Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sauteed Mussels In Pernod Flavored Broth

Source : Italianfoodforever

The pernod liqueur adds just a hint of anise flavor that is delicious. Just make sure you have lots of good quality bread handy to sop up all the tasty juices.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

Mussels are quite inexpensive, and in a recipe such as this, they can be a tasty appetizer, or a light dinner entree by simply adding a nice green salad and dessert. I had this dish first at a favorite restaurant of mine, and while they wouldn't share the actual recipe, they did tell me the broth was flavored with pernod. I went home and created this recipe, which although isn't identical to the restarant version, it is just as good.

3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion, Chopped

2 Stalks of Celery, Chopped

3-4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

Salt & Pepper to Taste

2 Plum Tomatoes, Seeded, Cored And Diced Into 1/2 Inch Pieces

2 Cups White Wine

1/2 Cup Pernod Liqueur

Dash of Saffron

2-3 Pounds Mussels, Scrubbed with Beards Removed

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, celery and garlic until translucent. Add the salt and pepper and cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the wine, saffron, tomatoes, and pernod, and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the cleaned, drained mussels, cover, and cook until the shells open, which should be about 5 additional minutes. Add the parsley in just before serving. You can serve this dish on grilled garlic bread, spooning the juices over the bread in a shallow bowl, or serve with a good crusty bread on the side.

Grilled Seafood Salad

Source : Italianfoodforever

Antipasti di Mare ~ I created this salad after buying some fresh seafood at the market which we grilled, and then tossed in a light lemon dressing. This would be delicious at any summer barbeque!

:Serves 6:

by Deborah Mele

This delicious recipe was created after I had an extremely unpleasant experience with a seafood salad at a local restaurant. It was a beautiful summer evening, and my husband and I were walking downtown, trying to choose a restaurant to dine in that evening. Because of the warm temperatures, all of the outdoor patios of the restaurants lining the street were overflowing with people. As we were walking by one particular restaurant, we saw a waiter bring out this striking looking plate of seafood salad, artfully displayed on a bed of salad greens. We are both big fans of seafood in general, and therefore were lured in to try this restaurant and in fact ordered the seafood salad to share. Well, the salad certainly did not live up to it's appearance. It was swimming in a heavily laced vinegar based dressing which overpowered the delicate flavor of the seafood. The calamari were rubbery, the shrimp so tiny you could hardly see them, and the mussels were dried out. We were both very disapointed, and decided we needed to create our own version of seafood salad to replace the memory of the one we shared that evening. The next morning while we were at the St. Lawrence market on our weekly visit, we bought some very fresh shrimp, baby squid, scallops, and mussels and came home to create our own salad.

We decided to grill the seafood instead of poaching the ingredients as I do my Christmas version, and then assembled it from there. I chopped the seafood into bite sized pieces, and added the juice of 1 lemon, a little garlic, minced parsley, chopped black olives, and some good quality olive oil. The salad was delicious, and tasted great both still warm from the barbecue, as well as room temperature the next day. This salad would be great at a summer barbeque, and can be put together in minutes.

1 Pound Small Calamari, Cleaned

1 Pound Medium Shrimp, Cleaned And Deveined

1 Pound Scallops

24 Fresh Mussels

1/2 Cup Pitted Black Olives (Optional)


3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic, Crushed

Juice and 1 Teaspoon of Zest From 1 & 1/2 Large Lemons

1/4 Cup Chopped, Fresh Parsley

Dash Red Pepper Flakes

Salt & Pepper To Taste

Heat up the grill, and cook the seafood in batches, just until cooked through. Depending on how hot your barbeque is, this should only take a minute or two per side. For the mussels, simply place them on a barbeque grilling tray, place on the hot grill, close, and remove as soon as they open. Once cooked, cut the calamari into pieces, the shrimps and scallops in half, while leaving the mussels in their shells. Place the seafood in a bowl, add the dressing ingredients, olives and mix well. Serve immediately still warm from the barbeque, or cover and let marinade in the dressing in the refrigerator overnight. Just before serving, adjust the seasonings. Serve.

Shrimp Scampi

Source : Italianfoodforever

The only trick to this recipe is to not overcook the shrimp. I like lots of garlic and butter which results in a tasty starter to any meal.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

1 Pound Of Large Shrimp

4 Cloves Of Garlic, Minced

1/4 Cup Butter

1/4 Cup White Wine

Salt & Pepper

Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped


Diced Tomato (Optional)

Chopped Green Onions

Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and shrimp. Cook just a minute or two, until the shrimp turns pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and add the wine. Turn the heat up to medium high, and cook until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley. Return the shrimp to the pan, and cook for another minute. Serve immediately, using the garnish if desired.

