Seafood in Coconut Milk

Seafood Ginataan, photo by Cristy Miclat

Seafood in Coconut Milk

A little spice in coconut milk like the addition of chillies makes it absolutely delicious.  The chilli enhances that creaminess to the coconut milk.  The one drawback is that you will eat more rice with it.  You’ll just have to watch your diet during the next meal!  🙂

Ingredients:

1 tilapia, cleaned, gutted and scales removed and then grilled on charcoal or over your cooking stove.

1 cup mussels

2 squids, cut into rigs

1 cup shrimps

half a squash, peeled and cut into cubes

1 cup green beans (sitaw)

3 cups coconut milk

3 gloves garlic, shopped finely

2 tsp shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) (use salt instead, amount is according to taste)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (use mortar and pestle to grind)

1 medium onion, chopped roughly

3 long chillis

1½ tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a large casserole pan or wok.
  2. Add the oil and then saute the garlic until golden and fragrant (do not burn).
  3. Quickly add the onions and stir fry until translucent.
  4. Pour-in coconut milk, stir, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the squash (kalabasa) and green beans (sitaw).
  6. Sprinkle ground black pepper; add the chillies.
  7. Season with shrimp paste or salt.
  8. Carefully drop in the grilled tilapia, mussels, shrimps and squid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Gently transfer to  a serving dish and impressed the family and guests with this masterpiece of taste and texture.

Enjoy!

Minced Pork & Potatoes Saute

Minced Pork and Potatoes Saute, photo by Mae Sanguer

Minced Pork & Potatoes Saute

This recipe is much love by Filipinos.  It is easy to make and does not require much ingredients that are not already found in a working Filipino kitchen or except from the ground pork, the rest of the ingredients can be easily bought in a good sari-sari store (local corner shop)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Olive oil or Vegetable oil
4-6 Garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 medium Onion, chopped finely
1 lb ground Pork
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tomatoes, chopped  (optional)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup water
Fish sauce or salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method of Preparation:

Using a wok or a deep pan, heat the oil.

Fry the garlic until golden, not burnt please, then add the onion and then the tomatoes.  Cook until tomatoes are soft and mushy.

Add the minced pork.  Use a wooden ladle to prod and separate the ground pork.

Saute the pork until brown, add the soy sauce and fry for a couple more minutes.

Stir in the potato cubes and cook for 1 minute just allowing them to be covered with the oil from the cooking minced pork.

Pour in the water and leave to simmer.

Adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or fish sauce according to your taste.

Add a little spice by blitzing it with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Stir until most of the liquid had evaporated.

Serve with freshly boiled rice.

……

PS:  I remember having left overs as fillings to pandesal for a quick sandwich snack.  Used to love it so very much.

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, photo by JMorton

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate soda
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) Sunflower oil
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) Semi skimmed milk
  • 2 Tbsp Golden syrup

For the Coating and filling

  • 75g Unsalted butter
  • 175g Icing Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • Drop of Milk

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well with electric whisk until smooth.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the two tins and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  5. To make your butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder then add enough milk to make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
  6. If the cake has risen a little to high then use a serrated knife to even off the top, now sandwich the two cakes together with the butter icing and cover the sides and the top of the cake with more butter icing.

Serve hot with a scoop or two of vanilla ice-cream.

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Wood shack at Hampstead Heath, photo by PH Morton

Hampstead Heath, photo by JMorton

I love this Manet-like impressionism photo at Hampstead Heath by PH Morton

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Forest bathing has become an accepted form of relaxation and stress management in Japan.  It was started in the mid-80s.

But what is forest bathing?

It involves going into a woody land or forest, a green space, and hike leisurely; relax and breathe in all the freshness and negative ions, the so-called air-borned vitamins’, given off by the surrounding trees and plants.

Let all the stress of the day melt in the comparative embraces of the forest.

In London, there is a woodland called Hampstead Heath, a 320 hectares of open, green space perfect for forest bathing, among other things.  It is a place for a great family bonding.  There are numbers of ponds, there is even a ‘secret garden’ which is architecturally excellent.  It also covers a natural swimming pool for ladies and also for men, there are the Parliament Hill, the Kenwood House, Highgate pond, etc.

Be astounded at how great Hampstead Heath is, when it is just 6 kilometres away from the very busy bustling city centre of London, the Trafalgar Square.

It is a place for biodiversity: human meets natures and wildlife in a capsule of forested heath.

