Archive for the ‘Rice’ Category

Garlic Mushroom Risotto

I’ve been meaning to test-drive a risotto dish for the longest time in my kitchen – moreso after watching variants of this dish being featured in most of the cooking shows we have been watching lately.

Pleased to say that  after racking my brains for something new to prepare for lent and then  snagging a pack of arborio rice from the grocery – “the day” has finally come! 😉

I was equally pleased at how it turned out – though I admittedly had to tweak the original recipe a bit.

Some minor revisions:

  1. Reduced mushrooms to 375 grams.
  2. Added 1 more cup of water.
  3. Replaced romano cheese with parmesan.
  4. Used dried parsley instead of fresh.
  5. Added dried rosemary.

Verdict: Encore soon! :mrgreen:



Fab French Fungi

Before all of you let out a collective “Eeeeewwww!” at the title of my post, please do read on… I’m sure most of you will hopefully see how close to reality this “claim” is later on …  😉

As mentioned in my previous entry, thanks to my sister’s good friend (our fave French monsieur also known as “Louis Pierre”), we got over our initial biases and were pleasantly acquainted with traditional French cuisine.

Although admittedly a bit pricier than the usual “plate of the day”  in Spain or in Portugal, our gastronomic adventure led us to a quaint and cozy restaurant in the heart of Paris – Truffes Folies – where, you guessed it – the specialty is the so-called “diamond of the kitchen” – the fab fungus that is the truffle.

Sure, I’ve heard of truffles before – why, I’ve even tasted its chocolatey version! 😳  Little did I realize though how chocolate truffles were in a totally different league till I tasted the delicate flavor of the “real thing” – that I too would inevitably fall prey to the charms of this “fungal fruit”- especially after sampling these savory truffle-ized culinary creations…

Too bad I never got around asking the chef what the creamy, sorbet-like scoop was… 😦 It was delicious nonetheless!

How’s this for upping the status of the lowly omelette? 😉

My order. Y-U-M-M-Y.

Hubby’s order. Y-U-M-M-I-E-R!

And for those of us (i.e., my brother) who weren’t huge truffle fans that adventurous with their food, there’s always this…

Still tasty and delish!

Of course, if, for some weird reason, you feel that flavor was still wanting, you can always have dashes of these…

or this  – to ultimately “level up” the “delish factor” of your dish!

Needless to say, our traditional French lunch that day will set the bar “way up” for our future foodie adventures.

And if only for this, I can definitely say, “Vive la France!” 😎

Champorado (Chocolate Porridge)

It’s a weekday and the three gremlins are home with me.  The two boys are recuperating from a recent bout of respiratory tract infection while divalette is again “playing hooky” (with permission)! 😆 

A short note: Though our little princess was very much “willing and able” to report for school today, she was kinda “limited” by our dear “designated driver” (aka hubby) who said he can only make trips to and from school with a “minimum” of two children! And since the “minimum passenger requirement” was regretfully(?)  not met, it’s no go for her (*sigh*)… 😳

So what’s a mom to do? Prepare something a little bit special for breakfast to hopefully perk up her “not so well” brood seemed like a good idea… 😉

A quick survey of my “kitchen arsenal” yielded the “perfect solution” – a box of Double Chocolate Champorado (“imported” from Pinas during our last home leave, of course!).

Champorado, or chocolate porridge,  is considered one of the more popular almusals (breakfasts) in the Philippines. The original recipe was usually made with soft-boiled glutinous rice and flavored with tableas de Cacao, bittersweet chocolate tablets made of freshly roasted chocolate mixed with milk and sugar. Champorado is usually served with a side dish of fried or smoked seasoned meats like longganisa  (local sausages) or beef tapa (beef jerky).  In  our family, though, we grew up eating this with a side of fried dilis (anchovies).

I actually tried preparing the dilis this morning to go with the porridge but I unwittingly burnt the darn thing – how pathetic is that! 😦

Good thing the yummy champorado more than made up for my sorry dilis misadventure – the gremlins readily gobbled it up! 😆

Thanks, Antonio Pueo!   Till we cross paths again…

LaPiS: Hearty

Part of what I signed up for as “domestic diva” is kitchen duty and part of kitchen duty is…

Preparing packed lunches for hubby and the kids on weekdays. 🙂

When the mood hits me, I like to do something special for them, to make lunch a bit more interesting. 

