Fried Danggit

When my nephew and his girlfriend came to visit us last month, they first made a quick stop at a Filipino Restaurant cum grocery store in South Jersey. While there they asked if they can get anything for me and sent me photos of their selections. I immediately spotted a small container of fried danggit and this is one of the goodies they gave us.

IMG_2634

Cebu is known for dried danggit, and it is where I had it for the first time. I remember I ordered it for room service at non-other than Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, during our honeymoon. We rarely eat this since one has a funky smell when you cook it, and I hate having my house smell of dried fish. Two, finding it here in my neck of the woods is not easy. So this, for me, is a treat.

I served it for breakfast the next day with garlic fried rice and sunny side egg.

IMG_2638


IMG_2645

Soft Scrambled Eggs Over Toast

Breakfast is undeniably my favorite meal of the day. You can do many things to make this meal as fancy or rustic as you want. But I usually make something that not only will satisfy our stomach but also be a feast for our eyes as well.

These scrambled eggs are inspired by Buvette’s steamed eggs on toast. Buvette is one of the many places I still have yet to visit in NYC. The only thing that’s stopping me from going is that it’s really a small and compact place, to begin with, and it’s usually busy and crowded all the time. I wouldn’t really be comfortable under these conditions with covid still around us.

These are not that hard to make, you just need some patience. This recipe is for one serving. To make beat 3 eggs in a bowl with 2 Tablespoons of milk or cream (optional). Get a non-stick pan and pour your beaten eggs into the cold pan, add 1 Tablespoon of butter. Set this over medium to low heat. Stir with a silicone spatula until eggs are starting to set. Continue stirring until soft curd forms, you need to do these on and off the heat. It’s important to note that you need to remove your pan before you reach your desired doneness as the eggs will continue from the pan’s residual heat. Also, this will ensure that your eggs will be moist and silky.

To serve, pour your eggs over 2 slices of thick-cut toasted sourdough bread. Top with salami or whatever cold cuts you have. You may add a dollop of creme fraiche if you wish.

IMG_6885

IMG_6886

Bircher Muesli

I’ve had my very first taste of muesli in ’91 when our dad took us to The Peninsula Manila for breakfast. I spotted it on the menu and was intrigued by the description so I decided to get it. I immediately fell in love with the taste. It was like oatmeal and cereal combined but with a distinct flavor that I could not put my finger on. I love that it wasn’t overly sweet and is not too mushy like oatmeal.

Muesli is not something that you can just pick at the grocery store in Manila back then. You are lucky if you happen to get your hands on one at hotel boutiques or speciality food stores which is a rarity then. I can only get my muesli fix back then when we would have breakfast at The Pen as we would call it or stay overnight.

I was happy to be able to indulge on this again when we moved to the Northeast in ’99. I went through different brands looking for taste of the very first muesli I had at the Peninsula. The closest I can get was the Finax muesli sold by Ikea. Sadly they stopped selling this in 2016. Then I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Old country style muesli. It contains generous amount of oats, seeds, raisins and almonds and is not sweet at all.

IMG_7191


When I went back home for a visit last year, I was the one who took my dad this time to the Peninsula for breakfast. To my delight and surprise they are still serving muesli, this time as part of the buffet spread. I am so happy that it still taste exactly as I remember the first time I had it. Photo below is the muesli I had at The Pen.

IMG_7293


I promised myself to make this at home and look for the recipe to recreate the taste I was looking for. After going through several recipes I finally discovered the elusive ingredient that gives the distinct flavor of muesli – apples ! Grated apples is added to the muesli together with milk.

To make, place 1 cup of muesli in a container, add 1 cup of milk and 1 grated apple. Place in the fridge overnight to allow the muesli to soften and the flavors to meld.

IMG_7193


IMG_7203


To serve, place your muesli in a small bowl, the add a splash of milk if you find it too dry. Then top with some thinly sliced apples or your choice of fruit. Serve cold.

IMG_7204


IMG_7207


IMG_7209

One Pan Egg Toast

I am always on the look out for new and exciting breakfast options. This recipe is an upgraded version of your typical eggs and toast combo. I discovered this while watching food vlogs on Youtube. This apparently also went viral and several food vloggers have featured this on their site with step by step instructions.

What’s neat about this is you only need a pan to make this breakfast, hence the name of the dish.

IMG_6594


IMG_6599 IMG_6603

To make start by beating two eggs in a bowl. Then dip a slice of sandwich bread that is cut in half on the eggs and set this aside. Take a pan and place it on medium heat, add a about 2 tablespoons butter and pour your beaten eggs on it. Then before it’s set place your sliced piece of bread (with the side dipped on egg facing up) on top of the egg making sure that there is about a centimeter gap in between the slices. Once the egg is fully set carefully flip your eggs over. Fold the eggs hanging on the all sides towards the center creating a neat package. Then lay a couple of ham slices on one side and cheese on the other. Fold the two pieces of bread together creating a sandwich. Continue frying until bread is golden brown and crisp on both sides. You may need to add more butter for this step.

