Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lemon pie.... simply luscious!

Being able to attend cooking & baking classes at The Maya Kitchen..... for free!.... was one of the highlights of my 2011. Thanks to kind souls like Ms. Rory Subida and their tireless publicist Tess. I always make it a point to sit in the sessions once am invited because I love being busy in the kitchen (when the mood suits me!) and of course it provides fodder for this blog. Here's one recipe for lemon pie to try as demonstrated by Chef Kittin Zenarosa, the pastry lady behind The Cookbook Kitchen in Eastwood City.


Graham Pie Crust: (Do ahead )
6 tablespoons salted butter
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ cup sugar

Lemon curd:
3 lemons (finely grated rind & lemon juice)
4 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 butter, chopped

1. Make Pie Crust: Mix all ingredients together and press firmly with hand or spoon onto an 8 or 9-inch round pie pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Make lemon curd: Finely grate rind of 1 lemon. Juice all lemons. Whisk eggs and sugar together in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Add lemon rind and 2/3 cup lemon juice, whisking constantly until well combined. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow base to touch water). Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 30 to 35 minutes or until thick and custard-like. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
3. Pour lemon curd into chilled pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Up ahead: her recipe for moist chocolate cake. Yum!:)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Food for the gods recipe

Food for the gods! It's one of those treats we can bake this Christmas for giving to our family and friends. I am sure this will leave them impressed, but it's actually as easy as making those sinful fudge brownies. Recipe courtesy of The Maya Kitchen.


200 grams pitted dates
200 grams walnuts
1-1/4 cups butter, softened to room temperature
5 cups lightly (not loosely) packed dark brown sugar
3-3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon MAYA All-Purpose Flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
5 eggs
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence


Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 177°C. Place the pitted dates on a chopping board and sprinkle with one tablespoonful of flour.3 Chop coarsely. Transfer the chopped dates to a bowl and set aside.
Chop the walnuts to roughly the same size as the chopped sultanas. Add to the dates in the bowl. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla essence. Add the flour in batches, mixing with a wooden spoon. The batter will be very heavy. Finally, stir in the dates and walnuts. Cover the bottom and sides of a 12-1/2 x 17-1/2 x 1 jelly roll pan with non-stick baking paper. Allowing overhangs on the long sides is useful so that you slide off the baked food for the gods on a cooling rack in one piece.
Pour the batter into the pan scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure you get all of the batter into the pan. Level off with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 350oF oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Watch the last few minutes closely so that just as soon as it’s sufficiently baked, you can turn off the oven at once and take out the pan.
Then, cool in the pan for 10 minutes to firm it up a bit. Holding one end of the baking paper overhang with one hand and holding the pan at a 45o angle with the other, pull out the baked food for the gods and slide onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 15 minutes or so. While still a bit warm, cut into 1-1/2 or 2-inch squares. Cool completely. Place on festive colored paper cups or wrap in colored Japanese paper.

Sylvannas recipe

It's not everyday that I get to find a good recipe for sylvannas, those heavenly sweet treats made of cream and delicate meringue. Thanks to a baking class I attended at The Maya Kitchen, am sharing here how to make sylvannas as taught by Ines Javellana of The Vargas Kitchen.

Meringue: 1 cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped cashew nuts
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream Mousseline: 1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup water
9 egg yolks
1 ½cups butter
1 cup chopped cashew nuts
MAYA All Purpose Flour / Crushed wafer (for dredging)

Preheat oven to 325°F / 163°C. Generously grease and flour the backs of 6 (9-inch) square pans. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar gradually; continue beating until stiff. Fold in chopped nuts and vanilla. Divide the mixture equally into the greased and floured surfaces of the 6 pans. Spread meringue thinly. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until light brown. When meringue are done and while still warm immediately cut out wafers into oval or round shaped. Cool on wire rack. Prepare Filling.

