Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Salmon rissoles

As Lent is upon us, we like to eat more fish or seafood dishes this season.   As a Filipino parent, we try to instill in our kids traditions that we grew up with.  And as born Filipino Catholics, there's a lot of these traditions that come during Lent - from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday to witness washing of the feet, to Good Friday to do the Stations of the Cross to Easter Sunday.   While we can't always do all these traditions because of timing and schedule, we do keep to our lenten sacrifice.

From Ash Wednesday, it's customary that we avoid eating meats on Fridays for the whole season of Lent.  In the past years, I have personally sacrificed eating meat for 40 days and it was a welcome change.   

Every year, each of the girls have their own fave food or habit which they sacrifice for the whole Lenten period.  Usually they give up chips, lollies, chocolates, soda, etc.  It's a good exercise of discipline as sometimes I forget and pack some in their lunch box, and then I get told off.  "Please don't add chips in my lunch box as I'm sacrificing that for lent, mum."  It's good for discipline and for the health too!

Now this is a fantastic option to our weekday or weekend menu.  Salmon rissoles.  They're easy and so inexpensive to make.  The recipe is adapted from Coles recipes.


4 medium sized potatoes
30g unsalted butter
395g tin red salmon, drained and flaked

3-4 spring onions, chopped

1 cup breadcrumbs

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 egg

1 cup corn flour

vegetable oil or light olive oil for frying


Boil the potatoes until tender, 20-25 minutes.

Drain.  In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with 30g unsalted butter.

Add the flaked tinned salmon, bread crumbs, spring onions, egg, zest and juice of the lemon.

Mix and shape into patties.

Roll in corn flour and shake off excess.

Continue wth the rest of the patties.

Heat a pan on medium heat with enough oil for frying.

Pan fry the rissoles in batches, for 5-6 minutes or until golden.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with garlic aoili (simply add crushed garlic into a cup of store bought mayonnaise) and a lemon wedge.

Tips and tricks:

*Variations on this rissoles, would be using tinned tuna or flaked smoked salmon;

* When shaping the patties/rissoles, make sure they are uniform in size to make cooking easy

* You can add other greens into the rissoles.  Chopped basil or chives will work great too.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Peanut butter cookies with coconut oil (made with homemade peanut butter)

Peanut butter cookies is one of the two things I remember we baked at home, while growing up.  We were not a baking family.  We were more grilling and stove top people.  The other thing we baked at home were pound cakes.  Yes!  And I remember we used Blue Bonnet butter.  US imports into the PI back then which were aplenty.  And pound cakes and peanut butter cookies were a staple in our kitchen.    The most fun out of making the peanut butter cookies were the criss cross patterns which me and my siblings would fight over who should do it.    

These days, with peanut butter overtaken by Nutella in recent years, the girls were not a bit interested with these.  So I had these to myself and my siblings when they came over.

I'd like to say these are healthy because butter is substituted with coconut oil, and we also made our own peanut butter.  So pretty much, we knew what went into these cookies. 

The cookies came out soft and chewy (as we wanted), but you can always make it crunchy.

If you want to make this with your own peanut butter, The Kitchn has the step by step-step easy procedure to make them.  Of you can simly use store-bought peanut butter.

First you will need peanuts.

For our version of this peanut butter, I used salted peanuts because I didn't want to add any more salt while making them.  I also roasted them in the oven first then cooled before making the nut butter.

Then they go into your food processor.  The first pulse gives you a grainy texture of milled or pounded nuts.


The next process gives you a smoother nut butter and almost ready to use.  I just added 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and it was ready!  Poured into a jar and kept at room temperature.  It lasted for more than two weeks.   But of course, we ate them with warm Filipino pandesal bought from our local Asian grocer immediately.  Taste test for quality, as you do. 

To make the peanut butter, I adapted the recipe from Elise at Simply Recipes.


100 grams caster sugar

125 grams light brown sugar, packed

 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (store bought or home made)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 egg

325 grams plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar until creamy, 2 or more minutes.

Add the peanut butter and eggs and continue beating until light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, continuing to mix with every addition, and until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl. 

Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 175*C.  Prepare a cookie sheet with baking paper or silicone mat.

Shape the dough into rounds, golf ball size.  Place on the prepared pan/cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart.

Flatten the cookies using a fork with a criss cross pattern.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes for chewy cookies, or until golden.

For crispy cookies, bake in a preheated 180*C oven for 10-12 minutes.

These cookies are not sweet, as I lessened the sugar a little bit, and they were surprisingly good.  There were no coconut flavour or odour which some people dislike when using coconut oil.

Tips and tricks:

* To use coconut oil, it helps when the oil is a little bit solid.  Usually, coconut oil solidifies when the weather is cooler.  If you use liquid coconut oil, it will take longer to beat it until light and fluffy.  To solidify your coconut oil, measure what you need and place it in the fridge overnight, and just take it out an  hour or more before using.  

* The cookies lasts longer than when butter is used.  I tested a few of these, and they kept for two weeks in an air tight container room temperature.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Asparagus, smoked salmon, lemon and chilli risotto


Asparagus is one of the many vegetables I loathed as a child.  I hated the smell.  It doesn't help that it usually came from a can as spears and sometimes as cream of asparagus soup.  You know the brand.  Maybe it was the fact that there was rarely fresh asparagus available where I grew up, or simply because it's another "green" vegetable like brocolli. 

Well, somehow I outgrew that hate.  And these days, when they're available at my local fruit and veg shop or at the markets, they go straight into my market basket.  They're so versatile and so easy to cook. 

As part of the #huonsalmon challenge, I prepared this dish for a Taste of Harmony celebration at work.  We were to bring a dish (or ingredient) that starts with the first letter of our name.  And I chose A for Asparagus.


3 tablespoon light olive oil
1 garlic, finely diced

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 cups arborio rice

200 ml white wine

400 ml vegetable or fish stock (or water) 

250 grams Huon Reserve Selection Blacked Spice Hot Smoked Salmon, shredded 

rind of 1 lemon

400 grams asparagus spears, cut into 1.5 cm

2-3 chillies, chopped

1 cup grated parmesan


In a heavy skillet or enameled cast iron pan, heat the olive oil.

Add the garlic and onions and stir until soft.

Add the arborio rice, and stir to coat the rice.

Add the white wine, stirring and let it simmer for a minute until the sauce is reduced.

Turn the heat to a low simmer, add a cup of stock/water and put lid on and let the rice simmer.

Check after 2-3 minutes and if the sauce is reduced, add more stock/water and let it simmer until rice is almost cooked. (if the rice is getting dry, keep adding half a cup of extra stock or water.  Don't let the rice get dried up and burn the bottom of the pan.)

Add the salmon and asparagus, rind of lemon and the chillis. Stir to balance the ingredients evenly in the pan. 

Add 2/3 of the grated parmesan and stir to coat.

Turn off heat and cover.  Let the risotto sit for awhile before serving.

Serve with extra parmesan on top.

This risotto is something I dish up at home on a weekday, using any ingredient on hand (canned tuna sometimes, or just plain vegetables like mushrooms). But this time, it is with the Huon Reserve Selection Blacked Spice Hot Smoked Salmon.  I love the naturally smoked flavour and the combination of native Australian spices.  And it went well at our office Taste of Harmony lunch.  It also helps that it's a simple dish to whip up during Lent.

Disclaimer: The writer (adobo down under) was invited to take part in the #huonsalmon blogging challenge and Huon Aquaculture has provided the products mentioned in this recipe.


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