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Chilli, Lime, and Garlic Sauce: An Illustrated Recipe

Food-ChilliGarlicLime_web

Last night, while making dinner for the family, I couldn’t help but grab my watercolour pad, pencil, pen and paints when I saw these items on my kitchen counter – garlic, chillis, and lime.  I just finished making the chilli, lime, and garlic sauce that goes so well with the Chicken Rice meal I was preparing, and I felt compelled to sketch while I waited for the rest of the dinner to be ready.

I only really wanted to sketch what I saw and play with my new set of Peerless Transparent Watercolours. After I was done with my sketch, I thought I’d give the sketch a title. Then, before I knew it, I was writing a simplified version of my recipe for the sauce on the paper.

So, without planning to, I ended up with my first illustrated recipe. Simple, but fun.

Chilli, Lime, and Garlic Sauce: An Illustrated Recipe
Recipe Type: Sauces
Cuisine: Asian
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 pcs of lime
  • 3 pcs of long red chillis
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the garlic and red chillis.
  2. Put in a food processor or blender.
  3. Squeeze lime juice into the mix.
  4. Blend for a couple of minutes.
  5. Serve with chicken rice or other meals.

 

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Crispy Pork Binagoongan Recipe

Crispy Pork Binagoongan Recipe

A classic Filipino dish with a little twist.

When I first posted the photo of this crispy pork binagoongan dish, I had a few people asking me for the recipe. Yes, even my non-Asian / non-Filipino friends and contacts seemed intrigued. So, even though I did say this dish isn't exactly for everyone's taste, they said they'd be keen to find out how to make it.

Well, then, I thought now might be a good time to share the recipe to this classic Filipino dish - with a little twist.

You see, I grew up with this dish being called simply 'binagoongan'. We all know that it's usually  sliced pork, with fatty bits in it. The pork is just cooked like a stir fry, so no crispy bits.

But, a few years ago, during one of my visits to Manila, I came across some Filipino restaurants that gave classic Pinoy dishes a new twist. That's when I first encountered crispy pork binagoongan. And I thought: That's genius! We love crispy pork. So, why not?

I didn't quite know how to make it exactly, but learned how to hack different recipes I found online. This is a version that I came up with, after making this for myself a few times. Yes, sadly, I am the only one who appreciates this dish at Casa Coggins at the moment. Though my little boy doesn't mind giving it a bit of try, especially when sharing the green mangoes with me (my hubby and li'l girl won't go near shrimp paste!).

Anyway, let me know if you do give this a try!

Crispy Pork Binagoongan Recipe
Recipe Type: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Filipino
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
If you're up for a bit of an exotic taste from the Philippines, try this beloved dish called pork binagoongan with a crispy twist. For the uninitiated, 'binagoongan' means 'to add bagoong (shrimp paste)'. This dish isn't for everyone, but it's certainly one that I love.
Ingredients
  • 500 grams pork spare ribs/pork belly
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 8 tbsps shrimp paste (bagoong)
  • bird's eye red chillis (baby red chillis), optional
  • 500 grams pork spare ribs/pork belly
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 8 tbsps shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsps white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of stock (from water used earlier to boil the meat)
  • bird's eye red chillis (baby red chillis), optional
Instructions
  1. Season the pork meat with salt and paper.
  2. Boil water in a large sauce pan or in a deep frying pan.
  3. Add the meat when the water is boiling and boil for 8-10 minutes.
  4. While waiting, heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  5. When the meat is ready, take it out of the water and pat dry with kitchen paper towels. Keep at least 1/2 cup of the water used for boiling the meat. This is to be used later as stock.
  6. If the meat isn't chopped yet, chop it into cubes or serving-sized pieces.
  7. When the oil is hot, fry the pork meat pieces until they're crispy on the outside.
  8. When ready, put the fried pork meat in container with paper towels, to drain some of the oil from the meat.
  9. In the frying pan, saute garlic for a few seconds until fragrant.
  10. Add sliced onions and saute until almost translucent.
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes are soft.
  12. Add the bagoong or shrimp paste. Mix well. (At this time, some Westerners' sense of smell may be assaulted in ways that may be deemed unpleasant! ;))
  13. Add the stock and vinegar.
  14. When the mixture starts boiling, add the fried pork meat back into the pan.
  15. Allow to cook together for about 5 minutes.
  16. Then, it's ready to serve on top of a bed of jasmine rice.
  17. Sprinkle sliced red chilliis on top for a bit of added spicy kick (optional).
Notes
This dish is best when served with a side of sliced green mangoes!

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Spinach and Feta Cheese Fillo Pie Recipe

I love cheese. And, I love pastry. So, every now and then, I try to experiment with eating and/or cooking things that mix cheese and pastry.

