The Newbie Cook
- 18,098 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
I will never forget Tita Edith’s potato soup. She brought some at work last year and I loved it so much that I ate a lot of it. I wanted to replicate the recipe but failed miserably the first time I tried. When C got sick, I thought it was about time to try making this comfort dish again.
One essential tool needed is an immersion blender to get that smooth perfect texture. But if you want a chunkier version of the soup, you can just use a regular masher.
This recipe is very versatile. You can add any vegetables you like. Most use celery but since C hates it, I chose broccoli and carrots. Any type of precooked meat (ham, cold cuts, etc.) can also be used.
The soup can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. For some reason, it tasted even better the day after.
Last night, C suggested seafood. “Let’s do something with the cod.” I’ve eaten cod a few times but I’ve never tried cooking it. I tried looking for an appropriate recipe in The Filipino Cookbook and I found one in minutes.
Technically, a whole lapu-lapu — red grouper fish — should be used for authentic escabeche. But according to Ms. Garcia, alternatives like red snapper, cod, carp and bass could be used. Talking about the dish eventually led to this discussion:
Me: Lapu-lapu is also the name of one of our heros. He killed Magellan.
C: Ferdinand Magellan? Do you know how famous that guy is?!
Me: Um… yeah. (doh!) Everybody does.
C: I didn’t know he died in the Philippines.
Me: He did. They refused to bow to Spain and pay tribute so LL killed Magellan with a bolo and pestle.
Chris thinks it happened a lot like this: (see 1:40 onwards)
I could just imagine Magellan arriving all cocky and rudely interrupting Lapu-lapu who’s making dinner. Next thing you know someone yells “Pay tribute to WHO!? F*** YOU!” just before Ferdie gets brained with a pestle. Hero or not, I bet Lapu-lapu’s wife made him buy a new one.
Of course, that’s what not really happened but I like my version more than the official one.
Back to food. It’s the first time for me to make sweet and sour fish so I was worried that it would fail big time. Making Chris eat Filipino food is an experience. He’s still traumatized about that time when I made him eat dinuguan (pork blood stew) and now he thinks I’m going to feed him random innards when I say “Pinoy food.”
Cod is a very light, creamy fish that easily absorbs flavor. But it could just as easily fall apart if overcooked. Luckily, my escabeche was not bad at all.
Note: Red text means I changed or used a substitute for an ingredient.
That was a mouthful! In English, that means risotto of sweet onions, cotechino sausage, and thyme. To launch Project Steffi x Jamie x Miki, I started with my favorite Italian rice dish ever: risotto.
I was pleasantly surprised that making risotto was pretty easy. The ingredients were not complicated and I already had most of them in the fridge.
Jamie Oliver has a basic risotto recipe, risotto bianco, which is his base for all types of risotto in his book. I can’t go on and on since this dish speaks for itself. And all I can say is C and I enjoyed every bite.
I was craving for French toast for days. And I had to do something with the two packs of fresh strawberries C and I bought a few days ago. And I figured he could use a little cheering up.
I made the honey-wheat bread myself using Danielle’s recipe. I haven’t perfected it yet so that will be a whole post of its own sometime in the near future when I feel more confident and have photographic evidence. 😛 I’m sure most of us already have our own recipes for French toast but I added mine here for those who do not.
This is quite heavy so we had this for brunch and skipped lunch altogether. Have fun with your own stay-at-home date!
Here’s my husband’s deconstructed toast: