Bacon Topped Home-made Italian Beef Patties

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I just got some Organic ground beef, so I decided to make Italian Beef Patties as appetizers and for a pizza .This recipe is so simple to make.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 and 1/2 pound Organic ground beef

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 Tbsp.whole fennel

1/4 tsp. ground fennel

1 tsp. ground red  pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 and 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink salt

1/2 tsp. fine  brown sugar cane sugar

1 tsp. hot paprika

1/4 cup iced water

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients like this while frying the bacon pieces.

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2. Add in the beef and mix well with your hands, then roll into small balls with the palm of your hands, flatten into thin round discs, fry on oil, turning on both sides and top with piece of bacon and broil on high in a convection oven. Skewer them on some environmentally friendly bamboo sticks. Serve as an appetizer or add on top of your pizza without the skewers.

Enjoy, Peaches, Masarap!

 

Mussels as Appetizer

 

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If you don’t have any sizzling Sisig or crispy Pata (the usual famous Filipino appetizers ) no problem; I’ve got you covered with these  mussels which are a great appetizer with drinks! The recipe is so simple but you have to decide if you want to add some Chipotle peppers in for extra kick, I just love Chipotle peppers! Let’s gather our ingredients and start cooking.

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INGREDIENTS:

1-2 pieces each of red, yellow and orange sweet peppers (sliced)

2-4 lbs. shucked and frozen mussels (thawed, washed and drained)

1 Tbsp. Citra Pinot Grigio Terre Di Chiete wine

1-2 tsp. capers (drained)

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 huge red onion (sliced)

1-2 Tbsp. Avocado oil

1 piece Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce (seeded and chopped finely with your gloved hands)

6-8 pieces cherry tomatoes (sliced thinly)

few sprigs of scallions (sliced) for toppings

A thumb-sized fresh ginger (sliced into thin matchstick size)

few slices of a lemon or a lime

1/2 of green bell pepper (sliced), optional

PROCEDURE:

1. While draining the mussels in a colander, sautée the garlic cloves over moderate heat with hot oil in a deep frying pan, followed with sliced onions and sliced ginger, then chopped chipotle pepper until translucent and fragrant.

2. Add sliced cherry tomatoes until they turn soggy, add all the sliced sweet and bell peppers, stir well for few minutes, add the mussels, stir and add 1 tablespoon white wine and drained capers. Cover the pan and turn stove on low simmer for a few minutes. Uncover and taste, and adjust seasoning like freshly cracked peppercorn. Don’t add salt as mussels are already salty. You may squeeze lemon or lime and sprinkle some scallions on top.

Serve with your favorite iced cold beer or make sure that you chill all your glasses and bar ware before pouring red/white wine, Cherry brandy, or White Oak rum (to name a few) into them. Ganbei!

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-Peaches, Masarap! Cheers!

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Quinoa Brown Rice and Salmon

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As it is the start of the Lenten Season, I cannot touch any chicken, beef, lamb, and/or turkey meat and only vegetables, fruits, and fish every Ash Wednesday starting the 1st of March, and on every Friday of Lent. Since Jesus sacrificed his flesh for us on Good Friday, we refrain from eating meat in his honor on Fridays. Milk, eggs, and cheese are allowed for consumption.

Remember the recipe on Salmon Scrap Cakes? It’s pretty much the same recipe, but without raw eggs.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of boiled salmon (or canned salmon)

1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

zest of 1 lime and its juice

3 pieces of red sweet peppers (chopped)

1 Tbsp. Lady’s Choice tuna spread

1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning

1 piece of Chipotle pepper (seeded and chopped)

2 pouches of 8.5 oz packet each of Seeds of Change Certified Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic

1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

4 stalks of scallions (sliced thinly)

bunch of Cilantro (chopped)

some grape tomatoes, long stemmed scallions and more cilantro for garnish

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Gently squeeze the sides of the rice pouches to break apart the rice and pour contents into a skillet and add 1/4 cup of water and heat 3 minutes. Stir rice until heated throughly. Set aside.

