March 29, 2007


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I wrote about longaniza last year but haven't made them since, until today. I was going to serve them as longaniza burgers but everybody prefers garlic fried rice with vinegar chili dip, Pinoy kasi. I made some thick patties and the rest I stuffed in hog casings. I love longaniza with everything: rice, pandesal, pancakes, waffles, I should try them next with thick fries.

2½ pounds very cold fatty pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup sugar
1 head garlic, finely minced
½ - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup annatto powder
½ cup very cold coconut or cane vinegar
hog casings, softened in warm water and rinsed
  • Mix pork with salt and sugar. Grind using large die. Transfer into a standing mixer bowl with paddle attached. Add the rest of the ingredients except casing. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Form into patties or stuff into hog casings. Refrigerate for 5 days before storing in the freezer.

longaniza breakfast with garlic fried rice and vinegar chili dip

March 28, 2007

Pollo Al Chilindrón (Chicken With Sweet Bell Peppers)

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This Spanish recipe is adapted from my cookbook The Food of Spain and Portugal by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz. The chicken stew has very few ingredients but very tasty. I love its vibrant color on the plate with the steamed asparagus and fresh fava beans.

Chicken with Sweet Bell Peppers
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced into ¼ inch strips
2 ounces serrano or prosciutto ham, chopped
4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a casserole or large pan. Add the onion to the frying pan and cook until soft then add the garlic, saute for 2 more minutes. Add the peppers and ham and continue to cook until the peppers are soft. Add the tomatoes until everything is well blended. Add the mixture to the casserole with ¼ C water, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick. Have lots of dinner rolls or french bread to soak up the wonderful sauce.
  • Variation: If you prefer the dish hot, you can add a small hot red chili, chopped, to the sauce. You can also add sliced green or black olives during the last few minutes of cooking.

I have some homemade mayonnaise that I served with the steamed asparagus, a teaspoon is enough to flavor the vegetables. Hollandaise sauce also goes well with the asparagus.

March 26, 2007

Mochi & Mache

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Sweet mochi is one of our favorite snacks/desserts specially ice cream mochi and the ones filled with sweet azuki bean paste. I have tried making them once before, about 4 years ago, but was unsuccesful. Thankfully, several good recipes have been popping up online using mochiko (glutinous rice flour) and canned Japanese sweet azuki beans, which are readily available from Asian stores. Tip: Buy only the Japanese beans. I do not recommend the Korean or Chinese, both are too watery and you will have to cook it further until it has the right consistency, it's a waste of time, in my opinion.

Mochi with Sweet Azuki Beans
1 cup sweet rice flour (mochiko)
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
a bit of pink food coloring, optional
1 can Japanese sweet bean paste
1 cup toasted soybean or rice flour for dusting
  • Transfer beans into a bowl, stir until smooth, store in freezer for 30 minutes while preparing mochi. In a medium bowl mix together rice, water and sugar. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir thoroughly, microwave again and stir, 4 more times until smooth and gluey. Cover with a damp towel to keep it warm while shaping/filling. Have the bowl of toasted flour near your work area. Sprinkle the work surface liberally with toasted rice, dip hands on bowl. Scoop a golf ball size of cooked mochi and drop on the toasted rice, form into a round shape, flatten to about 3 inches, fill with a tsp of sweet beans. Gather edges to cover beans, all the while pinching and form into a ball. Place on a container seam side down. Refrigerate leftovers.

Mache is the Filipino/Chinese cousin of mochi, they have a common ingredient, sweet rice flour, and both of them are filled with sweet stuff. The difference is the filling, mache has sugar and toasted sesame seeds. This is the first time I made mache, I have no idea how to cook them, I just guessed and steamed them. They turned out sooo good. I will use toasted black sesame and boil them (like palitaw) next time I make them.

