Vegetable Tajine with Olives

Tajine is a delicious and healthy dish originating from North Africa’s cooking folklore. It is a common dish on the table of families across Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Its name comes from a special clay pot in which it is traditionally cooked. Your family will enjoy this vegetarian version!

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour
* 2 carrots
* 1 eggplabt
* 1 onion
* 3 bell peppers (1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red)
* 2 zucchinis
* 2 tomatoes
* 5cl olive oil
* 1 tsp sugar
* 3 pinches of saffron pistils
* 20 olives (pits removed)
– Cut all vegetables in bite size pieces.
– Cook the onion in the olive oil. Then add the peppers and carrots. Let it cook 10 minutes on an average fire.
– Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well. Cover the pot.
– Let it cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.
– When the vegetables are very soft, puree like, its ready!
This dish can be served warm or cold and is great as with our Honey Glazed Chicken recipe!
As a variation you can add meat in the Tajine and let it slow cook for great flavor, or change it up with different vegetables.

Honey Glazed Chicken

Honey Glazed Chicken is a great dish to serve for family dinner enjoyed by all small and big. Its also very easy to make and the preparation time is short.
This dish is perfect with a side of garlic rice and vegies.
Serves 4 people.

* 4 medium sized chicken ¼ (skin on)
* 2 tbp olive oil
* 1 tbp honey
* 2 tbp dijon mustard
* 2 tsp curry paste or 1 tbp lemon juice
– Preheat oven at 350F.
– Place 4 Chicken quarters with the skin on the bottom in a oven-dish.
– Stir all the glazing ingredients in a bowl and spoon about half of the mixture over the chicken.
– Then cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes (35min if the chicken is straight out of fridge).
– After 20 minutes, remove the foil and flip the chicken over. Spoon the rest of the glaze over the chicken.
– Bake for another 20-30 min until chicken turns a rich brown.

Leche Flan

Leche Flan, one of the most popular local desserts since the time of our grandmother’s grandmother (and possibly even longer than that) is said to have originated in Europe. Also called crème caramel or caramel custard, this classic dessert is made of soft custard layered with rich caramel on top. This is the main difference of the flan with crème brulee, which has hard caramel on top. Flan & Creme Caramel The terms flan and crème caramel are French words, but they are used with different meanings in other regions. In North America and Spanish-speaking nations, flan refers to crème caramel. There are regions who consider flan as a custard tart, usually with fruit toppings. The name crème de custard and crème caramel is used in other European and Commonwealth countries. Leche flan is topped with caramelized sugar, which gives the rich sweetness to the mild-flavored custard. In other countries, packaged versions of crème caramel can be bought, which makes cooking easier. Here in the Philippines, we prefer to cook our leche flan from scratch. The flan or custard is made of egg yolks and milk. Those in the provinces prefer to use fresh carabao’s milk instead of the canned ones. Carabao’s milk is richer and gives the flan better texture. It certainly makes a lot of difference when it comes to taste. Then we caramelize the sugar until it turns into a nice medium brown. The mixture is poured into thin, aluminum pans, which give the leche flan its perfect oval shape. Our lolas prefer to use dayap gratings to give the flan that little bit of bitterness that balances the sweetness of the dessert. When my lola used to cook leche flan for Christmas and fiestas, I would wait excitedly for the moment when she would turn the aluminum pans upside down over the plates, during which the flan would slowly land down on the flat surface, exposing the rich, yummy caramel on top oozing down the side of the custard. Who could resist digging in?


The colorful Sapin-Sapin can be found in almost of all dining or buffet tables during fiestas in the provinces. This famous native dessert originated from Abra, which is located at the northern part of the country. Sapin-Sapin can be easily found in restaurants and pastry shops, or even among the vendors who sell native merienda in the streets. The dish usually has three layers, with three different colors – purple, yellow and white. Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups of galapong (malagkit dough)
  • ½ cup of rice galapong
  • 3 cups of ubi, mashed and cooked
  • 2 ½ cups of white sugar
  • 4 cups of coconut cream
  • 2 big cans of condensed milk
  • Latik (fried grated coconut)
  • Violet and egg-yellow food coloring
How to Cook:
  1. In one big pan, put all ingredients together except for the ubi and food coloring.
  2. Divide the mixture into three parts. On the first part, add the mashed ubi and a dash of the violet food color. Mix well. On the second part, add the yellow food coloring and mix this as well. Leave the third part as it is because it is supposed to be white.
  3. Line a greased baking pan with banana leaves. Put grease on the leaves as well. Pour in the violet mixture and spread it evenly on the pan. Steam this for 30 minutes or more. Wait until the mixture becomes firm.
  4. Pour the yellow mixture on top of the violet one then cover the pan. Steam for another 30 minutes.
  5. Pour the white mixture then steam for another half minute.
  6. Put hot latik on top of the sapin-sapin. Slice into small square pieces then serve.

