Thursday, April 30, 2009

The rains have come early this year. My body, specifically my bones, joints, muscles hurt when it's cold. You'll know I'm not feeling well when I'm asking for soup. So what better way to soothe my aching body and spirit than with a hot bowl of homemade soup.

I don't eat instant noodles. I can't digest it. I don't know why. So when I want noodles, I make them from scratch, like this one. It's quite easy to make.

I just boiled some chicken breast fillet. Regular cut chicken will do because you'd have to remove the meat anyway and you can use the bones to make a nice chicken broth.

Cook the noodles according to package directions. I used Vietnamese egg noodles. I didn't have chicken broth the night I made this and this wasn't planned so I just mixed some stuff together for the soup.

I boiled a few cups of water then added chopped garlic and onions. I like them chopped because I want them in my soup and I would like to be able to eat them and not discard them like what we normally do when making broth. Remember, garlic is good for your blood pressure and onions are antioxidants.

I then added some carrots and siomai to the soup. I also added the sliced up chicken breast. For flavor, I splashed some fish sauce, light soy sauce (about a tablespoon) and a little liquid seasoning. I also added about half a sachet of Maggi Magic Sarap. You must think that the soup is already too salty at this point. Nope. I put a lot of water because we love soup at home - slurping (not sipping) hot soup, that is. Lastly, i dropped some bok choy into the soup. At this point the stove is already turned off. The heat of the soup is enough to cook the bok choy.

To assemble, just put some noodles in a bowl, place some siomai, veggies and chicken then pour the hot soup. You can top this with spring onions and some crunchy garlic bits. I served this with a soy sauce-calamansi dip for the siomai but MB even poured some on his soup. I guess he really likes the salty-tart flavor with the soup.

Definitely my personal Nirvana in a bowl.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If you can remember, I only bought 2 Tanigue fillets last Saturday. This is my second take on tanigue steak.

I rubbed the fillet with the juice of 1 calamansi then let it sit for about 5 minutes. I then brushed it with oyster sauce and let it marinate overnight. The next morning, I chopped up some garlic and let them cook with the tanigue. I brushed the tanigue with the leftover oyster sauce which I splashed with a little sake and mirin. I also sprinkled pepper on the fillet while cooking. I topped it with the cooked garlic, some chopped spring onions and more bottled garlic bits, the crunchy ones.

I also had some sauteed bok choy and carrots packed for lunch. As much as possible, I would like to eat a vegetable dish everyday if not every meal.

What's the verdict? I like the first version better. This was good but not great. The oyster sauce didn't seep through as much as I'd like. Maybe because it was thicker compared to the first sauce that I used. Next time, I'll experiment with a different combination of sauces.
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We still had some leftover adobo flakes so I decided to "recycle" them for breakfast. Actually, I told MB to stop eating so that I can make adobo rice! Heehee...

This is another simple recipe that makes use of your leftover viand. I sauteed some garlic in oil until light brown then added the rice. I used cold rice this time as we are having a lot of leftover rice for the past few days now. I then poured some vinegar-liquid seasoning-worcestershire sauce sauce on the rice then mixed them until all the grains were coated with the sauce. I then added the adobo flakes and mixed, mixed, mixed.

I served this with fried egg and oh, boy, we were so full that Monday morning that I didn't even notice when it was lunch time already.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You may be wondering where the baon posts are, well the weekend came and went and so here's Monday's baon.

I'm not always enthusiastic about cooking especially when my disease kicks in. Other times I'm just simply lazy.

I was feeling a bit tired but I still wanted to eat lunch that I cooked instead of buying mediocre food outside the office so the best solution is - fried rice!

I just sauteed some garlic and onions, tossed some chopped up bologna I think, then added a little water and let it boil. When it was boiling I put the shrimp heads and mashed them up to get the essence. I removed the shells and heads then gave them to the babies, as usual. I then added the corn and carrots and let them cook for a while. I tossed the broccoli florets and the shrimps then added my light soy sauce-brown sugar-sesame oil mixture. I then tossed in the rice and mixed until all grains were coated.

I cooked this really fast because it was all going to the microwave the next day so maybe it was still a bit undercooked(?) I also packed some light soy sauce + sesame oil as dipping sauce for the shrimps. Was it good? We brought home empty Lock & Lock's.
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I got this recipe from Pinoy Cook. You can visit her site to know more but I'll still give you the simple steps of making this Southern dish.

I seasoned the chicken wings with salt and pepper then soaked them in milk for about 2 hours or so. I really can't say marinated, can I?

I then mixed 1 tablespoon flour with 1 tablespoon cornmeal then added some more salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken wings in the flour mix then fry. It's that simple!

