Category Archives: mostly carbs

food from daisy

this is food that i could eat all day.

i was watching Daisy Cooks! over the weekend and i was growing faint from the combination of hunger and desire. years ago my Boricuan buddies Judith and Albert served me beans with potatoes. and there was Daisy Martinez, who gave the proper recipe. see, Albert’s version had Spam and salt pork, both of them really some of my most favorite flavors but sadly not very healthy at all.
Daisy’s version has ham cubes–a big improvement! i decided to go “whole hog” and cook the entire meal:

ham and beans and potatoes
(i had it for lunch, over white rice)
pink beans with ham and potatoes,habichuelas rosadas con jamon y patatas

yellow rice with corn, arroz con maiz,

and the sweetly named
chuletas de abuela, Grandma’s pork chops.
comfort food
this was our supper. forgot to garnish with cilantro. we. were. famished.

flavors that go so fantastically well together. i’m lucky that my grocery has a Spanish section and stocks alcaparrado and Spanish style tomato sauce and bitter orange marinade, but in a pinch it wouldn’t be hard to substitute hard-to-find ingredients.

some advance planning is required, as far as the pork chops are concerned: they need long marinating for maximum flavor. for the yellow rice, fresh corn on the cob is ideal but you can use frozen. that’s what i love about Daisy’s recipes–building up the complex layers of flavors can be easy if you have to take shortcuts, that is, using bottled sofrito and recaito and dry rub or marinade. recipes here

cool me down, cool me off

with a carb-y and a fruity salad!
bow tie pasta (farfalle) salad
a pound of farfalle, a pound of asparagus, a pint of grape tomatoes, a cup and a half of crumbled feta, a bunch of mint(they’re taking over the garden!)…dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
bowtie pasta salad,recipe from the Boston Globe Food section, July 2, 2008.

buko+nata de coco+kaong+frutas=frut salad!
buko (young coconut) fruit salad…i would love to dive in and drown in it! a packet of frozen shredded young coconut, 2 cans of fruit cocktail, nata de coco (coconut gel) and kaong (palm fruit), a-swim in a softened-cream cheese/condensed milk/heavy cream concoction.
in a fit of self-righteouslness i did not devour it… :melodramatic: i dove into the YMCA swimming pool instead.

just perfect for this heatwave we’re in :wizard: .

play time

i thought a bread machine would be fun to have in the kitchen.
i wanted a Japanese one..but have you seen how much those cost? i couldn’t justify spending too much on a brand new Zojirushi that i might not use much in the end. or that i’d feel pressured to use, to make it worthwhile…so i turned to eBay. i got really lucky and got a barely-used Dak (out of business, but parts are still available). i made our first bread machine loaf the day it arrived…

it was a bit alarming in the beginning, with all the noise it made. but 3 and a half hours later i got the best surprise…

it worked! and it was beautiful, moist-inside-crusty-outside kind of loaf. oddly shaped, but the magical way that it kneaded the dough, “fermented”, baked and cooled it…all you do is measure everything in, in proper order.

freshly baked, i slathered on some carabao butter…*sigh*
thank heavens for all the people who share recipes (the machine didn’t have its original cookbooklet)–i hope to try out as many as i can, who knows how long this machine will last?!

pan de sal by a cutie!

here she was at age 4. i don’t make pan de sal anymore since this really good brand has been for sale here (as long as you arrive promptly at 1 pm every Friday–blink and you miss it). but my little daughter truly enjoyed helping make these. she particularly liked rolling them around in the dry bread crumbs.

do you have a favorite pan de sal recipe? i didn’t have much luck the last time i tried it (they transformed into hockey pucks).

i do remember that instant yeast and the dough hook of a heavy duty mixer made it easy. it’s crucial that the liquid be at the proper temperature to make the yeast active yet not entirely kill it.

do you have a favorite pan de sal recipe? i haven’t had much luck the last time i tried it (they transformed into hockey pucks). i’ve bookmarked some from my favorite Pinoyfoodbloggers but i don’t have a bread machine.
i am willing to try highly recommended tried and true recipes.

for the next time i miss the delivery truck!

a loaf of bread

an easy white bread recipe. a bedimpled baby loaf.

i followed the recipe faithfully (from the back of the King Arthur’s all purpose flour paper sack), and it came out with a lovely brown crust and tender crumb.

3 cups all purpose flour (or use a combination of all purpose plus white wheat flour; i used only all-purpose)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup hotwater, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 tbsps. melted cooled butter
3 tbsps. sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp. salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp. water or 2 teaspoons instant yeast (i used the latter type)

in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6-8 minutes or until it becomes soft and supple. (or knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle.)
transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

transfer the dough to alightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. place the log in a lightly greased 8& 1/2 inch by 4 & 1/2 inch loaf, pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. a finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

bake the bread in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or measuring its interior temp. with an instant-read themrmometer (it should register 190F at the center of the loaf). remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing. store bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

grilled squid and scallop with angel hair pasta

in your face squid
for a change!
i know the photo is sort of squid-squarely-in-your-face…i guess you either love it or hate it.
a simple and easy pasta supper…just briefly grill squid and scallops to almost done-ness, then saute in extra virgin olive oil, with garlic and basil leaves, before adding the just-cooked angel hair (capellini).
i moistened the sauce with reserved boiling water from the pasta. then garnished with basil (these are Thai, i thought i’d experiment). season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. i also added “ichimi togarashi” the super-hot Japanese red pepper sprinkle on my portion. or else the kids might do this to me :fryingpan .
it was swell.

