Thursday, December 31, 2015

Media Noche 2015

Our last meal before the year ends...

Porkloin Roast... In the pan...

Sliced and on the serving plate...

Roast Garlic and Cheese Marble Potatoes...

Mixed Balls Curry

With Naan...

And for dessert - Fruit Salad!

As the year draws to a close, we give thanks to the Lord for watching over us and keeping us in His Grace.  And we look forward to the New Year, praying for peace, joy and happiness!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Noche Buena 2015

The theme this year is simple... something that the little girl would eat.

I figured the best menu in the world meant squat if the little girl would not eat it!  So what does the little girl eat?

Cheese and potatoes...
(3-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes)

(The little girl said this was really yummy!)

(Roast Chicken with Garlic and Mushrooms)

Chocolate Cake!!!

Actually it is Black Forest Roll...

Well, and hubby requested a salad...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Savory Glutinous Rice

I grew up with variants of this dish on the table.  There's ma-chang (糯米鸡 - glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves), the stuffing in stuffed chicken (which my mom calls Galantina), and even the Filipino version that is Bringhe or the other variant Valenciana.

Our family considers this an all-in-one dish, and it can be made in a rice cooker, which means it is also a fast and easy dish.

1 cup glutinous rice, soaked for about 3 hours
1 piece firm tofu, sliced into strips
1 piece pork tenderloin, sliced thinly, marinated in 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
thin slices of ginger
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
8 pieces fresh shitake mushrooms
170 grams fresh button mushrooms
100 grams fresh enoki mushrooms
splash of Shaoxing wine
2 to 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons thick soya sauce
light soy sauce, to taste
ground white or black pepper
1/4 cup regular rice, rinsed
650 to 750 ml chicken stock

sauteed Taiwan pechay, optional

Saute the ginger, onions and garlic until softened (non-stick pan is really helpful and convenient).  Add the marinated pork tenderloin slices.  When the pork is almost done, add the mushrooms.  Add a splash of Shaoxing wine.  Put the glutinous rice and regular rice in the pan and stir-fry until all the rice is coated.  Add the seasonings and the chicken stock.  Add in the tofu strips.  Check seasonings then transfer everything to the rice cooker.  Cook until done.

Serve garnished with sauteed Taiwan pechay.

NOTE:  if using dried shitake mushrooms, use some of the mushroom soaking liquid for more flavor.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Easy Radish Cake

My mom has a complicated recipe for radish cake.  I recently found it in her files.  If memory serves me well and it is the recipe that she cooked in my childhood, then it is a really delicious one.  But like I said, it is complicated!

I found another recipe in her files but I don't know where she got it, considering it is a photocopy of a handwritten recipe; it was just stuck in the pages of a clearbook.  Anyway, it looked way easier so I decided to give it a try.

It wasn't so bad.  But because I purposely did not add salt (only a bit of soy sauce), the general consensus was that it was rather bland.  Still is was not bad.  When pan fried, the inside was soft but the outside was crunchy!

What surprised me was that the little girl actually liked it!

The recipe made 4 small loaves.

On the chopping block...

Here is the recipe

200 grams shredded radish
20 grams dried shrimp, chopped coarsely
80 to 100 grams ham, diced
4 pieces fresh shitake mushrooms, diced
250 grams rice flour
900 ml water
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Mix the rice flour with the water; stir until there are no lumps.

Saute the dried shrimp and ham.  Add the shredded radish and stir fry a couple of minutes.  Add the soy sauce.  Add the rice flour-water mix, stir immediately until the mixture is thick.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Spoon into lighltly oiled pans.  Steam on medium heat for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing and frying.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Smashed Potatoes

This is perfect for Christmas Eve dinner...

The original recipe is from Epicurious...

Here is what I did - 

750 grams potatoes, cleaned and
     cooked in salted water and 6 smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream

Drain the potatoes, discard the garlic.  Place the potatoes in a buttered Pyrex dish and  smash potatoes, leaving large chunks. Drizzle oil over the potatoes; dot with butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper (and some chili for a someone like hubby).

Bake at 450F for 8 to 12 minutes, until potatoes turn crispy.  Take care not to burn the potatoes.  Out of the oven, dollop sour cream over the potatoes.

Serve hot! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sauteed Pork, Taro and Korean Mushrooms

This is another example of cooking without a recipe...

1 small thumb of ginger, sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 piece of pork tenderloin, cleaned, trimmed and sliced into matchstick strips
1 piece of taro, cubed or sliced in strips
1 pack of Korean shimeji mushrooms
2 pieces Korean King Mushrooms, sliced
light soy sauce
oyster sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Marinate the pork strips in soy sauce and oyster sauce (a 350-gram piece with 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, as well as ground black pepper) for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the taro pieces until almost cooked and lightly browned.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Saute the ginger and onions.  Add the marinated pork and cook until half done.  Throw in the mushrooms.  Add chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time, so the mixture is not too dry.  Finally, add the taro.  Season to taste.  Simmer until done; thicken with cornstarch slurry.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Pancit Luglug

What's the difference?  Pancit Luglug, Pancit Palabok, Pancit Malabon...  they kinda look and taste the same.  (My personal favorite is a very saucy Palabok!)

Well, as far as I know, Pancit Palabok is the one with thin noodles, Luglug is the one with thick noodles, and Malabon is the one with thick noodles and the sauce mixed right in!

So this is my (puerile attempt at) Pancit Luglug...

It looks nice right?  Well, it did not taste nice!  It was rather bland, even with the toppings of adobong squid, chicharon, shrimp, pork, egg and pechay!

I basically followed the recipe found on, except that I forgot about the patis (fish sauce) and the calamansi.  Despite the lousy taste, everyone ate it.

Later, I recounted to friend T how this experiment flopped - that it was bland tasting no matter how I salted it, she berated me for not using patis (since she's the one who gave me the super-tasting fish sauce!)  The next day I tried to fix the sauce by using patis and true enough, everyone commented how much better tasting the dish was!  Which goes to show, some recipes you just have to follow... and don't forget anything!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Leche Flan Cups

The little girl had a project for their English class.  Their group (of 3 students) were tasked to market Filipino sweets by using lots of adjectives (and some props).  The little got got leche flan.  Initially I was just thinking of make a paper model of a leche flan but the little girl wanted to bring real ones.  Hubby suggested to just buy one but then the little girl wanted everyone in class to have one!  Long story short, we just made leche flan in small individual cups!

My standard recipe (from long, long ago) was simple... 10 egg yolks, 1 can condensed milk, 1 large can of evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and the secret ingredient?  drops of real dayap juice!

Problem?  I had no idea what to do with all the egg whites, so in the end, I decided to just use 5 whole eggs!  As for the caramel, an online friend suggested adding maple syrup to the sugar to make the caramel extra special.

So that's what I did...

First, I mixed the whole eggs, milks and flavorings together.  I strained the mixture (there was a bit o whole egg whites) and then poured it into individual cups and steamed them - over low-medium heat for about 12 minutes, that's it.  I let them cool before adding the maple-caramel.

The little girl liked it, so did I and Lola and A-te J.  Hubby, however, did not!  He found it lacking in texture and richness!