Saturday, August 22, 2009

For the Love of Pasta: Spicy Peanut Butter Spaghetti

I love peanut butter so much that I was so excited to make this Peanut Butter Pasta dish I've been researching about for a couple of months now. And I just made it a while ago. The result? Bzzzzt, I didn't like it. Why, you ask? I don't exactly know, but I guess it's because my tastebuds had reserved the peanut butter flavor to desserts. Or maybe I put a lot of PB, I don't know.

While I managed to finish a small plate of this specialty, my friend actually liked it. So for the sake of others' palate, I'll post the recipe and let you be the judge. And chef, of course. Anyway, it's super easy to prepare.

BTW, there's a surplus of chili flakes in the cupboard so I opted to use it again and complete the "Pad Thai" taste.


1/2 lb uncooked spaghetti*
1/2 C peanut butter**
1 C chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 C cooked and flaked chicken
chopped roasted peanuts to garnish**

Cook spaghetti according to package direction. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce and chili flakes. Stir constantly until well blended. Blend in cooked spaghetti, chicken and nuts. Serve slightly chilled.

*You can use any other pasta
**Use unsweetened peanut butter. In the absence of peanuts, you can use crunchy peanut butter instead.

For the Love of Pasta: Spicy Tomato-Basil Farfalle

As you may have noticed, I am a sucker for pasta. A friend of mine also noticed that he finds my taste "extraordinary" and "exotic" because I love pasta with herby sauces and I'm not sure if those are just euphemisms for "weird." I love how pasta dishes are so versatile-- well at least for the Filipino diet. You can almost eat pasta at any time of the day (save for midnight snacks, you don't want to have something really heavy in your stomach before going to bed): breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner.

When shopping for food in the supermarket, I usually kill time ogling at the items in the pasta shelf; I just love looking at pasta with all its glorious shapes and sizes. Recently, I just picked up a bag of farfalle since I realized I haven't cooked with this curiously-shaped pasta yet.

Here is a recipe for farfalle. Farfalle is Italian for "butterfly"-- it derived its name from the shape of the pasta. However, it is usually named "bowtie" in supermarkets. For the sauce, I think you just can't go wrong with a combination of tomato, basil and cheese.SPICY TOMATO-BASIL FARFALLE

1 C farfalle pasta, uncooked
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tbsp dried basil
4 tbsp all-purpose cream
3 tbsp grated cheese
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool and set aside.

Heat olive oil over low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until brown; add chili flakes, basil and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add cream and grated cheese and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken. Blend in pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fridge Alchemy: Creamy Chicken Adobo in Glass Noodles

I'm a huge fan of adobo and pasta, and ever since I've tasted the glorious adobo pasta in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Mandaluyong, I've always wanted to make my own. Last night, we had roasted chicken for dinner and came up with an idea to adobo-ize the leftovers the next day. I figured that it'd still be nice to use glass noodles (sotanghon) in the absence of long-stranded pasta, and fortunately it turned out quite well. I'm not sure though if it would be right to post the recipe (as cooking adobo is a matter of tweaking the flavor to your own liking), but I guess for keepsaking I will. Here's how I did my Creamy Roasted Chicken Adobo in Glass Noodles.


2 C cooked glass noodles (sotanghon/bean thread)
1 C roasted chicken flakes
1 pc celery stalk, diced
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 C all-purpose cream
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves of a small garlic, crushed
2 tbsp salt soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp peppercorn
salt to taste

In low heat, sauté garlic and onion in 1 tbsp olive oil until garlic is slightly browned. Add chicken flakes and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and vinegar (increase the amount of soy sauce and vinegar according to your taste), stir well. Put cream. Add peppercorn and salt.

Blend in cooked glass noodles. Put the remaining olive oil and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fridge Alchemy: Potato-Apple-Celery Salad

I love cooking at night. It gives me the freedom to roam around the kitchen without any obstruction, and the curious eyes of the onlookers.A while ago, as I was scouring the fridge for something to munch on while surfing the Internet, I realized that the bag of potatoes are sitting in the crisper for almost 3 weeks now. Thank God they're still good as fresh; so I decided to do a little wonder by making them a salad and blending in some chopped green apples and celery to give it the "crunch" factor. The vinaigrette dressing and mayonnaise really added an additional oomph to the already creamy flavor. Here's the simple recipe that I altered and originally got from


2 pcs medium sized potatoes, peeled
3 stalks celery, julienned
1 small white onion, sliced very finely
2 small green apples, diced
3 tbsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste


3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
dash of salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Cool.

Dice potatoes and put in a bowl. Add vinaigrette while potatoes are still warm. Put celery, onion and apples. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour. Gently stir in mayonnaise.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Furor Sausagi: Schublig

I am a stingy person. As a student, I have limited resources, therefore I learned to be frugal. Yet I realized that every once in a while, I should give some of the luxurious things a try just for the sake of experience-- life is short, and I should make the most out of it. One way is to taste the food that I don't usually find in the everyday table.

Rummaging the Cold Cuts section of the supermarket, I find delight looking at sausages and cheeses so dearly priced and wondered how they taste like-- I wonder if I would taste gold with a bite of culatello. I decided to start with the less expensive sausages.

Schublig is a kind of sausage traditionally from Switzerland. It's either beef or pork (or both), cured and smoked to perfection. While the more popular way to cook this baby is grilling (like the way they cook it in Brazil! Brazil!), I prefer my sausages fried in olive oil.

It has become an instant favorite on the first bite: I love how the flavorful juice burst in my mouth. It is uniquely seasoned, and the smoky flavor is just memorable. I thought it would be perfect for salads as the flavor is strong and meaty, that's why I considered it an ingredient of a recipe I got from Foodie magazine, but slightly altered: Cold Pasta Salad with Honey-Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing.


3-4 C cooked pasta (I used varicolored fusilli on the photo)
2 C sausages, sliced thinly (I used Schublig)
1 pc celery stalk, sliced thinly
1/2 C hard cheese, cut into little cubes (cheddar/edam/parmesan)
1/2 C honey-lemon-olive oil dressing
salt and pepper to taste


juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp honey

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Best served slightly chilled.