a blog of kitchen experiences, experiments and moments i have in my kitchen ....in my everyday life, the kitchen is where i spend most of my time and I'd like to share these moments with you..who knows we might learn a thing or two from each other. :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Last but not the least, my mamas chicken adobo!
I haven’t seen my mom in the last six years and as I ponder on her cooking this simple chicken adobo recipe always tops the list.
Since my husbands yaya is the one cooking our everyday meals, chicken adobo is not one of her regular dishes so its always a treat if I get to eat it.

It’s the ratatouille effect. Every time I take a bite I go into trance and remember me in our tiny dining room, watching my mom experiment in the kitchen then she hands me a hot plate filled with this chicken and sauce that I pour over the hot rice and just eat away.

It was such a simple and happy memory which I wished I could go back to every now and then. But hey I was able to inherit her cooking skills and every time I get mama sick I can just whip up her food. Its not the same but it sure does make me happy. I miss you ma!!

In this recipe I added turmeric but her original recipe doesn’t have any!


1k chicken adobo cut

1tbsp peppercorn

1/4 c vinegar

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ c water

3-4 bay leaves

3 heads garlic chopped

1 c soy sauce

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp. turmeric

1-2 tbsp oil


  • in a bowl ,season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and marinate 1/4 of the soy sauce and garlic. marinate for at least 30 mins.
  • in a pan over medium heat with 1 T oil, fry chicken pieces until golden brown.
  • when pieces are brown pour water and soy sauce and the rest of the marinade and other ingredients into the pan and cover, bring to boil then simmer and lower the heat
  • add the sugar slowly every 5-10 mins and stir. check on the chicken and add water if it reduces too much to avoid burning the sugar.
  • when the sauce is syrupy and the chicken is tender, your adobo is ready to be served! Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 1, 2010


sorry guys it took me a while get back with the version 2 of the adobo mania. my kitchen was in chaos last week, and i wasnt able to set time for yayas adobo..... but today i promise version 2 and three will be posted this week....for sure!!!

when i got married, i lived in my inlaws house for a year before we moved to another city and into our new home. One of our favorite dishes in my husbands house was yayas "sticky and gooey pork adobo".
Even if i knew how to cook i didn't even bother to ask how she does her adobo, for the simple reason that every time they visited us in the province , we ask her to make us her adobo version, and it just brings back memories of living in cebu, it was comfort food to us and it was a treat that i knew if i did it myself the comforting feeling we get when we taste it will be gone...... but seven years later we moved back to cebu. Since she can cook us the adobo all the time then i guess its time to learn how she does it, luckily i got a bulls eye the first time i tried it!

ADOBO version # 2


1k pork liempo / belly – cut into cubes

1tbsp peppercorn

1/8 c vinegar

¼ tsp salt

2 c water

3-4 bay leaves

1 head garlic chopped

1 C soy sauce
1/2-2/3 c sugar

  • In a bowl, put pork. season with salt and pepper and massage meat.
  • in a pan heat 1 t of oil just to coat the pan , place the pork and fry till brown but not overcooked.
  • add garlic when meat is a little brown and saute.
  • add water, soy sauce and bay leaf and let boil , turning down the fire to low.
  • Boil for at least 30 mins and add half of the sugar then mix. continue to boil.
  • check as the liquid reduces and stir meat, add the sugar every 10-15 mins while continuing to boil the pork.
  • continue to boil until liquid is reduced to half or even less.
  • adobo will become soft with a sticky sauce. reduce to desired consistency.
  • add more liquid if you want more sauce or add soy sauce and sugar if you want thicker brown sauce.

serve over hot steaming rice!!!

that's one helluva meal!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



Adobo? Who in the Phillipines don’t know what adobo is???

I have a confession to make….. although I know how to cook , bake and create a variety of dishes mostly influence by the foreign cuisine, my weakness is cooking my own Filipino Food. Yes im guilty but more embarrassed of the fact that I don’t even know how to cook our very own specialties.

So this week I want to start with making adobo.
3 kinds of adobo, in which I have learn to like and crave for at times, for different reasons and of course each one has its own story to tell.