Mussels In Garlic Butter Sauce

Source : Italianfoodforever

This is a very easy way to cook mussels, creating a tasty sauce of butter, garlic and juice from the mussels.

:Serves 4

by Deborah Mele

Make sure you have lots of crusty bread on hand to sop up the juices!

2 Pounds Fresh, Cleaned Mussels

3-4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

3/4 Stick Unsalted Butter At Room Temperature

Salt & Pepper

To Serve:

Crusty Italian Bread, Grilled

Combine the butter, garlic, parsley and seasonings in a small bowl. Mix together well. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the mussels in a large baking dish, and spoon the butter/garlic mixture on top. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the mussels open. Discard any that do not open. Serve in large bowls, dividing the sauce equally between each serving. Offer crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices.

Garlic Orange Shrimp

Source : Italianfoodforever

A combination of shrimp with a fresh orange flavor. Quick and easy to make, it would be a great starter year round.

:Serves 4

by Deborah Mele

This tasty recipe combines shrimp with a fresh orange flavor. Quick and easy to make, it would be a great starter year round.

16 Large Shrimp

2 Large Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped

1 Dried, Red Chili Pepper, Crushed

6 Tablespoons Orange Infused Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley

Marinate the shrimp in the other ingredients for one hour before cooking. Heat a frying on high, and once hot, add the shrimp and marinade mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp become slightly browned and opaque.

Sauteed Mussels

Source : Italianfoodforever

Cozze ~ Simple, yet delicious. This recipe is so easy it is hard to believe it tastes so good!

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

To ensure the best result, use the freshest mussels you can find. To clean, scrub under running water removing the "beards" or vegetation attached. Keep the mussels in a bowl in the fridge in a little water until you are ready to use them. Don't leave them in a closed plastic bag or they will die before you have a chance to cook them.

3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion, Chopped

2 Stalks of Celery, Chopped

3-4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

Salt & Pepper to Taste

1/2 Cup Dry White Wine

1 Cup Water

1 (14 oz.) Can Chopped Tomatoes

3 Pounds Mussels, Scrubbed with Beards Removed

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, celery and garlic until translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the wine and cook an additional 10 minutes, adding as much water as needed if the sauce bevomes too thick. Add the cleaned, drained mussels, cover, and cook until the shells open, which should be about 5 additional minutes. Add the parsley just before serving. You can serve this dish on grilled garlic bread, spooning the juices over the bread in a shallow bowl, or serve with a good crusty bread on the side.

Fave Bean And Shrimp Salad

Source : Italianfoodforever

A perfect spring or summer starter when fave beans are in season. It's colorful appearance is particularly attractive.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

This light, tasty recipe is a perfect summer starter. Although fava beans are generally early spring vegetables, I have been seeing them in our stores during the summer months. You could substitute any other fresh, summer vegetable if you cannot find fresh fava beans.

1/2 Pound Medium Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined

1 Pound Fava Beans

1/2 Pound Small Green Beans

2 Heads of Fennel

1/2 Cup White Wine

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1/2 Lemon

1 Large Tomato, Finely Diced


1 Tablespoon Of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Of White Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves

1 Tablespoon Capers

Salt & Pepper To Taste

Shell the fava beans, discarding the pods. Cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and place in an ice water bath. Prepare the green beans in the same manner, set aside. Poach the shrimp in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove.

Remove the tops from the fennel, as well as any brown outside pieces. Slice thinly lengthwise. Place in a large pan with the white wine, lemon, chicken broth, and enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Make the sauce adding all the ingredients into a blender and pulse. On each of four plates, arrange first the fennel slices, then the shrimp, and beans in an attractive manner. Scatter the diced tomato around the plates and then drizzle each plate with some of the dressing. Decorate with some fennel fronds, and serve.

Fried Calamari

Source : Italianfoodforever

Crispy rings of tender calamari are great as an appetizer served with a spicy tomato sauce or garlicky mayonaise.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

Calamari need to be either cooked quickly on high heat, or cooked for a long period on a slow simmer. Anything in between can lead to a chewy result. Fried for just under a minute in hot oil as in this recipe results in tender, crispy rings of calamari. Use your favorite dipping sauce to serve, although I like to use a simple tomato sauce spiced up with a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you have never cleaned squid before, you might find their appearance a bit intimidating, however they are actually quite easy to clean.

2 Pounds Cleaned Squid (Instructions Below)

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Cornmeal

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Pepper

Vegetable Oil For Frying

Suggestions For Dipping Sauce:

Quick Tomato Sauce, Or Garlic Mayonnaise

Cleaning Squid: To clean the squid, first pull out the tentacles and head. Set these aside. Remove the cartilage that runs down the back, and anything that is inside the tube. Run under cold water. Pull off the two wing pieces, and remove the skin. Slice the cleaned tube into 1 inch rings. Take the tentacles and cut off the head just below the eyes, and discard this. Remove the hard beak inside.

