Saturday, August 20, 2011


I haven't been talking about my old non-paying job in a Greek restaurant last year. Not that there's nothing to talk about. In fact, there is a lot.

My family had a canteen twice in the past. Working in food production isn't new to me -- but the experience I've had in that specialty restaurant is a whole-world kind of different.

Whenever I think of it, studying in a culinary environment, lectures and laboratories -- I can say nothing beats the first-hand experience of hot busy kitchens, real customers with real expectations, bosses counting on you to deliver the best service you can give.

I confirm those three months of hustling and bustling stepped my game up a notch.

Here's one of my most favorite side/dip recipes I've learned (and tweaked a little) from that place.

It's very easy, very simple but so good it should be a staple in your home.


You will need:

3-5 medium-sized Cucumbers
1 cup plain cold Yogurt
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon or Calamansi Juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh dill or mint
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bowls, clean pieces of cheesecloth or paper towels, strainers, a grater, a knife, a spoon

- - -

1. Ready a piece of cheesecloth (katsa) or paper towel over a strainer and place the strainer over a bowl.
2. Pour cold yogurt on the strainer and set aside.
2. Wash and peel cucumbers and cut in half. Take out the seeds with the use of a spoon.
3. Grate the cucumbers and squeeze out its juices. Season it with salt and place it on a cloth-lined or paper towel-lined strainer.

4. Set the bowls of yogurt and cucumbers in the refrigerator for an hour.
5. After chilling, transfer the yogurt to a mixing bowl.
6. Squeeze the cucumber some more to take as much juice from it as you can and mix it to the yogurt.
7. Add the sour cream, vinegar, lemon or calamansi juice, olive oil, garlic, and dill or mint.
8. Season with salt and pepper.

Tzatziki is best served chilled.

I highly recommend it as an alternative for slaws or pickles.

It's perfect with steaks, grilled meats, burgers, pita bread, etc.

Till the next eats!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Corn Sotanghon Soup and Cocovado Smoothie

I guess I got out of July alive.

I went to a wedding, a christening, two family reunions, two shows, the movies, a 10-day wake and a burial (my grandma died), a competition (in which I won gold for Menu Writing and Design - yay!), and a couple birthday parties.

I want to say I'm glad to be here and typing away in my laptop despite my desktop PC crashing - along with all installed software.

Exhaustion should be the least of my worries.

I'm not a big complainer but life is a bitch sometimes.

And some days, that bitch is your best friend.

Do I still have the right to continue last month's theme? I do have the last couple of breakfast recipes on my lap.

To keep up with the two-week absence, I'm putting up two recipes in one post today.

Also, I'm doing this to prove to my self and every one that I am serious about the business of posting recipes.

Maybe not so much "on time" but you know. Okay. It's because I love you all.

Kind of looks like a gumbo!

Why corn? Why vermicelli? Why soup?

I know, I know. We can all buy something like this instant. Just pour hot water and you're good.

We got fresh corn produce from the province last week and I just had to do something with it.

Also, my lovely friend Malot asked for a soup recipe a few days back. It's been raining hard lately, such perfect time to gorge in hot soup!

As for the smoothie recipe, it's an ode to my younger sister who is prone to overuse the blender.

Elle is so good at making smoothies, I had to concoct one at some point so I made my very own breakfast smoothie recipe!

It's all so easy.

Corn Sotanghon Soup

You will need:

1/2 cup Corn Kernels (boiled if from the cob or you can use the canned variety)
1/2 cup Vermicelli Noodles (drenched in water, drained, and cut)
1/2 cup Carrots, small dice
1 liter Chicken Stock (pre-made broth or with bouillon cubes)
1 piece Chinese Sausage, sliced
1 cup Chinese Lettuce, cut into thin strips
1 medium Onion, small dice
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 small Ginger, pounded
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
1/4 cup Chicharon (Crunchy Pork Rinds), coarsely ground (this is optional)
2 tablespoons Chives or Spring Onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

- - -

1. Saute garlic, onions, carrots, ginger, and sausage in a pot for 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels.
2. Pour in chicken stock and let it boil for 8-10 minutes or until corn is well cooked.
3. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
4. Add the vermicelli noodles and Chinese lettuce.
5. Serve hot and top with chopped spring onions and Chicharon bits (optional).


- - -

Cocovado Smoothie

You will need:

1 cup fresh Coconut, shredded and about a cup of its juice (best if it's frozen)
1 cup fresh Milk, cold
4 tablespoons dark Muscovado Sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup water

- - -

1. Mix everything in a blender.

You're welcome!

Till the next eats,