Les Misérables – Castle on a Cloud (Piano Cover)

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Pinoy Streetfood: Nilagang Mani (Boiled Peanuts)

Nilagang Mani (Boiled peanuts) is a very economical snack available everywhere in the Philippines.  Memories of traveling by bus with my Mom going to Pangasinan or Baguio City.. Mommy buys me a bag of boiled peanuts and boiled eggs to snack on during the long road trip.

It’s very common to see street peddlers in Manila selling these boiled peanuts.  Sometimes, they come in pre-packed brown bags and peddlers would quickly load a tour bus to sell to travelers for their long bus ride to the provinces.

Recently, my husband and I bought a small pack of these boiled peanuts from an Asian store and knowing that my eldest daughter loves to eat this too, I was inspired to make some from my kitchen in order to save money, control the saltiness of the peanuts and add more seasoning to make the boiled peanuts more aromatic and flavorful.

Street peddler posted online by Richard Macalino
Street peddler posted online by Richard Macalino

Here’s my very simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. raw Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 5 pods of Chinese Star Anise
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic powder

Cooking Procedure:

Wash raw peanuts well.  In a large stock pot, add raw peanuts and cover it with water or fill the pot until it’s about more than half way filled.  Add salt and start boiling.  When the water in on a rolling boil, add star anise and garlic powder.  You can add more or put less depending on your taste.  Continue to boil covered for 2 hours.

Turn off the heat after 2 hours and leave the peanuts to cool down with the salted water.

After 3-5 hours, drain and your boiled peanuts are ready!  Enjoy!

It’s truly a healthy and fun snack for the whole family.  Making a big batch is a good idea.  It holds well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, even up to 5 days.  You will find boiled peanuts from Asian markets but I think it’s more fun to just make some at home.

Raw peanuts soaked in water with salt ready for boiling
Healthy boiled peanuts great for snacking

NOTES:

SUPERMOON 2012 lighted Irvine’s night sky

At exactly 8:09PM, I finished putting our children to bed. I ran to my husband telling him I needed to go out and drive around to take a few shots of the Super Moon that’s expected to be at it’s brightest and biggest this year (2012) at exactly 8:34PM Pacific Standard Time.

I grabbed my Nikomat film camera and made sure I had all my accessories with me to help guarantee a good shot of the beautiful moon tonight. I also brought my DSLR camera to be certain that I can take a few digital shots and bring home proof to my husband of this gorgeous display of tonight’s clear skies.

To make a long story short (because I am posting this and writing this at exactly 9:29PM, I just got home and am too excited)… here’s a sample of my shot.

SUPER MOON

Lens: AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Date/Time: 5/5/2012 8:35:40PM PDT

Focal length (35mm): 232.0mm

ISO 160 f/11 1/100 155mm

I wish my family had gone with me. I would’ve taken a much beautiful view of the moon from where I drove around the dark corners of Irvine. Security was my priority and I didn’t want to be along a dark street by myself.

There’s always a next year 🙂

Hope you like my composition!

Massaman Tofu Curry with eggplants and mushroom (แกงมัสมั่น)

Enjoying the rich flavor of curry is like diving into the enticing food culture of the East. The depth of flavor, the goodness of the combination of different spices and the bright color is simply appetizing.

I used to not like curry at all.  I didn’t like the boring flavor I get from the kind I ate when I was young because I only knew one kind of curry then and it wasn’t the kind of curry I now know of.  I’ve tasted chicken curry of many sorts but by the looks of it, it was as simple as adding instant curry powder to cut-up chicken, mixing coconut milk, potatoes, carrots and a few other variety of extenders.

This recipe I am sharing was inspired by my brother who loves to create his own vegan cuisine in his healthy kitchen.  He always gives me ideas on how to cook vegetarian dishes.  This version is a twist of my own taste and choice of ingredients.

I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • Block of firm organic tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 270 ml. of Light coconut cream
  • 3 pcs. Indian eggplant, washed and sliced in chunks
  • 2 tbsp. Massaman curry paste
  • 1 Zucchini, washed and sliced half-moon
  • 1 can Black beans, washed and drained
  • 1 Shallots
  • 1 bunch Spinach with stems, washed and drained
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced in half
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

In a shallow pan, heat olive oil on medium high then sauté the curry paste and shallots.  Add the tofu, mushrooms and zucchini and continue cooking for a minute or two.  Stir in the coconut cream then add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water (depending on consistency desired).  Cover the pan and cook until the veggies are almost cooked.  Add the eggplants, spinach and beans then season with salt and pepper.  Close the lid and let everything cook according to how you want it done.

 

Basa Fish Fillet cooked in Lemon sauce

Something smells fishy and savory…

I love fish.  Don’t you?

Instead of eating red meat or poultry, I’d rather eat seafood.  I enjoy the light flavor and the variety of dishes I can make out of the many kind of seafood in the market.

I grew up eating fish because my Dad loves to eat fish.  Growing up, I remember going to the “Palengke” or wet market.  Fresh caught fish, shellfish, octopus, crustaceans and even sea cucumbers and sea urchins can be bought.  It’s simply a delight learning easy fish recipes but what makes me extra happy about this particular recipe is that my family gave me a high score on this 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 pcs. Basa fish fillet
  • 3 tbsp. Capers, washed and drained
  • 1 Lemon
  • Ginger, julienned
  • Shallots. thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the Basa fish fillet into bite sizes.  Cut the lemon in half.  Juice half of the lemon while slicing the other half into very thin round slices.