I don't like eating fried dishes alone and so to get on with the corn theme, I decided to make some cream of corn soup. The problem was, I forgot to buy cream, thinking that I still had some left in the ref. So, with an empty hand and racing against time (dinner is coming soon), I decided to just use the canned corn - cream style, water and an egg.

Luckily, the corn was thick enough for soup but the end product was too thick for my taste. Not everything I cook is great and some don't turn out the way I hope them to be. Migraine Boy liked this soup though. I can tell because he finished his bowl of soup and I only ate half of mine. The flavor was good but I didn't like the texture plus the corn was too sweet. I haven't tasted corn that sweet. They must have added something to make it that sweet.

Will I make this soup again? Hmmm... Maybe but with a few adjustments and additions. Note on the Southern Chicken Wings, I didn't like the taste and texture of the meat inside. It was cooked but again, I'm used to boiling my chicken first before frying. I didn't boil the chicken this time, much to my disappointment. Migraine Boy had a good dinner though and that was enough for me to be satisfied with this meal.
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If you read my previous post regarding herbed rice, you might have seen the amount of rice I made was enough for 4 people or so. Again, armed with the philosophy of no waste, I planned our Sunday lunch around the herbed rice. I've been cooking herbed rice for the past few years now and have been experimenting with different versions. Through all those versions, one thing's for sure - I love herbed rice with adobo flakes.

I have also been experimenting with adobo for quite some time now but this is the first time that I made adobo flakes from scratch, meaning adobo flakes is my ultimate goal and not adobo today then adobo flakes for the leftovers.

I boiled some chicken breast fillet to get rid of some of its fat and also the raw smell. I don't like the smell of blood and raw meat, fish, etc. I always boil my chicken first before cooking it to ensure that I don't taste anything weird. You can always skip this step.

I boiled this for a few minutes then boiled it again in a mixture of vinegar, liquid seasoning, water and 2 sachets of Maggi Magic Sarap. The recipe said to boil the meat for 1 hour. I only boiled this for a few minutes and added more than a cup of the recommended liquid in the recipe but it still burned!!!

The good thing was I was able to salvage it with only a little damage. Only the underside of the meat was burned and just a small area so I just cut that off. I then proceeded to tear the meat up in little pieces and fry them in lots of oil, garlic and pepper. I also added some bay leaves for the authentic adobo flavor.

MB loved it so much that we had to go to Walter Mart in the afternoon to buy more chicken breast fillets to make our supplies last for the whole week. Aaaahhh, comfort food.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

I love seafood but for some reason I have a hard time preparing fish dishes. I only fry them or make fish & chips. Last Saturday I saw some nice looking tanigue steaks at SM supermarket so I decided to buy 2 slices.

I didn't want to make the usual buttered tanigue steak and so I experimented with the flavors I have on hand.

First I marinated the fish in the juice of 2 calamansi (calamondin) for about 30 minutes. I mixed 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce (I use Kikkoman), 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, half a tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce and some pepper.

Next, heat a small amount of oil in a shallow pan. Brush both sides of the fish with the mixture and place on pan when the oil has heated through. Continue brushing the fish on both sides. Be careful as the oil splatters when the sauce comes in contact with it. I had a few splatters on my arm but didn't mind because the smell of the fish cooking was mouth-watering.

Lastly I garnished it with some sliced leeks. It was sweet, salty and spicy. Just the way I like it. Migraine Boy loved it as well. We shared just one slice. (That's how tipid we are) = )

I also served some herbed rice which is very easy to make. Heat some olive oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add some cold rice and mix until the grains are separated. Then add some butter, just enough to coat the rice and mix some more. Add herbs of your choice. I used oregano, basil, thyme and nutmeg. I wanted to add some fresh parsley but thought that the flavor would compete with the tanigue so I didn't. Add some pepper for that added kick and that's it! We had a wonderful dinner while watching 07-Ghost.
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I've always loved palitaw. I know it's very simple to make but I don't know why I haven't tried making my own yet.

Last week our lawyer was eating palitaw and so I thought of making one (finally!). I Googled the recipe and I was so happy to learn that my rice flour would be put to some good use (again, finally!) I bought a pack of rice flour thinking that I would make puto but until now I still haven't made some. = (

I followed the recipe I found and here's what I did. No substitutions, etc. as this is my first time making it.

I mixed 2 cups rice flour with 3/4 cups water. I actually added about 1-2 tablespoons more as the recipe said it should form a dough. Then I took a small portion, rolled it into a ball then flattened it using my palms. I have small hands, perfect for the classic palitaw shape.

