Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

I felt like celebrating tonight and decided to make us an Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie that didn’t include skimmed milk or skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  No siree.. this recipe called for cream…and lotsa butter and I did use butter with a clear conscience.

I got a call from my doctor and al my blood work came back normal. Normal!!!!!  Normal blood sugar, normal cholesterol….wheeeeee!  Awright, too much personal information here, I’m stopping now.

So anyway.  In celebration of the very happy circumstances of my health,  I made this American classic with only a couple of concessions.  I used split chicken breasts instead of a whole chickem, and I only made a top crust.  But the crust came out extra-ordinarily flaky this time.  I guess there’s truth to that old wive’s tale about being in a good mood when making a pie crust.  Sadly, I forgot to put in the peas which I always have in the freezer.  Mea culpa.  The dish would’ve been so much better with the peas.

This particular recipe is based on James Beard’s version which I found off the internet and found it to be the best I’ve tried.  It does take hours to make, but most of it is simmering and won’t require hard labor. The results are worth it.  There are just certain recipes you have to try doing without the usual shortcuts. Continue reading “Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie”

Everyday Filipino: Beef Sinigang

Sinigang refers to the dish you cook using the “sigang” method.  Cooking sigang style is to cook with broth and other condiments according to the online Tagalog dictionary.  I always thought the term meant sauteing without oil.  Sorry about the picture, I guess the steam rose and fogged up the camera lens.

Sinigang is a very versatile dish.  There are different versions of sinigang:  beef, pork, chicken, fish and shrimp.  Sinigang with beef, pork or chicken starts out the same way, which is, sauteing the meat with the onion and tomatoes without any oil, then adding a spoonful of fish sauce.  It’s the perfect dish for the rainy season….warm and satisfying. Continue reading “Everyday Filipino: Beef Sinigang”

Pear and Rhum Pound Cake

You’ve seen the pan, now here’s the cake…ta-dah!

Did you notice the cake is lopsided?  You wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t say a word, right?  Not so bad.  The cake was great whichever pan you used.  Can’t really go wrong with a combination of pear and rhum.

This recipe is based on a  Pear and Grappa Pound Cake again found in my current favorite, “The Soprano Family Cookbook” by Allen Rucker and Michele Scicolone.  The cake was mentioned by Meadow Soprano in The Sopranos Episode 59 of Season 5.  In this episode, she bakes that cake for her grandfather’s birthday party.

This cake is highly recommended.  Try it sometime.  It has a lovely combination of flavors, is very easy to make and is pretty much full-proof baking, even for higher altitudes. Continue reading “Pear and Rhum Pound Cake”

Silicone Bundt Pan

I just tried this  Hamilton Beach Professional Rose Bunt (sic) Pan that I got at the outlet store, Kitchen Collection.  Original price was $9.99 and a comparable price on the tag says $12.99. The store gave us a very reasonable price of $4.47 (not including sales tax) mainly because we braved the crowds at the Castlerock Outlet Mall the day after Christmas.

Spouse managed to schmooze the cashier/manager while we were checking out and even got us an additional 10% discount….a “just because you’re cute” discount I like to call it. Continue reading “Silicone Bundt Pan”

Masakan Indonesia: Nasi Goreng

We’ve all heard of this popular Indonesian dish at one time or another.  Before living in Jakarta for a short duration, my idea of Nasi Goreng was what’s called “Java Rice” – a bright orange-colored rice dish usually served with barbecued chicken at a popular Philippine chain of restaurants called Aristocrat.

Of course, when you find yourself in the land of exotic spices and heady, fragrant smells and scents,  you have to try the real thing, the thing the locals eat on a regular basis – streetfood.

I love streetfood.  I will take it anyday in any country, even if it landed me in a hospital once.  Oh, but that’s another story…maybe for another day. Continue reading “Masakan Indonesia: Nasi Goreng”

Indonesian Products in a Filipino Store

I ran out of Filipino cooking staples, fish sauce (patis) and soy sauce (toyo) and went to my local Filipino Store on South Academy Boulevard here in the Springs.? Since I am determined to start cooking  more Indonesian recipes, the plan was to stop by another Asian grocery in the area to pick up the essential ABC Kecap Manis.

Well, lo and behold….the Filipino Sari-Sari Store had it right there in their shelves and I didn’t have to go around looking!

Here’s a photo of two important Indonesian ingredients. Kecap Manis and Fried Red Onions.

Continue reading “Indonesian Products in a Filipino Store”

Spaghetti Puttanesca

This Spaghetti Puttanesca recipe is again from The Sopranos Family Cookbook.  Honestly, I was not impressed when I was dishing this up.  I’ve cooked it before and my version was lighter.  After I took my first bite of this one, all relaxed and away from my kitchen, I was surprised at how different the same dish with the same ingredients could be.  Both are good…just different.

My mother (again!) first told us about Spaghetti Puttanesca when we were kids.  Of course, there’s going to be a related story….families are all about stories, right?  My family especially…

Apparently, this was the dish her second eldest brother, the lawyer in the family, learned from somewhere and introduced to their home.  One day after the war (WW2), he came home with all the ingredients, cooked it for everyone to try.  And of course, he started telling them about its scandalous origins  (which I assume you all know), which, of course shocked his old, widowed mother and his five sisters.  Good thing my grandmother was always a good sport and spoiled her kids rotten, especially after my grandfather was killed during the liberation of Manila.  As a result of that tragic time, Lola Blanca tried harder to be accessible to her children and let the aunts and uncles…especially the uncles…get away with almost anything.  She always remained her loving, laughing self….after an initial, disapproving, “I’m not impressed” kinda look of course. Continue reading “Spaghetti Puttanesca”