_This is a super-fast recipe to prepare, and Cat just loved it.  Pineapples and chopped ginger really add zing to this dish.

- 500g shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt to taste
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tsp cooking oil

Wash and drain shrimps, then place with the pineapple chunks in a shallow dish.  Season with spices, but do not salt yet. 

Saute the ginger in cooking oil until fragrant, at medium high heat.  Add the garlic and continue to saute until garlic turns light brown.

Add butter, let it melt, raise the heat to high and add the shrimps and pineapples.  Stir fry at high heat until shrimps turn pink.  Add salt, stir, then remove from fire.

Serves 3-4 people.


Made this crispy fish delight for Cat a few nights before we left for Davao, and things have been so hectic here this is the first opportunity I've had to post about it.  We used smoked salmon for the croquettes, though I'm sure this will go just as well with canned salmon (in brine).  The honey-mustard sauce was accented with capers for extra zing.

- 1 can salmon in brine
- 1 cup bread crumbs (loaf bread or  pan de sal)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 cup panko
- 1 egg, beaten
- oil for frying

For sauce:
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pickled capers
- dash black pepper and salt

Combine drained salmon, bread crumbs, egg and seasonings in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly and form into balls or fingers; each should consist of about 2tbsp of the mix.  Roll in panko breadcrumbs until wholly coated.

If the mix is too soft, add bread crumbs until the mix is solid enough to hold shape well.

Deep fry in very hot oil until golden brown.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Drizzle over the croquettes, or use as a dip.

_I've always been a coffee nut, and I particularly like locally-grown Arabica.  So when I was offered a sample of Manila's Best Coffee, brewed from Arabica beans grown in Benguet, I was all over it at once!  There's definitely something special about the aroma of coffee grown in the Philippines' highlands, and proprietress Odette Wallace had a good story to tell too.

Odette has been buying her coffee directly from the farmers in Benguet, which serves two good purposes.  First, it means we're getting coffee that's been selected first-hand by the seller, and it's all from a single source, so the beans have that signature flavor and aroma of a particular geographical location.  Second, it's good for the impoverished farmers of the Cordillera, as they're selling not to a middleman who'll give them lower prices, but direct to the retailer.  The third benefit, says Odette, is that she gets to roast each batch herself, applying her personal tastes as needed to bring out the best in the beans.  The coffee it makes is indeed very fragrant; this is one of the coffees I can take without sugar at all.  It was good by itself, but it was my wife who made it even better.

Cat's just arrived from Davao, bringing with her some of my favorite desserts -- namely, Linda's signature durian pastillas.  As I've a perennial hankering for Blugre Cafe's durian cappuccino, Cat told me to try dissolving some of the pastillas in our coffee in lieu of cream and sugar.  Hallelujah!  The aroma of the pure Arabica coffee blended beautifully with the pungence of durian, and with five pastillas per mug, I got a perfect blend of creaminess and sweetness.  I'm now thinking of doing the same again, but this time with iced coffee and maybe even more pastillas, maybe some vanilla ice cream as well, and whizzing it all to frothiness in a blender. 

Benguet coffee, Davao durian -- never have the north and south of the Philippines come together so well!

Odette Wallace can be reached at 0916.382.1402.  Linda's Durian Special Candies is available at No. 26 San Antonio Village, Matina, Davao City or at her new branch at Quirino Avenue, Davao City.  Her contact number is (082) 298-0404

1 slab baby back ribs/other roasting cut (about 600+ g)"Sometimes, when you're a man, you get this urge to wear stretchy pants." -- Jack Black, Nacho Libre.

And I say, sometimes, when you're a man, you get this urge for Meat.  Specifically, roasted meat.  This urge is always swimming just at the edge of my consciousness, ready to surface like a Great White when I smell a barbecue on a charcoal grill, or, as happened earlier, I saw a nice cut of meat.  When I saw these ribs earlier today, I knew just what I wanted to do with them.  And yes, a diet of this will eventually necessitate stretchy pants. 

The photo above is of the last uneaten third of the roast.  The rest of it is ... well, it's gone.  When Dad and I smelled it coming out of the oven, we just had to attack it immediately ....

  • 1 slab baby back ribs/other roasting cut (about 600+ g)_
  • 1+ tsp rock salt*
  • 1 tsp black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning herbs
  • 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Wash and pat dry the meat.  (There are some barbecue gurus who say don't wash meat.  I say, wait til you see the overfed flies in a typical supermarket, even the good ones, and you'l change your mind.) 

Combine all the rub ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, and rub onto the meat.  Make sure to massage it in well.  Drizzle the meat with olive oil; this will help keep it from going dry, and make the rub crust up nicely.

