Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Mission: Raise Your Blood Pressure...

The Means: My Aligue (Crab Fat) Pasta

The Materials:

1 huge crab, boiled, use both fat and meat
1/2 shrimp or any seafood boullion cube
1 cup hot water
250 ml all purpose cream
4-5 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1-2 large red or green bell pepper/s, diced
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped onion
canola and/or sesame oil for sauteing
salt and pepper to taste
400 g spaghetti or any long pasta
grated parmesan cheese, optional

The Method:

1 Boil the crab. Harvest the fat and meat from the crab. Separate the meat from the fat.
2 In a separate bowl, dissolve the crab fat and boullion cube in hot water. Season with pepper (and salt, if necessary).
3 Saute garlic and onions. Add tomatoes. Season immediately with salt and pepper.
4 Add peppers, then crab meat. Stir for a few minutes.
5 Add crab fat mixture. Simmer.
6 Add cream. Simmer.
7 Taste. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
8 Add cooked spaghetti. Toss.
9 Serve as is or topped with grated parmesan cheese.
10 Enjoy.

Mission accomplished when...

11 Feel the back of your neck start to throb.
12a Take hypertension meds.
12b Or, go to nearest hospital.
12c Or, die smiling.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What really went on during that 1 million peso dinner...

Today's newspaper carried the headline "GMA Dined for P1M in NY". This news story, of course, shocked and angered so many people who perhaps still expect an iota of self restraint, respect for others' grief, and observance of propriety from a woman who has shown time and again that she is perhaps genetically incapable of any of these so-called "human" emotions. So what if President Aquino had just died and left not only her family but the whole nation saddened and grieving? So what if 40 percent of Filipinos have at one point in their lives experienced hunger? These are but trifling matters. Besides, it's not as if it was just a casual dinner where nothing of great import was discussed. No, I have it on good authority that GMA and cohorts were celebrating the inauguration of a new political party of which GMA is, naturally, the chimerical head. Below is a transcript of her inaugural address:

Good evening, men, women, harlots all.

Tonight, as I was being driven here in my sleek black stretch limousine, the sight of rows and rows of matchstick houses, squatter slums, assaulted my eyes. Dirty, hungry looking street urchins loitering, littering the street like trash, only aggravated the situation. For a while I thought I would be seized by a pure wave of pity and compassion for our kababayan and their karukhaan. For a while I was terrified that my conscience would rise up from the murky depths of my unconscious to bug the hell out of me... Then I remembered, I had it securely tethered to a 10-billion tonne weight which was sure to keep it down in the abyss of my mind, the black depths of which approximates that of the Mindanao Trench... Whew! That was close, I thought to myself. For a while there... I shuddered then heaved a huge sigh of relief as I settled back against my plush leather seat to contemplate the historic nature of this night.

Tonight is, indeed, a historic night. Tonight we celebrate the beginning of what I have no doubt will be the most profitable political party in Philippine political history. I welcome you, harlots, as members of KKK, which for our purposes, stands for Kakapalan ng mukha, Kawalan ng hiya, Katiwasayan ng bulsa. Specifically, ating bulsa.

Our mission is simple: to do whatever is necessary--without regard for honor, trust, integrity, respect, and all things valiant...and abstract--to remain in power and add to our, let's face it, already unimaginable wealth. Modesty is not a value. Moderation is taboo.

Ang ating misyon: ipakita sa taongbayan na wala silang maaasahan sa atin, kahit singkong duling, ika nga ng mga matatanda.

Wala nang pagpapanggap.

Wala nang magpapanggap na may batas na sinusunod. Pretty soon, we shall effect such a transformation as to render our old laws moot and create new ones that more accurately reflect the lawlessness of our actions. We shall render rules and regulations--even those that govern the conferring of honorific awards--optional. Sufficient but not necessary. So what if the likes of Lumbera, Bencab, Luz, and Almario raise a ruckus about it? Let those old fogeys have a coronary. Or three.

Wala nang pagpapanggap na may pagtingin tayo sa mahihirap. In this regard, this dinner should serve to put across this particular point. A necessary conclusion from two premises:

Premise 1: Forty percent of the Philippine population has suffered hunger at least once during the past year.
Premise 2: The current but pseudo Philippine president and her cohorts spent a million pesos on dinner in New York.
Conclusion: The pseudo president and her cohorts simply do not care. Are simply not bothered by the gaping incongruity that exists between the truth of Premise 1 and that of Premise 2.