Drop the palitaw in boiling water one by one. Be careful not to overcrowd them. When they float scoop them up and plunge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Dry with lots of paper towels.

Mix some grated niyog and sugar. You can also add some nice toasted sesame seeds for that added flavor. I ran out of sesame seeds so we had to settle for the niyog and sugar mix. You can sprinkle the mixture on top of the palitaw to serve as a "topping" or you can roll them in the mixture which was what I did.

This recipe yielded 14 pieces of palitaw. Estimated cost is Php20-25.

It was fun making this and we ate it while doing the laundry. We had enough for 3 persons. Even the cats liked it! Next time I'll try making puto.
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This was supposed to have been up yesterday but I was having some problems with the HTML coding of blogspot. So anyway, I'm re-typing this for the nth time.

To simplify your life even more, I will be posting a weekly grocery list consisting of ingredient that I will be using for the week's meals and baons. I suggest that you learn to substitute and experiment with ingredients to fit your budget and taste. The ingredients I buy will not always be exact and sometimes there will be missing ingredients from the list which I will have to use later on during the week. I don't plan my meals. I just cook whatever I feel like eating. So how do I figure out my grocery list? I also get whatever feels right. = )

Without further ado, here's this week's grocery list with corresponding price:

Meats
0.328 kg Chicken breast fillet P55.76
6 pcs Chicken wings P56.84

(Please note that I do not buy nor cook pork. It's not a religion thing. It's a health thing. The only pork products I can tolerate are ham, bologna, salami and siomai. My meat list only includes chicken and beef)


Seafood
2 fillets Tanigue P134.86
18 pcs White shrimp P146.16

Vegetables
1 head Cabbage P17.68
1 bunch Spring onions P8.56
1 bag Taiwan pechay P8.80
3 pcs Carrots P29
1 bunch Leeks P13.35
1 bag Parsley P8.30
1 bag Tomatoes P34.85
1 tray Young corn P11.50

Canned
1 can Corn Cream Style P25.55
1 can Button mushrooms P18.40
1 can Whole corn kernels P24.60
1 can Corned beef P44.95

Prepared/Pre-Cooked
1 tray Siomai P102
1 pack Kikiam P25.20

Others
1 bag Grated niyog P20
1 tetra pack Fresh milk P24.05
1 sm bottle Hoisin sauce P55.15
half a loaf Whole wheat bread P34
1 pack Vietnamese egg noodles P36.30
2 packs Vermicelli P6.60 (each)
1 pack Whole wheat tortillas P81.50

Total 1,030.56

The above list will cover breakfast for 2 persons, baon for 2 persons and dinner for 2-3 persons. That is, if you eat like us. = ) This is goof for approximately 1 week.

My Kitchen/Pantry/Ref Essentials or What You Will Always Find in my House
basil, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, Spanish paprika, chilli, bottled garlic, black peppermill grind
garlic
onions
sea salt, iodized salt & pepper
spring onions
leeks
chili-garlic sauce
soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce (patis), bagoong, Maggi Magic Sarap, Maggi Savor (classic & calamansi), sukang Pinakurat from Iligan, light soy sauce, mirin, oyster sauce
cornstarch, flour, panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
achuete
pasta varieties
catsup (tomato & banana), sweet & sour sauce, sweet chili sauce
sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil
cooking sake, dashi (new), kecap manis, mirin, oyster sauce
butter, cream cheese, orange juice, milk, ice tea, Mountain Dew (sometimes), cream, mustard, eggs, black olives
Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese (Kraft), quickmelt cheese
ham, salami or bologna
apples & oranges
white & brown sugar
rice (of course!)breading mix for days when I'm too tired to cook
Last but not the least... Chocolates!

Now that you know what I like, I think you'll have a pretty good idea of the dishes that I will serve in the future. What about you, what are your kitchen must-haves?

Addendum: I bought more chicken breast fillet, about the same amount yesterday as Migraine Boy loved the adobo flakes I cooked for lunch
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Since wasting food in our house is frowned upon, we usually eat leftovers from dinner for breakfast. Here's an example of that.

I cooked spicy chili-garlic shrimp for dinner the other night for a quick dinner. Just saute some garlic and onions in a pan. Then I added a little water, let it boil then added the shrimp heads and shell. When the heads are cooked I mashed them up a little to get the shrimp essence (as Super Chef Mao calls it) then discarded these to my babies' mouths. Hehe.. They love shrimp and no, they don't get allergies from it. They don't like the small suaje though.
Add the peeled shrimps next, with tails still intact and cook for a few seconds then add soy sauce. The soy sauce I used was a lot and I mean a lot! Maybe I was just really tired that night. Don't do the same thing! Then put some chili-garlic paste which is available in the supermarket. A small bottle costs around Php48. I used about a teaspoon of this because we like our noodles to have some extra kick in it. Add more water then it boil. Add the noodles. I don't like cooking the noodles separately as I want it to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Cook until done then season with pepper and garnish with sliced leeks.

