Compiled Recipe – Tofu and Mushroom Adobo

Tofu and Mushroom Adobo

* 1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
* 2 (300-gram) blocks tofu, rinsed and drained
* ¾ cup soy sauce
* ¾ cup cane vinegar
* 20 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
* 1 tsp ground black pepper
* vegetable oil
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 tsp black peppercorns

1) Place mushrooms in a bowl and pour in hot water. Place a smaller bowl or plate on top to keep the mushrooms submerged. Soak for 30 to 45 minutes or until completely rehydrated. Reserve the soaking liquid for the marinade. Squeeze mushrooms and slice into quarters. Set aside.

2) Slice each block of tofu into thin slabs then sandwich tofu between several paper towels and press gently to remove excess water.

3) Mix soy sauce, vinegar, half of the garlic, pepper and ¾ cup reserved soaking liquid in a large bowl. Add mushrooms and tofu carefully; press down to keep submerged (make sure tofu doesn’t break). Marinate for at least 1 hour.

4) After 1 hour, carefully remove tofu from marinade and place between paper towels to drain excess liquid. Slice tofu into ½-inch thick rectangular pieces then halve into squares.

5) Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook remaining garlic until golden brown. Set aside.

6) On the same pan, fry tofu until dark brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to a platter. Set aside.

7) Increase heat to high. Add mushrooms, adobo marinade, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook until simmering. Taste then adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.

8) Pour mushrooms and sauce over fried tofu. Top with fried garlic.






Compiled Recipe – Strawberry Pancakes

Strawberry Pancakes

* 1 cup fresh milk
* 2 tsp white vinegar or calamansi juice
* 1/3 cup all purpose flour
* 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/3 cup potato starch
* 3 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp baking powder
* 1 large egg, beaten
* 2 ½ tbsp butter, melted
* 1 tsp butter
* strawberry syrup (to serve)

1) Combine fresh milk and white vinegar or calamansi juice in a bowl; let mixture sit for 10 minutes.

2) Combine all purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl; mix well.

3) Add milk, mixture, egg and melted butter; mix until just combined (Note: add a little water if mixture is too thick.)

4) To cook, melt butter on an (8-inch) non stick skillet over very low heat. Ladle pancake batter onto pan. Cook until top is almost dry and no longer shiny. Flip and cook the other side for a few seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with strawberry syrup.


Compiled Recipe – Avocado Panna Cotta

Avocado Panna Cotta

* 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
* 2 cups milk or coconut milk, divided
* 1 cup heavy cream or coconut cream
* 3 tbsp honey, plus more to drizzle
* ¼ tsp fine salt
* flesh from 1 medium ripe avocado, plus extra to serve
* 1 to 2 pinches ground green cardamom or cinnamon
*toasted coconut (to serve)

1) Sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup milk; whisk. Let mixture stand for about 5 minutes.

2) Heat cream, honey, salt and 1 cup milk in a small pot over low heat. Add gelatin-milk mixture ; whisk constantly. Remove from heat before it comes to a simmer. Allow to cool.

3) Combine remaining milk, avocado and cardamom or cinnamon in a blender. Blend until smooth. Whisk avocado mixture into gelatin mixture. Allow to come to room temperature.

4) Pour mixture into cups or ramekins. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.

5) Serve in cups or transfer to dessert plates. Top with toasted coconut. Serve avocado slices on the side. Drizzle with honey before serving.



Compiled Recipe – Sinigang na Hipon Sa Sampaloc

Sinigang na Hipon sa Sampaloc

* 6 fresh unripe tamarind (sampalok)
* 4 cups water
* ½ onion, sliced
* 2 tomatoes, de-seeded and quartered
* 1 radish (labanos), sliced into 1-inch rounds
* 750 grams shrimp, de-bearded
* 2 green finger chilies
* 1 bunch chili leaves (dahon ng sili)

1) In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of water with the unripe tamarind for about 10 minutes. Once soft, crush the tamarind in the pan and strain with water. Set the strained water aside.

2) In another saucepan, boil 3 cups of water with the onion and tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes, and then add the radish.

3) Add strained water, bring to a boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add shrimp, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add green finger chilies and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add chili leaves (dahon ng sili). Serve immediately.




Compiled Recipe – Orange Glazed Beef Kebabs

Orange Glazed Beef Kebabs

* 1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
* ¼ cup soy sauce
* 500 grams beef sirloin, sliced into 1-inch cubes
* 1 medium red onion, sliced into wedges
* 1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1-inch squares
* salt and pepper (to taste)
* 1 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp vegetable oil

1) Mix together orange juice and soy sauce; set aside.

2) Thread beef onto barbecue sticks, alternating with onion wedges. Skewer red bell peppers last. Marinate skewers in orange-soy sauce mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3) Remove skewers from refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking. Drain skewers from marinade.

4) Place marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour half of the sauce into a bowl. Add butter to sauce in the pan; set aside.

5) Heat oil in a grill pan over high heat. Cook skewers for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, basting with marinade in the bowl.

6) Place skewers on a platter and pour marinade butter mixture over. Serve with bell pepper salad.



