Tomato and basil risotto


Call it a journey to re-discover rice. Living in Asia, we've somehow taken rice for granted. We cook rice for our everyday meals but never really looked past the ubiquitous congee and Chinese-style fried rice. But rice is a staple far beyond Asia and each culture has a vast array of rice recipes -- so vast that it is quite … »

Spaghetti with meatballs in tomato sauce


My first recipe for spaghetti with meatballs was published on May 10, 2005 after dinner at a pub called The Oarhouse in Malate, a hang-out for photographers, journalists, writers and expats. We ordered spaghetti with meatballs there, I liked it and did a home cooked version a few days later. That recipe is on page two of … »

Moussaka (baked eggplants and beef with bechamel sauce)


Sometimes known as mousakas, musaka or musakka, this dish of eggplants and meat is found in Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans and across the Eastern Mediterranean. The baked version with the white sauce topping appears to be Greek in origin.Personally, I would describe it as something like lasagna except that instead of … »

Biftekia: grilled beef patties, Greek style


Happy with the Greek food we had at Mano's Greek Taverna in Tagaytay, I decided to make biftekia, or Greek style grilled beef patties, at home. Ground beef, bread soaked in red wine, fresh oregano, onion and garlic went into my beef patties.Biftekia is a burger, basically, so I served them with French fries and a … »

Spaghetti and mussels in white wine


I meant to post this recipe a day after the pasta with prawns and asparagus but there was this terrible typhoon and where I live was among the areas that got the worst lashing. Power went out, we were waterless for a while. Power is still out actually. If you want to read more about all that, you can check out my other … »

Chicken cacciatore (pollo alla cacciatora)


Originally a hunter's stew, chicken cacciatore is a dish that can be prepared with minimal fuss. Some say that the really traditional cacciatore does not include tomatoes, uses dark meat only and the cooked dish is brown with a thick gravy-like sauce. This version is adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis (saw her on … »

Pork Chops With Blueberries (Bracioli Ai Mirtilli)


The idea of cooking meat with fruit has intrigued me for a long time. Not that it's a new concept in cooking because dishes like pininyahang manok (chicken cooked with pineapple) has been with us for a long time. But in an aboriginal village at the Sun Moon Lake area in Central Taiwan, they did things to fruits that really … »

Sweet and Sour Pork Stew (Spezzatino In Agrodolce)


Cooked and served on the same night that I made the Baked Salmon With Buttered Vegetables, this stew was the result of my curiosity. I always associated the sweet and sour blend with Asian cooking and I never realized it was more universal than that. You can just imagine my surprise when I saw the recipe for Sweet and Sour … »

Homemade tomato sauce


Dinner last night was chicken enchiladas with two cheeses and homemade tomato sauce. My calculations told me two enchiladas per person but there was some extra chicken and I was able to make an extra enchilada. Good thing because my younger daughter, Alex, loved the enchiladas so much she asked for the extra … »

Pasta Putanesca


My grandmother used to stay up late for his radio show. His name is Johnny Midnight and his controversial health philosophy had a cult-like following years ago. His real name is Johnny Xerez Burgos Joseph and he (?) left a comment in one of my archived entries sharing "my recipe for Pasta Putanesca served at the Wine Museum … »