Monthly Archives: February 2010

Pesto Cream Fussili Pasta


Inspired by Cibo’s pasta Genovese, I tried my hand in doing my version of such for today’s meryenda. I thought the fusion of pesto and cream would make a delightful duo to satiate my craving palate. Cibo uses farfale or the bow tie pasta noodles to do this. I believe, it’s one of their topsellers and I wanted that on my plate asap!

Asap it was, I scoured my pantry for the ingredients and was able to dig up some goldmine of shitake mushrooms and some few bunches of fresh basil leaves for the pesto. However, what was available in my pasta jars was a coupla cups of fussili or spiral pasta noodles. Fine, I love fussili! Why, the ridges just hold so much flavor from the sauce!

Easy to make, totally tasty and very healthy, this dish should make its way to your kitchen soon.

Pesto Cream Fussili Pasta

4 cups fussili (spiral) pasta noodles

1 medium-sized onion

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can shiitake mushrooms, drained and sliced

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for final topping

1 cup pesto (see recipe below)

olive oil

For the pesto:

4 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions

In a blender or food processor, pulse basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. Add grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Meantime, using a skillet, saute onion and garlic. Add shiitake mushrooms, pesto and heavy cream. Stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Toss in pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.


Buttered Chicken Stew With Sitcharo


A pack of fresh sitcharo (snowpeas) peeped hello from a stack of veggies in the ref recently. Ahh, I knew it was time for some reunion with one of my most favorite ingredients. I usually use this for my stir-fried sirloin tips. There’s something about sitcharo that perks up the main meat.

And, to couple it with the powerhouse triumvirate  of chicken, tomatoes and butter, come on! As Julia Child once said, “You can’t have enough of the butter!”.

Okay to do this, you will need:

2 whole breast halves with wings

2 cups sitcharo, cleaned and trimmed

1/4 cup butter

6 medium-sized tomatoes, diced

1 medium-sized onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


1 tsp dried basil for garnishing


In a skillet, saute onion, garlic and tomatoes. Add seasoned chicken. Simmer on slow-medium heat until chicken is tender and tomatoes almost liquid in consistency.

It may be necessary to add water when necessary until chicken is tender enough.

Once chicken is cooked and sauce is reduced to half, add butter and sitcharo. Simmer some more for another three minutes or until sitcharo is half-cooked.

Sprinkle with dried basil. Serve warm.

Makut Theng


‘Masarap makikain sa kapitbahay!’ or in this case, ‘Masarap kumain ng galing sa kapitbahay!’. My Chinese neighbor and good friend, Myze Ngo, gave me a warm bowl of this Makut Theng or the Chinese version of our nilagang buto-buto.

What I found immersed in the the very tasty pork broth was an interesting mix of  ingredients like some fall-off-the bones pork ribs, ginger, bola-bola, black mushrooms, gabi and lettuce.

I ate it with my sawsawan of hoisin sauce and a bit of hot chillies. Winner!

Myze tells me, these fares are usually found in authentic small Chinese canteens, as she refers to their medium-sized eateries, which usually thrive in places like Chinatown, Banawe, etc.

Can I just say, I am forever delighted sampling authentic Chinese food, it’s a pleasant temporary departure from the Chinese food adjusted to the Filipino palate we usually experience.

To Myze, chin toh sya!

Moroccan Lamb Chops With Couscous And Apricots


Cruising the food treasure-laden aisles of SM Hypermarket’s meat section today, I was delighted to see some  good-looking cuts of lamb chops. The marbling looked awesome and it just had me grabbing some few slices for today’s meal.

Now, what to do? The usual way would be smothering the lamb with mustard and rosemary or maybe coat it with some generous lather of yogurt and lime. However, some eureka moment prodded me to venture into something majorly diff.  

I knew I wanted something Morrocan, where spices burst and flavors play on the palate. Ahh, Moroccan rub was to be.

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron, mint olives, oranges and lemons are home-grown.

Common spices include cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper, paprika, anis seed, sesame seed, coriander, parsley, saffron and mint.

My lamb went with a simple couscous fix and some few bunch of arugula leaves with cherry tomatoes and fresh apricots drizzled with some balsamic vinaegrette.

Too stuffed, I felt too heavy to do the belly dancing  afterwards.

Morrocan Lamb Chops

3 slices lamb chops

3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

3 tsps ground turmeric

1 tsp Spanish paprika

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lemon, wedged

Oil chops with olive oil.

Meantime, combine dry spices in a small container.  Cover and shake to combine.

Rub spice blend into the chops on both sides.  Seal in Ziploc bags and marinate overnight.

Preheat grill pan to high.

Grill chops 7 to 8 minutes, turning once, for medium rare, 10 to 12 minutes for medium to medium well. Serve with wedges of lemon.

For the couscous, you will need:

1 cup cuscous

1 and 1/4 cup hot chicken stock

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric powder

Mix couscous, turmeric powder and cumin. Add hot chicken stock. Let it stay for ten minutes. Fluff couscous using a fork.

