Earlier this month, Del Monte launched their premium line of products for home chef moms in the Philippines to use in their kitchens.
This ground breaking event was marked by a visit of #domesticgoddess, herself, Nigella Lawson.
If you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years then you might not know who this beautiful woman is. Chances are, you DO know Nigella, and if you do know her, chances are, you love her as much as I do.
I LOVE NIGELLA.
Together with Chef Jayps of Sarsa Kitchen, Stephanie Zubiri, and home chef mom, Daphne Osena Paez, Nigella welcomed the newest PREMIUM line of Del Monte products at the Enderun Tent.
You can be sure that my partner in Mothers Who Brunch and I had our Nigella cookbooks READY for signing when we attended this event. I mean, after all, it’s not often that you are just a few feet away from a legend in the kitchen.
Everyone who attended the launch learned about the fresh California tomatoes jarred and canned at the peak of their ripening process, the imported olive oils from Spain, and the semolina flour grown in the United States that is used in the wide array of pastas that Contadina boxes and will be selling by October of this year. Even the herbs and cheeses that are used in the ready made sauces are from Italy! Can you say LOVE?
So, not only did we all get to taste the quality that is indicative of a brand committed to bringing you the very best in your home kitchen, we also enjoyed time spent in the make shift kitchens with each of the Filipino brand ambassadors as they personalized one of Nigella’s recipes.
Luckily, I was part of Daphne’s team in the cooking challenge! Daphne’s recipe was inspired by one of my favorite dishes that I grew up eating at my mother’s table. Chicken Cacciatore, which is otherwise known as Hunter’s Stew, is a favorite even with my children today.
During this part of the launch, we got to interact with the other press, bloggers, chefs, and foodie influencers as we collaborated to create some kitchen magic ala #ContadinaxNigella.
I’m familiar with Contadina. In fact, I know this brand very well. A well stocked pantry should have many items in it. These items should allow you to whip up a snack, or even a meal at the drop of a hat should you have unexpected guests, or the kids’ friends pop by.
In my mother’s pantry, Contadina was a time tested product that was always present. From tomato paste, to pasta, olive oil, and canned tomatoes…I have always known that Contadina means premium quality ingredients for any dish that I create in my kitchen.
Check out some of the dishes Sabrina, Ginger and I created with the loot from the event!
Awhile back, I saw that my friend Tin Dychaio attended this workshop by Gaita Fores to learn some of the time tested delicious recipes of CIBO. I knew when I saw her post on IG that I would search her blog at a later date when I was ready to create this dish at home. AND OMG! It was so darn easy!
Check out Tin’s post for the recipe. You can thank both her and me LATER 🙂
Most of the time, I like to make things from scratch, if I can find all the ingredients. But let’s be honest. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time or energy. So, having quality products to choose from, which provide me a “shortcut” are golden! Check out this healthier version of Eggplant Parmigiana. The jarred sauces from Contadina are perfect when we are in a hurry to put together a good meal. The pesto was nutty and full of flavor and the Napolatana sauce was really close to my own homemade marinara.
I’ve been wanting to experiment with this dish for a while. I knew that I could make this time consuming Italian casserole even healthier and easier with the help of the Contadina swag that we received during the launch with Nigella.
Look how easy (and beautiful) this dish is! By grilling the eggplant, I eliminate the fat that seeps in from frying. Removing the breadcrumbs, makes it a low carb dish that you can even serve as an appetizer. AND if you wanted to eliminate the parmesan and mozzarella from the dish, you can make it VEGAN with vegan nut cheese instead.
To add to our Italian themed #cookfest, we knew we needed a couple of more dishes. And because Sabrina and I just attended the launch with Nigella, she suggested we make an olive oil cake using Nigella’s recipe. Remember, Nigella believes that recipes and dishes can be rich, easy, and delicious. As I watched Sabrina whip up this simple cake, I realized that this recipe furthers this basic premise.
Check out some of the other dishes we made to compliment our holiday feast.
Chicken Scallopini is a simple dish to make at home. The recipe and process is very similar to Chicken Marsala and Chicken Picatta. All you have to do is switch up the saucy ingredients and you have three different dishes depending on what you have in the pantry! Just remember to slice your boneless chicken breast and pound it thin to achieve the best results. Another trick to making sure your chicken is fork tender? Marinate the boneless breasts in a little bit of fresh milk before dredging in flour to fry.
This easy tomato salad uses only the freshest of tomatoes, a yummy Balsamic Glaze from my friend Joy, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Contadina that just brings out the flavors of the tomatoes. Simple. Easy. Quality Ingredients. All in a fresh colorful salad that can really accompany any meal you bring to the table.
I can’t wait for the Contadina products to be available in my grocery store. Surely, whenever I open my pantry, I will be reminded of the years when my mother was the one who was cooking all of our meals. I will be reminded of comfort food. And I can prepare those dishes of comfort for my family knowing that Contadina serves up only the best of ingredients for families all over the world.
- 1 large Italian Eggplant
- 2 large hothouse tomatoes
- 1 jar of Contadina Napoletana Pasta Sauce
- 1 jar of Contadina Premium Pesto Sauce
- Contadina EVOO
- Shredded Parmesan
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Salt & Pepper
- Wash and Slice your eggplant and tomatoes into half inch rounds.
- Grill your eggplant with EVOO, salt & pepper until half cooked.
- Layer your eggplant and tomatoes using salt & pepper, parmesan, and Contadina Napoletana Sauce.
- Top with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake at 350 until eggplant is soft and mozzarella is a light brown.
- Top with Contadina Pesto Sauce and garnish with fresh basil.
- Serve fresh from the oven.