Friday, February 10, 2012

Infusing Corn flavor for Mashed Potato

It is a securing feeling to consume a warm snack after you have been exposed to a vast cold environment like the Calabidongan cave of Philippines. Here, I tried to balance the tastes of corn and potato. I did it wonderfully especially when I paired it with sweet corn and bacon, and a hot choco drink.

Oooozzzing flavors of corn and bacon

 Another morning dip in Albay colds -
Calabidongan cave

Potato shells:
3 pcs medium potatoes, washed
8 bacon strips, cut into small pieces.
cheese of choice (cheddar, parmesan, etc)
vegetable oil for deep frying

Potato-Corn Mixture:
 3 pcs medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
100ml corn kernels, blendered

90ml fresh milk
salt, to taste
1tsp, melted butter

sliced spring onion
long chilli, red, pitted and seeded, minced


Boil potatoes for 15-20 mins. Be sure to avoid skin breakage. Let them cool then cut them in halves. Spoon portions of the pulps out to make potato shells. (Optional: you can store them in fridge overnight to save time for a meal.) Deep fry the shells in vegetable oil until they floated and bubbles lessened. Cut bacon into small pieces and fry. Put bacon over shells and topped with cheese. Melt cheese in oven.

Boil diced potatoes until very tender. Drain. Mash potatoes with masher to achieve smooth texture. Set aside. Blender sweet corn kernel. In a pan, heat corn and milk over medium fire for 15 mins. Mix in mashed potatoes. Season with salt and butter. Using a ladle, keep mixing over low heat until the mixture separate from the side of the pan.

Garnish and serve with potato shells and corn kernel. Pour heated corn soup over mashed mixture.

Tribute to Whitney Houston 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thailand Terrific: A Magical Ride of Nam Pla Dressing to Yam Nua

Another personal favorite of mine is the combination of yam nua (beef salad) and thai fish sauce, truly an amazing dish playing inside your mouth. You can experience a finer and smoother texture and less salty taste of the sauce.

Indulge with your juicier beef now

If you are thinking of using patis (very delicious Philippine fish sauce), the outcome would be totally different. It contains a stronger taste in terms of texture and saltiness. However, yam nua achieves balance of the recipe giving someone a lighter bite and a marvelous lingering. Enjoy!

Buying Thai fish sauce or nam pla in Philippines:
*Thai or Vietnamese stores.
*Chefs' Nook: 220 Pilar St., Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City; (+632) 724-5812
* Any Robinson's Supermarket: wide array of Asian ingredients such as Indian, Thai, Korean, or Japanese, etc.

Yam Nua (Beef Salad)

150g beef (meat only)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper, fine
1pc medium white onion , thinly sliced
1/2 pc celery stem, thinly sliced
1/2pc cucumber, sliced thinly
4 pcs, cherry tomato, cut crosswise into halves
3 stalks, spring onion, cut into 4cm length

Nam Pla Dressing:
2T nam pla (fish sauce)
3T calamnsi juice
1T white sugar
2 stalks cilantro, stem thinly sliced
1-2 clove garlic, minced
2 pcs bird's eye chili (cili padi/siling labuyo), thinly sliced

Season beef with salt and black pepper. Brown the beef by grilling on both sides. Cut into bite size. Set aside. Mix all the dressing items. Mix in cooked beef and sliced veggies. Serve with sprinkles of cilantro.

Acknowledgement and a time for sharing: 
 A heartfelt thanks to Ey to Zee for 
this amazing appreciation.
I am truly grateful.
 Now, it is time to give back.
I'm passing this award to the blogs 
which carry rarest characteristics:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Be a real Barako with Baklava

A popular Baklava dish from Turkey I just made is something really inviting. You will man up like a real barako (Filipino slang for 100% man) because of this nutty sweet feat that can give you a biteful uplifting feeling.

Where to buy ingredients:
*Phyllo/filo sheets: In US, you can find in any Walmart branches. In Philippines, Santis branches has it.
*Rosewater: Any Indian/Middle Eastern/Halal stores. In Philippines, Assad Mini Mart in Makati and Manila. 

Have yourself yummmmy layers of Baklava

The preparation of Baklava requires you the prevention of drying up the phyllo sheets. To do this, you must put a moist towel covering the pastry while you prepare for baking.

1 pack phyllo/filo pastry
300ml rosewater
3pcs egg
600g chopped nuts (equal parts of walnuts, candied pili nuts, cashew, peanuts)
400g brown sugar
1cup honey
3T lemon juice
2 pcs cinnamon sticks
1T cinnamon powder


Preheat oven to 160C degrees. Brush phyllo sheet with egg wash (beaten eggs). Put a sheet on top of the brushed to make pastry thicker. Repeat the method to the rest of the sheets, set aside. Mix nuts, 1/2T  of cinnamon powder, and 100g brown sugar. Moisten the mixture with rosewater. Make a syrup by glazing lemon juice, honey, cinnamon stick, cinnamon powder, rosewater, water and the remaining brown sugar. Get  and rub one of the brushed pastry with a made glazing. Lay enough amount of nut mixture over the brushed sheet. Lay another brushed pastry on top. Rub again with glazing. Do this procedure until the stacks is 1.5-inch thick. Bake for 15-18mins. Remove from oven. Let it cool and cut the baklava into a diamond shape. Serve.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reminisce fun with Halaan (Clam)

When I was a kid, me and my playmates used to jump into the river and let the waves carried us to the sea. It was really enjoyable to do it over and over. As soon as we reached the shoreline, sometime during low tide, we dug in to find halaan (clam) and brought it home as our lunch.
A rejuvenating shore in Alluring Albay

Back in those days, my friend's mother always cooked those sea shells deliciously even though without any use of oyster sauce. The sauce was not available in the place we lived in (perhaps not popular). Her most common way of cooking was to sautee and stew it.
Dine and Crave for it!

