Pot roast with strawberry sauce


The sauce traces its origin on an accident that took place in Baguio a few months ago. Speedy and I were browsing the flea market stalls behind Wright Park and there was this sales girl practically pushing jars of strawberry jam at us. The price was good and we took a chance. Huge mistake, it turned out. The jam was so thick it wasn't spreadable. Too much pectin, I … [Read more...]

Cabbage, carrot and pineapple coleslaw


Coleslaw, a salad made with shredded raw cabbage, originated from Europe. The traditional dressing is vinaigrette. Hard to believe, perhaps, for many of us who grew up who were introduced to coleslaw-with-mayo as a side dish to KFC fried chicken.Moving even farther away from coleslaw as we know it, the salad ingredients can be a lot more than cabbage. Carrot, red … [Read more...]

Slow cooker recipe: Chinese-style braised pork hock


I seriously believe that I am under-using my slow cooker. Blame it on a bad experience the first time I used it. I followed the instructions in the manual that said there is no need to add a lot of liquid because the meat's natural juices are enough. I also paid attention to the part that said adding fat to the meat or using fatty meat is not recommended because fat raises … [Read more...]

Warm sausage and potato salad with honey-mustard dressing


We have a new agreement, Speedy and I. If it rains, I cook lunch and dinner. If it does not, I cook lunch and we can have leftovers or sandwiches for dinner. It's not a permanent arrangement but only until the extreme humidity lets up. In this heat, I just don't feel too inspired to cook and one cooked meal a day is better than sandwiches for both lunch and dinner.It … [Read more...]

5-ingredient sweet-spicy chicken


At the risk of sounding boring, I'm going to whine anyway. The rainy season is so darn late, the air is heavy with moisture, the humidity is punishing and I'm taking short cuts with our meals. I figured that the less ingredients I use, and if I can do away completely with chopping and slicing and mincing, the better I'd feel.This chicken dish has no more than five … [Read more...]

Herbed chicken liver pâté


Until last week, I've paired liver pâté with butter and nothing but butter. Then, on the last day of our Negros vacation, our gracious hostess, Isabel, mentioned liver pâté and my ears pricked up. Cafe Uma, she said, has a unique way of serving their pâté -- with cranberry. I couldn't let that pass. We skipped Manukan Country (it was pouring anyway and an open-air eatery … [Read more...]

Cucumber and carrot salad with herbs and crushed peanuts


When dining out, it has often been my sad experience to have my meat or seafood meal accompanied by a side salad that looks and tastes no more than an afterthought. A few slices of vegetables drizzled with some generic dressing that, often, don't even complement the meat or seafood. In many cases, the side salad appears to be a token or, worse, a filler to make the plate … [Read more...]

Angel hair pasta with crumbled chorizo


When I travel, I make it a point not to buy anything that I'd be able to find back home anyway. Travel is about discovering new things, after all. Or, when travelling somewhere I had visited before, it is a reacquaintance with food specialties and delicacies that had made previous visits memorable.So, the loot from my food shopping adventures in Negros Occidental was … [Read more...]

Makopa salad with herbed hibiscus vinaigrette


A large part of our Negros Occidental vacation was spent in a hacienda in Cadiz. We enjoyed homecooked food, and meals were extended and relaxed. We never ran out of things to talk about but one recurring theme was food. Had we tried tambis salad? No, we hadn't. Tambis is the Visayan name for makopa which I have always translated into English as mountain apple or Malay … [Read more...]

Hibiscus juice, inspired by the Negros Museum Cafe


Our first afternoon in Negros Occidental found us at the Negros Museum. The suffocating heat left us feeling dehydrated, our parched mouths and throats led us to the Museum Cafe (or did our host suggest that we go there? I can't remember...) and we were introduced to a bright crimson drink that we never heard of before -- hibiscus juice.Many of us know hibiscus as … [Read more...]