Wala nang pagpapanggap na marunong tayong makiramay. Again, this dinner should serve to drive home this point. Another necessary conclusion from two premises:

Premise 3: The Philippines has just lost a much admired, even beloved, leader, one who lived and breathed simplicity, non-frivolity, and integrity.
Premise 4: The current but pseudo Philippine president and her cohorts spent a million pesos wining, dining, and generally making merry in New York while every Filipino (and even many non-Filipinos) elsewhere were grieving.
Conclusion: The pseudo president and her cohorts simply do not care. Are simply not bothered by the gaping incongruity that exists between the truth of Premise 3 and that of Premise 4.

(Thunderous applause almost shakes the foundations of Le Cirque)

(Chortles) I do try... (To waiter) I'll have that tenth bottle of Chardonnay, please...

I hope it is clear to everyone that I will not countenance any sort of good behavior, "good" defined as noble, heroic, selfless... I shudder to even say this word. I suggest you all exercise the same vigilance in staying away from all that is good and true and keeping close to our vision of an unjust, inhumane, society as a necessary consequence of the selfishness of our ambition.

I thank... no one... not even their God.

(Cheers and thunderous applause once more)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Finding the time for another pasta recipe

I'm finding myself overtaken by the new, and at times unsettling, experience of teaching. Yes, I have now joined the other side of the educational divide. I am now a guro, a titser (eep yu wil), at least for the year covering my appointment period. While I am enjoying certain aspects of it, as in the actual interaction with my students, I am still getting used to the administrative work that goes with it, the utter tediousness of preparation for classes, and the paradigm shift I have had to suffer through. I am, alas, not just a student anymore. Where before I used to sit in class, say something only when I wanted to and space out whenever I felt like it, I now have to stand in front of class, say the same things at least twice over, and try not to space out on my students. I am, too, not a freelancer anymore. I still have other projects but, for the better part of this year and next, I am fully employed by the university that made the sorry mistake of appointing me Assistant Professor 1, with 12 units teaching load, teaching 2 classes of General Psychology and 1 Experimental Psychology class. Did I say I have had to suffer through a paradigm shift? Make that still suffering.

It's not so bad, though. Frankly, half the time, I just like to create issues out of thin air. This, after all, is one of my favorite things to do. As irritating as being made to represent my department to college meetings can be, at least I have another new experience tucked under my belt and as busy and hectic as my schedule has gotten, at least I can still sneak in another pasta recipe, such as the one below. Suckiest segue, don't you think? Hopefully, the pasta is better than this post. Read--and cook--on...

Sausage-Shitake Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce

400 g cooked fusili (pasta twists)
1/2 to 1 large piece hungarian sausage, cut into not-too-thin but not thick slices
5-6 medium sized pieces shitake mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small can (around 100 g) tomato paste
1 250 ml pack all purpose cream
2 tbsp oil, for frying
salt, pepper, italian seasoning, basil, and paprika to taste
optional: cheese to top

1 Fry hungarian sausage slices.
2 Slide sausage slices to one side of the pan. Add garlic. Saute.
3 Add tomatoes. Season immediately with salt.
4 Add mushrooms. Saute everything for a few minutes.
5 Season with italian seasoning and basil, to taste.
6 Add tomato paste. Thin with water if the mixture becomes too thick.
7 Add cream. Decrease fire. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, to taste. Simmer.
8 When the sauce starts to boil, add cooked pasta. Toss.
9 Optional, top with cheese.
10 Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pasta Recipe for Dean

This recipe is dedicated (like a song!) to my friend, Dean, who now lives in the UK with her life partner and who is now starting a love thing with cooking... and eating what she cooks. It's a simple recipe that can be eaten as is or serve as a base for heartier pasta dishes.


500 grams fusili (pasta twists; can also use penne)
5-7 pcs medium-sized tomatoes, cut into med-sized chunks
3-4 pcs red and green bell peppers, cut into med-sized chunks
5-7 cloves of garlic, whole
fresh whole basil leaves
1 small can tomato paste
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
italian seasoning, to taste

1 Place tomatoes, peppers, and garlic cloves in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil until each piece is coated. Add salt and pepper. Toss. Roast in pre-heated oven, at 200 degrees C, for 30-40 minutes or until veggies are soft.
2 After roasting, mash the softened garlic and add tomato paste, italian seasoning, and fresh basil leaves to the vegetable mixture. Season again with salt and pepper, if necessary.
3 Add cooked pasta.
4 Can be enjoyed as is. Or, you can add fried meats such as bacon, ham, or hungarian sausage. You can also use canned tuna.
5 Top with parmesan or italian blend cheese.
6 Serve with garlic toast. Enjoy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Coerced Creativity

Last week, I had another attack of nasty kabag that left me feeling blue, worried about it (which exacerbated it, I'm sure) and, frankly, unsexy. As I told my friend, Lin, via text, kabag is bad. It takes away the sexy.

