Wednesday, November 30, 2016

easy chicken pansit

Our neighbor gave us a whole, smoked chicken yesterday. What better way to make use half of it was for Pansit-a Filipino-style lo mein, 1 dish meal. 
I am sure the origins of this were the Chinese traders that came back and forth to the Philippines from China (mainland or Taiwan). There are so many versions of pansit but this is a basic chicken pansit that you can whip up tonight for dinner. Here I made this for lunch.
Special equipment (optional):
Medium to large wok (Substitute with large, heavy bottom pan NOT non-stick.)
Wok ring
A spatula plus 1
4 tablespoons cooking oil of choice
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite size
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked, black pepper
4 large cloves garlic or 6 small ones, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, cut diagonally 
1 large carrot, matchstick size cut
handful of green beans, cut diagonally
2 packets of Yakisoba noodles (1 package has 3); found in the produce section.
1 ½ cups warm or hot water
4 stalks green onions until roots, sliced diagonally
3 large mushrooms or 5 small ones, sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Limes for condiment
Cooked rice, optional


1. Preheat-on high-the wok or pan
2. Add cooking oil and heat until smoky or oil is rippling.
3. Carefully drop the chopped chicken onto the preheated oil and add salt, pepper.
4. Saute (or stir fry) for 3 minutes, stirring all the time but not mincing the meat. Remove chicken from pan, leaving most of the oil. Set aside.
5. You can decide to add oil or not before sauteing the garlic until light brown. Add the onion, carrots, celery and green beans; saute about 4 minutes on high.
6. Move the vegetables slightly on the side of the pan and drop the yakisoba noodles on the center; cover with the water. Move the vegetables mixture on top of the noodles/water. Let it boil.
7. Using 2 spatula on both hands, and starting from both sides of the wok/pan and ending in the center to lift and drop the vegetables.mix and stir the vegetables when it starts to boil.  Do this action 3 times or until noodles, water and vegetables are mixed together.
8. Add the chicken and repeat #7 (stir frying), twice.
9. Pour soy sauce, add mushrooms; salt and pepper to taste. Repeat #7 and finish cooking for 5 minutes.
10. Remove from heat. Sprinkle green onions on the pansit or as a garnish on your plate.
11. Serve with cooked rice and a slice of lime.

Note: alternatively, you can make this vegetarian by opting out the chicken or you can make this fancier by adding shrimp.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Day 2016: smooth as a baby's butt. Recipes, for keeps!

This was a success that we were eating them by one o'clock (lunch)! Proud to prepare for 4-6 people of food with only me preparing and cooking. 

So I shared to you some ideas for TDay 2016 last week and I did followed SOME of that plan because at the end of the day-you want it easy and practical so I left out not making the other "some" in that post. Raise your hands if you really stick to your first TDay plan? I don't!

I still did rebel from the normal, traditional TDay spread: I spatchcocked the bird, used alcohol (tequila) in the pie, candied potatoes and gravy (wine); I did not cook the cranberry sauce, used onion rings to top the green bean casserole, made a savory bread pudding (as dressing), used grapefruit slices in the ambrosia salad.

The day before thanksgiving day-I made the dressing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, candied sweet potato, and cranberry sauce

On TDay, I opened up the bird and smoked it for four hours; made the gravy utilizing the neck and backbone from the turkey, made the mashed potatoes.

Liberally brush or drizzle with olive oil, salt, black pepper. Preheat grill to 500° F. Turn grill control to the lowest setting and throw in the bird to smoke for 4 hours. Your grill will stay 300° F without burning the bottom side of the bird. Don't forget to place bird on a baking sheet. This turned out to be crispy outside and moist inside.

Thanksgiving day 2016

Not so Ina Garten's Bread Pudding Dressing. I used bulk breakfast sausage (instead of pancetta) red apple (instead of granny green), white & yellow marble cheese (instead of Gruyere), dried herbs (instead of fresh), wheat baguette (instead of boule). Cut ratio of dried herbs in half.

For the Green Bean Casserole, I followed the recipe to the T but used store-bought, Red Robin™ onion rings instead of making from scratch as called for in the recipe.

Anthony Bourdain's fresh, uncooked Cranberry Relish: 12 oz cranberries, 1 large orange and all (remove seeds), 1 cup granulated sugar. I added 2 tablespoons of sugar. Blitz in a food processor until sauce consistency. Refrigerate overnight-6-12 hours. Another for keeps recipe for cranberry sauce!

Ambrosia Salad with cream cheese and mayonnaise (kosher). I used grapefruit slices instead. Trust me: this is one bad ass fruit salad recipe you should make!

Not so Anthony Bourdain's Turkey Gravy. I made my own stock from the backbone/neck of the bird.  This turned out pale (but very flavorful) as compared to his brown gravy. Maybe because I did not cook the flour enough "until deep golden". I used Vermouth (had it for years, lol) instead of "dry, red wine". Best ever gravy you should make-and for keeps!

This is supposed to be called as "Bruleed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie" (by Bon Appetit magazine). It's supposed to have a chocolate-flavored pastry crust but I need to use the frozen, store-bought pie crust I have-so I only used the filling recipe (sort of) and the brulee-style to finish this off. This ended up being called "Bruleed Tequila-Agave Pumpkin Pie". Hey, only in the Southwest!

Serves 8.


1 store bought 9" pie crust


4 large eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
4 T cream cheese (optional)
1 14 oz condensed milk
2 T granulated sugar (optional)
2 T tequila
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t ground allspice
1/3 c agave syrup
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of xanthan gum (optional)
2 T cornstarch (optional)

To brulee:

2 T Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly brush/apply with butter or cooking oil on 9" pie pan or use cooking spray. Spread pie crust on pie pan, set aside

Place all filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat on low until well-combined.

Pour in the pie crust and bake for 55 minutes or until set around edges and center barely jiggles. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Before serving, sprinkle turbinado sugar on the pie and using a kitchen torch-brulee until sugar has melted and glassy brown. That serves your crunchy component.

Without a close up photo: Not so Anthony Bourdain's Candied Sweet Potatoes. I used apple butter and tequila instead of "apple cider and bourbon". I added fresh orange juice from half of an orange and pinch of ground allspice.

Serves 8.


3 lbs sweet potatoes
1 T butter
5 T butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 c apple butter
1/4 c gold tequila
pinch of salt
juice of half of an orange
pinch of allspice

1. Cut sweet potatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan or pot; cover with cold water and boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. It should offer a bit of resistance when poked with a fork. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1" chunks.
2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease with 1 T butter an oven safe pan large enough to fit the sweet potatoes. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer. 

3. Melt the 5 T of butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple butter, tequila, salt, allspice and whisk. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove from heat and squeeze the orange.

4. Drizzle the apple-tequila mixture over sweet potatoes. Roast 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid is syrupy.

No close up photo: Mashed Potatoes.

I hope your Tday turned out great! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving 2.0. Onward, forward dear America!

I thought of sharing my Thanksgiving ideas before hand. In light of the aftermath of the 2016 United States elections, I am kinda rebelling with the norm of traditional thanksgiving spread. Some might think these are still modest ideas-if you're really a liberal socialist. And if you're a conservative prig, these might be too shocking for you too. Either way, it's food people. Give food a break from politics; eat and be merry on Thanksgiving day!

Onions rings on your green bean casserole. I might be buying restaurant brand, store-bought onion rings but the onion rings on this photo was made from scratch. Your choice.

Photo and recipe by

Spatchcocked and Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey.

Photo and recipe by Another Pint Please

Cranberry Hibiscus Red Wine Chutney.

Photo and recipe by Munchin with Munchkin

Paella-style Turkey Stuffing.

Photo and recipe by Better Home and Gardens

Purple Sweet Potato (Ube. ooh-beh.) Cheesecake. I have no link for you to this because you have to order this from Blackbeard's Dulceria

Photo courtesy to Blackbeard's Dulceria.

Bruleed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie with chocolate pie crust.

Photo and recipe by Bon Appetit

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

matcha (green tea powder) muffins: U.S. election day 2016

So i made some green tea muffins. this turned out to be olive green in color unlike the bright green colored muffins you and i see on the web. which make me (you) wonder: how do they do it? food color? photo editing? just bought the matcha powder so have no reason to think it's expired or going to expire soon. 

These tasted like your typical green tea (faint leafy, grassy) drink with a hint of vanilla. The sesame seeds and almonds added a nutty flavor to it. they also rose up nice and proud. love it with coffee, milk or-green tea!

To those in the United States and can vote: good luck to us, happy voting!

Makes 6 muffins or 12 cupcakes.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons matcha powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh milk 
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable (soy) oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract


sliced almonds
black or white sesame seeds
powdered sugar (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners or rub/brush with cooking oil and sprinkle four; tap out excess flour. You can also spray with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients; set aside.

3. In another medium or large bowl, whisk wet ingredients.

4. Slowly pour the dry mix over the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Do NOT overmix, lumps are okay.  

5. Fill each muffin mold with the batter at least 2/3-3/4 before it reaches the rim of the muffin liner or mold. It will rise up hence you do ot want it filled up to the rim. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced almonds as much-or less as you want.

6. Bake 10 minutes on 400° F then lower heat to 375° F and continue baking for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked towards bottom of muffin.

7. Leave in muffin pan for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).