Tofu & Pork Salad
Disclaimer I use the term salad very loosely. Token greens in the form of finely chopped spring onions? Check. Brown onions and garlic are vegetables, right? Tofu is healthy…. before it is shallow-fried that is. And the hero of the dish is juicy bite-size pieces of pork belly. Now that is my kind of salad!
Just delicious served with lugao, arrozcaldo or congee
A dish featuring traditional Pinoy flavours with its perfectly balanced, garlicky vinegar sauce, Tokwa Baboy is comfort food at its finest. It takes me back to my childhood when, arriving home from school, I would be greeted with the distinctive aroma of tofu frying… It was tokwa baboy night! It worked for Mum to cos it was dinner on a budget, and it was something we all loved (especially Dad; you had him with pork belly and fried tofu).
It’s been a hectic few weeks in the Epicuriously household with the birth of our beautiful daughter Charlotte. We’re absolutely blessed and smitten with this little bundle of joy. Though it’s been more challenging than we could have ever imagined, we are so thrilled she’s a part of our lives.
Charlotte (aka Charlie)
I’m still experiencing the “newborn fog”, where I hazily perceive the world through bleary eyes and a sleep-deprived brain. Though I’m still coming to grips with this often manic yet sometimes blissful season of around-the-clock feeding and nappy changes, thankfully I’ve had the help of two old friends – sugar and chocolate. I know it’s not very healthy, but I’m in survival mode right now – whatever it takes to get me through the day… a bit of chocolate for an extra energy boost does make all the difference.
About a year ago, my sister made the astonishing decision to become a vegetarian. I remember when she first broke the news, I immediately thought tofu + steamed vegetables = boring, and wondered how quickly she’d get over it. But ever since then, she has admirably committed to life sans meat. Though she still eats seafood and the occasional bit of chicken, she’s maintained an inspiring vegetarian lifestyle with such ingenuity that has shut me up and taught me a thing or two about vegetarian cooking (follow her on Instagram).
Cheesy frittata, stuffed with spokes of asparagus, earthy mushrooms, and sweet onion
Now I’ve gotten used the idea, I’ve started cooking vegetarian whenever my sister comes over. My repertoire is hardly as inventive as hers, but one of my favourites has got to be this delicious oven-baked frittata (eggs!) filled with some of my favourite veggies (mushrooms! asparagus!), smothered in gruyere and parmesan cheeses (yes please!!). No wonder it tastes so good… =)
Making risotto can seem a little intimidating. With the constant stirring, the gradual addition of piping hot stock and knowing when it’s hit that al dente spot – just one slight glitch and all your wonderfully orchestrated efforts could easily lead to disaster.
Creamy Chicken Risotto
However, I find it’s in this methodical approach that makes it one of the most rewarding meals you could whip up for dinner. Who knew a bit of rice could be so fancy, and not to mention utterly delicious. As long as you prepare all your ingreients in advance, you’ve got the stock gently simmering and you’re happy to rhythmically give the rice a stir; it’s dare I say it, quite easy.
As the name suggests, dude food is mainly eaten by, well… blokes. Though I can’t speak for all men, I experience the male appetite by cooking for my dear husband. Thankfully he’s not fussy, but like most of the men I know, he’s partial to anything meaty, spicy or hearty that can be eaten by the handful (utensils not required).
I love High Tea. Who wouldn’t enjoy lounging around for hours, surrounded by friends, eating and drinking to your heart’s content? What’s not to love about having an excuse to dress up, the miniature portions (so I can have at least two of everything), and the mix of sweet to savoury where I don’t have to wait until the end to enjoy dessert?! When I was invited to cater a High Tea for a the young women from my church, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.
High tea on the green
The ladies decided to host the High Tea at a park in the autumn sunshine – using two sheltered picnic tables sitting on top of a hill, it felt like we were on top of the world. Apart from a brief shower, the dark clouds that threatened were nothing but a dramatic backdrop for a beautiful day on the green.
melting moments filled with whipped passionfruit butter, and freshly baked scones with jam and cream