Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life is Full of Surprises | Pasta Aligue (crab roe) with Crispy Adobo Flakes

On the eve of my birthday, my husband wakes me up and says: "I'm hungry can you please fix me something?"

I wipe my eyes and stare at the LCD clock radio by the side table and it reads 1 am.

"You must be kidding, right? Really? Really? It's 1 am and you want me to fix you something? There's left over in the fridge..." I mumble.

A few seconds after, I hear familiar voices screaming "SURPRISE!!!"

It was my eldest daughter from the Bay Area. The other voice was from my friend, who picked her up at the airport.  I rub my eyes, trying to figure out if I was dreaming... but the more I realize that it's for real, my jaw drops and tears start to fall.

I love surprises... who doesn't?  However, I'm usually the one who stages them. I thought no one could plan a birthday surprise for me, but I cannot fathom the fact that my family actually did one this year... and my daughter's arrival was just the start of what seemed to be a series of birthday surprises.

And so today when I asked my hubs what he wants for dinner.  His reply was "I want pasta...". "Creamy white sauce or tomato based?", I asked.


"...so surprise me", he said. Hmmm, I guess I'm not the only one who loves surprises. I'm sure your family loves surprises too. Let me share my special pasta recipe, and you could use it to pull a surprise on your family. Yes, life is sweet, life is indeed full of surprises.

Pasta Aligue with Crispy Adobo Flakes
(serves 2)

250 grams spaghetti noodles cooked (follow package instruction)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onions, chopped
2 tbsp crab roe
2 tbsp flour
1 cup (or add as needed) shrimp stock (Boil the shrimp heads, crush the head or use an Osterizer, then drain)
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 c black olives, pitted and sliced
lime/lemon zests
pepper and salt

Adobo left-overs (for adobo recipe click here)

Procedure:

For the sauce:
In a pan, saute garlic and onions with olive oil.  Add crab roe, stir for about a minute then add flour. Whisk it all together until the mixture is blended and smooth.  Slowly pour the shrimp stock.  Stir and make sure to remove all the bits and pieces from the pan.  Continue stirring until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. (You could add more broth if you prefer a thinner sauce and strain if needed). Add tomatoes and black olives.  Season with salt and pepper.

Now let's work on the adobo flakes:
Flake the adobo left over.  In a pan, drizzle athcuete oil and add the adobo flakes.  Toast until crispy.  Sprinkle a generous amount on top of the pasta.

Sprinkle some sliced chives and add some lime zests on the pasta.

Enjoy!





Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to Square One | Savory Bread Pudding

You're doing OK?  Wow, I'm surprised.

This was the statement of my daughter on the phone.  I am just calling to find out how you are doing after Joey left.  She said further.

Around this time last year, I took my son to Cornell and there were tissues everywhere used to wipe away my tears. Adjusting to our new life as empty-nesters has been a roller coaster of emotions. And now, again, the riveting silence at home is deafening. I am too young to have empty-nester syndrome.


But I do feel better.  I've seen up close how my kids have matured and grown.  And this comforts me.  The truth is that no matter where we are, as parents, our kids always come home... no matter how much they have grown and matured, or how independent they are (or at least feel).  And watching how my son has matured in just one year, I know he is growing up to be a fine young man.  It gives ripples of joy in my heart.


So I'm back to square one, re-learning to live my life with my kids away in college.  I was inspired with a dish I've never done before.  A contestant in Masterchef, Josh made a savory pudding it made me realize I could make something new and be excited about the process.

So here I share with you, my version of Savory Bread Pudding.


Ingredients:
1/2 lb.ground  pork and beef (1/4 pork, 1/4 beef)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 stalk celery chopped
1 egg
3 pcs bread buns
1/2 c bread crumbs (garlic and herb flavor)
1 c milk
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
raisins (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees.