1 cup sweet rice flour
¼ cup water + 1-2 tablespoon, if needed
toasted sesame seeds
toasted rice flour
  • In a small bowl mix water gradually into the rice, adding more water if necessary until it has the consistency of galapong. Mix the sugar and sesame seeds in another bowl. Scoop out 1 ½ T of rice mixture, form into a ball, flatten, raise edges and put 1 tsp sugar & sesame seeds in the middle. Pinch edges together and form into an oval. Steam on a parchment-lined bamboo steamer for 10 minutes. Roll in toasted rice powder.
the sugar has melted inside the mache, so sweet, so good

March 25, 2007

Chicken Adobo Sandwich

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Last week I read in the newspaper a very pretty lobster sandwich in a bun. What made it interesting for me is the layer of potato crisps. I made my version of the sandwich with chicken adobo flakes on sliced bread. The potato crisps add texture and wonderful flavor to the already very tasty chicken adobo. What can I say, it's super crunchy, yummy, and...excuse me but I have to go and eat one more. Yay, carbs!

To make: Spread a thin layer of mayo on toasted bread, layer salad greens, sliced tomatoes, adobo flakes and plenty of potato crisps.

March 23, 2007

Singaporean Mee-sua

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This Singaporean mee-sua is similar to the misua soup with patola I made 2 weeks ago, it is also served with boiled eggs but the similarities end there. This soup is spicy and has lots of flavoring like prawns and fishballs. I also love it. I bought Japanese or Korean (?) pre-cooked fish balls and sticks because these are very tasty and have the "rubbery" consistency that I love. Also, I don't have the patience to make fish balls.

1 pound prawns, shelled and deveined
4 ounces pre-cooked fish balls
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 candlenuts (I used raw macadamia nuts), finely chopped
1 - 2 red hot chilis, seeded and finely minced, reserve half for garnish
5 cups fish or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fish extract
2 fresh loofah, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
3 bundles misua, cut in half
sliced green onions, for garnish
salt to taste
boiled quail eggs, if available or sliced boiled eggs
  • In a large pot, heat the oil, add garlic and nuts, fry until fragrant, then add chilis, stir fry for 1 minute. Add broth and fish extract, let boil for 3 minutes. Add fish balls, prawns and loofah, boil for 2 minutes until prawns are cooked. Put in misua and let boil for 1 minute. Sprinkle each serving with sliced chili and green onions, and egg slices.

March 21, 2007

Dino Nuggets!

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I bought a bag of dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets by mistake. That's okay, I'm fast approaching my second childhood anyway, so no big deal. I also have plenty of fuji apples which I made into Waldorf salad which is usually served with broiled chicken breast, the dino nuggets are fine. My daughter and I posed them as if they're dining on the salad, just for fun.:D

Waldorf Salad
3 fuji apples, skinned, cored and diced
3 celery sticks, sliced
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped walnuts
broiled chicken breast, sliced (or chicken nuggets, if preferred)
  • Mix apples, celery and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with chicken slices. I had the nuggets with honey-mustard-mayo sauce.
Also, I want to share this with my Filipino readers who like kiamoy. About a month ago, I read from one of the blogs I visit often, apple slices sprinkled with plum powder which she had in Malaysia on her recent trip. She told me to grate kiamoy over the sliced apples if I'm not able to find plum powder. I can't explain it, but the combination of super salty & sweet kiamoy and sweet & tart crunchy apple is just excellent, I love it! The apple slices have to be eaten immediately because the color and salty flavor become more intense after several minutes, or you can sprinkle the grated kiamoy right before eating.

March 20, 2007

George Harrison's Savoy Truffle

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George Harrison is my favorite Beatle and I love a lot of his songs, one of them is Savoy Truffle from The White Album. The song warns that over-indulging in sweets specially Savoy truffles will ruin all your teeth (not to mention will make you morbidly obese, heheh). But I ignore the caution and listening to this song makes me crave for pies and candies. ;D

Savoy Truffle lyrics

Cream tangerine, Montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it's good news
But you'll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

Cool cherry cream, nice apple tart
I feel your taste all the time we're apart
Coconut fudge really blows down the blues
But you'll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy Truffle

You might not feel it now
But when the pain cuts through
You're gonna know, and how
The sweat is going to fill your head
When it comes too much
You'll shout aloud

You know that what you eat you are
But what is sweet now turns so sour
We all know Obla-Di-Bla-Da
But can you show me where you are?

