Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Buttered Potatoes and French Green Beans

I was in the grocery and saw this pack of french green beans which really looked good. I've never used these kind of beans before. I planned to just blanch it and sauté in garlic and butter. After blanching it i remembered the garlic spread i made and decided to use it instead. I also got a bag of marble potatoes and boiled them till cooked. I used the method of Connie of Pinoycook minus the parsley since the garlic spread already contained parsley. I sautéed both the beans and potatoes separately in the garlic spread and springkled dried rosemary over the potatoes.
The beans were crisp and the potatoes were really tasty. I added some fresh tomatoes and it was done. Great as a side dish and even on its own.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Garlic Bread

As far as i can remember, I've always liked garlic bread. I enjoy eating this with pasta, coffee or just as is. I used to buy garlic bread, but now i just buy the bread and make the spread myself. Once this comes out of the oven it stays crunchy even when cold. It's really easy to do. All you need is garlic, butter and parsley. Other herbs can be added depending on your taste.
I used a food processor to make this but a sharp knife will do.
Finely mince the garlic and parsley. Add the softened butter to the garlic and parsley and mix well.
Spread on your favorite bread. I use baguettes and slice them at the center.
A few minutes in the oven and you'll have fragrant and crunchy garlic bread.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chicken and Corn Soup V2

I had a lot raves from my family when i last did this and i wanted to do it again with a few changes. I've read several times about using ham bones and since i like ham, i might as well give it a try. My wife dropped by the grocery to look for cherry tomatoes when i remembered that there was i Majestic Ham stall over there. I asked her to purchase a couple of bones so that i could use it for soup.To make the broth, i cracked the bones in half and simmered it in water and added a whole peeled onion, carrots, peppercorns and spring onions. Once this started to boil, the aroma of the ham bones filled the kitchen. It smelled good! I let it boil for about an hour while i prepared the chicken thigh fillets, corn, chopped ham, garlic, mushrooms and milk. I sauteed the garlic, ham and mushrooms followed by the chicken fillets and when the broth was ready, i added it to the chicken. At this point, it's already good enough to eat as clear soup but i prefer it to be creamy so i added a can of milk and 2 beaten eggs.
I mentioned in the previous version of this soup that it was the best soup I've done. That was then, now this new version using ham bones is the best I've done. I have couple of more ideas for soups using ham bones. I can't wait to see if i can do better. :)

Delicious Dip

We had a post birthday party about a month ago and while we had our regular assigned dishes to bring, our host, Ellen served this delicious dip that we could not get enough of. After the party, i immediately got a request from Tina (my wife) to recreate it.

We were at my in-laws when i did this, i asked Ellen about the ingredients and how to do it. I was able to make four dips, 3 small ones and one large dip. Serve this with chips and before you realize it, you'll be scraping the bottom of the dish with your last remaining chip.

To do this, you'll need cream cheese, pitted black olives, spiced ham, tomatoes, tomato sauce and quick melting cheese. Dice the olives, ham and tomatoes.

At the bottom of the dish put the cream cheese then add the olives, ham and tomatoes layer by layer then add tomato sauce then top with lots of quick melting cheese. Just use a microwave or a regular oven to heat this till the cheese melts and you're ready to dip away!

Thanks Ellen!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lung Center Sunday Market

First time at the Lung Center Sunday Market and contrary to the advice of many, i arrived at around 9:30 am. Parking sucks. Well, if your a bit patient, you could park in about 15 minutes.

The calling of grilled seafood.

Taba ng Talangka (Crab Fat) was offered a couple of times. More like it was shoved near my face. I just smiled politely and refused while thinking about pouring the contents of the bottle over hot steaming rice and shocking my arteries into overdrive.
I also discovered a "new" fruit. Hehe
Nice flowers and plants were abound. My Mom bought a couple of plants she's been trying to grow for quite a while now. There was also a stall that sold used hardbound books and a couple of cookbooks. Nothing really caught my eye and i already had some of the books.

Small Koi fish were also being sold. A lot of kids crowded this small space. Really nice to look at.

Another sight which attracted a lot of kids were these birds. The kids started shouting when a bird got free. The men at that stall started to scramble for the bird. Too bad they caught it. I barely caught the commotion with my camera.

Really a busy morning at the market. This was a really interesting market and deserves another visit. Maybe next time we'll go earlier.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Asparagus & Cheese

II was planning to do bread with asparagus and cheese but ended up with this. It started to rain hard when i realized i didn't have any bread for what i had planned. I just had to think of something else, and i was not disappointed.