Break the egg in a bowl.  Pour milk and gently beat the egg and milk mixture using a whisk.  Toss the bread into the bowl.  Allow the bread to soak into the egg/milk mixture. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix the ground meat.  Add the minced garlic, chopped celery and onions.  Now add the soy sauce and oyster sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the egg/milk mixture into the ground meat mixture.  Mix well.  Pour the mixture over a baking pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is puffed and golden brown.

The result is incredibly delicious: moist and filling.  I served it together with Chicken Noodle Soup and you bet hubby said, "this hits the spot!"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Video Blog 1 | How to Make Fried Chicken Ala Jollibee

I'm on my way over there with my camera and ready to shoot our first video.

My girlfriend Kelly cheerfully announced.  No. I'm Not Ready, was my immediate retort.  Well girl, just look at it as if you will just be cooking for tonight's dinner.  You could do it.  

You could do it!  Four powerful words that sparked enthusiasm and excitement.  Before I knew it, I was giggling with her, in front of the camera like we were just having fun.  And this my friends is what I would like to present to you... my first collaborative work with Kelly.


Thank you Kelly for the encouragement, the tips, and for shooting this video blog.  And as I mentioned in my May 29 post... Thank you for being a friend. 


Thank you for watching.  Let me know what you think.  xo, Malou P.S. I have shared the recipe of Fried Chicken a la Jollibee in a previous post.  I hope you don't mind if I'll just direct you there to get the whole recipe.  Please click here.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Warm Hug| Catfish Nuggets Cooked in Vinegar with Ginger and Lemongrass (Paksiw)

"Oh no, I have never cooked catfish before."

This was the desperate plea by a contestant on a reality show on the Food Network. I remembered it instantly when I saw the catfish fillet on sale at the grocery store for $2.99 a pound.  I got intrigued by the contestant's comment, as catfish is not a common dish to prepare.  Many are daunted by the task of preparing a catfish recipe.

But what's not to love about catfish? First, it's so easy to cook, kinda what Rachel Ray would say chop and drop style of cooking.  Second it's easy on the budget, especially when it's on sale.  Well, who can say no to easy to cook and easy on the pocket. A bonus for me is that it is also a comfort food. My recipe for paksiw na hito or catfish stew really hits home,  just like a warm hug especially when the temperatures are starting to cool down. 


So get your rice ready as I am going to share with you today's recipe for:

Catfish Nuggets Cooked in Vinegar with Ginger and Lemongrass (Paksiw)
I have shared a similar recipe before but I added a twist with the Lemongrass

3/4 cup rice water (water used to wash rice)
3/4 cup vinegar
1/8 cup fish sauce or you could opt to use salt
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onions (sliced)
3 slices of Ginger
2 medium Tomatoes
1 stalk of lemon grass, pounded and sliced
2 lbs catfish fillet

In a saucepan put all the 7 ingredients together and bring it to boil. When tomatoes and onions are soft and the water starts to turn orange due to the tomatoes, add the catfish fillet. Cook until nuggets are done.



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reboot| Pork Chops in Hoisin and Fish Sauce

I awaken this morning in an unfamiliar setting... Hubs not beside me, window by my side, I thought I had slept somewhere else.  Before your suspicious minds wander and eyebrows start to rise, let me explain. I slept on a spare bed because my husband is not feeling well so he isolated himself from me.  He is in quarantine.

However, the sun has barely risen and I already hear and smell familiar Saturday morning rituals.  The tv is on blaring the morning news... the coffee is brewing... ahhh, it must be Saturday I said.  Hubs is definitely feeling better as he is up doing his regular routine.  The familiar voices of  our local morning hosts on KSDK, Kelly and Chester made me recall that it's been a week since I guested at their show... as my thoughts regaled the recent guesting, I jumped out of bed (literally) as I panicked... Oh no, it's been a week too since my last post.

Talk about wanting to be more current with the news (yes I wanted to do a post about the Olympics). I thought of sharing with you our dinner last night.  No matter how much I try to be "in", I always go back to one of the goals of this blog, which is to share with you simple recipes from our dinner table.


