Monday, June 15

Blame it on the a-alcohol: Fruit Cake

Fruit cakes are fast disappearing from most Filipinos' Christmas menu. When I was younger, there was always a fruit cake given as a gift every Christmas. I guess that was because I still lived with my parents in the province and most of their friends hold the tradition of fruit cake gift giving during Christmas. So with this fond memory, I thought of baking fruit cake not without some trepidation though for the reason that my daughter, the Artist, does not like food with alcohol.

Key ingredients were rum, dried tropical fruits, raisins and nuts. It turned out okay but I couldn't taste the rum! Turned out, I was supposed to wrap the fruit cake in cheese cloth soaked in the strained rum. Hay naku. Have to look for a better recipe next time.

Sunday, May 31

Pearly Shell: Kuhol and Halaan (Escargot and Clam)

Ginataang Kuhol (Escargot in Coconut Cream)

Halaan at Malunggay na Sabaw (Clam with Horseradish Leaves)

Seafood Pasta

Woke up early today to buy some shellfish for this post. There were plenty to choose from. But I chose clam (the hubby has been craving for halaan soup) and escargot. My husband cooked these three dishes. For Ginataang Kuhol: here are tips from the blog Bocaio "(1) before cooking, the snails should be left first in a pan full of water for a few days so they could spit out whatever they had previously eaten and (2) when they are ready to cook, the snails' bottoms are patted down with a heavy flat sandok (wooden spatula for serving rice) until they break; this is so the flesh comes out easily when cooked." After cleaning them, my husband cooked this in coconut milk and they were so delicious!

For the Halaan Sabaw: Clean the clams and boil in a pan of water with a piece of ginger. Discard all unopened ones. Bring the soup to a boil, then add malunggay leaves. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste. A very tasty soup indeed!

Finally, the Seafood Pasta: my husband cooked the seafood pasta with white wine, olive oil and of course, the clams. This is what the kids opted for, finding the escargot too tedious and exotic to eat.

Saturday, May 23

Fluffy: Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Sponge cake is a cake based on flour, sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder. Derivatives of the basic sponge cake include the American chiffon cake and the Latin American tres leches cake. (Wikipedia)

This light, airy cake gets its texture from beaten egg whites, which are folded into a fluffy mixture of beaten egg yolks and sugar. They get their leavening power entirely from eggs. Sponge cakes are further characterized by the fact that they do not contain shortening of any kind. The cakes can be variously flavored with anything from lemon zest to ground almonds. (All Receipes)

My daughter and I set off to make a simple sponge cake.  Considering that we are amateur in baking,  this turned out to be one very good fluffy sponge cake! On her part,  my daughter thoroughly enjoyed making the chocolate frosting, chocolate balls and circles and sprinkling chocolate tidbits on top of the cake. 

Saturday, May 16

Slice it Up!: Embutido Country Terrine

What is a terrine? To answer that, we must be able to define pate first. Pâté is generally used to refer to various elegant, well-seasoned ground-meat preparations. A pâté can be satiny-smooth and spreadable or, like country pâté, coarsely textured. It can be made from a finely ground or chunky mixture of meats (such as pork, veal, liver or ham), fish, poultry, game, vegetables, etc. Pâtés may be cooked in a crust, in which case they're referred to as pâté en croûte. They may also be cooked in a pork fat-lined container called a terrine (or any other similarly sized mold), in which case they're called pâté en terrine. Today the terms pate and terrine are often used interchangeably. From Epicurious. Com.

I got my inspiration for this week's theme from 80 Breakfasts' Country Terrine which was taken from Vogue Travel + Living. However, I used the ingredients of Embutido.
  • ham
  • ground lean pork
  • grated cheese
  • raisins
  • pickles
  • spanish paprika
  • worcestershire sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • onion peeled and chopped finely
  • tomato catsup
  • eggs
  • breadcrumbs
- In a bowl combine the chopped ham, ground pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, pickles, raisins, catsup, onion, paprika and worcestershire sauce. Season well.
- Line a 30cm x 11 cm x 10 cm terrine with baking paper.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared terrine. Cover with baking paper. Wrap the whole terrine in aluminum foil.
- Place the covered terrine in a roasting pan and pour warm water until halfway up the side of the terrine. Place in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Slice, garnish and serve.