Why have the “plain rice and viand combo” when you can jazz it up a little like this…

Now, how’s that for a truly hearty meal? 😳 😎

A love-filled pre-Valentine Lasang Pinoy Sunday to all!

Comfort Food

There’s something about being away from home (and cold!)  that certainly brings on a craving for the familiar and simple fare our Pinoy palate has been accustomed to.

What better way to combat the dreaded homesickness than these…

Yes, “the Bee” has finally found his way to our part of the world – yipee! 😆  And check out the buzz his arrival has created!

Now, we don’t need to go back to Manila to have our “langhap-sarap” fix!  Be it Chickenjoy, spaghetti or burger – name it, we can now have it in the comforts of our home.  “Bee-da” talaga sa sarap! 😎

And when the wind blows a little bit colder and the temp goes from comfortably cool to chilly and nippy, I find that a bowl of this just does wonders…

Yummy recipe can be found here. Thanks, Marketman!

Truly grateful that we have food like these to comfort us and ease the sometimes gnawing  angst we feel in this cold expanse of a desert we temporarily call home – for they warm not only our tummies but our hearts as well. 🙂 What can I say? They don’t call ’em comfort food for nothing. 😉


Everytime we want to have something light and relatively healthy, we always go for Japanese food.

However, since Japanese restos are only beginning to be introduced to this kingdom (and with only a handful – the expensive ones – serving really good and authentic Jap dishes), we have to resort to home-cooked Japanese food most of the time.  And since I’m the designated cook at home, I make sure that I prepare mostly simple yet yummy dishes inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun.

Here’s what I came up with during our recent “Japanese Night”… 😀

Maki Variants: Crabstick and cucumber with faux caviar and Spicy Tuna

BTW, I found this link especially helpful when prepping my sushi rice while this one made actually putting the makis together a tad easier.

And I also tried something new… well, not exactly… since I’ve had this years ago when my mom made this for us when they were still based in Nagoya…

Though the chicken dish was not a big hit with the tweens, I’m glad that both hubby and diva-lette liked it. And the maki? Well, they were  “mercilessly devoured” – as usual – hahaha! 😎

Here’s another shot of the chicken (with its Japanese name this time) up-close…

And finally, for those who may be interested, here’s the easy recipe for the chicken that my mom passed on to me (I think she got it from one of those “authentic” Nihongo cookbooks):

WHAT YOU NEED: 400 grams skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 450 g in mine with the same results), 2 tablespoons sake/Japanese rice wine, 1 tablespoon lemon juice

FOR THE SAUCE: 2 tablespoons sake, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil

HOW TO: Prick chicken breasts with a fork and season with salt (I used approximately half a tablespoon to season mine).  Put chicken in small bowl and add sake and lemon juice.  Let marinate for 20 minutes (I did mine overnight). Place chicken and marinade in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes. Mix together ingredients for the sauce and boil until sauce thickens somewhat.  Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and serve with the sauce.

Easy-peasy, isn’t it? 😉

No-Brainer Fried Rice

On days when I find myself nowhere near the zone of inspired and creative cooking, I am glad that the simplest ingredients (mostly leftovers, mind you!) can surprisingly still work wonders.

Case in point – my “no-brainer” fried rice! 😆

Having some leftover rice and chicken luncheon meat on hand as well as some sweet peas in the crisper, I proceeded to “strut my stuff” in my tiny kitchen. 😆

First off, I beat some eggs and scrambled them then cut them into strips.  I then set these aside.  Afterwards, I cubed the remaining luncheon meat and fried them a bit – I again set these aside. 

On to the main event… I sauteed the rice in four cloves of crushed garlic and oil and seasoned to taste.  Finally, I dumped the rest of the ingredients in (peas and luncheon meat) and finished off with a topping of the scrambled egg strips.

This is what I then served to my three hungry “gremlins” for a late lunch when they got home from school.

The verdict? They absolutely loved it! 😎

Just goes to show that simple (and easy!) can still be delicious.