Monday, August 30, 2010
2 cups strong black coffee
1/2 cup marsala (I've bought the Boronia brand from the local liquor shop. Some recipes recommend Baileys or Tia Maria but just cost too much for a cake!)
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone (I used the supermarket variety Wattle Valley)
300ml thickened cream, lightly whipped
1 large packet of sponge fingers (saviordi)
cocoa for dusting
1. Pour coffee and marsala into a shallow dish. Set aside.
2. Beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale and thick. Add the mascarpone and whipped cream, mixing gently until just combined.
3. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
4. Dip enough biscuits into the coffee mixture to cover the base of a 19cm square ceramic dish (I used a rectangular aluminum tray which did not fit everything and was overflowing, so I guess next time bigger tray would be better). Cover the biscuits with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers 2 times, ending with the cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (ours was overnight and was just as great).
5. Dust generously with cocoa and serve.
We still have 2 new packets of sponge finger biscuits and mascarpone shopping I did for this recipe. Maybe we can a milo-tiramisu next time, just for you kids. Its not that difficult to prepare, really!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This is a take off from the New York Cheesecake recipe that I've been making for the past two weeks. I thought maybe its time to expand from the home-made blueberry toppings to the tangy and yet sweet raspberries.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Next time, I must try and make the "aligi" fried rice at home. "Aligi" is actually crab fat and is one of those ingredients that can really make one's blood pressure soar. So, it will take a bit of careful planning and preparation and nerve settling before we embark on a crab fat journey.
Meanwhile, this black ink fried rice surprised everyone one weekend lunch. The squid ink didn't do much flavour to the dish except the colour, but it sure did add some colour to the otherwise plain white rice we always have.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I do not have a recipe for that salad, but I have somehow managed to replicate it one way or another. The key ingredients are: shredded chicken breasts, carrots and red capsicum. Both vegetables shredded finely. Add some mayonnaise (store bought or home made) salt, and pepper and my secret ingredients for that bite, paprika.
pasta 500g pack, cooked according to directions
(the Le Coeure salad uses the Fusilli type so I use the same)
500g chicken breast, boiled in water with salt and pepper and shredded to bits
(The way I shred cooked chicken breast is by using a fork and slowly peeling away the strands. Or you can cut the chicken into cubes)
1 carrot, shredded (I use a cheese shredder and then chop the carrots some into almost minced bits)
1 onion, finely diced
1 capsicum, finely diced
salt, pepper and paprika to taste
(The paprika is just something I add to the salad for the bit of flavour and spice. The Le Coeur salad had those tiny bits of redish spice and paprika is what I thought it was, so I have continued to use it ever since)
1 jar mayonnaise (the quantity of mayonnaise may depend on how you want the salad to be. Add as much or as little, as you prefer.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until all mixed through.
Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Every morning rush just knocks me off my feet and the slow drive to school (well not that slow compared to how it was back in Manila) just plays with my mind with the “have I’s” and the “what if’s”. It can get really animated. In the afternoons, it’s the same thing. Pick up from school, drive home, eat afternoon tea, prepare for dinner, do homework, cook dinner, eat dinner, wash up, dress up for bedtime, do home reading, sleep. And if mum still has the energy, a bit of TV watching. Most days, I wait for Dad to come home from his second job. On odd days, I just give in to exhaustion and get into reading in the bedroom before sleep takes over.
Its no wonder everyone looks forward to weekends! For Mum it starts with a Friday gym class and who knows what’s in store during the weekend. It could be another cake episode, a trip to the local library, a movie, park play, mall? Weekends for us is always a blank canvas when we are flexible and free to do and go whatever and wherever our mood fancies. Which is the greatest thing. I’ve also been thinking about painting some details into Mum’s own massive canvas of which I picture is half way filled with all the adventures and blessings that we have been blessed with. I’m starting to imagine a small business venture relating to food and parties, that self-drive Italian holiday I want to take with Dad, a Hawaiian holiday with factory outlet shopping and a Disneyland experience! Yes! Disneyland is opening its new park in Hawaii in August 2011! Let’s see how it looks in our imaginary canvas.
The previous Friday, watching Better Homes and Gardens inspired me to make homemade pesto, thanks to Fast Ed. BHG is one of your favourite TV shows. Surprisingly at that. You love the varied content and especially the part of Dr Harry showcasing pets and animals, Tara Dennis' decorating projects and Fast Ed's and Karen Martini's cooking prowess.
I remember one time, while watching BHG (you guys were 4yo and 10yo ) I declared in my authoritative-mother-voice that we were going to Davidson (a local suburb about 30 minutes drive away) to walk around a residential street featured on the local news for elaborate home Christmas decorations. And what did I get? - You'd rather watch BHG!? I was stunned.
Well, it has been a long time since, and you've developed so much since.
3 cloves garlic
50g roasted pine nuts
50g grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil
Fast Ed prefers to prepare this using the blender, but in the absence of this kitchen equipment, this pesto was made using the food processor.
Process the garlic and basil until almost finely chopped. Add the roasted pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil and process until smooth.
I prefer a smooth not too think pesto sauce, so I add olive oil until I get the desired consistency.
roasted pine nuts (scattered on a baking tray and baked in the oven for about 5-7 minutes in a 180 degree C.
pesto and dried tomato pasta
The next day, I had to try Fast Ed's other ways with pesto and had this for dinner - pesto on poached egg and crusty bread! Super yum!
Meanwhile, go ahead and make some pesto!
