Category Archives: entrees

Honey Balsamic Five Spice Glazed…

Yep… first recipe(s) in a while. 🙂

Here is the base recipe for the below salmon and pork:

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon

from: Keeping it Tasty


  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground (dry) mustard
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

I did not add nearly as much salt, only about 1/4 to 1/8 of a teaspoon. I added about 1/2 teaspoon each of rosemary and Five Spice to add extra flavor.


Mix all of the ingredients together to make the glaze. Cut small slices in the salmon every inch to allow the glaze to penetrate the fish. Place the salmon in a Pyrex dish and pour the glaze over, making sure to massage it into the cuts. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until done.

Here are the salmon fillets before going into the oven. The end result is as shown at the beginning of the post.

Rosemary Five Spice Salmon (Ready for Oven)

I also tried the honey balsamic five spice glaze with a pork loin roast, omitting the rosemary. I marinated the loin roast in the glaze overnight. Below is a shot of the loin after its 24-hour soak, ready for the oven.

Honey Balsamic Five Spice Pork Loin (Ready For Oven) #1

I baked the loin at 350 degrees for about an hour. The meat thermometer should read 160-175 degrees.  As always, let your roast rest before you cut it.

Resting Honey Balsamic Five Spice Pork Loin #1

Here’s what the roast looked like after its time in the oven. The marinade worked very well with the roast, and it was good for lunches and dinners for a good while!

It definitely was not the way the PhoWheels Food Truck seasoned their pork belly for their tacos and Banh Mi sandwiches, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention I was inspired by them. Here’s a shot of the Pork Belly Banh Mi…

Pork Belly Banh Mi on Crossaint

There is one thing I should keep in mind when I prepare a larger pork loin roast again. As long as the roast is up to temperature, do not freak out upon seeing a little pink. While we did stick with the pork slices until we finished them, I zapped all the succulence out of the pork by microwaving the slices in a moment of panic.


Adobong Baboy (Pork Adobo)

Another theme and variation on adobo. This time, I used pork with the recipe I usually use for chicken adobo (recipe here). I used a large pack of boneless ribs since they were on special at the time. I had to do less prep work since the pork was already cut somewhat, and this pack wasn’t particularly fatty. Here’s a shot of the pork, which will be brought first to a boil. The mix will then simmer for a while, first with the lid, then without.

Boneless Ribs Ready to Cook...

As with any adobo involving meat, cooking it “low and slow” is very important… Here’s how the finished product looks on brown rice:

Pork Adobo and Rice

East Meets Italy Meets Southeast

I was reading a copy of Southern Living while visiting my in-laws-to-be when I saw this recipe for oven-fried catfish. I thought it was a good idea… frying catfish would smell up the apartment for quite a long time and baking catfish would be a better nutritional deal. Once I decided to make it, I wasn’t in the mood for Cajun seasoning and cornflakes, so I wondered what would happen if I subbed garlic salt for the Cajun seasoning and Italian-seasoned panko crumbs for the cornflakes.

Here’s the result of the experiment: a very tasty and relatively inexpensive fish dish…

Panko Oven-"Fried" Catfish (Closer)

The play by play is below. I made sure to wash my hands early and often to avoid cross contamination and keep ingredients from messing up my camera.

As directed in the recipe, I soaked my catfish (nuggets in this case) in low-fat buttermilk for at least 20 minutes. It turned out more to be 35-40 and even longer for half of the fish since my rack couldn’t take all the fish I had at once. Here’s some of the fish I took out of the buttermilk bath:

Catfish in Buttermilk

I then poured some panko crumbs in a flat dish. I sprinkled a little garlic salt on the fish, then rolled it in the crumbs…

Buttermilk-Dipped Catfish Getting a Panko Coat

Here’s the second round of fish fully breaded and ready to bake…

Panko-Breaded Catfish on the Rack

They were then baked for as directed in the original recipe. Here’s a shot of them once finished and placed into a container…

Panko Oven-"Fried" Catfish #1

I will be in the mood to make the original recipe at some point (and closer to its southern-“fried” roots), but the experiment worked well both Dan and myself… They turned out nice and crispy, the flavor kept well, and the fat on the fish made it taste like the fish was fried (even though it wasn’t). You might lose some crispiness heating leftovers in the microwave, but you might be able to recover some the original crispiness by toasting them in a toaster oven.

