Totally late and I apologize for not posting in a long time! It’s hard to find time now that everyone is so busy!
Thank you to my wonderful reader Joyce Ciotti for asking for this recipe! I had it typed up and almost ready to post so, here you go!! I hope you’ll like it!
Perfect as a side for any Indian inspired meal, used in a sandwich wrap, or even eaten plain, these naan breads are a breeze to make!
I had purchased my first naan bread frozen from Trader Joe’s. It was smeared in garlic butter and only required heating it up or toasting it before serving. It was so good!
I had read somewhere that they sometimes stuff these with Laughing Cow cheeses so since I had it in the refrigerator, I ate some with cheese and some plain. Both were so good I couldn’t stop eating it!
I love making breads and baking in general so I thought it was time I make my own naan. I found several recipes and tried a couple of it.
Here is a recipe that uses the Thermomix to make the naan with hardly any effort on your part. Don’t worry, there is instruction on how to make it without the Thermomix right below!
Hope you’ll enjoy it!
Look at the heart shaped char on the bread!
For the naan:
450 grams unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons sugar
30 grams Olive oil or Canola oil
190 grams warm water
90 grams Greek yogurt
Ghee or garlic butter to brush on bread
Place all ingredients for the naan bread into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 6 seconds on speed 5.
Set to Knead for 2 1/2 minutes.
Leave dough in the bowl, with the measuring cup in place, at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Roll dough into sausage shape and divide into 6 even portions. You can use the thermomix’s scale function to weigh the dough and divide it into 6, to get evenly sized dough balls. Roll each portion into a thin, oval shape.
Place dough onto a hot, ungreased grill or fry pan. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side then flip to cook the other side.
Brush with ghee or garlic flavored butter. Serve plain or stuff with cheese.
* To make without the Thermomix:
Place all ingredients for the naan bread in a large mixing bowl and mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until it comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic warp and let rest at least an hour, or until doubled in size. Continue with procedure #4 to #6.
This is one of the dishes I prepared for our Noche Buena last night and a few readers have asked me how to make it, so I tried finishing it up today, in case you want to make it for New Year’s Eve. 😊
It is a smaller version of a roasted whole pig we used to have when I was little. Whenever there is a big celebration, like town fiesta or Christmas, our aunts would have a lot of food on the table, complete with a roasted whole pig. It was roasted all day on a makeshift pit big enough to accommodate it. When done, we would all fight over the crispy, crackly skin as that was the best part!
This size is much more manageable and practical, as a whole pig won’t fit in a standard US home oven. Not to mention I’m not sure where I could get a whole pig, not that I want to know. 😱
Unfortunately, I was busy preparing several dishes and cakes at the same time I was making this that I wasn’t able to take step by step photos.
This pork roll is easy to prepare but you’ll just need time and a couple of special ingredients.
First, is a big slab of pork belly with skin on. I got mine from a Filipino grocery store, Seafood City in Irvine, California. I got lucky since they just received a delivery when I shopped there. It was around 18 pounds, frozen solid. I left it in the refrigerator for a few days to defrost completely. I bought it Saturday night and prepared it Thursday.
Next, you’ll need some lemon grass. I grow several herbs in the backyard including lemon grass, but if you don’t, try any Asian grocery store or farmer’s market. The photo above was taken after I took most of it for this recipe, so it looks kinda scraggly. 😊
Other ingredients are only vinegar (I used kombucha vinegar because I had some), garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
You will also need a good kitchen twine to tie this up and preferably, a husband or a wife or someone who can help with the tying process. I used the thick twine, the one on the left, to secure this pork roll.
To serve, you’ll need some lechon sauce. We use the Mang Tomas brand photographed above, you can buy it in Asian groceries.
And of course , you’ll need lots of time!
Hands on time is about 30 minutes the day before, to prepare the pork roll. Then you’ll need to chill this for at least 8 hours(but not more than 24 hours), and then the baking time is about 6 hours. Do a little math so you can have it ready by the time you want!
*note: To serve at 7 pm, I start baking at around 12:30pm as it takes about 6 hours or so to cook.*
3-5 stalks of lemon grass, tops and bottoms trimmed, then pounded with a meat tenderizer or back of the knife blade.
1 big red onion, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
1. Place the pork on a cutting board over the sink and pierce with a meat tenderizer (or fork or knife). Turn over and pierce the skin side too.
2. Pour vinegar little by little while rubbing it all over the pork. Turn the pork over and repeat with the remaining vinegar. Don’t worry about how much you’ll use as excess will just run into the sink. We do this to help dry out the skin and to help remove unpleasant odor. That in turn will make the skin crackly and crunchy and just delicious!
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the pork. Be generous as this is only flavoring the pork will have aside from the aromatics.
4. Turn the pork skin side down and place the lemon grass, onions, and garlic straight down the middle, horizontally on the long side.
5. Roll up the pork (I called my husband to help me), making sure the skin doesn’t overlap. It should touch in a circle, end to end – don’t make it into a pinwheel as the skin inside won’t be crisp.
6. Tie the pork in 1-2 inch intervals with kitchen twine. I held the pork roll stable and my husband tied it up. Team work!
7. Any onion or garlic that fell out, I pushed back into the roll.
8. Place the pork roll on a large baking sheet, uncovered, and chill around 8 hours (but not more than 24 hours) in the refrigerator. I prepare this at night and leave it in the fridge overnight.
9. Remove pork roll from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200F. Bake at 200F for 3 1/2 hours. This helps to dry the skin out thoroughly and start the cooking process slowly.
10. Increase temperature to 350F and continue baking for 1 1/2 hours. (*You can bake a cake together at this time since they’re usually baked at 350F).
11. Increase temperature to 450F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more until golden brown and skin is blistered and shiny. (*You can bake a bread together this time as most breads bake at 450F for 30 minutes or so).
12. Remove from oven. Check that the internal temperature is at 170F – 200F. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.
13. Place on a cutting board, and carefully slice into rounds using a serrated knife. Be extra careful as the skin is crisp and your knife can easily slip.
14. Cut the rounds into bite sized pieces.
15. Serve with lechon sauce, or vinegar with garlic, salt, pepper, and slices of hot chili.
Early mornings in the Philippines, you’ll normally hear the man selling this warm, caramel tofu pudding calling out these words. He would have two metal pails balanced by a bamboo rod on his shoulders. Hard work for sure, but surely, it made our day.
Kids and adults alike would wait patiently, holding their little cups, glass containers, and tumblers, for the taho vendor to come by their home. I remember a few times our nanny got a whole Coleman cooler (a gallon one I believe) for us. It’s that delicious!
Everyone asks for extra caramel, as it is the highlight of this sweet dessert/breakfast in a cup.
So…it’s been a while since I’ve had that taho that you can purchase. Taho here in the US is mostly an anemic cousin of the real stuff, flavor wise and texture wise. What to do but make it yourself, right?
I had been making soy milk and sometimes tofu for a while now but I never made a super soft, silky tofu like taho should be. It literally disintegrates when jiggled. I tried to make it but it just curdled, not really forming any solid you could scoop up. Oh well…
My co worker Lisette gave me this tofu mix a few months back. She said they use it to make taho, and you just need the sago pearls and the caramel and you’re good to go. Since my “from scratch” tofu pudding failed, I reached for the box and tried it.
It worked beautifully! See my photo below! And it’s super easy to make!
All you’ll need are the following:
For the tofu pudding:
1 box (6.06oz) Tofu mix
10 cups water mixed
For the caramel:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
For the tapioca pearls:
1/2 cup Tapioca pearls
5 cups water
To make the tofu pudding:
Mix 10 cups water with the tofu packet mixture in a large saucepan. That is the big envelope in the tofu box. Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
Stir constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and for 3 minutes.
Add the coagulant, which is in the smaller white envelope, into the mixture, slowly. Give it a quick stir. And stop.
Remove from heat. Cover. Set aside to set. Do not touch or move it while it is setting. I just left it to set in the saucepan I cooked it in. 😊
In the meantime, prepare the Caramel.
Place 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.
For the Sago Pearls,
Bring 5 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup sago. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until translucent. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl of water until ready to use.
To assemble your “taho”
Using a spoon, carefully scrape thin layers of the warm tofu pudding into a glass, cup, or bowl. You only want a few spoonfuls as we will be layering this with the other ingredients.
*If the tofu is getting watery, scoop out and discard the excess water.*
Next, place a spoonful or two of the cooked tapioca pearls in.
Then a spoonful or two of the caramel(I always add more when no one is looking! It’s super delicious!).
Continue layering until you fill the glass almost to the top. I am stopping midway as I might eat everything at one go.
Remember to wipe of any caramel that dripped outside the glass! It will be a sticky mess if you don’t!
