Saturday, July 09, 2005

Paksiw na Pata (Vinegar-Simmered Pork Hocks)

Originally uploaded by annalyn.
In the Visayan province where I come from, we call it "humba" but in Luzon, they call it "paksiw na pata." Whatever the terminology, this pork dish remains one of the desired-for main courses in the Philippines - one that's fit enough for a fiesta. I would think it's a variation of the adobo, the only difference is in the garnishing such as the addition of the banana leaves in the paksiw.

How I cooked: simmer about 1 kilo pork hocks in 2 to 3 cups of water. When half-tender, remove "dirt" that gathers on top. When water has been reduced, add 1 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup soy sauce, lotsa garlic, and a few pieces whole black pepper. Let boil until hocks are fork-tender. Season with salt and brown sugar. When almost done, add the banana blossoms which you may or may not remove prior to serving.

I do add hard-boiled eggs as it goes well with the delectable sauce that goes with this dish.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rellenong Talong: A Variation

Rellenong Talong
Originally uploaded by annalyn.
I like eggplants - whether it eggplant parmesan or good ol' piniritong talong with bagoong. And of course I dig the relleno version: the recipe is the same as tortang giniling except that the ground meat sauteed in onion and garlic sits on a bed of fried eggplant which was cut into two.

I saw a revised recipe in Food Magazine and I thought it was a good idea: you can actually add vegetables like Baguio Beans and carrots for a healthier alternative. What more, the veggies can act as extenders to the ground meat which is getting costlier these days.

Other ingredients you might like to add: potatoes, sweet peas, sausages and red pepper.

When I cooked this dish, I thought it was lacking in eggs and so I promise to do better next time. Talk about kitchen hits and misses:)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Adobong blue marlin in creamy sauce

In a recent gathering, I made blue marlin a la pobre which consisted of the fish fillets being pan-fried in butter then topped with lots of garlic bits.... if you ask me, a good way to serve food to your guests when you are pressed for time. A chef once told me there's no use really drowning meats and seafood in gravies and sauces because this takes away their natural flavors.

But I still had blue marlin fillets left and so tried a blue marlin in creamy sauce recipe from The Best of Food Magazine. I revised this a little because I added left-over sour cream from a salad I made which further improved the quality of the sauce. Here goes:

Slice your blue marlin into cubes then saute in garlic and ginger for about two minutes.

Working quickly,mix vinegar, soy sauce and water as you would in adobo and top with a dash of sugar. Add this mixture to pan-fried fish and simmer for 1 minute.

Add sour cream until sauce is thickened and thoroughly cooked. In the absence of sour cream, mix corn starch with hot water.

Serve the creamy fish cubes and top with green onions, if desired.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Candied Yams with Citrus-Pandan Glaze

Candied Yams
Originally uploaded by annalyn.

Sweet potatoes or yams are quite popular in the Philippines. They are known in local parlance as kamote and can be labelled as "poor man's food" because of their availability. However, there's no reason why you cannot add glamor to this edible tuber which are always in season and sold cheap in Philippine markets. As such, I thought it best to feature this recipe for this month's SHF event, billed Pucker Up With Citrus, by uber-energetic host Alice of My Adventures in the Breadbox.

This native dessert is quite easy to prepare. While the yams take centerstage in the recipe, the citrusy glaze takes the limelight as well. Doubled with the irresistible scent of pandan leaves, it is enough to make you think of sweet memories and special occasions when something good was wafting in the kitchen. Well yes, this was sweet indeed.

Candied Yams
From the recipe of Dorothy MJ Ferreria

1 kilo sweet yellow potatoes or yams


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
Juice & rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup water
1 pandan leaf, stripped
1/4 cup mango, or pineapple, or orange marmalade
Juice of calamansi lime

red kaong or sago


1. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into large chunks.

2. To make the sauce, pour sugar and water in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and allow to boil until caramelized to a nice golden brown.