Place the cleaned calamari in the freezer for 5 minutes before cooking. Put 2 inches of oil into a pot, and heat to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour, cornmeal and spices together in a plastic bag. Drop in the calamari and shake well to cover with the coating. Drop the calamari into the hot oil, and cook for just under a minute, until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Cooks Note: A great way to serve fried calamari, is to put a handful on top of a dish of spaghetti already dressed with a good spicy tomato sauce. If you prefer a crispier crust to your calamari, dip them in beaten egg before dropping them into the coating.

Breaded Clams

Source : Italianfoodforever

Vongole Ripiene ~ This easy clam recipe makes a light, tasty appetizer, that is great year round. Use the freshest clams you can find for the best results.

:Serves 6-8:

by Deborah Mele

36 Fresh Clams

1/2 Cup White Wine

1/2 Cup Water

1 Clove Of Garlic, Finely Minced

1/3 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs

3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

6-7 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

To Serve

Lemon Wedges

Lightly steam the clams for a couple of minutes in a mixture of the water and wine, until they open. Discard any that do not open. Remove the top shell from each and set them unto an ovenproof platter.

Mix together the remaining ingredients, with half of the olive oil, in a small bowl. Preheat the broiler. Spoon the crumb mixture over the clams, being careful not to pack the mixture down. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Broil until the crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the oven, and arrange either on individual plates, or a large platter with the lemon wedges and serve.

Note: To clean the clams before using, keep them in the refrigerator in a bowl filled with cool water. Add a few teaspoons of cornmeal or oatmeal to the water, and let them sit an hour or two. As the clams ingest the grains, they will clean themselves out of sand and dirt.

Shrimp Cocktail

Source : Italianfoodforever

Antipasti di Scampi ~ This is a nice, light appetizer, or party food. Buy the freshest shrimp you can find, and use ones medium large to large in size.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

1 Pound Large Shrimps

1 Hard Boiled Egg

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Jiuce Of 1/2 Lemon

6 Tablespoons Chile Sauce (Or Ketchup If You Don't Have It)

Dash Of Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tablespoons Dry Sherry

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

Salt & Pepper To Taste

To prepare the shrimp, remove their shells, and devein them by cutting a small slit along their backs. Remove the dark colored vein. Cook the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and cool. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve them.

Place the egg yolk and mustard in a blender. Turn on, and drizzle in the oil and lemon juice. Stop the blender and then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend until combined. Chill the sauce until you are ready to serve.

To serve, either arrange a few shrimp on each plate and spoon over a little of the sauce, or arrange the shrimp nicely on a platerr or bowl with a smaller bowl holding the sauce for dipping. Serve cold.

Cured Salmon

Source : Italianfoodforever

This is a very easy recipe that can be served in many different ways.

:Serves 6:

by Deborah Mele

Once the salmon is cured, or "cooked" in a lemon juice mixture and dressed, it can be served on slices of crusty bread, or garnished with various ingredients and served as a delicious appetizer.

Be careful not to leave the salmon in the lemon mixture too long, or it will be completely cooked. The goal is to cook or cure the salmon just to the point that it still has a little dark pink color in parts. In the photo, I served the salmon on a few arugula leaves, and then topped it with some slices of finely sliced onions, tiny grape tomatoes and capers, but the salmon is really so delicious on it's own you could serve it simply with a drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper, salt and a squeeze of lemon.

1 1/2 Pound Salmon Fillet

1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Dry White Wine

Cracked Black Pepper

2 Teaspoons Sugar

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


To Garnish: (Choose As Desired)

Finely Sliced Red Onions, Or Chopped Green Onions


Chopped Tomato

Lemon Wedges

With a very sharp knife, cut the salmon into thin slices on the diagonal. Place in a large casserole dish, and pour the lemon juice and white wine over top. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring once during this period. Pour the curing liquid off the salmon, and dress with the olive oil, salt and cracked pepper. Serve with garnish of choice.

Cannellini And Tuna Salad

Source : Italianfoodforever

Insalta di Tonno e Fagioli ~ This salad makes a wonderful antipasto for 6, or a light lunch or dinner main course for 4. If you keep canned tuna and beans in your pantry, you can easily put this dish together in just a few minutes at any time.

:Serves 4-6:

by Deborah Mele

Although I didn't often see this dish on too many restaurant menus in Italy, many of my Italian friends made this dish often at home.