Cream tangerine and Montelimar
Ginger sling with a pineapple heart
Coffee dessert, yes you know it's good news
But you'll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

I think the Montelimar mentioned here is a town in France known for its nougat. I found Savoy truffle recipe but I'm not really sure if this is the one George wrote about, it looks more like the coconut fudge. (I tried to link the site but was not able to). Anyway, I made one recipe today, it's very easy to make. I like the subtle brandy taste although dried coconut is not one of my favorite things.

4 T butter
1 egg yolk
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoonT vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy
dessicated coconut
  • In a small saucepan, over very low heat, melt butter and whisk in the egg yolk until thick, add sugar and whisk until smooth. Add brandy and vanilla extract. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a rubber spatula until chips are completely melted and mixture is smooth and no longer glossy. Transfer to a glass container and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls, roll in coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.

March 19, 2007

Chinese Style Boiled Chicken

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I have written earlier that I regularly prepare Chinese style dishes, at least the ones I ate growing up and continue to eat as an adult, usually in restaurants, not at home. One dish I will never get tired of is boiled chicken with a dipping sauce of finely chopped fresh ginger, scallions, sea salt and sesame seed oil.

Chinese Style Boiled Chicken
1 whole chicken
4 bunches green onions
1 large piece fresh ginger
sea salt
roasted sesame seed oil
  • Put chicken in a large pot, add 2 bunches washed and halved green onions, 2 tablespoons sliced ginger, and 1 tablespoon sea salt salt. Add water to cover, let boil rapidly, turn heat to medium, boil for 1 hour, turning once.
  • Prepare the dipping sauce: Finely grate ginger to measure 3 tablespoons, thinly slice green onions. Mix together with 2 teaspoons sea salt and 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil.

I did not prepare dessert because there won't be any space in the fridge for leftovers. I just served orange smiles (sliced oranges).


I'm sure most Filipinos have eaten haw flakes. I used to buy the really big ones and sometimes they also came in squares. The only size available here in the US is the tiny quarter dollar size. They are also now being sold in fruit roll up form, they are soft and leathery and a little bit tart.

March 16, 2007

Baba Au Rhum


I love baba au rhum, these open-textured breads/cakes moistened with rum syrup. They are easy to make, there's no need to bring out the food processor or stand mixer as there is no kneading involved, and rising time is fairly short. I like them with fresh figs but they are not in season, preserved fruits are okay. These should be baked in baba molds called dariole molds which are thin, long and tapered at the bottom but they are $32 for 6 pieces, very expensive in my opinion. For one recipe I would need 10 - 12 molds which will cost me $64 and if I want non-stick that's $35 for 4 pieces or $105 for 12, that's just crazy! I used my mini cheesecake pan which are fatter and squat and unfortunately not non-stick and the cakes got stuck and some got broken, no problem really, I just put them back together after dipping them in the syrup. I will line the sides of the molds with parchment paper next time or will use mini muffin molds instead.

Baba au Rhum
1½ cups flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup lukewarm milk
¼ teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, chopped
1½ cups sugar
2 cups water
½ cup dark rum
  • Brush molds lightly with oil. Place 1 T of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and milk in a small bowl. Leave, covered until foamy, for 10 minutes. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the remaining flour in a large bowl, until the mixture has a fine crumbly texture.Add the yeast mixture and eggs to the flour mixture. Beat with wooden spoon for 2 minutes until smooth and glossy. Scrape the mixture down, cover and let rise for 1 hour.Preheat oven to 400°F. With a wooden spoon, beat the mixture again for 2 minutes. Divide among the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes until well risen. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Prepare the rum syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and let boil for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly then add rum. Dip the still warm babas until completely saturated. Keep leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. Strain leftover syrup and refrigerate. Drizzle some of the syrup on the plate and on top of the babas. I love the babas swimming in rum syrup.

