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.