Monthly Archives: February 2011

Japchae

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I took a trip to a public market somewhere down east to find this stall that sold Batangas beef. Foodies literally run the extra mile just to bring home what’s deemed the best, you know. Ha! So, there I was, finding myself all prepped up for the palengke tour.

Scouring the market, I was gawking at the produce lavishly displayed at every stall, corner and bilaos. My, they were totally inexpensive, very fresh and looked picturesque. My eyes were panning from left to right, up and down!

Okay, back to my mission, I looked for a store that had a signage that read “Senya’s Batangas beef”. Upon trekking the aisles and alleys  of this market, lo and behold, I found it and what goldmine I saw. Yeah baby, two kilos of sirloin went straight to my basket.

Yesterday had me do two dishes:  Garlic Tapa and Japchae.

So, what’s the big fuss about Batangas beef? Well for one, this southwestern province of Batangas is well known for its cattle industry. It is home of the best species of cattle. Grass fed, robust in size, they are so special that meat dealers  have made it a ‘claim to fame’ label that the meat is from Batangas. A big smile was plastered on my face as I left with my beef on one hand.

The second dish was japchae. I have been bugging my good friend, Marielle, to take me back to Ye Dang for my Korean food fix but being swamped with household chores would not allow us. So, I decided to just make my own.

So here goes the recipe:

JAPCHAE

500 grams  glass noodles (soak in water for 20 minutes before cooking)

1/2 cup chopped spinach leaves

3/4 cup hoisin sauce

3 tbsps brown sugar

1/4 kilo sirloin, cut in thin strips

1 medium-sized carrot, cut into strips

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 white onion, minced

2 tsps chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

sesame oil

water

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Season beef with salt and pepper. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic. Add beef, spinach and carrots. Stir in hoisin sauce ang sugar. Pour about 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Add glass noodles and reduce heat  to a medium simmer.

Cook until noodles are tender and soupiness is gone. Add chili flakes. Serve hot.

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Pasta And Peas

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Still on with our interesting series on “leftover makeover” inspired by some dishes we lifted from the pages of FOODIE magazine. This second dish I cooked for Studio 23’s “US Girls” was such a big hit that it was gone instantly before I could finish saying “bon appetit” to everybody!

Simple, tasty to the core and very elegant, this dish should work its way on your menu soon.

The leftover food was the pasta. In this case, we used salad macaroni. Have you ever had the experience of over estimating your pasta, cooking more than you need  and ended up just stacking them away in the ref to grow those icky molds?  Ha!

Alright, let’s have some great-tasting solution to this leftover dilemma.

The dish I made called for about 5 cups of cooked salad macaroni (cooked according to package directions), 2 tbsps olive oil, 2 tbsps butter, 1 medium-sized chopped white onion, 3/4 cup chopped bacon or pancetta, 3/4 cup frozen sweet peas (thawed), 2 tbsps dry white wine, salt and pepper to taste and grated parmesan cheese.

I Sauted onion and bacon. Added wine and let alcohol evaporate before I mixed in peas which I had to saute a bit longer til I got it tender while still very bright green in color. Tossed them gently onto my pasta and sprinkled parmesan cheese on top.

Baked Scallops

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Baked Scallops

The maddening rush last Valentine’s day discouraged Jake, Sam and I to wriggle our way to the busy streets that lead to the uber packed date places.

So, we decided to just spend the evening at home, in the comforts of our humble dining room where I served some mean minted lamb chops with a siding of french beans and baby carrots and partnered with some rich, creamy and luscious plate of baked scallops.

Baked scallops is one dish that’s a breeze to make and makes for a rockstar viand. This particular recipe is strikingly similar with the baked tahong I always make whenever I want a delish fare pronto.

Looking at my finished product of baked scallops, I suddenly scratch my head in slight dismay. It was one of those moments when I wished I lived in faraway Capiz. Why? I got my frozen scallops from Cold Storage, P180 per dozen. In Capiz, scallops sell for P50 PER SACK!!!

