On Tuesday, one of our good friends (the other Jordan) headed back to South Dakota after completing an internship in East Tennessee.
He’s completing his Master’s, and his thesis focuses on mangrove deforestation in the Philippines. Jordan (husband) and I thought it would be fitting to make a Filipino meal for Jordan’s last night in Knoxville.
I started with lumpia, which are equivalent to egg rolls. Typically, these would be filled with pork and/or some other meat, but I simply stuck to the veggies. My mother always made homemade egg rolls, by the way. I’m not sure what made her decide to do that each time we had chow mein, but my sisters and I were always pleased! This week, I decided to pan fry them for just a bit before baking them in the oven (15 minutes at 425). These turned out so well for being so fast.
For the main dish, I made a vegetarian adaptation of the famous chicken or pork adobo. This is probably the nation’s best known dish. Sometimes I know how the dishes I make for the blog are meant to taste. Sometimes, I have no clue. So if I don’t like something, it might be because I made it wrong, or it might be because I like it. I had no real idea what my Seitan Adobo should taste like.
The dish uses soy sauce, a lot of vinegar, and a lot of garlic. Garlic, I love. Too much acid (i.e. vinegar) makes me nervous. When I added 3/4 cup vinegar to the sauce, I was skeptical that I’d really like it. But I kept sending positive vibes toward the pot.
I think it worked.
Jordan (not husband) said it actually tasted very similar to the pork adobo he had when visiting the Philippines. He mentioned, though, that the sauce seemed much heavier there than in my version. So not perfect, but I’ll take it!
And since it was a special occasion, dessert was in order. I used to attempt to make a San Rival cake on each Chinese New Year before I realized it was a Filipino dish. I originally found the recipe in an Asian cookbook, so i had just gone with it.
I’ve probably attempted the San Rival five times or so. It’ll never look like it’s supposed to. Honestly, I don’t think anyone has ever cared! A San Rival cake is made of layers of cashew meringue and butter creme frosting. Truly, my favorite dessert of all. This week’s version was actually a Cocoa San Rival, since my frosting (which was quite thin) was made with cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and orange liqueur. I wish I could share a piece with all of you. Sooo good!
For being as big as it was, it didn’t last long around here.
Good luck to Jordan as he looks toward graduation and the next step in his career! Here’s hoping your last Knoxville meal helped you look back upon your internship with fondness.