Salmon Sausage & Baby Vidalia Onions

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I don't like salmon, it is so stinky and the fishy smell persists in the house for days. I have grilled it, poached it and made it into sausages before, nothing seems to reduce the fishy taste and the smell, oh the smell! But I have to serve it once in a while for the good stuff it contains. Today I made it into a humongous sausage then sliced and fried the slices like fish patties. With a variety of spices the fish has improved in taste but the smell is here to stay, sigh. I guess I just have to burn a lot of scented candles every time I cook salmon. Serve with store bought or home made tartar sauce either with steamed rice or in a burger bun.

Salmon Sausage
2 pounds salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ tablespoon annatto powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup half and half
  • In a food processor, process salmon until mushy, add all the ingredients except half and half, process for 1 minute until thoroughly mixed. While food processor is running, gradually add half and half. Transfer to a glass container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, put in the freezer until icy. Shape into a large sausage, wrap tightly, return to freezer. Freeze until firm, cut into ½-inch slices. Fry in a non-stick skillet until golden brown and firm to the touch. This salmon sausage has a hot dog consistency when cooked.

Baby Vidalia Onions
I got these beauties yesterday, they are only available for a very short period during late winter. They are so sweet, from the bulb to the green shoots.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon butter
1½ teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Pre-heat oven to 500°F. Wash the onions well under running water. Cut green leaves 5 inches from bulb, slice in half crosswise. Mix with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, roast for 15 minutes. In a saute pan, melt the butter, add vinegar and sugar, cook for 2 minutes until it has thickened a little. Drizzle over roasted onions.

March 14, 2007

Mini Cheesecake


I've had these mini (2 inch x 1 ½ inch tall) cheesecake pans with removable bottoms for a little more than a year now but have never used them. I stored them and promptly forgot about them, this happens often (sigh, I'm getting old. ;D). I finally took them down from the upper shelves to use for baba au rhum that I intended to make today. But it was already late in the day when I thought of making them and there wasn't enough time for the dough to rise twice, I'll make them another day. So, today it's cheesecakes...

Mini Cheesecake

2½ cups crushed honey graham crackers
½ cup melted butter
2 tablespoon sugar
2 8-ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
4 teaspoons flour
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup Kahlua or Bailey's Irish Cream
  • Mix graham crackers, butter and sugar. Press firmly on a 10-inch pan with removable bottom. If you have mini pans, use 1 ½ T of the cracker mixture, refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar with electric beater until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend together the cream and flour, beat into the cheese mixture, add the liqueur, mix well. Pour into the pan. Bake for 40 -50 minutes, or until almost set. Set aside until completely set. Refrigerate before serving.
Serving suggestions: top with sweetened cream and pieces of hard caramel or pralines, or serve with caramel sauce.

March 13, 2007

Sauteed Celery Root

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Last week I got a celery root to make into soup but made the misua and patola instead. The root has to be cooked before it gets bad and I did not want it to go to waste but it is getting warmer everyday and soup is no longer desirable. I julienned the celeriac and 3 carrots, then sauted them in 1 tablespoon butter until half cooked, about 2 minutes. Then I added 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar and 2 tablespoon water and steam cooked, covered, for 2 minutes. The dish does not need any other condiments and is surprisingly very flavorful. I sliced some previously roasted pork belly to go with the sauteed root vegetable.

Pork Belly Roast With Maple Syrup
2 pounds whole pork belly
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
maple syrup

Roasted Pork Belly
  • Marinate pork belly in sugar and salt up to 2 nights in the fridge. Roast in 375°F oven for 1 hour, skin side down. Brush all over with maple syrup, turn meat so that skin side is up, bake for another hour. Brush again with maple syrup and bake for another 30 minutes. It is recommended to let the roast pork cool overnight in the fridge because it is easier to remove the fat that will solidify. It will also be easier to slice when it has completely cooled. You can also use this pork belly to flavor assorted vegetables such as pinakbet or to flavor pancit.

