Toasted Cake

I baked a cake and my family didn’t like it so much. It had been sitting in the fridge for days, drying out, and I just wanted to do something with it. I did, today. For breakfast. It’s a trick I’ve done with old pancakes before. It works with batter-type cakes too. Cut the cake into smaller pieces. “Fingers” or narrow triangles are good shapes. Dip each piece in melted butter. Dip, not soak you just want to rehydrate them a bit and moisten the surface so that the sugar mixture will stick. Mix some sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Roll each buttered piece of cake in the sugar mixture. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper (unless you’re using a non-stick pan). The cakes will stick to the pan when the sugar melts so you want that non-stick paper.

Bread cups and scrambled eggs

A few days old bread and scrap meat became this fabulous brunch. We spent the long weekend in Tagaytay and had to bring home a whole loaf of multi-grain bread that we were unable to consume and I was thinking about what to do with it yesterday. Fortunately for me, in the house where we stayed, there was a book called Gourmet Weekends and I found a recipe that turned bread slices into toasted cups and filled them with scrambled eggs something like the chicken and cheese on toasted bread cups in the archive except that this one has eggs and the bread cups are baked before the filling goes in. There is no rule as to what you can add to the eggs. Anything goes. Crumbled bacon, diced ham, cold chicken, mushrooms… anything. Just remember to beat the eggs with milk so that the mixture is light and fluffy.

Sotanghon (vermicelli, glass noodles) and ginseng soup

I showed you a pack of dried roots, bark, and berries that I boiled with meat to make broth. Well, I didn’t make a soup dish with the broth. I parboiled sotanghon in the broth and then stirred the softened noodles with sauteed pork and vegetables. Oh, my goodness! The flavors and aroma are just tantalizing. If you don’t have the ingredients for making ginseng soup, you can use good quality broth, preferably homemade, whether chicken, pork, beef, or fish based. If you don’t like pork, substitute chicken or shrimp. The important thing is to allow the noodles to soften in the broth, absorbing all its flavors.

Pour the strained ginseng soup into a pan. Add the noodles. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. Test a noodle, if not cooked enough, pour in half a cup of hot broth into the pan and continue soaking.

While the noodles soak, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Crush, peel, and mince the garlic.

Peel and finely slice the shallots.

Peel and julienne the carrot.

String and cut the string beans diagonally into one-inch lengths.

Cut the onion leaves into two-inch lengths then finely slice vertically to make string-like strips.

Heat the cooking oil in a non-stick wok. Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and string beans. Cook, stirring often, for a couple of minutes. Add the softened noodles and onion leaves. Cook, stirring, just until heated through.