Monthly Archives: July 2006

blueberry cream cheese coffee cake

just to give the kids a little treat…i found some beautifully plump blueberries at the farmers’ market. now i myself am not fond of these little gems but my kids are, so i took it as the golden opportunity to make them Beatrice Ojakangas’ coffee cake from her “Great Holiday Baking Book.” (i have prepared this before using raspberry jam and the recipe is here.

sprinkling blueberries

sprinkling the blueberries over the cream cheese filling which is on top of a sour cream-based pastry, then topped with a streusel of reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds, baked at 350F for 50-55 minutes….

blueberry cream cheese coffee cake

hot, just out of the oven!

kalbi and sesame zucchini

bulgogi dinner

a quick dinner on a hot and sultry Sunday night. the heat and humidity play havoc on my breathing…no end in sight yet! the heatwave continues. long cold showers in order.

but i felt like having okdol bibimbop (the exquisite crackly rice topped with meats and all manner of side veggies and pickles, served in a hefty granite bowl). the heat kept us languid and lazy inside though so i brought out the ribs from the freezer…no chance to sneak into the PC and look up JMom’s korean barbeque recipe so i dug out my “Asian Cooking” book (Deh-Ta Hsiung & Sallie Morris).

beef short ribs, Korean style (kalbi) (they were oddly labeled “flanken style short ribs” at the local grocery store, which never carried them before–i only see them at the Asian supermarket)

2/3 cup dark soy sauce

2 tbsps. sake (or dry white wine)

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil (use 2 tsps. if you like the taste of it)

4 stalks of green onions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 tbsp. slivered or chopped ginger

roasted sesame seeds for garnish (i didn’t have any but i had black sesame seed and salt gomeshio)

combine the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef. let sit at least an hour, as long as overnight. grill over hot charcoal or over a hot grill-pan until well charred on the outside, medium and tender on the inside. sprinkle with sesame seeds.
i served this with sesame zucchini which my kids are starting to love. makes a mama happy when her kiddies eat veggies you know….

3 medium zucchini, cut into half rounds

1 garlic clove, lightly smashed

2 tbsps. light soy sauce

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. sesame oil ( i go easy on this as i don’t like when it overpowers the dish–add more if you like)

in a hot wok with a little vegetable oil, saute the garlic until fragrant then add the zucchini, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender-crispy. pour the sauce ingredients then give one last toss and serve warm or cold. (recipe from “Seoul Kitchen,” Boston)

this is also from the chef of “Seoul Kitchen” which i never got around to posting.

gingered pork with Korean-style vegetables…some of the fixings for bibimbop, deconstructed.

marinated vegetables:

julienned carrots, steamed until tender and tossed in sesame oil, soy.

zucchini, sliced thinly then stir fried in peanut oil, garlic, and sprinkled with soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar.

steamed frenched green beans and sliced portobella mushrooms, tossed in sesame oil, soy.

serve with fresh hot rice and kochujang sauce.

my adobo tostado


my adobo tostado

my kids have been on a kind of rotation with their favorite meals, and husband and i of course take a back seat as far as meal-planning goes. they seem to be always hungry! and quite adept at scrounging for snacks. i have to make sure we have baskets and bowls of fresh fruit and crunchy munchies like celery and carrots and cucumbers around (easier said than done! ).

one of their favorites is adobo tostado, my interpretation of the all-time favorite and famous Filipino dish. i learned this of course from my oft mentioned Lola E. everyone’s version is different and i feel like this is so ordinary.

inordinately ordinary? in a comforting kind of way…

mine is the simplest you can imagine: soy (silver swan or pinya brand), Pinoy vinegar like cane vinegar or sukang iloko (native vinegar), garlic, laurel (bay) leaves, peppercorns, a few grains of sea salt.

the proportions i just sniff out: when it smells good, then it’s enough.

cook over low heat until tender but not yet falling off the bone. the time will depend on the thickness of the piece of meat you are cooking, longer for pork belly pieces which i love to add to chicken thighs and drumsticks. no breast meat please! it will cause much grief between us….remove from the cooking liquid, fry skin side down over low heat until browned and crisp, then remove from the fat with a slotted spoon to a platter. simmer the cooking liquid until thickened, and serve on the side or poured on top of the crisped chicken. with lots of steaming hot milagrosa rice.

farmers’ market finds

summer vacation with my kids…:yoyo: we have a crazy upside down schedule and i have much less time to blog and more regrettably to bloghop. i miss visiting my friends :tragedy:

but one of the best things about summer is the farmers’ market, set up only on Fridays with about 6 tents only. i’m not complaining though because what they have to offer is downright earthy: imagine preparing dinner with ingredients that just came out of the earth early that morning.

this is how it would taste like: baby beets and baby carrots that i knew would need no further enhancement than the lightest steaming. they were so delicate that i had to use a lighter hand with the peeling. we had them with my Pinoy pan-grilled pork chops (lwell-marbled chops marinated in dark soy sauce, garlic, freshly ground black pepper, and a tiny splash of freshly-squeezed lemon juice) and mashed potatoes. the baby veggies didn’t even need salting, but if you feel so inclined you could add good butter on top. it felt good to eat all those vegetables! (now i can justify the next few posts….)

