Travel location: San Fernando City, Pampanga, Philippines
When I went: November 2014
Through my friend’s family connections, we were able to meet a famous local Chef. Atching Lillian-Borromeo invited us to her ancestral home in San Fernando City, Pampanga, where she prepared a feast of Kapampangan cuisine and taught us how to make her famous San Nicolas cookies. I’ve been told that the Kapampangan cuisine from the Pampanga province is considered the “culinary capital of the Philippines”.
Lillian was known for being a TV cooking show host, a cookbook author and a culinary teacher. I got my signed copy of her cookbook “Atching Lillian’s Heirloom Recipes” as a souvenir.
The dishes included dinaguan (blood stew), fern salad with a light vinaigrette, crispy fried fish and the ‘tibok tibok’ dessert, which was made with carabao milk (water buffalo from the Philippines) topped with crunchy dried coconut. The home cooked meal had tons of stews with locally sourced ingredients including her garden.
After the meal, we had a hands-on demonstration on how to make her San Nicolas cookies.
Here were the steps to making the cookies:
- Using a mixture of egg and flour, push the dough into the mold
- Use a rolling pin, roll the dough evenly into the mold
- Place a layer of wax paper on top of the mold and roll once again
- Peel the wax paper
- Dump the cookie out of the mold and bake
Not bad on my first try!
I was honoured to have met the Chef and to have tasted authentic Kapampangan cuisine. For more delicious updates, follow me @maryshappybelly on Twitter and Instagram