Category Archives: Recipes

Tuna Tomato Pesto Pasta

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

This is the second recipe that I tried last night. I only have less than an hour to prepare so here’s a quick and simple pasta recipe that is really delicious. If you love pesto and tomato sauce, then this one is perfect for you.

Tuna Tomato Pesto Pasta

Tuna Tomato Pesto Pasta

*Makes 8 servings

*10 minutes preparation time

*30 minutes cooking time (includes cooking of pasta)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack 450 g spaghetti noodles
  • 500 g Italian-style spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pouch 150 g tomato paste
  • 1 pack McCormick Pesto Mix
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large can corned tuna

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Prepare the sauce while waiting for the pasta to be ready. Combine spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, and pesto powder mix in a saucepan. 
  3. Saute corned tuna in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add to pesto tomato spaghetti sauce mixture. Simmer while stirring occasionally.
  4. Toss together the cooked pasta with the spaghetti sauce mixture. Top with cheese before serving.
Here are some substitutions that you can make:
  • You can use 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced, instead of tomato paste.
  • You can make your own homemade pesto sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:
    • 1/3 cup pine nuts
    • 2 cups or 40 grams fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon iodized fine salt (or 1/2 tablespoon iodized rock salt)
    • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • Here’s how to prepare the pesto sauce: Grind pine nuts using a food processor or blender. Add basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Process until mixture becomes pasty. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle to mix all these.)

That’s it! So easy to prepare, right? 🙂 I assure you that even kids will love this! I hope you’ll enjoy making this dish as much as I did.

Let me know how it goes when you try this recipe. Til next time!

xoxo,

♥ Monique ♥

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Fresh Mushroom and Corn Soup

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

I tried 2 new recipes last night. The first one is fresh mushroom and corn soup, and the other one is tomato pesto pasta. It took me an hour to prepare both dishes. But it was all worth it in the end when I saw how my family loved what I served for dinner. 🙂

Just want to share a healthy soup recipe for you to try.

Fresh Mushroom and Corn Soup

Fresh Mushroom and Corn Soup

This dish is so light and healthy yet satisfying and flavorful.

*makes 8 servings

*5 minutes preparation time

*20 minutes cooking time (including heating broth to simmer)

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pack fresh oyster mushroom
  • 1 can young corn sliced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a stockpot, dissolve 4 Knorr chicken cubes in 8 cups of boiling water. Stir continuously.
  2. In a pan, saute mushroom and corn in olive oil until cooked.
  3. Add cooked mushroom and corn to the broth. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter. Serve while hot.

So easy and so healthy, right? You can substitute fresh young corn instead of canned. You can also use other types of mushrooms such as champignon and Shitake. I think this will also taste good if you use Shitake mushroom together with beef broth. You can also add carrots for a more colorul approach.

Let me know when you have tried this recipe or if you’ve made variations. Happy eating!

xoxo,

♥ Monique ♥

Spaghetti Carbonara (The Original Italian Recipe)

In celebration of my parents’ 24th wedding anniversary, I prepared a simple dinner for the family. It was an opportunity to gather everyone around the dining table once again. In this day and age, it really necessitates a huge effort to make everyone eat dinner together, what with all the work, school, and social activities of every family member. Instead of the usual spaghetti, pizza, and cake that we have for celebrations, I decided to make something different… something special that we usually don’t prepare at home. Thus, I decided to have spaghetti carbonara, homemade cheeseburger, and creamy fruit salad on the menu.

I would like to share my recipe of the original Italian Spaghetti Carbonara. Unlike the Pinoy version of the carbonara which makes use of cream, my version makes use of eggs and cheese only for the sauce.

This recipe makes 20 single servings. But if spaghetti is the only one in the menu, perhaps this would be enough for 8 people with a voracious appetite.

So here are the ingredients:

Ingredients for Spaghetti Carbonara

Ingredients for Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 800 grams of cheese
  • 500 grams bacon (preferably lean meat)
  • 1 can of mushrooms (pieces and stems)
  • 1 kilogram of spaghetti (preferred brand: Royal)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Garlic (around 4-5 cloves)
  • White onion (around ¼ of a large onion)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil

Now, here are the instructions:

  1.  Prepare the boiling water for the pasta. Fill a large pot with 8 liters of water. Add a tablespoon of oil and 8 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, get the 12 eggs and beat them until the yolk is mixed with the white. Then add 700 grams of grated cheese. The remaining 100 grams will be used as toppings later on. Mix the cheese thoroughly with the eggs until you get a smooth creamy mixture. Set aside.
  3. Next, you fry the bacon and cut them into little pieces. Using the same pan, sauté the garlic first until slightly golden brown. Sauté the white onion next until it becomes translucent. Then you fry the mushroom slices. Set aside.
  4. Add the pasta to the rapidly boiling water. Cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente.
  5. After cooking pasta, remove from heat and completely drain the water. Do not rinse with warm water. Add the egg and cheese mixture. Mix well.
  6. Next, add the bacon and mushroom mixture. Mix well.
  7. Serve while hot. Garnish with parsley and extra cheese on top.

