Archive for the 'crumbs from your table' Category

Lengua in Mushroom Sauce

My mom was not a great cook but she made the most delicious lengua. I think of her when I make this.


  • olive oil
  • 1 lengua/beef tongue (about 3 to 4 lbs)
  • ¼ to ½ c white wine
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • about 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt or soy sauce
  • about 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb mushrooms (brown or white), slice each into 2 if they are large
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water chestnuts if you like them
  • 1/2 c cream
  • flour, if you want to thicken the sauce


  1. Boil water in a pot or dutch oven large enough to fit the entire lengua. Place lengua in boiling water for 10-15minutes. Remove and rinse in cold water. Cut white outer layer from tongue.
  2. Brown the tongue in olive oil in a dutch oven. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender (about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, judge by forking the meat). Add pepper and salt/soy sauce after about 1 1/2 hours. Remove tongue from liquid, set aside and cool, you can place in the fridge if you want.  Once cool, cut the tongue into 1/3″ thick slices.  Save liquid.
  3. Saute mushrooms in olive oil / butter, cook for a few minutes until brown (but still firm).  Add wine and continue cooking until there is hardly any liquid left.  Set aside.
  4. Saute celery, onion, and carrots in olive oil until lightly browned.  Add tongue slices. Lightly brown.   Add cooking liquid.  Season.  Add worcestershire sauce to taste and mushrooms.
  5. Season the sauce.  Add cream to taste.  Cook for about 10 more minutes.
  6. Thicken with a roux if you want.
  7. Done!

Chorizo with Sherry, Pine Nuts and Currants

Oh this is a bit silly, no? Hardly anything written in the last couple years.

This is one of my desperation dinners.  I just noticed that the title of the post almost gives you the entire recipe.

Add a bit of crusty bread, maybe some manchego, and a bottle of wine (if J wants some, me I can do with water)


  • 3/4 lb chorizo bilbao
  • 1/4 c toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 c currants
  • 1/2 c dry sherry
  • 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • some chopped parsley
  • olive oil


  1. Heat olive oil in a pan.  Cook the chorizo til golden and just cooked.  Remove and slice in 1/4″ to 1/3″ diagonals.
  2. Return chorizo to pan.  Add currants, sherry, and stock. Simmer for about 10 or so minutes until currants are plumped and chorizo is flavored with sherry.
  3. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley.

Lengua Estofada

For some reason I am fretting about having to write down all the recipes I like and specially those I grew up with.  My mom made a great Lengua with Mushrooms that we would have every Christmas (and birthdays sometimes) and my lola had her own version too.  But it is my lola’s Lengua Estofada that I find I like more now.  Maybe the mushroom sauce just got too creamy for me?  Maybe I just need to cook the mushroom version again to remind me of how good it is.  In any case I think I had better write the recipe down, so I don’t forget.  Reminder to send a list over to my sisters and brother…

Last weekend we got the last tongue at the butcher’s.  It is smaller than I remember we had it in Manila. Cleaning it is a chore and a bit yukky, but J was nice and finished off what I started.


  • olive oil
  • 1 lengua/beef tongue (about 3lbs)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • ¼ to ½ c white wine
  • 4 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt or 2 tbsp Knorr seasoning / soy sauce
  • A bit of worcestershire sauce if you want
  • 1 lb mushrooms (brown or white), slice each into 2 if they are large
  • about 16 green olives
  • 1 russet potato cut into ½” thk wedges, or some little potatos, halved


  1. Boil water in a pot or dutch oven large enough to fit the entire lengua. Place lengua in boiling water for 10-15minutes. Remove and rinse in cold water. Cut white outer layer from tongue.
  2. Brown the tongue in olive oil in a dutch oven. Add garlic, onion, wine, tomato paste, salt/Knorr, and pepper, and cover with water. Boil, then simmer until tender (about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, judge by forking the meat). Remove tongue and slice into 1/3” thick pieces. Set aside.
  3. Fry potato slices in olive oil until golden brown. Set aside. Fry mushrooms in olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Season the sauce, add olives, simmer to thicken. Thicken with a roux if you want. Add mushrooms and potato slices, cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Arrange lengua on plate and pour sauce over OR return lengua to sauce and simmer for a few more minutes.

Oxtail Soup

My friend Venice, we used to work together.  And one day she took this large tureen of oxtail soup to the office.  It was Hawaiian-style oxtail soup.  So delicious.  And when I asked her for the recipe she gave me a small bag of gow pee — almost-black dried tangerine peel.  Oxtail soup just doesn’t taste right without it.



  • 3 lbs. oxtails
  • about 3″ ginger, sliced thinly
  • 6 oz. raw peanuts
  • 3-4 Chinese dates
  • 3 anise flowers
  • 1 piece gow pee
  • Chinese mustard or bok choy
  • Szechuan peppercorns (a tablespoon or so, in a small cloth bag)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • water
  • 1/3 to 1/2c sherry


  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green onion
  • grated ginger
  • soy sauce


  1. Place oxtail in a deep pot, cover with about 2″ of water.  Boil for 20-25min.  Rinse with cool water.
  2. Return oxtail to a clean pot, add the rest of the soup ingredients except for the mustard and sherry. Boil and then simmer for about 2 hours.
  3. Chop the mustard into 2″ wide pieces.  Add to soup shortly before serving.
  4. Add sherry to taste.  Boil for about 5 minutes.  Serve.
  5. Serve the soy sauce with the cilantro, green onion, and ginger on the side.