I got a couple pieces of chicken breast, made a pocket and stuffed it with asparagus and cheese. Seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, soy sauce and dipped it in bread crumbs and egg then off to the fryer. The result was really good. The chicken was juicy and the asparagus and cheese made it complete. Too bad i only made two pieces. My original plan required the chicken to be cut into pieces and not cooked whole. No regrets though, it's definitely something worth doing again.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fried Lapu-Lapu in Garlic Sauce

To the detriment of my wife's diet - this can be aptly called a diet breaker. :)

Why oh why did i cook something that goes terrific with rice!

While we usually have steamed Lapu-Lapu, i asked if they wanted something different this time. Ages ago, we had something like this but the recipe was lost and when i was supposed to do some online research our phone line died (DSL please!). With less than an hour before lunch time, i just had to try something. While the fish was being fried, i started to see if i could make the sauce. I chopped lots of garlic and grated maybe an inch of ginger. In hot oil, i sauteed the ginger and garlic, added about 2 tbsps of cooking wine, some soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, corn starch and sweet chili sauce. I was done in an hour and i knew they liked it, they requested it again for dinner. I also noticed that my wife was smiling.....she had rice. :)

With results like this....i just love cooking! :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chicken & Corn Soup

The photo could be a lot better but the soup was the best i've done so far.
Getting this done required chicken soup bones, chicken fillets, garlic, onions, spring onions, carrots, mushrooms, corn, cream, milk and eggs. I boiled 3/4 kilos of chicken soup packs with salt, pepper, carrots and spring onions. After checking if the bones have imparted their flavor to the broth, i took out the chicken and stripped the meat. In another pot, i thinly sliced chicken breast and thigh fillet, sauteed them in garlic and onions, then added the meat from the bones and some sliced button mushrooms. I stirred for a while then added the broth (with the carrots, etc) followed by corn, cream and milk. Let it boil for a while for the flavors to mix then add a couple of eggs. Adjust the flavors with salt and pepper.

This soup is quite filling and comforting.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stir Fried Shrimp in Sweet Chili Sauce

In response to the dumplings my wife made, i made one of her favorite dishes.
To do this dish, remove the shell and clean the shrimp in water until the water becomes clear. Add salt and water to the shrimp and leave for about 15 minutes. Next, drain the water and add 1 tbsp of chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 egg white and a few drops of cooking oil.
Heat a pan with oil and quickly stir in the shrimp. Once the shrimp has changed color, add some sweet chili sauce and stir for a few more minutes till cooked. If you want this spicy, just add your favorite chili pepper or chili sauce. Great with rice!

Fried Dumplings

I woke up late last Saturday and i was delighted to see what my wife prepared. She actually did Molo soup and steamed and fried dumplings. Some garlic chili sauce and this is perfect.

Amici di Don Bosco

This has been around for a couple of years but it's only this year that i was able to eat there. Fortunately i work near Amici and can go there anytime. Going there at lunch time is a killer, it's really packed. It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and my treat was overdue.

Birthday At Cibo

It was my Mom's birthday and we brought her to Cibo at Trinoma. Though she knows of Margarita Fores, i think this is the first time i brought her to one of her restaurants. Upon seeing the menu, she was excited to see such appetizing salads, which she really loves.

We had the Insalata di Mare salad, Rigatoni Alfonso pasta and Porciutto de Parma pizza.

My mom also got a birthday cake!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chili Crabs V2

Doing this dish from buying it to eating it was such an adventure! A friend of mine told me about a place he found along coastal road that sold seafood. After having breakfast near the bay walk, having my daughter run and play and then hear mass, we decided to look for this place which I assumed to be a small fish port. A few minutes along coastal road after Uniwide Coastal Mall, we saw a couple of old worn out huts along the shore. When we parked, I realized that the place seemed familiar to me, though I recall it to look a lot better. There were also a few other people that just arrived. As they stepped out of the car, they had big baskets with them. They were ready, and I had a small Styrofoam ice box. :)

It was noon when we got there and smell around the place was pretty intense, but since I’m no stranger to that being used to wet markets, I adjusted after a couple of minutes. There weren’t that many selling seafood, I guess it’s because most of the dealings there happen early in the morning. What was available were, lapu-lapu (grouper), squids, bangus (milkfish), alimango (mud crab), prawns and a couple of other fish varieties. I went there with the intent to buy prawns which I was told was pretty cheap. However, this market being quite far from where I live, I decided to make the most out of the trip. I bought a kilo of medium sized prawns for 180/k, 3 1 kilo groupers for 150/k and 100/k and mud crabs for 180/k which I bought 2. Cleaning the fish was charged P10 per fish, though I suggest if you know how to clean a fish, to just clean it at home.

