Showing posts from August, 2008

Presto Pasta Night # 78: Sardines Linguine with Capers

My entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Night veers away from any pasta sophistication. It speaks of simplicity, hotness and subtlety. It’s your typical “just a matter of minutes meal”. When I woke up this morning hurriedly preparing for work at the same time tied with the responsibility of leaving the kids with yummy breakfast item, a picture of Sardines Linguine immediately crossed my mind. It is one pasta dish that perfectly fits my morning fix. After a quick check at the pantry and a swift confirmation that all the necessary ingredients are there, I decided to have this dish for our breakfast today. Moments later, I am already plating the pasta even before the clock calls me for work.

Let me share with you my Sardines Linguine with Capers, mildly spiced and hot but scrumptious at the same time. The salty notes of capers and the juicy character of tomatoes make a good marriage of flavours. The tasty Spanish Style Sardines created its distinct appeal. Overall, it’s scrummy and fuss fre…

Eat All You Can Restaurants, worry or worthy?

Quite a long time ago, I received through an e-mail a list of restaurants in the Philippines that are offering an "eat all you can dining experience". Buffets in many restaurants are increasingly becoming popular these days so much so that we often find it difficult to choose among the many options. Here in the South, there are a number of restaurants that joined this trend. In the Paseo de Sta. Rosa compound, in particular, Poquito Mas and Cabalen compete in luring the hungry crowds. Poquito Mas offers an international lunch buffet on weekdays and Mexican dinner buffet on weekends. Cabalen on the other hand, carries in its name the banner dishes of the province of Pampanga. It offers an assortment of Kapampangan Cuisine cooked in many different ways such as fried, "gata" (cooked in coconut milk), grilled, sauted, fire roasted (e.g. lechon) etc. Likewise, the foods/dishes come in various forms. Fish, vegetables, meat, poultry, some rice delicacies and sweets abound…

Tuna Pizza (A DIY Pizza)

With the fast phased lifestyle many of us are living, short and quick fix meals are highly in demand these days. Most parents like us or homemakers in particular, are time-strapped yet the desire to give our family yummy treats and scrumptious meal is still ever burning. We all require convenience but at the same time we want our food to have our signature touch into it. For this reason, the need to bridge the gap between well laboured meals and instant foods became so evident. This Tuna Pizza recipe, a DIY (do-it-yourself) Pizza is an example of various food solutions for that specific desire. All you need to do is assemble, add some creativity and you're on your way to your own exciting, gastronomic creation. Apart from that, preparing DIY recipes such as this is a good bonding activity for family and friends. What could be more exciting than preparing your own food and relishing huge servings of good laughs in between? It is said that all good things in life are enjoyed best wh…

Taste Throwdown # 2: Cinnamon Cake with Pili Nut

This is the second post for the Taste Throwdown category of this blog. It's this blog's weekly event adapted from Bobby Flay's Food Network show. Check out my initial post about it here. I'm dreaming big about Taste Throwdown. I'd like to see it grow as a food bloggers' event soon. I'm planning to open it to the foodies out there who love to challenge the passionate "Cooks" in them and want to share their culinary gifts. I hope I can design the mechanics properly and roll it out before long. I'll make an announcement when it's done. Meanwhile, let me share with you my take on the recipe of the Coffee Cake preceding this particular post.
Last week, we were again generously gifted with lots of Pili Nuts from the province of Bicol. Incidentally, the husband has long been requesting for a baked goodie but this time around it was specified to be a Cake. A Cake! I repeated to myself. I’ve never tried making any of this kind at home. I would love …

Shrimp Linguine with Green Olives & Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

I have two mini cookbooks now frequenting our kitchen counter very often. Surprisingly, even my young tots are busy perusing these books, each spotting his/her own choice of food for request. Simultaneously, I hear cute pleads echoing through out the entire house "mommy, gawa ka nito, mommy gusto ko bake ka nito". Later, these culinary petitions made my weekends busily spent in the kitchen. Perfect Italian and Gifts from the Kitchen both by Parragon are great foodie companion. They are affordable, handy and rich in delectable dishes to prepare at home. The following recipes were taken from these books but I added some twists to suit the flavor to our palate more.
Shrimp Linguine with Green Olives
What you need: 400g linguine, 1/2 cup green olives, 250 g shrimps (shell removed and deveined), 4 small tomatoes (diced), 500g italian spaghetti sauce, 1 small onion (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp ground dried basil leaves, salt and pepper…

Pampanga's Best Halo-Halo(s)

When we had a Pampanga Taste Trek some time ago, one of the many great food finds we stumbled upon at this culinary haven, is Halo-halo. The province claims of creamy, rich and tasteful versions of this luscious dessert/snack. If you search Wikipedia, you'll find that Halo-halo is described there as “a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl”. With its recent commercialization and move to go onto the mainstream market, Razon’s currently tops this food category. When I had my first experience of its Halo-halo in Guagua, Pampanga, it easily got an 8 out of 10 sensory rating. It’s made of finely shaved ice crystals with macapuno, langka, leche flan and milk. Taste wise, it’s very creamy and milky. The overall taste is not overpowering with just the right amount of sweetness therefore, you can easily consume one serving. This version's advantage is its use of…

THE FASTAURANT (The Italian Fastaurant by Gusto Italiano)

