Are you getting the salad raw deal?

Yes, we all know that green veggies and all veggies for that matter are good for us. People, moving aggressively towards the wellness and health direction, veggies have come to attain that ebullient status. Good!Thanks to the 'saturated fat' fear factor. No need for elaborate introduction, salads can be the world's lifesaver. Salads whether green or collectively rainbow colored, are definitely are the gems of the cooking world. They could be served hot, prepared cold. Maybe simple but yet quite elegant, extravagant but at the same time, elaborate. However it is served, salads offer itself as a nutritionally delectable addition to every meal. Chef wanna-be's like myself are continuously inspired to make our own version of standard salad recipes. I love tinkering, making it possible to tweak. The result? My salads more often bear my own cooking or preparation signature [as if :-)]. My salads are really culinary expressions waiting to be discovered; adventurous

Dressed for the killer salad

In today's health obsessed world, a healthy salad is a must. Whether it is purely green, or vegetable, or maybe, fruit, fish, meat or even molded, salads are enjoyed the world over . It is one of the most versatile dining elements to prepare which requires imagination and aesthetic creativity. Salads are served in various forms - appetizer, a side dish, sometimes, the main dish, or it could be the final touch to a meal. Salad preparations are often the most open to culinary flexibility, experimentation and culinary design. Ingredients a nd garnish will require a separate food or cooking post, so I shall leave that and focus instead on the dressing. Because what would a salad be without its dressing? Salads are capped with dressings . Be it French classic which minimally dict ates a blend of oil, pepper and salt; or continental which incorporates a variation of lime, lemon, shallots, onions, capers, herbs, garlic, anchovies , hard cooked eggs, , mustard, cayenne and

Tofu - whey too healthy, soy cheesy and beancurdy

Because of today's trend towards healthy eating, meat is no longer the cornerstone of protein nutrition. Enter tofu. The Chinese have been using tofu for some 2000 years, since the Taoist times of the Han dynasty. From China, tofu was brought to Japan and Korea many, many, many years later. Today, billions of Asians eat tofu. It could be fresh, dried, frozen, smoked and whether it is prepared boiled, steamed, fried, baked and shaped to im itate that of animal meat, tofu is no longer relegated as a novelty food especially by the western world. As a drink its whey is comparably healthy because tofu is natural, free from cholesterol, very low in saturated fats and carbos, but rich in calcium, and other important vitamins and minerals. Tofu maybe prepared in its original form, marinated and also smoked , and used in dishes in its fried, or even grilled and stewed forms. Tofu in its silken version is ideal food combin ation that's great with soups, dressings, dips and yes, hear

Imagine the pleasure of a merlot from the New York wineries?

It seems that I could never tire posting about wines. There is so much to read and so much to learn, regardless, I really drink occasionally. Actually, I am just playing a game called 'pretend-sommelier'. And so I never tire finding interesting information that perhaps, good to share with others out there. And so just the other day, it surprised me to find out that there are in fact wineries in the state of New York. Or was I just the only one who didn't know that? I thought all the wine production facilities are located in Napa Valley alone. I was dead wrong. Here's a link that point to those exciting New York wineries . And there's more here and here and here's a write-up from New York Times.

Mascarpone Strawberry Cake

Still posting on what I prepared for my cousin Marguerite. For our dessert, she helped me prepare, this delicious custard cake cum strawberries. The strawberries were brought home by a son who had a brief rest from work in Baguio. And the broas my cousin brought from her trip in Bohol. I thought broas exclusively came from Iloilo. Doesn't matter where it came from, really. The recipe 32 pcs broas 1/2 cup marsala 15 pcs strawberries, halved extra strawberries for decoration Mascarpone custard 4 tbsp custard powder 2 tbsp caster sugar 1 cup milk 1 cup cream 1 tsp vanilla flavoring 400 gm mascarpone cheese First make a custard by combining custard powder, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla flavoring in a saucepan. Whisk until mixture becomes smooth. Cook over very, very low heat. Set aside to cool. Fold mascarpone into cooled custard and then set aside. Now, line a 23 cmx9inch baking pan with a non stick baking paper and line the base with half the broas. Sprinkle with half the marsala

Try Aubergine Soup for a change

This is the 'good-to-go-with' penne with meatballs pasta dish I prepared for my dearest cousin Marguerite who was here recently. I don't do this as much as I want to because, I do not want to aggaravate my arthritic condition :-) Aubergine is the French word for eggplant, which in turn is scientifically called Solanum melongena. Eggplants are large and heavy vegetable, usually pear-shaped and dark-purple. A member of the potato family, eggplants are known worldwide, but are best part of Oriental, Middle Eastern and Balkan cooking. The eggplant is said to have originated in India , and was introduced to Spain by the Arabs in the 12th century. There, it was greatly favored for its supposedly aphrodisiac qualities. But in 16th century England and Italy , the eggplant was shunned and suspected of causing madness. Eggplants are not very nutritious, with only 1% protein and 3% carbohydrate, but they are low in calories and have no fat. The young, tender plants have the best fla

Penne with Meatballs how seductive

My cousin was teasing me that she certainly didn't think I cook good. She never really saw me in action, you see. But anyway, on the second day of her visit, I asked her w hat she wanted for brunch. Would she want food delivered or perhaps, shop from the nearby Riverbanks. She said she wanted to stay put and would I mind preparing something with an Italian flair? Hur hur! What I have I said, is 500gms Colavita penne rigate on my cupboard, some meatballs and some commerc ial parmesan cheese in the fridge. And so the decision was made, we were having penne with meatballs. The meatball recipe 1/2 kilo lean beef 1/2 cup commercially prepared parmesan cheese (grainy form) 3 tbsp tomato paste 1 egg beaten 1 tbsp salt 2 tbsps freshly milled pepper 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley vegetable cooking oil In a glass bowl, combine everything and then form mixture into balls. Deep fry in vegetable oil. Set aside. Penne with Meatballs 500 gms penne parmesan cheese 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsl