Thursday, September 27, 2012

Causa Limena - A Peruvian dish

When I was in Cusco, I took an optional tour to attend a cooking class with Lulu. We learned how to make an authentic Peruvian dish which was easy to do. I am going to share it with you. Causa Limena is a mashed potato pancake dish stuffed with fish, chicken or vegetables from Peru. You can serve this dish  cold as an appetizer or as a starter.


8 - 10 ( medium sized ) potatoes
1 can of tuna ( you can also use shrimps, chicken or vegetables )
finely chopped onion ( about 1 /2 cup )
avocado sliced lengthwise thinly
chopped green bell pepper
Lemon juice
vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste


* Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender and cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

* In another bowl, combine tuna, chopped onions, chopped bell peppers. Mix well and set aside.

* peel and slice avocado thinly and set aside.

* Prepare the wax paper. Rub vegetable oil into the wax paper and spread the mashed potatoes. Spread some mayonnaise on top of the potato mixture. You can also use the bamboo mat  ( used in Japanese restaurants ) which you use to make sushi. 

* Spread the mashed potato mixture on top of the oiled wax paper. Then add the sliced avocado on the second layer. Then slowly roll the potato mixture carefully.  ( see procedure below ). Then set aside.

* After you have made it into a roll, rub mayonnaise all over the roll.

* Prepare garnish. Chop finely red bell pepper and parsley. You can also add chopped black olives.

* Slice the roll and place on a dish and serve.

Cooking/ preparation time for this dish is 25 -30 minutes. 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tagliatelle with Portobello mushrooms and truffle oil

This is a fun little dish.  It's a quick, simple dish that is delicious. Why don't you try it out?? 


1 (8-ounce) package uncooked Tagliatelle pasta
2 large portobello mushrooms ( sliced thinly )

1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ground thyme
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups parmigiano -reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped chives
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 to 3 teaspoons white truffle oil


1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente; drain well. Toss your noodles with parmesan cheese and a little bit of butter and white truffle oil. My recipe calls for two to three teaspoons ( depending to your taste ). I would suggest that you use three teaspoons. Yes, they are the most expensive three teaspoons you'll ever use in a dish, but you just need to do it.  The flavor will suffer.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the cream, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until thick, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 5 minutes. Add the parmigiano-reggiano and 1 tablespoon chives, stir well and adjust the seasoning to taste.

4. Add the pasta to the mushroom sauce, stirring well and cook until the pasta is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve immediately.

Happy Eating !!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Degustacion dinner at Old Manila

Recently I celebrated my birthday with my family and close friends by treating them to a degustacion dinner at Old Manila. It was a triple celebration !! It was a double birthday celebration ( Iggy and mine ) and the wedding anniversary of my eldest son, Tommie and his wife Maite. I was there in February this year with my friends from Los Angeles to celebrate Valentine's Day. We also had a set degustacion meal for the occasion. I enjoyed my meal so much that I told myself that I should bring my family over to Old Manila to try out their degustacion menu.

Lucky enough, Old Manila had a degustacion dinner on their menu. Iggy and I opted for the degustacion with wine pairings, Maite had the degustacion without the wine. Tommie, Germs and Edith decided to go ala carte...

Here was our degustacion menu:

we had a complimentary appetizer to start..

Cold smoked wagyu beef carpaccio

Beef carpaccio is an Italian dish consisting of partially cooked beef, cut into thin slices, and served with arugula and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. It is usually offered as an appetizer at restaurants. Our carpaccio was served with poached  quail egg topped with black truffle tapenade.. It was really good!!!

Seared jumbo prawns

Succulent, rich, delectable are the best description I can think of describing this dish!!!

Pan seared duck foie gras  with spiced pineapple and Port wine glaze - a must try !!!!

Citrus sorbet

Old Manila seafood tasting - Blue swimmer crab, silver anchovies, Pecorino chips, melted lardo.

Olive crusted lamb loin

Hot and cold bliss

Edith and Germs ordered surf and turf which was really good !!

and Tommie had the tried and tested Prime US Angus rib eye..

For an added treat -- I ordered crepes suzette..... 

We all enjoyed what was served to us.....Their degustacion menu was a bit pricey but it was worth it !!! 
Old Manila you never fail my expectations !!! Bravo!!

Old Manila is located inside The Peninsula Manila.
For reservations, call 8872888 ext 6748.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Journey of a Lifetime ( Part 12 ) - Last day in Lima

After experiencing altitude sickness and breathing problems almost everyday, I was so happy to be back in Lima. Everything has gone back to normal once more. We stayed at our first hotel when we arrived in Peru,  Hotel Antigua Miraflores. Jesus posted our schedule at the hotel lobby which read -- " farewell dinner given by tour company -- departure 7:00pm ". 

This was our last day here in Peru.. Lulu and I wanted to see Larcomar. From the information we got at our hotel, Larcomar was a 20 minute walk from our hotel. Walking along the coast we got to watch some surfers catching continuous waves, paragliders shadowing over and around the buildings lining the path and locals doing workouts whether it be cycling, outdoor gyms, running, rollerblading or climbing steps. The parks along the route were immaculate and lots of people just lay about reading or writing notes.

Upon arriving at Larcomar I was impressed!! It was an ultra-modern shopping/restaurant complex perched on the cliffs high above the ocean in the Miraflores district where we stayed.

On the first level, as you go down the stairs, you will see several shops and restaurants. Among others, there is a STARBUCKS where you can get your usual espresso, latte, etc. There are other shops and restaurants on the second level down, accessible by normal staircases or escalators.

On our way back to our hotel, we passed by El Parco del Amor ( Love Park ). Miraflores is considered one of the most exclusive districts in Lima. There are luxurios hotels, pubs, discos, restaurant and places of entertainment. Although this disctrict is not only attractive for its buildings but also for its beautiful parks and gardens. El Parco del Amor is located on the cliffs of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  It’s a place dedicated to all lovers and offers a stunning view over the bay of Lima.

This statue was made by Victor Delfin. It is the most impressive sculpture of Love Park and it describes two lovers in a passionate kiss. It’s normal during the day and night see couples here, kissing or snuggled close together.