Into a non-stick pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Saute the ginger and shallots until fragrant.  Add the fish, some salt and pepper, the capers and the sliced lemon.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium high heat.  Add in the lemon juice and drizzle with some more olive oil.  Cover the pan and cook for another minute.

Very easy!!!!

Kale Stir-Fry

I first learned about Kale when I was reading recipes for baby food back in 2004 when our eldest daughter was still a baby.  It was intimidating at first because I never used or tasted this type of vegetable which was not available at the local markets when I was growing up in Manila.  That’s why in my many years of learning to cook, I barely had any interest with Kale.

Making baby food out of Kale was challenging.  At first, we thought the kids will not like it but actually, they did!  They really did and it was their favorite homemade baby food and since our children like it so much, we should learn to eat it too.  This is the start of my Kale challenge:

Here’s an easy recipe that’s not only appealing to the taste, but also appetizing to the eyes.

Ingredients:

1 Block firm tofu

1 lb. Kale

1/2 Large eggplant (North American Variety)

1/4 cup Low sodium vegetable stock

Sliced garlic

Olive oil

Chili pepper flakes

Salt and Pepper

Heat olive oil on medium low heat.  Sauté garlic with a dash of salt until light brown and crispy.  Add chili pepper flakes.  Add a little more olive oil then cook the eggplant and tofu.  Stir in the vegetable stock then turn up the heat to medium high.  Lastly, add the kale and cook for a few minutes until cooked to desired texture.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Related Articles:

The Truth about Kale

The World’s Healthiest Foods dot ORG

 

Homemade Kimch’i (김치)

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This is one of my favorite recipes and I’ve been saving to write about this on a special day like today.  But before I start, I want to thank Maangchi, my favorite cooking mentor for teaching me how to make this.

Not all people like Kimchi because of the strong sour smell.  I cannot blame them but a lot of other people (like me) love that smell anyway.  Years before, I honestly did not mind about what Kimchi is all about but when I started reading about Korean dishes, I became curious.

I first tried Kimchi at Korean restaurants as a side-dish.  It was appetizing to me because of the savory kick of spicy and sour sauce.  Then slowly, I appreciated the taste of the sauce and my palate started to want for more.

I only like the ones from the restaurant because it tastes more fresh.  I never had a store-bought Kimchi in our home and because of that, I realized I had to learn to make my own Kimchi 🙂  To me, it’s comforting to know what ingredients I have used on my recipes.  Then I am more confident serving food to my family knowing that they are eating homemade dishes by me.

I hope you enjoy learning this recipe as much as I did.  I will make a new batch this weekend 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium Napa Cabbages
  • 2 medium Korean Radishes (Daikon), cut into 1 inch cubes (leave some for the porridge, julienned)
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 big Onion
  • Ginger
  • 10-15 pieces of Garlic (I like to use a lot!)
  • Green Onions
  • Asian Chives
  • Hot Pepper Powder (pick a nice one that’s bright red)
  • Fish Sauce
  • Sweet Rice Powder

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Cut the cabbages in half, then slit each half through the core, but NOT through the rest of the leaves.  Soak each piece in cold water and liberally sprinkle some salt (about 3/4 cup of Sea Salt per medium cabbage), then set aside for 2 hours.

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Salt the diced radishes too and leave for 2 hours as well.  After 2 hours, turn the pieces of cabbage and radishes over so they are salted evenly. Leave for another 2 hours (Total of 4 hours of salting).

Prepare the porridge.  Put 1/2 cup sweet rice powder and 3 cups of water in a sauce pan and cook over medium high heat while stirring constantly.  Add 1/4 cup sugar then cool it down.  After 4 hours, wash the cabbages and radishes in a cold tub of water… wash 3-4 times making sure you soak it well in water to REMOVE ALL the salt.

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To the porridge, add 1 cup good quality fish sauce, 2-6 cups of hot pepper flakes (depending on your taste), 1 cup of crushed garlic, 1-3 tbsp. of minced ginger, 1 large minced onion. (I use my food processor to mince and crush the ingredients on this part)

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Mix the porridge and continue washing the cabbages and radishes.

Take a look at my photos and see how I soak the cabbages in water to make sure all the salt is removed.

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Prepare the following:

  • 7-12 diagonally sliced green onions
  • 2 cups asian chives cut into 2 inches in length
  • 2 cups of shredded korean radish (left-over from the cubes that you used before)

Combine the porridge and the ingredients above.

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Make sure the water from the cabbages drip off before starting to spread the paste on the leaves.  You will see on my slideshow how my paste looks like (it will make you salivate if you love Kimchi like me – LOL!)

Start spreading the paste on the leaves and leave some paste for your cubed radishes (Kaktugi).  Put your homemade Kimchi into an air-tight sealed container or glass jar.

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Make sure you use a clean spoon each time you get a portion of your Kimchi when you eat. Also, press down on your Kimchi after getting your serving to make sure there is no air in between your cabbages. Eat this fresh or wait until it’s bubbly and fermented.

Put the Kimchi container at room temperature for a day then keep it in the refrigerator after the first day of fermentation. In a few days, you will see some bubbles and you will start smelling the sour Kimchi. That means it’s ready being fermented.

Enjoy your Kimchi!!!!

 

Related Articles:

MAANGCHI where I learned how to make Kimchi