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Friday, April 18, 2008


It's been days of nonstop rain and the cold weather have actually settled in. The other day, our friends dropped by to share some homemade suman sa lihiya. I made him promise to share the recipe that actually was from his mother. I myself made guinataang halo-halo. There's something about the cold weather that makes you long for the native kakanin. For last night I cooked igado, an ilocano dish that I relly love. I used ground pork and marinaded it in garlic and red wine vinegar which is very similar to sukang iloko.
500g minced pork
200g pork liver (sliced into strips)
100g pork heart, diced
100g pork kidney, diced
1 bell pepper
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch of fennel seed
annato powder
salt and pepper
cooking oil
Mix pork mince, heart and kidney, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and annato powder and marinade for 1 hour. Saute onion in cooking oil in medium heat until soft and transluscent. Turn up the heat and add the liver and stir fry for 2 mins. Add the pork mixture and bay leaf and cook for another 5 minutes. When the mixture is almost dry, add the bell pepper strips and stir until the mixture is frying in oil then turn off heat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Menudo at pan de sal

I have this photo of menudo at pan de sal sitting in my hard drive. I was only reminded of it when we had dinner at a friend's house. He cooked (yes that's right a HE that cooks!) a 'kickshin' menudo, I try not to use dirty words on my blog because it doesn't go well with food but you know what I mean right? He cooked and the wife just stayed pretty. How wonderful! I might just send the ironman to a few cooking lessons. No, thats too advanced. Maybe to a 'how to survive and not get lost in the kitchen' lesson or 'how to recognize pork from beef' lesson. Ok enough, I'm being mean. Seriously whatever skills he lack in the kitchen he makes up in other parts of the house....boy did that sound dirty. He always keeps the house spotlessly clean and is very masinop which sometimes drives me crazy because I'm the quintessential burara. It's bad enough that I don't put away my things, I always forget where I last put them and I would ask him if he saw this and that. He's like a rubberband, everything goes back in it's place.... shoes, headband, hairbrush, keys, make up. Come to think of it we compliment each other. I'm the manga to his bagoong and he is the pan de sal to my menudo. Galing ng bridging!
Just follow the link if you want to make your own pan de sal or you can just buy dinner rolls.
menudo at pan de sal
500g pork shoulder, cubed
200g pork liver, cubed
1 large carrot cubed
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium capsicum, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 c tomato paste
1/2 tsp of fennel seed
1/2 tsp of dried rosemary
1tsp dried basil
triple the amount if using fresh herbs
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a pan. Brown the pork then add the liver. Add the tomato paste after the water evaporates. Add the herbs, paprika, bay leaf and 1.5 to 2 c of water. Add the potatoes when it starts to boil followed by the carrots. Simmer until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly, add the frozen peas. Bring back to boil then remove from heat.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spaghetti bolognese

Mr sniffles visited our house early this year. First victim was my husband, then my son and me last. My son had to miss school for 1 whole week so that explains why I have not been blogging for the last two weeks. Not that I was not cooking. I think there's more recipe for chicken soup than you can poke a stick at. We mostly had soup like bulalo and nilagang manok. There's something about soup that is so comforting when you're sick.

Did I mention that this entry is about spaghetti bolognese? Bolognaise, bolognese... because this dish is italian, let's give credit where it is due. So bolognese it is. The recipe for the ragu is the same as the sauce I use for my lasagna recipe plus 1 glass of red wine and simmer it longer to thicken the sauce. Just a note when adding wine to your food; if you can't drink it why add it to your food. A bad wine is a bad wine.
Just follow the link to the lasagna recipe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beef casserole with cheese and chives dumplings

There's nothing like the aroma of a good casserole cooking in the oven to warm up ones home. Figuratively and literally because my oven also doubles as a heater when I'm baking . It's very old and does not contain the heat inside. Good in winter but in summer I use a small oven that I have in the garage. This recipe is based from taste casserole recipe. This is the first time I tried it and it's really, really heaven. True! that was the thought came to mind with the first spoonful. The dumplings was crusty on top and soft and moist inside and the stew was rich and thick and full of flavour from the vegies.

beef casserole with cheese and chive dumplings
500g stewing beef, cubed
1/2 c plain flour
1 large carrot
200g button mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 c beef broth
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1 c self raising flour
30g butter
1/2 c grated cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives
1/4 c milk

