Monthly Archives: June 2009

Ham and Cheese Waffle ‘Sandwich’


Lifted from the recipe pages of FOODIE magazine, I literally dished out three exciting  food treats from leftovers during the taping of Studio 23’s “US Girls”.

Ahh, how I embraced the challenge of having to revv up an otherwise dull, unappetizing, ex-yummy-now-eecky leftover dish! My magic wand/sandok just had me do some quick but yummy dishes.

Okay, the first dish was the ham and cheese waffle sandwich. The leftover ingredient was the waffle (waffle recipe courtesy of FOODIE magazine). The challenge for me was how to tweak the waffle and transform it into a mega breakfast. And so, I did this:

Nice? Nothing easier than this, really. I just put a piece of salami and cheese in between two waffles and toasted them using a lightly greased pan, a minute on each side. There. Shockingly easy! I cut them into bite sizes and placed a dipping bowl of maple syrup. Dipping your waffle bites into it should be a great idea.

I thought allowing the citrus fruits to join my waffle ensemble was a good idea, too. There. Shockingly easy.

The next two leftover ‘wonders’ on my next blog, stay tuned!


Cooking On TV 3 (US Girls, Studio 23)


I left ABS-CBN today feeling totally awesome. Taping went great and was very excited cooking before the cameras again. Angel Aquino was the nicest and most grounded celebrity I’ve met recently.

Here goes some snippets of the taping to be aired sometime this week on Studio 23.








Tapenade On Sliced Burger


tapenadeburger 480 by you.

I love flavors. Don’t like it when the same taste (spanning weeks)  dominate the flavors of our home food. Variety is key. Ahh, how I enjoy a  see-saw of  sweet and sour, of spicy and zingy… my palate is insanely adventurous.

Today,  I decided to do a tapenade-grilled beef tandem. Tapenade is an extremely popular dish in France. It is used as spread on breads or fillng in fillets or paninis.

The original recipe calls for olives, capers and anchovy fillets, mixed together and finely chopped. Now my version, coarsely chopped. LOveet!

Biting into these roughly chopped olives and capers excite my palate. The play of salty and sour in these two great ingredients take me to some great gastronomic trip.

The meat that went with it was actually some sliced beef burger that I earlier cooked.

The tapenade would be the meat topping, wrapped in some warm pita bread.

(Meats are always kept moist when cooked whole then sliced after it’s cooked as opposed to meat that were cut before they were cooked.)


So, here goes how it’s done:

tapenadeburger 501 by you.

The tapenade will call for 20 pcs black pitted olives, 2 tbsps capers, 3 tbsps lemon juice, 1 tbsp mashed anchovy fillet (optional) and 3 tbsps olive oil. Coarsely chop the olives and capers, mix in anchovies, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside. Tapenade can keep well in the ref for upto 2 weeks.

tapenadeburger 511 by you.

Meantime, to prepare the burger meat, season 1/2 kilo of ground meat with salt and pepper. Add 1 beaten egg, 3 cloves of chopped garlc, 1 minced onion and 3 tbsps flour. Mix all ingredients together. Form patties and grill. Let rest for 3 minutes. Slice into 1 inch width or your desired size.

Meantime, warm some pita bread (available in most supermarkets). Place some sliced burger on the center, top with tapenade and fold pita with the meat-tapenade fillng inside.

tapenadeburger 487 by you.

German Franks In Spicy Tomato Sauce


germany 053

A German Wurstchen or a frankfurter sausage is, traditionally, made from veal and lean pork meat. The flavor, usually powered by some fresh seasonings like fresh onions and other great tasting spices, just makes it one of the best-tasting sausages around.

Interestingly, the mixture is encapsuled in some  natural sheep casing and cooked through a special smoking process. The cooking method definitely yields the aromatic factor that makes this sausage extra addictive.

It was said that during the 13th century, a butcher from Frankfurt created this dish in Vienna and later on made this dish world-famous. Now that’s interesting, a German creating the frankfurter in Vienna!!

Anyway, Jake got me some German franks from his trip to Germany. He brought home several kinds of sausages, but the one I picked to cook first were the franks. So, what did I do? I did some mean spicy frankfurter bites in spicy tomato sauce. It looked something like this:


germany 132

The juiciness of these sausages was well accompanied by the rich taste of the spicy tomato sauce. Imagine Regine Velasquez in a concert backed up by the Philippine Philarmonic Orchestra! Yeah, something of that magnitude…

Anyway, to do this you will need:

2 German frankfurter sausages, sliced diagonally

1/2 cup tomato paste

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1 bell pepper, julienned

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


germany 118


 Saute garlic, onion, bell pepper and sausages. Stir in tomato paste. Slowly add in water to thin the sauce until desired consistency is achieved. Season with cayenne pepper, regular ground pepper and salt. Add chopped rosemary. Serve hot.

germany 122




Paksiw Na Pata


 paksiwpata 012

Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be big in taste. In fact, most dishes that, to me, are drool-stimulating  are those that are simple, common and very easy to make. The secret to making it extra rich and scrumptious is actually in the way that it is cooked.