Broiled Salmon With Breadcrumbs

Acquired a few years ago through a couple of friends who were moving, our old toaster was unfortunately getting a little bit troublesome. It’d often take several turns for me at “high” setting for me to even get toast to a medium brown, and while I had figured out the crumb tray, it was still a little unwieldy to clean. Crumbs would also fall out of the tray without Dan and I having opened it. While it served us well, it was the old toaster’s time to go…

*Plays taps for the old toaster*

In the past, I also hadn’t attempted to broil things using our gas stove. While the apartment’s stove had a broiler, it was close to the ground, and I’d invariably have to stoop. All of these problems were solved when Dan and I bought a new toaster oven (pictured later). Now we can toast, broil, bake, and clean things out with relatively little fuss and guesswork.

Today, I gave the new toaster oven’s broiler a try, making a variation of simple recipe for salmon that my mom originally taught me (I think there’s enough variation between her version and mine that I can safely share this one…)

Only a few ingredients are needed for this dish: salmon (steaks were used in this recipe since they were less expensive at the store, but fillets work fine, too), olive oil, garlic salt and breadcrumbs.

First, I brushed the salmon steaks with olive oil.

Brushing with Olive Oil
Yeah, I know that’s a pastry brush, but I work with what I have…

The salmon steaks are then sprinkled liberally with garlic salt (naturally, sprinkle to taste). Once done, they look like they do below:

Salmon Steaks w/ Olive Oil and Garlic Salt

The breadcrumbs are added last before being sent to the broiler… I tried to make sure the top was as covered as much as possible. The broiler pan ws also lined with aluminum foil and nonstick cooking spray for ease of cleanup…

Salmon Steaks Ready for Broiler

Here are a couple of steaks in the toaster oven. Depending on how good your broiler is, it can stay as few as 10 minutes or as much as 20 minutes…

Salmon Steaks Broiling

After spending 15 minutes in the toaster oven, the steaks are done… The bread crumbs are browned a little, and the salmon is fully cooked and ready to nom!

Pile of Finished Salmon Steaks

Blue Box? What Blue Box?!

Granted, I think Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is OK, but I much prefer the homemade stuff. 😉 Dan made this batch of mac-and-cheese the other day using his mom’s recipe.

Mac and Cheese (Closeup)

Combine the following in a large pot:

2 eggs
1 cup flour
4 cups milk

Bring the ingredients to a boil on stove set to medium heat. Sautee 2 tbsp onions with a stick of butter. Add the sauteed onions to the mixture in the pot. Add 4 cups of shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly and cook on medium heat until the cheese is fully melted. Once the cheese is fully melted, cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. (Note: This produces a thick sauce. For a less thick sauce, use less flour and/or more milk).

Cook 1 pound of pasta until it is al dente. Once the pasta is done, combine with the sauce in the large pot. Stir until the pasta is fully coated. Pour the contents of the pot into a 9×13 inch roasting pan. The mixture should be 2 to 3 inches deep throughout the pan. Liberally pour bread crumbs on top. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Substitutions: Dan uses grated parmesan-romano instead of bread crumbs atop the mac/cheese.

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Adobong Manok (Chicken Adobo)

Conisdered in many respects to be the national dish of the Philippines, Adobo is the quintessential Filipino comfort food. It’s a simple dish consisting of something (often meat, but sometimes vegetables — sometimes both) cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. It differs from its counterpart in Latin American/Southwestern cooking in a few ways: Tomatoes and chilles are often not found in the Filipino version, and Filipino Adobo is more akin to a stew than a meat rub.

Adobong Manok/Chicken Adobo and Rice

The recipe I most often use is Corrine Domingo’s found on the Food Network:

4-5 lbs. chicken thighs
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and marinate chicken for 1-3 hours. Bring to boil, then lower heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

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