Pork braised in balsamic vinegar with buttered vegetables

After going on a Parts Unknown marathon last month, I re-read Kitchen Confidential. Toward the end of the book, Anthony Bourdain advices home cooks on how to give dishes a professional look. Metal rings to give plated food height, chiffonaded parsley, etcetera, etcetera.

I thought about that while preparing lunch yesterday. I never really learned to use metal rings properly (I often use them as cookie cutters) but a sprinkling of fresh herbs has become quite a standard at home since we grow herbs in the garden so we have a constant supply. I thought about how height can give plated food a kind of panache so I decided that lunch would be a stack of rice, meat and poached egg surrounded by colorful vegetables in various shapes and textures. This was the result. (more)


Pork, sweet potatoes and peas with yogurt and honey sauce

Maybe I've cooked something like this before. Maybe I've posted a recipe for it and it's in the archive although where and what exactly the title of the post is, I cannot recall at the moment. Maybe. But meat and vegetables with a sauce made with a mixture of yogurt and ... (more)


Pan-fried pork with pesto, peppers and tomatoes

What's the best way to get ideas on what to cook everyday? In my case, ninety percent of the time, it's about what we have in the fridge, the freezer and the pantry. You know... put them together and what have you got? It's not bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, however, as there is no ... (more)


Gaeng om: Thai herbed pork and vegetables

Gaeng om is a herb-y, spicy and hot pork dish with vegetables. I use "spicy" and "hot" separately because... well, it's funny how so many people say spicy when they mean hot. Spicy can mean any number of things: zesty, piquant, earthy, pungent and, yes, hot. But "hot" ... (more)


Deciphering rice varieties

Growing up, I knew terms like sinandomeng, wagwag, laon, dinorado and malagkit. Those were the basic classifications of rice, pre-GMO days. A page from the forum of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) website has this information about rice varieties. Dinorado ... (more)


Ukha-inspired fish and vegetable soup

In the film I Am Love, a young man's comfort food is his mother's fish soup. The mother, a Russian who married an Italian and who thereafter "taught myself to be Italian" cooks the soup whenever her son is home and he relays a hankering for it. The son befriends a chef ... (more)