Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce
Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

I was staring at this photo of the pasta dish I made using fennel and leeks and I knew, even if it looked perfect, that something was not quite right but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Then it finally dawned on me that I should have used the fennel fronds I set aside as garnish instead of parsley! It would have made sense. It was a fennel sauce after all. If I didn’t forget my fennel fronds, this photo would have been absolutely perfect. Perhaps I should do it again tomorrow? I still have some sauce left. I just have to set everything up again, find that perfect light, shoot from that perfect angle, and make sure I have my perfect garnish. But why always strive for perfection? Isn’t good enough enough?

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Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)
Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Vinegar is undoubtedly my favorite condiment. I have it in different colors (white, brown, black) and different varieties (you name it, I have it!) Have you tried dipping fried tofu in vinegar mixed with chopped onions? Heaven!

Paksiw na isda, or fish cooked in vinegar, is another popular dish from the Philippines. It is next to Adobo and Kare-kare in my bucket list of Filipino-dishes-to-cook-and-eat-before-I-die.

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Christmas tuna macaroni salad

Christmas tuna macaroni salad
Christmas tuna macaroni salad

Back home in the Philippines, tuna macaroni salad has always been part of my family’s Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) feast. How come you may ask, since this is not a traditional Filipino recipe? But we make it because it is SO easy to do: no cooking, not a  lot of chopping, just put everything together and chill in the fridge. We normally use mayonnaise but in the spirit of healthy feasting, I used homemade vinaigrette as dressing. The result is absolutely better, taste-wise and health-wise!

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Simple joy #10 Oven-grilled fish heads

Oven-grilled fish head
Oven-grilled fish head

I was in Portland three months ago and got involved in photographer David L. Reamer’s Catching The Ox project. We had ‘fish heads’ as our subject. I shot the fish heads but a friend cooked it. Over the past few weeks I  have been cooking several fish heads and fish frames, courtesy of the wonderful people behind http://www.freefishheads.co.nz. I got a call one day to pick up around 10 kilos of snapper fish heads from Martin Bosley’s Restaurant. The restaurant only wanted the fillets and the fishermen would rather give away the fish heads and frames instead of discarding them. Which works perfectly well for fish head eaters like myself! Yay!

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Pasta Negra aka The dark side of pasta love

Pasta Negra | Seafood spaghetti in squid ink sauce

It is a tradition in the Philippines (and other Asian countries) to serve noodles during birthdays. The longer the noodles the longer and luckier the birthday celebrant’s life will be. Happy birthday, JD, my wonderful partner-in-crime! JD is an adventurous soul so this black pasta is an appropriate birthday dish.  Plus it is really very yummy you yourself won’t regret embracing the dark side!

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Lebanese couscous with mussels parsley pesto

Lebanese couscous with mussels parsley pesto
Lebanese couscous with mussels parsley pesto

DISCLAIMER: This is not a Lebanese recipe. I just happen to be out of noodles and all I have in my cupboard (that I can use as a substitute) is a bag of couscous made in Lebanon. After googling it, I learned that these pearly grains are called Maftoul. I cooked them like I would cook noodles but it took longer to get the desired al dente texture.

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