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.