March 11, 2007

Deviled Eggs With Caviar

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I have never made deviled eggs before and always avoided them at parties. Although I love eggs, these have never appealed to me because they look dry and blah. I have prepared the very versatile eggs in many different ways: fried, scrambled, omelettes, egg whites added to Chinese soups, soft and hard boiled to ramen soup, chopped for salad and sandwiches with olive spread, foo yung, and with red sauce, I could go on and on.:p. I was looking for a simple deviled eggs recipe and found one that is lemon flavored and topped with caviar. It's fortunate I have a jar of really cheap Icelandic black capelin caviar in the pantry that I was planning to use for onigiri and sushi.

Deviled Eggs With Lemon
8 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
lemon zest for garnish
black caviar
  • Use eggs that are at least 1 week old. The day before making deviled eggs, tape the box of eggs and lay it on its side to center the yolks. The next day, put eggs in a medium saucepan, add water to cover, let come to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover and set timer to 12 minutes. Drain and fill pan with cold water, changing 3 times. Leave the water and eggs in the pan, peel eggs under running water to avoid breakage and for ease of peeling. With a sharp knife, cut each egg in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks onto a bowl. Cover whites with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Mash egg yolks with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate both for 30 minutes. Mix egg yolks with the rest of the ingredients, except lemon zest and caviar, until very smooth. Using a medium star tip, pipe yolk mixture into the egg white holes, extending a little bit over the hole. If serving immediately, spoon a little of the caviar on top using plastic utensil. Sprinkle with lemon zest. These can be covered and refrigerated a day before, adding caviar just before serving.

March 9, 2007

Fried Catfish Fillet With Tomato Sauce

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My daughter asked me to cook meatless or fish dinners on Fridays because she is giving up a few things during Lent, and meat on Fridays is one of them. I am more than happy to feed everyone in my house fish and this is my chance to cook fish more often.

Fried Catfish Fillet
1½ pounds catfish fillet
1 tablespoon lemon or calamansi juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil for frying

Tomato Sauce
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes. diced
1 tsp lemon or calamansi juice
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp salt
ground black pepper
fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Marinate fish in lemon juice, soy sauce and salt for no more than 10 minutes. In a large skillet heat oil on medium high. Roll fillets in cornstarch, fry until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a serving dish.
  • While fish is marinating, prepare the sofrito: Saute garlic and onion until cooked, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, soy sauce and salt, stir fry for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, add tomatoes, cilantro and ground pepper. Mix well and set aside. Spoon on top of fried fish fillets. Serve with steamed baby squash.
sweet and tender steamed and lightly salted assorted baby squash

March 8, 2007

Callos With Green Chickpeas

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Callos is one Spanish dish that I regularly make, it is so easy to prepare and so flavorful. I don't use tripe in my callos because it takes forever to cook and nobody in my house likes the smell of cooking tripe. I use a lot of chorizos instead. For a little variation I used green garbanzos (chickpeas). The colors of red peppers, tomatoes and the chorizos look so well with the green chickpeas.

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Spanish chorizos, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, Spanish is best
1 cup sherry
1 cup chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound frozen green chickpeas or 32-oz can chickpeas, drained
  • In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and add the garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add the chorizos, fry for 2 minutes, then add the red bell pepper, saute for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except chickpeas and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the frozen garbanzos and simmer for 10 minutes, do not let boil rapidly or the chickpeas will break into mush. Drizzle the remaining olive oil before serving.
You have to pre-boil separately tripe or pork hocks if you are using them. Then add with the meat as directed above.

March 7, 2007

Misua With Patola Soup (Extra Thin Flour Noodles with Green Loofah)

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You would think it is strange to eat loofah, that thing you use for exfoliating while in the shower but it's true, patola is loofah in its green form before it's dried to make into loofah and it is edible and yummy. Most Asians I think eat this vegetable. When I was a child in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, I used to see them growing on my neighbor's fence which they gave away to anybody who asked, for free.

Yesterday I went to the grocery for the sole purpose of getting celery root for soup but then I saw this really fresh young patola. I had to see if the grocery has very thin flour noodles we Filipinos call misua (Singaporeans call them meesua) and was so glad they have them. I looked for the recipe in my Filipino cookbooks and I was annoyed that not one among my 6 cookbooks has it. My Singaporean/Malaysian cookbook has almost the same recipe as the Pinoy's, they also use patola which they call ketola. I didn't put seafood and chicken, we had the soup with boiled eggs, just like the way my mother prepared it.