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2. In a medium sized bowl, start mixing well all of the following ingredients: salmon, bread crumbs, zest of 1 lime and its juice, chopped red peppers, tuna spread, chopped Chipotle pepper, mustard, scallions, and cilantro.

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3. Line up the biscuit cutter apart from each other in one line and scoop the rice inside the cutter, push down then scoop the salmon mixture.

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4. Once well compacted, push the top of the contents of the biscuit cutter with the end of a heavy knife, gently lifting the cutter and leaving the layered rice and salmon firmly on the  marble slab or plate and stick the stem of Cilantro leaves and a short piece of scallion on top.

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5. Continue plating by adding a grape tomato cut in half on top and adding a long stemmed scallion for more drama like in the picture below….

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As usual, I like to create things outside of the norm. Hope you enjoy this food presentation too. You can also add one hard-boiled egg, and transfer everything to a container and place inside your brown bag for lunch in the office.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Swedish Veggie Balls with Avocado, Sweet Pickled Ginger and Wasabi Sauce

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Just got my hands on some veggie and meat balls from IKEA last week, and I also gathered some other ingredients months ago, though I had no time to come up with some IKEA recipes. So what are we waiting for? I’ve waited long enough… This recipe is also great for vegetarians.

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INGREDIENTS:

half a bag of Grönsaksbullar (Swedish vegetable balls from IKEA)

few slices of pickled ginger (most Asian supermarkets have them)

avocados

S & B Wasabi (prepared Wasabi in tube)

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and bake the vegetarian balls for 2o minutes in the middle of the oven in a lightly sprayed jelly roll pan. When done baking, turn off the oven and leave the meatballs for 10 minutes before resting in the dining table and cool down a bit.

2. Get some slices of pickled ginger from the bottle and drain on a colander, set aside.

3. Wash and dry your avocados, cut them in half, discard the pit, now cut into small squares with a very sharp knife leaving the peel intact.

4. Assemble the veggie ball, then put the folded pickled ginger on top  then remove the avocado peel very gently and put on top of the ginger then spear it with the wooden skewer.

5. Apply a small amount of wasabi (it’s an intense spice, so you’ll really get a kick from this) on the side of the avocado until it flows down on the side of the ginger and veggie ball.

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Voila! An exquisite burst of flavor in a Swedish appetizer, easy to prepare and light on your budget. All you have to do is head over to your local IKEA, but if you go crazy with the different products they sell, that’s all on you.

As always, wow your guests and enjoy it too.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Swedish Meatballs in Spaghetti Nests

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Off from work, so we decided to head to Ikea in Hicksville and bought all the meatballs, beef, chicken, vegetables, lox, and everything else you could think of. I’ve suffered long enough with my flimsy and aged kitchen gadgets, so I bought new ones (I still forgot to get hanging hooks for my improvised hanging kitchen rack). Anyway I couldn’t wait to make these spaghetti nests so if you have a muffin pan, you’re good to go though I personally I just threw out my old one so I’m going to use some ramekins instead.

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These are the only 4 ingredients you’re going to need. Go ahead and make your own meatballs if you want, I just personally didn’t have time. You also can use turkey or beef meatballs from different stores, but I just love the ones from IKEA, the famous Swedish furniture store.

 

INGREDIENTS:

half of a 45 oz. bottle of Ragu spaghetti or marinara sauce

half of a 13.25 oz. box of Barilla whole grain thin spaghetti

half  of 35.3 oz. bag of chicken meatballs (mine are from IKEA, “Kycklingkötbular”)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup any kind of  shredded cheese

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Boil 10 cups of water and add spaghetti for 6 minutes, drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain well, mix in with Parmesan and shredded cheeses in a huge bowl. Mix well with the spaghetti.

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2. Boil the chicken meatballs in marinara sauce for 10 – 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Set aside.

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3. In a muffin pan or into each ramekin, spray with Pam then with your clean hand, put the spaghetti in, making indentations in the middle for the “nest.”

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4. Bake them at 400º F oven for 15 minutes until they really solidify into birds nests. Take them off the oven and put 2 meatballs in the middle and add only 1 tablespoon of the sauce on top of the nest.

5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at the same 400º F, then take them off the oven and let rest on the dining table.

