Zucchini medallions with mozzarella and chili


Ever since I made the meatballs a la parmigiana, I've been wondering how to transform it into a vegetarian dish. Eggplants would turn too soggy if baked or fried then baked again until the cheese topping melted. Other vegetables that could withstand multiple cooking, like cauliflower, are too irregularly shaped to hold the slices of cheese in place. And then I came across … [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...]

Smashed potatoes


When Sam asked me to make smashed potatoes, I thought she was referring to the salad. You know, like mashed potatoes but with less mashing? I have it in the archive. But Sam said no, that wasn't it. It's baked potatoes that you smash, season and garnish then put back in the oven until they turn crisp. Interesting, I remarked. And since we had large potatoes, I thought I'd … [Read more...]

Buttered vegetables with soubise sauce


Soubise sauce is a secondary sauce based on Béchamel sauce. Make the basic Béchamel sauce, stir in chopped onion cooked in butter and you have soubise sauce. Some cooks prefer to sweat sliced onion in butter, puree the mixture in the blender then stir the puree into the Béchamel sauce. I prefer to chop the onion first before sweating it in butter. I don't even limit the … [Read more...]

Mixed vegetables with honey-yogurt-mustard sauce


It's really the sauce that makes this dish distinctive. The combination of vegetables is very much changeable. You can even use only one variety of vegetable; cauliflower or broccoli are great choices. I just went with a combination because Sam prefers her food like that with contrast in color, shape and texture. Note that if using a combination of vegetables and the … [Read more...]

Vegetarian stuffed zucchini


I wish that I could write some family anecdote to go with this dish but my head is somewhere else. I'm on a Game of Thrones marathon, I already stayed up all night to watch Season 1, I probably should get some sleep soon but, after posting this, I want to finish Season 2. And, when I'm done with Season 3, I'll probably be reading the books on which the series is based. I … [Read more...]

Squash and zucchini fritters


I debated for an hour on how I should post this recipe. Squash, in the Philippines, is kalabasa and there is only one kind -- squat and round. I'm not sure what the English name is for that variety but, having described it as squat and round, I think I have sufficiently identified the squash that I used for this recipe.This is a very simple dish to prepare. The only real … [Read more...]

Layered eggplant and chili, lasagne style


When Sam dreams up a recipe, I pay attention. It's not easy inventing vegetarian recipes for her so when she takes the initiative to create a dish in her head and she describes how it should be executed, it's a lot of help. Well, except when her ideas are too complicated. She has a tendency to do that.So, Sam was talking about a lasagne-style dish with eggplants instead … [Read more...]

Italian-style vegetable stew


Vegetables, pesto and tomato sauce. What can be simpler? But a vegetable stew, when properly cooked, is anything but simple. With just the right amount of aromatics, and slow and careful cooking, a vegetable stew is a carnival of colors and aromas and textures. And, by using a different combination of vegetables each time, you can make this stew over and over, and it won't … [Read more...]

Snow peas and zucchini stir fry


I was planning a very simple stir fry with bits and pieces of vegetables from the fridge so I thought I'd bump up the dish a bit by serving the stir fry with eggs. The idea was to boil the eggs just until the whites were firm but the yolks still runny. The stir fry would be on one side of the platter then the eggs, cut in half and the runny yolks oozing out, would be on … [Read more...]