Main Course Recipes


Crackling Pork Belly Roast

Crackling Pork Belly Roast

Being of Filipino descent, the craving for pork hits hard and often. We take pig seriously, but until someone can tell me how to make lechon in an apartment kitchen, I’ll have to settle for something more manageable.
Whenever squares of pork belly lie in the fridge, my gut instinct tells me to consult the Chinese. [...]

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Oxtail Adobo

Oxtail Adobo

Any mention of oxtails in Filipino food probably involves kare-kare, a rich peanut-based vegetable stew. Beef shanks, tripe, pork hocks, and other tough parts tenderized through long simmering may also be added, but it has to have the oxtails. Leaving the bony segments out is unacceptable. Hindi maaari (no frickin’ way).
I didn’t have the other [...]

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Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds

Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds

This ancient Berber dish is prepared around March or April in Morocco, when both green almonds and fava beans are seasonally available. The lamb is slow-cooked with ground mace and finished with the almonds, the beans, and a generous helping of sauteed onions.
I know next to nothing about traditional Moroccan cuisine and the recipe looked [...]

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Grilled Chicken with Espelette Pepper

Grilled Chicken with Espelette Pepper

You’ll likely spend more effort looking for the key ingredient than preparing this simple grilled chicken (see below for a substitution suggestion). The original recipe mentions Fox & Obel, a Chicago grocer that makes Whole Foods seem like Cheap Eats Galore by comparison, as the only source for Espelette peppers around here ($17.99 for 45 [...]

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Afelia – Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds

Afelia – Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds

Afelia is a classic Cypriot dish of pork marinated and braised in red wine and coriander seeds. With the short ingredient list (the only other items are olive oil, salt, and pepper), it’s as easy as braising gets.
The coriander seed is a mild spice that adds a sweet citrus note. It is used extensively in [...]

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Chinese White Cut Chicken

Chinese White Cut Chicken

White-cut chicken is a traditional Chinese preparation that calls for poaching, cutting on the bone, chilling, and serving with a flavorful dipping sauce. Chicken doesn’t have to be fried, crisp, or golden brown to be delicious. When it comes to Chinese dishes, “traditional” usually implies “old as hell” and “bajillions served,” so they must be [...]

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Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage

Not getting enough butternut in your risotto? Has this ever happened to you? (Warning: video contains choice words from British chef)
This basic butternut squash risotto recipe comes from a less disgruntled (gruntled?) British chef whose cooking style I really admire. The dish may be simple, but the garnish makes it a bit more interesting.
In addition [...]

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Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi

Pork Belly Recipe – Braised in Soy and Dashi

Since the Japanese have high life expectancy, it follows that this braised pork belly recipe is health food, doesn’t it? Green vegetables are also involved and a hefty portion of the fat is melted away through slow cooking, so the corollary holds true so far.
A few glasses of Japanese green tea or red wine can [...]

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Chicken Braised with Ancho Chiles

Chicken Braised with Ancho Chiles

“Traditional” and “simple” rarely belong in the same breath when it comes to Mexican recipes, but if you can find ancho chiles, this braised chicken recipe makes great weeknight fare without being light on flavor. It’s the antithesis to festive Mexican dishes that have several sub-recipes — you only need a few spices, pantry staples, [...]

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Ginataang Kalabasa – Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk

Ginataang Kalabasa – Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk

Creamy coconut milk is tinged a shade of yellow in this easy Filipino recipe for squash and shrimp simmered in coconut milk. This is my “macaroni and cheese,” with rice and tender kabocha squash assuming the roles of pasta and cheddar.
As with most comfort foods, ginataang kalabasa has countless variations. Other ginataan recipes call for [...]

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Pizza Napoletana Margherita – Neapolitan-Style Pizza

Pizza Napoletana Margherita – Neapolitan-Style Pizza

This is, without a doubt, the best recipe for pizza dough I’ve ever tried. Chilled flour, ice-cold water, salt, and a small amount of yeast are mixed together and immediately refrigerated in this unique method that draws out the complex flavors locked inside the flour. This delayed fermentation process is arguably the most important, and [...]

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Dal Makhani (Kali Dal) – Buttered Black Gram Beans

Dal Makhani (Kali Dal) – Buttered Black Gram Beans

Poke around my burgeoning list of recipes and you may notice that outright lack of knowledge and unpronounceableness haven’t deterred me in the least from trying out new foods. In keeping with the spirit of blissful ignorance, here are a handful of things I know about dal makhani, a slow-cooked lentil stew with black gram [...]