So Londoners, now the weather outside is no longer frightful, put on your walking shoes and have a forest bath!

 

Increase Brain Power

It seems brushing one’s teeth is not only for health and hygiene reasons, it is so much more.

Brain Power

Increase Brain Power

There are also some research about the effect of chocolates to brain power.  Apparently the flavanols in cocoa can increase cognitive abilities, allowing for multitasking, i.e. ability to perform two or more tasks at a time.

 

Chicken Liver Adobo Recipe

Chicken Liver, by Mae Sanguer

Chicken Liver Adobo Recipe

Adobo is a much loved food by the Filipinos.  So much so that various types of meat, and vegetables and most often combination of meats and vegetable and sometimes meat on meat are cooked as adobo.

The sour taste from the vinegar and saltiness from the soy sauce as well as the fragrance from fried garlic and aroma of bay leaves are probably what give adobo a slight edge over other delicious Filipino recipes.

Even my pernickety English family loves adobo, they can’t get enough of it.  I can never look forward to left-overs to be eaten for breakfast with a fried rice! Oh well, appreciation of food is happiness to the cook 🙂

Anyway another variation of adobo is chicken liver, which is vitamin and mineral rich.

Below is the recipe:

Ingredients:

500g fresh chicken liver, cut into bite size pieces
200g mange tout, topped and tailed (trimmed)
1 thumb-sized ginger, cut into strips
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorn
1/4 tsp freshly ground peppercorn
2 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure:

  • Using a colander Wash and then drain the chicken livers.
  • Heat a wok and then add the oil.
  • Saute the ginger, add the garlic and onion.
  • Mix in the chicken livers.
  • Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar and water. A tip that has been passed to adobo cooks, never to stir the vinegar until it has boiled.  Apparently stirring prior to boiling point prevent the acid to break down and the adobo will be really sour.  (actually I like my adobo sour, so I am naughty sometimes and give the vinegar a mix)
  • Drop in the bay leaves, whole peppercorn and sugar.
  • Add the mange tout.
  • Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Adjust the taste, add in salt, if required, and ground peppercorn.
  • Pour out into a dish excess liquid from the adobo.
  • And then stir fry the chicken liver and mange tout until liver is no longer pink.
  • Serve immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Yummy

Beef & Broccoli In Oyster Sauce

Beef & Broccoli, photo by Mae Sanguer

Beef & Broccoli In Oyster Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g quality beef steak for stir frying (cut into thin strips)
  • 200g broccoli, separated into florets
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced finely
  • 2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 125ml water
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

  1. This recipe is best prepared using a wok.  Heat a wok until smoking hot.
  2. Pour in half of the oil then add beef. Stir-fry for 2 mins, then tip onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Heat the rest of the oil into the wok and then add the onion and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the broccoli florets with a splash (1 tbsp) of water then cook until broccoli is bright green.
  5.  Pour in the oyster sauce and the rest of the water. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced to a sticky sauce.
  6. Stir in the beef and cook for a minute.
  7. Check the seasoning; add ground black pepper and salt, if required.
  8. Serve immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Fried Onion Rings

Fried Onion Rings, by Mae Sanguer

Fried Onion Rings

 I do love a good crunchy, crispy onion rings.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, cut into 1cm slices, rings separated
  • groundnut oil, for deep frying
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 180ml sparkling water

Method

  1. Use a fork to steady your onion. Slice the onion into rings about 1cm wide. Remove the skin and separate the rings.
  2. Heat the oil to 180C in a heavy-based pan – it should be no more than 1/ 3 full.
  3. Meanwhile put the flour and sparkling water in a bowl and season generously. Whisk together to form a batter.
  4. Coat a small batch of onion rings in batter. Carefully lower into the hot oil and deep-fry until crisp and golden, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a piece of kitchen towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining onion and batter.

Face of Turin’s Jesus

Turin’s Jesus

Face of Turin’s Jesus

We have become used to seeing Jesus in the guise of English actor, Robert Powell, when he brilliantly play the role of Jesus of Nazareth.

But how does Jesus really look like?!!!

I saw a very fascinating documentary about 3-D imaging of face from the famous Shroud of Turin, which is garnering points for authenticity. How the shroud was created is still very much a mystery. Was it really the burial shroud that as the clothed the body of Jesus Christ, as He was interred at the Holy Sepulcher, after His crucifixion at Mount Calvary?