Remove from pan and serve immediately. It’s best eaten piping hot.

IMG_6605


IMG_6610

Corned Beef Pandesal

I had my first corned beef pandesal from Le Coeur de France, a bakery chain in Manila in the early 90’s. This is pandesal with the corned beef filling baked inside and not just sandwiched in between. This bakeshop was French inspired but had the Filipino taste and flavor in mind; they sell corned beef pandesal, kesong puti panini, croissants, fruit tarts and other bakery treats. My dad would always get corned beef pandesal to take home for us. Le Coeur de France was also a favorite hang out for me and my husband when we were still dating. They have a location in Alabang Town Center, which is a stone’s throw away from where we live. Unfortunately, they permanently closed their doors in February 2016.

Fast forward to 2018, during a visit to Manila we fell in love with the corned beef pandesal from Starbucks. They offer this from their bakery menu together with spicy tuna pandesal, ensaymada among others.

Ever since I made pandesal at the beginning of this lock down, I told myself I will make my own corned beef pandesal. It’s just that for the past few month’s I haven’t been able to get my hands on my preferred corned beef brand. Fortunately, on a recent trip to a Filipino restaurant to pick up food, we were pleasantly surprised to see that they are carrying a few grocery items. My husband was able to pick up a couple of cans of Purefoods corned beef.

I just followed my recipe for pandesal. While my dough was proofing, I prepared the filling by sautéing 2-3 cloves garlic minced and half a medium sized onion chopped in olive oil before adding the can of corned beef. Cook until just heated through and I just added a bit of ground black pepper to season. Do not add any liquid since you do not want a watery filling. Set aside to cool.

IMG_2445


IMG_2449


When your dough has sufficiently risen. Punch it down and divide in two. Roll the dough into logs and cut each log into seven pieces. Flatten each piece into circles and place a tablespoon of corned beef in the middle. Gather the dough around and up and seal the edges by pinching. Roll in breadcrumbs and place in a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for all remaining dough. Cover the filled dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Bake in a 375 F pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Best eaten straight out of the oven.

IMG_6356


IMG_6361


IMG_2462


IMG_6372


IMG_2490


Longganisa Breakfast Muffin

Breakfast sandwiches are sold by most fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks to name a few. These are only available during breakfast hours, but some do serve these all day. Here in New Jersey, the most popular breakfast sandwich is Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll or bagel. For most New Yorkers, it’s bagel with cream cheese and lox or any flavored cream cheese for that matter. In Korea they have what you call grandma toast.

I wanted to make a breakfast sandwich with a Pinoy twist. Longganisa was the perfect choice for me to make it truly Filipino. This Philippine style sausage has proven to be versatile since modern Filipino restaurants have adapted these to their menus and even created burgers which incorporates these to their ground beef.

First, you need to prepare your longganisa patty. I used my recipe for skinless longganisa which can be found here. You need to shape it into patties instead of the usual logs. Then fry it until cooked and brown on both sides, set aside and keep warm.

Prepare your scrambled eggs by beating in a small bowl 1 egg and seasoning it with a bit of salt and pepper. I then place this in my microwave egg poacher. (Note: you may also use a ceramic or glass small bowl) . Then microwave on high for 1 to 1.5 minutes or just until set.

To assemble, split an English muffin and lightly toast it. Place some greens on one of the slices, followed by some smashed avocado that has been seasoned with lemon juice and salt. Then carefully place your egg and longganisa patty before topping with the other piece of muffin. Serve immediately.

IMG_6200


IMG_6205

Corned Beef Hash Pandesal

I really wanted to make the corned beef pandesal we had at Starbucks in Manila. It’s something that we regularly get, when we were there for a visit two years ago. But I unfortunately don’t have any canned corned beef which is what most Filipinos use. All I had was a can of corned beef hash, so this would have to make do.

IMG_6100


It did turn out pretty well since the filling is drier compared to sautéed corned beef. I just scooped it out straight out of the can, no need to reheat or cook since it will bake with the dough anyway.

To make, prepare the dough using this pandesal recipe I posted before. Then divide and cut the rolled dough into 14 pieces (I was able to make 15 rolls with this recipe, it’s better to divide the dough into 14 for a nice even number). Roll to flatten into rounds and place a tablespoon of corned beef hash in the middle, gather the edges and crimp to close. Shape into a roll and dust with bread crumbs. Place in a parchment lined baking tray seam side down. Once all the dough is filled. Cover tray with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 375 F.

