Chicken and baked beans in tomato sauce


It started out as a vegetarian dish. I was dicing vegetables to make a stir fry for Sam but she wasn't in the mood for a stir fry so I took a can of baked beans in tomato sauce from the kitchen shelf and told her I'd make a bean stew instead. And I did.I recut the diced vegetables into thin strips. I sauteed them in butter, poured in the baked beans in tomato sauce and … [Read more...]

Braised balsamic chicken


The weather news say that Typhoon Henry will not make landfall in the Philippines but it may enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains. That doesn't sound so ominous. I don't hear warning bells that we will again be plunged in blackout, suffer from lack of water and all the other disasters that strong typhoons bring in its wake. We're still reeling from Typhoon Glenda … [Read more...]

Saving what’s in the fridge during a blackout


Armed with the news that a strong typhoon was on its way, I sent messages to Sam and Alex to stock up on food and drinks as it was likely that there would be no food deliveries until after the typhoon was gone. Reminding them was about the only thing I could do they being in the city.Typhoon Glenda lashed across central and southern Luzon, strong winds blew from … [Read more...]

What is your favorite dipping sauce for lechon kawali?


At home, lechon kawali often goes with ketchup if lechon sauce (the kind with liver base) is not available.In carinderias, a dipping sauce made with vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chopped raw onions, garlic, ginger and chilies is served on the side.The trouble with ketchup is that it drowns out the natural flavors of the meat. Lechon sauce takes some effort to make … [Read more...]

It was by accident that I discovered how to make the tastiest broth


We were expecting company this weekend so I thought I'd make simple syrup and have it ready for mixing cocktail drinks. I do like infusing simple syrup with aromatics but I wanted it extra aromatic this time so I added lemongrass, pandan and kaffir lime leaves.I was left with a few extra stalks of lemongrass, I thought about storing them in the fridge but, knowing how … [Read more...]

Avocado and pesto rice


Always on the lookout for exciting vegetarian recipes for Sam, I came upon one called green goddess rice by Claire Robinson. Cooked rice is tossed with a paste made with avocado, basil, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. That's practically avocado and pesto. I already had pesto in the fridge so I asked Speedy to buy one ripe avocado so we could test the recipe before … [Read more...]

Wickedly wise wizardry in the kitchen: 3 dishes with a slab of pork belly


There was this slab of pork belly, a little over a kilo in weight, frozen and hard as a rock. I forgot to thaw it in the fridge before I went to bed, then, I woke up late and there was very little time to cook what was going to be an already very late lunch. To make matters even more challenging, there weren't very many vegetables in the fridge -- just some green beans and … [Read more...]

Oven-grilled chicken wings with jam and ketchup sauce


When Alex requested that I cook chicken wings, I debated whether or not to fry them. The thought of standing in front of the stove at noon was certainly not enticing. I was aiming for a crusty texture, yes, but that could be achieved by oven-grilling the chicken too -- on very high heat. And that was what I did -- cooked the chicken at 400F.But, to prepare the chicken … [Read more...]

Avocado and pineapple salad


Last week, I asked Speedy to buy avocado so I could make guacamole for Sam to satisfy a week-long craving. He came home with half a dozen avocados, very pleased that he got them cheap. They were perfectly ripe, I just knew that the guacamole would turn out beautifully and that should make vegetarian Sam's waiting worth it.But six avocados to make guacamole? That's a … [Read more...]

Chicken in cream sauce with rosemary and parsley


Cooking a tasty dish isn't about how many or how expensive the ingredients are. As with most things in life, less can mean more. If you let your imagination run wild, be brave and take risks, you can create a tasty dish with very few basic ingredients.This technique of gathering together whatever I've got I have mastered thoroughly by necessity. We live in a village … [Read more...]