Monthly Archives: December 2009

Easy Paella


History says that paella was once a laborers’ meal. A story closely similar to the origin of  kare-kare which, according to food historians, was a dish eaten by peasants who made a dish out of the leftover parts (bituka, twalya, buntot at tuhod ng baka, etc).

Paella, in its early beginnings in Valencia, Spain (where paella was said to have originated), was cooked over an open fire and was eaten directly from the skillet using wooden spoons. The most common ingredients used were chicken, rabbit, duck and snails. Seafood was kind of scarce in Valencia.

Ahh, I must’ve been one of those laborers who devoured paella in my past life! I love, love the many exciting ways that paella is prepared. It simply makes a great dining experience when paella is seated prettily on my plate!


2 cups risotto rice

4 pcs prawns

3 pcs chicken thighs, chopped

1 stick chorizo, sliced

5 cups chicken stock

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 cup green peas

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

olive oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

salt and pepper to taste

5 threads saffron

4 pcs lemon wedges

1 tsp chopped parsley


In a skillet, brown chicken until half cooked. Remove chicken and set aside.

In the same pan, saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, green peas and chorizos. Add chicken and rice. Throw in turmeric and saffron.

Mix well until rice is well coated. Add stock. Simmer until rice is cooked.

Meantime, stir fry prawns until it turns pink in color. Set aside.

Top rice mixture with prawns. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.


Leftover Galantina Surprise


Trust me, this chicken galantina never stays long on the buffet table each time I serve it during our parties at home. Well, unless I double up the usual quantity, it’s never going to reach the ‘leftover’ stage.

Okay, in case, there’s going to be some leftover galantina slices, what can you do with it? Ahh, this dish I so like! I make a killer sauce by just sauteing in a skillet  1 medium-sized onion (minced), 4 cloves of garlic (chopped), 4 ripe tomatoes (seeded and diced), 1 red bell pepper (finely cubed) and a teaspoon of fresh basil leaves (chopped). I season it with salt and pepper and would give it a swig of lemon juice (about 2 tbsps) for some great flavor. Add about 1/4 cup of water to yield better consistency. Continue simmering until sauce has been reduced by 1/4 from the original amount.

The secret is in the ripeness of the tomato and the manner by which you slow cook it to let the juices flow naturally while simmering it without drying it out too soon.

When sauce is done, assemble galantina slices in the skillet while you continue to simmer them with the sauce.


Stir-Fried Tuna With Holiday Peppers


I have totally lost count the number of times I tried, with all my might, to ignore all the lechon, jamon and other ‘cardiac delights’ servings on the table this holiday season. Did I succeed? I should have, but the call of cholesterol just had me munching on these fares that were absolutely rich with all the fats.


To dampen the guilt, I whipped up something light today. Stir-fried fresh tuna with drizzles of worcestershire sauce and red peppers  just glided smoothly down my throat– certainly, guiltlessly this time.

Stir-fried tuna with holiday peppers

1/2 kilo fresh tuna, sliced

1 large bell pepper, cubed

1 large green pepper, cubed

1 onion, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks onion leeks

2 tsps worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste



Season tuna with salt and pepper.

Meantime, in a skillet, saute onion, garlic, leeks and peppers. Add tuna. Drizzle with some worcestershire sauce.

Stir-fry for four minutes. Serve on a sizzling plate.

Smoked Bangus Pate


Simple but fanciful cocktail details do make parties look extra elegant. Very recently, I hosted a lunch at home and had these garlic sticks to go with my smoked bangus pate. I thought the shake glass was too tall for my sticks that was why I did some “apple box” for it by using cubed cucumbers. Why, I loved how it turned out!

My smoked bangus pate has never let me down. An instant crowd pleaser for its very delicious taste, I always whip this up when there’s any gathering at home. So engaging to eat, you’ll never know when to stop! It’s perfect, too, with crostinis and even on french bread.

I’m using here a file photo of my smoked bangus pate I took a few months ago since I failed to take pics of the one I made recently that we ate with the bread sticks. Was a busy bee doing preps that taking pics totally slippped my mind, tsk.

I hosted a lunch thing for a photo shoot that would feature this author’s cooking for their magazine’s valentine issue. Hopefully, the pate pic would come out in the feature.

I used shot glasses for my pate. 6 guests had one shot glass of smoked bangus pate each to savor with the bread sticks. It looked really elegant and picture perfect.

Smoked Bangus Pate

In a blender, put in one piece of medium-sized fried smoked bangus fillet (minus the head, tail, skin and bones), 1 box of cream cheese, half cup all-purpose cream, 2 tbsps lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Serve with crostini rounds.

Yakinuki-Wrapped Chicken Roulade


Yakinuki commonly refers to a Japanese method of cooking bite-sized meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables on gridirons or griddles over flame of wood charcoals carbonized by dry distilation (sumibi) or gas/electric grill.

Originating from horumonyaki, it now enjoys immense popularity  among foodies all over the world. Invented by Korean immigrants in the Kansai area after the Second World War, it has been a favorite dish or major ingredient in major dishes across the globe.

The first time I tried yakinuki was when a Japanese Resto opened somewhere in Valero street and invited me and Jake for some great Jap meal. I thought their yakiniku was totally awesome, literally melting in my mouth.

Fast forward to last Friday, I saw a pack of yakiniku sitting on one of the freezers of the newly opened SM Hypermart along Quezon avenue corner Edsa. Yeah, It was calling my name, alright. Ahh, almost automaically I knew I wanted these yakiniku strips to be all over my chicken roulade.

The fusion of an Asian wrap on Europe’s roulade just made the perfect combination. Every bite just spelled YUMMINESS font 88!

Okay, how to do it:

Yakinuki-wrapped chicken roulade

6 yakinuki strips

6 whole chicken breast fillets, seasoned and pounded

salt and pepper to taste


1/2 kilo ground pork

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 chicken cube

1/2 cup pickle relish

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

2 bell peppers, finely cubed

1 egg

3 tbsps flour

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350c.

Using a transparent plastic wrap, pound chicken breasts to thin and make bigger the chicken meat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meantime, mix well all the remaining ingredients (except yakinuki strips) to make the filling.

Assemble chicken on a flat surface. Scoop filling and spread on the center of the breast fillet. Top with another breast fillet to seal the filling. Form into a roll.

Wrap the roll with yakinuki strips. using a string, tie the roll to prevent disintegration while baking. Place rolls on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

Once cooked, REMOVE STRING. Let it rest for ten minutes.

Slice roulade and serve with gravy or the dripping.