Tuesday, February 24, 2009

broccoli and chickpeas

Pasta has always held a special place in my heart. As a youngster experimenting in my parents’ kitchen, I wanted to try something exotic. Something my parents didn’t cook. Definitely not rice. Italian to me was exotic. However, what could a young cook do when instead of basil or parsley there was only fresh coriander in the fridge? And, although I did want to eat something different, it was (and still is) very difficult for me to ingest anything that wasn’t spicy. Well, one doesn’t question and just cooks. I made many a too-spicy marinara sauce in my younger years consisting of chilies, coriander, and tomatoes (home grown in the summertime). I had the opportunity to live in the Perugia, in the Umbria region of Italy, for a summer in 1996. The food was unlike any “Italian” food I had up to that point. Everything was simple and fresh. And I never once wished I were eating meat. Today I wanted to make a quick meal utilizing pasta and veggies. The result – broccoli and chickpeas with garlic and dried chilies. Although a bit of a challenge to eat (chickpeas roll around and don’t like to be fork-stabbed), it was all worth it in the end.

Friday, February 20, 2009

not halo halo, but dessert.

halo halo

I’ve always wanted to do something that marries my love of food (eating it, cooking it, reading about it, and thinking about it) – however; nothing has ever materialized until now. Anthony Bourdain aired an episode on The Philippines on 2/16/09! Much excitement and some criticism on this episode. Even Tony himself notes that the archipelago involves over 7000 islands and that he only visited two. I was so moved by this episode that I posted a topic entitled “what about desserts?” on the discussion board of “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain”. A bit hasty, with some typos (corrected in the cut-and-paste below):
“what about desserts?” I too am happy that tony went to the philippines - especially the fact that he explored some of the cultural identity politics. A bit disappointed that he focused so much on pork - I know that I am one of the rare vegetarian pinois out there. Also, I find it IMPOSSIBLE that he was in the philippines and did have or report on one dessert! At the very least, he should have discussed the intriguing halo halo - most non-filipinos have never had such a treat and all love it!
So, it would only be natural to begin this blog with a few desserts straight from the Philippines. Enjoy.