Linguine with chorizo and pesto (birthday noodles for Speedy)


It's Speedy's birthday today. I'd have prepared a more special meal but, last Sunday, I caught a flu-like bug and I still feel a bit woozy. Still, I wanted to cook birthday noodles for him. It's an Asian thing. Long noodles equals long life and a noodle dish on a birthday is like a wish that the celebrant enjoys a long life. All the diners must partake of the noodle dish; … [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...]

Linguine with spinach and yogurt sauce


The girls are on their summer break. Meal times are irregular as they catch up on sleep and their favorite TV shows. I have stopped trying to predict when they would come down for a meal so I cook whenever is convenient for me and spread everything on the dining table. I'm really not a believer in eating meals according to where the hands of the clock are pointed. My motto … [Read more...]

Pasta Tinapa


Between the main dining area and the dessert bar at Casa Vallejo's Hill Station is a stand where preserves for sale are displayed. There were three things I couldn't pass up on and one of them was the jar of tinapa in olive oil. What the two other things are, I'll write about in the coming days.I opened the jar of tinapa in olive oil yesterday and combined half of … [Read more...]

Pasta with avocado sauce


The best way to describe the sauce is a no-cook creamy pesto. The creaminess is courtesy of the avocado which also imparts a slight sweetness. Overall, the sauce is a little bit tart, garlicky and full of the wonderful flavors of fresh sweet basil.The grated cheese topping is optional. Omit it and this pasta with avocado sauce becomes totally vegan. … [Read more...]

Macaroni, cheese and bacon salad


Macaroni salad in the Philippines is almost always taken to mean "chicken and macaroni salad" -- shredded chicken meat, pineapple tidbits and macaroni are tossed with mayonnaise. Sometimes, there are additional ingredients like chopped carrot and celery or, sometimes, to add sweetness, raisins are thrown in. In fact, the Filipinos so love everything sweet that sweetened … [Read more...]

Spaghetti a la stroganoff


The best ground meat for this dish is sausage meat. Buy sausages, peel off the skins, crumble the meat and fry in butter. Or you can create your own sausage meat by seasoning ground meat and letting it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours. Season with what? The usual salt, pepper and a bit of sugar -- and a good combination of spices and herbs.Sour cream, an … [Read more...]

Spaghetti with chicken, basil, sun-dried tomatoes and feta


Leftover boiled chicken recycled into a quick pasta dish that is as aromatic as it is tasty. The sauce is simple and light -- extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, roughly chopped fresh sweet basil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice. But it is the feta that really makes this dish so delightful. The next time you make a pasta dish, give Parmesan a rest and top the … [Read more...]

Spicy noodle soup, jjampong style


A bit sour and mildly hot, this noodle soup was inspired by the Korean jjampong. The traditional base for jjampong is broth made by boiling shellfish with kelp. My very easy version uses powdered dashi. Instead of pork and shellfish, this soup has mushrooms. In short, except for the fish-based dashi, this is a meatless dish.What kind of noodles would be good for this … [Read more...]

Vegan spaghetti with chunky tomato sauce


It's Sam's birthday and she asked for spaghetti. I would have wanted to prepare something really special and a bit more elaborate but, alas, a storm raged all day and access to everything was limited. Worse, for a few hours this morning, the tap went dry. When water service resumed a little before noon, I cooked in a frenzy trying to finish as many dishes as I could. I … [Read more...]