4 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans (See *Cannellini ~ The Pride Of Tuscany For Details) Or 2 (16 oz.) Cans Good Quality Cannellini Beans

2 (6 oz.) Cans Oil Packed Tuna

1 Small Onion, Sliced Very Thin

2 Stalks Celery, Chopped

1/2 Cup Pitted And Sliced Black Olives


Juice Of 2 Medium Lemons

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Salt And Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Mix together the dressing ingredients. Place the beans, onion, celery and olives in a bowl. Drain the tuna, and lightly crumble it into the bowl with the beans. Pour the dressing over the beans mixture and toss, being careful not to break up the tuna too much. Place on individual plates and serve.

Online Source For Cannellini: If you are having problems finding cannellini beans in your area, sells both dried and canned cannellini beans.

Shrimp Capri

Source : Italianfoodforever

In this zesty recipe, quickly cooked, tender shrimp are coated in a delicious tomato sauce which has been flavored with olives, capers, garlic and hot peppers. Great as an appetizer for 6, or as an entree for 4.

:Serves 4:

by Deborah Mele

I have been asked many times to share recipes for Shrimp Capri, or Chicken Capri, so I have added my version of this tasty dish. You can either use fresh tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, or even halved cherry tomatoes in the sauce. In order to keep the shrimps tender, just be careful not to overcook them. The hot red pepper flakes are optional, but they are what gives this recipe it's unique flavor. Cook the sauce up until it is just thick enough to coat the shrimp. You don't want the shrimp swimming in sauce.

1 Pound Of Large Shrimp

2 Cloves Of Garlic, Minced

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt & Black Pepper

Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)

1/2 Cup White Wine

2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes, Or Fresh Tomato Sauce

12 Black Olives, Pitted And Coarsely Chopped

2 Tablespoons Capers

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Butter

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook just 30 seconds on each side until the shrimp turns pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan, and add the wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook until it has almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes, and cook until the sauce thickens. Return the shrimp to the pan, add the olives and capers, and cook for another minute. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. Add the fresh parsley and butter, and mix well. Serve immediately, while hot and bubbly.

Cook's Tip: Store fresh or thawed shrimp in a colander that is filled with ice and set it over a bowl. Thawed shrimp should be kept for just one day before using, while fresh shrimp can be kept for 2 to 3 days. Although most stores sell frozen, or thawed (previously frozen) shrimp, if you have the opportunity to buy fresh shrimp, you will be amazed at the difference in texture and flavor. To prevent the shrimp from curling up during cooking, after shelling and deveining the shrimp, insert a wooden skewer through the center of each shrimp, and cook as desired.

Porcini Dusted Sea Scallops With Tomato Relish

Source : Italianfoodforever

I was at the St. Lawrence market this past weekend and couldn’t resist the huge, creamy white sea scallops on display.

: Serves 4

By Deborah Mele

I decided to lightly dust them with dried porcini mushroom powder, sear them, and serve them with just a little fresh tomato relish. They were cooked perfectly, and delicious!

12 Large Sea Scallops

2 Tablespoons Dried Porcini Powder (See Note Below)

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Salt & Pepper To Taste

For The Relish:

6 Ripe, Plum Tomatoes

1 Clove Garlic, Peeled And Minced

1 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

½ Teaspoon Chopped, Fresh Thyme

Cut the tomatoes in half, cutting away the core end. Carefully squeeze the tomatoes to remove most of the seeds trying not to damage the pulp. Cut the tomatoes into a small dice (1/2 inch pieces) and place in a bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil and thyme, and then season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Lightly pat the scallops dry, and sprinkle on some of the porcini powder on both sides. Heat the butter in a heavy frying pan until it is sizzling and just beginning to turn light brown. Add the scallops, and cook on medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a light, crisp outer crust, but remain tender inside. Once they have all been cooked, place three scallops on each plate with a little of the tomato relish on top to serve.

Note: If you cannot find dried porcini powder, then simply grind your own by placing dried porcini mushrooms in a blender or food processor and pulsing until finely ground.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Insalata Caprese

Creamy mozzarella combined with ripe, fresh tomatoes creates this salad which would be a wonderful antipasto choice, or a light lunch.

:Serves 4:

This salad makes a wonderful antipasto, or a light lunch. It is said to have originated on the Island of Capri, hence it's name. Choose only fresh mozzarella, and ripe, tasty tomatoes for best results. If you can find it, use buffalo mozzarella shown here, which has a creamy texture unlike any other mozzarella you might taste. It is imported from Italy and can be found in many Italian specialty stores. It really doesn't need a recipe it is so simple, but if it's not a combination you've had before, this should give you an idea how to serve it. Serve with some good crusty bread to sop up the juices.

4 Ripe Tomatoes

2 Balls of Fresh Mozzarella (Buffalo Preferred)

Salt And Pepper

Olive Oil

Fresh Basil

Slice the tomato and mozzarella into bite sized pieces and arrange attractively on each plate. Garnish with fresh basil, drizzle over each plate some good Italian olive oil, season and serve.

by Deborah Mele


These little cheese wafers are great little treats to serve with wine along with olives before your dinner.