Kwek Kwek

One of the most popular street foods in the Philippines, Kwek kwek (also called tokneneng) is a staple item in those ubiquitous pushcarts roaming the streets of Manila. Made of quail eggs deep-fried in flour, Kwek kwek is a cheap and filling snack especially for those in a hurry. However, quail eggs are said to contain lots of cholesterol, so be careful when snacking on kwek kwek. Eat in moderation especially if you already have a cholesterol problem.


  • 1 dozen quail eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Cooking oil
  • Few drops of orange food coloring
  • Salt and pepper

How to Cook:

  1. Coat the eggs with ¼ cup of flour by placing them in a sealed plastic bag. Shake the bag until the eggs are evenly coated.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients, except for the cooking oil. Stir the mixture using a fork until the batter is smooth.
  3. Put the coated eggs in the batter. Heat cooking oil in a deep pan. Spoon out the quail eggs from the batter and fry them in oil. Wait until the orange coating turns crispy. This will take around a minute or so.
  4. Serve hot with vinegar with siling labuyo.


No simbang gabi would be complete without the tempting smells of bibingka and puto bungbong cooking over fiery coals. Both are staples of the dawn mass experience. But these two dishes, especially the bibingka, can be made available throughout the year. Bibingka has long been a favorite merienda or dessert since our childhood days, back when our lola used to make it. The tradition of eating bibingka has been passed on generation after generation.

The bibingka is said to be a variation of the traditional Goan dessert known as bebinca. It is a type of pudding made of plain flour, sugar, coconut milk and clarified butter. Our local version is made of rice flour and served with margarine or butter on top, with generous sprinkling of grated coconut.

There are two general types of bibingka: the Bibingka Galapong, which is made with rice flour and Cassava Bibingka, which made of cassava.

To make your own very special bibingka with a slight twist, check out this recipe for Baked Bibingka Supreme:


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/3 cups of fresh milk
  • 1 ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of grated cheese
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 pieces of salted eggs, sliced

How to Cook:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease the bottom of a 2 to 8-inch layer baking pan and line it with wax paper of banana leaves.
  3. On a bowl, sift baking powder, salt and flour together then set aside.
  4. On another bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly then add 1 cup of sugar in gradual amounts. Beat the mixture well after adding portions of sugar.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the beaten eggs, alternating it with the fresh milk. Beat and blend well.
  6. Pour this mixture into the lined pan. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven. Smear butter on top of the bibingka then sprinkle with grated cheese and the remaining sugar.
  8. Put salted egg slices on top and bake for another 15 minutes.

Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken teriyaki is one of the most frequently ordered dishes in Japanese restaurants, especially those who are not quite adventurous enough to order raw dishes such as sushi. The word teriyaki is a combination of two Japanese terms – teri, which means luster and yaki which means to grill or broil. The secret to the succulence of the dish is the teriyaki sauce. It can be used on almost any type of meat, be it pork, chicken, steak or even fish.


  • 230 grams of chicken breast
  • ¼ part of a large carrot
  • ¼ part of a medium bunch of broccoli
  • 85 grams of flour
  • 90 ml of mirin
  • 60 ml of sake
  • 60 ml of soy sauce
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • Cooking oil

How to Cook:

  1. Cut the vegetables accordingly.
  2. 2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and white pepper, then coat each piece with some flour. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the teriyaki sauce by mixing 3 oz of mirin with 2 oz of soy sauce. You can also use a 6 to 4 ratio.
  4. Boil the vegetables in a pot of water. Remove the broccoli first from the pan because it cooks quickly.  Wait until the carrots done then remove from the water.
  5. Heat cooking oil in a skillet and fry the chicken on medium heat. Flip the chicken to the other side after 4-5 minutes of frying. Cook for another two minutes. Once the chicken pieces are fully cooked, pour in 2 oz of sake into the skillet. This will flambé the chicken.
  6. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and cook until it becomes thick.
  7. Cut the chicken breasts in serving pieces and place on the plate. Put the carrots and broccoli over it. Pour the cooked teriyaki sauce over the chicken and serve.

