Category: Comfort Food

Homemade Baked Beans Recipe

Baked beans, chips and nuggets, photo by JMorton

Homemade Baked Beans Recipe

It is very rewarding, and not to mention delicious, to make your own dinner, especially if it is an old family favourite like the baked beans.

This is the important bit: soak the beans overnight.  Apparently this is to remove the phytic acid that beans contain which would make them more digestible.  I’ve always thought the soaking process was just to make them softer, ergo, would make them cook faster.

But apparently beans contain anti-nutrients, the phytic acid, and this can cause heartburn, indigestion, flatulence and reflux.  Ensure to discard the dirty soaking water afterwards.

Of course you can also get cans of beans in the supermarket, which is ready to cook.


  • 400g dried haricot or cannellini beans  or two cans of ‘cooked beans”
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 150g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar


  1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain them, place in a large casserole pan, cover the beans with water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Keep removing any scum that gather on top.
  2. Cook for about 45 minutes-1 hour until tender, then remove from the heat and leave to drain in a colander for half an hour.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and garlic.
  4. Stir in the pancetta or bacon and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and 400ml water, then tip in the beans. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick sauce and tender beans.
  6. If you are using canned beans, start from No 3. 🙂


Bacon Cabbage Soup Recipe

Chopped Pointed Cabbage – Photo by PH Morton

Bacon Cabbage Soup Recipe

This is a lovely one-dish meal, best served with buttered slices of bread.  Just right for a lazy weekend, especially in this colder weather.


1/2 Pointed cabbage or Napa cabbage, sliced thinly

4 rashers of bacon, cut into inch-size

1 onion, chopped

2 vegetable or chicken bouillon dissolved in 3 cups warm water

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp virgin olive oil

fish sauce or salt

3 boiled eggs, peeled

Method of Preparation:

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil, add the bacon and cook until starting to crisp.

Stir in the cabbage. Allow the cabbage to soak in the bacon-flavoured oil.

Pour in the warm water.

Season with a bit of fish sauce or salt according to taste.

Remove from heat before the cabbage leaves are over-cooked.

Serve with the boiled eggs, each should be cut in half.


Macaroni Cheese Recipe

Mac&Cheese, photo by JMorton

Macaroni Cheese Recipe


  • 300g macaroni pasta
  • 60g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 475ml milk
  • 250g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp cooking oil


  • Using a large casserole pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add salt and a teaspoon of  cooking oil to the water. (The salt will season the pasta whilst the oil will prevent the pasta from sticking together)
  • Add the macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but still firm to bite, al dente.
  • Melt butter with the remaining cooking oil (again adding oil will prevent the butter from burning) in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour milk into the butter-flour mixture while continuously stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling, this might take about 5 minutes.
  • Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.

Serve immediately!

Spicy Pork with Flat Green Beans

Flat Green Beans & Pork, Photo by JMorton

Flat Green Beans & Pork, with Rice Photo by JMorton

Spicy Pork with Flat Green Beans


  • 200g flat green beans, top and tail and cut into 1½ inches lengths
  • 300g pork belly slices, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp of chilli oil or less, to taste
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Water

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza, photo by JMorton

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza


For the base:

  • 1 packet of Dried Yeast
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 140 ml Warm Water
  • 180g Strong Plain Flour (for baking bread)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp  Dried Basil
  • 1 small tin chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of Tomato Puree
  • Grated Cheddar or Mozzarella
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly
  • Pepperoni slices


  1. To make the base, mix the salt and yeast together in a jug with the warm water.
  2. Place flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the water mixture.  Also add the olive oil.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything to create a wet dough.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on a flat clean surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  5. Place in a bowel and cover with tea towel. Leave at room temperature to enable the yeast to do its work.  After half an hour, the dough should have doubled in size.
  6. Flatten the dough into a circle, as the pizza base.
  7. Now create the topping.
  8. Using a spatula, spread the tomato puree all over the base.
  9. Place the chopped tomatoes on top.
  10. Then add onion and garlic, spread them.
  11. Sprinkle over the roughly grated cheese and arrange Pepperoni, put as many as you like.
  12. Season with a little salt and a good grinding of black pepper.
  13. Sprinkle in the dried basil.
  14. Place the pizza on a lightly greased baking sheet..
  15. Cook at 200° for 20 minutes.


Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green beans & Squash With Coconut Milk)

Ginataang sitaw at kalabasa with fried fish, photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green beans & Squash With Coconut Milk)

Buttered Scallops Recipe

Buttered Scallop, Photo by Josephine Robles

Buttered Scallops Recipe

Scallops are bivalves saltwater clams.  They come in beautiful fan-shaped curved edges.


Method of preparation:

  1.  If you are serving the cooked scallops in their shell, it would be prudent to buy them in a fishmonger.  Ask them to prepare the scallops and ask for the shell to take home.
  2. Rinse scallops; gently dry with paper towels.
  3. Thoroughly clean the shells, then set them decoratively on a serving platter.,
  4. Using a large frying pan or a skillet, heat half of the butter, splash (carefully) 🙂 with a dash of olive oil, then stir fry the garlic until golden, not burnt.
  5.  Add the scallops. Cook, turning it upside down frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until scallops turn opaque.
  6. Remove from the frying pan and place its one in an individual shell over the serving platter.
  7. Add remaining butter and wine to the same frying pan used. Heat and stir to loosen any stuck in bits from the garlic and scallops.  Heat for a minute of two and then pour over the scallops; sprinkle with chives and a smidgen of salt.
  8. Serve immediately with some salad with balsamic vinegar.


Shrimp Pinakbet Recipe

Shrimp Pinakbet, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Shrimp Pinakbet Recipe

I do love meaty pinakbet but once and again a good shrimp pinakbet is the business.  Here is a really scrumptious tasting recipe.


1 tbsp oil

2 pound prawns

1 medium ampalaya (bittergourd), deseeded and sliced

1 pound squash, peeled and cut into biggish cubes

1 medium size eggplant (aubergine)

100 g string beans, trimmed and cut into 1½ inches lengths

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ cup bagoong na alamang (shrimp paste)

1 cup water

Method of Preparation:

Using a sauce pan, heat the oil and quickly fry the prawns in the garlic for a minute.

Add the ampalaya, squash, eggplant, tomato and onion.

Pour in the water.

Stir in the bagoong.

Cover the pan and allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Check the season, add a little patis if most salt is required!

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