Tomiyao with Garlic

My first taste of this vegetable was in a famous (local) Chinese restaurant. I found it really tasty – they tasted a bit like bean sprouts but more delicious (my opinion!). I asked the waiter what kind of vegetable it was. He said it was a different kind of bean sprouts. Hmmm…. (felt skeptical and unbelieving since bean sprouts are bean sprouts… might be more logical if they were some kind of sprouts…)

Anyway, I tried to find some at various markets but there was none to be found… until recently! I found several packs in the supermarket nearby! And I asked the “promodiser” what they were. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were actually pea sprouts (or pea shoots) because I do not like peas at all.

They’re easy to cook too!

200 grams of tomiyao, rinsed and dried
8 to 10 cloves of garlic, smashed
salt, to taste

Saute the garlic in some oil, taking care not to burn the garlic. Throw in the tomiyao and some salt (season to taste). Stir fry until just done, to keep the crunch of the shoots. Serve immediately.

That’s it!!!

 

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Breakfast Frittata

I grew up on eggs for breakfast.  All throughout my childhood, I remember the breakfast staple – 1/2 cup of Sanka coffee, 1 soft boiled egg, pandesal or sinangag (garlic fried rice), and sometimes, sausages or hotdogs.  To this day, it is extremely rare that my breakfast (or that of hubby’s) skips the egg.  For my sweetie, however, I make an extra effort to gussy up the eggs.

The fastest and easiest way to make eggs fancy is to make a frittata.  If we happen to have leftovers, I simply use them as the filling.  Otherwise, the combination of onions, potatoes, peppers, and of course, cheese (!) do quite well!

2 xl eggs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium potato, cubed
1 green bell pepper, julienned
120 grams cubed cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

As always, start by sautéing the onion and peppers in a 6-1/2-inch cast iron pan.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir fry a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until thoroughly combined.  Pour into sautéed vegetables.  Stir lightly.  When the sides are set, scatter the cubed cheese on top then transfer the skillet to a preheated 350*F oven.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the center is cooked through.

Enjoy!

Abalone and Scallop Nest

For special occasions, I break out the special stuff.

The occasion I’m talking about this time was hubby’s birthday… not a special numbered birthday, but for me any birthday of his a special day!

For this dish, because the ingredients are stars by themselves, no special recipe is required.  What is crucial, however, is a good (and I do mean a REALLY GOOD) can of abalone!  Of course, fresh scallops and properly prepared bamboo shoots are important too, but these 2 ingredients can be substituted with any other seafood and vegetable.  The abalone (and its sauce) is the true star of the dish.

Drain and reserve the sauce from the canned abalone.  Sauté the bamboo shoots (cleaned, sliced, boiled and drained).  Pour in a little of the abalone sauce.  Stir-fry until the shoots and coated.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bamboo shoots to a serving dish.

In the same pan, sauté the scallops with a little more of the abalone sauce until the scallops are almost done.  Again with a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to the serving dish, mounding the scallops in the middle of the dish.

In the same pan, pour in all of the abalone sauce and heat until it boils gently.  Add the abalone and heat through (do not over-do it or the scallops will become tough).  Using a pair of tongs, transfer the abalone to the serving plate, arranging them decoratively in a circle.

Pour the heated abalone sauce all over the dish and splash with a few drops of black sesame oil.

Enjoy while it is hot!

 

Lyon Frittata

Since I found some book bugs on the shelf the other day, I’d been on a cleaning frenzy!  I haven’t finished even a third of the shelves!

Anyway, as I took books off the shelves, I browsed the pages briefly.  I had to make some hard choices and decide which books needed to stay and which ones to put in the donation box… certainly wasn’t easy!

One of the books I looked at was the Epicurious Cookbook, and the recipe I saw was for Kitchen Sink Frittata.  It got me wanting to make it for breakfast the next day.

I went online to search for the recipe to link to for this entry.  What I found instead was this –

freestyle-frittata
image lifted from Epicurious website

The first variant – Lyon – was perfect!  I had all ingredients in the fridge.  So what did hubby have this morning?  Frittata, of course!  I scaled the recipe to a quarter though.

My solo version –

1 small onion, sliced
1 small zucchini,sliced into thin rounds
1 small red pimiento pepper, diced
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup mixed shredded cheese
several basil leaves, cut into strips

Sauté the onion and pimiento in a 6-1/2-inch cast iron pan.  Add the zucchini and stir fry a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until thoroughly combined.  Pour into sautéed vegetables.  Stir lightly.  When the sides are set, transfer the skillet to a preheated 350*F oven.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the center is cooked through.

Sprinkle finishing salt lightly on the top.  Serve hot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patola Misua Soup

This soup, sponge gourd and thin wheat noodle soup, is one of my favorites, as well as a comfort food for me.  It is usually cooked with ground pork, but chicken strips are used as well, and, if a more decadent version is desired, with shrimps.

In my household, we always use a combination of ground pork and shrimps.  But depending on the state of the local treasury, the amount of pork and shrimp used vary!

00_misua patola

My recipe:

1 large patola (sponge gourd)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
50 to 100 grams ground pork
12 pieces shrimp, trimmed and cleaned
40 to 60 grams misua, or thin wheat noodles, or as desired
3 to 6 cups shrimp stock, or water
salt and pepper, to taste
toasted garlic bits or chips, optional

Begin by preparing the sponge guard.  Peel the skin off and slice the gourd into thin rounds.  Rinse and dry.

If desired, the shrimps can be shelled and diced.  The shells and head can be used to make shrimp stock, which can be added to the soup for more flavor in lieu of water.  Otherwise, use chicken or vegetable stock.

Saute the garlic and onion.  Add the ground meat and shrimps.  Stir fry several seconds.  When the ground meat and shrimp are cooked, add the stock, or water.

Let the mixture boil.  Add the wheat noodles, simmer a couple of seconds until the misua is softened and cooked.  Season with salt and pepper, as preferred.

Garnish with toasted garlic bits or chips, if desired.

 

Ampalaya with Salted Egg

If there is one thing I will not eat, it is ampalaya or bitter gourd.  Unfortunately, it is the favorite vegetable of my sweetie!  So, even as I refuse to eat it, I cook it once in a while, if only to make hubby happy!

The usual Filipino way to cook ampalaya is to saute it with scrambled egg/s, but just this once, I wanted something different.  Oh, I still won’t eat it, but at least hubby will be happy with the “new” dish – the Chinese variation of the bitter gourd… with salted egg!  The original is actually made with salted egg yolks.  But really now, what would I do with the egg whites?  Might as well throw them into the mix too!

The recipe –

1 large ampalaya
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of leeks, sliced diagonally, white and green parts separated
2 pieces salted egg, mashed
pinch of sugar and white pepper, optional

First of all, prepare the ampalaya by cutting in half lengthwise then slicing horizontally into thin slices.  Rub with salt and let stand a few minutes then rinse (this is to lessen the bitterness somewhat).  Meanwhile, heat the wok and add some oil.

Saute the garlic and the white part of the leeks then add the mashed salted eggs.  Stir fry until the mixture is bubbly and messy-looking.  Add in the ampalaya slices; mix until the ampalaya is coated with the salted egg mixture.  Add the pinch of sugar and white pepper, if using.

Cook until the ampalaya slices are soft.  If the mixture gets too dry, add some hot water by tablespoonfuls.

Serve garnished with the green part of the leeks.