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Showing posts from April, 2012

Chicken Adobo - Pinoy Comfort Food

I think it's safe to say that adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. Filipinos often refer to themselves as Pinoy, hence the phrase Pinoy comfort food.There are so many variations on this dish and it can be made with chicken or pork. I find that both are equally good, but chicken is a personal favorite. It's a bit like a stew and a bit like a fricassee, but it is not difficult to make and is fairly quick to table. Ideally, you should marinade the meat overnight to really infuse the flavors. Ingredients 3 lbs of Chicken Thighs, bone in skinless or Chicken Breasts boneless, cut in large pieces. 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce 3/4 cup Cider, Rice or Distilled Vinegar 1/2 cup Water 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar 8 cloves of Garlic, peeled, crushed and loosely chopped 4 Bay Leaves 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper 1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns 1 Onion, sliced Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, ground black pepper and garlic and mix together. Pour over the chicken pi

Things I Can't Live Without, Part 3

The Spice House As I've always said, the key to great cooking is great ingredients. If you want the freshest and highest quality spices around, get online and head to The Spice House. Established in 1957, they have the best selection, best prices and easiest shipping on any site and the experience is wonderful. Who knew you needed powdered habaneros? Beanilla I was always a bit concerned about baking with fresh vanilla beans as they were so expensive. I would go to the store and look at the two little wrinkled up beans for $9.99 and think, how much of a difference could it make? The answer is a lot! There is nothing like baking with fresh vanilla beans and adding them to cane sugar to flavor your sugar is just perfect. So what to do? While wandering around on the web I found Beanilla, which is a fantastic, fairly priced site for fresh vanilla beans. They offer samplers, at special pricing so you can try all sorts of beans and they also of

Things I Can't Live Without, Part 2

Patak's Curry Pastes While I enjoy making my own curry pastes, sometimes time does not allow. When that's the case I always count on Pataks. They make a full range of pastes from mild to hot and the flavor is excellent. If you think a curry is just some curry powder mixed with some meat and vegetables, this will be a revelation. Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning I am usually not a big fan of seasoning salts as they have too much salt taste and not enough flavor, but Tony’s is different. I first got turned on to this while in Louisiana and I have been hooked ever since. I love it sprinkled over chicken or beef before grilling. It really brings out the flavor of whatever you cook with without overwhelming it. Well worth a try. Tra Chang Fish Sauce This is the key to authentic Thai and Vietnamese cooking and you must have a fish sauce, or nouc mam that is full of flavor, but not too salty. Tra Chang ticks all the boxes and will really bring out the flavor and give you the

Things I Can't Live Without - How to take your food to an entirely different level.

Here are just a few of my "can't live without" products. some are new, but many are old standbys. Enjoy Duke's Mayonaise When I hear people say they don’t like mayonnaise, I always ask if they’ve ever tried Dukes. Made by the CF Sauer company in Richmond VA , this is one of the best. Give it a try White Truffle Sea Salt Many people have no idea that most truffle oils actually contain no truffles at all and in fact are chemically manufactured. We all know how much I hate the chemical stuff, so here is a wonderful option that gives you true truffle flavor and makes the most other worldly mashed potatoes. This is a concentrated product and you will find so many uses for it, from pasta to grilled chicken. $27.50 at

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Made Easy and Healthly

I love eggplant parmesan, but hate the individual frying of the slices and frankly all the extra fat and calories, so I worked out a quick and easy version which has all of the flavor without the extra fat. And yes, it is 100% vegan. You can make this in advance and just pop it in the oven. And….it tastes great the next day. Ingredients  2 Eggplant, approx 2 lbs total 3 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 bunch of fresh Basil, pulled into pieces 2 bags shredded Daiya Mozzarella 1/4 cup grated non dairy Parmesan Salt and Pepper 6 cups of Marinara Sauce, see recipe below To prepare the sauce: 1 large finely chopped Onion 1 large finely chopped Carrot 2 finely chopped stalks Celery 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped 2- 28 oz. cans of crushed Tomatoes, or whole tomatoes that are lightly chopped in the processor. I like the Muir Organic Tomatoes. 1/4 cup of Marsala wine Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper Put enough olive oil to just cover the bott