6. Loosen the edges around the ramekins or holes of the muffin pan and scoop them off onto a plate.

7. To prevent them from breaking, put a small plate on top and turn it upside down, then repeat so that the servings are right side up. Sprinkle some scallions and cilantro, or if you prefer, just parsley.

8. You can put the leftover spaghetti into the pot with chicken meatballs and sauce for some regular spaghetti and meatballs you can serve yourself and your family.

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So here it is folks, two chicken “eggs” inside a spaghetti nest!

As always, Peaches, Masarap!

Sweet & Spicy Cracker Bark

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Got this recipe many years ago from a newspaper; the page was really torn and I couldn’t see who wrote it, but it’s sooo good! They go so fast.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice blend

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 package saltine crackers

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup crumbled crisp cooked bacon

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet or place an aluminium foil baking sheet atop an unrimmed baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

2. Arrange saltine crackers in a single layer covering the entire baking sheet like this:image

3. Mix all the ingredients in a pot excluding the sunflower seeds and crisp bacon.image

4. Combine over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir to combine. When it thickens, pour the mixture over the crackers, spreading until the crackers are evenly covered.image

5. Bake at 350ºF until golden brown and bubbly for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup crumbled crisp cooked bacon.

6. Allow to cool completely. Make a lot because they will be gone so fast.

-Peaches, Masarap!!!

Cheese-Stuffed Dates and Chestnuts

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For those who are thinking of an appetizer to prepare this Thanksgiving day, this one is a regular in our household. One holiday I couldn’t figure out an appetizer to make in a short amount of time, so I gathered the roasted chestnuts and placed them in the middle of the plate and added these cheese-stuffed dates all around it and voila! It’s really quick to make!

 

INGREDIENTS:

Pimiento Cheese bar

1 package of dates

1 box of roasted chestnuts

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Place generous amount of chestnuts in the middle of the serving tray you wanted to use.

2. Slice a couple of dates in the middle, remove the pit, then cut a thick slice of pimiento cheese and stuff inside the date.

3. Continue working on it until you’ve completed a full circle of dates all around the chestnuts. Cover with Saran wrap then place on the dining table until ready to serve.

Here’s how it looks with Saran wrap cover on it. And I used a variety of cheeses here, but no chestnuts. I personally like the addition of chestnuts in the middle. Don’t you think so? But quick! Get these ingredients for a stress-free appetizer for the big day.

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, many of us are scrambling to plan meals around the turkey bird, roast chicken, or filet mignon and some are figuring out which lunch or dinner they are attending. And oh by the way always bring a bottle of red or white for the hostess and a bunch of fresh flowers. And don’t bring a dish that might sabotage her repertoire, unless she personally asks you to bring a specific dish to complete her menu planning.

A very good and Happy Thanksgiving is around the corner! I will definitely let go of my century old Roast Turkey with 7-Grain Bread Stuffing and am opting for Gordon Ramsey’s Roast Turkey with Gravy. I want to give quick shout out to all my Jamaican friends who are waiting for my Jamaican Rum Cake/Pudding again.

– Peaches, Masarap!!!

 

Shrimp/Scallop Ceviche (Kinilaw)

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Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, Peru and other parts of Latin America. In the Philippines, it is called “kinilaw,” and it is basically fresh raw fish or seafoods cured by marinating in vinegar or citrus lime and lemon, added red onions, salt, pepper, and chili. Ceviche these days is a popular international dish prepared in many different ways, a summer kind of appetizer that you can serve on any holiday.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. fresh bay scallops

1 lb.shrimp, peeled, deveined

zest from 1 lime, juice from 2 limes

juice from 2 lemons

juice from 2 oranges, 1 orange, flesh cut in segments

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 of 1 huge mango, cubed

1/2 of 1 avocado cubed

1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1 piece of Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced (with gloved hands)

1 tbsp. each of olive oil, vinegar, and balsamic vinegar

few stalks of scallions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tomato or cucumber (optional)

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Boil 4 cups of water with salt on high heat. Once boiling, put the shrimps and immediately turn off the stove and let the shrimp stay in the boiled water for 3-4 minutes, drain and put in a huge container to cool down, set aside.

