Energy booster bars

Hugh’s cookbook finally arrived at our home!!!

Energy booster bars

150 g unsalted butter
150 muscovado sugar
1 very ripe banana
75 g honey + little more to finish
finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
200 g porridge oats
150 g dried fruits (rasins, mango)
150 g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and linseed)

Grease and line a baking tin (about 20 cm). Preheat the oven 160 C. Melt the butter, sugar, honey and grated citrus zest on VERY low heat, stirring occasionally. When cold, stir in the oats, dried fruit, and 3/4 of seeds, add mashed banana and mix until combined.

Spred the mixture out evenly  in a baking tin. Scatter the remaining seeds over the top and drizzle with a little honey. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Leave to cool complete in a tin, then turn out and cut with a  sharp knife. Pack in a tin foil and refrigerate. They will stay fresh for about 7 days.

Candid Ginger

Homemade Candid ginger

David Lebovitz’s recipe:

500 g fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups sugar (around 800 g), plus plus additional sugar for coating the ginger slices
4 cups (1L) water
pinch of salt

1. Slice the ginger as thinly as possible. It can’t be too thin, so use a sharp knife.

Fresh ginger

2. Put the ginger slices in a pot, add enough water to cover the ginger, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let ginger simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and repeat, simmering the ginger slices one more time.

3. Mix the sugar and 4 cups (1l) water in the pot, along with a pinch of salt and the ginger slices, and cook until the temperature reaches 106C. (You don’t need a candy thermometer to make this. Simply keep an eye on the pot and when the liquid is the consistency of thin honey, it’s done and ready to go.)

4. Remove from heat and let stand for at least an hour, drain very well while the ginger is hot, so the syrup will drain away better.

5. Toss the drained ginger slices in granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar, and spread the ginger slices on a cooling rack overnight, until they’re somewhat dry. The sugar can be reused in a batter or ice cream base, or for another purpose.

It takes few days for ginger to be dry completely.

Dried ginger

If tossed in sugar, the pieces can be stored at room temperature for a few months.

Coconut and nutmeg ice cream

This is super, super, super….easy. And SUPER tasty!
Our new Red Hot Cookbook is a treasure!

1 can (400 g) evaporated (unsweetened condensed) milk
1 can (400 g) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (400 g) coconut milk
freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
toasted shredded coconut for decoration

Mix together evaporated, condensed and coconut milk in a large freezer proof bowl and stir in the nutmeg and vanilla essence.

Chill in a freezer for about an hour or two until the mixture is semi-frozen.

Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture with a hand blender until it is fluffy and almost doubled in volume.

Pour into a container and freeze.

Serve sprinkled with toasted shredded coconut.

Orange panna cotta with mango puree

4 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. of vanilla
the zest of 2 oranges
5 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup muscovado sugar
1/2 cup dried mango
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the sugar. Add vanilla and the orange zest. Stir this together and remove 1/2 cup and sprinkle the gelatin powder over it. Let it rest for a minute or two until all the
Warm remaining milk over medium heat, just until it begins to simmer. Take a little of this hot milk mixture, stir it into the gelatin and allow it to dissolve.
Lightly oil 4 or 6 ramekins or small glasses or cups and fill them evenly with the milk mixture. Pop them in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
Place orange juice, sugar, dry mango and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue simmering about 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and smoothly puree with an hand blender.

Remove panna cotta from molds (place them in a shallow baking pan filled with hot water, leave them for 30 seconds, remove, place a plate over top, flip and allow them to release). Pour some mango – orange puree all around. Garnish with mint leaves.

I didn’t like it. The aroma of orange zest is to strong for gentle panna cotta. The flavor of the mango puree got lost in citrus aroma.

Almond truffles with cocoa powder

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2+1/2 tbs. homey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2cup cocoa powder
2 cups water

Soak overnight almonds and sunflower seeds.
Next morning drain the water, and put almonds and sunflower seeds in food processor. Add 2+1/2 tbsp. honey and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Grind into paste.
Form small balls with your palms. Coat with cocoa powder.

