Every year during the holidays, my office receives a few boxes of smoked salmon lox as presents. They are too cumbersome for my co-workers to take home so I often end up with them, usually giving one to a friend who is going home for the holidays, and either serving the other one at a party or coming up with interesting recipes. This year we decided to make half of it into a pasta dish.
Salmon lox topped farfalle with artichokes, pine nuts and parsley in a lemon and wine cream sauce. Drool.
It was fun to play with the salmon’s pretty color and combine it with the earthy color of roasted pine nuts and the striking green of parsley. We began by sauteing garlic and onions and simmering a quarter cup of white whine and some lemon juice. Lemon rind was added for additional zest. Continue reading
When I was first displaced from my homeland, I learned that the best way to relive and return to a geographically inconvenient location is by cooking its cuisine. This is how I learned to cook Filipino dishes and replicated the aromas of kitchens back home. Smell is, after all, the strongest trigger of memory. And it’s my weapon of choice for homesickness.
Homemade paella! I can never get tired of it.
Of course, paella isn’t exactly Filipino. But, but, but if you’ve done your homework at all then you would know that paella graces many feasts in the Philippines, more festive and complex than regular mainstays like noodles and fried or roasted pork, and often too delicate to successfully make for a large party.
Plus you know how I love Spain. Let me count the ways: Continue reading
A very slight hint of winter just appeared in the air this morning, and pretty soon you might encounter the black radish (also known as black Spanish, black Spanish round, or in French, Gros Noir d’Hiver) and like I did, wonder what it is. Is it a beet, a radish, a potato, or simply an adventure?
I found it at the Food Coop and grabbed it without any plans for its consumption. I come home with my loot often with surprises – oddly shaped crop I’d have to consult Google on how to prepare, strange grains and fruit – and enough hope to create a healthy, unique meal to share.
Black radishes are apparently an Eastern European staple, but have recently been sighted in many a CSA harvest and local farmer’s markets. They rarely make it to mainstream supermarkets because their taste is even more unpopular than the Japanese radish daikon (labanos in Tagalog), which could be bitter when prepared incorrectly. The meat of the black radish is completely white, but sharp and spicy, earning it the name “French horseradish.” I looked up ways to prepare it and the easiest one that came up was to bake slivers of them as chips! Continue reading
Some days I just decide to make a “refrigerator stew,” which only means I’ll dump all the leftover stragglers in the fridge into a pot and cook them on low heat, and with consistently good results. I had some chicken and andouille sausage in the freezer, and a handful of uneaten olives from a party. With my handy tube of tomato paste, I was all set.
Chicken and andouille sausage stew, side of garlic snap peas.
It’s barbecue season again and it’s the time when we prepare our favorite barbecue recipes. Grilled pork belly (or inihaw na liempo) is a mainstay in our barbecues because of their ease in preparation and quick cooking on the grill. The only challenging part of cooking with pork belly is sourcing it. In order for us to get it sliced in a particular way, we get our meat from Hong Kong Supermarket and insist that they be cut lengthwise in 3/4 inch pieces. Sometimes they will object in true Chinatown fashion. Your job is to insist.
Crispy skin and perfectly browned.
Grilled pork belly is a popular dish served in parties, beachside barbecues, or with liquor in the Philippines. With very few ingredients it is easy to prepare in the US if you have access to pork belly and Filipino soy sauce.
Grilled pork belly, sliced.
Recipe below. Continue reading