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Welcome to Casa Baluarte. A blog with simple and tasty home-cooking Filipino recipes from your Ilongga Foodie/Cook of Orange County, California. For questions about this blog email Contact@tigabaluarte.com

Baked Mussels in Dynamite Sauce

Baked mussels has always been my favorite and always first to order everytime I am in a Japanese restaurant. Little did I know this recipe is very simple to make and it takes less than half an hour to prepare and to bake.
Ingredients:
2 dozen half shell mussels
2 cup Kewpie (Japanese) mayonnaise
2-3 teaspoon Sriracha (hot red chili sauce)
2 tablespoon fresh masago (capelin fish roe)
1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Cooking Direction:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degress. Prepare the mussels and line them on a baking sheet. Using a knife, scrape the mussels from the shells and return. Using a small bowl combine the Kewpie and Sriracha until smooth. Add the masago and stir slowly to distribute it evenly into the sauce. Place the mussels in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown. Remove from the oven. The mussels is done when the sauce solidifies and is not runny. Sprinkle with panko, if desired. Serve hot.

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Baked Mussels served with (store bought) California Roll.

Lascari's Cucina in Brea, CA

This was the first time for me to visit this Italian Restaurant close to work which took over Pasta Bravo. They have a full menu of sandwiches, salads, make-your-own pasta, traditional Italian specialities and pizzas. For starter we ordered Minestrone soup with fresh baked bread and butter.
As always gotta have my garlic bread (yummy)I ordered make you own pasta, fettuccine with mushroom, asparagus, zucchini in alfredo sauce. Food is good and service is great. I'm sure I will be back for the sweet potato fries.Located at:
2445 E Imperial Hwy, Suite G
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 256-4500

Maruya

ABS-CBN has a new teleserye, Juanita Banana that inspired me to make some of this Banana Fritters or Kumbo in Ilonggo. What's good about it is while I was researching for the Maruya recipe I noticed the ingredients for the batter is exactly the same as making a pan cake. Luckily I got some buttermilk pancake mix in my pantry and some frozen "saba" cooking banana from the Philippines in my freezer.
Surprisingly good. Actually a lot
better than the maruya I purchased a while back from a Filipino restaurant. Give it a try.
Ingredients:1 cup buttermilk pan cake mix
3/4 cup water
1 whole egg
3-4 tablespoon sugar
8 pieces saba banana, defrosted and cut into half lengthwise
cooking oil

Cooking Direction:Heat frying pan and add the cooking oil.
Sift pan cake mix and 2-3 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the water and the egg and mix until batter is smooth.
Dip the banana into the batter mixture.
Fry the banana with batter 2 pieces at a time in low heat for 3-4 minutes on both side or till golden brown.
Remove from heat and drain or pat dry using a paper towel.
Sprinkle with sugar if desired and serve while hot.

Fruit Salad

Here is an easy way on how to make Filipino Style Fruit Salad. The creamier the better. No special occasion in a Filipino household is complete without this dessert.
Ingredients:4 large can fruit cocktail
1 large can peaches, sliced in cubes
3 can kernel corn
2 large bottle nata de coco
1 small bottle young coconut
1 small box cheddar cheese, cubed small
2 can condensed milk
2 can Nestle cream
Here is how to:Using a big plastic strainer drain fruit cocktail, peaches, corn, coconut and nata de coco at least overnight.
In a big bowl mix condensed milk and nestle cream and stir well. Add the cubed cheese and the well drained fruits and stir well. Refrigerate or freeze overnight before serving.

Atchara Recipe

Pickled Papaya also known as Achara or Atsara
Ingredients:2 large green papaya, shredded
1 piece bitter melon, julienned (optional)
1 piece red bell pepper, julienned
2 pieces thumb size ginger, julienned
1 medium size onion, sliced
6-8 pieces garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups datu puti vinegar
4-5 tablespoon regular sugar
4-5 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon rock salt
Step 1: Mix vinegar and regular and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Taste for desired sweet and sour taste. Bring to a quick boil. Remove from heat, add the turmeric for a little color and set aside.
Step 2: Sprinkle shredded papaya with a teaspoon of rock salt and toss well. After few minutes pour 1 cup of water and squeeze out the juices from the papaya using a cheese cloth. Set aside.
Step 3: In a deep bowl mix pepper corn, raisins, bell pepper, ginger, onion, garlic, bitter melon, papaya and toss well.
Lastly: Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Toss well. Let it stand at least overnight in the fridge before serving.

Tinolang Tahong

A soup that is great during rainy season and lactating mothers.
Ingredients:
2 lb mussel, remove shell (optional)
1 cup cleaned malunggay leaves
3 pieces thumb size ginger, sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 stem lemon grass, cut into 3
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Cooking Direction:
Heat cooking oil in a deep pot. Once cooking oil turns hot reduce heat to medium and saute ginger till golden brown. Add onion slices, lemon grass and 3 cups of water. Simmer in low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cleaned mussels and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the malunggay leaves, salt and ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Paksiw na Galungong

Galungong fish cooked in lots of garlic, ginger, vinegar, salt and ground pepper and cooking oil. Great with garlic rice.

Sinigang na Salmon

Simple dish yet very healthy and tasty...
Cooking Direction:
Boil 3 cups of water in a deep pot. Once water starts boiling add the slices of (1) onion and (2) tomatoes for 2 minutes. Add 1 lb salmon belly and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt, ground pepper and sinigang mix to taste. Top with kangkong leaves. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Misua and Tofu

Ingredients:
1 8 oz Misua (rice vermicelli)
1 lb ground chicken
hard tofu, cubed
5 pieces garlic cloves, minced
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 large patola, sliced
1 stem green onion, sliced thin
salt and ground pepper to taste
2 knorr chicken cubes
cooking oil
Cooking Direction:
Using a deep pot heat 2 tablespoon cooking oil, saute garlic and onions till golden brown. Add the ground chicken and saute till golden brown. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil for at least 10 minutes in medium heat. Once the soup starts boiling season with chicken cubes, salt and ground pepper. Add the misua and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cubed tofu, slices of patola and green onion. Simmer for 2 more minutes then remove pot from the heat and serve.

Tofu & Eggplant

Cooking Ingredients:1 pack hard tofu, cut in cubes
1 lb eggplant, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb size ginger, minced fine
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 piece red bell pepper, julienne
1/4 cup soy sauce1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
Cooking Direction:Prepare sauce by diluting cornstarch in water. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside. Using a wok, fry tofu till golden brown. Drain excess oil and set aside.
Brown garlic and ginger in a wok. Add onion, bell pepper and eggplants. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add the fried tofu and continue to stir fry for few more minutes. Add the cornstarch sauce mixture and stir. Remove from heat and serve.