Sunday, April 29, 2012

Buko Fruit Salad

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Buko or young coconut is found almost anywhere in the country and most especially in the island where I grew up. We used to have three tall coconut trees in our backyard and we also had the dwarf variety which was low enough I could easily just pluck one head off the trunk. That was then but the reality is that we have none of our coconut trees still surviving. However, my godmother next door do have a couple more trees and she graciously allowed us to pick from her tree for this event we were planning for my mom's birthday. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I carefully chose the menu for this lunch affair since I was still in reminiscing mode. I chose this fruit dessert since this is my Dad's favorite. Good thing we had a cousin living with us who has no fear when it comes to climbing really tall trees. Look at the picture closely and you will realize how high up he is. This tree is taller than out two-story house. I felt bad taking this picture since he is the one risking his neck for our dessert. Still, the coconuts were the perfect age to make this sweet salad. The main dish was inspired by my Mom's favorite holiday dish and the rest, I filled in with things I missed the most. Recipes from the affair will be featured a bit later.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This dessert is really easy to make. You do not need any exact measurements since this dessert is assembled according to your specific taste. As I got older, my tolerance for saccharinely sweet desserts have reached a lower level of tolerance so we had to readjust the amount of condensed milk to make sure that the overall sweetness is just right. I'm just glad that the rest of the family have gone this route as well so we're all good! I managed to find young coconuts in the US for about 2$ a pop. Not too bad but you will need at least 10 if you are going to feed an army of 20-25. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The other thing to decide on is whether to use Kaong or Nata de Coco. Both are available in major oriental stores if you happen to live close by one of them. Go through the Filipino section and you will find them in either white, green or red color. I prefer the kaong but a close second is the is the Nata de Coco. Of course, you can do away with either one if gelatinous morsels are not your thing. 

Buko Fruit Salad

10 young coconuts, hulled and meat scored into strings
5-6 lbs tropical or regular fruit cocktail, drained
1 32 oz pineapple chunks, drained
3 cup red kaong, rinsed and drained
4 cups white kaong, rinsed and drained
1-14 oz condensed milk
3 cup heavy cream

To make the salad, combine all the ingredients and adjust the sweetness by varying the amount of condensed milk. This can also be made with the addition of raisins, canned sliced peaches and pears and even diced soft cheeses like mild cheddar and Monterrey Jack. You can also add more coconut meat or sliced apples and whole seedless grapes if you prefer. Really, any fruit is a welcome addition to this dessert and it is only your preference to a particular fruit that will limit what you can use to make this dessert. Make sure that you serve this salad really cold.

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