Monday, August 16, 2010
This lasagna version was made with:
2 cans 400g Italian diced tomatoes
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 cup basil, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
500g minced pork
½ c pizza sauce
½ c tomato sauce
1 cup shredded tasty cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
900ml milk, warmed
Ground nutmeg and salt to taste
There is a recipe on the back of the lasagne packaging but I took on my instincts and added ingredients I felt was fit to a pasta dish and whatever it was that could be substituted for. Like for tomato paste, I had to use the leftover pizza sauce (her, garlic and onions) which was in the refrigerator half-filled, and some of the remaining tomato sauce (catsup) to add a bit of sweetness to the dish.
The lasagne dish turned out well, and as with all pasta dishes, tasted even greater the next day.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Food as it seems always connects to families and friends, of celebrations and special moments! Of giving and sharing.
If you ask around and search online, the process almost changes as your refresh your browser. There are those who prefer to cook the squid first before sauteing the herbs.
For now, this is Mum's adobong pusit, served with boiled rice. This is one of your favourites!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This is a Donna Hay recipe taken from Off the Shelf - Cooking from the Pantry. A lovely prawn dish just right for the middle-of-winter-chills. A classic Donna Hay dish that is both easy to prepare and tastes just as lovely.
I was not at all comfortable preparing it as from the ingredients alone, I imagined it like a regular pasta sauce. But it turned out just divine. The addition of wine makes it unique and rightfully, it is served with slices of crusty bread.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 440g cans whole peeled tomatoes (I used 3 400g cans of dice Italian tomatoes)
1 cup (250ml) white wine
2 cups (500ml) vegetable or fish stock (I used prawn stock. This is simply the prawn heads boiled in water, mashed and strained. I reckon it gives a better prawn flavour to the stew).
1kg green prawns, peeled, veins removed and tails intact
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
crusty bread, to serve
1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until soft and golden.
(It did not take 8 minutes to cook the garlic and onions, maybe just about 5 minutes).
2. Add the tomatoes and crush with a fork. (I also added chopped chillies - the long red kind)
3. Add the wine and stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly.
(The stew did not thicken even after 10 minutes and to to help it a bit, Mum added about 3 slices of the crusty bread. This is a tip I learned from an aunt who makes the tastiest pork estofado dish when I was growing up. The pork estofado is a Filipino dish similar to the adobo but with plantains added and with my aunt's version, 1-2 pieces of whole pandesal. Definitely something for a later post).
4. Add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes or until they have turned red. Add the parsley, salt and pepper.
5. Spoon into bowls. Serve with crusty bread.
I was inspired to try on a Bacolod Chicken Inasal recipe which caught my eye from Market Manila's recipe here. The recipe was inspired by an article written by Heny Sison about Mang Melchor's Chicken Inasal written in 2004. The article was also mentioned in Eat Matters blog about the recipe here.
I'm planning on trying the recipe for the Ryde Bulls U14 Family Picnic on Sunday/15th August at Blaxland Riverside Park. I can already smell the aroma of this chicken dish alongside the pork bbq skewers marinated in Mama Sita's BBQ sauce flowing across the park grounds. Yum!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
These photos are now posted online for sale at domain.com.au. Seeing the photos out there in the massive online world made me realise we need to go back to de-cluttering our wardrobes and cupboards and start some serious packing.
Even though the inevitable move is not going to happen in the next couple of months, its best to start early. Who knows, we may be able to get off our contract earlier.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Margaret Fulton was a regular guest at the TV series Masterchef and is one of the first writers of the food and cookery genre in Australia. I've browsed through the book and it is just right smack there in the middle between a food dictionary and the Atlas! This one I'm holding on to for keeps. Its literally everything you need to know about food, from A to Z!
Friday, August 06, 2010
Several weeks ago, dad went into a hysterical market spree and brought home a 10k bag of potatoes! Yes and we’ve had them for quite a time now, maybe a month and a half. We haven’t really exhausted all potato recipes, but this is one of our favourites. Scallop potatoes are also know as Potato Gratin in French cuisine. and Gratin is actually not the dish but the technique used in the preparation of the dish - where the topping is of browned ingredient: cheese or breadcrumbs or eggs. You guys love to help layer the potatoes and sprinkle the ingredients all together.
This is Ate’s and Daddy’s favourite. The rest of you are not yet fans of this dish but I’m sure this will be a sure hit as you grow older. This is a usual accompaniment to our home made chicken schnitzels. But I know its welcomed by a grilled steak, pork chops or even good ol' fried chicken.
Ingredients and method:
8-10 pcs potatoes, thinly sliced (Mum uses the knife, but there are handy inexpensive slices out in the market these days. I still prefer feeling the produce and controlling who thin the slices should be)
1 - 300ml cooking cream
4 pcs bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup tasty cheese
Grease the tray and set aside. We used a shallow rectangular glass dish. (Mum likes to use a small piece of butter and rub it around the insides of the baking tray.)
Layer the potatoes first. What we usually do is put the potatoes in and layer the next piece half way covering the first, and so on. It looks like layers of fish scales.
Sprinkle half of the garlic and the bacon pieces, and the cheese next, making sure its evenly scattered.
Pour half of the cream onto the layers.
Sprinkle some of the cheese to cover the layers.
Continue next layer starting with the potatoes again, then garlic, bacon, cheese and cream.
Add the final layer of potatoes, bacon, cream and cheese for topping.
Bake in a 180 degree C preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese topping has turned brown.