How to make Cream Mousseline: Boil sugar and water until thread-like in consistency. Beat egg yolks until lemon-colored. Add syrup; continue beating until smooth. Set Aside. Cream the butter until fluffy. Add in egg yolk mixture. Beat 1 minute longer until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble: Place one meringue wafer onto serving platter. Spread with some cream mousseline. Sprinkle with nuts. Top with another wafer. Repeat procedure for the remaining
wafers and mousseline. Frost all over with cream mousseline and top with more chopped nuts. Freeze until ready to serve.

Red velvet cake .... so colorful and so good!

Here's a red velvet cake recipe shared by Ines Javellana of The Vargas Kitchen. Special thanks to The Maya Kitchen for letting me attend this desserts class:)


3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups MAYA Cake Flour (not self-rising), sifted, plus more for pans
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 one-ounce bottles liquid red food coloring
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting for Red Velvet Cake


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, and butter again. Dust with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa, and baking powder; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, salt, food coloring, and water; beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well combined. Add reserved dry ingredients in additions, alternating with the buttermilk; beat on low speed until well combined.

In a small bowl, stir together baking soda and vinegar; add to batter. Beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. Be sure not to overbeat. Divide batter between prepared pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so surfaces are level. Place a layer on a cake stand or cardboard round, and spread about 1/3 of the frosting over top. Place the second layer on top, and spread with the remaining frosting over the tops and sides of assembled cake. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill until ready to serve.

Chorizo & kesong puti omelette

Preparation time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 3-5 minutes; Serves: 1-2

3 whole fresh eggs, large size
1 pc whole chorizo, sliced diagonally
1⁄2 Tbsp corn oil
1⁄2 cake quesong puti, sliced in thin flat sheets
3 - 4 pcs basil leaves, torn or cut into chiffonade
pinch coarse salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp softened butter
1 Tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

1. Heat corn oil in hot pan. Pan-fry the chorizo slices.

2. The pimenton oils from the chorizo will blend with the corn oil and turn it into a rich
orange color.

3. Remove from heat and separate chorizo slices.

4. Reserve the oil.

5. In a glass bowl, slightly beat the eggs with a wire whisk. Season with salt, pepper and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.

6. Pour the "chorizo oils" and stir gently until blended.

7. The stirred eggs might cook a bit if the oil is still hot.

8. In a hot teflon pan or skillet, melt the butter and heat until bubbly.

9. Pour the egg mixture evenly and let stand for 1 minute, then lower heat gradually to prevent the omelette from burning at the bottom.

10. Lay out the chorizo slices, quesong puti slices and basil leaves on the omelette like you would do on a bibingka.

11. Fold the omelette.

Serve right away with Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Smoked bangus lumpia

Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes; Serves: 4-6

2 pcs boneless tinapang bangus, finely shredded
2 medium-sized onions chopped finely
2 Tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 small bar quick melt cheese, cut into small cubes
1 bunch wansoy, finely chopped
1 pc mango, half-ripe, finely diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
lumpia wrappers
1 egg white

1. Mix first six ingredients in a bowl.
2. Place a few tablespoons of mixture into lumpia wrappers and roll.
3. Use egg white as glue for wrapper ends when rolling.
4. Deep fry till golden brown.

Best eaten with Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Pork chop inihaw recipe

I love pork chop and here's a nice recipe provided by the world-famous Heinz Ketchup:

Preparation time: 1 hour; Cooking time:15 minutes; Serves: 5

5 pcs pork chop
1 Tbsp garlic, crushed
1⁄2 tsp whole black peppercorn, crushed
1 Tbsp brown sugar
5 Tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
10 Tbsp Heinz tomato ketchup
10 Tbsp pineapple juice
1⁄2 tsp salt

1. Marinate pork chops in garlic, crushed black pepper corn, brown sugar, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, pineapple juice and salt for an hour in the refrigerator.
2. Charbroil till done. Serve with freshly cooked garlic rice and Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Carrot bars in time for Christmas

The Maya Kitchen gives baking enthusiasts the best ideas for baking and selling this Christmas. Here's a carrot bar recipe that I learned from a class today that was taught by Ines Vargas-Javellana, granddaughter of the lady behind Vargas Kitchen which has made a name for its divine butter cakes. These yummy carrot bars are perfect for gift-giving or impressing members of your family. They're a nice variation to the usual carrot cakes and cupcakes.

