Buen apetito: lengua and paella recipes from Alba's

Ruth Sindico (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2012 - 9:30am

MANILA, Philippines - Tapas, callos, bacalao--there is no question that Spanish cuisine has found its place in many Filipino tables, especially during times of celebration like Christmas.

Two of the most popular dishes that have become the "stars" of Filipino feasts are the paella and the lengua.
Paella (pie-ay-ah) actually refers to the "cooking utensil" used to cook the rice dish. According to the La Paella website, the dish originated from the peasants of Valencia who "use the paella pan to cook rice with easily available ingredients from the countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails." 
The lengua, meanwhile, is made from beef tongue that has been braised with tomato sauce, garlic and seasoning. 
Don Anastacio De Alba of Alba's Restaurant was kind enough to share with us the recipes to his lengua and paella dishes.
The dean of Spanish cuisine in the Philippines recently launched a collection of his recipes through "The Alba Cookbook." It is part recipe book-part memoir as 50 of his most popular recipes and practical cooking tips share space with his life story, photos, poetry and philosophy on life and cooking.
Here, without further ado, are two of  the recipes his well-loved dishes.
Paella Verde
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp onion, chopped
100 grams green bell pepper, blanched and sliced
2 tbsp white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup rice
Salt and pepper to taste
100 grams broccoli, banched
100 grams spinach, blanched
1/4 cup green peas, blanched
8 pieces green asparagus, blanched
Saute garlic, onions, and green bell pepper in olive oil.  Add white wine.
Pour in broth then bring to boil.
Add rice, season with salt and pepper, and boil for 10 minutes
Top boiling rice mixture with broccoli, spinach, green peas, and green asparagus.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook over low fire
Lengua a la Sevillana
800 grams Ox-tongue, 1 piece
200 grams onions, sliced
100 grams carrots, sliced
100 grams celery, sliced
10 pcs. whole black pepper
2 pieces bay leaf
1 tbasp soy cause
1 tbsp vinegar
For the sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp onions, chopped
2 tbsp butter
100 grams button mushrooms, sliced
12-15 pieces green olives
2 tbsp flour
1 cup red wine
3-4 cups beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pot, bring water to a boil.  Pour enough water just to cover the tongue. When water is boiling, dip the tongue for about a minute. Remove skin and wash with water
In another pot, place cleaned tongue with onions, celery, pepper, bay leaf, soy sauce and vinegar.  Add enough water to cover the mixture.  Bring to a boil until the meat is tender.  Boil in low heat for about 2 hours. Slice the tongue and set aside.
Saute the onions in olive oil. Add butter, mushrooms, and olives. 
Add the flour and stir continuously until color turns to light brown.
Add wine and stock.  Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tongue slices and allow to simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

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