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Archive for June, 2011

It’s rainy season once again and the number one Filipino dish topping the list right now for sure is our local comfort food champorado.  Although this is usually eaten for breakfast or merienda (afternoon snack),  we’ve had it for dinner two nights in a row. It’s basically composed of 3 main ingredients, powdered cocoa, sticky rice or glutinous rice, and water. Some already add sugar while making champorado to make it sweet, but I like to add it along with my evaporated milk just before eating.

And of course no champorado is ever complete without a matching fried tuyo (salted dried fish)- super salty, crunchy, flaky and so indispensible. The ingredients are quite cheap but this chocolate porridge is very filling. There are instant champorado already available in the supermarkets. I have tried the one made my Antonio Pueo, but I thought there wasn’t enough rice in their mix which made the final product too soupy even if you follow their directions to the letter. Better to make it from scratch, cheaper and there’s really nothing much to prepare. You can’t really go wrong with this dish- just add more cocoa or water if you want a more chocolaty taste and less sticky.

 

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup Hershey’s Powdered Cocoa

1 1/4 cup glutinous rice

5 cups water

Procedure:

Use a deep saucepan and just add all the ingredients. Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and keep on stirring. Cook until rice is soft and chewy. Serve with brown sugar, evaporated milk, and of course fried tuyo.

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eureka!

guess what I had for dinner. a recipe with only three ingredients. ha! beat that. but i’m just too full and quite tired tonight that i will need to postpone my posting of this popular filipino food tomorrow.so stay tuned.

also, i started doing my own food photography! i’m actually excited about it and plan to shoot more stuff in the days to come. as you have probably noticed, some of my previous photos are artistically challenged since they were snapped before/during/after cooking by moi sans the lighting. the hubby has been busy with work and he hasn’t been around to shoot my kitchen exploits (boo!) anyhow, i started using some lighting and to have them look more appetizing. still freshly cooked for consumption with just a bit of prop styling as promised 🙂

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If there’s one dish I can eat over and over and over for a week straight, it’s got to be a pasta dish. It all started back in the day when I first tasted Carbonara from our next door neighbor. Then I began cooking my own simplified version using Campbell’s mushroom soup and milk and some other ingredients not even related to the original dish! If there’s one thing I learned from this, it’s this– a pasta dish can be made from anything! Don’t get me wrong, I love discovering recipes from cookbooks and all, but when all you have is what’s in your ref, you need to improvise and feed the hungry hubby. This dish from leftovers, as usual, was a very satisfying lunch and something I’d cook over and over again.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped bacon

1/2 cup canned corn

1/4 cup frozen peas

1 cup all purpose cream

a handful of fresh basil leaves (from my basil plant!)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

* Lawry’s Seasoned Salt does wonders to my pasta dishes by the way

Fettuccine noodles, cooked al dente

Procedure:

Sauté garlic and onion in butter. Add your bacon and let it cook until most of the fat has melted and parts are getting crisp and crunchy. Add corn and peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Pour in all-purpose cream and and mix in herbs. Add and mix in cooked fettuccine noodles. Season with salt and pepper.

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almost paella

The best recipes for me are those that just “boom”- came out from scratch. Scratch like leftovers, bit-of-this-piece-of-that, that are waiting to be made into something delicious and repeatable. So last night, I was already having one of those “it’s already 7pm and I have no idea what to cook for dinner” when everything fell into place, and thirty minutes later me and the hubby were helping ourselves to our second plate. What’s the secret? I happily live by my kitchen rule, ” When all else fails, there’s always paella” (or at least my version of it) Rice, veggies, spices, some meat, and you’re good to go! My title said almost paella since I used a different rice variety (the original dish calls for a bomba or callasparra rice), used bacon fat (instead of olive oil), seasoned with spices other than saffron, and most all– lacked the paellera pan. If you want a brief history on the dish, click here. I used a stainless wide pan somewhat similar to a wok with a see through cover, which made it easier for me to see if the dish is already cooked without letting the steam out.

Serves  4-5

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bacon, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 carrot, cubed

1 small red bell pepper, sliced thinly

1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1 small eggplant, cubed

8 pcs string beans, cut to an inch

1/4 cup red wine

1 1/2 cup long grain rice

3 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon cajun spice mix

1/4 teaspoon spanish paprika

1 piece laurel leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

Extra salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Heat pan on low fire and add in bacon pieces. Melt the fat and this will serve as oil for the dish. Cook bacon until slightly crispy and most of the fat has melted. Increase heat to medium fire. Add onions, then garlic. Let it cook until garlic is golden then add carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, and string beans. Deglaze with red wine and cook of the alcohol until the liquid has reduced to half. Mix in rice and make sure that it’s completely coated with the oil from the bacon. Add the chicken broth. Mix in the rest of the ingredients: all herbs and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer covered for around 20 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked. Serve with sliced lemons.

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