German-Style Dinner

Dinner tonight was a German-style meal any Greta or Liezl can be proud to call their own. 

Unfortunately, veal was not available at the commissary this week so I had to subsitute my wiener schnitzel with breaded pork chops.  But red cabbages are always available in any supermarket and that was enough to build on the German-style dinner I had in mind. There was a sale on Andre Spumante and Champagne that day we were at the base exchange so I grabbed a bottle of Spumante for $3.45 especially for this meal.

Continue reading “German-Style Dinner”

Pasta Fazool

Two years ago, Stepson gave us “A Goomba’s Guide to Life” by Steven R. Schiripa.  Schiripa is better known as Bobby Bacala of HBO’s The Sopranos.  Spouse and I  really enjoyed that book and the show. Since Spouse grew up in New Jersey and his grandparent’s and parent’s last home was just a few blocks from where the Sopranos’ pork store, Satriale’s,  is located (Kearny Avenue Kearny, NJ), you really can’t fault us for being big fans of this show.

The book also has some common Italian-American recipes, some of which  I’ve tried.  One of my favorites is  Pasta Fazool or as they call it in proper Italian, Pasta E Fagioli – noodles and beans.  It’s an Italian comfort food that’s rich tasting and easy to prepare.  The combination of beans and pasta is very healthy because of the complex carbohydrates and proteins of the main ingredients.

Pasta Fazool is actually a soup, but Spouse likes it more like a stew.  I like mine topped with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The olive oil HAS to be extra virgin to bring out the very earthy flavors of the beef, the basil and the beans.  This is a meal in itself….perfect for a cold winter evening.  I like my Pasta Fazool with crusty Italian bread, red wine followed by a simple green salad of  arugula and mushrooms with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.  Not bad for Tuesday dinner.

Next time you’re in a hurry and want something warm and comforting for dinner, try this recipe. Continue reading “Pasta Fazool”

Low Fat Spinach Quiche

I’ve made this low-fat Spinach Quiche one of my regular stand-by lunch recipes for some time now. 

Spinach is one of those Super Foods packed with vitamins and minerals, best when boiled and not raw.  I read this trivia in our local paper and was pretty relieved cause raw spinach is not my favorite thing in the world.  It’s convenient to make with frozen spinach that lasts forever in any  freezer.  It’s a relatively healthy meal and tastes great.  Even a carnivore like me doesn t miss the lack of any meats in this dish. Another thing I love about this are the leftovers.  They are great even after a day or two in the fridge.  Just reheat in the microwave and it comes out still good. Here’s the recipe I use: Continue reading “Low Fat Spinach Quiche”

Bibingkang Galapong

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It’s Christmas everywhere and in the Philippines no other treat says Christmas more than this rice cake.  It’s available year round in most places.  During the Christmas season, churches everywhere will have vendors setting up shop in the wee hours of the morning.  These vendors will be selling  bibingka or puto bumbong and cooking them right in their stalls.  The Catholic faithful who hear the early morning novena mass before Christmas all flock to these stalls for their bibingka.  It makes a perfect breakfast with your coffee or hot cocoa.

The best way to cook these cakes is in shallow pans made of clay  lined with banana leaves set up over hot coals with more live coals on a movable tin cover to cook the top.  My version is oven-baked for convenience.  This was my first time to make this and I was not all that impressed by how it turned out.  When I took it to my mom’s for merienda however, they all liked it.  Youngest Sister even said the only thing missing was the distinct smell when you cook something over live coals….something we always called “charcoal smell.”

The toppings may not be readily available.  The salted duck’s eggs can be homemade but it will take a couple of weeks to cure.  The Filipino quesong puti is similar to the Mexican queso fresco or queso blanco.  The Philippine version uses carabao’s milk and thus,  richer.  As for the coconut milk, there’s nothing like fresh since it has a natural sweetness you can’t get from canned coconut milk.  If you are in a pinch, use cow’s milk or the canned/powdered coconut milk. Continue reading “Bibingkang Galapong”