Archive for the ‘Culinaria’ Category

The King's Sardines

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

King Oscar's Brisling Sardines in Olive Oil

Last night as we were wandering around the aisles at Walmart, I was tempted to try this different brand of sardines. At about 3.75 oz they cost a little more than the typical brands that we get at less than $2 a can but still much cheaper than if you get them elsewhere. The labeling boasts 2.8g of Omega-3 and “a delicious tradition for over 100 years”. With a sales pitch like that, how can I resist?

As it turns out, “sardines” is not actually a fish species but becomes a sardine by the traditional processing method. There can be as many as 11 different species used in making it. The one I’m most familiar with would be Philippine mackerel.

This is probably the first time I’ve ever tried brislings in olive oil. They are caught from Norwegian fjords in the North Sea and packaged by the King Oscar company in Poland. They are then distributed in the US by Bumblebee Foods in San Diego, CA.

The taste is mild and complimented well by the olive oil. I imagine this could be good with crackers [SkyFlakes] with a tiny twist of citrus such as lemon or calamansi. This could be a fantastic meal on the hiking trail as well.


Patio Refinishing Project

Monday, September 29th, 2008

In celebration of our recently finished patio table refinishing project, we’re doing a retake of last week’s barbecue pork ribs at Kathleen’s birthday party. This time around I get to “kick it up a notch” with a spicier rub to my liking and added some mustard into the barbecue sauce. It was finger-lickin’-fall-off-the-bone yummy!

Patio Table Refinishing Project

Barbeque Pork Ribs

Barbeque Pork Ribs


Choley Bhature

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Don’t you just love the culinary diversity of the Bay Area? I mean, you don’t have to take an 18 hour flight just for some authentic Indian dishes or fly all the way to Korea for some honest to goodness soontofu served the old fashioned way. When you’re in San Mateo, there are more Japanese restaurants than Mexican taquerias.

At one of our usual gatherings, Alvin and Anne one time brought a small box of food to go from one of their favorite Indian restaurant here in Newark.

The fried bread (bhature) was a slightly sweet kind similar to the Taco Bell challupa. [I know it’s a pretty barbaric reference or point of comparison but hey, I got this theory that food is easier to “understand” and thus appreciate when you can describe it in familiar terms]. You then dip that on a sweet to mildly spicy dish of garbanzos which I guess is the “choley” (chickpeas to you Amerikanos) that is then seasoned with something similar to a salsa verde (but with hints of cumin and some sort of lime).

You could probably count with your fingers the Indian dining places I’ve been to but I guess my recent forays into developing my own chili bean recipe has conditioned me into exploring more of the spicy stuff and triggered this interest on the earthy flavor of cumin.

So eventually, I found the Chatpatta Corner here in Newark. It’s near the 76 gas station in front of Ardenwood Farm right across the car wash. Only when I got in the store that I realized I didn’t even know the name of the dish I came there for! After I described it to the lady by the counter she was positive she knew what I was talking about. Bingo.

She also made it clear that they don’t serve any meat whatsoever and I said “you mean you don’t have meat today?” and she said: “nope, we don’t serve meat any other day”. And I was like “Ohhh”.

Fast forward to lunch time today. On my second visit I tried out the samosa which is usually a safe bet since middle eastern and mediterranean variants are usually similar to our Philippine empanada (of course without the ground beef). Theirs is nicely fried with a neutral potato filling and you eat it with some yogurt and the green chili dip.

Long story short, garbanzos as it turns out are good particularly for diabetics and is considered to be among the six healthiest staple foods in Middle Eastern cuisine. They contain healthy nutrients and an excellent source of fiber, which is known to help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease and stabilize blood sugar levels.

On YouTube:

Also: SF Chronicle Article here about chaat.

As Anthony Bourdain once mentioned in one of his TV shows: “anything that’s hot and spicy that makes
me sweat is good”.

I heartily agree.


Seven Cheese Pizza

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007


Here’s a quick and easy pizza I made today since I’ve been wanting to try out the
intriguing ready-made organic pizza dough I’ve been seeing at stores. We usually make ours from scratch with the help of a bread maker but it takes a lot of time and effort. We’d usually come up with 2 or 4 big pizza pans of thin crust for these occasions and preparation time takes about 2 hours.

These couple of weeks we have a pair of plants that have been producing tomatoes like crazy (an ‘Ace’ and a variant of ‘Big Beef’) from Viva Gardens. For some reason, I can’t seem to get enough of the aroma of fresh basil this past week.


  • 9-inch corn meal crust pizza from Vicolo
  • Ragu Homemade Style pizza Sauce
  • Sargento 6 Cheese Italian (mozarella, smoked provolone, asiago, parmesan, romano and fontina)
  • 2 havarti deli slices from Dofino
  • Fresh tomato sliced
  • Fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 mild italian sausage from New York Style Sausage Company
  • Pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Ground pepper (to taste)

I preheated the oven to 425 deg F and baking time takes about 15 minutes or so. I then layered a generous amount of pizza sauce on the crust followed by the 6 cheese italian mix with torn pieces of havarti deli slice. I then placed the slices of tomatoes and chopped basil on that followed by the italian sausage then another slice of havarti.

The havarti melted nicely and blended pretty well with the Ace tomato which has relatively low acid content (just right for breakfast). The corn meal crust was crisp and not as greasy as the ones we usually make and tasted better than most ready made doughs we see at groceries. As it turns out, these are made next door over at Hayward and the New York style sausage we used was actually made by a company in Sunnyvale. I guess you could say this is an authentic Bay Area pizza.

As Borat used to say, “wawa-wee-wa”!