These are great little treats to serve with wine along with olives before your dinner. I always have these on hand when entertaining. They are very easy to make, but it may take a few tries to get the hang of it. You need cheese that is neither too fresh, nor too dry. Parmesan, Pecorino or Crotenese have worked well for me. A good nonstick frying pan makes removal very easy. You can leave them flat or fold them around the bottom of a cup as is shown here.

1 Pound Parmesan or Cheese of Choice

Oil Spray or Vegetable Oil

Grate the cheese coarsely. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil, or spray with your oil spray. Spread about 2 Tbs. of cheese into a circle about 4 inches wide. Cook for about two minutes or until the edges are golden. Carefully using either your fingers or a spatula turn the frico over and cook an additional minute. If they edge begin to fold up while cooking, just flatten with the spatula. Transfer to a paper towel to dry, or fold gently over the bottom of a cup to shape. Continue making the frico in this manner until you have used up all your cheese.

Tip: Your wafers should be golden in color and lacy in appearance. If you make them too thick they will be chewy rather than crispy, and if you brown them too much they will taste bitter. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

by Deborah Mele

Fried Ravioli

A great party food that always gets rave reviews. The red pepper flakes are added to spice up the dipping sauce, but you could leave them out if you prefer.

:Makes About 2 Dozen:

by Deborah Mele

2 Dozen 1 1/2 Inch Square Cheese Filled Ravioli

Oil For Frying

Dipping Sauce of Choice, Or Quick Tomato Sauce With Extra Red Pepper Flakes Added (See Below)

To Make The Ravioli: Heat the oil in a large pot or deep fryer until a frying thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Carefully slip 6 or so ravioli into the hot oil at a time, and fry until golden brown. Drain on absorbent towels, and keep warm until you are ready to serve. Serve on a platter with a bowl of Spicy Tomato Quick Sauce on the side for dipping.

Quick Tomato Sauce

2 1/2 Pounds of Fresh, Ripe Tomatoes

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

2-3 Tablespoons Fresh, Chopped Basil

Blanch the tomatoes a few at a time for 10 seconds to loosen their skins. Peel, core and halve the tomatoes. Gently squeeze each half over the sink to remove the seeds. Chop the pulp. Add the oil to a large skillet or saucepan, and add the onions when it is hot. Cook until they are translucent over low heat. Raise the heat and add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Add red pepper flakes as desired. Cook 15 minutes stirring frequently until the mixture thickens.

Note: This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for several days, and will freeze well for a month or two.


These risotto balls make great party food. You can fry them 3-4 hours in advance, and then reheat them at 350 degrees F. just before serving.

:Makes 20

1 Recipe Basic Risotto Parmesan Left To Cool For At Least 4 Hours

2 oz. Mozzarella Cheese Cut Into 1/2 Inch Dice

1 Piece Cooked Ham, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Dice

2 Cups Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Oil For Frying

Take a small handful of rice about 2 Tablespoons full in your hands and shape into a shallow cup. Place in the cup, a piece of mozzarella and ham. Enclose the rice around the cheese, and roll into a round ball. Roll the rice ball in bread crumbs and set aside. Continue in this manner until all the rice has been used.

Heat the oil in a large pot or deep fryer until a frying thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Carefully slip 5-6 balls into the hot oil at a time, and fry until golden brown. Drain on absorbent towels, and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

by Deborah Mele

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chicken Potato Salad

Estimated cooking & preparation time: 1 hour


  • 1 kilo potatoes

  • 1 big chicken breast

  • 3 pieces medium sized carrots

  • 500 ml mayonnaise

  • 1 can (836 g) pineapple tidbits or chunks

  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, diced (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions (optional)

  • Iodized salt to taste (pepper, optional)

Chicken Potato Salad Cooking Instructions:

  • In a big pot, boil potatoes and carrots (covered with water) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until cracks on the potato skin appears. (tip: pierce a potato with a toothpick. If you can pierce it with little resistance and the toothpick comes out clean, the potatoes & carrots are cooked).

  • Drain potatoes and carrots, let cool.

  • Once cooled, the skin can be easily be pealed by hand.

  • Dice the potatoes and carrots (about 1x1 cm)

  • Boil the chicken breast in water with some salt. Let cool, then shred the chicken meat in 1 inch lengths

  • Drain pineapple chunks or tidbits.

  • Combine all ingredients (potatoes, chicken meat, pineapple, carrots, pickle relish, mayonnaise...) in a big bowl and salt to taste. You may add pepper if you wish.

  • Refrigerate before serving.

Potato Salad Cooking Notes:

  • You may add the optional ingredients (diced cheese, chopped onions, spring onions) or a handful of raisins for added flavor.