The silver lining to this grayest of clouds, however, is that I was coerced by circumstances, "forced to good" ika nga, to come up with relatively healthier but still tasty bogchi to put in my lovely, flabby, tummy.

Here are the results, featuring the very "meaty" shitake mushroom and 5-spice powder:

For breakfast, SHITAKE SALMON...

1 small can Salmon in Natural Oil (the salt in this dish comes from the canned salmon)
1-2 shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp atsuete oil (annato seeds soaked in canola oil)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1 stalk, green onion, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
kasuba, to taste
5-spice powder, to taste
sesame seeds, to taste (optional: toasted)

1 Saute garlic, onions, and chili in atsuete oil. Add the mushrooms.
2 Add 5-spice powder to the mix and saute for a few seconds.
3 Add salmon.
4 Sprinkle kasuba and sesame seeds.
5 Serve with brown rice or multi-grain toast.

For lunch or dinner, SHITAKE PASTA...

100 grams flat pasta, cooked and drained
2-3 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
2 stalks green onion, chopped
fresh basil leaves
fresh curly leaf parsley
5-spice powder, to taste
spanish paprika, to taste
1/2 cup soy sauce (optional: use patis or plain salt)
1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in water
1-2 tbsp atsuete oil

1 Saute garlic and onions in oil. Add the mushrooms.
2 Add the 5-spice powder, paprika, and soy sauce.
3 Thicken with cornstarch.
4 Add cooked pasta and some pasta water (if sauce is too thick).
5 Add fresh basil, parsley, and green onions.
6 Toss until leaves are wilted.
7 Serve with multi-grain toast.

For a quick dessert, FAUX APPLE PIE...

1 medium apple, sliced into thin wedges
1 cup granola
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 pat unsalted butter
1 tbsp honey

1 Mix granola, spices, butter, and honey.
2 Arrange apple wedges in a shallow bowl. Top with the granola crumble.
3 Blitz in microwave for 4-5 minutes.
4 Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I have an announcement to make...

I've decided to shed enough pounds to be what others may consider thin and sexy. I struggled with this decision because I have spent my life refusing to judge my appearance, and by intimate extension, myself, by other people's standards. It hurts to have to pretty much take back everything I've ever written about in this blog, everything I ever said to anyone about accepting oneself and not attaching one's sense of worth and beauty to the container one is housed in. But, damn it, there must be some truth to what people have been telling me all my life: that I would, in fact, be prettier if I lost a bit or a lot of weight. I consider myself a fairly curious person, so in the interest of satisfying curiosities, at least, I've decided to really try to be thinner... and prettier. (I'm tired of being passably pretty and very smart!). I don't want to just exercise or make changes in my diet for health's sake. That seems to me now like such a cop out. Health Schmealth, right?

Starting tomorrow, April 2, I will be going on a pretty strict diet. Think only one cup of brown rice a day for carbs. I'm also joining a gym instead of just doing Hip Hop Abs at home or walking up and down several flights of stairs.

I hope that my family, friends, and any random stranger who happens upon this blog will understand this massive Kuhnian type paradigmatic shift of my mind and heart. From now on, this blog will be about food still--but only healthy food and healthy eating. Which means no more pasta recipes. I hope I can still find much meaning in eating salad greens and veggiemeat and be able to write about connections between protein and, say, peace and justice.

Here's to a new (read: thinner, prettier!) me and (fingers crossed) an even better blog about healthy bogchi. I can't wait!

By the way, what day is it today?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Inspired by those LOSE/GAIN WEIGHT? sticker ads usually found on restroom doors and outdoor posts, Bochog’s All Carb Diet is designed to achieve the 2nd option that these sticker ads present: GAIN WEIGHT. Emboldened by the recognition that weight can be a matter of choice—that one can choose and wish to gain weight as much as another can choose to lose—the creator of this diet decided to crystallize the gastronomic principles she has lived by for 3 decades into an easy-to-follow diet that doesn’t skimp on taste. Bochog’s All Carb Diet is the first diet of its kind, a diet that can target weight gain as a goal but one that does not demand it. Bochog believes that there doesn’t have to be guilt or remorse should one follow the diet and still maintain one’s weight. After all, Bochog lives by the saying (which she made up herself)…

“There are no judgments here.”

