When time is the enemy: Torta and “Burjers”

My take on torta: ground pork, shrimps and crabs
My take on torta: ground pork, shrimps and crabs

I’m fortunate to be able to work from home, while most of my friends are either glued to their desks or sweating excessively in some fancy restaurant’s kitchen. I’ve actually categorized my friends into two separate groups: the Cooks and the Eaters. The cooks are my chef friends, plus some who are in-the-know when it comes to anything and everything about food. The Eaters (who, sad to say, take up majority of my friend’s list) are the people I hang out with who also love to eat, but don’t know the difference between a paring and a butter knife.

I’m sharing the following information because I get asked a lot by the Eaters about what dishes they could prepare when they’re short of time and have kids that are picky with food. I don’t have kids of my own but I consider my sister as one of the pickiest eaters in the world. She has a short list of vegetables that she will eat, she doesn’t like anything black on her food, she thinks that the chicken in Tinola is swimming in water therefore she doesn’t eat that too, and she hates steamed fish (she thinks it’s still alive).

I like to cook every day but I also make sure to make batches of certain pre-cooked items, in case of an emergency. I suggest to working moms out there that on the weekends, you plan or make large amounts of food and remember to put them on separate containers big enough to at least feed two persons. I use this technique so that when thawing food, I don’t spoil the whole thing.

Torta and Burjers are staple foods in our home. I make big batches of these two dishes because, first, they’re easy to make and second, we all love tortang talong. You might be thinking what a Burjer is. It’s my own take on the regular burgers. I don’t use beef patties or lean meat for my Burjers. Just the ordinary ground pork at your local palengke will do. Unless you buy your meat in supermarkets then I suggest you use at least a cut of meat with a little fat in it. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those chefs who refrains people from eating fat or anything that is fattening. As long as you don’t overdo it, a little fat in your protein is good. It actually enhances the taste of your dish.

Cling-wrapped burjers
Cling-wrapped burjers

I wrap my burjers in cling-wrap ala embotido style. I make them small, just like bite-size pieces. These are also good for lunch baon for the kids. It is better that you send your kids food for lunch rather than make them eat cafeteria food. Not that I have anything against it, but you’ll never know. Better be safe than sorry.

My torta is simple too. I put ground pork, shrimps and crabs in it. I like the combination of the three. It has that seafood taste but it’s hearty too. I like my food simple. Simple food is better, with working moms who would rather be spending more time with their families than being stuck in the kitchen all day.

If you want the recipes for these two dishes, you can always drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you soon… :)

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