Here's The Vargas Kitchen Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make filling using the following ingredients: two bars cream cheese, softened at room temperature; two ounces unsalted butter; 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and one tsp. fresh lemon juice. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice, beat until combined. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

For the bars itself, you need: 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, one large egg yolk, 3/4 cup Maya all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup rolled oats and 3/4 cup packed finely grated carrots. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats and carrots.

Pour batter into prepared baking sheets. Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer mixture to a wire rack to cool.

Turn the baking pan over, bottom side up. Frost bars with 1 tsp. each chilled cream cheese filling and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Adobo pasta recipe from The Cookbook Kitchen

Here's a delicious pasta al adobo recipe shared by Chef Gen Capati in a class at The Maya Kitchen. Chef owns The Cookbook Kitchen in Eastwood, Pampanga & Mandaluyong. This pasta dish is one of the bestsellers in their menu. I like this pasta and it only shows the versatility of our national dish, adobo. Do this when you're tired of pairing your adobo with rice or would simply like to impress your guests.


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped

4 tbsp. soy sauce

4 tbsp. water

200 grams cooked pork adobo, shredded

400 grams spaghetti, cooked al dente

2 tbsp. crunchy garlic

1 tsp. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped


Saute tomato, crunchy garlic and shredded adobo in olive oil.

Add water and soy sauce. Simmer to reduce the sauce.

Add spaghetti & toss.

Serve in a bowl, garnish with more garlic crunch and parsley

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Laing lumpia, anyone?

The original recipe called this crispy laing pockets, but I'd rather call this laing lumpia. A great new way to cook our favorite laing and lumpia. This actually reminds me of the spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) that I also learned how to make recently.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Knorr, via the YUMMY cooking demo.


3 pieces green peppers, sliced
50 grams dried taro leaves
1 pack Knorr Ginataang Gulay Langka and Laing Complete Recipe Mix
1 cup water for boiling gabi leaves
2 cups water for dissolving Knorr Ginataang Gulay Complete Recipe Mix
23 pieces lumpia wrapper
cooking oil, for deep frying


Boil dried gabi leaves in two cups water until it dries up.

Dissolve Knorr Complete Recipe Mix in 2 cups water.

Pour dissolved gata mix into the gabi leaves and add the green peppers. Boil until the mixture thickens.

Let laing cool. Set aside.

Cut lumpia wrapper into three or four strips. Place a spoonful of laing on one strip and carefully fold and wrap into a triangle shape.

Seal wrap with a mixture of flour and water.

Deep fry laing pockets until golden brown.

Place in a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve while hot and crispy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Meatloaf mushroom melt

This is a great snack for the kids! The original recipe called for bacon, but since I didn't have it in the pantry, I used meatloaf instead ( Spam, Maling or derivative). The original recipe was by Chef Sunshine Pengson and appeared in a food magazine.


1/2 cup Magnolia gold butter
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
8 strips bacon, cooked
185 g. Magnolia Quickmelt Cheese, sliced
4 pcs. burger buns


Melt butter in a saute pan. Saute garlic and mushrooms. Set aside, Place mushrooms on split side of the bun. Top with sliced Magnolia Quickmelt Cheese and cooked bacon. Place in the oven toaster and cook for three minutes or until cheese melts.Top with the other half of the bun and serve. Serves 4.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No-bake cheesecake

If you love cheesecake but is intimidated at the thought of using an oven, here's a no-bake cheesecake recipe that I learned from a class at The Maya Kitchen:

1. Prepare crumb crust. Combine 1 cup crushed graham crackers, 1 cup finely chopped cashew nuts, 1 tbsp. sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter.

2. Press evenly over the base of a 9-inch aluminum pan or a 9-inch springform pan lined with aluminum foil

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

4. Prepare cream cheese filling. Process one 225-gram pack cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in a blender. Add 1 1/4 cups thick cream and mix until smooth. Add cooled gelatin mixture. (One tbsp. unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup water). Stir in chopped mangoes.