Halayang Ube (Purple Yam Jam)

Estimated preparation and cooking time: 2 hours

Halayang Ube Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo ube yam root

  • 1 can (14 ounces) evaporated milk

  • 2 cans (12 ounces) condensed milk

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

Halayang Ube Cooking Instructions:

  • On a pot, boil the unpeeled ube yam in water and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.

  • Peel and finely grate the ube yam.

  • Heat a big wok in medium heat.

  • Melt butter or margarine, add the condensed milk and vanilla flavoring. Mix well.

  • Add the 1 kilo grated ube yam,

  • Adjust the heat to low

  • Keep on mixing the ingredients for about 30 minutes or until sticky and a bit dry (but still moist).

  • Add the evaporated milk and continue to mix for another 15 minutes.

  • Let cool and place on a large platter.

  • Refrigerate before serving the halayang ube.

Cooking Tips:

  • You may spread additional butter or margarine on top of the jam before serving.

  • For the sweet toothed, sprinkle a little sugar on top of the jam after placing on the large platter.

  • Instead of manually grating the ube, you may cut it in cubes and use a blender to powderize the ube.

Leche Flan - Filipino styled custard

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Estimated cooking time: 1 hour

Leche Flan Ingredients:

  • 1 can (390g) evaporated milk

  • 1 can (390g) condensed milk

  • 10 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon essence

For the caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

Leche Flan Cooking Instructions:

  • In a saucepan, mix the sugar & water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelize.

  • Pour the caramelized sugar into aluminum moulds - you can use any shape: oval, round or square. Spread the caramel on the bottom of the moulds.

  • Mix well the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla by hand or blender.

  • Gently pour the mixture on top of the caramel on the aluminum moulds. Fill the moulds to about 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick.

  • Cover moulds individually with aluminum foil.

  • Steam for about 20 minutes OR

  • Bake for about 45 minutes. Before baking the Leche Flan, place the moulds on a larger baking pan half filled with very hot water. Pre-heat oven to about 370 degrees before baking.

  • Let cool then refrigerate.

  • To serve: run a thin knife around the edges of the mould to loosen the Leche Flan. Place a platter on top of the mould and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.

Cooking Tips:

  • You can tell when the Leche Flan is cooked by inserting a knife -if it comes out clean, it is cooked.

Pork Barbecue

Estimated preparation: 20 minutes

Marinating: 30 minutes to 3 hours

Barbecue: 10 to 15 minutes each

Pork Barbeque Ingredients:

  • 1 kg. pork

  • 20 bamboo skewers

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 1 head garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup of calamansi juice or lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup of 7up, sprite or beer (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons of brown or white sugar

  • 1/2 cup of banana or tomato catsup

Barbeque Cooking Instructions:

  • Cut pork meat into thin and long slices - 1/4 inches thick and less than 2 inches wide.

  • In a mixing bowl, marinate the cut pork with the soy sauce, minced garlic, chopped onions, calamansi juice, ground pepper, sugar, banana catsup and the soda or beer (this tenderizes and adds flavour to the pork barbeque)

  • Mix well and keep in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (turning occasionally).

  • Prepare the bamboo skewers by removing splinters and soaking in water to reduce burning during barbeque.

  • String the pork on the skewers.

  • Over live charcoals, barbeque the pork on skewers until each barbeque is cooked - turning every few minutes on each side and basting the leftover marinate on the barbeque.

Chicken Barbeque

Chicken Barbecue Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 1 head garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons of calamansi juice or lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup of sprite, 7up or beer

  • 2 cups of tanglad (lemon grass) for stuffing

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons of brown or white sugar

Chicken Barbecue Cooking Instructions:

  • Marinate the whole chicken in soy sauce, calamansi juice, minced garlic, chopped onions, soda or beer, sugar and pepper.

  • Let stand marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.

  • Stuff the chicken cavity with tanglad (lemon grass).

  • Cook chicken on grill or in oven until golden brown

Cooking Notes:

  • For chicken leg barbeque, follow the same procedure above but omit stuffing the leg with lemon grass. Thread the chicken leg on a bamboo barbeque stick and grill on live charcoal until cooked.

  • To check if the meat is cooked, slice a small piece of meat off and if there are no juice running off the meat and there no reddish (blood) areas on the inside of the meat, the chicken is cooked.

Pansit Palabok

Estimated preparation for toppings: 1 1/2 hours

Estimated cooking time for sauce & noodles: 40 minutes

Pansit Palabok Ingredients:

Palabok Noodles / Sauce

  • 1/2 kilo miki noodles

  • 1/2 kilo small crabs

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of atchuete seeds or oil

  • 2 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce)

  • 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, dissolved in water

  • 1 teaspoon of monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Palabok Toppings
  • Tinapa flakes (smoked fish)

  • Cooked shrimps, shelled

  • Squid adobo, sliced into rings

  • Pork chicharon, grounded

  • Spring onions, chopped

  • Hard boiled eggs, shelled, sliced

  • Fried garlic, minced

  • Fresh calamansi (lemon), sliced

Pansit Palabok Cooking Instructions:

  • Extract fat and meat from clean crabs, set aside.