A few years ago, I discovered the wonderful mix of spinach and feta cheese. Wrapped in yummy crispy, flaky pastry. I was taken with it.

However, it's one of those things that I like, but I don't want to have too much of. Like wine and cider, I suppose. 🙂

That's why I don't eat or cook this meal a lot. I probably have it only a couple of times a year or so. To my husband's dismay, as he loves it.

Anyway, today is one of those rare moments when I decided that I wanted something out of my usual cooking repertoire. I was already craving for a bit of fillo* pastry a couple of weeks ago. That's why I bought the ingredients for this meal last week. I don't have a permanent recipe for this, as I like trying different things whenever I decide to cook this spinach and feta cheese fillo pie. I guess, I'm still looking for the perfect combination.

However, when I posted this photo on my social networks earlier, I had a couple of friends who requested for the recipe. The one I followed today was actually written on the box of the store-bought fillo pastry I bought. I only used the said recipe as a guide. I didn't follow it too closely, so I'm rewriting the whole thing as I remember what I did. So, feel free to tweak this to your own preference too. Do let me know if you give this a go!

Spinach and Feta Cheese Fillo Pie Recipe
Recipe Type: Lunch, Dinner
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Enjoy crispy and flaky pastry with this spinach and feta cheese mix.
Ingredients
  • 375 grams fillo sheets
  • 175 grams melted butter
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 200 grams feta cheese, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsps spring onions, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160'C (fan-forced) or approximately 180'C.
  2. Lightly grease a pie pan (approximately 24 cms in diameter if using a round pan) with oil spray or melted butter.
  3. Wash and dry the fresh spinach leaves, then chop them into small pieces.
  4. Put the spinach in a mixing bowl, then add the chopped onions, spring onions, and feta cheese. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with olive oil. Add salt and pepper as desired. Mix well together.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the spinach leaves and cheese mixture. Mix well and then set aside. This is your pie fillings.
  7. Using store-bought fillo pastry (or your own homemade one, if you wish), create a base for your pie using half of the pack/box. Create the layers two sheets at a time in your pie pan. Every two sheets, brush the top of the pastry with melted butter.
  8. Put half the pie fillings on top of the pastry base layer. Fold the pastry that's hanging out of the pan as neatly as you can into the middle.
  9. Finish off the remaining fillo pastry by layering two at a time again, brushing melted better every two sheets.
  10. When the pastry layer is complete, pour the rest of the pie fillings. Then, fold the excess pastry from the side into the middle, making sure the fillings are completely covered by the pastry.
  11. Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter.
  12. Bake in the oven for 45 mins or until golden brown.
Notes
Serve by tipping the pie onto a plate, then tipping it back on to a serving board, play, or tray right side up. Be careful when doing this, as the pastry might break.[br][br][br][br]If you slice the pie and the fillings aren't cooked through, some liquid will be released. Just put the pie back into the oven for a few more minutes, if necessary.

 A side note on fillo pastry: This is also known as phyllo or filo pastry. I'm all for making cooking life easy whenever possible, so I don't even attempt to make this from scratch. I find that a good store-bought one can do the job for me. 

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Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe

If there's a favourite icecream flavour from my childhood, it would be the rocky road ice cream. I remember that in the beginning, I picked out the marshmallows and left them aside whenever I devoured my ice cream serves. But, as I grew older, I even learned to love the marshmallows.

However, after I left Manila, I can't seem to find a decent rocky road ice cream that reminded me of the flavour that I loved so much. Everything I have tried just didn't quite cut it.

It also didn't help that my husband was never a fan of rocky road. We don't always get to pick this flavour if we ever need to share a tub or cone of ice cream. So, that's why it was one of the flavours in my "must try" list when I first started making homemade ice cream.

That's why when I found this rocky road ice cream recipe at AllRecipe, I knew I had to give it a try. But, I decided to tweak it a bit for my own use.

And guess what? The hubby was once again converted. Surprise, surprise. 🙂 He actually loved this ice cream, even if he wasn't a rocky road fan. But, I definitely guarded it well. What can I say? I was completely and utterly addicted.

So, for those who might be interested, here's my version of the rocky road ice cream.

Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 can condensed milk (sweetened), approximately 390g
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 2 cups double cream
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 60g cashews (unsalted), chopped
  • 15g mini marshmallows (about a handful; more can be added, if desired)
Instructions
  1. Heat condensed milk and cocoa over low heat in a sauce pan. Stir constantly for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat.
  3. When the mixture is slightly cooled, stir in the double cream until completely integrated. Then, mix in thickened cream and vanilla.
  4. Refrigerate the mixture for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooled down.
  5. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn, according to your machine's instructions. I churned mine for about 20 minutes to start with (or halfway through, depending on your machine).
  6. After churning for about 20 minutes, add the cashews and marshmallows.
  7. Churn for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Once churning is completed, put the mixture into a container with a lid.
  9. Put the ice cream container in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving. Or, you can freeze it overnight if you prefer a more solid ice cream.
Notes

When the ice cream is completely frozen, you might want to put it in the fridge section to soften for an hour or so before serving.

