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.