That’s it. This is a very simple and easy to do recipe. It took me an hour to do everything by myself from scratch. Here’s the finished product:

Spaghetti Carbonara

Ta-da! Spaghetti Carbonara!

Try it and let me know how it goes. Enjoy and eat well!

 Tips:

  • People usually add oil or butter after cooking the pasta to prevent them from sticking to one another. However, when you do that, the sauce does not stick to pasta and it does not become flavourful. So the technique is to constantly stir the pasta while it is still cooking. This prevents them from sticking to one another. And also do not underestimate the power of adding salt. The technique is to add a teaspoon of salt for every liter of water. Don’t worry because the pasta would not absorb the saltiness of the water.
  • For the sauce, you can add more cheese if you want. It’s best if you use mozzarella or parmiggiano. I used cheddar cheese and it still tasted great.
  • Also for the sauce, you can add around half a cup of water just so you can have a really smooth mixture. Don’t add too much water though.
  • The amount of garlic and onion will really vary according to your preference.
  • Never add pasta until the water is rapidly boiling. Then make sure that the water will rapidly boil again as soon as possible after placing the pasta in it.
  • To know when the pasta is already al dente, take a string of noodle and taste it. If it is still hard in the center, boil for a few more minutes. Don’t forget to stir every once in a while to prevent pasta from sticking to one another. Also don’t overcook it.
  • It is very important that the pasta is very hot when you add the sauce because the heat from the pasta will cook the egg. It will result in a really creamy sauce.
  • Reheating instructions: Place in a covered pan with about 4 tablespoons of water. Heat over low fire. This will prevent the pasta from being burnt/toasted. 🙂

Pinakbet

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

It’s Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

Description:
Pinakbet is a popular Ilocano dish, from the northern regions of the Philippines, although it has become popular throughout the archipelago. The word is the contracted form of the Ilocano word “pinakebbet”, meaning shrunk or shrivelled. The original Ilocano pinakbet uses bugguong, of fermented monamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. Usually its most basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, ginger, okra, string beans, lima beans, chili peppers and various Filipino vegetables like parda, winged beans, and such. A Tagalog version usually includes kalabasa. Most of these vegetables are easily accessible, and are grown in backyards and gardens of most Ilocano households. As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until almost dry and shrivelled, however, the flavors of the vegetables are emphasized and accentuated with the help of bagoong. In some cases, lechon, chicharon, or other meats (most commonly pork) is added.

Pinakbet

Pinakbet

Estimated cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
2 Amapalya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
2 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
5 pieces of okra, cut in two
1 head garlic, minced
2 onions, diced
5 tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced
4 tablespoons bagoong isda or bagoong alamang
3 tablespoons of oil
1 1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

On the same pan, saute garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.

In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong. Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sautéed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with plain rice.

Leche Flan

It's Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

It’s Time to Cook with Jean Monique!

Description:
This is one of my favorite desserts, although very hard to make and uber time-consuming as well.

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

Mas gusto ko tong kainin kesa gawin!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Estimated cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 can (390g) evaporated milk
1 can (390g) condensed milk
10 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or lemon essence (I haven’t tried using banana extract but some say that it’s okay to use. My mom, on the other hand, uses calamansi in preparing leche flan.)

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

Directions:
In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the sugar caramelizes.

Pour the caramelized sugar into aluminum molds – you can use any shape: oval, round or square. Spread the caramel on the bottom of the molds.

Mix well the evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla by hand or blender. Gently pour the mixture on top of the caramel on the aluminum molds. Fill the molds to about 1 to 1 1/4 inch thick. Cover molds individually with aluminum foil. Steam for about 20 minutes OR Bake for about 45 minutes. Before baking the Leche Flan, place the molds on a larger baking pan half filled with very hot water. Pre-heat oven to about 370 degrees before baking.

Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

To serve: Run a thin knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the Leche Flan. Place a platter on top of the mold and quickly turn upside down to position the golden brown caramel on top.

Tip: As with baking, you can tell when the Leche Flan is cooked by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, it is cooked.