Stuffing a duck with aromatics

What the English equivalent of the word malansa (or malangsa) is, I have no idea. But it is the Filipino adjective used to describe anything that has a strong smell. But it is more than that, really. Any food that is malansa is likely to be a cause of allergy for those prone to it. Hence, fish is malansa, some more than … (more)


A surprisingly good eggplant and tomato pate

Yesterday at CASA Veneracion was all about pasta and a lighted bottle. The pasta was made with a "mistake" and the lighted bottle was borne out of boredom. What mistake? At the Salcedo Market last weekend, I bought a jar of tomato eggplant pâté for Sam. I was so excited to buy something vegetarian for her that I skipped … (more)


Speedy’s picadillo

This is an updated version of recipe that I originally published on April 26, 2003. In Spanish, picadillo is a ground-or-minced-meat-and-tomato dish. The version I grew up with is a soup. My father (who was a really fantastic cook) used to cook picadillo with either potatoes or chayote, depending on which vegetable was … (more)


Kaffir lime: racial slur and recipes

Not only has our kaffir lime tree grown to tremendous height and breadth, it is also generously bearing fruits. I cook with kaffir lime leaves extensively, I've even made simple syrup with them but I've always thought that kaffir lime -- the fruit itself -- was not edible. What a terrible mistake on my part. I just … (more)


The secret to the tastiest La Paz batchoy

At 21 Restaurant in Bacolod, between mouthfuls of noodles, meat and chicharon, we were entertained with the story of how the restaurant came to be. A mere hole in the wall of a residential house, 21 Restaurant grew in fame and fortune on the strength of one dish -- La Paz batchoy. The secret of the noodle dish, we were … (more)


Salcedo Weekend Market: some hits but mostly misses

The Salcedo Weekend Market has been around for years but we've never gone there until yesterday. Despite the raves, there was always some excuse not to go -- it was too far, traffic on Saturdays are always horrendous because there is no truck ban, getting up before noon is next to impossible... But a few days earlier at … (more)