Category: Legumes, Rice, Pasta & Noodles

Seafood Carbonara

seafood carbonara, photo by Carol Elep

Seafood Carbonara


200g salmon steak cut into cubes

150g king prawns, shelled and deveined

1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

4 egg yolks + 1 whole one

Salt and pepper

Tagliettele pasta




Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

Spaghetti in Shrimp Pesto, Photo by Arnold Gamboa

Spaghetti with Shrimp Pesto

 The above photo was taken by Arnold Gamboa, a former child matinee idol of the late 70s in the Philippines.
  • 500g Spaghetti (dried or fresh)
  • ½ lb shrimp/prawn, peeled, deveined and tailed off
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


    Fresh Pesto Recipe


  • 50g pine nuts
  • 80g basil
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves


    1. Heat a small frying pan over a low heat. Dry fry the pine nuts until golden.
    2. Put the pine nuts into a food processor together with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
    3. Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for a good couple of weeks.



    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil and cook spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction.

    No 1 way:  Drain and arrange over a large serving plate as above photo. (then top with the pesto and shrimp)

    No 2 way is to return the pasta back into the pan, adding the pesto and 25g of parmesan. Toss well, then transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan. Then arrange cooked shrimps on top.

    Concurrently, heat a saucepan, add the olive oil, minced garlic, shrimp and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir until shrimps are opaquely reddish.  This might take about 5 minutes.

    Once shrimp are fully cooked, add the pesto and stir well.  Use as topping for no 1 way.

    Serve immediately.

    PS  No1 or No2 only differs on how you want to present the dish, both taste the same. 🙂

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole, photo by JMorton

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

This is a sumptuous medley of vegetables cooked in lots of sweet plum tomatoes.  Delicious evening meal for any day of the week.


1/2 head of broccoli, separated into individual florets
2 courgette, cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally
1 can Cannellini beans, washed and drained
100g green beans, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
a can chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth (or 2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mixed herbs
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method of Preparation:

Heat a large casserole pan, heat the oil.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic until golden and fragrant.

Pour in the chopped plum tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil then stir in the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixed herbs (or use dried basil).  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Drop in the courgettes and green beans.  Cover the casserole and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Finally add the broccoli.  Do not cover the casserole so that the appetising dark green colouring of the broccoli will not fade.  Cook until soften.

Check and adjust the seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper, if required.

Serve hot with some crusty bread or even steamed rice.

Quick Kimchi Rice Recipe

Quick Kimchi Rice, Photo by JMorton

Quick Kimchi Rice Recipe

My quick kimchi rice was really the quickest most basic recipe ever.  It was just kimchi, freshly boiled hot steaming basmati rice, a bit of olive oil and kimchi juice.  I also added the heated marinade from the peri-peri chicken I was cooking at the same time. 🙂  Mix together to make a delicious rice dish to go with meat  (in this case the peri-peri chicken) or vegetable dish.

Below is the more standard Korean recipe. Enjoy!


  • 2-3 cups boiled rice
  • ¾ cup kimchi, chopped
  • ¼ cup kimchi juice (if are not making your own kimchi 🙂 , you can get the juice from packet or a large jar of kimchi available in any Oriental supermarket.)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons gochujang (hot red pepper paste)
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 sheet of kim, (also known as gim is a Korean’s edible seaweed much like the Japanese’ nori) roasted and shredded
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Heat up a large frying pan or a wok.
  2. Add the vegetable oil.
  3. Quickly stir-fry the kimchi; for a minute under high heat.
  4. Stir in the rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang.
  5. Continue stirring the ingredients together for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  7. Finally sprinkle the chopped spring onion and crumbled roasted gim,
  8. Serve hot!


Chicken Paella Recipe

Paella in Barcelona – Photo by Peter Morton

We had a wonderful meal of chicken paella whilst on holiday in Barcelona.

The dish was so sumptuous that I still think about it today. LOL  I have tried to make my own version and I found Jamie Oliver’s version is a good starting point for a truly delicious Spanish paella.

Below is a Jamie Oliver recipe:

Chicken Paella Recipe


• 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, preferably free-range or organic, skin on, each quartered
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• plain flour, for dusting
• olive oil
• 100g chorizo, sliced
• 6 slices pancetta or streaky bacon
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 2 litres hot chicken stock, preferably organic
• 2 large pinches of saffron
• 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
• 500g paella rice
• small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped
• 2 handfuls peas, fresh or frozen
• 10 king prawns
optional: 500g mussels, scrubbed
• optional: 2 small squid, halved and scored


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place the pieces on a baking tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the pan back on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.

Finally, add the cooked chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.