Place chops on top of a bed of couscous on a plate when done.

For the sidings:

1 cup arugula leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh apricots

1 zuchinni, chopped and grilled

5 cherry tomatoes

Toss all salad ingredients. Drizzle with balsamic vinaegrette dressing ( 5 tbsps balsamic vinegar, 5 tbsps olive oil, 3 tbsps honey, combined together).

Happy Vday!!!!!

Baked Chicken In Sinigang Rub


A friend and blog reader, Sandy Celi, gave me some of her organic chicken for sampling. I automatically scanned my mental files for a favorite recipe and thought of whipping up my favorite baked chicken in sinigang rub. I thought it was to be our local version of the lemon and pepper rub. Yes, only better.

I grabbed some sachet of my organic sampaloc sinigang mix from Herb’s Best (owned by my cousin-in-law, Fannie Guanzon) and I was set to fire away.

In a snap, I suddenly found myself strutting my stuff in the kitchen gearing up to make some baked chicken in sinigang sampaloc rub. It was to be a dream combo in an untypical sinigang dish. Two chemical and preservative-free major ingredients in one dish name– clap, clap!

When you check Sandy’s blog site  you will read that this chicken comes from a breed of “Grass Fed, Free Ranged, Naturally Grown, Pastured Colored Chickens: Raised with a lot of sunshine, fresh air, supplemented with probiotics and unmedicated feeds”.

No wonder it did not have the innate lansa or slimmyness chickens usually have. Oh and by the way, did I say that it  was distinctly tastier than the regular commercial chicken? Ahhh, sarap Lord! 

Now,  how cool was that?

Okay to do this you will need:

1 big chicken

1 small sachet sampaloc mix

salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch tanglad

1 cup fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 300 deg c.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Meantime in a small mixing bowl, mix 2 tbsps oil and 1 small sachet of sampaloc sinigang mix.

Rub onto the chicken.

Insert lemongrass and parsley (with bottom part of the stalks pounded to release flavor) into the cavity.

Bake  for 2-3 hours or until chicken is done. Serve with gravy sauce (recipe below).

Gravy sauce:

Scrape the pan where you baked the chicken by adding 1 cup of boiling chicken stock. Drain to smoothen the mixture.  Transfer mixture in a sauce pan. Simmer on low heat. Add 3 tbsps butter and 2 tbsps flour. Stir until sauce is free of lumps.

Tuna And Chorizo Linguine



Tuna plus chorizos equals happiness. Yesterday saw me dishing out some tuna and chorizo pasta for my pasta-loving mom and aunt when they swung by my crib for some hearty meryenda.

If I had my way, I’d name this pasta, “Oh my, Mama!” pasta. Lol. Yeah,  in honor of my mom who is a die hard pasta lover. Mom must’ve been an Italiana in her past life who made cheeses and everything yummy and Italian in her lifetime!

Well, save for the chorizos (which is Spanish in origin), the dish was one helluvahn Italian treat. Easy to make, packed with big flavors, fancy-looking, this recipe should make its way to your kitchen soon!

Smothered with chunky tomatoes, chorizos, tuna  and all the Italian flavors, my house guests definitely went for seconds!

Okay, to do this you will need:

1/2 kilo linguine pasta noodles

1 can chunky tuna in solid water

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup regular tomato sauce

1 stick chorizo, sliced and halved

4 cloves of garlic, minced

10 pitted whole black olives

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp fresh sweet basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meantime, in a skillet, saute garlic, bell peppers, olives, chorizos, rosemary, basil and tuna. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for two minutes. Add diced tomatoes and regular tomato sauce. Lightly stir for the next four minutes.

Toss sauce in pasta. Serve warm with sprinkling of cheese on top.

FOOD Mag’s “Cooking For Two”


Thinking of cooking for two this Vday? FOOD magazine might be able to help you:)

FOOD's February issue. Theme: Chinese cooking. I love it!

I was giddy when FOOD magazine  rang me up for a feature request on the food I was gonna do for Vday. They said I was to prepare an appetizer and at least 2 main dishes. For a week, I did a survey among my friends on what main ingredient they would like to have for a romantic dinner for two. Most of them picked salmon and steak– so, there. FOOD had the two for the feature among the other dishes I prepared for my spread.

For once in my career, I prioritized jazzing up my food more than myself! Haha! I didn’t care if I looked pooped and worn out during the shoot as long as the dill sat prettily on top of the salmon!

Got these mouthwatering slices of Australian steak I used for the FOOD mag shoot (image below,  topmost right) from SM Hypermarket. The brand is Meltique from Australia. There is a new technology in the land down under that allows meat to have a perfect marbling. How? Well, they do the opposite of liposuction! Yes, they inject fat into the meat! The result is a perfect marbling that coats the meat with all the tasty juices of the beef.

For the recipes, please grab the latest copy of FOOD magazine now!