You can eat this with a spoon, as we do, or stir itup and drink it like I saw some folks do.
Either way, it is a nutritious and very delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.
Call it whatever you want, schnitzel, milanesa, katsu…I always go with what I called it growing up-TONKATSU. And it has to be pork chops! Chicken is only acceptable to me when I have no other choice. 😊
Served with very thinly sliced cabbage, freshly cooked white, sticky rice, and of course the essential Bulldog sauce (no, it is NOT made with bulldogs!), I am a happy camper! I can really eat this everyday and I won’t get tired if it!
My mom, being Japanese, used to make this when we were little. It is definitely a comfort food for me and my family. My son actually loves this as much as do so even if I try to avoid serving fried dishes, I do oblige and make this once in a while. I always top the cabbage with Kewpie mayo too!
Of course, this is also the perfect “milanesa” to top my Peruvian Tallarin Verde. But more about that in my later article!
You’ll need pork chops. As much as you like!
I marinate them in lemon juice and fish sauce if I have time. Equal parts of lemon juice and fish sauce will make your pork chops taste really good, not fishy at all! Leave them in your refrigerator, covered, for a few hours, ideally overnight.
If you’re pressed for time, just salt and pepper them. It’ll taste good too!
You’ll also need flour. I start with about a cup of flour in a plate, and mix in a pinch or two of salt and pepper. This will be your first coating on the pork chops.
Next, you’ll need an egg or two mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Beat that well in another plate. This is your second coating.
Panko. Japanese bread crumbs. This will turn your pork chops into Tonkatsu.
Grab a bag, open, and pour some into a clean plate. A third plate. One for the flour mixture, one for the egg mixture, and one for the panko. Yup, this is your final coating before frying. 😋
Step 1: place a pork chop into the flour mixture, lightly press down on it to coat with flour,
Step 2: Turn over and coat the other side well.
Step 3: transfer to the egg mixture, coat well.
Step 4: turn pork over to coat the other side too.
Step 5: move on to the panko, coating one side thoroughly,
Step 6: turn over and press pork onto the panko to coat the other side. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
Step 7: heat a good amount of canola oil in a fry pan over medium heat.
Step 8: When hot, slide a couple of pork chops in. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Step 9: Carefully turn over to cook the other side. I find this is easiest done with a metal kitchen tong.
Step 10: cook the other side until golden snd meat is cooked through.
Step 11: carefully remove tonkatsu onto paper towel lined plate or wire rack.
Step 12: thinly slice a small head of cabbage. Rinse in cool water snd drain thoroughly.
Step 13: arrange tonkatsu, cabbage, and rice on s plate.
Step 14: serve with Bulldog sauce snd Kewpie mayo! Enjoy!!!
One of the easiest recipe ever! As easy as – place everything in a saucepan, simmer until done and sauce is reduced to a thick, sweet syrup. And of course, the chicken cooked through.
This is another Brentwood UCLA recipe that I still constantly prepare. The original recipe is from my work spouse, Loraine Yokote. She has a lot of easy to prepare yet utterly delicious recipes that I love! I mean who won’t like easy recipes, as we mostly work away from home yet still need to feed our families when we get home, right?
This is perfect, specially for when you are crunched for time. Simmer this on the stove then prepare the sides (rice in a rice cooker needs no supervision, a salad will come together in 5 minutes…) and you will still have enough time to take a shower, or help with homework while dinner is cooking by itself. All around awesome, I think!
This is a very delicious dessert typically found in Southeast asian countries. Rice is a staple eaten 3 times a day in that part of the world – plus for dessert/snack too! Mangoes with Sticky Rice is a simple treat but truly memorable and I know that I crave it often, specially when I see ripe, super fragrant, mangoes at the grocery store.
There are several variations of this Sticky Rice in Asia.
In the Philippines where I grew up, my aunts would wrap the rice mixture in banana leaves then tie them up in pairs before boiling it until the rice is done. They would serve these “Suman” as our midday snack, dipped in sugar, topped with ube halaya, or fried and topped with more sugar. There is also Biko, which is sweetened sticky rice and coconut milk, baked in a pan and topped with caramelly coconut jam. Another of my very favorite sweet!
I tried it served as this recipe is, with a side of mangoes and decorated with an orchid flower, in Singapore. 😋
When there are ripe mangoes available, they are THE perfect partner to this simple Sticky Rice dessert. Just make sure the mangoes are perfectly ripe!