Let’s take the case of my all-time favorite, paksiw na pata. I am bothered by the fact that quite a number of restaurants serve these pork knuckles half-cooked and still gummy. If this is their way of saving up on gas, time and effort, then I suggest that they better just ditch this dish for dishes that are less labor-intensive. Serving them matigas and makunat kinda bastardizes the real thing.

Paksiw na pata is best eaten when it’s tender, falling off the bones and immeresed in a sauce that has the balance of sweet and sour.

Ahh, my dad loved having this dish while he watched his fave tv programs. He liked this with matching ginisang munggo with dahon ng sili or pritong bangus (na ‘posta’ and hiwa..).

I’m reminded of how my dad introduced me to simple but delish home-cooked meals that included halaan soup with dahon ng sili, inihaw na liyempo in just salt and pepper, batchoy (that was made super tasty courtesy of the kinchay), laing, inadobong atay ng manok, pancit molo, etc.

And this, paksiw na pata. Another great flagship food of my happy childhood.

So easy to make, here’s how to do it:

You will need..

1 pork pata (front, it’s meatier!), chopped

1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup banana blossoms (bulaklak ng saging)

3 pcs saba (banana plantain), cut diagonally

1/2 cup brown sugar (adjust according to taste)

1 tsp pamintang buo

1 laurel leaf

salt and pepper to tase


1. Season pata with salt and pepper. Put pata in a casserole with the garlic, onion, paminta, vinegar and soy sauce. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. It is best slow-cooked (about two hours).

2. Continue adding water until meat is tender and sauce is reduced to half. Add saba, laurel leaf , sugar  and banana blossoms about 2o minutes before turning off the fire.  Serve hot.




Farfalle in Pesto And Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce


pestosundpasta 042

“Mommy, you’re the pasta queen!”, I couldn’t be more flattered when Sam referred to me as that. She delightedly finished her plate of ribbon pasta in pesto and sundried tomatoes in a jiffy. Quite a surprise there,  considering Sam’s preference for unflavored pasta and all.

But hey, before somebody raises a howl, it was just Sam labeling me as the ‘queen’, okay? Chill! In her eyes, I am. So be it! Haha!

Healthy, tasty, meatless and fanciful, this pasta has the x-factor kids would love to eat. The very pretty ribbon pasta (farfalle) should be the main attraction here to get kids into eating it. Then you load the pasta with all the healthy flavors that taste just as great.

Okay, for this dish you will need:

1/4 kilo ribbon pasta (farfalle)

1/2 cup pesto

3/4 cup sundried tomatoes

4 pcs shitake mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup kesong puti, diced

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp dried rosemary

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1/2 cup black olives, sliced (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


1. In a skillet, saute onion garlic, olives  and mushrooms. Add cooked pasta. Mix in pesto and sundried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add dried rosemary. Serve.

2. Top with parmesan cheese and kesong puti. Serve with your favorite toast.

pestosundpasta 023

A Taste Of Spain!


Spain’s got to be one of the loveliest places I’ve been fortunate to see. The haunting beauty of its awesome character just made me want to see it a million times all over again.

The picturesque setting set the tone for one unforgettable journey.

The richness in history, cultural heritage,  majestic architecture and the excellent gastronomic treats certainly make Spain the “IT” destination, hands down.



mime artists do move for a fee, a few bucks should do it.

mime artists do move for a fee, a few bucks should do it.

For some art appreciation, do swing by Barcelona and Madrid when you happen to visit Spain. Quaint museums that are rich in artifacts, historical pieces and world-famous obras abound all over these two cities.
at museo del prado

at museo del prado

These are but just some of the few of major attractions in Spain aside from the many other bewitching destinations you might want to visit.

And, for foodies like me, Spain is the place to be. It’s got to be one of the most exciting culinary destinations in the world.

at museo de jamon, madrid.

Great weather, fanatstic company, a heart-stopping architecture at the backdrop with matching sangria for toasting spelled JOY OVERLOAD!

chillin' at plaza mayor

chillin' at plaza mayor

These are but memories on a playback now.

Anyway, last night was a blast. Suddenly, I was back in my “bring-me-back-to-Spain” mode again. I hosted an event that presented the exclusive screening of the Mallorca episode of “Spain On The Road Again” which airs on the Asian Food Channel (Skycable channel 58) every 9pm on tuesdays. 

afc 025

The show is hosted by my favorite Italian Chef, Mario Batali and actress Gwineth Paltrow.

*photo from

A cooking demo of pescado ala sal or fish baked in salt, sobrasada or sausage or pate and a paella was one of the main highlights of the event. All dishes wonderfully executed by fantastic Spanish Chef and owner of Tapella by Gaudi, Chef Xandra Got Pradera Cacho.

The paella was a winner. Saffron and broth based paella that used calrose rice witha mix of mushrooms and chorizos, this dish blew me away.

chef xandra's paella

chef xandra's paella


the chef and i

the chef and i

Have some sobrasada pate!  Oh, lord! It tasted like a pate version of the Spanish chorizo. It sat well on those cruchy crostinis.



 The event was peppered with tapas all over the serving trays! Add to that the food  served to the guests by Chef Xandra, which she cooked during the demo.

afc 014

  Great food! Truly delicioso! Isalud!