Unlike other diets that advocate the reduction, even elimination, of carbohydrate intake, this diet advocates maximum intake of carbohydrates. The All Carb Diet, however, does not discriminate against other food groups, for instance, proteins such as meat, meat, and all meat. Instead, it advocates a balanced diet which consists of carbohydrates, some protein to make the carbs extra special to the palate and to ensure the continued employment of butchers and others who work in the meat procurement and processing sector, a few servings of veggies for those who have to contend with guilt (although, again, there are no judgments here), and the requisite chocolate caramel bar drink. Fruits may be substituted for some of the processed sweets. Beware, though. Studies have shown that those who eat more than one piece of fruit a day have a higher risk of having regular bowel movement and are, therefore, likelier to feel nature’s call at the most inopportune moments, like during a business meeting or right in the middle of an intimate moment with one’s partner or, like, whenever. (Sucks, right?).

The diet consists of a 3-day breakfast, lunch, merienda (afternoon snacks), and dinner menu. Meals are interchangeable. This allows the dieter latitude and freedom in creating his/her own diet plan while staying within the admittedly permeable boundaries set by the All Carb Diet. Dieters can create one-day menus using different combinations such as, for instance, Day 1 Breakfast, Day 2 Lunch and Merienda, and Day 3 Dinner.

This diet is contraindicated for those who want to lose weight as well as those in whom the very word carbohydrate triggers severe allergic reactions that may lead to anaphylactic shock. This diet is also recommended for those whose tongues are planted firmly in cheek.



1 cup, or 3, white rice (steamed or fried in STAR margarine with ham, bacon, and chorizo bits, and green peas and carrots for 1/16 serving of veggies)
1 multi-grain bagel (plain or slathered with a butter and cream cheese pimiento)
1 glazed donut (or 2…amounts are entirely optional)
1 glass Bochog Shake (to make: combine 1 banana cut up into pieces, half an apple, juice of 1 orange, ½ cup milk, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 Snickers bar, in a blender. Blend until smooth. For added joy, again entirely optional, top with cut up pieces of Twix bar, peanut butter flavor)


1 small (or big) plate of pasta with simple marinara sauce (or aligue sauce)
1 slice (or loaf) of whole wheat bread (plain or slathered with garlic herb butter. For a Southeast Asian take, substitute butter with ghee… and coconut milk)
1 simple salad, made of store bought mixed greens and your favorite dressing, on a bed of croutons, topped with grated cheese and bacon bits
1 glass diet root beer (with 2 scoops vanilla ice cream… there will be no judgments should you deem it necessary to add a 3rd scoop.)


3 layers of sapin-sapin
1 platter palabok
3-4 pieces puto (with 1 bowl dinuguan)
1 tall glass sago gulaman (with extra arnibal)


1 bowl asado mami
1 piece bola-bola siopao (with extra pao… or extra asado siopao)
1 cup white rice (can be substituted with 1 plate paella)
for dessert: 1 llanera leche flan (topped with slivers of sweet macapuno and a generous serving of caramel)



1 sausage platter (A sausage platter is just a large plate filled with at least 3 different kinds of sausages: ex. Chorizo de Bilbao, Hungarian, Italian, Bratwurst, Vigan Longganisa, Lucban Longganisa)
3-4 large pan de sal (with kesong puti)
1 cup brewed coffee (with lots of cream and sugar. Lots.)


1 10-inch all meat pizza
1 big bowl Caesar salad
1 plate Carbonara (2nd plate optional)
1 liter diet soda (1.5 liter if 1 liter bottle is not available)


½ to 1 slab bbq pork or beef ribs (according to preference)
1 pot chili
2-3 servings creamy mashed potatoes (to make: boil 10 potatoes, add 2 cups heavy cream, 2 sticks butter, salt and pepper to taste. Ham, bacon, or sausage bits are optional.)
for dessert: bread pudding (with caramel sauce)



3 large pancakes (topped with a blueberry or raspberry compote, whipped cream, and lots of maple syrup)
3-4 slices French toast (soaked in more maple syrup)
1-2 servings hash browns
3-10 pieces bacon
1 fruit platter (any fruit, fresh or candied, will do)
1-4 cups hot chocolate e


1-2 plates Pinoy style spaghetti (for a recipe, ask your mom)
2-3 pieces fried chicken
1-2 slices toast (plain or buttered and topped with grated cheese)
1.5 liter bottle diet soda (regular soda if diet soda not available)


10 pieces fish balls
10 pieces squid balls
10 pieces chicken balls
3-5 sticks isaw baboy
3-5 sticks isaw manok
3-5 sticks betamaks
2 liter bottle Sprite or 7 Up


1 platter white sauce pasta (alfredo or carbonara)
2-3 servings beef stroganoff (with rice, or pasta again)
1 rack of lamb
1-2 servings assorted roasted veggies (like potatoes, carrots, eggplant, peppers)
for dessert: cake sampler (sample slices of the ff. cakes: tiramisu, caramel cake, sans rival, moist chocolate cake, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, carrot cake, etc.)