2 large ripe mangoes, cut from the pit and scooped out
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut rum, more if desired 😉
1. Place measured rice in a fine strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear, running your fingers through it to help in rinsing it.
2. Place rice in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and let soak for 4-12 hours.
3. Drain rice and place in the big bottom bowl of your ELB. Place this bowl, uncovered, in the ELB base.
4. Place 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam for about 1 hour, until your lunchbox shuts off.
5. Carefully open the ELB and fluff rice with a fork. Cover loosely and set aside.
6. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt.
7. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
8. Pour mixture onto the hot rice.
9. Place the bowl back in the ELB, add 1 ELB cup of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 15 minutes more.
10. Carefully open the ELB and stir the rice. Check to see if rice is done by tasting some. The best part, right? Adjust sweetness if needed by adding more sugar if you like. A reminder though that the mangoes will add sweetness to the dish too.
11. Slice each mango half into thin, lengthwise pieces. ⬇️
12. Mound rice on a serving plate and arrange mango slices around it, or on top of the rice. *I used a small cup to shape the rice into a small dome. Just scoop some rice into a clean, dry cup, level the top while gently packing the rice in. DO NOT pack too much as you want it fluffy, just enough to hold its shape. You could also just scoop some rice onto the plate and top with mangoes. It’ll still be delicious!
13. Pour coconut rum over and serve.
14. Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy every bite!
I really did NOT need another kitchen gadget but this amazing lady I follow (Impulse to Legend on FB and instagram) started using a Sun Oven and posting the results on her page. It was nothing short of amazing.
I snapped one up right away! I definitely can see the many uses of this:
1. In the summer, it’s often too hot to use the oven. But the sun’s intensity during these months will make using the sun oven outside a brilliant idea.
2. Sunlight is abundant almost year round here in Southern California, a totally eco-friendly alternative to gas or electricity.
3. Sunlight is free! I can bake to my heart’s content without using precious resources. As long as you can cast a shadow on the ground, you can cook!
4. It is super portable, it folds up like a small suitcase and weighs just a bit over 20 pounds.
5. It is perfect for camping, no fuel required and no fire danger issues! A great plus specially in high fire danger areas like here in California.
6. Food won’t burn. I still do not understand how this works but yes, I left a pan of my bread rolls there for over 2 1/2 hours (not on purpose though, got busy and forgot about it) and it was just perfect.
7. Food won’t dry out. It cooks/bakes with moist heat, unlike the oven, but it is not wet like steam cooking. You can see moisture accumulate on the inside of the glass door when you cook. The chicken I baked was cooked through but moist and tender.
8. Emergency situations when power is out. A perfect excuse for me to get this item, like mentioned above, as long as there is sunlight, I can cook and bake.
9. Cooking/baking while on the beach anyone? I see people lugging grills and stoves and even a pizza oven once! I am not one of these people but you could totally bring this too! Me, I just take some drinks, fruits or chips, and sometimes sandwiches. I like to just chill on the blanket or body board at the beach.
I love this oven so much that I asked Sun Ovens to allow me to market these and they gave me a special link. These are affiliate links, where in I might earn a little commission when someone buys the oven using my link, without affecting your purchase price at all. It helps keep my blog going, and I truly appreciate any support.
Click here to attend a free webinar that runs every Tuesday and Thursday evening. During the webinar, each participant will be emailed a link to a special offers page where they will be able to purchase an All American Sun Oven with $118 worth of free products! This includes a free oven cover and their latest cookbook: https://firstname.lastname@example.org
I made it into 24 rolls, and placed 12 dough balls in 2 13×9 pans. I placed the pan in the Sun Oven, stacking the second pan on top. Of course accidents happen and it dropped straight down, flattening the rolls below. Oh well…..I guess flat bread is still bread.
It baked for less than an hour before it was golden brown and the fragrance of baking bread was wafting in the backyard. Time to get it out!
When I removed the pan, I realized that bread in the bottom pan was not browned so I adjusted the oven and left the second pan in there. I forgot about it and got it about 2 1/2 hours later. I’m happy to report that it browned and even though I left if too long, it did NOT burn.
Next was a whole chicken. Now, this I had to finish browning in the Ninja Grill as I started past 4 pm. I spatchcocked the chicken, rubbed it with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. Grabbed a lemon from the yard and sprinkled lemon juice over it before placing it in the preheated oven.
