Thursday, November 15, 2012

Authentic Valencian Paella

For authentic Paella recipe, one must use authentic ingredients. Authentic ingredients are more expensive but for special occasions, you can splurge a little. Most of the ingredients such as the Chorizo and Spanish Rice can be purchased at World Market (Cost Plus). Not to advertise the store here, but it's the only place I could find authentic ingredients. Some of the ingredients such as Rabbit meat, white butter beans, and Rosemary has also been deleted, but you are welcome to add them in if you like. This recipe makes 10 servings and it takes about 30 minutes to prepare the ingredients and about 1 hour to cook.


4 cups Spanish short grain rice, such as Bomba or Calasparra (any medium or short grain rice that is not sticky will do).
1/4 c olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves (chopped, reserved some for garnish)
1 (3 lb) frying chichen (cut in small pieces)
2 Spanish chorizo sausages (sliced in small pieces)
3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and crushed or 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed

1 c sweet peas 
6 cups warm water

Saffron (generous pinch)
1 dozen mussels (scrubbed)
1 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
2 lobster tails (optional)
Sliced (in rings) calamari (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for serving

Spice Mix
1 tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken; marinate for 1 hour, covered.


Heat oil in paella pan over medium high-heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and set aside. Add chicken and brown on all sides and set aside. In the same pan, make the sofrito by sauteing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the tomatoes and cook until mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the mussels and shrimps tucking them into the rice. Let simmer without stirring until the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes). During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the lobster tails (optional) and the shrimps.Remove from heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Note: The last 5 minutes of cooking, turn the heat up to toast the bottom (socarrat). If you don't like seafood or are allergic to them, you can also make this recipe with just the chicken.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sour Cream Chicken and Mushroom Pasta


3/4 lb chicken tenders
1/4 c all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs butter
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 c sour cream
1 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 lb dried fettuccine (or other pasta of your choice)


Put chicken, flour and salt and pepper into a large bowl and toss to combine. Set aside. Melt butter in a skillet with olive oil. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Stir in sour cream, broth, mushrooms and paprika. Cover and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain well, then transfer to bowls and spoon chicken and its sauce over the top. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information per serving:

600 calories (220 from fat)
fat - 25 grams
saturated fat - 11 grams
cholesterol - 75 mg
sodium - 990 mg
protein - 28 grams
carbohydrate - 65 grams

German Potato Salad


2 lbs Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 lb bacon
1 large white onion, chopped
2 tbs safflower or canola oil
3 tbs whole-grain mustard
6 tbs apple cider vinegar, or to taste
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs chopped parsley


Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender, 15-20 minutes. Don't let them get too soft--fork should go in but potatoes should not fall apart. Drain and cool slightly, then peel if desired and slice.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to let drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble into small pieces. Drain off all but 1 tbsp fat from the skillet, then return to medium heat. Add white onion and cook until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes.

In a large bowl, gently toss together warm bacon, potatoes and white onion with oil, mustard, vinegar, green onions, salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pinangat na Pompano

I've seen this recipe prepared in many variations from using kamias, calamansi and sinigang mix and pepper, but I still prefer the simple way my father used to cook it.


2 pompano (whole)
3 medium tomatoes (sliced thinly)
1 small onion, 
1/4 cup calamansi or lime (or lemon) juice
3/4 cup water
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 spring onions (cut diagonally, about 1")


Clean the fish and cut two diagonal slashes on both sides. Slice tomatoes and onion into round slices thinly. Place half of the onions and tomatoes on the bottom of a deep pan. Add fish, the rest of the onion and tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, water, olive oil, spring onion, and salt and crushed pepper to taste. Let boil on medium-high heat, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish is done.


This recipe can also be baked by following the instructions here and using a baking dish instead of a pan, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until fish is done in a 375 degree F oven. Another method is to prepare it placing individual fish atop a sheet of foil. Add the ingredients over the fish. Fold the foil onto itself, crimping the edges tightly to keep the juices from dripping out. Put the packages in the baking pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Easy, healthy couscous

This recipe is a great way to substitute rice with if you are trying to reduce your starch intake. This Mediterranean style recipe is light but delicious.