Chicken Adobo

So everyone has their own version of adobo (I personally love my lola’s soupy adobo with pork tongue, chicken, and liver).  I’ve tried doing the Cendrillon version, but for some reason the adobo comes out horribly sour.

This is my latest and greatest, which came out pretty good.  J didn’t squish his face and say Omigod! this time (that’s what he did with my 2 Cendrillon recipe attempts).


  • 4 cuts chicken thigh and leg, trim excess fat and skin
  • 1 or 2 chicken livers
  • 1 or 2 chicken gizzards
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c cane vinegar (Datu Puti)
  • 2/3 c soy sauce (Silver Swan or Coconut)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp peppercorns, approx. (crush about 1/3 of the peppercorns)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, appox.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed


  1. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, honey, peppercorns, salt, bay leaf in a dutch oven. Adjust to taste.
  2. Add chicken, including livers and gizzards.
  3. Cook over low heat for 45 min. Do not uncover or mix during this time. Uncover, cook for 10min more.
  4. Remove chicken and liver and set aside.
  5. Chop 1 liver and return to sauce. Reduce sauce til thickened.
  6. Add eggs with shell to sauce to cook while sauce is reducing. Remove after 7min, peel and set aside.
  7. When sauce is reduced, return chicken and eggs. Serve or keep for the next day.
  8. Fry or bake the chicken if you want the skin crisp. (Remove from sauce for frying and baking.)

Parma Ham Pasta Salad

What the heck eh? Food’s been on my mind lately.  My sister-in-law made this when we were in Paris.  Quick and yummy.  I will post photos once I take them.

Ingredients: approximate quantities, I taste while preparing

  • 4:3 ratio olive oil to balsamic vinegar (I usually go 4 t olive oil, 3t balsamic)
  • 1 clove garlic, pounded
  • salt and pepper
  • about 1/4 lb of Parma ham
  • 1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb rotelli pasta or some other corkscrew type
  • 1/2 lb arugula (or more), rinse and spun


  1. Cook pasta, drain.
  2. Bake the parma ham till crisp, chop into 1/2″ x 1/2″ pieces, or just crumble
  3. Toast the pine nuts till light brown (just a couple minutes)
  4. Place the olive oil, garlic, some salt and pepper in a small jar, cover and shake till well mixed and a bit thickened.
  5. Toss pasta in dressing, add arugula, parma ham, tomatoes, and pine nuts.
  6. If you want this cold, cool the ham, pasta, and pine nuts before mixing.

I never thought

that going to Goldilocks and having some fastfood sisig, a vegetable lumpia with over sweet sauce, and saba con yelo would make me feel so satisfied!


Bronx grapes from Lagier Farms

Bronx grapes, $4 a pound. More honey than grape really

they'll go with most of my tshirts too

Dr. Martens oxfords, $12. They’ll go nicely with my color tshirts and jeans.

This really hits the spot on a (rare) hot day in SF


1 large can V-8 juice or Clamato (spicy if desired)
2 avocados, chopped
2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed just barely cooked so it’s still crisp
Ketchup, to taste
limes, quartered
Tabasco sauce

Mix all ingredients except the shrimp and avocado in a large non-reactive container. Let sit for a few hours in refrigerator, or overnight. Before serving, mix in the shrimp and avocado. Serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

I first had this at E’s place and love it so much I could have an entire pitcher in one sitting.

Sharing goodies

I’m in a food mood (when am I not anyway?) so I’ll tell you about some goodies I found at the shops.


Sounds a bit like bufala, and yes it is mozzarella. But better. Think mozzarella in bag form, filled with cream and soft mozzarella chunks and other fatty goodness. One of my SILs orders this at restaurants but J and I have never bought it because it always came in about a pound-size, for say 14 dollars…which we would have sprung for if we thought our bodies could take it. I seriously think we would get sick from eating half a pound each.

When we were at Rainbow Grocery today J found a small pack of burrata. About a quarter pound, for less than 3 dollars. So together with the heirloom tomato and basil in our CSA box, some organic mission olive oil (also from Rainbow, the best tasting reasonably priced one in the grocery, acc. to J), salt and pepper…

all that we needed was our Acme baguette to dip…and slurp slurp slurp.


Nothing elaborate, just a square of the best tasting dark chocolate I think I’ve had. I’m a milk chocolate girl, but this one is so smooth I love it now. You can taste the dark chocolate, but it’s not bitter at all, it has a creamy smooth taste, like just the right amount of milk was added. Acckk if you see this one be sure to buy it. If it costs more that 5 dollars (mine did) just close your eyes and stop buying coffee shop coffee for 2 or 3 days, its so worth it.