With the halaan I made, I cooked it differently with a twist of an Asian touch. I did this dish to maximize the use of oyster sauce and suit local and foreign taste buds.

Halaan in Oyster sauce

50ml vegetable oil
1 small red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
2tsp ginger, minced
water, as needed
400g of halaan (clam), shells intact, cleaned
50ml water
2T oyster sauce
2 long chillies, red, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 long chillies, red, seeds not removed, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 soy sauce
1 cup kangkong (water crest) leaves

long chillies, red, seeds removed
spring onion
pan-dried onion

Sautee onion, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes over medium heat. Avoid browning. Add clams. Add water to produce a steam. Stir slowly and continuously until more liquid comes out from clams or its shells are opened. With the presence of liquid, season with oyster sauce, chillies, sugar and soy sauce. Stir to distribute flavor. Add in kangkong. Continue stirring until the vegetable is cooked and liquid is reduced. Garnish with red long chillies, spring onion, and pan-dried onion on top. Serve.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mango-Coconut Crepe a.k.a. Darar in 2012

Among the desserts I made, this crepe with fillings of caramelized young coconut and fresh ripe mango is my personal favorite because of its simplicity and tropical taste. The dish is also called Darar of Halal food that is mainly created for our Islam brothers and sisters.
Cherish your own delectable wrap with each bite

To give a little aromatic flick, I added cinnamon. If you don't have young coconut, you can also use old meat grated, provided, it is sweetened and still has the moisture factor. Additionally, it is important to use all-purpose flour for a smoother texture of the wrap.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1cup cornstarch
60ml vegetable oil
2pcs eggs
6 cups water

1 pc young coconut, grated
1 cup brown sugar
2 pcs ripe mango, thinly sliced
1 pinch cinnamon powder

food color of choice

In a bowl, put flour, oil, cornstarch, and egg. Slowly add in water and whisk mixture until runny consistency is achieved. Mix in food color. Strain the mixture. Create a crepe in a flat pan over low heat. In another pan, sweeten coconut with sugar and cinnamon. Using the crepe, roll in the caramelized coconut and sliced mango. Serve with honey.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yema de Color

For this upcoming New Year's Eve, I prepared this yema sweets in three different color as our dessert - red, green, and white.This is popular among Filipinos especially kids, they really love this. My 5-year old niece was begging for more this afternoon. "Uncle, I want another one , please."
I made this so decadent with sprinkles of nuts and raisins tidbits, something to chew after bites. Thanks for the blogger of Malli's Mints and Mimosas as the inspiration to this sweets. Because of that, her Holiday Mithruffles taught me that it is in fact the version of our yema served in different way. Usually, ours is wrapped in plastic like candy.

Here, however, i divided the mixture of milk, sugar and butter into three parts. I incorporated one type of food coloring to each portion so I had my green and red balls while I still had my delicious plain-looking yema. Enjoy!

Yema de color

1L fresh milk
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
4T Butter
3/4 cup peanuts, chopped
3/4 cup raisins, chopped

1/2 tsp food color (red or green)

In a pot, put fresh milk and sugar. Stir. Bring to boil. Reduce to low heat. Add in food color of choice. Keep stirring until solid forms using a ladle to avoid the burning or charring at the bottom of the pan. Add butter. Stir again until solid separates from the side of the pot. Turn off fire. Mix in 1/2 cup peanuts and 1/2 cup raisins. Let it cool. Form balls and roll them over peanuts or raisins. Serve.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nibble with Pork ceviche with Bitter gourd

A quick strong of a satisfied breath was made after I finished my pork ceviche with refreshing leaves of bitter gourd. It was stimulating indeed as it hit me 'big time' due to its tempting acidity and layer of spiciness.
Without applying any heat to my mixture, I felt like I don't want to risk serving my sumptuous ceviche. I will be guilty if someone were to engulf the meat. I then applied a prompt scorching heat without compromising the taste and our tummies' safety to fully enjoy it with ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves.

Pork ceviche with bitter gourd

180g pork meat, trimmed off fat and bones, 1cm cubed
1/2 cup or 140 ml vinegar (Datu Puti preferably)
1pc medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
20 pcs ampalaya (bitter gourd) leaves, sliced
1pc long red chilli, sliced
2tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a small bowl. Let the mixture stay for 30mins to 1 hour. Make sure the pork is fully-soaked. Serve. (For safety of ingestion: After marinating, transfer and heat the ceviche in a small pot over high heat while continuously stirring for 1 min or until meat changes its color. Serve.)
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