5. Pour cream cheese filling in chilled crust.

6. Refrigerate cheesecake for several hours until set.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Garides saganaki pasta

In the Greek vocabulary, garides means shrimp and saganaki means cheese. Combine the two to make this flavorful pasta! Here's how to make this dish as taught by the owner of Cyma Greek Restaurant in Manila, chef Robby Goco.


8 pieces whole shrimps
salt & pepper to taste
50 ml. canola oil
1 piece red onion
3 cloves garlic
2 pieces local tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
30 ml. white or red wine
300 ml. pomodoro sauce
500 g. spaghetti
100 g. feta cheese
5 g. Italian flat leaf parsley
2 pcs. lemon
30 ml. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

How to cook:

Season shrimps with salt and pepper, with shell still on. In a saute pan, sear shrimps in hot oil until it changes its color and set aside.

Saute onion and garlic until aroma is released. Season with salt.

Add tomatoes, chili flakes and deglaze with wine.

Add pomodoro sauce, then mix in pasta.

Place on a plate, put shrimp on top, top with feta cheese and chopped parsley.

Serve with a lemon wedge and garnish with more parsley, if desired.

Bon appetit! :D

Monday, August 08, 2011

Great food ideas from Purefoods Premium Franks and Cold Cuts

Spicy Ham Wraps in Tamarind Vinaigrette Dressing

1. Get a slice of spicy ham and use it to wrap a bunch of choice greens (romaine, arugula, red cabbage, etc)
2. Tie leafy package with blanched chives
3. Arrange on a plate like a fan
4. Sprinkle top with small cuts of fruits, like melon or mango
5. Sprinkle tamarind vinaigrette over it.
6. To make tamarind dressing, simply mix 1/4 c. tamarind puree, 1/4 cup vinegar,1/2 cup grape seed oil, salt and pepper to taste

Cheese Franks Monggo Soup with Malunggay

1. Boil 1/2 cup of mongo beans till soft. Mash a little and set aside
2. Saute sliced cheese franks in chopped garlic, onion and tomato
3. Add cooked monggo beans
4. Season to taste
5. Add pork broth and malunggay

Salami Linguini al Pesto

1. Cut salami into strips.
2. Saute in chopped garlic, onion and pesto
3. Add cooked linguini
4. Toss and season with salt and pepper
5. Sprinkle top with grated parmesan flakes and basil sprig

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beef adobo recipe

A tasty new way to cook adobo courtesy of Chef John Paul Sia of Unilever Food Solutions, as demonstrated in the SM Master Chefs Cooking Marathon 2011.


1 kilo beef sirloin, sukiyaki cut
250 ml. Knorr Liquid Seasoning
60 g. Garlic, chopped
10 g. ground peppercorn
3 pcs. bay leaf
5 g. Knorr tamarind base
200 ml. canola oil


In a mixing bowl, marinate the beef in Knorr Liquid Seasoning, tamarind soup base, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and canola oil.

Marinate for 24 hours.

In a saute pan, saute the beef, approximately three minutes each side.

Serve hot.

Menudo recipe, tapas-style

This is a delicious menudo recipe shared by Chef John Paul Sia of Unilever Food Solutions at a cooking demo in SM Hypermarket. This dish is muy sabroso! Notable is the absence of the usual potatoes and carrots. But the chef makes up for it by adding chorizo bilbao. One cooking tip I learned: use tamarind soup base in place of kalamansi or lemon to heighten a meat's flavor.


1 kilo pork tenderloin
40 g. garlic, chopped
250 ml. Knorr liquid seasoning
8 g. Knorr tamarind soup base
300 g. chorizo bilbao, sliced
150 g. carrots, blanched and diced
150 g. frozen green peas
600 ml. tomato sauce
3 g. kasubha
40 g. liver spread
5 g. Knorr Rostip, to taste


In a mixing bowl, marinate the pork in Knorr Liquid Seasoning, garlic and tamarind soup base. Marinate for 24 hours.

In a saute pan, saute the pork, approximately 3 minutes each side. Add the chorizo bilbao, carrots, green peas, tomato sauce, kasubha, and liver spread.