I ran out of vienna sausage and chorizo bilbao but you can include these too.  I like cooking the embutido using the terrine. The possibilities are many.  Bron Marshall's website narrates how she layered her Pork Terrine with small sliced red plums.  And once cooked, she garnished it with sage and brushed it with plum jam for that extra cooking in the oven until the top became golden.  Mine? I dressed it up with cheese sauce but three hungry kids can no longer wait for the camera.  

Sunday, May 10

Over the Top: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Open faced sandwich is my entry to this week's theme "over the top"of Lasang Pinoy Sundays. My topping consists of bacon, cheese and tomato.  Spread softened butter over the top of bread. Put bacon and cheese and then bake until sandwich is golden brown. Yum yum! 

Saturday, May 2

Shades of Spring and Summer: Thai Pomelo Salad and Pomelo Granita

Thai Pomelo Salad

Pomelo Granita

Thai Pomelo Salad. Had a meeting in Davao City last Tuesday. And I knew that when in Davao, I just have to have fruits and seafood. So I ate a lot of grilled squid and fish and drank fresh mango juice. And since it was just an overnight stay, we only had time to do quick buying. From Samal Island, the nearest market was Agdao Market. I decided to bring back to Manila one box (8 kilos) of pomelos.

What to prepare? I decided to do a Thai Pomelo Salad (from the Marketman). Basic seasonings were: fish sauce, dried shrimp, lime juice, chili powder and palm or brown sugar. It was simply good! Especially when paired with something fried, in our case, fried chicken.

Pomelo Granita. In our house we were already preparing granita a long time ago, but didn't have a name for it. We would make ice candy from fresh fruit juice and it would not freeze like ice. Afterwards, we smashed it and ate it like ice cream. Now granita has become popular; it is quick and easy and definitely a summer treat! Just puree pomelo, add sugar syrup and pour into shallow pan. Freeze. Scrape and stir about three times at more or less one hour intervals to loosen it up. Sarap!

Sunday, April 26

Swirl and Twirl: Tamagoyaki

I love Japanese food. Tamagoyaki or rolled omelet is the Japanese's omelet; it is sweetish and good. Most importantly, it has swirls and twirls! I never thought I would end up with egg as my post for this week's theme. My first inclination was pasta, then candy and then chocolate icing that would swirl and twirl. But when I came across this recipe at the Rasa Malaysia website, I thought this would be an opportunity to make something new.

Without a tamagoyaki pan (square pan), this is difficult to do because the rolling of the omelet takes place inside the pan! I didn't have a tamagoyaki pan so I just made do. Carefully struggled to roll it and cut off the edges afterwards. Fortunately, I have a sushi mat where you leave the rolled omelet to stand for a few minutes. So there! Tamagoyaki for breakfast!


3 tablespoon dashi stock or the same amount of water and a pinch of dashi-no-moto
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
6 large (US extra large) eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil


Mix the dashi stock or water with dashi-no-moto with mirin, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Add to the beaten eggs and stir well. Heat the omelet pan over medium heat. Soak a paper towel in a little oil and wipe the pan to grease it.

Pour in some egg mixture and tilt the pan to coat evently. When the omelet starts to set, roll it up towards you using a pair of chopsticks or a spatula. Keeping the rolled omelet in the pan and push it back to the farthest side from you. Oil the empty part of the pan with the paper towel again. Again, pour in some egg mixture into the empty side, lift up the first roll with chopsticks and let the egg mixture runs underneath. When it looks half set, roll the omelet around the first roll to make a single roll with many layers. Repeat the process until all egg mixture is used up.

Move the roll gently onto a sushi rolling mat covered with a clear sheet of plastic wrap. Roll the omelet firmly into the mat and leave to stand rolled for 5 minutes. Cut the rolled omelet into 1 inch slices crossways." (Rasa Malaysia)