Since the fish port was on the south bound lane of road, I had to go through the toll gate to get on the opposite lane. When I was paying the toll fee, I told the lady at the booth that I was immediately turning back and asked for the nearest u-turn slot. She told me that there was one before the barrier. I didn’t realize that the small gap between the orange cones was what she meant and before I knew it, I was already passing the barrier and had no choice but to go all the way to the end and make my u-turn there. Since it was a Sunday, there was hardly any traffic and the trip was fun since I kept telling my daughter that the crabs escaped and were crawling in the car floor. First time I said that, I saw my wife with her feet up as well. :)

When we got home, we had lunch and slept for a while, it was a fun and tiring morning after all. I got up around 3pm and proceeded to “process” the crabs. I should’ve paid attention to Marketman’s suggestions when choosing crabs, because one of the crabs died ahead of schedule. The other one was very alive and very active. This time, I followed Marketman’s instructions on cleaning the crabs.

After cleaning and quartering the crab, I noticed that the tip of the knife I used was missing. This was a cause of concern and I started looking for the tip in the sink and the crab. Needless to say, it’s potentially deadly if the tip was left somewhere and cooked with the crab. Our maid was on her day off and I had to text her whether the knife was missing the tip even before I used it. I sent her a text message and she replied about half an hour later and to my relief, she said that it had broken off quite some time ago. I never noticed this since I prefer to use a cleaver.

Upon reading a few recipes from, and, I came up with a combination that I thought was good for our taste. I am the only one who can really stand spicy food at our home so I had to manage the spiciness of the dish. I’m not a real fan of crabs either, but I know my wife and mom really like it, so I’m basically cooking this for them.

I started with sautéing grated ginger, minced garlic, chopped onion & coriander, minced chilies and one bunch of lemongrass. I then added water and placed the crabs in the pot. Next, I added tomato paste, salt and pepper. I mixed the crabs a bit for the sauce to cover it and left it till it was cooked. When the crabs were cooked, I added cornstarch and a beaten egg followed by onion leeks and spring onions. After a minute or so, it was ready to be served.

The claw crackers and those pointed little things which are used to get the crab meat from small places were ready. Forget about the spoon and fork, your hands are the best tools to enjoy this dish. Though I did crack the claws prior to cooking, I didn’t crack it to the point of it breaking off easily. A claw cracker is still needed for this. My wife asked for my help in cracking a claw and as I cracked it for her, I pressed too hard and broke the claw in half, splattering all the sauce inside onto the table and my shirt. Eating crabs should mean newspapers on the table for an easy clean up afterwards, good thing the table cloth was due for cleaning and me, a bath. :)

Really an adventure, really a good meal!

Potato Pie & Fried Fish Fillets

Working with leftovers is sometimes difficult but can bring about terrific results!

This dish brings together, forgotten frozen beef, potatoes, an old can (not expired) of shitake mushrooms and leftover fish fillets in cream sauce.

To bring this dish together, i sauteed garlic, onions, chopped shitake mushrooms and ground beef together. I then added some soy sauce then, sliced button mushrooms and a can of mushroom soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. When this was cooked i placed it in a deep glass dish and topped it with mashed potatoes loaded with cheese.
The fish was already seasoned, being part of different dish, i just wiped of the cream and fried it. The sauce of the fish seemed to be loaded with cracked pepper.

It's a good match!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

We just call it "Tuhod"

Thinking of what my entry would be for Lasang Pinoy 18 was tough. Being my first entry, i was apprehensive when i saw that the theme would be Fiesta Food. I rarely go fiestas and have not been to one of the really big and popular ones. However, if fiesta really means a neighborhood party, then the dish above fits!

This is not for the health conscious. This will definitely add to your cholesterol count. Having said that - this deadly and delicious dish is something i always look forward to eating. This "Tuhod" is usually served during special occassions in a friend's house, and since they know we're all crazy about it, we get invited. Everytime this is served i try to come early - the early bird gets the marrow! For three years i tried to get the recipe but was discouraged to know that they use leaves only available in their garden, as well as forgetting to ask about it or forgetting to list it down. After finally getting to learn the recipe, i was happy to know that the leaves where not from a small plant which i assumed but rather from a big tree called Libas. Before that day, i had never heard of that tree and further research revealed two scientific names and they both claim to be Libas - Spondias pinnata & Salix Tetrasperma.