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Dust the beef cubes with flour and brown in oil in two batches. Save in a plate. Add some more oil and saute onion until transluscent. Add the beef and pour the tomatoes and beef broth. Simmer until beef is tender then add the vegetables, balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Return to boil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer in an ovenproof dish.
Preheat oven to 190c.
Meanwhile to make the dumplings, rub the flour with butter until texture resembles
breadcrumbs. Mix cheese and chives and pour in milk. Use a knife and make a cutting motion to mix the dough. Form into 8 balls and top on stew. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until dumplings are golden brown. Serve warm with steamed vegetables.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bicol express

It's not very often that I make bicol express at home even if it's one of my hubby's all time favorite ulam. One, it's full of the creamy goodness of coconut milk which is good if not for the artery clogging saturated fat and two, it's loaded with salt from the alamang. But I have to keep the ironman happy or there will be a lot of unwashed dishes hehehe.
Ok before I completely turn you off, seriously this dish is so full of flavour from the coconut milk, alamang and I always add ground cardamom or coriander seeds with coconut based dishes. This is optional. I got this from the Indians who put cardamom or coriander seeds
with their curry. Just a pinch or two because these spices are very strong and overpowering.
I used alamang that I sauteed in garlic, spring onion, paprika(hence the reddish color), sugar and vinegar. I just keep it in the fridge for kare-kare or manggang hilaw.

bicol express
5oo gms pork leg or shoulder, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 thumb ginger, grated
5 long green chilli, seeded
2 tbsp alamang
1 c coconut milk
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom or coriander seed
2 tbsp cooking oil
pepper to taste

Heat the cooking oil in a pan and brown the meat in high heat. Add the onion ginger and garlic and turn down to medium heat. Saute until the onion is soft and transluscent then stir in the alamang, cardamom and sugar. Pour the coconut milk and cover and simmer until the meat is tender. Slice the chilli and add to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thick. Season with pepper and serve it topped on a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.

Do not remove the seeds from the chilli if you like it hot.
Add more coconut milk if the dish is too dry

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rosemary and seasalt focaccia

Focaccia is an Italian style bread. It is very versatile as you can use this as a base for your pizza, as a sandwich or just spread garlic and butter to accompany your favorite pasta dish.

The recipe for the dough is the same as the pizza dough recipe in this blog. Just substitute the wholemeal flour with plain flour and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Flatten it in a pan. It should be thicker than a pizza dough. Allow to rise for about an hour. Use your finger to press holes in the dough. Sprinkle some fresh rosemary and flakes of seasalt. Finally brush with olive oil and crushed garlic and put in a 220c preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I usually have this for lunch when I couldn't be bothered to cook and just want a quick one. I just spread some pesto, top the focaccia with roasted capsicum, zucchini and mushroom, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill it until the cheese melts.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tokwa't isda (tofu and fish)

I still have a fillet of thawed white fish that is a part of a batch which I cooked as fish tempura (coming up on this blog). I saved this one fillet because I thought the 3 fillets would be too much for the 3 of us since I also made vegetable tempura and a cold leftover tempura is no fun to eat.
This dish is very timely for the coming lenten season. Although we do not do abstinence, we keep it simple on good Fridays. What is the purpose of giving up meat if you're going to have prawns and lobsters instead. I believe that the true meaning of abstinence and fasting is sharing Jesus' suffering in our own small way so we can truly appreciate God's love for us.
Those of you meatlovers should give this dish a chance before you turn your backs.
Have I mentioned that this dish is derived from the famous tokwa't baboy?

tokwa't isda

200 gms of white fish fillet(cut into strips)
6 blocks of tokwa(tofu, cubed)
1 red onion
1/2 c light soy sauce (kikkoman)
1 tbsp white vinegar (thinly sliced)
crushed garlic
chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup flour
cooking oil for deep frying

Season flour with pepper. I don't add salt anymore because the sauce is salty enough. Pat dry the fish and dredge in the flour shaking off any excess.
Heat the oil to high and deep fry tofu in batches until golden brown. Deep fry the fish taking care not to over crowd the pan. Combine tofu and fish in a serving dish
To make the sauce, mix the onion, garlic, chilli flakes, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl. You may pour it over the fried fish and tofu or you can serve it as a dip on the side which I prefer to avoid the dish from getting all soggy.