Shane Powers grew up in rural Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Pittsburg. His mother’s family, though, is from Puerto Rico, so when he visited his Grandma as a child, she always had something delicious brewing on the stove; Rice and Beans, Plantains, and also Pasteles.
Shane is a craftsman. (He worked as an editor at Martha Stewart, on and off for nearly 12 years, and was recently approached by West Elm to develop a line of indoor floral and garden accessories.) Shane’s inspirations come from many influences; the rural landscape he grew up with, the Amish that lived in his town who had the most beautiful houses and barns. He remembers seeing them at the general store and being completely mesmerized by their minimal palette of blue, black, white and purple. “They were so elegant” he says, “the way they moved, their manners were impeccable, but not at all conservative. They were my first aesthetic influence, for sure.”
Addys is a dancer. He grew up outside of Santiago, Dominican Republic. His family raised their own animals and his mother and grandmother would slaughter them right in the backyard. Goats, chickens, pigs, which would then become mostly stews. There was always plenty of plantains and avocados. He grew up with lots of family around him, so food was constantly being prepared, for someone.
Addys loves to make Tostones, they’re plantain slices smashed flat and then fried, similar to fried plantains but crispier. Shane loves them with a bit of salt. If Shane and Addys are home together, they’ll make Chai Tea. Shane grinds the spices in a mortar and pestle and brews them with Assam tea and milk (goat milk sometimes). Honey is added at the end.
On possibly the coldest day in January, I was invited for lunch with Shane and Addys. We love filipino food, and often meet at our favorite Filipino restaurant in Brooklyn, (Purple Yam) for Goat’s Curry and Adobo Chicken. Addys emulated the Adobe Chicken from the Purple Yam recipe book at home and I was lucky enough to be invited to join them.
Adapted from Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, book “Memories of Philippine Kitchens”
Combine 1 and a half cups of Rice Vinegar, 1 cup of Coconut Milk, 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce, 12 Garlic Cloves, peeled, 3 Bay Leaves, 3 Birdseye Chiles, 1 and a half teaspoons of freshly ground Black Pepper. Add to the marinade, 3 and a half pounds of quartered Chicken, cut into pieces. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. In a large pot, or heavy duty Dutch Oven, heat the chicken and marinade. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to your broiler and heat on high, watching carefully, till browned. Meanwhile heat the marinade on medium-high heat and reduce the sauce till it’s thick. Remove chiles and bay leaves and return the chicken to the sauce. Serves 4. Serve with Bok Choy and Bamboo Shoot Rice.
HOW TO MAKE THE BAMBOO SHOOT RICE: Rinse 3 cups of Jasmine Rice. Pour 3 tablespoons of oil into a large saucepan and add 1 small Onion, finely chopped, and 1 small Carrot, finely diced. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add 2 Garlic Cloves, minced, and cook one minute longer, Stir in half a pound of Mushrooms and and a half cup of canned Bamboo Shoots, rinsed and and cut into half inch pieces and half teaspoon of Turmeric. Cook and stir until the mushrooms start to melt. Stir in the rice and 4 and a half cups of Chicken Stock. Add 1 and a half teaspoons of Salt and quarter teaspoon of Pepper and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer to absorb liquid. Take the pan off the heat and stir lightly with a fork to fluff. Cover and leave for 5 to 12 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
To buy the “Memories of Philippine Kitchens” cookbook, click here.
To check out Shane’s blog, click here.