A little history of adobo before I begin
Adobo is a dish usually prepared with pork or chicken and served with rice. In the Philippines adobo varies from nation to nation. There’s manila style adobo, cebu style adobo, ilo-ilo adobo and even varies from family to family. In Spanish ADOBO means sauce or seasoning or marinade used in Latin American and southwest U.S. style cooking. It is also a style of cooking used in Filipino cuisine. They all have the same name but come from different cultural roots. in Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common cooking process that is native to the Philippines. In the late 1500s when the Spanish took administration over the Philippines through Mexico City, they found a native style of cooking process that involved stewing the food in vinegar. The method was described and referred as “adobo”. Dishes prepared in this manner came to be known by this name as well.

Adobo #1 “the kinapusan ADOBO”
This version is inspired by my sister in-law, whom she learned from her sister from manila. She said this is how they cooked it in manila or somewhere in manila (correct me if I'm wrong please). Nevertheless it has been something my husband keeps on asking me to make and follow. It has this taste like we Cebuanos are familiar with the “kinapusan” in English it literally means deflate . To deflate the FAT….yummy!! cook until the fat is deflated. So can you picture how this dish will turn out??? Here it is.

1k pork liempo / belly – cut into cubes
1tbsp peppercorn
1C vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ c water
3-4 bay leaves
3 heads garlic chopped

  • In a pan, put the meat and the rest of the ingredients together except one head of garlic and cover. Bring to boil.
  • Turn down the fire then continue to cook for an hour till the meat is tender. If the water evaporates before the hour is up, add some vinegar.
  • After an hour, check and take the scum away , turn up the fire and let the pork cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir the meat from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the pan. (beware of the oil splashes, which I so so so hated when I was doing this, it practically splashed into the corner of my eye uuurgh! )
  • Use the cover of the pan as a shield if ever the fats begin to pop and splash in your face.
  • Continue to cook until the meat is frying in its own fat, yummo!!
  • When the meat is all golden and the pork fat is 3 times smaller than it used to be then you are ready to serve up your sticky and yummy adobo with rice…..
  • Oh after scooping your meat to a dish, fry the remaining garlic till golden and sprinkle it over the adobo!!! Yum yum yummo!!!! Enjoy….i know my husband did!!!

Day one down for the week long adobo marathon!!
Next stop YAYAS adobo!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


When I was growing up, every Sunday when our family (mother side) was not a barrio yet, my grandmother would always treat us all to lunch or just have a simple get together at her house. One of her favorite cuisine if not her favorite was Chinese food.

And with this she also had her favorite restaurant to get this from. The Majestic, when it was still located in the movie building in the uptown area and when our city didn’t have much restaurants to choose from, but in fairness this was one of the best if not the best Chinese restaurant in o
ur place and still is at present hence the expansion and the branching out.

Going back to my childhood memories, one of the dishes that my grandmother would always order every time was this dish called “PATATIM”. At first I couldn’t understand what it was. It looked like a big chunk of jelly with tiny florets of vegetables that I don’t even bother to taste, as I happily stick with my good ‘ol friend LUMPIA SHANGHAI! But as I grew older and as I notice how my mom , my dad, my aunties would eat this dish with feelings as if it was super good, it wasn’t long enough that I had to feed into my curiosity and try it myself. To my surprise it was very tasty and I kept coming back for more. But it’s been a decade or more since those days, and lately as I reminisce I catch myself craving for that old taste of patatim.

So today I try to bring back those days by replicating a “PATATIM” recipe I found and making it my own.



1 pc Pata or pork legs
3 pcs star anise
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp beef cubes
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 pc carrot
½ can button mushrooms
5 pcs quail eggs / 3 regular eggs boiled and peeled
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 c water
Sesame oil
1 head garlic finely chopped


• Boil pata together with the next 7 ingredients and 3 c water for about 1 ½ hours turning the pata halfway so all the meat can absorb the sauce .

• In another saucepan place the oil and sauté garlic, carrots and mushrooms.get ½ cup liquid from the boiling pata. Reduce till half. Set aside.

• Dilute cornstarch in remaining 1 c water.

• When the pata is tender and cooked through add the boiled and peeled eggs wait 10 mins so the eggs will absorb sauce , mix cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil.

• Transfer cooked pata to a clean plate and top with the sautéed vegetables. Serve hot!

My patatim dish turned out good!! Not exactly the way it tasted when I was growing up but close and I think better. More meat and less jelly fat!! If you wish to make jelly like extend cooking time for another hour and add more water about a cup.

Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Leftover meat is good to shred and cook with remaining sauce and stuffed inside a pandesal…..now that will make a good afternoon snack!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

LIVER PATE! GI ATAY!!! (cebuano term for liver is atay)

Growing up I was very partial on eating liver (chicken liver I mean) …..it was eeeew for me. The taste just wasn’t appealing and I think the thought of eating an organ just made it worst! But as I grew up I became more aware of different taste and more adventurous when it comes to food. Chicken Liver was one of the food that I surprisingly enjoyed, from being barbecued , nghoiong , fried,battered, adobo and turned into pate I certainly liked how it taste….i guess not all would like or appreciate liver like I do now, but its certainly worth a try. Foi Gras for one (duck/goose liver) is one of my favorite delicacies.

Foie gras with mustard seeds and spring onions in duck jus

An entire foie gras (partly prepared for a terrine).

Foie gras (pronounced /fwɑːˈɡrɑː/ in English; French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that
has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage (force-feeding) corn, according to French law,[1] though outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding. Pâté de foie gras was formerly known as "Strasbourg pie" in English due to that city being a major producer of this food product.[2]
Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté (the lowest quality), and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak. French law states that "Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France."[3]
The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding.[4] Today, France is by far the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, though it is produced and consumed worldwide, particularly in other European nations, the United States, and China.[5]
Gavage-based foie gras production is controversial, due to the force feeding procedure and the possible health consequences of an enlarged liver that could be faced by the duck or goose. A number of countries and other jurisdictions have laws against force feeding or the sale of foie gras.

So that’s the history behind foie gras! Pate de foie gras is most popular in foreign countries and very expensive to make. So here's a chicken liver pate recipe I hope you guys will enjoy! I know my friend Georgia and hubby Eddie will! So here guys, enjoy and happy pate making!

Chicken Liver Pate
250 g chicken liver
¼ c fresh milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp chopped garlic
½ pc white onion –chopped
50 ml brandy (fundador/ gran matador)
¾ C butter or 168.75g butter (good kind) softened and cut into cubes
¼ c. butter melted for covering
1 t truffle oil ( optional) for truffled liver pate
S&P to taste

For garnish : any of the ff:
Candied walnuts
Dried apricots
Raisins macerated in sugar syrup
Cranberry jam
Dried cranberries

Melba toast
Toasted French bread

• Clean livers very well and soak in milk for 30-40 mins. Set aside in the refrigerator.
• In a saucepan sauté garlic in butter till brown, add onions and cook for another 5 mins.
• Strain the livers and add to the pan of garlic and onions. Cook for another 10 mins or until liver turn brown but do not overcook since we want the pate to look pinkish.

• Add brandy and flambé; just be careful when adding the brandy coz the fire might burn your eyebrows ;-)
• Reduce till syrupy. let it cool.

• In a food processor, puree chicken liver mixture and add softened butter slowly, add truffle oil (optional) season with salt and pepper. Pour into container cool 15 mins.
• Cover pate with melted butter and cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.

• Serve with chosen garnish and dippers! Enjoy the pate!

Monday, February 8, 2010

japanese dinner

On a night out with my girlfriends and their husbands weeks ago we found ourselves talking about having a get together, a potluck dinner. Apparently Tony one of my girlfriends husband had too much to drink that night and carelessly offered to cook his buddy eddie his famous ramen (carelessly because he said he would never commit to cooking when he's drunk again hahaha).Not that im complaining. So the theme was decided a Japanese dinner it would be.

I was to make the common Japanese dishes tempura, makis and sashimis and misono rice. Alessandra and Tony the ramen, Marie and JR the mango kani salad and sake, while Georgia and Eddie the tepanyaki, but of course I knew I was bound to get the meat and cook it myself and just demand the donation for it hahaha typical of my girlfriend Georgia.

