Sticky rice mold with dulce de leche and toasted coconut topping

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Inspired by how wonderfully the suman with dulce de leche dipping sauce turned out, I decided to create a similar dessert (or snack) using practically the same ingredients -- sticky rice, homemade dulce de leche and coconut. But instead adding the coconut or its extraction to the rice, I used toasted flaked coconuts to top my creation.It's very simple, the only thing … [Read more...]

Oshitashi or goma-ae? Whatever. It’s spinach salad with roasted sesame dressing

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When I first came across this spinach recipe in The New York Times health section, it was labeled as an appetizer. The recipe itself was not all that simple -- the dressing had to be boiled and reduced. Wondering if there were simpler versions, I searched around using "Japanese spinach sesame seeds" as a key phrase. The results were confusing. In some sites, the very same … [Read more...]

Deviled eggs for Easter Sunday brunch

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Easter Sunday is exactly seven days away. My family does not celebrate Easter but we love egg dishes any time of the year. And the egg hunt, a Western tradition that did not became popular in this country until the last two decades, is not something I grew up with. And why is the egg associated with Easter? Lots of reasons, some religious; others not. In other words, the … [Read more...]

Suman (rice cake) with three dips: dulce de leche, Nutella and fruit jam

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Some five days ago, craving for something sweet past midnight, Speedy started spooning dulce de leche from its container. He was in the kitchen and a few inches away was the jar of Nutella. I don't know provoked him. He scooped some dulce de leche with his teaspoon then scooped Nutella. He ate the two together and exclaimed to me with that look on his face as though he … [Read more...]

Sweet and tangy pork, water spinach (kangkong) and pineapple spring rolls

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Ten years ago, if you had asked me what my favorite sauce is in the whole world, I'd probably have said, "Sweet and sour sauce." If you had asked me the same question five years ago, I would have said, "Pesto." These days, it's the sweet and tangy Vietnamese nuoc cham. It's basically a sweet and sour sauce but it isn't cooked to thicken. Garlic and chilis are pounded to a … [Read more...]

Tofu: General Tso’s style

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One of the most widely known Chinese dishes outside of Asia is General Tso’s chicken -- floured bite-size chicken pieces fried until crisp then tossed in sweet-salty sauce. This is the no-meat version using silken tofu. Instead of the usual onion leaves, the saucy tofu cubes were garnished with snipped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Delicious as a snack or as a … [Read more...]

Pork patty, herbs & arugula spring rolls

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If a food show has a reality TV format, I skip it. It's that simple. I prefer informative and entertaining but sans the contrived drama. Like Good Eats with Alton Brown. And Foodography. These are two of the few programs in Food Network that we still watch (Foodography actually airs via Cookingchanneltv.com but, locally, we get it via Food Network). A couple of nights ago, … [Read more...]

Bacon-wrapped chicken satay

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Think of satay (that ubiquitous Southeast Asian food that consists of skewered and grilled small pieces of marinated meat) and rumaki (bacon wrapped liver attributed to Polynesia but may not have really originated there). Combine the two and this is what this dish is all about. Small pieces of chicken thigh fillet are marinated in a not-so-Asian blend of herbs, spices and … [Read more...]

Tuna and tofu spring rolls

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There is so much that needs to be said about these tuna and tofu spring rolls recipe. First, it is possible to generously feed four people using a 180-gram can of tuna. Second, tofu is a great extender. Third, San Marino tuna fillet in water is not so very tasty. I used a can of tuna, go see the previous post, added chopped tofu and a whole lot of seasonings, used the … [Read more...]

2-cheese pizza with puff pastry crust

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Pizza is a great party dish. It's a crowd pleaser, it's not fussy to eat and it evokes an atmosphere that is both friendly and relaxing. While it is easy to have pizza delivered to your doorstep, personally, it's an option I no longer consider feasible. About five years ago on Sam's birthday, we had unexpected guests and we ordered pizza. To our utter embarrassment, the … [Read more...]