IMG_6104


When the dough has been rested, place the tray in oven and bake for about 20 minutes until it’s nice and brown. Serve hot.

We love having it for breakfast.

IMG_1711


IMG_6128


IMG_6118


IMG_6124


IMG_6122

Korean Grandma Toast

We were planning to bring our girls to Korea after their college graduation. But with this pandemic that’s happening around the world, I don’t think we will be traveling anytime in the foreseeable future. So to make the most of our current situation, I thought to bring a little bit of Korea to our home instead. Grandma toast is a very popular street food item in Korea. Locals have said that they usually grab this as breakfast on the go. It can come in different varieties or what you put as add ons.

To make, you will need the following: a quarter of a cabbage thinly shredded, a small carrot jullienned (cut into matchstick pieces), 2 eggs, butter, 2 pieces ham slices, 2 pieces American cheddar cheese and 4 sliced white bread. This recipe makes two sandwiches. Note: save about 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage and carrots to be used later once you assemble your sandwich. Also it’s important that you shred your cabbage really thin, use a mandolin if you have one.

First, prepare your toast by melting a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan. Then place your bread and cook until golden brown on both sides. You need to add another tablespoon of butter once you flip it to cook the other side. Continue cooking it this way until you have used up all 4 bread slices. Set aside and keep warm.

Place your shredded cabbage, jullienned carrots and 2 beaten eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Get a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl around your pan. Pour half of your vegetable mixture and cook for a couple of minutes or until the bottom is set. Then flip and cook the other side until browned and eggs are not runny. You may need to add more butter as you are cooking it. It may also take longer to cook if your omelet is thick. So make sure to lower your heat to avoid burning it. When your omelet is done sprinkle some sugar (I use a scant teaspoon), then top with a sliced cheese and a piece of ham.

To assemble, place your omelet with the cheese and ham slices on one of the toasted bread. Then add some shredded cabbage and carrots that you have set side on top. Squeeze some ketchup before topping with the other bread slice. Serve immediately !

IMG_5053


IMG_5059


IMG_5055

Pandesal

It’s has really been awhile since I last made pandesal, 2009 to be exact. (photo below are the ones I made back then). I wasn’t motivated enough I guess, since it really takes time and effort to make yeast bread. But yesterday I was ready and raring to make a batch after watching bakers in Europe make artisan breads. I for one feel it’s more rewarding and magical to bake bread rather than cake. Plus, our supply of bread is dwindling fast so I really need to make some for our family. This lockdown also gives me more than enough time now to make our own pandesal.

2821_1147789259108_4255468_n

To make, place 1 1/3 cup lukewarm water in a mixing bowl, then add 1 packet active dry yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until bubbles form on top.

To it add 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or shortening, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup sugar. If using a stand mixer use your paddle attachment to combine everything together. Note: it will be runny like pancake batter.

Then switch into a dough hook and gradually add 2 cups all purpose flour. You may add up to about 1/2 cup more flour is it’s still too sticky. Knead for about 8-10 minutes until dough feels soft and smooth. Then form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with film wrap or kitchen towel. Place in a dark and warm area in your kitchen and proof for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until dough is double in size. The time will all depend on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen.

DSC04106

DSC04109

Punch the dough and knead for a couple of minutes on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Divide dough into two and form into logs. Using a pastry cutter, slice your dough at an angle about 2 inch thick. Then roll or dust with breadcrumbs and arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper. Let it proof again for about 20 minutes. Bake in a 375F oven for about 20-25 minutes or until nice and brown.

Serve hot.

DSC04117

DSC04123

DSC04120

DSC04126

Japanese (Morinaga) Hotcakes from a Mix

I have been tempted several times to get the Morinaga hotcakes mix whenever I am at HMart. I have heard good reviews about it and two weeks ago, I finally gave in and bought one packet home.

IMG_3577

IMG_3578

Hotcakes not pancakes you say, yes there is a difference in Japan according to Japan today. Japanese hotcakes as explained by Morinaga who is the number one producer of this mix in Japan, uses more sugar and is cooked with milk. Thereby producing a fluffier and sweeter cake that is usually eaten as a treat or snack.

This mix has small four packets inside. Take one and empty it on a bowl. Add one egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Using a wire whisk beat the batter in one direction for about 30 seconds. It’s important not to over beat it.

Get a non-stick pan and place on medium heat. Lightly grease your pan with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto your pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. You can lower the heat if you think the pan is getting too hot. This makes 4 pancakes.

Serve with a pat of butter and some maple or pancake syrup.

IMG_3956

IMG_3823

IMG_3829