Compiled Recipe – White Chocolate Lava Cake

White Chocolate Lava Cake

* 1 ¼ cup white chocolate, finely chopped
* 4 tbsp butter, softened
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 4 large eggs
* ¼ cup all purpose flour, sifted
* ¼ tsp salt
* powdered sugar (to serve)
* butter (for greasing cups)
* flour (for flouring cups)

1) Pre-heat oven to 425˚F. Generously butter then flour 4 ramekins. Set aside.

2) In a microwave-safe bowl, heat white chocolate for 30 seconds, then in 10-second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until completely melted. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and beat on high until fluffy. Add flour and salt and stir until just blended. Stir in melted chocolate.

4) Divide batter among the 4 ramekins. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the outside is just set and center still jiggles. Remove from oven and set aside 3 minutes to cool slightly.

5) Place a plate over each ramekin. Flip upside down and tap the ramekins to release the cakes. Remove ramekins, sprinkle powdered sugar over each cake and serve immediately.



food review

Food Review: Grand Duchess Cafe


Just enjoyed my sweet Monday afternoon here at this café by having a dose of their frapuccino and a slice of one of their doughnuts.

Grand Duchess Café now opens at the 3rd floor of SM City Sta Mesa where residents near this place could visit the café and order their favorite mouth-watering desserts or beverages . When it comes to the ambiance of this café, I love their design with brick walls, fancy lights and cozy chairs where guests could chill out with their friends or colleague.

This café serves kettle doughnuts, specialty coffee, fyraqava/frystaqava, and yogurt gelato. For the iced coffee, the price depends on the size (petit/moyen/grand) , kind of frap (traditional/origin), and the flavor. Other beverages include Fyra/Frysta Tea Latte, Fyra/Frysta Chocolat, Specialty Frystaqava.

As for the desserts, guests can either have the Frysta Frulli (more on fruits) , doughnuts (choose from Dip N’Braids, Single Specialty Duchess Doughnuts and Single Plain/Glazed Duchess Doughnuts. You may even buy a box of either  6 assorted doughnuts, 1 dozen assorted or 2 dozen assorted from these two choice of doughnuts to bring home to your family or loved ones.


What I tried out here was the Chocolate Peanut Butter doughnut and French Almond Macarons frystaqava . Their doughnut and frap has just the right level of sweetness. On my next visit , I would want to try more of their doughnuts and frap or coffee, preferably the Red/Black/Paris Eye (coffee with shots of espresso).


Come and visit Grand Duchess Café at 3rd floor of SM City Sta Mesa near Cyberzone and McDonald’s. There are also other Grand Duchess Café branches for you to visit.


Compiled Recipe- Kesong Puti and Kangkong Bread Bowl

Kesong Puti and Kangkong Bread Bowl

* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 clove garlic, crushed
* 2 cups kangkong (water spinach) leaves, cooked
* 2 onions, thinly sliced
* pinch of salt (to taste)
* 1 cup sour cream
* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
* 8 ounces kesong puti, crumbled
* 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated, plus more for topping
* 2 loaves sourdough batard, hollowed out in the middle

1) Pre-heat oven to 350˚F. Melt butter in a skillet and add garlic, sauté for 1 minute. Add onions and salt to the skillet and sauté on high heat until caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.

2) Toss in the kangkong leaves and sauté for another 2 minutes or until wilted. Let cool and squeeze out extra liquid. Set aside.

3) Combine sour cream, cream cheese, kesong puti, cheddar cheese, cooked onions and kangkong in a bowl. Mix until combined.

4) Place hallowed out batards in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill in bread bowls just until brim with the kangkong mixture. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 35 minutes and serve immediately.



Compiled Recipe – Spicy Ham Pasta

Spicy Ham Pasta

* ½ cup unsalted butter
* 2 cups white onions, chopped
* 1 tsp caraway seeds
* 2 tsp sweet paprika
* 1 tbsp tomato paste
* 1 ½ cup store-bought spaghetti sauce
* 1 (12-ounce) can luncheon meat, cubed and fried
* 200 grams uncooked elbow macaroni
* 3 cups water or chicken stock
* grated cheddar cheese (to serve)

1) Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add caraway seeds and paprika. Sauté for 2 minutes.

2) Add tomato paste; mix for 1 minute. Add spaghetti sauce; mix well.

3) Add macaroni and water or stock. Lower heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add luncheon meat.

4) Top with cheese. Serve immediately.



Compiled Recipe – Mini Apple Pie

Mini Apple Pie

* 1 red apple, cored and sliced very thinly
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 (2-inch wide) docked puff pastry sheets
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 1 pinch cinnamon sugar
* 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water (egg wash)

1) Core and slice 1 red apple very thinly. Place apple slices, hot water and lemon juice in a bowl; allow apples to soften then drain on paper towels.

2) Place about 10 to 12 apple slices, overlapping each other, on the edge of a 2-inch wide strip docked puff pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and a pinch of cinnamon sugar then fold the other half of the strip over the apples. Starting on one end, roll the pastry to make a rosette.

3) Brush with egg wash. Place on a greased muffin tin. Repeat to make another rosette. Bake rosettes in an oven pre-heated to 375˚F (with a bowl of water placed on the bottom rack) for 40 to 50 minutes.