You purse your lips when you say it…

Couscous.

It’s a love and hate relationship, really. In the age of clean eating and diet lifestyle, we try our best to shy ourselves away from carbohydrate staples like rice and… well, couscous.

I took nearly two months away from eating rice with every meal. Being of mixed-Asian descent, I can wholeheartedly say that was a difficult time. My belly felt empty, I was irritable, bloated and cramped… I jest. 

But really, I found myself grazing the pasture looking for anything in the fridge to calm my random cravings. But that’s besides the point…

Chicken & Chick Pea with Couscous

I came across this recipe by Google search because I had chickpeas in the pantry and an 8-pack of drumsticks with no plan chilling (or icing) in the freezer. Low and behold I found this recipe and couldn’t wait for the long weekend to try it out.

Meal-prepping takes up my weekends so I thankfully had this Memorial Day weekend to cook a little extra on the side for lunch or dinner.

So out came the chicken, some tomato paste, spices, chick peas and celeriac. I reckon any root vegetable would work in this dish, but since I had a lonely celeriac sitting amidst the onions, he came along for the swim.

I adjusted the salt and pepper levels to taste and balance. I used a full can of tomato paste because us Americans only sell paste in cans rather then resealable tubes…

…and lunch was served.

I’m reminded of the first time I came across couscous as a young adult. I tried to pronounce it with light humour and imagined a French mime motioning me to purse my lips as I sounded it out. Koos-koos…

Couscous. 

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All Thai’d up…

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Pancit Canton (left) & Thai Green Curry (right)

The spiciest of foods tend to be the most rewarding.  No, I am not just talking about spice in the form of chili and heat, I am talking about spice flavour and its never-ending levels of complexity.

I woke up this morning with a defrosted package of boneless pork-chops on the counter and truly wanted something else besides fried piece pork with a cup of rice and vegetables for sustenance.  What I needed was some extra items in order to make a dish I had not put together in a while.

Continue reading “All Thai’d up…”

Comfort Food Ain’t Pretty.

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Kare-Kare – Filipino Peanut Stew with Pork and Mixed Vegetables served with Rice and Bagoong (Filipino Shrimp Paste).
Piggybacking on my previous post about the Pastelón, islander food makes no apologies.  It is heavy, it is fattening and it makes no claims at being pretty.  Traditional Filipino food is a type of islander cuisine that best suits hard day laborers.  Like many island nations, modernisation completely changed life in the city centres. The Filipino people once spent long days in the fields cultivating rice or sugar cane and many others boated the oceans for fish or raised cattle and pig for consumption.  In fact, many parts of the islands still practice this sort of day-laborer lifestyle.

This is why islander food is so heavy.  Starting your day off with a hearty Filipino meal can last you from sunrise to sunset, but let’s face it… who really eats one meal a day? What Filipino is satisfied with one meal?  We perfected the merienda brunch and linner (or dunch?) after all; and if I recall correctly, the last time I was in the Philippines, eating is the best pasttime.

Continue reading “Comfort Food Ain’t Pretty.”