February 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
It has been a while, and as you can see on my recent posts, we’ve been traveling. So between trips and work, I’ve had very little time to explore the kitchen. I have to be honest. This recipe has been sitting in my draft box for quite a while. And while I organize my travel notes, let me share this simple corn muffin that is so easy to make and jazzed up with sharp cheeses and spicy jalpeños. This make-ahead marvel is perfect as a side dish, an appetizer, or even a snack. I love that is moist, slightly sweet, delightfully salty, marvelously cheesy, and somewhat spicy.
Credits: JSprague “The Final Tally” template; papers from Sepia Lane and Sept Blue CT
Cheese and Jalapeño Cornbread
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living October 2014 issue
What You Need:
- ¾ stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for pan
- 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsps. baking powder
- ½ tsps.. baking soda
- 2 tsps. coarse salt
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3 cups) – I combined with Gouda
- 2 oz. or 50g Jalapeno peppers in juice/syrup
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, and eggs.
- Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in cheese and chilies with juices until evenly distributed. Transfer to baking pan and smooth top.
- Bake until golden brown along edges and a tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, then invert onto another rack, top side up. Let cool at least 15 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into small wedges. Serve warm or room temperature.
November 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
This salad made me a fan of fennel. Crunchy and has a fresh, sweetly musky taste similar to liquorice and anise. Paired with apple, it masks the licorice flavor (perfect for those not keen on its taste) and adds to the freshness of this salad. Packed with many health benefits from relieving anemia to improving eye care, this salad was my intro to this herb.
In fact, it has opened the door to many more delicious Fennel recipes, which I will share with you eventually.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life.
What you need:
- 1 medium fennel bulb, about 10 ounces
- 1 small Green Apple
- Olive oil
- Sea Salt
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
What you do:
Prepare the fennel:
- Cut off and discard the stalks and fronds.
- Using a vegetable peel or a small knife, trim away any bruises or brown spots on the bulb’s outermost layer of skin.
- Cut it in half from root to stalk, and trim the root end.
- Using a sharp knife or a mandolin and working with the one-half of the bulb at a time, slice the fennel very thinly, 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
Prepare the Green Apple:
- Using an apple core, remove and discard core.
- Then cut the apple in half from top to bottom.
- Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice it very thinly, just like the fennel. Set aside.
Assembling the Salad:
- Make a layer of fennel slices. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Then place a layer of apple on top of the fennel. Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice, and season with salt.
- Shave thin ribbons of cheese. Drizzle with oil.
- Repeat and finish with a good sprinkle of lemon juice, a generous splash of oil and a few shavings of cheese to garnish.
- Serve with salt and pepper to taste.
June 27, 2012 § 6 Comments
Or is it? This is about a dish I recently made and instantly fell in love with.
When I saw mustard greens (mustasa in my part of the world) in my favorite Saturday market last week, I dropped everything, went for it and got myself a bundle. I love that peppery tasting vegetable to pieces. Excited, I stormed my little library of ideas on what I can do with it… then I stumbled on Mr. MM’s recipe.
I first tasted this vegetable when I was a teenager. My grandmother used to make a Chinese version of the pickled mustasa, the name of which I loosely translate as “salty vegetable” – not exactly love at first bite but more of an acquired taste. I have yet to get my hands on that recipe, for now let me share this with you.
This month’s Kulinarya challenge (hosted by Cherrie and Tina) was a daunting “Only in the Philippines” theme, featuring uniquely Filipino dishes. I wasn’t planning on joining this month until this beautiful recipe came along. Why do I think it daunting? Because the dish that came to mind was Kare-Kare and that to me is a major production and can’t consider making in the near future with my busy schedule. Anywhow, I am posting albeit late, a dish for this challenge. I figured that this could be uniquely Filipino because the ingredients used are “very” Filipino. I call it Esaladang Mustasa at Lechon sa Bagoong. Stay with me here because this is one heck of a side salad. Ingredients and flavors scream Pinoy through and through.
Mustard Salads are not as popular in Manila as it is in the province, often eaten with fried dishes. If you like strong flavors then this dish is definitely worth a try.