Anyway, eventually i cooked it and...of course i invited guests. It's basically shank and knee caps. I add kamto or flank steak so there is more meat. The dish calls for sauteed garlic, onions, ginger and tomatoes then slowly cooked shank, bone marrow and knee caps. Once tender, just add sinigang sampaloc mix or real sampaloc extracts, long green peppers, lemongrass and finally a whole bunch of Libas leaves.

Stir Fried Peppered Squid

A dish that usually surprises my friends is this one. Most of them are used to grilled squid, sizzling squid, calamares or adobong pusit. So, seeing this dish with lots of cracked black pepper was puzzling. That was then, now it's a favorite request.


1 large squid (Lumot)
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of 7-Up
Oyster Sauce


Peel the squid, scrub with salt and rinse with water. Slice the squid into 1" x 1/2" or square or whatever preference you like. I use about half a cup of cracked black pepper for this. Add half a cup of 7-Up and 1/2 tsbp of sugar. Leave this for about an hour.

Get a wok heated with oil and prepare to stir fry this really quickly. For those who are not familiar with stir frying, you can check Stir Frying Basics by Connie of Pinoycook. Squid gets tough when cooked too long and for this dish we want it to be tender. I literally count 90 seconds when stir frying this. Anything longer and chances are you'd end up eating rubber. If this happens, the options i've thought of is too cut it into really small pieces or use the food processor and turn it into either squid balls or an omellete. You basically just have to half cook it to achieve the desired results. After 90 seconds or so, remove the squid and cook the marinade. Plate the squid, pour the cooked marinade and sprinkle some oyster sauce.

For those that are hesistant because of the cracked black pepper, the addition of 7-Up neutralizes this and isn't really spicy.

Try it. :)

Monday, May 07, 2007


Adobong Pusit (Squid Adobo)

One thing to remember when cooking squid is after you cook it, the squid reduces in size. When i buy squid, i get medium sized ones so when it shrinks it won't be too small. To do this dish, clean the squid thoroughly but not to the point of removing the ink. Remove the cuttlebone, the clear plastic like membrane. Sautee grated ginger (half a thumb), minced garlic (about 5 cloves), an onion and chopped tomatoes. Add the squid and add about 1/3 to half a cup of water depending on the amount of squid. Once the squid starts to cook, the liquids and ink will start to come out, so you don't want too much water. You can easily add water if it's too dry. Add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar and let it boil at low heat. Do not do this at high heat as the squid will toughen, and it would be like eating rubber. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. I like it a bit sweet so i add sugar. If you want this spicy, you can add long green chili peppers (siling haba). This should be done in about 15 minutes. Just like any dish, taste it and if it's good for you, it's good to go! :)

This really goes well with plain white rice.

Chicken Afritada

Strawberries and Chocolates

Catfish Mango Salad (Yum Pla Dook Foo)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ube (Violet Yam)

Desserts are my wife's specialty. I'm really not a dessert person though lately i've been experimenting with making cakes. Making Ube from scratch is not easy and before we even bought those large roots i made sure my wife knew what she was getting into. Though i'm not really familiar with the steps on how to make ube halaya, i do know that it involves a lot of mixing. I wasn't feeling well that day and i wasn't even able to help her mix. I did however, give her hands and arms a massage later that evening. :)

The Ube turned out great! Just the right texture and sweetness.

Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu Fillet

This is the other dish i prepared for dinner together with the Fried Lumpiang Togue. This morning, me and my wife went to the market to buy some Lapu-Lapu (Grouper), and also got some Bangus (Milkfish) and Tawilis (Sardinella). Two whole Lapu-Lapus were cooked into Steamed Soy Lapu-Lapu for lunch, while i had one deboned. I really wanted to cook Sweet & Sour Lapu Lapu for quite a while, and today, i just went for it.

One thing i usually do when cooking is i hardly measure the ingredients i put unless i'm following a recipe. If the dish, like this one, is something i read about or am familiar with i just use my imagination and keep on tasting it while i cook.

With my version of Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu Fillet, i seasoned the fillet in salt and pepper then lightly coated it with corn starch and left it for about 20 minutes. I then dipped them in beaten eggs then flour and deep fried them till GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious - as Alton Brown would say).

For the sauce, in hot oil i added garlic, 1 red onion, slices of ginger, 1 bell pepper, some soy sauce, tomato sauce. After a minute or so, i some apple cider vinegar, water, carrots, tomatoes, pineapple tidbits, onion leeks and honey.

Everytime, i finish cooking, there's this feeling of anxiety when i call the family to eat. I always hope that they like what i prepared and waiting for a sign of approval is something i silently do. Well, eating a lot of it definitely is a sign apart from "Sarap ah!". :)