic Kapampangan cuisine.
It was Pette?s parents, Benito and Carmen Santos, who opened Everybody?s Café in San Fernando, Pampanga, shortly after World War II. From a two-table operation, the restaurant grew and eventually became a byword in slow cooking and good food.
Today, as proprietress of PSJ Everybody?s Café, Pette continues her parents? legacy by using the same recipes they started their restaurant with.
The morcon (which to Tagalogs resembles an embutido) is made of ground pork, queso de bola, chorizo, egg yolks, garlic and tomatoes, all steamed for six hours before being served with thick gravy.
The palabok has a sprinkling of chicharon and kamias and a sauce thickened with ground rice.
The tibok tibok, coconut pudding topped with toasted coconut granules, is made the old-fashioned way with fresh carabao?s milk.
For August, Hotel InterContinental?s Café Jeepney is serving some of these best-loved dishes in its buffet. Aside from bringhe (rice cooked in coconut milk), asadong dila (ox tongue stewed in tomatoes) and chicken relleno (rolled chicken meat loaf), also on the table are updated versions of old-time recipes made by two of Pette?s children, Namee and Poch Jorolan.
Their creations include pastillas de leche cheesecake topped with dulce de leche; tinola soup made with deboned slices of free-range frogs that inhabit the rice fields; and banana crumble, native saba bananas baked in ramekins.
Growing up in a house just above their grandparents? beloved café, Namee and Poch learned to cook as children. A graduate of Kendall College, Namee has worked in such temples of high cuisine as Jean-Georges Vongerichten?s Spice Market in New York, Aqua in San Francisco, and Alice Waters? Chez Panisse Restaurant. Yet she has chosen to return to Manila and continue the family heritage.
Here?s the Jorolans? recipe for banana crumble, a modernized version of matamis na saging na saba.
(Kapampangan cuisine is served at Café Jeepney, tel. 793-7000, until August 31.)
9-10 pcs saba bananas
1 c brown sugar
1 c water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ? c sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
? c slightly softened margarine (or butter)
Slice each banana diagonally into three to four pieces. In a large pot, combine bananas, sugar and water. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer. Let simmer until liquid is thick and syrupy and bananas are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350?F (175?C) for about 15 minutes.
In a bowl, combine cinnamon, sugar and flour. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands or by using two knives scissors-style until mixture is crumbly.
Divide the cooked bananas and the syrup among six ramekins. Top each ramekin with the prepared crumbs. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Makes 6 servings.
Optional: If desired, set aside a few banana pieces for decoration. After baking, decorate the ramekins with sifted powdered sugar, bananas and cherries.