Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ladybird Cake

My sister Clare made this cake for our mum's birthday and I thought it was so good I asked her permission to share it on my blog.

Clare made this with the Lakeland hemisphere tin I gave her for her birthday the month before. She used the small size pan and said the cake - a simple chocolate cake recipe - took a very long time to cook, in fact she had a couple of attempts as the first time the cake wasn't cooked through.

She used ready-coloured roll out icing and cut out circles, and used pink shimmer balls for the mouth. It is a simple design and very easy to do but looks fantastic! It also tasted extremely good.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Slipper Lobster with Cheesy Mushroom Sauce

Slipper Lobster with Cheesy Mushroom Sauce. Today I would like to share a simple recipe of a lobster, well no, it is not the real lobster, and I used Slipper Lobster. Slipper lobster as the name suggest but it is not a lobster, it is a poor man’s lobster ironically it is being disguised as lobsters in most seafood restaurant. Although they look similar to a real lobster when the head is removed they lack the texture and taste of the real lobsters. This is not the first time I cooked slipper lobster, click the link on the list below to check out my other slipper lobster Pinoy dish in the archives.

Baked Slipper Lobster with Garlic and Cheese

Ginataang Pitik, Slipper Lobsters

Slipper Lobster in Coconut Milk with Spinach

To make our dish for today, Slipper Lobster with Cheesy Mushroom Sauce is fairly easy. We use the pre-cooked Slipper Lobster bought in the Seafood Section of most supermarket. Most likely the Slipper Lobster you can find may have been pre-cooked anyway. For the mushroom sauce I used the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Condense sauce. Cooking is fairly easy no complicated procedure.

Her is the recipe on my Slipper Lobster with Cheesy Mushroom Sauce, enjoy.


6 pieces medium sized slipper lobsters, pre-cooked, de-shelled

1 420g/can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Condense sauce

1 small can whole button mushrooms, cut in half

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 block cheddar cheese, grated

1 small size onion, peeled, chopped finely

2-4 cloves garlic, chopped finely

2-3 tbsp. parsley flakes

3-4 tbsp. salted butter

1-2 tsp, sugar

salt and pepper

Cooking procedure:

In a wok or pan sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant. Stir in the parsley flakes and lobsters and stir cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to stir cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the cream of mushroom and milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the sugar and 1/3 of the grated cheese, continue to simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a platter topped with the remaining grated cheese.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Watermelon Passionfruit Margarita

Fruity cocktails are perfect for the summer whether it is at a barbecue, at a beach bar or even just at home grumbling about how long it is taking to move house when you are dealing with the world's most frustrating people. Or is that just me...?

This month's Random Recipes from Belleau Kitchen is not a cooking challenge this time; instead Dom wants us to select a cocktail book at random from our collection (I have one or two I think, not enough that choosing at random would be hard!) and choose a page at random and make that cocktail. Now, as I was expecting to have moved house by now, nearly all of my cookery books are sealed up in boxes. As it turns out, my vendors are on holiday this week and my buyer on holiday the week after (no holiday for me, sigh) and there's still no sign of when we are going to exchange. Which means I need a stiff drink!

I hope Dom doesn't mind that I didn't select a recipe at random, but the way this cocktail came about is still fairly random. My boyfriend's mum had bought a watermelon on a whim but then decided she didn't know what to do with it, so gave it to me (random ingredient). I then opened my drinks cupboard (which funnily enough wasn't yet packed and sealed up, it was just that we left the kitchen until last, promise!) and grabbed the first bottle I found, which was tequila (random selection). And then decided to make a cocktail from those ingredients.

Tequila is used in margaritas so that's what I've made. The watermelon is lovely frozen, and then you have a frozen margarita, so if you have time, cut a slice of watermelon and pop it in the freezer for an hour or so.

Chop the watermelon into cubes and put in a blender with about 100ml of either lemonade lemon and lime flavour fizzy water.

To sweeten the drink still further (I do like a sugary cocktail!) you can use either sugar syrup or passion fruit syrup - I bought this online from Funkin Syrup and have been using it in all sorts of things lately. Add a generous glug or more depending on how sweet you want it. Pulse in the blender until the watermelon is pureed. Finally add the tequila (a shot's worth per person) and either pulse in the blender again or transfer to a cocktail shaker and shake well.

Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of watermelon.

I'm sending this to Random Recipes, hosted by Dom at Belleau Kitchen.

Chicken in a Rose Petal Sauce

This month's Food n Flix movie selection is Like Water For Chocolate, chosen by Elizabeth at the Law Student's Cookbook.

I knew nothing about this film and didn't even realise it was in Spanish until I started watching. It's a story of love and families with an element of magic. Tita, the main character, is the youngest daughter of a Spanish family who is born in the kitchen, brought up mainly by the housekeeper and learns to cook from a young age. She falls in love with a boy named Pedro and says she understands how raw dough must feel when it comes into contact with boiling oil - the food imagery in this film is rife (and I gather that each chapter of the book it is based on begins with a recipe). Unfortunately Tita is told that as the youngest daughter, traditionally it is her responsibility to take care of her mother into her old age and so is not allowed to marry.

With a comment about exchanging tacos for enchiladas, Pedro decides instead to marry Tita's sister as the only way to be near the woman he truly loves. Tita is put in charge of the wedding banquet and cries as she makes the wedding cake; her tears fall into the batter and somehow when the wedding guests eat the cake, they all cry tears of a broken heart mourning a lost love - then they all throw up into the river.

This is the first time that Tita's 'powers' become apparent; later when Pedro - who is still in love with Tita- gives her a bunch of flowers, pretending they are to celebrate her first anniversary as the chief cook on the ranch after the housekeeper died. Tita's mother suggests she uses the flowers to make quail in a rose petal sauce, which she does - but this time her attraction for Pedro seeps into the food and everyone who eats it, and her other sister Gertrudis practically has an orgasm at the dinner table. Gertrudis later runs off stark naked with a federal soldier and isn't seen again until the end of the film.

I won't give away the rest of the story other than to say the passion between Tita and Pedro continues, but the story for them doesn't end in perhaps the way you would expect. At the very end of the film, Gertrudis has returned, not as a brothel whore as her family believes but as a general in the army she ran away with, and there is the implication that her daughter is the next generation of the family to have the same powers as Tita.

I was blown away by the story and now the book is high on my list of ones to read. The story is gripping and emotional and I love the way that food takes such a centre stage. I recommend the film but I am definitely looking forward to reading the book now.

When it came to deciding what to make for Food 'n' Flix, the quail in rose petal sauce stood out. I found a few websites giving the actual recipe from the book, but unfortunately it needs dragon fruit, which isn't in season. But to use rose petals from my garden I had to make the dish now - the petals are already falling off the flowers and I don't know when they will bloom again. I also hit a snag when I couldn't actually get hold of any quail or even poussin which had been my second choice!

Nonetheless I decided to push ahead and make a version of this dish. I found one recipe online that suggested you could use plums instead of dragon fruit so I did that; you also need chestnuts but again these are not in season (and in this part of the world I don't think they are in season at the same time as dragon fruit so you basically have three main ingredients but can't get all three of them at the same time!).

Here's what I did. To serve one, you need:

1 chicken leg

Fry Light

50ml chicken stock

50ml white wine

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 plums, chopped

petals from 2 roses (make sure they are edible ie have not been sprayed with pesticide)

1 tbsp runny honey

roses from my garden

Bake the chicken in the oven. When it is almost ready, spray some Fry Light in a small sauce pan, fry the garlic then add the plums. Pour in the stock and wine and simmer until reduced. Add the honey and rose petals.

I decided to try hassleback potatoes to go with this dish. Choose a large or a couple of large-ish potatoes and make several slices into them with a sharp knife, going about three quarters of the way through the potato.

Rub with oil or spray with Fry Light for a low fat option, sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for an hour - I did these at the same time as the chicken.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and potatoes. I love the way the potatoes open up and go crispy on the outside and soft on the inside! The sauce was very nice with the chicken, it was a little bit sweet, a little bit fruity and the rose petals didn't really taste of anything (and as they cook down, you don't feel as if you are eating flowers). An unusual recipe and I would be keen to try the proper one from the book if I could get the ingredients!