The marshmallows tend to float to the top, so you might want to give it a mix halfway through before it is frozen. Or, you might want to hold off putting marshmallows until you serve the ice cream instead.

 

Prepare to fight off everyone in your household for this ice cream! 🙂

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Chicken Tinola Recipe

 

Growing up with Filipino food, I am naturally a big fan of the yummy delights that filled my growing up years in Manila. However, since leaving the Philippines almost 13 years ago,  I don't get my fill of Pinoy food. Unlike many Asian cuisines, you see, Filipino food isn't as accessible as, say, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, or Korean food.

A lot of the dishes are either a bit "too exotic" or too similar with other cuisines. That's why Filipino restaurants aren't very common in many countries overseas, unless there's a huge number of Filipinos or Philippine-heritage citizens in the area.

That's why it took a while for my British husband to get used to the idea of eating Filipino food. Sure, he's taken to lechon and inihaw easily because they are basically just roasts or deep-fried meat. He loves lechon manok (roast chicken), just as much as he loves any of his favourite Sunday roast meal from his childhood.

When I first cooked Chicken Tinola (a soup-based chicken dish) for the hubby in our first year of marriage, he wasn't too crazy about it. So, I never cooked it again for him. And, basically, I ended up hardly ever cooking it at all.

A few years later, we attended a pot luck dinner party with a group of Filipinos in Australia. And, one of the couples brought a Chicken Tinola dish. The husband devoured it. Yes, even if it had fish sauce (he often refused to eat anything with a hint of fish sauce). Told everyone he loved it.

I was indignant because I said that I once cooked it for him and he said he didn't like it. He was adamant that he certainly liked that Tinola.

Then, we ended up figuring the main difference: I used sayote (aka chayote or pear squash, amongst other names), as that was one of the ways I cooked it back in Manila. However, the Tinola he loved used the alternative vegetable instead: green papaya (aka green pawpaw).

Since then, I started tweaking the Chicken Tinola recipe that I grew up with into something the husband would love. In fact, something that he now considers as one of his favourite dishes.

Both the kids have fallen in love with this dish too. The boy says Chicken Tinola is his third favourite dish (next to roast chicken and roast pork; yep, he loves his roasts). And, the girl claims this is her favourite dish, even beating lasagna and spaghetti Bolognese (yes, she loves her pasta).

So, here is my version of Chicken Tinola:

 

Chicken Tinola Recipe

Recipe Type: [url href="http://www.shaicoggins.com/tag/main-dishes/"]Main[/url]
Cuisine: [url href="http://www.shaicoggins.com/tag/filipino-food/"]Filipino[/url]
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, cut in to pieces
  • 1 green papaw/papaya, peeled, de-seeded, and cut in to pieces
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp sliced ginger
  • 1 bunch baby spinach, cut in half (or thirds) across
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 3-4 cups boiled water
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or 2 - 3 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 2 cups of water)
Instructions
  1. Put the oil in a large frying pan in medium heat.
  2. Fry the chicken on both sides in batches for 2 to 3 minutes each side, or until the outside part is slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Set the chicken aside when ready.
  4. In a large saucepan, put the oil used to fry the chicken.
  5. Sauté the garlic quickly and then add the onions and ginger. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and onions until they're slightly caramelised or soft.
  6. Add the chicken.
  7. Then, add the sliced green papaya or papaw.
  8. Put in the boiled water and chicken stock. Make sure that the chicken and papaya pieces are submerged in the liquid. If not, add more water and/or stock as needed.
  9. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat.
  10. Leave to boil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. When the soup is boiling, test the papaya if it's soft with a fork or knife. It should be easily pierced, without being too mushy.
  12. When the papaya is soft enough, add the baby spinach. Mix. Cook for another 3 - 5 minutes.
  13. Add salt and pepper. You can also add the fish sauce, if you like. Mix.
  14. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Notes

Filipinos often love to eat Chicken Tinola with a condiment. Some prefer soy sauce. But, I love it with fish sauce and chopped fresh chili.

 

This meal is perfect for cold or rainy days. But, since it has become a family favourite, we have it all year round. It usually makes it to our menu every 3-4 weeks.

Many say that Filipino food is an acquired taste or something that you have to grow up with. But, I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.

As an aside, sharing this recipe is a much-delayed response to Yvonne Russell's request to share a favourite Asian dish two years ago.

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