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Archive for the ‘food’ Category


It’s  one of those family gatherings that  we all enjoyed. It was a simple lunch with the kids to celebrate Mom’s 89th birthday. Nissa  is the photographer of the day and she has a new phone with a camera that is even better than some cameras in the market. Just love the  slow  mo app which she uses to take some videos of Nate.  Wish I could share them here.

We had roast  chicken,  pork barbecue, fiddlehead fern salad, pancit canton, gelatin and two kinds of chocolate cakes. Josef bought  a triple chocolate roll while Nissa had a small cake decorated  so Mom could blow her birthday candle.

Despite the heat, we all enjoyed the simple lunch. Nate and I played with his new Mr. Monster ball  He was not interested with his other toys. Instead he found my set of small fork and spoon  which we use for pickles and bite-size food. He was fascinated. Then he suddenly burst out “I worked at McDo for a week”.

“What did you learn”, I asked.

“Plenty”, he said.

He didn’t get the Best Crew Award which he earned last year  He was given a certificate of the “Best Dancer” instead. Knowing Nate, I really believe that he could dance. He has his own moves and style of dancing.

We munched on peanuts and cornik later. We skipped snacks.

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Not so long ago, we discovered an edible fern during our many visits to the wet market. In fact, I blogged about it before here. There are so many ways to prepare such. Blanching is one common way to prepare it or you can cook the young leaves in coconut cream.

Last Saturday, we chanced upon fresh leaves in the market.  I  made it into a  veggie salad by adding julienned  white onions, ginger, tomatoes and  ground pork. I blanched it first with hot water then added the ingredients together with the ground pork later. It tasted so good.

Fiddlehead fern

It is locally known as pako. It is not grown as vegetable but grows in the wild. Not all ferns are edible though so one should be familiar  with it.  It is a perfect side dish for grilled fish or pork.

 

 

 

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Yesterday  I  made a Tuyo Pasta for dinner using a bottle of Gourmet Tuyo which our neighbor gave us  the other  night. Tuyo  is a salted   dried fish (usually herring)  or what we call salinas fish. In the Philippines, tuyo is considered as a poor man’s food because  it is cheaper among the dried fish being sold in the market but it has come a long way since it is now used in several  recipes.  It could be fired plain  or  bottled as a gourmet meal with olive oil and black sliced olives.

Instead of linguine or spaghetti noodles I made use of macaroni pasta, one green  bell pepper and carrots.  Topped with grated cheese it is a yummy dish. You won’t need to add so much salt to the dish since tuyo is salty but it compliments the  macaroni pasta.

Tuyo Pasta

This is actually my first time to make  Gourmet Tuyo pasta since a bottle  is quite expensive. Mom and Josef loved it. I think it even tasted better than the Spanish sardines in oil which I usually use when I don’t want tomato sauce or ground pork/beef  in our pasta dishes.  (more…)

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I am not feeling pretty good.  Body malaise but I don’t have fever. I’ve been lazy  lately except for a brief time spent at the garden this morning. I have to re-pot some plants and plant one more head of pineapple. I saved it after  the  new year.  I have about seven heads now plus some ornamental ones.  I understand it would take about two years before they bear fruits and more than six months for them to mature. They are growing nicely here. Sipping a hot ginger lemon tea.

The weather here has been a bit erratic since the start of the new year. In the southern part of the country, they just had the first weather disturbance. Agaton  strengthened into a tropical storm before it exited the  country. Some areas are still flooded because of continuous rains.

Here in Manila, it is still cold at night and in the early morning but the sun shines all day now. I am grateful that we have longer nights than days.  Maybe we’ll have this fair weather until the end of February due to the Siberian winds.

We’ve put away the Christmas decor and the house is back to normal again. We still have some left-over ham and a few rolls of embutido inside the freezer.  Only the pomelo,  some oranges and apples are left of the fruits we  bought before New Year.  Thinking of what to prepare for lunch. I  remember telling you about the watermelon packet I found at the grocery store last week.  I used it for shrimp sinigang with camote tops (sweet potato)  gabi (taro root) and one eggplant.