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Braised Pork Belly – Hangzhou Dongpo Pork

Braised Pork Belly – Hangzhou Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork is a minimalist recipe for braised pork belly that needs only a few Chinese pantry staples — ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. Ever ordered anything “drunken” at your local Chinese restaurant? Odds are you’ve had Shaoxing. It is the most widely used rice wine in Chinese cookery so invest in [...]

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Baby-Back Pork Ribs Adobo

Baby-Back Pork Ribs Adobo

The pork adobo of choice in our quaint little household in Quezon City was made with liempo, the cut also known as pork belly, source of wonderful things such as bacon and high blood pressure. Unabashedly lardy from slowly simmering pork in soy sauce and vinegar, pork adobo requires ungodly amounts of steamed rice, lest [...]

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Sumac Chicken – Roasted over Onions and Pita Bread

Sumac Chicken – Roasted over Onions and Pita Bread

This recipe for sumac-dusted roast chicken is not only easy to prepare, but is also an excellent introduction to the spice called sumac, and by extension, the charming simplicity of Lebanese cookery. The purple-maroon spice is used extensively in this cuisine; canisters of ground sumac take the place of ground pepper in most Lebanese restaurants [...]

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Ginataang Gulay – Vegetables Simmered in Coconut Milk

Ginataang Gulay – Vegetables Simmered in Coconut Milk

Ginataan is a Filipino cooking technique where ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, or fruits are simmered in coconut milk. It can be sweet or savory depending on the ingredients — the term ginataan by itself refers to a warm dessert soup traditionally served in the Philippines as merienda, mid-afternoon snacks that help make the long [...]

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Coda alla Vaccinara – Eat Like a Roman Butcher

Coda alla Vaccinara – Eat Like a Roman Butcher

Famous for dishes that highlight quinto quatro, the “fifth quarter” or oft-ignored parts of an animal, Rome sounds like my kind of town. Alla vaccinara is old Roman for “butcher’s style” and no other cut could be more appropriate for such a designation than oxtail. Unappealing to most, a butcher would know that when properly [...]

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Chicken in Red Sesame Seed Sauce

Chicken in Red Sesame Seed Sauce

Ancho chiles, the most commonly used dried capsicum in Mexican cookery, give this thick and earthy dish its characteristic maroon color. The muted red hues of pipián rojo hides its complexity — toasted sesame seeds meld with Mexican herbs and spices to create an intense sauce with a consistency similar to mole.
There are two [...]

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Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk

Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk

Growing up in the Philippines, I was a really picky eater. There are foods that I absolutely would not touch and I was, quite frankly, a pain in the ass to cook for. Some things in the fairly long list are atchara (pickled shredded papaya), anything with ampalaya (bitter melon), tutong (the burnt rice at [...]

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Steamed Lemon Chicken

Steamed Lemon Chicken

Family recipes are great, especially if they’re not from my own. Having said that, my food-obsessed relatives are sure to disown me, so I’m going to explain myself in case my grandmother finds this while googling my name in search of my Twitter account.
I’ll never get tired of the foods of my childhood and will [...]

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Feed a Crowd: Red Cooked Pork Shoulder

Feed a Crowd: Red Cooked Pork Shoulder

Cooking for a small crowd can be really stressful for the budding Michael Chiarello. However, it can be one of the most fun things you can do for friends and family. There is something perversely satisfying with making something delicious and sharing it with people you really really care about. A lot of things can [...]

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Pork Shoulder Braised with Oranges – Puerco en Naranja

Pork Shoulder Braised with Oranges – Puerco en Naranja

Pork Cooked in Orange Juice
I’m always looking for flavor combinations I’ve never tried before. The less ingredients there are, the more appealing it is because tasting how the different components complement each other can help inspire ideas and creativity in the kitchen. In this recipe, pork shoulder is slowly braised in orange juice, oregano, and [...]

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Beef Short Ribs Adobo

Beef Short Ribs Adobo

Adobo is the quintessential Filipino comfort food and is widely regarded as the national dish of the Philippines. When I had just started cooking and flopped around in a kitchen equipped with nothing but a crusty pot and a butter knife from Ikea, the first thing I made was adobo, sans recipe. It didn’t require [...]

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