1 1/2 cups instant couscous
2 cups chicken stock
4 oz dried apricots, finely diced
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced


Place couscous in a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine chicken stock, apricots, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour the boiling liquid over the couscous and toss to moisten every grain. Sprinkle with olives and scallions and cover tightly with plastic saran wrap. Let stand for 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Japanese Cucumber Salad


4 cups large Japanese cucumbers (you may also use English cucumbers), sliced thinly
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp dried chili flakes


In a bowl mix together the vinegar, mirin, sugar, salt and chili flakes. Thinly slice the cucumbers and toss in the dressing mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Korean Style Steak

Korean flavor, with its sweet and spicy flavor, is a favorite in our household. The next time you have steak for dinner, try marinading it with Korean style marinade and serve it with your favorite vegetables or side dishes.


4 choice rib-eye steak (I like Rib eye steak but you can choose what you like)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
5 tsp sesame oil
brown sugar
3 spring onions, chopped


Combine vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Place steak into a marinating container and work in the marinade by massaging the meat. Cover tightly and allow meat to marinade for at least two hours. Heat a large oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade. Place steak in hot skillet, and cook on each side to the desired degree of doneness.

Note: Turn the meat only once (3-6 minutes on each side) to seal in all the flavor.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Skinny Tilapia Recipe

This Tilapia recipe is what I call "no fuss meal," but healthy and delicious at the same time. It's best to buy the fillets fresh. In the Philippines, Tilapia is often deep fried with head and all, but I don't like having to worry about fish bones while eating so I prefer to prepare it this way. For health reasons, I bake instead of frying. However, for those without ovens, you may fry the fish with very little oil.


4 Tilapia fillets (about 1 lb)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine cheese, paprika, parsley and salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until fish is opaque in the thickest part (about 10 - 12 minutes). Serve fish with the lemon wedges. Serve hot with steam vegetables or green salad.

Healthy Steak Salad

This is a great steak salad I've taken from one of my Weight Watcher's recipe book. This is a great way to turn your left over steak to a great tasting salad for lunch the next day.


1 lb lean sirloin steak (I use rib eye)
1 medium garlic clove, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite pieces
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (I don't like goat cheese so I use Parmesan flakes or Feta)


In a small mixing bowl, combine garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, and honey; whisk in olive oil.

Coat skillet with oil, set over high heat. Sear steak (about 3 minutes per side) to desired degree of doneness. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice thinly.

Place lettuce in a large salad bowl; add steak, cranberries and cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss before serving.

Note: You may also substitute steak with chicken or skip the meat altogether and add avocado instead.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Antipasti Salad


1/4 medium red onion, minced
1/2 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cored
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 jarred roasted sweet peppers, chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, and quartered, if whole
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano


1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Soak onions in cold water for 10 minutes, then pat dry and put in serving bowl. Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of the salt, and with the side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Put the paste in a bowl and add the orange zest, vinegar, remaining 1 tsp salt and black pepper, to taste. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing.

Using a handheld mandoline or a knife, cut the fennel lengthwise into long, thin slices. Add to the onion and toss with the chickpeas, peppers, artichoke hearts, arugula, parsley, and dressing. Scatter the olives and shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top.

To shave the Parmigianno-Reggiano, you may use a vegetable peeler.

Healthy Swedish Meatballs


1 tsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1 lb ground beef (93% fat)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
2 oz light cream cheese


In a large pan, heat oil, add onions and garlic; saute until onions are translucent (4-5 minutes). Add celery and parsley and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine beef, egg, onion mixture, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and allspice. Mix well and form meatballs.

Add beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add meatballs. Cover and cook (20 minutes). Remove the meatballs and set aside. Strain the stock, add to blender with cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Return to pan and simmer to thicken. Pour over meatballs. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve over noodles or rice. You may also serve the meatballs as appetizer with toothpick.

Creamy Swedish Meatballs


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
Cooked egg noodles
Parsley (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, 1/2 cup milk, eggs, garlic, 1 tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and allspice. Mix.

Using a rounded 1 tbsp measure for each, form mixture into meatballs. Place meatballs onto baking sheets; bake until golden brown and cooked through (10-12 minutes).

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour, cook, whisking, making sure not to darken. Gradually whisk in remaining milk and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, add meatballs to bowl with sauce; gently toss to combine. Serve as an appetizer on toothpicks, or as a main, over egg noodles or steam rice. Garnish with parsley.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amazing Clam Bake

This is a family favorite that is easy to make!


