Experimental Cook! – Tuna Melt Sandwich

Tuna melt sandwich

Here’s another tuna recipe for the books :) It’s Lent and I can’t eat meat on Fridays, so I decided to make myself this sandwich for dinner. My inspiration for this is one of my favorite menu items from Cafe Breton.

It actually tastes better than it looks — the photo above doesn’t really look like a tuna melt sandwich (should’ve added more tuna spread), but believe me, it does taste awesome.

It’s really quite easy — For the tuna spread, just mix drained tuna flakes, low-fat mayonnaise and grated cheese. Added in a pinch of salt, then white pepper and a bit of garlic powder. After making the spread, toast a couple of wheat bread slices with butter then add the tuna spread with a bit more of grated cheese on top. Finish off with lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

That’s it! Light, healthy and yummy =p~

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Experimental Cook! – Tuna Carbonara

Tuna Carbonara

I know, I know.. I’ve been cooking a lot of pasta recipes lately. Please bear with me, especially now that I’m sacrificing rice for lent (no meat on Fridays, too). Hopefully I can try to cook a chicken or beef dish in the coming weeks.

The recipe is pretty similar to the recipe I used to cook Pinoy-Style Carbonara a few weeks ago, except that I used tuna flakes for bacon and ham and also added in Maggi Magic Sarap. I do think it tastes better this time around ;)

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Experimental Cook! – Ground Beef Nachos

Ground Beef Nachos

This is definitely one of my most favorite snacks. I’ve always wondered how the ground beef dip is done, so I was quite excited to find a recipe in my newly-purchased recipe booklet (Del Monte Kitchenomics 100 Best-Loved Recipes). No need to worry about the cheese dip, too — I’ve just recently discovered Cheese Magic from Del Monte and it’s awesome!

Here are the ingredients for the beef dip:

1 small onion, chopped
100 grams ground beef
1/4 cup canned sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Del Monte Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
Dash of paprika
Dash of garlic powder
Black and white pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

Saute onion and beef until cooked, then add mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add spaghetti sauce, then all the spices and stir consistently for 5 minutes or until the mixture is slightly dry. Set aside. (Note though that I just added all the spices in the recipe. The original recipe didn’t include the paprika, garlic powder, pepper and salt. If you have taco seasoning, that could work too)

Once the beef dip is ready, arrange chips in a dish. Top with the sauteed mixture and diced tomatoes. Drizzle with Del Monte Cheese Magic.

It’s that easy, folks! Go ahead and give it a try ;)

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Experimental Cook! – Pasta Pomodoro

Pasta Pomodoro

A few days back, I was doing my usual visit at the bookstore and stumbled upon Del Monte’s new recipe booklet, Del Monte Kitchenomics 100 Best-Loved Recipes. I didn’t know which recipes were inside, but for less than 200 pesos, I decided to buy it. One of the recipes inside that I wanted to try was Pasta Pomodoro (yes, I love pasta).

Here are the ingredients for the pomodoro sauce:

10 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
10 pcs shrimps, shelled but tails kept intact
250 grams Del Monte Italian Style Spaghetti Sauce
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (substitute for rice wine)
2 tbsp all-purpose cream
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
Chili pasteΒ (substitute for sliced siling labuyo)
Salt & white pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese (for garnishing)

Saute garlic in olive oil until light brown. Add shrimps, spaghetti sauce, bell pepper, chili paste, wine and salt. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, stir occasionally. Add cream and basil, heat for 3 more minutes. If sauce appears to be too thick, add water.

Pour sauce over cooked noodles, then garnish with parmesan cheese.

I think the outcome was awesome! The sauce did appear to be thick (even if I added water), but mixing it in with the pasta, it looked pretty good. And yes, it tastes good too! =p~

There were a couple of ingredients that weren’t available in our pantry so I decided to use some alternatives — Chinese cooking wine for rice wine and chili paste for siling labuyo. And although the recipe didn’t include the pepper, I decided to add it in anyway, knowing that I’m so obsessed over pepper. I think it worked out well ;) But next time I’ll definitely try adding in some siling labuyo and use black pepper instead of white pepper.

Hmmm.. what’s next in line?! :)

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Experimental Cook! – Pinoy-Style Carbonara

Fettucine Carbonara

So yesterday, I cooked fettucine carbonara.. and it was actually good! ;)

My mom has been asking me relentlessly to cook carbonara, esp. after her failed attempt to do it. I was supposed to cook it for New Year’s Eve, but I fell ill unfortunately. It’s just now that I found the time to finally try it out.

Just a quick disclaimer — it’s not the typical Italian preparation which has eggs. I’d like to call it Pinoy-style carbonara, simply because it’s how I see most Filipino households do it.Β I’m not going to give it an exact recipe, too — I just basically threw in the ingredients and tasted the sauce every once in a while to get the perfect cheesy, creamy carbonara taste that I’ve always loved.

First off, cook the pasta according to package instructions, then set aside. Cook cubed bacon until they are light brown, set it aside and then melt butter in the pan (if there is some bacon grease left, leave it in the pan for added flavor). Saute garlic and onion, then add some ham (I added in some salami this time). Shortly after, add milk and all-purpose cream, then some pepper to taste. Add in some grated cheese and parmesan cheese. Wait for the sauce to simmer, then add mushrooms and bacon. In case the sauce gets too thick, just add a bit of water. If you have some red bell pepper and parsley available at the pantry, you may add them in too for a more interesting flavor.

Serve the pasta with the white sauce on top, then sprinkle some parmesan cheese and bacon bits. And that’s it!

Pretty simple, huh? Go try it ;)

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