Watermelon granita and lime cream

1/2 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 cup watermelon pulp, seedless
good splash of cherry brandy (1/4 cup)

Lime Cream
1 cup whipping cream
3 teaspoons sugar
3 – 4 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
fresh mint, for garnish

Bring grapefruit/orange juice and sugar up to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved (to make a syrup). Remove from heat and cool. Purée syrup with watermelon and strain. Stir in cherry brandy and freeze. After an hour, stir granita, and then stir one or two more times before frozen. For lime cream, whip cream and than fold in sugar, juice and zest. Chill until ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh mint.

Pineapple Flambé on Vanilla ice cream

I’m not a dessert person. Cakes, pies, desserts, ice creams… all of that sweet treats, fancy and not fancy, they must be something really special for me to eat them.
On other hand this Pineapple Flambé, I could eat everyday. Pineapple is so sweet so I don’t understand why in some recipes they add sugar to it.
This recipe is easy to make – the whole procedure last as one TV commercial brake.

for two
1/2 pineapple (cut in rings)
splash of bourbon (1/4 cup)
2 tbsp. butter
vanilla ice cream
2 bananas (cut lengthwise, optional)
handful sliced almonds

Heat the skillet, melt the butter, add pineapple, fry both sides on medium-high heat (until they turn golden brown). Add bourbon, light it up (flambé). Pray that the fire alarm stays silent. Remove the pineapple from the skillet. On remaining liquid warm up the banana. Assembly all ingredients in a serving bowl: place 2 pineapple rings on bottom, top it with two scoops of ice cream, topped with some more pineapple, put banana on the side, sprinkle with almonds.

Quantum pancake infused with maple syrup

We are going home for Easter and the plan is to try and eat everything from the refrigerator.
I don’t think that’s possible but we’ll do our best.
We hate throwing food away. It’s a combination of the way we were raised, the overwhelming poverty in some parts of Manila, and the fact that average household in western society is throwing around 20% or more of the food bought in supermarket. Not to mention that garbage patch size of a state of Texas floating in Atlantic ocean, pollution and dying planet…
We are trying to act responsibly on our small household scale. Basically the final result is a few inches more around the waist before every trip which last more than a week, because we unplug the refrigerator from the power.
Despite all of that green talk from above I was pretty convinced that our “organic – unbleached -super/super – too – expensive – wheat flour” is going to be thrown away.
Instead, I’m sitting on a sofa at 6.30 am, with my eyes shout, still sleeping and waiting for my man to bring me fresh pancake from the kitchen. I’m so proud, happy and touched in the same time. For me, it’s like he went in the wood hunting for them. And on his way back home had to fight dozen of burglars, two bears and one wicked elf. I really appreciated this breakfast! I’m a lucky girl!
And than it came, contemporary pancake.
This really hit me, he knows me so well. Few days back I was bitching about March cover of Time magazine, Asian edition. They put on the cover Danish chef Rene Redzepi. What did he do? No, he did not feed the hungry or heal the sick. He reinvent Danish cuisine and serves ants as a new and exotic ingredients. Danish ants, to be precise. Culinary world think’s he is the new Ferran Adrià. Is that the reason to be on the cover of the Time magazine? I don’t think so. What bothers me really is not the chef himself, I wish him all the best in the world, it bothers me that we have paid 130 pesos for this newspaper, and on our way to the mall I gave only 5 peso to that blind beggar at Edsa-Ayala intersection.  And he really needed more.
From today’s perspective I can tell I was exaggerating and giving too much importance to this story. I completely manage to block the fact that first step to a happy life is not to be angry with a things you cannot change. Ups, I’m still learning!
I can tell I was really boring my husband but he was kind enough and waited for me too cool down before his statement.
So this morning he serve me this contemporary pancake with a words: “If I ever had a quantum restaurant this would be the pancake we’ll serve to our guests”.
The inspiration for this meal come from the same article in Time, on a picture there is a plate with few cabbage leafs, 3 fried oysters, 1/2 tbsp. sauce and that’s it.
I know that some food critics are having simultaneous orgasm when they see something like this. For me is always the same old feeling: OMG, I’m gonna go home hungry!
This was a great joke on my account!
Later on we had some real pancake.

2+1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sparkling water
3 eggs
pinch of salt
splash of grape seed oil

In a mixing bowl add eggs, sparkling water and milk. Mix all together and then slowly/gradualy add flour by wishing the mixture. Season with salt.
And now the boring part, pan fry them. Filling, Nutella or Maple Sirup.