pastel de vasco, pound cake with strawberry compote

from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

it’s supposed to be made with blackberries but i couldn’t find any. we do have a lovely glut of strawberries everywhere. i tried to follow the recipe to the letter but found it browning too quickly–so made a mental note to lower the temperature next time. also, my loaf pan was not big enough hence the incredible rise! i breathed a sigh of relief that it didn’t overflow into my (newly cleaned!) oven…
i also must say, i made a mistake but i don’t think it is totally my fault. listen cookbook writers! when writing a recipe out, please don’t say 4 eggs when you mean that the 3 eggs are used first, then the 4th egg is for later. a multi-tasking mommy of three gets too harried sometimes and dumps all four eggs into the batter before yelling “yikes!” and realizing the last one’s for brushing over the finished batter. (i solemnly swear to be very aware of this as i type out future recipes to share:yes:)
ok ok i should have read the recipe through ten times first, like i normally would. but it’s summer vacation! my kids are all over the kitchen and house!

first make the strawberry compote:

1 lb. of strawberries, washed, rinsed and dried; hulled and quartered
1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp.vanilla

2 tbsps. brandy (i used cachaca, Brazilian cane sugar liquor, w/c i am currently “testing” ehehem)

1 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsps. water

caramelize the sugar with 1/3 cup water and vanilla, until it reaches the amber-colored stage. stir in half of the prepared strawberries and the brandy or liquor. the syrup will instantly harden, but leave it on the stove over medium heat 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the strawberries release their juices and the sugar dissolves into a syrup. remove from the heat. add the other half of strawberries.

strain the berries over a bowl, and pour the liquid back into the pot. transfer cooked strawberries to the bowl, and stir in the remaining uncooked fruits. bring the berry caramel back to a boil over medium heat, and slowly whisk in the cornstarch solution (“slurry”) a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. pour the thickened juices over the berries, and stir to combine well.

 strawberry compote

for the batter:

2 &1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3 extra large eggs

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar

14 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tbsps. dark rum

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

for topping the batter:

1 extra large egg

a sprinkling of sugar

sift the flour and baking powder together. add the salt. whisk 3 eggs together in a large bowl. whisk in the sugar, melted butter, rum, extracts, and orange juice. fold in the dry ingredients and let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

preheat the oven to 350F. lightly butter a loaf pan. pour three-quarters of the batter into the pan, and spoon 3/4 cup compote over it. top with the remaining batter, letting some of the berries show through.

strawberry compote over pound cake batter

beat the 4th egg, and brush it over the batter. sprinkle a handful of sugar over the top. bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

let the cake cool completely on a rack. serve as is, or for the next as breakfast, sliced and toasted, buttered, then poured with reserved compote and a plop of heavy cream…

pastel de vasco

a slice, with heavy cream and reserved syrup

Lindt Brownies

my little #2son was teary eyed as he watched the rain and heard the thunder booming…”i guess 4th of July is cancelled this year”, and i tried to soothe and bluff my way out, telling him “no! we’ll still have our pork sticks and your steak somehow! it won’t last long, this storm. we just need some rain for our garden!”

July 4th bbqand it did stop, later in the evening so husband grilled up scallops and livers wrapped in bacon (separately!), Pinoy pork sticks, marinated London Broil, lobsters with anchovy butter, and olive oil-oregano scented squid. served with corn, chicken potato salad ala LolaMa, with the promised Lindt brownies for dessert.

Lindt brownies

(my ode to this all-American holiday, the all-American brownie, purportedly originated from a cook who forgot to add baking powder to a chocolate cake recipe.)

we sat outside in the warm and breezy night, constantly looking up at the sky. i set up a little TV by the edge of the patio so we could see the Boston Pops with what looked like millions of people (actually just half a million!) . [recipe soon below, i am sneaking into the PC early in the morning while the kiddies are still sleeping.]

i’ve also come down with a minor affliction that is contagious (and makes me look even more hideous!!!) and therefore we are all stuck at home. meanwhile click on the link from my cousin who is a film director in Manila (Lasponggols, Ang Anak ni Brocka, and various music videos–Kyla, Shamrock, Hale and upcoming, Parokya ni Edgar.) and very much enjoyed this new talent (new to me at least)…sampit! thank you, ang galing galing! Continue reading

coconut-pecan-chocolate dream bars

nutty, chewy, chocolateybased on Judy Rosenberg’s Walnut dream bars, from the “All Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar Packed Baking Book.”.

my chocoholic kittens are pining for brownies…yes yes children, but not just now. i’m the cook after all! i had to make these first. something in my taste bud memory collection needed expression.:stirthepot

i first had Mary See’s chocolates from a box my ma brought home in 1975 when she finally came back from visiting her sisters and brothers abroad (did i mention before, she has 9 siblings?). More of the California chocolatier here. happily they are now available in many locations all over the country. (tragically not so for In-N-Out Burgers:melodramatic:.)
i loved the nuts and chews so much. they were better than curly tops! hershey’s with almonds! and it was way way before i’d had any Belgian, Swiss or French truffles.

so all this time i’ve been trying to make a cookie-brownie-cake-or-bar version to approximate that first sensational taste. this one is worth working over and over again. i based it on Rosie’s Bakery’s walnut dream bars, using pecans (because #1son thinks walnuts are too “evil and bitter)” and adding Lindt semi-sweet chocolate baking bars (because i found a stash of them at the dollar store–“made in France”! you betcha i stocked up). Continue reading