Lumpia

Fried lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish, similar to egg rolls,  that are stuffed with pork and vegetables then fried to perfection. When I think of lumpia it makes me smile because it brings me back to happy childhood memories of helping my Mom in the kitchen. Often times, we would whip up this dish for large family gatherings or as a savory snack during the holidays.
What I love most about Filipino cuisine is its tastes very from salty to bitter; spicy and sweet. And what I love about lumpia (besides the garlic-vinegar dipping sauce) is everyone’s recipe is slightly different. My co-worker Anna usually adds in bean sprouts and green beans to the traditional list of veggies while others add in water chestnuts, mushrooms or even green onions.

Here’s a more traditional recipe for lumpia that was passed down from my Mom, which includes a little cilantro for added freshness.

Lumpia

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 – 30 lumpia wrappers
  • Egg wash (to seal the wrappers)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok and cook the pork until browned. Remove the pork and set aside. Drain grease from the pan leaving a thin coating. Add garlic and onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add in the carrots and continue to cook until slightly tender, yet still crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked pork. Season filling with soy sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside until cooled. (make sure filling is cool to the touch, otherwise it will make the wrappers soggy)

Place filling towards the center edge of the wrapper. Fold over the corner, tuck in the sides and roll neatly. I prefer to roll shorter / fatter rolls where some prefer to roll long and skinny – it’s up to you. Now seal the wrapper with egg wash or water. Below is an example from the back of the wrapper package:

     

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add 4-5 pieces of lumpia to the oil and fry until golden brown on all sides (about 2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with a garlic-vinegar dipping sauce.

Garlic Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve alongside the lumpia.


To me, lumpia brings people together. I recently made it to surprise my grandmother on her 85th birthday as it’s her favorite Filipino dish.

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Homemade Farmers Cheese

Farmers Cheese

  • Half gallon of milk
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Seasoning of choice: olive oil, lemon zest, fresh herbs

Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add salt and stir occasionally to avoid burning the milk. As soon as the milk starts to simmer (about 180-190 degrees), pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and stir. The milk should begin to curdle – if not, add in a little more lemon juice or vinegar. Turn off the heat and let the milk rest for about 10 minutes. Line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. Pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth, tie cloth and hang over a bowl for a 1/2 hour – hour to ensure all the whey has drained (be careful not to let it hang too long, as the result will be too dry).

Farmers Cheese Cheesecloth

Once drained, open cheesecloth and either refrigerate cheese immediately or transfer to a plate to serve. If serving immediately, season with your favorite items: olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and/or favorite fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and oregano.

Farmers Cheese

This mild cheese is great on crackers or on your favorite crostini. I recently served it up over a crostini topped by tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

It’s Fig Season

Fresh Creekview Figs

The California fig season is officially underway! These fragile, pear-shaped beauties are one of our favorites and between Rochelle and I, we are fortunate enough to have five beautiful fig trees to harvest from. Plump and mildly sweet, fresh figs are delicious in their natural state or can be added to an array of savory or sweet dishes. Below are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy fresh California figs:

Goat Cheese and Fig Toast

Goat Cheese Fig Toast

  • Bread of your choice, toasted (we use Beckmanns bread from our local farmers market)
  • Fresh figs, sliced
  • Fresh chèvre
  • Raw organic honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh thyme

Drizzle toast with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toast. Spread the fresh goat cheese on the warm toast, drizzle with honey, add a little pepper and top with fresh fig slices. Garnish with thyme.

Fig Salsa

Fig Salsa Aprons & Stilettos

Add this easy-to-make salsa to sliced, smoked steak for a hint of sweetness.

  • Fresh figs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Scallions, chopped
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • Blue cheese

Mix together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle over figs, add parsley and scallions and mix to combine. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Also, great on a steak crostini!

Steak Crostini Figs

Blue Cheese, Honey and Walnut Figs

Blue Cheese, Honey and Fig Appetizer

This super easy, savory appetizer bursts with some incredible flavors. The saltiness of the blue cheese complements the sweetness of the ripe homegrown figs finished with a delightful nuttiness of toasted organic walnuts. Click here for the recipe

Rosemary Infused Goat Cheese Figs

Rosemary Figs

Here’s another extremely easy, yet delicious appetizer that takes only 20 minutes to make. Click here for the recipe

Fig, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese Pizza

Fig Pizza

Add figs to your homemade pizza, trust us – it’s delicious. Click here for the recipe