I'm sending this to Elizabeth at the Law Student's Cookbook for Food 'n' Flix.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fried Pork Chop with Tomato Onion Chili Relish

Fried Pork Chop with Tomato Onion Chili Relish. Fried pork chop is one of the more popular Pinoy eatery or carinderia dish. A small piece of pork chop is usually dredged in flour with salt and pepper seasoning. It is usually served with banana ketchup dip. At home it is served with chopped tomatoes with fish sauce dip. There are several ways to cook a pork chop. Listed below are some of the pork chop dish that we have in the archive, just click the link to check it out.

Pork Chop and Tofu with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce

Pork Chop with Mushroom Beer Sauce

Pork Chop with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce

Pinoy Fried Pork Chop

Pork Chop with Mushroom Sauce

Pineapple Glazed Pork Chop with Ginger Sauce

Breaded Pork Chop

Pritong Pork Chop / Fried Pork Chop

Inihaw na Baboy

Today I would like to share a simple way to cook a fried pork chop with crisp flour coating. Using flour is recommended compared to corn starch on large cut meats. Corn starch has finer texture compared to the general purpose flour used in cooking. Because cornstarch has finer fiver it will burn faster before even the meat is cooked, in contrast flour have courser fiver which is better choice to coat larger slices of meats for a crisp coating.

Here is the recipe of my carinderia inspired Fried Pork Chop with Tomato Onion Chili Relish.


2 to 3 pieces of large cut pork chop

1 cup general purpose flour

2 large size tomatoes, diced

1 small size onion, peeled, diced

2 red/green chili, sliced, optional

fish sauce



cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

In a bowl toss the diced tomatoes, onion and chilies, and some fish sauce, place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Dust some salt and pepper to the pork chop on both side, keep aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. In a large plate place the flour and mix in some salt and pepper according to taste. Now dredge the pork chop with the flour mixture and evenly coat on both side. Keep aside for about 3 to 5 minutes before frying. Now heat generous amount of cooking oil on a frying pan at medium to high heat until it start to smoke. Reduce heat to medium and fry the pork chop for 3 to 6 minutes, defending on the pork chop thickness, then turn the pork chop on the other side and fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. Removed from the frying pan and drain excess oil on a kitchen paper towel. Serve with the prepared tomato onion chili relish.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oxtail Lugaw

Oxtail Lugaw. Lugaw is one of the more popular Pinoy street food. When I was younger I used to have a bowl of lugaw on the streets of Baclaran in Paranaque before I head home from school and from work when I was starting to work, I used to leave in Tambo. The street food lugaw that was served on street vendors was made up of boiled rice adulterated with, I suspect starch to make it creamy and nutty. For color the street vendors usually use dilaw, kasubha or kagasubha florets, it is the cheap local version of saffron. The beef meat was mostly made up of beef fats and tendons from scrap beef bones, fish sauce and ground pepper for seasoning, you may crush some red hot chili if you want it spicy hot. I could not complain it was very cheap you get what you paid for. It may not be the best tasting beef lugaw, but sure it will satisfy your hunger and can fill an empty stomach.

In contrast, today I would like to share a proper beef lugaw using oxtail, oxtail has everything for a perfect beef lugaw. It has fats and tendons, it is meaty and rich with beef taste from the bones. For the rice I use equal parts of ordinary rice and glutinous rice. For seasoning I still use fish sauce and ground pepper, for color I used luyang dilaw or turmeric, saffron is just too expensive. Instead of dropping the boiled oxtail on the boiled rice, I have to sauté the rice with ginger, garlic and some onions.

Here is the recipe of my Oxtail Lugaw.


