Homemade corned beef recipe


No, there is no corn in corned beef. And, contrary to what I had been led to believe in the past, corned beef is not made from the meat of corn-fed cows.Corned beef is salt-cured beef. The "corned" part is more historical than literal because corn, in olden times and before the word was used by English-speaking cultures to describe maize, denotes grains of salt used … [Read more...]

The meaty version of the bibimbap-style rice, vegetables and mushrooms dish


The easiest and fastest way to cook two versions -- vegetarian and meaty -- of the bibimbap-style rice, vegetables and mushrooms dish is to use two pans and two burners on the stove. You cook the vegetables in one pan, one after the other, and in the other pan, you cook the meat. Alternatively, you can grill the meat while stir frying the vegetables. It goes without saying … [Read more...]

Meatballs a la Parmigiana


Basic things. Meatballs, tomato sauce and cheese. Put them together and you have this dish. But to make this dish really, really good, you have to have great meatballs (good quality meat is essential), a very tasty tomato sauce (I made my own) and a rich cheese that melts well. If you have all that, making this meatball dish is a breeze.The meatballs can be fried in a … [Read more...]

Cheesy meatballs and potato casserole


It's always inspiring to take photos early in the morning. Not dawn early when the light that filters through the dining room windows are still too dull and grayish. But between eight o'clock and ten o'clock, the hues are just perfect. Soft and dreamy. It was fortunate that this baked casserole came out of the oven at just the right time.A very simple dish, this one. … [Read more...]

The meaty version of the vegetarian eggplant, pesto and pomodoro spaghetti


Last month, I cooked a meatless pasta dish with a tomato sauce made chunky with the addition of chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants. Using the same sauce, I created another for the non-vegetarians in the family. In a nutshell, I cooked the vegetarian sauce and, after it was done, I scooped out enough for the vegetarian. To the remaining sauce in the pan, I added … [Read more...]

Pork and peas stew


Did you know that cooking meat in large slabs and cutting them only afterward makes it retain more moisture? I had a 1.5 kilogram slab of pork which I browned in a little oil. Yes, browned it whole. Then, I added salt, peppercorns, a few garlic cloves and just enough broth to create steam. I let the meat slow cook for an hour and a half, adding about a quarter cup of broth … [Read more...]

Toast with sausage gravy


The easiest way to make sausage gravy is to buy sausage (no, not canned Vienna sausage), peel off the skin, crumble the meat and cook it. There are enough sausage varieties and flavors to create any gravy flavor -- sweet, garlicky, hot, spicy, salty...But if you want more control over the sausage seasonings, then, you make your own. You can control the amount of fat … [Read more...]

Pork and beans


It's been rainy for days. I like how the weather has cooled although I feel so sorry for those who have been caught in flash floods and traffic jams. Story of life in the Philippines, isn't it? We need rain to break the suffocating heat of the summer and to keep agricultural produce from drying up before they can be harvested. But when the rain comes, we get floods and … [Read more...]

Pork braised in spicy barbecue sauce


If you prefer super lean meat but still want the moist tenderness characteristic of meat cuts with a generous amount of fat, try marinating the lean meat with oil. But doesn't that substitute one form of fat for another? Well, you ditch a lot of saturated animal fat and substitute something "healthy" like olive oil.This dish, for instance, has very lean pork shoulder. … [Read more...]