SPAM mini open-faced sandwiches

Speedy loves SPAM. He really, truly does. With bread, with rice, as pizza topping, in pasta sauce… in whatever form. But nothing intrigued him more than SPAM musubi, that iconic Hawaiian creation that defies categorization. We’ve tried making SPAM musubi at home and they tasted great but, for some reason, they never looked right.

My most recent attempt was inspired by a maki mold that we found at one of those 88-pesos Japanese stores. I bought it for Sam, actually, who loves making maki but she slept through most of the weekend and no maki materialized.

So, I decided to make maki myself. Heart-shaped SPAM musubi sounded like a good idea. With chopped mango and greens for contrast in color, flavors and texture. The heart-shaped SPAM musubi with mango and arugula salad was a wonder of flavors and texture, but the darn thing didn’t really hold together. I’m really not very good at making maki. That’s why Sam is the resident maki maker here. After making a few pieces that went directly into Speedy’s waiting mouth, I decided to make open-faced sandwiches with the rest of the cooked SPAM. And the result was a SPAM feast. »

Grilled pork, pepper and mango stir fry with peanut sauce

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Today's 15-minute lunch is a medley of meat, vegetables, fruit, aromatics and a sauce that will leave you wondering why you never thought of throwing together pantry basics to create something so uniquely wonderful.What sauce? One made with peanut butter, hoisin sauce, kalamansi juice and chopped chilies. A spin on … »

Reviving and reliving the nostalgia of long, leisurely breakfasts

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Exactly when the middle-and-upper-class city folk started to acquire the habit of eating cereals-from-a-box, I have no idea. Perhaps, the onset of the practice started long before I was born, when the Americans colonized the country, and it just became more pronounced when globalization happened and more brands and … »

Mango cheese pie: something between a cheesecake and a custard

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It has a graham cracker crust and it is baked but at a lower temperature and without the baine marie. It has all the traditional ingredients for a cheesecake -- cream cheese, cream, sugar and eggs. Yet, it is not a cheesecake. It's a pie that is not as dense as a cheesecake yet it is richer and more substantial than a … »

Alex’s cold milk and mango pudding

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Speedy gave Alex an assignment today: do something with the mangoes in the fridge which were becoming too ripe already. Alex initially thought about a simple milkshake but wanted to incorporate gelatin in her recipe (which made me wonder if she used gelatin in her 2006 layered milk shake). I suggested that she puree the … »

Mangoes are good for your eyesight, skin, memory and sex life

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The mango is my favorite fruit in the whole wide world. There isn’t even a close second. Mango is the only fruit that I can eat by itself without feeling that it could be better. There is simply nothing like the soft, sweet luscious flesh that is refreshing, comforting and exhilarating all at once. Perhaps, [...] … »

Mango, cucumber and mint smoothie

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With the mint in our garden now growing profusely once again, I can pick the leaves with abandon to mix into drinks. Not just for the minted green tea that Alex likes so much but for cold drinks too.If you've gone through the archive of drinks recipes, you might have come across my cucumber cooler and cucumber and … »

Asian-style spicy and tangy beef and rice salad

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If the term "rice salad" makes you go HUH? click here and know that the term salad covers a wide expanse of dishes.Today's lunch was still part of the beef brisket challenge (or, perhaps, experiment would be the more appropriate word). Cubes of braised brisket were warmed in a pan then tossed with cooked long-grain … »

Mango-ginger lassi

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When Speedy said "mango-ginger", I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive. Although I am used to combining fruits with spices (mostly, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), I wasn't at all sure how the mango and ginger combination would work. Amazingly, mango and ginger did go well together. Mango lassi is good; mango-ginger … »

Mango-lemon lassi

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Lassi is essentially a yogurt-based drink that contains spices. Question: if a drink contains yogurt, plus milk, and has no spices whatsoever, is it still a lassi? Giada de Laurentiis thinks and says so. I'm not so sure how correct she is in the strict sense (I don't add spices to my mango lassi either) but her mango-lime … »