  • Pound crab and extract juice on 1 1/2 cups of water

  • On a pan, sauté garlic and onions until golden brown then add crab fat, crab meat, 1 1/2 cups of crab wash, patis and MSG. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Add corn starch and continue to simmer while constantly stirring until thick.

  • Put miki noodles in a strainer and dip in boiling water for 5 minutes or until cooked.

  • Lay drained noodles on a platter and pour the palabok sauce. Garnish with toppings and serve.

Pancit Canton

Estimated cooking & preparation time: 1 hour

Pansit Canton Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pansit canton noodles

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

  • 4 cups chicken broth (from boiled breast)

  • 1/2 pound pork, sliced in small pieces

  • 1/2 pound shrimps, shelled and deveined

  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup Chinese sausages, sliced

  • cauliflower, cut to bit size

  • 2 cups snow peas (sitsaro)

  • 2 cups cabbage, sliced into strips

  • 1 cup celery, sliced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1/4 cup scallions, diced

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pansit Canton Cooking Instructions:

  • In a big pan or wok, sauté in oil the garlic and onions. Then add sliced pork until cooked.

  • Add 2 cups of chicken broth and add the shredded chicken, sliced Chinese sausages, shrimps, snow peas, cabbage, celery and diced carrot. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until cooked.

  • Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth and the pansit canton noodles. Let simmer until noodles are soft.

  • Add the scallions, sesame oil then salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot

Pancit Bihon

Estimated cooking & preparation time: 45 minutes

Pancit Bihon Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. pack pancit bihon noodles

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded

  • 2 cups of chicken broth or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups of water

  • 1/4 cabbage, sliced into strips

  • 1 onion

  • 1/3 cup scallions, cut into pieces

  • 1 carrot, sliced into strips

  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

  • 3/4 cup diced celery

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 5 pieces of calamansi or 1 lemon, sliced

Pancit Bihon Cooking Instructions:

  • Grease with oil a large pan or wok. Sauté garlic and onions.

  • Wet the pansit bihon noodles to soften

  • Add the chicken broth, the shredded chicken breast and all the vegetables until cooked.

  • Mix in the pansit bihon noodles and add the soy sauce, cook for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot with sliced calamansi on the side.

Cooking Notes:

  • Calamansi or lemon is to be squeezed into the pansit bihon before eating.

Filipino Style Spaghetti

Estimated & preparation & cooking time: 40 minutes.

Spaghetti Ingredients:

  • 1 kg. spaghetti noodles

  • 1/2 kg. ground beef

  • 1/2 kg. ground pork

  • 1/4 kg. hotdogs, diagonally sliced

  • 1 kg. tomato sauce

  • 3 pieces laurel leaves (bay leaves)

  • 1/4 cup brown or white sugar

  • 2 green bell peppers, diced

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1 head garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

  • 1 cup of water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

  • Mushroom (optional)

Spaghetti Cooking Instructions:

  • Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.

  • In a sauce pan or wok, sauté garlic and onions in cooking oil.

  • Add ground beef, ground pork, laurel leaves, bell pepper and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste then let simmer for another 10 minutes

  • Add brown sugar and hotdogs. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

  • Serve with the cooked spaghetti noodles and grated cheese on top.

Sautéed beef (Beef Guisado)

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes.

Beef Guisado Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo beef tenderloin, cut into strips

  • 3 tomatoes, sliced

  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 clove of minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 4 cups of beef broth or bouillon

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil

Guisado Cooking Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a cooking pan.

  • Sauté the garlic and onions.

  • Add the sliced tomatoes

  • Then add the beef, soy sauce, beef broth, salt and pepper.

  • Bring to a boil then simmer until beef is tender.

Cooking Tips:

  • The above beef guisado recipe can be used for vegetables and other meats.

  • For vegetable dishes, replace the beef with about 200 grams of pork and add the vegetable (e.g. Baguio beans). The salt and pepper can be omitted.

  • Reduce the broth to 2 cups for vegetable dishes or use plain water instead.

Rellenong Bangus (Stuffed Milkfish)

Estimated cooking time: 1 hour


  • 1 big bangus (milkfish)

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil

  • ham, finely chopped

  • raisins

  • cooked peas

  • salt and pepper to taste

Rellenong Bangus Cooking Instructions:

  • Scale and remove the intestines of the bangus.