Simmer for two minutes.

Adjust seasoning with Knorr Rostip.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Garlic and cheese chowder recipe

Nothing is more comforting than a hot bowl of soup on a rainy day. Easy to make too! Thanks to Alaska Milk for the recipe :)


2 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup sliced garlic
1/4 cup flour
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Quickmelt cheese
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tsp. chopped parsley

-Saute garlic in butter. Add flour and cook for a few seconds. Pour in stock little by little, mixing well to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for three minutes. Blend in cheese, milk and parsley and cook for another minute.

Serves 5

Cream scones with cheddar cheese & green onion

I loved these scones the first time I tasted it at a baking demo by Chef Robert Jorin of the Culinary Institute of America. I don't normally eat these but I figure they're great breakfast or tea time alternative. Just cut them horizontally in half, then spread strawberry jam and whipped cream. Or this can be eaten by itself coz it's already delish.

Here's what you need for a yield of 20 scones (cut recipe in half if you only need 10 pieces)


851 g. bread flour
50 g. baking powder
9 g. salt
198 g. sugar
284 g. cheddar
170. g chopped green onions
907 g. cream

1. In the 20 qt. bowl of your stand mixer, mix together with a paddle the following dry ingredients: bread flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

2. Add cheddar and chopped green onion.

3. Add one quart cream and mix just until combined.

4. Divide into two equal pieces and shape into 10-inch circles, then freeze.

5. Cut into 20 wedges, brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

6. Bake at 190 C for about 20 minutes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to pair cheese with wine for your next party

I like wine & cheese parties. I think they're chic. I was glad to get this brochure from President Cheese about pairing the two perfectly. Here are some tips:

Camembert is characterized for being rich and creamy inside, with earthy mushroom flavors, and an edible white rind. It pairs with red wines like Bordeaux, Gamay and Pinot Noir.

Brie is deliciously buttery and creamy, with a snow-white edible rind. It's perfect with red wines (like the ones I named above) as well as white wines like Chardonnay and Champagne.

Emmenthal has a unique nutty taste and good aroma. It goes well with reds like Cotes du Rhone and Bordeaux

When having your cheese party, remember to take out your cheeses from the ref 30 minutes before serving.

Choose plain breads like plain crackers, breadsticks and baguettes.

Likewise, choose appropriate accompaniments like olives, fruit chutneys, cured meats and sliced fresh fruits.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Tomato, basil and feta salad

I figured that it would be a pity to waste this sunny, lovely summer without indulging in a simple, delectable salad. For starters, this is a season of really great tomatoes which are round, red and glorious in all their plump roundness. The basil leaves are becoming a staple in my pantry too, as I seem to be needing them in most dishes I cook. The feta cheese is a bit luxurious, as they can be expensive in Manila. But I found a good local version that was priced for less - not as tart, but still a good substitute for Greek feta. Rounding up all three, I now have the basic ingredients for tomato, basil and feta salad. So easy to make and yet so healthy! Thanks to the Food Network for the recipe from famous cookbook author Ina Garten.

First, gather your tomatoes. I mixed the little cherries with regular-sized ones, and cut them in half. I also chopped a piece of red onion...if you feel a bit generous, make it two! Then in a bowl, I combined 1/4 cup good white wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, a tablespoon kosher salt (or simply salt!) and a teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss with the onions and tomatoes, then add 1/4 cup each of fresh basil leaves and fresh parsley leaves. Finish off by crumbling one and a half pounds of cubed feta cheese in your hands, mixing them well with the salad. Decorate with left-over basil or parsley as desired. Voila! You now have a platter that's as colorful as it is healthy:)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Comfort food: Tuyo pasta with capers, olives and tomatoes

I guess the title says it all. Today being a Good Friday, fasting was the order of the day and there wasn't much food in the house. The market wasn't open either, as did most stores and restaurants. What to do? Rummage the ref and the kitchen for whatever we've stocked up on. Hence, it was time to make tuyo pasta or Pinoy-style dried salted fish with capers, olives and tomatoes.