1 kilo oxtail, cut into 2” lengths, pre-boiled till tender, reserve broth

2 cups of rice

1 cup glutinous rice

1/2 head garlic, crushed

1 thumb size, ginger, skinned, sliced

1 head garlic, peeled, crushed, chopped

1 medium size onion, peeled, chopped

2-3 thumb size ginger, skinned, cut into strips

1 small bunch, spring onion

1/2 cup fish sauce

1-2 tsp. turmeric powder

salt and pepper

cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

Wash glutinous rice and regular rice, keep aside. Wash the oxtail and place in a large sauce pan add in water up to about 2” over the meat. Add in the crushed garlic and sliced ginger, bring to a boil and slow cook for 1 to 2 hours or until the meat are tender and add more water as necessary. Remove scum that rises. Separate the meat and from the broth. Using a sieve filter out and discard all residue from the broth. Using the same sauce pan stir fry the chopped garlic until light brown, remove half of the fried garlic from the pan and keep aside. Stir in the ginger and onion and sauté for about half a minute. Add in the boiled oxtail fish sauce and some pepper, stir cook for 1 to 2 minutes then add in the glutinous rice and regular rice, stir cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then add in the reserved broth. Continue to stir cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until all the juices are absorbed by the rice. Now add enough water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until rice start to disintegrate and form a thick rice soup add more water as necessary. Add in turmeric powder and season with salt and pepper to taste, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped spring onion and fried garlic and with lemon or kalamansi.

See other lugaw recipe:

Lugaw, Beef Cheeks and Tripe Combination

Beef Cheeks Lugaw

Chicken Arroz Caldo with Bacon

Goto, Beef Tripe Lugaw

Arroz Caldo

Seafood Lugaw

Special Lugaw, Special Pinoy Congee

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Special Lamb Kalderata

Special Lamb Kalderata. This is one of my special version of kaldereta. Lamb is always available on most Australian supermarkets. Most Pinoy here usually cook lamb fried or grilled on the barbeque. But today I chose to cook lamb to kaldereta, Lamb Kalderata is as good as goat kaldereta if cooked right. I usually marinate the lamb or goat meat with vinegar to remove reduced the gamey aroma of the meat. However be careful with the use of vinegar you do not want a sourly kalderata, remember to drain properly the vinegar marinade before searing the lamb.

Here is the recipe of my Special Lamb Kalderata.


1 kilo lamb meat cut to serving pieces

1 big can Reno liver spread

1/2 cup sliced Spanish chorizo

2 pcs. medium sized red and green bell pepper, deseeded, cut into strips

2-3 medium size potato, peeled, cut into small wedges

1 medium size carrot, peeled, cut into small wedges

1 cup pitted green olives

2 large size onion, chopped

1/2 head large size garlic, chopped

3 pcs. whole sweet gherkins, sliced crosswise

1/3 cup sweet pickled relish

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup vinegar

2-3 tbsp. margarine or butter

3-5 pcs. bay leaf

1-3 tbsp. chili flakes

1 tbsp. ground pepper peppercorns



cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

Marinate the lamb with the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, a dash of salt and pepper for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain marinade and fry the lamb until color changes to light brown and seared in batches, keep aside. In a saucepan, stir cook the Spanish chorizo for about 1 to 2 minutes then ad in the garlic and onion and continue to stir fry until fragrant. Add the lamb and continue to stir cook for a minute. Add in the fish sauce and soy sauce, tomato sauce, pickled relish and stir cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add in about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water, then the ground peppercorns and bay leaf simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, then add in the potatoes and carrots and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the lamb and potatoes are tender and just enough sauce remains. Add more water as necessary. Add in the peanut butter, liver spread, gherkins, green olive and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until liquid has turned to an oily sauce. Add in the bell pepper, cheddar cheese and season with salt to taste and cook for another 2 to 3 minute, serve hot.

See other kaldereta recipes:

Kalderetang Giniling na Baka, Ground Beef Kaldereta

Special Chicken Kaldereta

Special Pork Kaldereta

Lamb Kaldereta, Batangas Kaldereta Style

Black Angus Beef Kaldereta


ang Buntot ng Baka, Oxtail Kaldereta

Kalderetang Turkey Wings

Kalderetang Bangus

Kalderetang Kambing, Traditional Kaldereta

Kalderetang Batangas

Pork Caldereta, Kalderetang Baboy

Special Beef Caldereta

Kalderetang Manok, Chicken Caldereta

Kalderetang Baka

Kalderetang Kambing

Beef Meatballs Kaldereta

Kalderetang Bangus