For the soup, saute 2 chopped garlic and 1 sliced onion, add 5 C chicken broth and 1 T patis (fish extract) and bring to a boil, let boil for 2 minutes then add sliced patola, cook for 2 minutes, add 3 bundles noodles, cut in half, and cook for 2 minutes, do not overcook. Adjust seasoning with salt or fish extract. Top with sliced boiled eggs (I like my eggs boiled for only 5 minutes).

March 5, 2007

Blue Potato Pancake

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Each time I go to the grocery there's always something that catches my attention, these blue potatoes surely did. They are a bit sweet and waxy and the blue color is so vivid. I got a pound and did not know what to do with them besides taking photos. I was thinking of a giant hash brown (or should I say blue), pancake, Spanish omelette, or individual latkes. I decided on a giant hash brown/pancake because it is simpler, it does not need eggs like latkes and Spanish potato omelette. It is so nice as a side dish with a little sour cream.

Potato Pancake/Hash Brown
1 pound waxy potatoes
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Boil potatoes, whole and unpeeled, for 10 minutes. Let potatoes cool in the freezer for 15 minutes. Peel potatoes and coarsely grate.
  • In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter, saute onions until cooked, add to the grated potatoes with the salt, mix gently. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet, add the potato mixture and press onto the skillet. Cover and cook on medium heat until a crust is formed, about 10-15 minutes. Invert on a platter, add the last tablespoon of butter to the skillet and ease back the potato pancake onto the skillet. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes until bottom has formed a crust. Slice into wedges and serve with sour cream. A sprinkling of crisp bacon bits with the sour cream is also very good.

March 4, 2007

Santa Fe Bean Chowder

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I found a package of dry bean soup mix in the pantry. I didn't buy it nor notice it being there before. The package says it makes 3/4 gallon (12 cups), who makes almost a gallon of soup? I don't have a large family and we eat very little like birds (I can only have 1 cup in one sitting), we don't live in a ranch and therefore do not have ranch hands to feed but the mix has to be cooked all at once because the ingredients can't be halved (they're sort of layered inside the package). I cooked the soup anyway, following the directions on the package minus the chicken. I added more garlic and onions than the recipe asked for and used an ageing yellow pepper in place of red. The soup is very good, my only complaint is the spice package does not specify what spices are in it, which I believe are annatto powder, paprika, and a little cayenne. The ingredients on the package: pinto beans, green and red bell peppers, corn, garlic, onion, and cilantro.

The recipe on the package
1 each red and green bell pepper, diced
1 can sweet corn with liquid
1 16-oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound boneless chicken, diced and sauted until cooked
½ cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
water, if necessary
  • Heat all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and slow simmer for 3 hours. Add water if needed after 2 hours. Serve with corn tortilla chips or saltines and shredded cheese. This dry mix actually made 1¼ gallons (20 cups) of chowder/soup that we are drowning in right now.

March 2, 2007

Tandoori Style Chicken

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Lately I have been into cardamom. I just love it in desserts, tea and sweet baked items. It is also the flavor that defines chicken tandoori. I don't have a traditional tandoor oven, I usually grill the chicken. Today I baked them, I'm not in the mood to start the charcoal grill, although it is warmer today at almost 55°F. I bought some frozen naan at Trader Joe's and when I got home I found out they are made in India! They are sooo good, the real thing, soft, pillowy, crunchy, and chewy. I love it hot smothered with unsalted butter, yumm. Naan is the perfect pair to chicken tandoori. Hmm, maybe I should try to bake this naan recipe but it looks difficult.

Chicken Tandoori
2 pounds boneless chicken meat, white or thigh, butterflied
1½ cups plain yogurt
juice of ½ a large lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon annatto powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you want it hotter)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly, marinate overnight in the fridge. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Arrange chicken on a single layer on a large baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is slightly browned, turning once after 25 minutes. Serve with buttered hot naan and salad mix or sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

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