Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

My 'American Adobo' Dinner & a Movie: How Everything Turned Out

After a lovely Christmas holiday with friends and family, my American Adobo Dinner & a Movie was an added bonus to the week's festivities. Although it meant yet another day in the kitchen, the Filipino banquet was well worth the effort. And if the dishes I made were even close to the real thing, then I love Filipino cuisine.

The Empanadas filled with Chorizo and Potatoes were savory and filling, even though I took a shortcut and used canned crescent rolls for the pastry dough. The Lumpia Wraps filled with Chicken and Shrimp were fantastic, especially with the Lime-Soy Dipping Sauce. The Tamarind-Ginger Soup with Shrimp and Spinach had an unexpectedly delicate flavor, although I was a little disappointed with the color of the broth. The tamarind paste caused it to turn kind of murky and it discolored the pink of the shrimp somewhat. I may try using tamarind powder next time instead. My favorite dish on the menu was the Kinilaw. I used White Roughy for the fish, which I marinted in lime juice and rice wine vinegar. Just before serving, I added freshly grated ginger root and cubes of fresh mango and gently tossed them together in coconut cream.

The Tilapia Escabeche was another unexpected treat. I opted for baking the fish instead of deep frying it, and the piquant sweet and sour sauce was a perfect compliment to the rich flavor of the fish. The title dish, Chicken Adobo, was another success. I was a little skeptical at the thrice-cooked technique, but the result was moist and tender with a slight tang of vinegar in the sauce. I knew I must have done something right when Will's friend Jordan remarked that it was the best chicken he'd ever tasted, and my confidence was further bolstered when I discovered that the Adobo I'd made looked exactly like the dish featured in the movie.

By the time dinner was over, we were all much too stuffed to enjoy the mango sorbet and the fresh watermelon I'd planned for dessert. So those were left to enjoy on another day.

Clean-up was easy, and once it was done, we sat down and enjoyed 'American Adobo', a thoroughly delightful film. I'll be posting a review of it in the next couple of days, but for the moment, I'm moving my household to a Victorian cottage a few blocks away and will be devoting most of my time and energy to that Herculean task for the remainder of the week.

So do check back in a day or two to read my film review and to see photos and recipes for my 'American Adobo' Filipino dinner.