Monday, June 23, 2008

15-Minute Recipes for Two Comfort Foods

I would like to share with you two of the recipes Niknok and I were able to hatch up out of boredom, empty stomachs and an almost empty fridge!

One restless night, Niknok and I could not sleep because we were anxious about my pending trip somwhere for a teaching job. Whenever I am bored, I have always found it a delightful escape to be in front of the stove, cooking up a satisfying meal all of us at home can enjoy. I am neither a cook nor am I chef but I love cooking and I love cooking what others may consider comfort foods. It so happened that we had a few packages of vermicilli (given by a friend who came from Jeddah, but 'mind you, this vermicelli is far from what we call sotanghon...more like tiny and thin spaghetti cut into one-inch pieces...more like the real pasta) in our storage cabinet and we could not decide what to do with them. So, I thought of hatching up a recipe out of it, something quite similar to how we do our favorite-the popular sopas. Here goes the first very simple recipe...laugh if you must but we found it quite sumptuous...

Vermicelli Soup ala Niknik and Niknok


vermicelli noodles (the one-inch sticks)- or any other type of soup pastas will do (elbow macaroni etc.)

4-6 Knorr chicken cubes, depending on the amount of water you will use, 1 liter will need about 4 cubes (This substitutes for the real chicken flavor.)

1 can vienna sausage (we found Libby's blending well with the taste of the chicken cubes), sliced diagonally

1/4 head cabbage minced

1 big white onion minced

1 head garlic minced

1/4 cup minced green onion leaves

3 tbsps. cooking oil

1 big can of evaporated milk

pepper to taste

salt or fish sauce to taste


1. Heat casserole.
2. Pour cooking oil and allow it to heat a little.
3. Brown about 3/4 of the minced garlic.
4. Set brown garlic aside.
5. On the same heated oil, saute white onions followed by the remaining garlic.
6. Pour in water and allow to boil.
7. When it reaches boiling point, pour in pasta and cook according to package instructions.
8. When pasta is almost cooked, pour in sausages.
6. A few seconds before pasta is cooked, pour in minced cabbage
7. When cooked, serve on soup bowl and pour milk then top with brown garlic and minced green onions.

*Best when served with plain salted biscuits or plain bread

Our other recipe is something that we have decided to call Choco-glazed Pancakes. We thought of doing it because all we had in our fridge that time was imported chocolates sent to us by my mother-in-law. We also had a big bag of Krusteaz hot cake mix also dearly sent to us by my mother-in-law who is in the U.S. So, with these ingredients, I was reminded of the waffle flavor I see at the stalls at the malls. They have chocolate waffles instead of just the usual hotdog waffles. I told myself, well, I can't go wrong with this one. Hot cake mix and leftover chocolates is definitely a match made in heaven. And, guess what? Niknok and I loved it so much. My nephews and niece also loved it. It was like eating that expensive chocolate cake in a posh restaurant... I guess it goes with how you blend the melted chocolate bar and the milk. Here goes the very easy-to-do Choco-glazed Pancakes...

Choco-glazed Pancakes


2 cups Krusteaz hot cake/waffle mix (or any other local brands with less sweetness/sugar - makes about 8 pancakes

1 bar of milk chocolate (in our case we used 10 pcs. of Nestle Nest Eggs, egg-shaped Nestle milk chocolate, preferably without crunch or peanuts but for testing, well, who knows, they might bring out a better recipe)

1/4 cup evaporated milk


1. Cook pancakes based on the package instructions.
2. While cooking pancakes, melt chocolates by placing them in a mug and dipping half of the mug on a pan with boiling water until the chocolates melt.
3. (For some chocolates that are too sweet) While the chocolate is melting, pour a little of the evaporated milk enough to reduce the sweetness of the chocolate.
4. When the pancakes are ready, use the melted chocolate to spirally glaze each of the pancakes.
5. Using the remaining chocolate, serve the pancakes with a few grated chocolate on top aside from the glaze.

We hope you will enjoy these easy-to-do recipes as much as we did. Through the above recipes, we've learned that enjoying good food among other things is knowing how to be resourceful and knowing how to maximize the use of the goods that are available in one's kitchen. Share with us if you enjoyed having any or both of the above recipes. Happy eating!- Niknik

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