11.04.2009

Afternoon Bonding Over ZOOB and Champorado, part 2

I have always enjoyed cooking with my children, at least to some degree.  Attempting to expose them early to the different flavors and aromas of various dishes I can manage to cook, trying to tickle their taste buds, and hopefully get them to try and like the dish, is something I am making an effort to achieve.  And having them participate in the preparation is a great first step to stir their interest and share my adventure for food.


My empty bowl of warm, rich champorado that the kids and I have cooked. See how we prepared it below.

"Is it snack time already?" 
If you followed my post yesterday, the ZOOB has retired and we're off to the kitchen to cook some nice, warm servings of champorado (chocolate rice pudding), typically made of malagkit (glutenous/sticky rice), tablea (native dark cocoa tablets or chips) and muscovado sugar (natural, unrefined, brown cane sugar). In the first part of our bonding, almost an hour was spent in imaginary play with their "robots".  It's now time to re-fuel their creative minds with an instant yet filling snack we refer to as merienda.

I still had no idea what to cook for them until we got to the kitchen and opened the pantry.  The tablea container caught my eye and so champorado came to mind.

My girl counting the 3 cocoa tablets, getting ready to drop in the cooking rice.


I already cooked this simple homey dish several times in the past, and even got reminded about it in Divina's blog as she shared her take on this traditional Filipino breakfast or merienda (snack).  It's only now that the kids will lend their hands at making this chocolate porridge.

Reminder:
My champorado recipe has no exact measurements, as with all my cooking, so adjust everything to your taste and desired consistency.


Some like it more runny while others prefer it thicker, and sweeter, like me.  I plan to make a batch good for 2 to 3 servings only.


CHAMPORADO
Mix 1/4 cup malagkit rice + less than 1/4 cup dinorado or any fragrant rice (I combined the two rice varieties so the champorado will not be too thick and sticky)
2 cups water (add more water once cooked, mix until desired consistency)
3 tablets of tablea
4 - 5 tablespoons muscovado (or brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Evaporated milk (full cream or any liquid milk you prefer)
In a saucepan, boil the rice in water, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid rice sticking on the bottom of the pan. 
Drop in the tablea and mix gently until melted. Add more water gradually if the consistency is too thick for you. Pour in the sugar and salt, mix until well blended.
Simmer a few more minutes. Spoon a small amount to taste, and check if rice is done. Add more sugar if desired. Serve on a shallow bowl and drizzle with milk.
Enjoy!
Traditionally, champorado is served with tuyo (dried salted fish) for that sweet-salty contrast in taste, but I never tried this combo as I prefer to enjoy this on it own as a sweet filling dish.

Some also pour or mix sweet condensed milk instead of evaporated milk, but use less sugar.


After taking turns mixing the porridge, they got settled on the stools by the island counter and waited to be served. Sad to say, my boy did not even try to have a taste as he preferred to eat a banana instead.  On the other hand, my girl quickly grabbed the spoon to mix it again once I poured over some milk.  That's why I missed taking a shot of a well-plated champorado for this post, instead, an empty bowl above (first photo).

 Here she is, smelling and licking the chocolate-covered spoon! Mmmm...



It is not everyday that we have some bonding time like this. Most days can be quite boring and uneventful, but once they get started at something they really enjoy, the mood can carry on for the rest of the afternoon especially when a-hia (big brother) has no school and is at home to play with sho-be (little sister). And those are the moments I treasure the most.

After cooking and finishing their snacks, they now turned to some of the left-over string beans that fell on the kitchen floor -- big brother becomes a cook once again and started to chop, chop, chop...little sis follows with her own mini chopping board and the bonding (and quarrels) continues.



See how this afternoon all started here in Part 1.


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