I already had a number of posts on the booming complex of Paseo de Sta. Rosa in the South. And like I said, its growth is unstoppable particularly the chain of restaurants to feast into. Very recently, another newbie has arrived. The Fastaurant by Gusto Italiano opened its spacious dining establishment and brought in an assortment of Italian Cuisine in the South. Barely a week old, everything about the restaurant speaks of its infancy in the Paseo de Sta. Rosa household. From the menu card to the ambiance, down to the foods being offered, you can see that most are still in the works. Nonetheless, the basic elements in fine dining are there. It has a very welcoming atmosphere (especially from the owners) and a fairly fast service. Four out of Five Spoons there. On the subject of their Italian fare, my colleagues and I have mixed evaluations. Generally, we find their food range still quite limited. There are only 3 types of salads and soups to decide on. Fortunately, my personal choice…

Tokwa't Baboy with Tausi (Tofu & Pork with Black Beans)

Tokwa to Pinoys in the Philippines, Tofu to others, Bean Curd to literally translate it, is a very popular and widely used food ingredient in Filipino Cuisine. Philippines had its own share of Chinese culture and its influence transcends all the way to our plate. That's why, enormous dishes of Chinese origin typically frequents our dining table. Tofu in particular, comes with a variety of delightful chows. If you ask Pinoys (Filipinos) to name one popular local appetizer, without a doubt Tokwa't Baboy (Tofu and Pork) will be the top of mind. It's a dish typically made of strips of fried tofu and pork, bathed in soy sauce and vinegar added with spices like onion and garlic. Another favorite of this kind is Tokwa't Baboy with Tausi (Tofu & Pork with Black Beans). The manner of its preparation or cooking depends on ones own liking. In our case, as taught by my aunt, we like our version to be sweet and generously garnished with Kinchay (Chinese Celery) and spring onion…

Presto Pasta Nights #75: Chicken Fettucini with Creamy Tomato Sauce

In view of breakfast items at home, we (my kids in particular) rarely have rice or bread. We usually dig into a plate of pasta or noodle dish. If you’ll ask me why we do not have the typical Pinoy breakfast plate of rice and viand or pandesal with spreads, it’s simply because my kids rule in this particular meal occasion. Also, noodles or pasta dish excites them more than the former options. I consistently stick into this morning meal repertoire because I think noodles or pasta offers more variety in taste and texture. It answers the need to break the satiation factor that is common to kids when it comes to eating. With the same base you can alter the taste and ingredients pretty unbounded.
So for Presto Pasta Night # 75, I'm sharing a recipe that both my toddlers love. Apparently, each has a different preference of sauce for a pasta. The eldest likes the red based pasta and the youngest hearts the cream based one. To satisfy them both, I came up with this fusion of both types whi…

Taste Throwdown # 1: Tilapia Fish Cake with Sayote Tops & Boiled Egg

I am an avid fan of celebrity chef Bobby Flay's Food Network show called "Throwdown with Bobby Flay". It's a TV program where Flay challenges a Cook of a famous dish or food in a surprise competition hence, the name "throwdown". It's exciting and inspiring at the same time. I always look forward to how Flay will make his own version different and better than the original. Somehow, in someway I see my self in this celebrity chef. Almost always before I try on a particular recipe, I tend to evaluate it first. I scrutinize the list of ingredients, the manner of preparation and plating. These are essential elements that will make or break any food item in as far as its general acceptability is concerned. Besides, we all want to maximize our resources and time for cooking. Thus, it goes without saying that the food must be all worth it.

Inspired by the concept of the show, I thought of adopting it in the blog. And so the first post on Taste Throwdown Our Tast…

Bakwan (Indonesian Vegetable Fritters)

Last week, an Indonesian colleague arrived from Thailand to work with us. Before she left, we teased her to prepare something authentic in Indonesian Cuisine for an afternoon nibble. Gladly, she yielded to our request. Armed with the necessary ingredients, kitchen tools and a blazing Indonesian spirit, she quickly made our office's pantry smelling with fried, pleasantly browned, crunchy notes. The avid epicures in us were all awakened. We can no longer contain our curiosity and craving. When finally the first batch landed onto the plate, we eagerly dig into it and delightfully rests this crunchy, nicely browned vegetable fritters called Bakwan. It tastes sweet at the same time savoury. The natural sweetness of the vegetables particularly corn, carrots and spring onions lingered all through out rounded with the fried note thus, giving it a complementing savoury twist. Bakwan is a typical Indonesian fritter that can be made with shrimps or vegetables. This is a very flexible di…

Peanut and Raisin Cookies (using Cheding's Peanut of Iligan)

My husband’s colleague who went for a vacation in Cagayan de Oro brought us plenty of Cheding’s Peanuts, the pride of Iligan City. When I went to Mindanao, I remember buying a lot of this particular peanut brand as pasalubong (gift). We love Cheding’s Peanuts for its nice roasted character, strong peanut aroma and mild, creamy taste. We can’t resist munching it over and over. It’s a “sige – sige” experience, once you start you can’t stop. Because we have lots of it, I was enthused to create good chows out of it. From stir-fried egg noodles to snacks and desserts, I was busy sprinkling it onto our dishes. Here’s our Peanut and Raisin cookie with no less than Cheding’s Peanut as main ingredient. Grab a mug of your favourite drink and voila! you have a perfect snack pair. A heart-warming book is all you need to complete a relaxing treat.

Peanut and Raisin Cookies What you need:

1 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup margarine, 1/2 cup whi…