In the Philippines, a rice-less meal is a light meal. So,… we decided to go light last night. Sandwiches and cheese sticks were all I really planned. The kids were excited and wanted to help out in making the cheese sticks. But their dad wanted turon for dessert too. By the time cooking was done, there was so much food on the table. And we had a lot of fun. Our soon-to-be 12-year-old girl suggested we take family photos at the dinner table every night. She said we should let readers of the food blog see just how much we are enjoying what we cook. Um, good idea. I just don’t know if my bandwidth usage can handle it. Perhaps, once in a while would be alright.
Anyway, our usual way of prepapring chicken salad sandwich is by mixing chopped chicken breast meat with chopped onions and mayonnaise and seasoning the mixture with salt, pepper and a little sugar. I like adding chopped celery to mine but since my kids did not like celery, I used to prepare a separate salad for myself. Last night, however, the soon-to-be 12-year-old girl commandeered the kitchen and did the salad herself–from the chopping to deciding what went into it. So she added the chopped celery and plenty of finely chopped parsley as well. I just adjusted the seasonings afterwards. I chilled the salad then sliced a cucumber to go with it later.
The turon was prepared and fried next.
Then came the cheese sticks. I’ve always enjoyed my cheese sticks a la Tia Maria–with bell peppers and a little chili powder–but my kids do not find the combination appetizing. Hence, we prepared two sets of cheese sticks last night–one set with bell peppers; another set without. It was so much fun. My two daughters and myself rolling the cheese sticks and having a little contest as to who rolled them the tightest and who made the best sealed cheese sticks. It was a very enjoyable Sunday evening at the kitchen, to say the least.
For the chicken salad sandwiches :
2 chicken breasts, boiled
2 stalks of celery
1 tsp. of finely chopped parsley
1 large white onion
1 tbsp. of sweet pickle relish
1 c. of mayonnaise
bread (white, wheat or large rolls)
Cooking procedure :
Cool the chicken breasts. Debone and chop the meat. How fine or how coarse is up to you. Some people like chunky chicken salad; others don’t. Finely chop the celery and the onion. Toss the chopped chicken breast meat, celery, onion and pickle relish with the mayonnaise. Blend well. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Chill, covered, for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the cheese sticks :
1-250 g. pack of quickmelt cheese
1 red bell pepper
20 pieces of small lumpia (spring roll) wrapper
2 tsps. of cornstarch dispersed in 6 tbsps. of water
1 c. of cooking oil
Cooking procedure :
Make a paste by cooking the cornstarch solution over medium heat until thick. Cool.
Cut the cheese into 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 3″ sticks.
Core and seed the bell pepper and cut into thin strips.
Place a cheese stick and a strip of bell pepper at one edge of a lumpia wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with the cornstarch paste. Roll the wrapper two times, then fold the sides inward. Continue rolling as tightly as you can, sealing the edges well. Repeat until all the lumpia wrapper has been filled.
Heat the cooking oil in a medium-sized skillet until it starts to smoke. Fry the cheese sticks over high heat, 4-5 pieces at a time, letting them roll in the hot oil for even browning. Drain the cheese sticks on several stacks of paper towels.
To serve :
Have a variety of vegetables to go with the chicken salad sandwiches. Lettuce, tomato slices and cucumber slices are good choices. Place the vegetables on a plate beside the bowl of chicken salad. Let everyone make their own sandwiches so that they can decide what to put into them.
Serve the cheese sticks as an appetizer or as a side dish.