Pansit Chami Recipe

Pancit Chami, Photo by Carol Elep

Pansit Chami Recipe

Pansit Chami is a specialty of Lucena, the capital city of the Quezon province in the Philippines.  This recipe is much beloved that a festival had been created.  Each month of May, a pansit Chami  competition is held to look for anyone who can cook up the best tasting Chami.  This followed by eating contest. 🙂  Audience participation is also included as they get to sample the cooked pansit Chami from the competition, thus a fun festival enjoyed by all.

Chami is derived from two Chinese words, Chaocai (stir-fry) and mi (noodles).  Chami is made from flat noodles, Miki, which is a Shanghai-style noodles.

Below is the basic recipe provided by the Lucena Community Website.  You can make the recipe truly your own by improvising; adding more toppings of your own preference.

Pansit Chami Basic Recipe


2 cups cooked chicken meat, diced or flaked
1 – 2 cups shrimp, cooked and shelled
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced to strips
½ head roughly chopped cabbage
1 kg miki noodles or fresh-egg noodles
½ cup soy sauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground pepper
1 – 2 pcs of siling labuyo
2 cups chicken broth

1. In a large pan or wok, heat vegetable oil and sauté garlic and onion.

2. Put in the chicken meat, and cook until browned.

3. Add carrot strips.

4. Add in the noodles and continue cooking on high heat until the noodles are slightly cooked.

5. Add soy sauce and chicken broth.

6. Add brown sugar then season with ground pepper. Continue cooking with regular stirring.

7. Adjust seasonings to your taste, you can put in the siling labuyo.

8. When the noodles are almost done, add in cabbage and continue cooking for several minutes more, until the broth is reduced into a slightly thick sauce.

9. Garnish with cooked shrimps or quail eggs. Best served with calamansi.


Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese

This is a vegetarian version of the customary meaty Italian recipe.  Lentil replaces the minced beef or pork.  This recipe is deliciously spicy.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped finely
1 stick celery, chopped finely
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
400g can of chopped plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf (dried or fresh)
2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 200ml hot water
50g red lentils
150g spaghetti
1 tbsp chopped basil (dried or fresh)
freshly ground black pepper


Cook the spaghetti according to the packet’s instruction, then drain.

Meanwhile to make the bolognese, use a large casserole to heat the olive oil.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, not burnt.

Put in the onion, cook until tender.

Stir in the celery and carrot and gently fry for 10 minutes.

Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes, with the tomato puree, and vegetable stock.

Add the red lentils and drop in the bay leaf.  Cover and leave to simmer for a quarter of an hour. Check occasionally to give it a stir.

Add the basil and some freshly ground black pepper.

Finally add the cooked pasta into the bolognese sauce and give it a good stir.

Serve with some sliced crusty bread.

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

Ginisang Mungo, by Mae Mercado Sanguer

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

This is a classic Filipino dish.  A great favourite of many.  Almost a mainstay on a meat-free Friday, where the pork belly is substituted with prawns or dried anchovies instead. (In the UK, perhaps some slivers of smoked haddock!)


  • 200g pork belly, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil   
  • 200g Baby spinach or kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup mung beans

Method of Preparation:

  • Rinse the mung beans thorough in running water.  Discard the floaters.
  • Using a large casserole pan,  boil the mung beans in the water.  Lower down the heat and leave to simmer until the mung beans green casings have separated and floated on top.  Get a serrated spoon or ladle to remove the casing and then discard.  This is optional, the casing is safe to eat, I just don’t really like them. 🙂 – a personal choice.
  • In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and stir-fry the pork. Cook until golden all over. Remove the pork from pan and set aside. 
  • Using the same pan, saute garlic, onion and tomatoes until completely softened into a gooey mess of total goodness. 🙂
  • Add the pork and fish sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Tip the sautéed pork into the casserole of simmering mung beans. 
  • Add  the kale leaves and cook for 5-8 minutes or spinach and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Quickly adjust the seasoning and it is all done!

Best served with freshly boiled rice and a side of freshly grilled of fried fish.


Every Kind of Nuts


Nuts, iphone photo by JMorton

Shelled Nuts

Every Kind of Nuts

Each year, during Christmas, Peter and I ensure that we have nuts for nibbles. 🙂

Of course, some nuts have hard casing that they need special kind of nut cracking implement. We have this special tool in our kitchen cupboard, they should really.  I say this because it is rather curious as you see them often when you don’t need them during the course of the year – but once they are needed to play an integral part to the celebration – they can’t be found.  (Totally nuts.  An utter nutty sod’s law.)

In desperation, often Peter and I would resort to anything that has a bit of weight to it, from hammer and ornaments.  Time and again, Peter would scold me when he sees me using one of his rock collection (Peter & rock … geddit?) to crack a walnut ornaments to crack the nuts.  He goes totally NUTS 😉 lol

Nuts contains a good source of nutrients; unfortunately some people are allergic to nuts.  Just be aware.

Nuts to be had:

Pistachio nuts



Brazil nuts

Cashew nuts



Macadamia nuts

Pecan nuts