If you're wondering what those white things are, they are ----- tortillas! I still have 2 pieces in the freezer and no bread or something to pair the noodles with so I decided to heat the tortillas and cut them up in quarters. Guess what, it turned out to be really good because the tortilla was bland and the noodles were salty. My only comment is, it was bitin! I was already hungry at 9 am!

About 100-120 pesos for the original recipe which was good for dinner for two then breakfast for two but you have to serve another side dish for breakfast to make it more filling.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Here's what I did with the veggies. Melt some butter in a pan then toss the carrots first for about a minute or so then add the sliced beans. Season with salt and pepper and thyme or any herbs that you like then that's it! Simple, no? I only cooked this for very short time as I will be nuking this later in the microwave. I still want my veggies to be crispy later.

I try to prepare our baon at night so that I can still get some sleep as I will still have to prepare breakfast the following day.

Also shown in the picture is my 88-peso chopping board from Japan Home Center. This is quite a steal as this is only my second one. On the side is the blade of my ever reliable cleaver. Yes, you got that right - a cleaver! I don't use a chef's knife for preparing dishes. I use a cleaver. Probably because Mao of the anime Cooking Masterboy used one too and all of his dishes turned out to be super!

Estimate cost is 25 pesos for the side veggies which is good for 2 with some leftover for the cats to munch on (my cats eat veggies) and 6o to 70 pesos for the chicken tomato rice, enough for our packed lunch and about 2 cups leftover for dinner. Not bad eh?

Cooking your own baon can save you lots of money and you can be sure of the cleanliness and quality of the food you put in your mouth.
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Navel oranges cost Php16.50 at Landmark Supermarket so there's no excuse for you not to get your daily vitamin C straight from the source. You can even share one with a loved one.
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I don't like wasting food. So I make sure that everything in my ref or pantry gets cooked/used before they spoil. As the week is almost up, so are my supplies. Last night I only found 1 piece of tomato, 2 pieces of chicken breast fillet and a handful of beans and carrots in my ref. And oh, some dying stalks of parsley. I still had one more "baon day" to go and so I experimented with the ingredients. I don't like eating the usual stuff for baon such as tocino, longganisa, hotdog, (all of which I don't eat except for chicken tocino which I have learned to make recently), etc. I try to put a little creativity, imagination and of course health points to our packed lunches.

Here's Chicken Tomato Rice inspired by Almon Marina's rice pilaff. Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes in achuete oil. The reddish oil gives the rice a nice color. You can't see it in the picture because of bad lighting. Cut up the chicken breast fillet into bite size portions, season with salt and pepper then throw in the pan. = ) Add the rice and mix, mix, mix. We didn't have cold rice so I settled with the day old rice - rice that has been cooked in the morning then made into this in the evening. I seasoned the rice with more pepper and some maggi savor. Lastly, I took out all the dead parsley and chopped up the nice ones and sprinkled them on the rice. The rice turned out a nice yellow shade.

I'll show you what I did to the veggies next.
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Yesterday's breakfast included oranges. I just slice one orange into half them slice them again into small pieces. it's much easier to eat this way than large wedges.

Some interesting facts about oranges:
1. The orange is a hybrid of an ancient cultivated origin possibly between pomelo and tangerine
2. The orange is a type of berry
3. Oranges originated in Southeast Asia
4. There are 4 varieties of oranges - Persian, Navel, Blood and Valencia
5. "A single mutation in 1820 in an orchard of sweet oranges planted at a monastery in Brazil yielded the navel orange"
6. This mutation causes the orange to develop a secondary orange at the base of the original fruit
7. It is called such because from the outside it looks like, yep, you guessed it, a human navel.
8. And of course, the Philippine Orange is known as Dalandan

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_(fruit)
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Breakfast is one of (if not) the most neglected meals of the day. Well, not in my house. We always make sure that we have a full stomach before we face the day's challenges and I always make sure that I feed Migraine Boy before he leaves for work.

Today's breakfast is quite simple - scrambled eggs, ham slices and blueberry loaf slice from Starbucks courtesy of mom, sliced into half for sharing.

The scrambled eggs only contained garlic, onions and tomatoes. 2 eggs, 1 tomato, 2 garlic cloves and 1/4 of a small onion.
I served some orange slices with this. I always make it a point to add some fruit or juice to breakfast.

This meal costs approximately 100 pesos and is good for 2 persons.
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