We just follow the basic puttanesca recipe and in this case, the tuyo replaces the anchovies. It is important though to use bottled tuyo in olive oil or some such that are available in supermarkets. This way you won't have a hard time flaking the fish.

First thing to do is cook your pasta in a pot. In this case, I chose good' ol spaghetti.

Next I heated my nonstick pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Saute the garlic and tomatoes until wilted. Add sliced capers, olives and the flaked tuyo.

Sizzle things up with some red pepper chili flakes. Add your pasta and mix.

Put in a plate and top with parmesan cheese... as much as you wish. Enjoy!:)

Comfort food: kimchi ramen

Whenever I crave for Korean food, kimchi ramen or kimchi noodles is a staple I go back to because it is something I can easily make in our kitchen.This is basically just your ready-to-eat Korean noodles (Nongshim brand) garnished or cooked for a bit with a little kimchi.

How to do:

Heat about two to three cups of water and let boil.

Add your two to three tablespoons of chopped kimchi, depending on your preference

Add the flavoring packets in the noodles and let simmer, about two minutes

Finally, add the instant noodles and stir the pot

Crack open one egg and add to your simmering pan. Do not mix.

When egg white is done, mix the yolk

Add sliced green onions and leave some more for garnishing.

Top with more green onions and chopped nori or seaweed (optional).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An empanada (Filipino meat pie) recipe

It has been five years since I made empanada. I woke up today badly wanting to make one. It's one of the dishes that daunt me because of the seeming difficulty of making the dough and all the dicing and slicing involved.

But as you can see, today's food craving of making the empanada was a success! I wouldn't call this an everyday dish though as the whole process is kinda laborious. Consider it exercise rolling the dough and making the filling :D The crust recipe could use some improvement. I used the recipe by local chef Dorothy Ferreria which required no egg. Feel free to scout for other crust recipes.

Begin your empanada kitchen adventure by making the filling. The good thing with empanada is that you can be creative with your filling. Maybe you're a vegetarian or you want Nutella... it is all possible with this dish. Here I used the basic meat recipe. You will need -

2 tbsp. corn oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
sliced celery stalk
1/2 cup diced red or green bell pepper
half a kilo of ground pork or beef
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. black pepper
a few dried basil leaves
1 piece bay leaf or laurel, crushed
1 tsp. rock salt
3 tbsp. tomato catsup
1/8 cup raisins...or more!

- Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add the celery, bell pepper and ground meat. Wait until the meat is cooked and add the rest of the ingredients. Season,then simmer till done. Set aside and let cool.

Here's the filling when done. It's good to be your viand already:)

For the crust, you will need -

3 cups all-purpose flour
3tbps. granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Prepare the crust. Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is well distributed and resembles semi-dry sand.Pour in the water slowly and mix into a solid dough. Set aside for five minutes to relax the crust. Afterwards, roll ough dough again. Using a round cookie cutter or similar round-shaped object, form several thin circles. Put filling in the lower half of each rolled out crust. Brush edges with egg wash ( 1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water) then fold. Press the edges together with a fork.

Put uncooked empanadas in a greased cookie sheet.. Prick the surface 3 times with a fork at half-inch intervals to allow steam to escape once the pies are in the oven. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take out from the oven and brush the surface again with the egg wash. Return to the oven and bake again for 15 minutes or until golden brown and done.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Chicken cordon bleu with white wine

I've been puttering a lot around the kitchen this summer. Today, I even taught the kids how to make pizza with mince meat, ham and mozzarella. And of course, they also saw how I made this great chicken cordon bleu dish. Here's hoping one of them will inherit my culinary inclination one day, or even become a chef! tee hee

I've eaten stuffed chicken before but somehow it's only now that I found time to make it. It wasn't as hard as I thought. Basically it's just a matter of flattening the chicken fillet a bit and putting ham and cheese for the stuffing. I held the meat with toothpick and went on to dry the pieces in a mixture of butter and olive oil.

