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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Whenever I want something light yet filling, I automatically look for my Red   Fish Curry recipe. One of my original kitchen experiments with all my favorite ingredients. A bit spicy, salty, sour, creamy, and healthy! This can be eaten with rice or as a soupy noodle dish. I used Thai rice noodles which you can easily find in supermarkets nowadays and cooks instantly- just pour in your piping hot soup and cover for about 5 minutes. You can find the ones available already individually portioned so I always buy those. I ran out of bean sprouts when I made this but feel free to throw in a handful at the end of cooking to have something fresh and crunchy in the dish. Best topped with some cilantro too, but the herb is not that easy to find in the common markets.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

3 garlic cloves

1/2 medium onion

2 medium tomatoes, cubed

2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup straw or button mushrooms

1 piece tanglad or lemongrass, crushed

2 pieces kaffir lime leaves

750 ml water

1 chicken cube

1 tablespoon red curry paste

2 tablespoons tom yum paste

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

1 fillet of cod fish, cut to 1 inch fillets

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons patis or fish sauce

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup Chinese pechay, cut chiffonade

Fresh Basil leaves, for garnish

Thai flat rice noodles

Procedure:

Over high heat, sauté garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add your mushrooms and lemongrass. Add lime leaves and water. Bring to a boil then add chicken cube. Lower heat to simmer and add all the pastes. Add the fish fillets and cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, patis, salt and cook for about 5 more minutes. Adjust saltiness according to taste. Serve this piping hot.

In individual serving bowls, add your pechay and rice noodles. Pour piping hot soup and cover for about 5 minutes or until noodles are cooked and soft. Top with fresh basil leaves.

* You can add bean sprouts, and garnish with some cilantro and lime wedges.

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A freshly brewed tea can sometimes do wonders for a dreadful day, or a lazy afternoon. Usually a cleansing starter for a Chinese meal or a welcome conclusion to a hearty dinner- serious tea drinkers know the countless benefits of taking the healthy brew. I should know, my husband drinks this by the pitcher, literally. Experimenting with tea can be a worthwhile effort once you find the right combination of bitterness, tang, and sweetness. I prefer sugar with my tea and even a bit of milk. Brewed milk tea shops are popping up like 7-11s this past year, and though I’ve tried some that are quite good I’d rather have my home brew and control the enormous sugar content usually found in commercial mixtures. Pandan teas can be found in local restaurants but it’s the first time I tried it at home. Still open to a lot more combinations, I just thought I’d post the simplest concoction. Great served hot or with lots of ice.

Ingredients:
1.5 liters of water
5 pieces pandan leaves
4 bags of green tea

Honey
Lime wedges

Pour water and pandan leaves in a kettle or a deep saucepan, bring to a rolling boil and turn off the heat. Add the green tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes or until the water turns to a deep golden yellow. Serve hot or let cool and serve on ice-filled glass, with honey and lime wedges.

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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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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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Pea and Tofu Soup

I’m a big fan of creamy soups. I grew up eating nothing but instant Cream of Mushroom soups and mixing it with rice. I’m not sure how much MSG is in my kidneys after all those years of canned soups, but now that I know better- I make my soups from scratch. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup to warm me up during the rainy seasons. Just stock up on frozen peas and throw in whatever is leftover in the ref as topping. I was out of croutons when I made this recipe but go ahead and add some to balance out the creaminess and get some crunch.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks of leeks, chopped

4 1/2 cups frozen peas

1 medium potato, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped

1/2 cup tofu, chopped to small cubes

1/4 cup milk or cream

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Procedure: Saute onion in butter. Add leeks, frozen peas, and potatoes and sweat for about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil then simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are well cooked. Turn off heat and cool the soup a bit before pouring into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour back into pot and add tarragon. Stir in mushrooms and tofu and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add in milk or cream. Season with salt and pepper.

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Summer is officially over- well at least here in the Philippines. Not a day passes by without some afternoon rainshowers and occasional thunderstorms. The sun is up and shining in the mornings, but once the temperature drops around three I can already smell the rain in the distance. For me it’s the just perfect weather for this soupy dish. Who want’s to eat anything hot and spicy in the summer anyway?! This is Gumbo-inspired without the heavy mushy texture. Easy as usual. Serve it hot hot hot!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium potato, chopped or a handful of baby potatoes, halved

2 corn on the cobs, chopped

8 -12 pieces large prawns

6 pieces okra, chopped

1 medium eggplant, chopped

1 beef cube

1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

Pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Sauté garlic and onion in a deep pan. Add carrots and potatoes and brown a bit. Add corn. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked. Add prawns and remaining vegetables. Add beef cube, spice, and herbs. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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