  • With a very sharp knife, slowly remove the meat of the fish from the skin through the opening cavity below the head. Remove the spine by snapping off the bone at the base of the tail and head. Use a long spoon to scrape all the meat from the skin.

  • Marinate the head and skin in lemon juice, soy sauce and pepper.

  • Boil in 1/2 cup of water the bangus meat with some salt for 5 minutes.

  • Sauté the garlic and onions until slightly brown then add the tomatoes and carrots until tender.

  • Add the chopped ham, cooked peas, raisins and the bangus meat to the mixture. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Add a beaten egg to the sauté and mix well.

  • Stuff the mixture inside the bangus skin and head. Sew the cavity if needed.

  • Fry in oil until golden brown.

  • slice slightly diagonal (1 1/2 inch thick) and serve.

Pakbet (Mixed Vegetables)

Estimated cooking time: 35 minutes

Pakbet Ingredients:

  • 1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces

  • 2 Amapalya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces

  • 2 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces

  • 5 pieces of okra, cut in two

  • 1 head garlic, minced

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 5 tomatoes, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced

  • 4 tablespoons bagoong isda or bagoong alamang

  • 3 tablespoons of oil

  • 1 1/2 cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pakbet Cooking Instructions:

  • In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

  • On the same pan, saute garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.

  • In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.

  • Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sautéed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot with plain rice.

Laing (Taro Leaves)

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes.

Laing Ingredients:

  • 25 pieces gabi (taro) leaves, dried and shredded
  • 1/2 kilo pork, diced
  • 1/4 cup shrimp bagoong
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 5 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup coconut cream (katang gata)
  • 2 cups coconut milk (gata)
  • 1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Laing Cooking Instructions:

  • In a casserole, sauté garlic, ginger and onions then add the pork.

  • mix in the gabi leaves.

  • Pour in the coconut milk (gata) and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Add jalapeno, bagoong, salt and MSG and simmer for another 5 minutes.

  • Add the coconut cream and continue to simmer until oil comes out of the cream.

  • Serve hot with plain white rice.

Ginataang Kalabasa

Estimated cooking & preparation time: 1 hour


  • 1 kilo squash, cut into cubes (1"x1")

  • 1/4 kilo shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • 3 pieces tomatoes, diced

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1 head garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger root, crushed and minced

  • 4 tablespoons of cooking or olive oil

  • 2 pieces long chilli peppers

  • 2 tablespoons of shrimp paste (bagoong)

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 cups coconut cream (katang gata)

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (patis)

Cooking Instructions:

  • On a big pan, heal oil. Sauté garlic, onions until light brown then add ginger, cook until onions become translucent.

  • Add the tomatoes, squash, chicken stock, shrimp paste and the coconut milk. Let boil then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the squash becomes tender.

  • Add the coconut cream, long chilli peppers and the shrimps. Bring again to a boil and simmer for a few more minutes.

  • Serve hot with plain rice.

Ginataang Kalabasa Cooking Tip:

  • This ginataan recipe can be used on any vegetable, combination of vegetables, fish or meat.

Bicol Express

Estimated preparation time: 30 minutes

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 1/4 kilo pork, thinly sliced

  • 3 cups long chili or jalapeno peppers

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 1 head of garlic, minced

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

  • Salt to taste

Bicol Express Cooking Instructions:

  • In a bowl of water with salt, soak chili peppers for 30 minutes then rinse and strain.

  • In a cooking pan, heat cooking oil and brown sliced pork for a few minutes.

  • In another pan, sauté minced garlic and onion.

  • Add to the sauté the browned pork.

  • Then add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • Add the chili peppers and cook until dish gets a little dry.

  • Add the coconut cream and simmer until the sauce thickens.

  • Salt to taste.

Adobong Kangkong

Estimated cooking time: 25 minutes

Adobong Kangkong Ingredients:

  • 1 big bowl of kangkong (river spinach)

  • 1/4 kilo of pork, cut into small pieces

  • 1/4 cup of vinegar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 2 laurel leaves (bay leaves)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  • 1 cup pork stock (broth) or bouillon pork cube dissolved in water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Adobong Kangkong Cooking Instructions:

  • Sauté garlic and onions in a big pan then add the pork. Allow the pork to brown and oil for a few minutes.

  • Add a cup of pork stock (or bouillon cube dissolved in water or plain water), laurel leaves, soy sauce, some salt and bring to a boil.

  • Let simmer then add the vinegar. Do not stir for 5 minutes.

  • Add the kangkong stalks first and cook for 1 minute then add the kangkong leaves. Continue cooking until the vegetable is done.

  • Serve hot with rice.

Cooking Note:

Instead of kangkong, this recipe can be used to cook other vegetables like eggplant, spinach, cabbage, string beans or any other vegetable.