Making the white wine sauce is a way of fully cooking the chicken. As you are frying, add a couple of swigs of dry white wine and flavor it with bouillon cubes. Cover the pan and simmer until sauce is reduced. Add cooking cream at the right time and slowly stir. Serve warm with pasta aglio olio or your favorite carbs:)

Here's the complete recipe of this chicken cordon bleu version.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Salmon with leeks in cream and red wine butter

This is now one of my favorite recipes which I originally got from Saveur. Some of the ingredients are not present locally but you can always improvise.I realized that the red wine butter was included more to impress, but otherwise the creamy sauce is enough for this naturally delectable dish.

For the red wine butter, you will need the following ingredients:

1 cup red wine
2 shallots, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley plus 1 tbsp. thinly diced
Salt and ground black peper to taste

To make the butter, bring red wine and shallots to a boil in a sauce pan over high heat. This should reduce to about 1 tbsp. in approximately 13 minutes. Strain the wine through a sieve and discard shallots. Let the wine cool. Add softened butter, parsley, salt and pepper. Combine and roll into a small log, about one inch wide and 5 cm. long using plastic wrap. Chill until ready. (note: this may be made a few days in advance)

Ingredients for creamy sauce:

3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), julienned
1/2 tbsp. finely chopped marjoram
1/2 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
1/3 cup dry vermouth
2 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

To prepare the sauce, saute the leeks, marjoram, thyme and fennel in butter. Season with salt and stir until wilted, about two minutes.Add vermouth and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add cream and lemon juice and cook until cream has thickened, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low.

Finally, get the salmon ready. Heat oven to 275.Combine remaining shallots, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and rub this on the salmon, along with salt and pepper. Roast the salmon until medium rare, about 12 minutes.

To assemble, cut four slices of the red wine butter, place one on top of each fillet and let melt slightly in the oven, about three minutes.

Spoon the creamy leeks in center of the plate, place salmon with red wine butter on top and garnish with parsley.

Ideally serves four.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thai green curry with chicken (gaeng kheo wan gai)

Here's one recipe I successfully tried from a book titled Thai Home Cooking by Sompon Nabian and Robert Carmack. The husband loves eating chicken, but he doesn't want to wrestle with bones and skin. That is why cooking dishes using chicken fillet is the best answer. Bonus points because this is Thai food (which I love) !!! My only deviation from the original recipe is that I used canned coconut milk instead of a fresh one. Still, I think the result is the same. Kaffir lime leaves, on the other hand, are already available in the foreign section of the supermarket.


2 cups (about 500 ml) coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup (about 60 ml) fresh or commercial green curry paste
12 oz (375 g) boneless/skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
1/4 cup pea eggplant (optional)
2 tbsp palm sugar (optional)
2 kaffir lime leaves, stemmed
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sweet Thai basil leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 piece long green chili
1 fresh long red chili

How to make:

Heat coconut milk in a pan for three to five minutes and stir, until the milk separates. Add green curry paste and stir constantly, about two minutes.

Add chicken and cook until medium done, about 3 minutes. Add the eggplants and simmer until these are soft. Add palm sugar, if desired. Put in torn kaffir lime leaves and basil. Stir in fish sauce to taste.

Drizzle about 2 tbsp of the coconut cream, if you wish. Garnish with the chilis and more of the basil leaves. Serve with steamed rice.:)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ensaymada pudding

I recently attended a luncheon introducing new dishes at the Lola Maria restaurant of the Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City. It is nice to be reacquainted with this restaurant which I had visited a few years back. I like their Filipino dishes, Filipino buffet and their homestyle way of cooking. This time around, I was glad to be introduced to a pudding using the famous Filipino sweet rolls or 'ensaymada.' The hotel press release said this is perfect when eaten during special occasions like the morning after Christmas. But I do think this is comfort food in itself, a new take on ensaymada. The best thing: making this is as easy as 1-2-3, as you can see in the following recipe:

1. Crumble or mash ensaymada a little and put in ramekin cups

2. Mix fresh milk, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl in a bowl and pour over the ensaymada. Let stand for 30 minutes.

3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit until the top is golden brown (approximately 10 to 12 minutes).

4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and grated quezo de bola. Serve hot.