Candied Yams cooking
Originally uploaded by annalyn.

3. Working quickly, pour in butter, juice and rind of 1 orange, water, pandan leaf and orange marmalde. Mix well.

4. Add raw potato chunks and continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently until tender. Add calamansi lime after cooking for a stronger citrus flavor. Garnish with red sago and kaong.

Not your usual sinigang

Not your usual sinigang
Originally uploaded by annalyn.
When you're tired of your usual sinigang, why not do it differently? This popular Filipino dish need not follow the exact recipe, you can actually mix and match the vegetables according to your liking or what's in season. Here's one recipe I found from a Maggi leaflet:

Native Vegetables and Beef Sinigang


100 g. beef round, sliced thinly
6 cups water
1/2 cup sliced kalabasa
1/2 cup sliced sigarillas
1/2 cup sitaw, cut into 2 inches long
1/2 cup sliced eggplant
1 27g. Maggi Beef Sinigang Flavor Mix
1/2 cup saluyot


1. Boil beef in water and cook until tender or about 20 minutes.

2. Add vegetables one at a time giving 1 minute interval before adding the next kind.

3. Add sinigang mix and bring to a boil.

4. Add saluyot leaves and turn off the heat.

Note: You may also add gabi. Cut into pieces and mash for a creamier, tastier soup.

Deep-Fried Pompano with Tomato Salsa

Pompano (or sole) is not commonly sold in Philippine markets.Maybe it's because this fish is quite expensive..whereas your P70 (a little more than a dollar) can yield you three to four pieces of tilapia, this amount can only give you one piece of medium-sized pompano. My suki (favorite vendor) tells me she supplies the fish to restaurants around the metro.

I like my pompano fried to a crunch and so the problem was just finding the dressing or the salad to go with it.Luckily, I found one recipe in Glenda Barretto's Via Mare Seafood Cookbook which was so easy to adapt in my kitchen. Here goes:

1. Season fish with calamansi (or lemon), salt and pepper.Set aside for at least 15 minutes then fry until golden and crispy.

2. Make the salsa. Combine tomatoes, spring onion, red onion, garlic and chopped coriander in a bowl, then add olive oil and toss. Season with 1 tbsp. fish sauce and arrange over th fish or as a side dish.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Macaroni Salad with a Twist

Originally uploaded by annalyn.
Everybody likes good ol' macaroni salad. It's one of those dishes I keep in stock for my always-hungry kids. But why not give this classic dish a makeover? I thus tried a tiny Lady's Choice food leaflet with a different mac recipe.This one called for no meat, just quail eggs and ready-made classic Caesar Salad dressing.For this experiment, I used half a serving Best Food Salad & Sandwich Mate (still my most favorite dressing ever!) and half a serving of the bottled Caesar's. Throw in the carrots, onions, pineapple tidbits and quail eggs and you have different but yummy-tasting macaroni salad this time.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pasta recipes that will make you excited about Lent

spaghetti a la Rose Bowl
Originally uploaded by annalyn.

It was Holy Week, and everyone being on the "no meat mode," I joined the bandwagon. First on my agenda was trying the sardine pasta contained in my newly-bought cookbook of Beth Romualdez entitled Cooking Lessons. When I saw the recipe, I said "whattt?" Sure, pasta with tuna is rather commonplace but I wonder how it tasted like with sardines. All the more that I was curious because the author called it her "comfort food." So I wasted no time in going to the kitchen to experiment on this one. My verdict: it was damn good. But I followed the chef's advice to use only this brand of sardines. I figured that anything else would have been malansa or something like it.

Spaghetti A La Rose Bowl (adapted from "Cooking Lessons")


2 cans (215 g. each) Rose Bowl sardines in tomato sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 packs (115 g. each) tomato sauce)
1 tsp. dried pepper flakes
small bottle capers
juice of 1 calamansi
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 package (500 g.) spaghetti
grated Parmesan cheese


1. Remove bones from sardines and discard. Cut up sardines in small chunks with a fork and set aside.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and add garlic and onions. Add sardines, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and capers. Cook for 2 minutes and add calamansi juice and sugar. Season with salt and plenty of ground pepper.

3. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

4. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Add sardine sauce as topping and mix.

I saw this second pasta dish in the latest issue of Food Magazine and was immediately enticed by the picture. It seemed easy to duplicate in my kitchen since mussels are a-plenty and cheap in the market & I also had a bottle of crab fat (aligue) that waited to be used. Sure, the crab fat is high cholesterol but it should be good to serve to your friends once in a blue moon since it's very easy to prepare.

Golden Pasta with Lemon and Garlic Mussels (from Food Mag)

2-3 kilos mussels
1 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
1/2 cup crab fat (bottled aligue)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup cooking liquid (from cooking the mussels)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
400 grams linguini or other pasta, cooked al dente
parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, cook mussels in enough water to cover just until their shells open. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Remove mussels from the shells. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic and saute until golden. Pour in crab fat, lemon juice and cooking liquid. Simmer for five minutes. Stir in mussels and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for two more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3.Turn off heat. Add cooked noodles and toss to coat the strands evenly with sauce. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Clams in Wine

Clams in Wine
Originally uploaded by annalyn.
I like the fact that clams are cheaply sold in the markets here and so I never hesitate in buying even a half kilo for my favorite clam soup or sabaw ng halaan. This simply calls for sauteing the garlic, onions and ginger in oil, adding the clams and pouring in a cup or two of water. The result is a very appetizing soup made possible by the very natural flavors of the clam juice.

On the other hand, I saw a very interesting clam recipe in a food magazine which would make use of the white wine chilling out in our ref. It is a simple, easy-to-make Portuguese dish called Bulhao pato and the recipe is this:

1.5 kgs. clams
2 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 glass white wine
salt and ground white pepper to taste
1 pc. lemon, juiced
1 bunch coriander, chopped
lemon or kalamansi wedges for garnishing


1. Soak clams in salted water for a few hours.
2. Heat olive oil in saute pan. Add garlic and clams, and saute for a couple of minutes. Pour in white wine, season with salt and water, and continue sauteing until clams open. Add lemon juice and chopped coriander, saute a little bit more and serve in a platter with lemon or kalamansi wedges.

*** I noticed that this type of cooking is similar to the recipe for Pasta alle Vongole. Just make a few adjustments to to transform this dish into a topping for your pasta and the result will still be incredibly good.

Monday, January 17, 2005

My Favorite Omelette

Originally uploaded by annalyn.

I love eggs, or any food with eggs on them, especially omelettes. Unfortunately, it's not something I always cook, maybe because my kids prefer their eggs either sunny side up or scrambled only. But I like the omelette because it's very easy to prepare and is versatile for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here's my favorite recipe:

1 piece onion
3 cloves garlic
2 pieces medium tomatoes
1 can tuna
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

1. Saute onion, garlic and tomatoes and cook till transparent.
2. Add tuna.
3. Transfer cooked mixture to egg bowl.
4. In a non-stick pan, heat oil and when hot enough, put in egg & tuna mixture.
5. When almost done, flip to other side and cook also till set.

Originally uploaded by annalyn.
This was how my omelette looked like when it was done. I am quite particular in turning out a perfectly-shaped omelette and what I do is put a plate or pan cover over it when it's ready to be served and flip to the other side. Ergo, you got a round (not folded) omelette.

Puto + Siopao = Puto Pao

Originally uploaded by annalyn.
Even though am not much of a puto fan like my New York-based blog friend JR, I have my favorite puto, or puto pao to be exact.It's at this stall at the Rustan's food court of Harrison Plaza which sells it for only five pesos. A box of a dozen pieces makes for an affordable pasalubong at only P60 or $1.

As you might have guessed, puto pao is a variation from the traditional steamed delicacy because it has a filling, usually asado.