Monday came and we all agreed to do the dinner on that Friday. I envisioned a modern Japanese table set-up with chopsticks and sake shot glasses etc. but during the week I found myself suffering from stomach pains and ended up staying in bed for the last 3 days. Thursday came and everyone confirmed for dinner the next day, I was still unprepared. Friday morning I had to wake up early to go with my husband to work then buy some of the ingredients needed, for some reason I was craving for some uni sashimi (sea urchin) that night then I had to drive my son to the dentist and we ended late so I had to postpone my grocery after lunch. I rushed to the grocery at 1pm headed home at 3:30 and started cooking at 5pm the dinner was at 7pm so I had 2 hours to prepare for the feast. It was chaos, I was doing my mes-en place for the makis, the tempura and my mind was on how to set up table…..oh my!

To top it all the Japanese rice I cooked for the misono and the makis cooked in 5mins and almost burned , good thing I caught it on time. In between the chaos I asked Alessandra to pass by for some uni on the way to our house and unfortunately the resto that they were supposed to get it from didn’t have any. 630 came and my husband arrived from work I had to teach him how to roll the last 5 sushi’s so I can bath and change he learned it in 3 mins. Everyone started coming. Tony came with a big I mean HUGE tray of mes-en place for his Ramen which I thought was just going to be a pot of ramen, but then it was the works, the noodles were separate the condiments were on different containers and to top it all we had to set up a grilling station in my very small kitchen/ living space to start his ramen. Marie and JR arrived and I was still frying my ebi tempura, it was great coz we had extra hands to finish the frying. Then of course the last couple arrived with nothing in their hands but a not so empty stomach, apparently they forgot they had a wedding that night and couldn’t back out from our dinner. While the husbands were nursing their beers, the wives were busy preparing the dishes…..i got my last dish to be prepared, pulled out the marinated meat from the chiller that was to be for tepanyaki, dumped it to the sizzling plate with butter and added some garlic, it didn’t taste that good, I thought it had some weird smell of beef maybe coz I was scrimping and bought the not so expensive meat, nevertheless everyone kept mum about it but I knew it wasn’t that good at all…..hahaha!!!

Finally we all sat down for dinner. We had a feast right in front of us, the tasting bowl Tony said he would served turned out to be huge bowls and could even be a meal by itself, since everyone knew we had to eat the rest of the food, most of us didn’t finish the very yummy noodles, we ate the rest of the food with some pauses in between to breath. As a cook I only had a few pieces of everything and didn’t really pig out since I was smelling these food since 5 hours ago. Eating our dinner took us about 3 hours. Sake toast and a few jokes and stories later we all ended up with a full full full stomach!!! Which can be indicated with the smokers rushing out to the balcony and lighting a cig with their hands on their stomachs.

The night was still young and we all decided to play some poker, tell some more jokes and laugh all night,the sake turned into beers which turned into scotch. Good thing I was on meds so I couldn’t touch the alcohol, my husband won the game and we got back our share for the dinner but the losers didn’t go home empty handed instead all the tupperware I can find in the cabinets were filled with leftover japanese food to be consumed in the next few days!!! Although it didn’t turn out to be the dinner I envisioned, it turned out fine, everyone had a great time, full stomach and memories to be laughed about again in the next gatherings to come. After that night we talked about having another one, this time the theme was to be worked around Eddies baked oysters ….will see how that goes!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the afternoon snack

today was the first day i had that i felt really good. the last few days was terrible for me, i was suffering from bad stomach aches and slight fever, it sucks to be sick. finally today i was up and about and excited to clean my refrigerator and freezer from all the food that was stocked throughout the holidays. first i started with the chicken bones and a few wings and thighs i stuffed inside my freezer for stock. finally i made my chicken stock, strained it and place it into small containers that i can again put in the freezer for future use ,so that's done!
well with the boiled chicken meat (from the thigh and wings) i shredded them and place it into a container . fortunately my husband called around 5pm and asked if i could make him a snack. Hmmmm great timing i have flavored chicken meat and i had a few tortilla wraps in the freezer and some bottled bbq sauce my mom sent during the holidays. then i thought of making some chicken wraps. sauteed the chicken in a skillet with onions and chopped garlic seasoned it with S&P and poured some BBQ sauce over it wallah chicken filling for the wraps. Heated the tortilla wraps placed the chicken filling in the middle grated some cheese on it and fold. i wanted some more spice to go with the wraps so i decided to make aioli (garlic mayo) and place a dash of the bbq sauce on it and mix. poured the aioli on the wraps!!! it tasted great.....but the best part was when my husband came home he had a plate of chicken wraps on the table specially made for him.