Archive for 'RECIPES'

 
January 10
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I love eating bo tai chanh. We make it at our house often and I also grew up eating it in quan nhau places in Little Saigon with my grandpa and uncles. It’s a great staple dish when I’m craving a lot of Vietnamese food and is always a hit with lunch or dinner guests. It also is a favorite next day lunch too. Just make sure to bring mouthwash or gum because of all the onions you’re eating raw!

This recipe is mostly from the Ravenous Couple.  I don’t change it up much, if at all, and I really like the way they blanche the meat just a bit beforehand to get that extra citrus taste.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of beef (thinly sliced beef eye; I get mine at HMart)
  • 1 cup lemon juice or lime juice
  • 2.5 tbs sugar
  • pineapple juice or mango nectar
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (substitute with basil or mint if not available)
  • 2 tbs fried shallots pre fried, found in Asian groceries, known as Hanh Phi
  • 2 tbs roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ~2tbs nuoc mam cham, that I also use from Ravenous Couple. I store in in the fridge and use it whenever I need to in Vietnamese cooking.
  • 1 jalapeno (finely sliced)

Directions:

Mix lime or lemon juice with sugar until dissolve and set aside.

Fill half of a medium size sauce pan with pineapple juice and heat to a rolling boil. Quickly “blanch” some of the beef a bit at a time, no more then a few seconds or so removing it as it turns slightly opaque but still quite rare. Place in large mixing bowl.

Add the lime or lemon juice mixture and mix well, letting the acid do the rest of the cooking about 15-20 minutes, but use your judgement as to when to remove it from the acid. We like it pretty rare. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid from the meat. Mix in the onions, rau ram, mint and/or basil and drizzle with just a spoonful or two of  the nuoc mam (don’t over do it as you don’t want to overpower the fresh citrus taste) and mix well and adjust to taste. Transfer to serving platter and top off with crushed roasted peanuts, fried hanh phi, and jalepeno.

 
August 18
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Bo Luc Lac in Vietnamese basically translates to “shaking beef”.  I posted a bad late night picture of this dish awhile back on my Instagram and I got a lot of questions and requests for the recipe…along with just requests to come over and eat it! So today I finally had the chance to not just make the dish, but also photograph it in nice daylight just before the rain came.

This is a dish I grew up eating. My mom doesn’t make it as often as I’d like, but when she does, it’s a big treat and we’re all over it!  This recipe is adapted from my aunties and mom, and is a standard and really easy recipe that I use very often on a cast iron skillet.

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On a recent run to Costco, we decided to stock up on fish. I don’t cook fish very often, but that’s going to change because I love to EAT fish! I love the Costco Atlantic Salmon filets because they are the perfect size: thin so they’re extremely easy to cook everywhere, individually packaged for optimal storage in the freezer, and they defrost fast. I don’t like baking/roasting as much as pan frying these because I haven’t mastered the timing yet. Pan frying is also faster since you don’t have to preheat an oven, and I can keep an eye on the fish at all times. The final result is so good. The heat is amazing with the salmon, and this is going to be a staple dish in my home, so I’m blogging it here to remember and share!

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July 09
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My first ever attempt at hummus was pretty much a fail. Although the consistency was perfect, the color was right, and even the presentation was impressive [check out my scalloped dish for $5 from TJ MAxx!].  What isn’t perfect you ask? The proportion of GARLIC I somehow decided to put into the mix. Blame it on the 2 am decision to make hummus, the recipe I found online calls for 4 cloves of garlic….I put in at least 10-12 cloves after processing and tasting. I don’t know why, I just kept adding more garlic thinking that was what it needed.

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I made these for the kids and their moms before we all trooped off to see Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson, the Immortal Tour. We scored good prices and tickets from TravelZoo, which took us all the way to the FRONT ROW! If you haven’t seen the show, you must. They were amazing and the music of course took us back to our elementary school and teenage days of watching Michael Jackson marathons on MTV. We were out of our seats for half the show, dancing along to Thriller, Bad, Beat It, They Don’t Care About Us and many more favorites.

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Spring rolls are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are so easy to make, tastes so fresh, and incredibly healthy to eat all the time! My mom use to pick herbs from the garden, just throw them all in a basket and put them on the dinner table. Julienne some veggies like fresh lettuce, cucumbers, jicama, carrots, add whatever meat or fish you’re making that day,  and voila…a spring roll. She usually makes a fish sauce for dipping, but I tend to prefer peanut sauces with spring rolls.

I’ve been wrapping spring rolls my whole life, and I have a few ways of doing it. My old favorite was just having my wet rice paper on a small dish, throwing everything into the middle lined with good fresh lettuce leaf without the rib, and fold in the sides to not have any open ends until you bite into them. This is my dad’s way of rolling them because he makes the BIGGEST spring rolls filled to the rim with everything and everything. He also says that he gets lazy and doesn’t want to roll a lot so just do a few enormous ones to save time. I learned to love that way of rolling from him, but for photography and aesthetic reasons, this open ended way by Steamy Kitchen is much prettier!

I usually make a peanut sauce with hoison on the stovetop learned from Ravenous Couple because I LOVE Bo Bia and they haven’t let me down on a recipe yet… but Jaden of Steamy Kitchen caught my attention on my Feedly blog roll with her recent post on Vegetable Spring Rolls and in particular, her feature of The Blender Girl’s Orange Almond Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls [her cookbook is a bestseller on Amazon]. Sorry, that was a lot of links, but I’m a firm believer in citation due to law school. The sauce is easier to make because you don’t have to heat anything up. Instead, you can use a blender or food processor to mix all your ingredients. I made some adjustments to the sauce to cater to my taste: I used regular JIF peanut butter instead of almond butter [because I just love the pure peanut taste], and I almost doubled the amount of peanut butter from the suggested amount, and I used less lime juice. The sauce is quite thick with just 1/4 cup of water, so I added little bits of water as I blended until I was happy with the consistency. 

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Good Morning! Bonjour! Buenos Dias ! Chào buổi sáng! Ohayo gozaimaz!

No matter what language, a good cup of coffee or a well made cappuccino is appreciated all the same.

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pixie nespresso [faves are rosabaya and dulsao] … sur la table or bloomingdales

milk frothed by capital milk frother …  Sur La Table

 
April 23
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This is a twist on the traditional tabouleh recipe, given to me by a very good homecook. I’ve had a lot of criticism for calling this salad “tabouleh” because it has quinoa but I decided to call it quinoa tabouleh anyway. I’ve sat on this recipe all winter, and finally decided to make it last week…and am now obsessed with it! It’s a refreshing salad for spring and summer, bringing out all the other ingredients in the salad to a new level. I’m on this cooking kick lately, but I cook so late at night so I can’t photograph anything decently. Today, I went home immediately after work when there was still good workable light on my dining table…and set up my mise en place. By the time I was done making the dish, the sun was gone in my dining room, so the last picture of the finished product was taken outside, where I sat and had a moment of peace and fresh air.

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