1 tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, halved with skin
11/2 cups white wine, dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
2 lbs clams, soaked in ice water with a handful of flour or cornmeal and then rinsed well
1 large lemon, quartered


1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat.
2. Add sliced onion and cook until it starts to brown, stirring frequently.
3. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add potatoes, kielbasa, wine, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are half cooked.
6. Add mussels and clams, toss and combine, cover pot and cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until clams and mussels have opened.
7. Transfer to serving bowls with the broth and serve with lemon quarters.

Note: Make sure to discard any mussels or clams with unopened shells.

Heartwarming Beef Pot Roast

This is a wonderful, easy-to-make dish on a rainy day. Serve with rolls or steam rice.


2-3 lbs boneless beef chuck roast
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 sliced onions
13/4 cups beef broth
1 c tomato juice
11/2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
2. In a small bowl, combine dried parsley, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
3. Pat roast beef dry with paper towels and rub all over with seasoning mixture.
4. In a large Dutch oven or oven-proof heavy sauce pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
5. Add the roast and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
6. In the same pot, add onions and 1/4 cup water and cook about 8 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring occasionally.
 7. Stir in broth and juice and bring to a boil. Add roast back to pot, cover and transfer to oven. Roast for 2 hours.
8. Stir in potatoes and carrots, cover and continue roasting for 45 minutes or until vegetables and meat are tender.
9. Transfer roast and vegetables to a large serving platter and drizzle with pan juices.

Mussels in an Aromatic Coconut Broth

4 lbs of Mussels (make sure they are close)
1 red chili pepper (seeded and thinly sliced)
1 stalk of lemon grass (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 cup coconut milk
3 tsp. olive oil
Cilantro (chopped)
1/2 cup White wine (dry)
2 stalks of spring onion (thinly sliced)


1. In a heated pot or deep pan, combine mussels, white wine, sprig of thyme.
2. Cover and share pot. It's very important to keep the lid on to continue the steaming process.
3. Once the mussels opened, drain and set aside. Make sure to save the broth.


1. In a pan, add olive oil, chili, garlic, lemon grass, and spring onion.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add mussel broth in the pan and coconut milk and simmer for about 2 minutes.
4. Sift the broth to get rid of the ingredients.
5. Put the broth back in the pan and add cilantro for garnish.
6. Pour broth in the mussels.

Note: If you don't like cilantro (not many people do) you may use Thai or sweet basil. I use cilantro because I like the smell. Thai basil is difficult to find in grocery stores and difficult to grow in Las Vegas.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes


2/14 lb potatoes (you may use brown potatoes if you prefer)
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp butter
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
1/3 c whipping cream
1/3 c milk


1. Cut potatoes into bite-sized cubes and boil in salted water until tender.
2. Mashed the potatoes using a ricer (if you have it), then stir through the butter and chopped onions.
3. Pour cream and milk in a pot and boil until slightly creamy.
4. Add the milk and cream mixture into the potatoes and mix.
5. You may garnish the potatoes with fresh dill (chopped) for color.

Note: As I noted, you may use either white or brown potatoes. You also have the choice of using whole milk--I use 2% milk.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sinigang a Litson

I've never heard of sinigang na litson until I visited one (supposedly) famous Kapampangan restaurant (Bale Dutung) in Angeles City, Pampanga in the Philippines just last month, but it's actually pretty tasty. This is also a great way to use your left overs.

Fresh tamarind (about 10 - 12 pieces depending on size). Instant sinigang mix may also be used.
1 md onion (diced)
2 tomatoes (diced)
Medium sized Radish (cut in cubes)
1 cup sitaw (cut in 4" pieces)
2 cup young Kangkong leaves (water spinach)
2 pcs long green pepper
4 cups of water.
Salt (or Patis) to taste


In a stew pot, boil the water. Add the tamarind until they are tender. Take the tamarind out of the water and use a strainer to collect the juice taking out all the skin and seeds out. Add the tamarind extract, tomatoes, radish, and onion in the same water. When the radish is tender, add the litson and sitaw and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Finally, add some salt to taste and place the pepper (first) and kangkong on top. Cover and simmer for about 2 minutes. Serve with white rice.

Note: If you can't find kangkong leaves, spinach is a great alternative. Personally, I use fresh tamarind (if available) because I don't like all the extra ingredients included in the instant sinigang mix.