I left it for about an hour, but by then my backyard is no longer sunny, as a matter of fact, it is completely shaded by the house. I moved the oven to the front yard and left it for a few minutes but decided to finish it up in the Ninja Grill. It took about 20 minutes to brown the chicken nicely and cook it thoroughly.
I replaced the brown sugar with Splenda brown sugar, used sugar free chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Poured the batter into 2 greased loaf pans and into the preheated Sun Oven they went.
It was in the oven from 1:27pm to 2:19pm and it was done!!! Golden brown and smelling delicious!
It does look like it was baked in a regular oven but the bread is moist and very flavorful. Not dry at all.
Look at the slices below! They are absolutely beautiful!
So next, since it was still a bit sunny, I decided to cook this Spaghetti Squash that is in my panty. I cut it in half lengthwise, removed the seeds using a spoon to scrape it away, placed it cut side down on a baking pan, and placed it in the oven.
I decided to leave it there until past dinner, hoping the residual heat will cook it through. I wasn’t mistaken. It cooked wonderfully!
See how it looks like spaghetti? The video below is to show you how tender it was.
I totally recommend this oven if you are like me and want to bake in the middle of summer! I will keep experimenting with recipes that I can bake in it, hoping to use it all year long.
Unmolded this☝️before chilling it completely. Notice the sunken area on the upper left.
Lesson learned: Be patient! Chill it overnight before unmolding. 😊
ChocoFlan! This is a rich, delicious chocolate cake with a beautiful layer of creamy flan sitting on top.
I first had this over a decade ago when my Cuban coworker at UCLA brought it for a potluck. It still amazes me how the layers switch when baking. You get a bit of yummy chocolate cake, a thick, creamy flan, all topped with caramelized sugar syrup…what more could you ask for?
This cake is easy to make and truly beautiful that you can bring it to any gathering and it’s sure to wow everyone lucky enough to have a slice…or two!
You’ll need a 12-cup bundt pan to make this as it rises almost to the top when baked. Most bundt pans I own have a capacity of 10 cups, so be sure to check your pan!
If you only have the 10 cup mold, set some of the cake batter aside for 2-3 cupcakes, or make a couple of small individual Choco flans in a ramekin with some of the syrup, flan, and cake mixture. The baking pan with water will also catch any overflow batter, so you should be fine.
The flan layer on this cake is thick, just the way I like it. You’ll get a good proportion of flan to chocolate cake in every bite, I promise!
2. Spray your bundt pan/s with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Pour sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until deep brown, about 10-15 minutes. Keep swirling the pan when it starts to turn golden and remove from heat right before it reaches the color you want as it’ll keep cooking. You don’t want to burn this.
4. Using heavy oven gloves, immediately pour into prepared pan/s. Set aside.
5. Pour all flan ingredients into a blender and pulse until well mixed.
6. Pour over caramel layer.
7. Place the bundt pan/s in a large baking dish. Fill baking dish with water halfway up the bundt pan. We are steam baking this, baine marie style!
8. Now carefully place the entire set up in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Close the oven and set your timer to 20 minutes.
9. In the meantime, prepare your Cake layer:
10. In a bowl, beat together devil’s food cake mix, oil, egg yolks, and water until blended. Set aside.
11. Grab another bowl that it is clean, dry, no traces of oil or grease, or any speck of egg yolks. Wash and clean your beaters and dry them, too. Then beat egg whites in the bowl using clean beaters until soft peaks form. Carefully fold in 1/3 into the cake mixture until mixed. Fold in another 1/3, mix and then add in the last 1/3. Fold in until no more traces of the egg white can be seen.
*If you are crunched for time, you can also just place ALL the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat for about 2 minutes on medium to high speed. The cake won’t be as light, but I’m quite sure no one will notice!*
12. Carefully remove the pan from the oven after 20 minutes.
13. Slowly pour the cake mixture over the flan. Cover with foil, lower the oven temperature to 350F, and bake for 55 minutes more, or until cake is fully baked. Check if cake is done by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean.
14. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight before unmolding.
15. Place a plate on top of the bundt pan and carefully invert the whole thing. You would hear/feel the cake drop onto the plate. Carefully remove the bundt pan and serve the cake!
*You might want to fill the bundt pan with water now to facilitate removing the caramel that is stuck on the bottom. It will dissolve on it’s own, no need to scrub, but it will need time, like a day or two!*