Ziploc Bags: Making Marinating a Lot Easier

Marinating chicken seems easy enough. You just cut the whole chicken into small pieces, soak them in a bowl full of seasonings and let chill in the fridge overnight. But what if you have to marinate the whole chicken without actually cutting it into pieces? The process can be quite tricky, since you have to make sure that every crevice of the chicken will be covered with flavoring. You will end up using a big, box container and use a lot of extra seasoning to soak the whole bird. Imagine the waste of sauce and fridge space just to marinate a whole chicken.

Ziploc bags have become heaven-sent to a lot of savvy cooks when it comes to marinating large pieces of meat. Ziploc is a brand of resealable storage bags that was first developed by Dow Chemical Company. Currently produced by Pepsi Co., these plastic bags are expandible and totally leak-proof once they are sealed. The good thing is that Ziploc bags are reusable. Just wash thoroughly with soap and warm water and they can be stored easily for future use.

Marinating whole chicken is easy using Ziploc bags. One bag has enough room for one chicken, and its spill-proof quality will make sure that your seasonings will not leak through. Since these bags can be stacked one of top of the other, you can save a whole of space in your fridge. You do not need to open the bag to turn the meat over and distribute the seasonings; you just turn the bag itself and you’re done. Because of the coverage that the meat will get inside the Ziploc bag, it will actually take you less time than usual marinating the whole chicken.

Other practical uses of Ziploc bags:

  • You can remove candle wax or chewing gum from cloth surfaces with the help of Ziploc bags. Fill the bag with ice cubes then rub it over the gum or wax. When the substance hardens, you can pry it off easily.
  • You can use it as a instant funnel. Just cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pour liquid through it.

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca, which originated from Naples, is one of those pasta dishes with red sauce. But unlike some spaghetti types, Puttanesca is a sauce that is not dependent on seasonal ingredients. The dish’s interesting name was said to have originated from the phrase, Pasta alla Puttanesca, which means “pasta the way a whore would make it.”


– 1 pound of spaghetti noodles
– 2 tablespoons of light olive oil
– 8 pieces of anchovy fillets
– 3 garlic cloves, crushed
– ½ cup of crushed black olives
– 1-2 cans of crushed tomatoes (8 oz.)
– 1 teaspoon of oregano
– ¼ cups of capers
– Chopped parsley
– red pepper flakes
– salt

How to Cook:

1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan. Turn the stove to medium-heat and sauté the anchovies and garlic. Make sure not to overcook.

2. Add the tomatoes, salt and oregano. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for around 20 minutes.

3. While waiting for the mixture to simmer, cook the spaghetti noodles until al dente.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients into the sauce and cook mixture for two minutes. Put the noodles in then turn off the stove.

5. Put some extra virgin olive oil then serve.

Tokwat Baboy

Tokwat Baboy is actually a side dish for lugaw and pancit palabok but Filipinos usually eat the dish as a main viand or pulutan. Tokwa or tofu is considered as a wonder food. The Chinese regularly eat tofu, which is low in fat and calories.


– 400 grams of pork face or pork rump
– 1 big cake of tokwa
– 1 whole onion
– 1 whole garlic
– Several stalks of leeks
– 6-7 peppercorns
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 cups of cooking oil
– Salt

For the sauce

– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon of garlic, finely minced
– 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons of soy paste
– 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
– ¼ cup of cane vinegar
– ½ cup of meat broth
– 3-4 hot chili peppers
– 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar

How to Cook:

1. Wash the tokwa and place in a bowl filled with water. Cool in the fridge for several hours.

2. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce in a glass jar with a screw cap. Cover and shake the jar lightly until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

3. Wash the pork and place in a pan or casserole. Cover with water and the whole onion, whole garlic, leeks, bay leaf and peppercorns. Season with salt if necessary. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove the scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat of the stove and cover the casserole. Let simmer for an hour. Afterwards, transfer the meat to a bowl and let it cool completely. You can chill this in the fridge for a few hours after it has cooled down. Then cut the meat into ½” sized-cubes.

4. Strain the broth from the casserole and set aside ½ cup. Freeze the remaining broth for future use.

5. Drain the tokwa and cut it into ½” sized-cubes. Deep fry in heated cooking oil until they turn golden brown. Drain off the oil using paper towels and let cool.

6. Mix the pork and tokwa cubes together in a large bowl. Put some in a bowl for individual serving and pour a few tablespoons of the sauce over it.

Tokwa't Baboy