I still have to prepare something like it but luckily, I found one recipe in Food Magazine which might be worth trying:


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 cup powdered milk
4 tablespoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups water
3 pieces whole eggs


2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 kilo ground pork or beef
2 tablespoons minced celery (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoning
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
pinch of pepper
pinch of MSG

1. In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, milk, baking powder, water and eggs. Mix until well-blended. Set aside for one hour.

2. Prepare the topping: In a skillet, heat oil and cook ground meat until brown. Add the celery, soy sauce, seasoning, salt, sugar, pepper and MSG. Stir mixture occasionally until ground meat is cooked.

3. Pour puto batter in greased small muffin cups about half full. Add a tablespoon of topping in each cup. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

As a final note, do tell me how it turned out;)

Monday, January 10, 2005

A new way with shrimp

Originally uploaded by annalyn.
Somebody gave me a pack of Alavar sauce last Christmas which is a famous product of Zamboanga province in the South. My merry giver said this sauce goes well with anything - be it crabs, shrimp and meat.

I haven't eaten shrimps in a long time (maybe because this remains an expensive seafood in Manila) and so decided to cook it with the Alavar sauce. For those curious, Alavar is made from coconut milk and "secret" spices (as the packet says) and is yellowish in color. It is named after a popular restaurant famous for its Zamboanga cooking.

Cooking the dish entailed just sauteing the garlic until brown, adding the shrimps and sort of stir-frying them in the pan till they turn orange. Afterwards, I poured the Alavar sauce, letting it simmer for two minutes. The addition of Philippine green peppers completed this simple yet savory dish.

And yes, you guessed it...this is just one of my culinary inventions. I didn't come prepared with the precise procedures and ingredients. But am sure fellow cooks can picture what am saying here... saute, stir and simmer. Enjoy!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Merry, Happy, Full!

newyears' dinner
Originally uploaded by annalyn.
I've never really liked New Year's celebrations because I dread the sounds of firecrackers on the streets.In fact this time I wanted to check in a hotel with the whole family just so I can have it in peace and quiet. However, a friend said New Year's feng shui required that I stay at home, open all the windows to bring in luck, wear a polka-dotted dress and lay out all the food on the table. So I did!

It turned out to be enjoyable.My son slept through the fireworks but the twins and me had fun dancing after the clock struck twelve. Then, it was time to head off to the table where I prepared a simple feast of the ham and fruits given to me over Christmas, assorted puto, and some of the food I prepared: the tulingan pasta, beef stew and special fruit salad.

Even though it was only the nanny, me and the twins sharing the meal, the simple feast proved to be fantastic.

The tulingan pasta, which is made from the Spanish mackerel fish growing in the Philippine seas, proved to be a revelation. I got the recipe from Chef Dennis of Hotel Pontefino and there's no doubt I'm cooking it again. I like cooking with wine and this tasted absolutely yummy, not to mention so easy to prepare.

The beef stew is an old specialty of mine while the fruit salad was a take-off from a recipe in Food Magazine.



15 ml. olive oil
20 g. garlic, chopped
100 g. shrimps, peeled and deveined
30 ml white wine
60 ml shrimp stock
200 g. spaghetti,cooked
5 g. basil, julienned
15 g. butter
40 g. sinaing na tulingan flakes
40 g. button mushroom, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
15 g. parmesan cheese
2 pcs. lemon or calamansi

In a pan, heat olive oil. Brown the garlic (I love garlic so I add a lot!), then add the shrimps and mushroom.Deglaze with white wine and add the shrimp stock.Toss in the pasta and fresh basil leaves. Add in the butter and remove from heat. Top with the tulingan flakes and parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges on the wide.

**Notes: there was no basil available so i skipped it but the dish still tasted delicious with just the addition of Italian seasoning . The tulingan flakes I bought from a Batangas food vendor but you can try experimenting with other fish, like ordinary tuna.