Ensaladang Mustasa at Lechon sa Bagoong
What You’ll Need:
- Mustard Greens
- Lechon, shredded and fried till crisp
For the Dressing:
- 10-15 Calamansi (in this recipe, I used 4-5 pieces of dayap)
- A dallop of Bagoong Alamang or Fine Shrimp Paste
- Chili flakes
- Patis or Fish sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
What You Do:
- Wash mustard greens carefully; wrap in paper-towel to dry and store in the ref for 2-3 hours to keep crispness and freshness.
- Chop them about 1/3 of an inch and put in a salad bowl.
- Make the dressing by squeezing the calamansi; strain out seeds.
- Add bagoong, siling labuyo, a dew dash of patis.
- Top with shredded lechon meat and season with freshly ground pepper.
For more inspiring recipes, visit other KCC members listed below:
May 21, 2012 § 6 Comments
This is not about fancy food fare. This salad accompanies almost any ‘inihaw” (grilled) dish that might be served during a fiesta or in my case, any gatherings at home. Easy to put together and never fails to liven up a table of food fare. I think this dish paved the way to my loving eggplants.
This month’s KCC challenge (hosted by Elizabeth and Dudut) was to feature a regional “Fiesta” specialty of one’s province. I grew up in Quezon City and fiestas I only came to know (and sometimes attend) when I am a grown up already. But this refreshing ensalada (salad) is almost always present during parties thrown at home so I think it should count as the family specialty.
The roasted flavor of the eggplant is the key that gives this dish a hint of the “ihaw” or charred flavor while the sili (chili) gives it a nice kick.
What you need:
- 2 tbsps. shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 salad tomato, diced
- 1 small green or red bell pepper
- 1 green finger chili (siling pangsigang), seed, deveined and chopped
- 3 eggplants (about 150g. / pc)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
What you do:
- Roast the eggplants directly over an open fire until charred or in the oven. Allow to cool. Peel the eggplants and discard stems.
- Cut the peeled eggplants into small chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix all other ingredients together and drizzle with Coconut Vinaigrette.
- Garnish with the remaining portions of the bell peppers and green finger chili.
What you need:
- 1/8 cup coconut cream
- 1 gm. ginger, peeled and minced.
- ½ green finger chili, seed, deveined and chopped
- 1 tbsp vinegar (I used sukang niyog)
- salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
- Combine coconut cream, ginger, green finger, chili and vinegar in a bowl. Stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir again.
July 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
When I was growing up, I never really paid much attention to sweet potatoes or “camote” as they call it in my part of the world. An occasional “camote-cue” during recess time in school sums up my bond with this root crop – and only if the “banana-cues” (my all-time comfort food) available are all dried up and yucky. In recent years though, I’ve developed a deep affection for sweet potatoes that, despite its name, is not related to potatoes at all.
A highly nutritious vegetable, it has become a staple in my kitchen. I particularly like the orange-colored variety as it has a more distinctive sweet flavor and having more beta-carotene than those with lighter colored flesh added to its appeal. And as with all kinds of sweet potatoes, it is rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamin C and B6. How can you not love that?
I’ve always had it as a sweet treat but I recently discovered that its sweetness is a delicious contrast to savory ingredients. I don’t remember anymore where I came across the idea but my favorite way to make this simple dish is to slice* the sweet potatoes as desired, sprinkle some sea salt, herbs and spices and blend with a bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). Roast until sweet potatoes are somewhat caramelized or tender. If I’m in the mood for some heat, I add Paprika or a bit of Cayenne Pepper.
In the photo, I added flat leaf parsley, some rosemary and probably even some fresh thyme — giving it a slightly peppery / minty tang. Either way I give my 2-thumbs up to this tasty side dish that sometimes suffices as a snack or even a quick meal.
Try it too with cumin, coriander and lemon or lime juice; how about your favorite cheese and bacon? Or just plain salt and pepper… the possibilities are endless.
* There is no need to peel but make sure it is scrubbed well to get rid of the soil.