Friday, August 23, 2013

Halo Halo Shake

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All this week we've shared some Filipino dishes that have a special place in my heart. Growing up in a kitchen that catered to a celebration almost every weekend allowed me to appreciate food and embrace my culture. My parents were mainly focused on cooking savory dishes for the events they catered; desserts really weren't their specialty. But that's okay... because my favorite Filipino dessert requires no cooking at all. And that quintessential dessert of Filipino cuisine is Halo Halo. Halo [pronounced hah-low] in Tagalog means 'mix.' So this dessert literally is called, 'mix-mix.' The reason for that is simple. Layers of sweet and colorful fruits are topped with shaved or crushed ice in a tall glass, then drizzled with milk and topped with a scoop of ice cream before mixing the concoction with a spoon until it's fully combined...


Halo halo is not only a perfect treat to cool down with on a hot summer day, it's also a lot of fun to make. Because this is something everyone can customize to their own tastes, I provided a halo halo shake bar at the recent Filipino Fiesta cooking party I hosted. For this halo halo bar, I had available numerous traditional ingredients used in halo halo including:

- fresh cantelope
- saba bananas
- fresh avocados
- red sugar palm fruit {kaong}
- sweet white beans
- green coconut gel {nata de coco}
- purple yam {ube}
- sago
- jackfruit {langka}
- coconut strings {macapuno}
- vanilla ice cream

Since the items I provided were imported and purely Filipino {which I found at local Asian markets and Filipino markets in the area}, you can certainly substitute with any fruits you like. Some suggestions include:

- fresh banana slices
- berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- diced peaches, nectarines, plums, pears
- grapes
- lychee fruit
So how does one make halo halo? Building it is the easy part. To do, fill a large cup about 1/3 full with your desired combination of fruit. Leave a long handled spoon in the cup.

Then, fill the cup to the top with shaved or crushed ice.

Drizzle in some evaporated milk over the ice, just enough for it to go through some of the ice.

Top with a scoop of ice cream...

Now the hard part comes in. It's time to mix-mix... or as we say, halo halo! Carefully jiggle the spoon up and down to remove. While moving the spoon up and down, mix the ingredients at the bottom of the cup to the top until fully combined. Add more milk to make it easier. Before you know it, you'll have a refreshing, sweet and fruity cool treat to enjoy!


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