Sunday, April 24, 2011

Decadent Food@Kulinarya

Thanks to Lala of Kulinarya Cooking Club, who came up with another challenging theme of Decadent Food. My dish for April is Calamansi Lime Pie, made creamy by the surprise ingredient, condensed milk. The sweet, tart and creamy combination makes you crave for another slice. The recipe is adapted from Jeanne Kelley's wonderful cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.

Calamansi Lime Pie with Blueberry Compote

1 prepared 9-inch pie crust

1 (14-ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup freshly squeezed calamansi limes
(or regular limes)
1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
2 eggs

16 ounces fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

Mix together the condensed milk, lime juice, and zest until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and pour into the condensed milk mixture, mixing thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pie crust and bake until filling is set, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator while making the compote.

Place blueberries and sugar in a saucepan and let simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The mixture will thicken and reduce. Set aside to cool. Spoon over the pie slices and serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche, if desired.

Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time Flies

Do you find yourself driving the usual route - to the kids' school, to work, to the supermarket - only to realize that you're already there? But wasn't it just a few minutes ago that you got on the highway, cranked up the radio and started the journey?

And just like that, I realized too that I've now been blogging for a year! What started off as a challenge after taking a writer's workshop, and inspired by a retreat in Bali, my blog now has 72 entries. I've met many like-minded, food-crazy friends and even felt an instant kinship with some of you over our posts. I've travelled around the world vicariously through your blogs, savoring the aromas and tastes that your recipes brought to my kitchen.

So thank you, bloggers, for sharing your world with me, as I've enjoyed sharing mine with you. And thank you, readers, for stopping by to visit. See you again soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I had a panic attack yesterday.

It was late in the afternoon, and as I was walking to my car in the basement parking lot, I picked up my iPhone, did the habitual click and swipe, and then again and again, but my fully-charged phone remained black, and silent. How could it be? Like a crazed woman, I raced home, plugged it into its lifeline - not a peep. It was gone. Kaput. I googled "dead iPhone", called the Apple store, followed the tips, but still no luck. Hysterical thoughts started rushing through my head like scrolling headline banners - What if My Class Schedule Was Changed? Is Teenage Son Stuck Somewhere? The Physiotherapist Can't Make it Tomorrow and Can't Reach Me! (And to think just a couple of years ago, I threatened to throw my husband's Blackberry overboard while on our cruise holiday, accusing him of being too obsessed! Oops...)

Then Teenage Son arrives home, listens to hysterical blabber from Panicked Mom, grabs the phone, and a few simultaneous clicks later, hands it back revived and alive, walks into his room, and shuts the door. Order is restored!

I even had time to make dinner of Prawn Cakes with fresh shitake mushrooms and wasabi vinaigrette, adapted from an old clipping I saved from Gourmet Magazine's October 2002 edition.

Prawn Cakes with Wasabi Vinaigrette

500g medium prawns, shelled and deveined, finely chopped
150g skinless cod or any white fish fillet, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced carrots
1/4 cup minced onions
1/2 cup minced fresh shitake mushrooms, caps only
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Oil for frying

for Wasabi Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon prepared wasabi paste
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

Saute carrots, onion and mushroom in a bit of oil until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together minced prawn and fish, carrots, onion and mushroom mixture, egg, salt, soy sauce and sugar. With your hands, knead the mixture until well combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the wasabi vinaigrette by whisking the wasabi paste, mayonnaise, mirin, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar until well blended.

Take the chilled prawn mixture and shape into 1/2 inch cakes. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry cakes until lightly golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain well over paper towels.

Serve over mixed greens. Drizzle wasabi vinaigrette over the prawn cakes. Top with sesame seeds and pea sprouts.