I realize it has only been a few seconds since I opened my eyes.  My thoughts are going 100 mph, so I logged on to my laptop... I panic again because one, wi-fi wasn't working, and two, I remember my initial reason to panic - it's been a week since my last post.  Hubby comes in and says to me "relax, I'll reboot the modem, it's a beautiful Saturday morning...".  Indeed, all I had to do was calm down and to resolve the last dilemma by sharing with you last night's dinner.  Life is simple... life is good.  Good Morning!


Porkchop in Hoisin and Fish Sauce

(I just love the hoisin and fish sauce that I used in my cabbage rolls a few posts ago. Now I use it in almost every thing that I serve...haha.  But trust me, this simple recipe will be a winner too..  This dish is served best with steamed veggies  on the side.  With this marinade, you could cook the pork any way you want it: bake or grill is fine.)

Ingredients:
6-8 pcs pork chops
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup soup stock
1 lime - add the lime juice
4 clove garlic - minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

Marinade the pork chops by mixing all the ingredients together.  Leave it for 30 minutes or at best overnight.

Pour the marinated pork chops (together with the marinade) in a pan.  Cook over medium fire.  Cook until sauce is reduced.  If pork is not cooked yet, add another 1/2 cup of soup stock and cook until done.  Sauce should be reduced but there should be enough to coat the chops.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Guest Appearance on KSDK 5 St. Louis

As promised, I am sharing with you the link to my guest appearance on KSDK 5 St. Louis, an NBC affiliate.  I still can't put together the right words to describe the experience, as I am still overwhelmed by the exciting experience. All I know is that I had a fab time... never mind if I had to wake up at 4 AM and drag along my husband and son in tow (thanks guys for the support).  I also would like to thank the people of Channel 5 for having me: the anchor, Kelly Jackson, who made me feel so at ease on cam; meteorologist, Chester Lampkin, whose mom I found out is from my hometown of Tuguegarao (btw people of Tuguegarao, Chester is planning to visit soon); and of course the friendly staff... thank you so so much.




Click here to watch the video

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm in a playful mood...

I didn't feel like studying so I cooked instead, came the message sent by my daughter studying in L.A.  It was a picture of the crepes she made. I can't hide the feeling of excitement to know that cooking is now a part of my daughter's chores.  This summer, she moved out of the dorm into an apartment and one of her challenges is... yep, cooking.  But lo and behold, a month later, she finds cooking as a stress releaser.

My son, who is home for the summer has been showing interest too.  He's been also making crepes non-stop that his sisters call him the crepe master.  He does it with precision following my recipe he keeps close to his side.  

My eldest daughter has been cooking since she moved to her apartment 4 years ago.  Today her repertoire has expanded.  She talks about quinoa, risotto and all things food that she improvises.  I still have to wait for her to guest blog, a promise she made 2 years ago still unfulfilled, haha.  

I am glad that I have passed on the love of cooking to my children.  Whenever my friends here on Skip to Malou tell me that I inspire them to cook, my heart skips... but when my children tell me they now have the heart for it too, I could feel my face turn warm and my heart smile.  And for this thrill alone, I feel happy to be writing this blog.

Cooking should always be fun.  It should also be an extension of your self... an expression or a peek into what your mood is for the day...  And just like today, I'm in a playful mood, haha.  So I made a Krispie Kreme Burger, much to the surprise of my family.


No need for a recipe here.  All I did was to grill the patty..ans oops I didn't have any burger buns...oh well no problem I used donuts... hmm even better!


I wanted to punctuate it a little further so I layered it with bacon and a cheese omelet...


You should have seen the big smiles on my son and hubs' faces!  LOL!

Hmm maybe I'm just so excited, because you know why? Well, it's two more days before I get  to appear in our local channel (St. Louis' Channel 5). Yep I have a TV appearance set for Saturday morning on August 4, at 6 AM. You could watch it online too, but no worries, I'll share the link here as soon as it's up.  

The weekend is here... so have fun!

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