2. In a huge non-reactive glass bowl, add all the juices of lemon, orange, lime, and lime zest, orange segments, add chopped red onion, minced garlic and Chipotle pepper and salt, stir well.

3. Add the cooled shrimp and fresh bay scallops and refrigerate for 1 hour.

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4. Take out from the refrigerator, add a tablespoon each of vinegar, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, taste and add freshly ground black pepper if you want.

5. After an hour or two, add chopped mangos and chopped avocado and cilantro leaves, sprinkle chopped scallions. Serve on martini glasses.

This is one appetizer that you can serve with your favorite wine like the floral Pinot Gris, dry Reisling, Chardonnay, French Chablis or the 2009 Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc according to the Sommeliers. Learning everyday!

Peaches, Masarap!

Shrimp and Chicken Stuffed Baby Bella Cremini Mushrooms

 

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I took out some portobella mushrooms sitting in our refrigerator from Trader Joe’s, then I remembered Ina Garten’s Stuffed Mushrooms but had no sausage. No problem! I had left-over shrimp and chicken so I got the idea of experimenting on appetizers again. I promised myself that I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t tasty. Here’s the rest of the story…

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INGREDIENTS:

a tray of Baby Bella Cremini mushrooms, 9-12 pieces

5 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup cooked chicken and boiled shrimp (chopped finely)

Marsala or sherry or any red wine

2/3 cup flavored bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded cheese

2 Tbsp. grated  Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper

bell peppers, yellow and green, chopped finely

PROCEDURE:

1. Remove stems from the mushrooms, chop them finely. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, add the chopped mushroom stems, cook for another 3 minutes.

3. Add 2/3 cup of bread crumbs, stirring to combine then add the chopped bell peppers.

4. Add the shredded cheese to make it creamy, being careful to lower the heat and stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the skillet.

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5. Forgot to thaw my Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce, so I grab a piece of Thai red chilli pepper, seed and slice very thinly lengthwise then cut very finely crosswise and added to the skillet, stir well.

6. Fill each mushroom generously with the mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish to hold the stuffed mushrooms snugly. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until the stuffing is browned and crusty. Serve while piping hot but handle very gently as they’re quite fragile.

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Another appetizer to make this coming holiday! Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten from Peaches, Masarap!!!

Roast Beets with Veggie Balls on Flatbread

 

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Ikea, here you are again and again! And vegetarians! You haven’t been forgotten…what with the holidays coming after Halloween. I don’t have any naan, but I’ve got flatbreads from Trader Joe’s. Hang on and we will bake the bloody beets for 1 hour first. They’re scrumptious!!!

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Ingredients are few in number, but the process is a bit tedious. This can be mitigated if you multitask your oven by baking the veggie balls and the beets together! At 350 degrees F put them both together then take the veggie balls after 20 minutes and let the beets (pre-washed and brushed, covered with sea salt, wrapped with aluminum foil), stay in the oven for full one hour. Great!

 

INGREDIENTS:

10 pieces Gronsaksbullar Vegetable Balls (veggie balls)

2-4 beets, washed and brushed

coarse sea salt

1 tbsp. sherry vinegar (an alternative is red wine vinegar)

Some flatbreads or naan

1 tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin

3 oz Greek yoghurt or sour cream for serving

2 tbsp. chives or scallions or cilantro, finely chopped

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Put the beets in the oven, cover with sea salt and wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for an hour until tender all the way through.

3. Put the veggie balls in the oven also, bake for 20-25 minutes only. Take out the veggie balls and leave the beets for another 40 minutes.

4. Peel the beets once they cool down, chop them into small pieces.

5. Dress with sherry vinegar and olive oil.

6. Put some of the beet relish, a baked veggie ball or one or two spoons of yoghurt (I piped the yoghurt out of a cake decorating bag with a medium sized ring). Sprinkle finely chopped chives, scallions, or cilantro leaves.

7. Tightly roll the flatbread like a wrap, then wrap the bottom with wax paper. It might get very messy when you bite them without the wax paper, but it tastes so good! I promise you.

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Another Sarap snack from Peaches, enjoy!!!