Sunday, May 30, 2010


The recent pop culture phenomenon that is Jejemon is currently being milked by the media like it's an Australian cow on steroids. What?! You ain't heard of them? Here's a YouTube clip (by Jeffre Yumol)  explaining the what's and hows' of being Jejemon.

The subculture of the unwanted, unpopularly-styled youth is not new to us. Each generation has a name for these outsiders-- the Y2K EMOs, the Jolina Magdangal- lovin'  Jologs of the 90s, D' 80s Punks, ang mga Baduy back in the 70s and the Bakya crowd of the 60s and 50s. 

And as much as we love to hate them, it is undeniable that they bookmark certain phases of our lives, defining moments in our youth that makes us cringe, blush and sporadically erupt in giggly fits of embarrassment. 

I find that when it comes to food there, too, are certain recipes that are branded as too hoi polloi. One of these outsiders to the world of haute cuisine is the Pinoy spaghetti with its stark red sweet sauce,
plump noodles,  cheap cheddar and hotdog slices.

I call it the Jologhetti.

The name is a term of endearment, lest you think I am demeaning the dish. It always reminds me of my childhood birthday celebrations. Money was always tight on my birthdays because most of it had been spent on enrolling me. but no mater how hard up we were, the Jologhetti always appeared on the table during my birthday. It was the meal that would be served to celebrate me, and validated my existence. Thus, my affinity for this popular pasta dish.

Forgive the melodrama as I share my Jologhetti recipe with you.


500 g. spaghetti pasta
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 pcs. onion, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500 g. ground beef
500 g. hotdog, sliced into 1/2 inch thick diagonal pieces
1 kg. Tomato sauce*
1/3 cup water
225 g. cheddar cheese, grated  (I use the brand Quez-O)
ground black pepper to taste
* if  Pinoy style spaghetti sauce is not available, add 2 tbsp brown sugar

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions and drain.
As you are cooking the pasta, saute the garlic and onions.

Add the beef and brown it with the help of the soy sauce. When the meat has darkened, add the hotdog slices and the tomato sauce (and brown sugar, if needed).
Add the ground black pepper and more soy sauce (instead of salt) to taste. Let the dish simmer.When the sauce is thick enough for your liking, turn off the heat.

Place the pasta noodles on the serving dish and mix in half of the sauce, making sure the sauce coats the noodles. Arange the pasta and pour the remainign sauce on top. Add the grated cheese and serve.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kiss The Cook's New location and new dessert- Fragola

Finally had time to have a nice dinner with A. and our our friends at the new space of Kiss The Cook Gourmet, which is just one building away from its old location.

While the new place has a bigger floor area, it retained the coziness of the old space. The mismatched wooden chairs, tables and lighting fixtures gave the place a sense of randomness you rarely find in other restaurants.  But what I loved most with the new space was the zebra print accent walls in the ladies' washroom. It just brings out my inner Gloria Gaynor :-)

Dinner was good. For starters we had a chorizo platter. Actually, two.  Which was a good call since the serving was a little sparse for our expectations.

The boys all got pasta... the best one had the pan-fried cream dory topping.

And I had falafel burger which had a perfectly seasoned tzatziki served on the side.

To end the night, we shared a Fragola, made of strawberry gelato wrapped in crushed nuts and served with maraschino cherries and Tequila Rose. The creamy liqueur  warmly caresses the palate, a pleasant contrast to the cold tingle brought on by the sweet gelato.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vigan Longganisa Pizza and Pasta ai Frutti de Mare

Last night was spent drinking blue cocktails to celebrate the birthday of a friend who passed away last year. There was no singing of "Seasons of Love" nor any form of group prayer. Those who came gathered to simply enjoy each other's company, rejoicing the fact that we're still here, alive and wondering which road to hell the country is going to take in the next few weeks.

As we enjoyed our pizza and pasta, talk turned to the elections and the possibility of a failure of elections. The first time  the phrase "failure of elections" was said out loud, someone discreetly knocked on wood three times to ward off the bad vibe that came with the phrase. Like the possibility of death, everyone seemed to be thinking about it, talked about it in whispers and hoped to high heavens that it wouldn't happen soon. Nobody had the courage to go on a full discourse on the matter. As if silence would make the possibility go away.

I think this very Pinoy habit of turning a blind eye is one reason why we have earned a reputation as pushovers. We like to keep quiet until our patience runs thin and we are on the verge of a major meltdown. I do hope that tomorrow, those can vote will exercise their right to be heard.

I do hope talk of the elections and our country's future hasn't ruined your appetite yet because I'm sharing my recipes for the pizza and pasta dish we had last night.

Vigan Longganisa Pizza
2 small Frozen Pizza crusts
250 gms or 4 packs of Kesong Puti (Cheese from Carabao's Milk), sliced
6 pieces Vigan Longganisa
4-6 pieces of medium-sized native tomatoes, sliced1 onion, sliced into rings, soaked in orange juice for 15 minutes


Thaw the frozen pizza crust.
Slice the tomatoes and place on top of the crust, covering as much crust as possible.
Crumble the Kesong Puti and place on top of the tomatoes.
Remove the onion rings from the orange juice, pat dry and place on top of the Kesong Puti.
Remove the ground Vigan longganisa meat from its casing and crumble on the pizza surface.

Pre-heat your oven toaster for 10 minutes at 250degrees. Bake the Pizza for 15 minutes,  the crust should be toasted and the longganisa should turn a darker shade.
Slice and serve.

Pasta ai Frutti de Mare (Pasta with the fruits of the sea)

- 500 grams spaghetti (or linguini)
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (approx 480 grams)
-  200 grams sun dried tomatoes
- 2 heads of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 1 bottle tuyo fillet in olive oil, drained and shredded
- 1 kilo tahong (mussels), shucked
- 200 grams scallops, shucked

- 1 kilo halaan (clams), shucked (set aside a few unshucked shells)
- 200 grams squid, cleaned and cut into rings
- 200 grams shrimps, shelled
- 1 cup olive oil- 50 grams butter
- 100 grams olives, sliced
- a sprig or two of fresh basil, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook the pasta as directed. Drain and set aside.

In high heat, sautee the seafoods, one at a time, in succession, using butter, 1/ 4 cup olive oil, garlic and onion.

My order of things are as follows: Shrimps, squid, scallops, tahong, halaan.  As the sauteeing progresses, the sauce in the pan gets more watery. Do not add salt. Let the fruits of the sea cook in their own juices and cook them only until they change color. Be careful not to overcook.

Add the remaining olive oil and canned tomatoes. Bring to a slow boil then lower the fire and add the sun dried tomatoes. When the sauce has thickened, about 10-15 minutes later, sadd the olives and the shredded bottled tuyo (do not include the oil and other spices from the bottle). You want to use the tuyo as the main source of salt. Shredding it adds a different texture to the sauce. I would not recommend anchovies as a replacement though, as it gives a more malansa (fishy) taste to the dish.  Add pepper and more salt, if so desired.  Add the basil and the seafoods last. 

Take the pan off the fire and ladle half of the sauce into a bowl. Bring back the pan to the fire and add in your pasta. Mix gently. Add in more sauce, as needed. Put the pasta mixture in a serving dish and top off with the remaining sauce. Generously sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.