Now, that ‘SACKS’! Lol.

Happy Vday!

Baked Scallops

1 dozen fresh scallops (with shell)

2 heads of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

3 tbsps parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat oven to 300 deg c.

In a baking tray, assemble the scallops and brush each with butter and season with salt and pepper. Top each with a pinch of garlic and smother scallops with the cheeses.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses turn slightly brown and melted. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Squid Ink Pasta, Chorizos And Tuna

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I was marveling at the dried pasta selection over at Terry Selection at The Podium when I chanced upon a pack of squid ink pasta. Almost instantaneously, I visualized the pasta to be infused with red sauce, chorizos and tuna. Perfect for Jake’s dinner, excellent for my quest for a pasta eye candy that was to be quite unique and tasty.

Incidentally, my Sister, Tina, and Brother in law, Oliver, stopped by our place that night I made it. Timely and definitely a welcome surprise, I was so ganado tossing the whole pasta ensemble knowing that I had guests to sample the dish.

The black colored-pasta had a stellar taste that I momentarily forgot that I had burned a thousand calories that afternoon from a spinning class and would just gain it back(?) with the bande-bandehadong pasta that I devoured that night. Yikes!

Okay, the recipe:

1/2 kilo squid ink pasta

1 can chorizos, halved vertically and sliced

1 can Del Monte tomato sauce petite cut

2 cans tuna lite, drained

1 cup Del Monte tomato sauce (Original flavor)

1 head of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1/2 cup capers

1 cup black pitted olives, sliced

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

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Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic. Add chorizos, tuna, capers and olives. Continue stirring for two minutes. Throw in basil and oregano.

Toss in pasta. Top with tuna and cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

Minced Pork In Lettuce Wrap

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My good friend and neighbor, Myze, invited my family for dinner last Chinese New Year at Spring Deer restaurant in Quezon City. It was to be their celebration for their New Year. Myze, a full-blooded Chinese, talked her way to educating me about Filipino Chinese food vs the “canteen” Chinese food she grew up embracing.

I have featured a coupla posts in this blog about her Chinese “canteen” food and how enthralled I get trying it out. The Makut Theng she once sent me while I was nursing a cold was unforgettable. Likewise, the Chinese style steamed fish dish she taught me was momentous.

One of the viands served that evening was the minced pork in lettuce wrap. I thought it looked pretty and tasted great. They served the meat mixture side by side with the plate of crunchy lettuce greens and hoisin sauce. So, the style was to get a lettuce wrapper, scoop a  tbsp of meat mixture and smother with hoisin sauce on top.

Today, I did just that. However, I decided to incorporate the hoisin sauce already in the meat mixture. Twas quite easy to make. Thanks for great neighbors, thanks, Myze!

Minced  Pork In lettuce Leaves

1/2 kilo ground pork

1 large carrot, cut in small cubes

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

2 tbsps ginger, chopped

3 tbsps cilantro, chopped

2 tbsps hoisin sauce

2 tbsps oyster sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

oil

Lettuce leaves

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Season pork with salt and pepper.

Saute pork in ginger, onion and garlic. Add carrots. Continue stir frying until meat is cooked.

Add cilantro, hoisin, oyster and soy sauces. Continue cooking for about five minutes.

Scoop a tsp of the mixture in lettuce leaves and wrap closing on all sides. Serve immediately.



One Glorious Morning On One Plate

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So, my daughter’s class for today got called off. That means extra three  hours for me to just stay home and take a respite from the horrendous traffic going to her school and the 3 hours waiting time I have before I pick her up. Yay, this calls for a celebration. Bring it on!

Okay, this morning saw me hitting the ref for my grilled eggplant spread and grilled some  few slices of crusty Raf whole wheat bread with   parsley pesto  sauce that I made and bottled up a few days ago.

The combination of the spread and the bread spelled HEALTHY and YUMMY, both in font 99! Yeah, one glorious morning on one big plate!