Monday, December 8, 2008

RECIPE: Über-Cheesy Pan de Pizza

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese! Who doesn't love 'em chiz? Be it soft, hard, tangy, moldy, smelly, wedged, balled, cheap, gourmet, or anything in between, one can't help but love it down to the last bite.

This recipe is a great "left-over goodie"...Why? Well, because my Momma taught me well not to waste anything (yep...she and me are the nightmares of 5S gurus--we save everything and recycle when we can!)...and this recipe calls for left-overs as ingredients. Of course, if you don't have left-overs, you can start fresh--buy 'em new! So...let's start cookin'!!!

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Ingredients: burger buns (cut into three equal slices), cream cheese, olives, onion rings, thinly-sliced tomatoes, quick-melt cheese, left-over (or ready-made, off the supermarket shelves) tomato-based spaghetti sauce, freshly-ground pepper, feta cheese (optional), chopped basil (optional)

You will also need: an oven (or broiler), cheese grater, and an iPod playing in the background, preferably some Italian dude

Pre-heat the oven to 250degrees as you're preparing (er..."assembling") the ingredients (i.e. while slicing the onions, olives and tomatoes). Dunk the buns into the oven for a good 3-5 minutes or until it's somewhat crispy. Take out to cool.

Spread the buns with the cream cheese (OK, that sounded sleazy...so let's call it bread from now on). Then top the cheese layer with the tomato-based sauce. If you opted to put feta and basil, now's the time to do that, too, champ. Spread the sliced tomatoes, olives, and onion rings all over the bread.

Finally, top with grated quick-melt cheese (or use mozarella if you're feeling more sosi...hehehe) and the freshly-ground pepper.

Put in the oven for about 10 minutes at around 175-200degrees, or until the cheese toppings melt like crazy. Serve on a kerengkeng plate together with some Ice-blended Chamomile-Pear smoothie. How to do that? OK, OK...here's how...

Make cold chamomile tea using off-the-supermarket-shelves varieties of them tea bags. Set aside. Core and peel fresh pears. Dunk the fruit, the tea, some milk, and lotsa ice cubes in a blender. Add Splenda if needed. Then blend like crazy. Pour in a tall glass and top with those totally-useless cocktail drink embellishments.

Enjoy like there's no tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RECIPE: Oven-Baked Cream Dory with Alagau

Here's a no-brainer recipe. All you need is an oven (or turbo broiler or anything that can bake for at least 250degrees), some herbs, and Finding Nemo's Dory...and your all set!

I used a local herb called alagau. I grew up in Bataan eating another local dish called Talibubu (I'll make that some day, and I'll post it here, too), and this herb was its main ingredient. My mom would make me go to the neighbor (with a nasty askal) and ask for young leaves ("talbos"), which was really the only part you'd need--use the matured leaves and the dish turns out a bit bitter. To read more about this herb, click HERE. And since I particularly liked the taste of alagau in Talibubu, I thought of experimenting on it on a different dish.

Nuff said. Let's start cookin'!

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First, you will need the following ingredients: fresh cream dory fillets (buy this at your local wet market and ask that they filleted it for you, or you could always run to your supermarket and get the frozen ones...just make sure you thaw it first before cooking [duh]), onion rings (your choice of either local red or white), chopped garlic cloves, thinly-sliced ripe tomatoes, finely-chopped young alagaw leaves, finely-chopped basil, olive oil, sesame oil, chili powder (optional), and freshly-ground salt and pepper.

For the dipping sauce: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or calamansi.

And make sure you have these non-food items: oven, Pam spray can, aluminum foil, metal wire plate, baking spatula, and a whole lot of presence of mind--you'll need it later!

(Remember to pre-heat the oven to 250degrees while you're doing this, OK?) Cut some aluminum foil (careful not to cut yourself, you little baby!) big enough to wrap two to three medium-to-large fish fillets. Spray the matte side of the foil with Pam spray, and drizzle with some olive oil. Spread all over the foil with the spatula till it's covered all over. Think sunblock on someone else's back...that's the idea! ;-) Put the fish side by side.

Drizzle the fillets with more olive oil, and some sesame oil. Layer it with the onion rings, garlic, alagau leaves, basil, tomatoes, and the optional chili powder or flakes. You know how to design a home-made pizza? That's the general idea. Season with enough salt, and pepper. Wrap the fillets in the foil and make sure it's sealed enough to prevent it from bursting or leaking.

With the pre-heated oven (You did pre-heat it, didn't you? Tsk!) ready, carefully set the wrapped fillets on those nifty metal wire plates so it's right smack in the middle of the oven or broiler. Set the oven to 250degrees or higher for 30 minutes. Let it cook and go do your other chores so you're more useful in the house!

When you hear your oven's "TING!", then it's time to open up the foil wrap. Careful now, careful now...you don't want your perky porcelain skin burnt, do you? Poke the fish with a salad fork and check whether it's already good for you...otherwise, bake it some more, this time with the foil already unsealed.

Serve on a plate with its dipping sauce on the side. How to make the sauce? Just combine all the ingredients and mix till it's already good for your discriminating taste buds.

Enjoy!