chicken curry and roti

i had this sudden craving for chicken curry. what a difference a week makes! what was once so sunny and balmy, has now turned into cold and chilly.

so naturally stew-y dishes with rich creamy sauces come to mind. and belly.
chicken curry, roti, rice

this roti recipe i downloaded from recipezaar a while back. i’d been looking for a right proper roti (unleavened flat bread) recipe to go with the Malaysian style curry and though it’s not quite buss up shirt style (flakey, light, and crispy at the same time–Trinidad and Tobago cuisine–i will try next time!), it is reminiscent of what we had from a favorite Malaysian restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown.


4 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

approximately 1 & 1/2 cups hot water

a little less than one half stick of butter, at room temperature

sift flour and salt (or whisk) then add hot water in a steady stream, mixing only until dough is moist but not sticky. (watch out for the hot water). incorporated softened butter into the dough and mix well. roll out into flat rounds. heat up the griddle (i used a crepe pan) and rub oil into pan with a paper towel. the flat breads turn somewhat translucent with brown spots. keep warm until ready to serve by tenting a piece of foil loosely over them. (mine turned out very oddly shaped! amateurish…)

chicken curry: (adapted from Gourmet Cook Book edited by Ruth Reichl)

5 chicken thighs

4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

6 large shallots, chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

2-3 tbsps. water

2 tbsps. curry powder

1 cup coconut milk

1 & 1/2 cups water or chicken broth

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 clove

salt and pepper to taste

cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes

pound the garlic, ginger and shallots in a wide mouthed mortar and with a pestle; alternatively, puree in a food processor or blender; until mixture reaches paste-like consistency. add up to 3 tbsps. water.

brown seasoned chicken (salt and pepper) in hot oil until meat is no longer pink. do this in batches so the meat will brown. remove from oil and set aside in a platter.

remove excess oil and add the shallot-ginger-garlic paste. stir fry for one minute. add curry powder and stir fry one minute more. add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients except potatoes and sweet potatoes and stir well. let simmer until chicken is almost tender then add the potatoes and sweet potatoes. cook until done.

chickpea salad & coconut rice

in our neck of the woods, when the weather hits 70 degrees F and above, and it’s October, and you know

you’re supposed to be cold and wet but instead it’s warm and sunny…

you have a cookout.

with #1son home for the long Columbus Day weekend, balmy breezes, and after discovering the source of plentiful hardwood charcoal (after a long and futile search all week long because the big box stores had packed them away for the season)…. it was time to skewer up some pork and marinate the chicken wings.

i made these dishes which were really easy and tasty sides for the grilled meats.bbq

i made green papaya atchara, using a new vegetable peeler which i’d read about as great for peeling thin skinned fruit and vegetables (tomatoes! nectarines! peaches! no need to do the x-ing on the bottom, blanching in hot then plunging in cold ice water! method described here) and discovering that the swiveling serrated blades worked great for the thick hard green papaya skin as well. (and no this is not a sponsored post 😆 )
the sharp curved tip is useful for poking out eyes from potatoes and pineapples too. this one’s by zyliss.

the garbanzo bean salad is easy and quick to make! i adapted the recipe from the back of the can, substituting crushed garlic cloves and adding juice from half a lemon.


the garlicky tart garbanzos were especially good with nasi lemak (coconut-pandan rice) which i made with basmati rice.
nasi lemak
recipes ….. Continue reading

pasta with golden onions, tuna and beans

i did something seemingly insane on the weekend that my son moved into his new habitat.

i scheduled a cookout-sleepover for my daughter and her friends.

it was MAD! but of course it was also the antidote to driving myself mad, for this event took my mind off the launching of my son into his new almost-adult life, apart from us, and kept me frantically preoccupied.

we set up our old picnic table and bench, dusted off the grill, marinated and soaked, sliced and diced.

we had a bon fire which was a big hit with everyone–they toasted marshmallows and played theatrics by the fire.

since i had no implements for making s’mores i set up the fondue pot on the picnic table and melted some honey-nougat chocolate bars for dipping strawberries, bananas, and homemade yogurt cake.

i prepared this pasta dish to be the anti-meat and it was a big hit with the young women, with its subtly tangy tuna flavor (canned yes! but the good Italian, in-olive-oil, brand).

pasta with golden onions, tuna and beans

recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine, August 2006Gourmet Magazine, August 2006; i added tuna and replaced parsley with basil from my windowsill.

you can safely wager that the girls did not sleep much! fortunately we have doors to separate the living room from the upstairs bedrooms. there was much squealing and giggling from the 12 and 13 year olds….

and a bit of snoring from the old folks upstairs.