Bake for 1 hour at 300 F, and for a final 15 minutes at 450 F to brown. 

*This is a rub and so is the only flavoring for the roast.  You want it a bit salty, as it'll be the outside of the roast carrying the flavor.

Seems the panko was really effective in keeping the juices in.  This was good without garlic, which I avoided because I was afraid garlic in the crust would burn and go bitter.  Next time, and when I have a big enough stock of olive oil, I'll make some garlic oil for cooking.  That way I can get the garlic flavor without fear of burning it.


Korma is one of our favorite curry types, and we make it whenever we can get the ingredients together and the time to cook it.  This North Indian curry gets its richness from its unique sauce, based on ground nuts – usually cashew or almond – and yogurt.  As I had a big jar of almonds in the pantry and found some nice lamb shank in Makati Supermarket, I made this dish for Cat.  

INGREDIENTS (for 3-4 persons)
½ kg lamb shank or neck or shoulder
1 cup yogurt
1 cup toasted almond or cashew nuts, ground fine
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped ginger
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 pcs cardamom pods (or ½ tsp cardamom powder)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp clove powder
1-2 bay leaves
salt to taste 
about 1 liter water
2 tbsp cooking oil or ghee

Cut lamb into serving pieces.  Prepare onion, garlic and ginger, and grind the spices fine.  Combine the ground spices in a bowl.

In a deep pot or pressure cooker (I prefer the latter as it shortens my cooking time), saute the onions til soft and light brown, then add the garlic and ginger; saute these until garlic is also light brown, turn the heat to medium-low, and add the ground spices and bay leaves.  Fry until the spices start to smoke, stirring constantly.  Add in the ground nuts. The paste thus formed will form the base for the sauce.

Add the lamb and stir, making sure to coat the lamb pieces thoroughly in the sauce base.  Add the water, at least enough to cover the lamb, more if you’re going to cook this using the slow-boil method.  

Cooking time for the slow method is about 2-3 hours; let the pot come to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat to let the contents simmer til the lamb is tender.  If using a pressure cooker, you can get lamb or mutton falling off the bone in about 45 minutes.  

When lamb is tender, turn off the heat and remove the pot cover.  If using a pressure cooker, let the pressure out first before doing this!  Turn up the heat again, let the pot come to a boil, and turn off the heat as soon as it does so.  Add in the yogurt, and stir to blend thoroughly. 
This is traditionally an all-meat curry, but potatoes and carrots may be added in cooking if desired.  

Cathy's loved Indian food ever since I introduced her to it six years ago, and after a stint in Davao she asked me to make her one of her faves, Chicken Tikka.  Being an Indian food and spice addict myself, I of course complied! 

Chicken Tikka is a chicken barbecue marinated in yogurt and spices, a signature dish of North Indian cuisine and now popular the world over.  This is my home version of this highly addictive dish.

Most of the spices you'll need to make Chicken Tikka are now easily available at most large supermarkets such as Shopwise or SM or Robinson's. When Cat and I have time, though, we drive to Little India in Paco and buy at Uncle Ed's or Assad's.

1 pack chicken thigh fillets
1 cup yogurt
3 cardamom pods
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic paste (fresh garlic pounded or processed into paste)
1 tsp ginger paste (fresh ginger pounded or processed into paste)
1 tbsp brown sugar
cayenne pepper*, cloves, cinnamon and salt to taste
calamansi or lemon for serving

*you may also use hot sauce

Shell the cardamom pods and grind fine with all the other spices.  Combine with the yogurt.  Marinade the chicken in this mixture for at least an hour.

Grill the chicken until cooked through.  I usually do this in my turbo broiler (charcoal though is so much tastier!).  Give the chicken about 30-40 mins under about 325 F, then a final 10 mins under 450 F, or until you get a nice crisp crust of marinade on the chicken.  For vegetable I also like to roast some peeled white onions and whole tomatoes with the chicken -- they absorb the aromas, and they taste so good mooshed into your rice!

Serve with a squeeze of calamansi or lemon.

    Found Food

    Hello all!  Welcome to Good Living BF's newest feature, FOUND FOOD -- a blog about playing with your food and getting to eat it too! 

    This blog is dedicated to everyone who's had to make dinner without any idea what to have, or is just bored with the same old dishes week in and week out. 

    We're inviting you, the BF Homes community, to step up and share recipes (and pictures) by emailing us at goodlivingbf (at) gmail (dot) com.  You're also welcome to share tips on where to find rare or specially good ingredients, cooking supplies, and other cooking-related-stuff, specially if they're found here in BF Homes!


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