Watermelon Sinigang

Wow, it is better than tamarind mix. One of these days, I will use watermelon slices.

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I’ve blogged about this before. There are some New Year traditions that is truly unique in our country. We got to have sweets  (any kind) pancit (Chinese noodles) for long life and of course the 12 fruits that represent the twelve months of the year.  We all prepare this for the traditional  Media Noche which is the New Year’s equivalent to our Noche Buena, the  Christmas Eve meal.  Add three or four  dishes of baked ham, baked macaroni, lumpiang Shanghai  (spring rolls), embutido and menudo.  The latter is a Spanish recipe which we inherited from  our ancestors just like embutido. Just prepared the spring rolls, they are ready for frying.  Wanna know how spring rolls would stay crispy for long? You put a little amount of bread crumbs on the wrapper before you finally roll it.  The embutido is ready for steaming.  We don’t prepare chicken meat during new year.

Splurged a little on twelve kinds of fruits. Believe me, they are more costly than before. Just went to the wet market this morning to buy all these.

 

I saw Japanese pears which are not normally in the market at any time of the year so I bought some too. Other round fruits which are locally grown abound in the market. Honey dew is also grown here and it is sweeter than  cantaloupe melon.  I didn’t buy grapes. I find them too sweet.  I wonder what the vendors would do with all those  fruits once January 1 is over.

This reminds me, I just bought watermelon sinigang mix  a few hours. I needed to buy more ingredients for my pasta dish so  I went to the supermarket this afternoon.  The first time I tasted sinigang with watermelon was a few years ago in a high-end restaurant  somewhere in Quezon City.  Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew which is sour  and savory. We normally use tamarind fruits to make it sour but  there are now so many variations of the  dish. You could also use guava to flavor it.  Pork, fish, shrimp could be cooked as sinigang. 

How do you spend the New Year?  There are designated places where they could use firecrackers to meet the new year but I   still see some households  with their stash of it.

 

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I don’t know how it came about but my son told me last night it was a challenge you have to try in stages. I mean “what?”

Anyway, last night he came home  with a pack of Korean  ramen which he cooked before we had our dinner. Earlier I prepared pork adobo for dinner.  Before we had dinner, he mixed a glass of  milk. I got curious.

“This is just number 2 Ma,”  he said. I actually tried tasting it a little but my tongue felt like fire. It was so hot.   The idea is you have to finish the whole  thing and the next challenge would be number 5 which means it is hotter.  The milk is supposed to temper the hot taste of the noodles. He just finished two spoonfuls then gave up.  We both laughed.

I like chili peppers when they are mixed  as ingredients to some Philippine recipes that we have here but that Korean ramen is the ultimate. I love spicy  food too but not that spicy.  So there is this Korean noodle challenge on YouTube. My gosh, I don’t envy those Koreans.

Son said when we finished dinner, “sayang ang P70 pesos”.  That small pack was P70 pesos?  Give me cash anytime 🙂

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I haven’t tasted this for quite sometime, and I mean the last time I had it was decades ago. Seldom do I see such flowers here in the city. I remember my lola (grandmother), who used to have this as a regular fare in the family dishes that she used to cook. She was hypertensive and it was through her that I learned of the curative effect of this medicinal plant.

Locally we call these flowers Katuray.

Locally  known as katuray, it has white and pinkish red flowers and are usually grown from seed.  It is also called Sesbania grandiflora or hummingbird tree and West Indian Pea. The flowers are best used in salads and are excellent source of calcium, iron and Vitamin B.

Escabeche is a wonderful dish.  I used slices of  fried mackerel. The tangy, slightly sweet sauce compliments the taste of these flowers.  Escabeche is cooked using vinegar, ginger, onions, garlic, a little sugar and salt and of course katuray flowers.

We call this Escabeche.

Give this a try, I promise it is delish.

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