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Sunday, December 25, 2011

How to make Fried Rice Flour Cake (Bánh Bột Chiên)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bánh Bột Chiên - Fried Rice Flour Cake

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Steam rice cake

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup water
½ cup rice flour

Fill the bottom steamer compartment with water ¾ way up and turn your stove on high. Place an aluminum bowl on the top steamer compartment and brush the inside of the bowl with oil. Then place a lid to cover the steamer and wait for the water to come to a boil. Meanwhile, add all of the rest of ingredients in this step into a bowl and whisk it together until they are thoroughly combined. Now allow this mixture to rest for about 5 minutes before steaming. When the steamer water comes to a boil and steams up, pour the rice flour mixture into the aluminum bowl. Then cover the steamer with a lid and allow the rice flour cake to steam for about 10-15 minutes or until it turns solid. About midway through the cooking process, remove the lid from the steamer and shake off all the excess water from the lid and then place it back on the steamer. Once the flour cake has completed steaming, carefully remove the aluminum bowl from the steamer. With a small knife, poke the edges of the flour cake to remove it from the aluminum bowl. Then cover the aluminum bowl with a plate and turn it upside down. The cake should fall out effortlessly. Allow the cake to cool off while you prepare the sauce.

Step 2: Make sauce

4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon chili sauce
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Add all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix well, and the set it aside.

Step 3: Prepare egg mixture

6 large eggs
½ cup water

Crack all of the eggs into the water and whisk them together until they are well combined and then set aside.

Step 4: Fry flour cake

1 cup preserved radishes
½ cup chopped green onions
1 cup frying oil
¼ cup soy sauce
Pepper to taste

Rinse the pickled radishes under cold water and then squeeze out the water until the radishes are dry. Cut the radishes into bite size pieces and set them aside. Once the flour cake has cooled off, cut them into domino looking rectangles. Turn your stove on medium high heat and add in 1 tablespoon oil. Once the oil is hot, add in a few rice flour pieces and fry them for about 7-8 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Then flip them over and pour in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to all of the flour cake pieces and allow them to cook for about 5-6 minutes on the other side. Now pour in about ½ cup egg mixture and move your pan around so that the egg mixture covers all of the flour cake pieces. Add in a handful of green onions and pickled radishes on top and allow everything to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the eggs have dried up. Then sprinkle some black pepper on top. Repeat this process until you use up all of the egg mixture and flour cake pieces. Serve the rice flour cake with the dipping sauce that was made earlier.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

3 Color Desserts (Chè Ba Màu)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Chè Ba Màu - 3 Color Desserts

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Prepare green layer

1 tablespoon agar-agar
3 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
2 drops pandan extract

Pour the agar-agar into the water and stir it up until it dissolves completely. Then add this mixture into a small pot and turn your stove on high heat. Now pour the sugar into the pot and stir it with the mixture until it completely dissolves and everything comes to a boil. Next, remove it from the heat and pour the mixture into a container. Then stir in some pandan extract or green food coloring. Finally refrigerate the mixture for about 20-30 minutes or until it is solid.

Step 2: Create yellow layer

½ cup hulled yellow mung beans
½ cup water
Pinch salt (or 1/8 tsp. salt)
1 teaspoon sugar

Soak the mung beans in water for about 30 minutes or until it has expanded in size and has gotten softer. Then drain them and bring ½ cup water to a boil on high heat. Now add in your soaked mung beans along with a pinch of salt and turn your heat on medium low. Then continuously stir your mung beans around for about 10 minutes or until it becomes a smooth, mash potato-like consistency. Next, remove it from the heat and mix in your sugar. Finally set it aside and allow it to cool completely.

Step 3: Make red layer

2 cups canned kidney beans (can also use adzuki beans)
1/3 cup sugar 
1/3 cup water

Rinse and drain your kidney beans thoroughly. Then turn your stove onto high, pour in your water, add in the sugar, and stir it around until it dissolves. When the water comes to a boil, add in the kidney beans and lower the heat to medium low cooking the beans for about 10 minutes. Finally remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Step 4: Assemble dessert

½ cup coconut cream
1 pinch salt (1/8 tsp.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon tapioca flour or cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Crushed ice

To make the coconut cream topping, dissolved the tapioca flour or cornstarch into the water. Then add your coconut cream into a small pot and turn your stove on medium high heat. Now add in the sugar and a pinch of salt and dissolve it completely into the coconut cream. Next add in the water-flour mixture that was prepared earlier and stir it into the coconut cream until it thickens. Then set it aside to cool off.


To assemble the dessert, shred your green jelly with grater and set it aside. Then add some red beans, mung beans, and pandan jelly shreds to a serving glass. Finally, top it off with the coconut cream and ice.    

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup (Phở Gà)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Phở Gà - Chicken Noodle Soup

Estimated Servings: 4-5

Step 1: Cook the broth

16 cups water
3 inches ginger
1 small peeled onion
2 ½ tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ pounds chicken

Place a pot of water on top of a high heat stove and wait for it to come to a boil. In the meantime, roast your ginger and onion in the microwave for about 3 minutes. When the water comes to a boil, add in the salt, sugar, roasted ginger and onion to the boiling water. Then add in the chicken pieces to the broth using tongs or if you add them with your hands, make sure to wear gloves to prevent cross contamination. After adding all of the chicken pieces into broth, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the chicken pieces to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Then skim the scum off the top of the broth until the broth is clear. Now cover the pot with a lid and continue to simmer the broth for about another 3 minutes. While the broth is simmering, let’s prepare our spice mix.

***Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw chicken.

Step 2: Toast the spices

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5 star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
7 cloves
1/3 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Break up your cinnamon stick into smaller pieces and add all of the spices into a small pan. Toast the spices on a medium heat stove for about 3 minutes or until the spices smell fragrant. Then pour the spices into a tea infuser, close it up and add it into the broth. Now put a lid on the pot and continue to simmer the broth for about another 7 minutes, making sure that the chicken is pieces are fully cooked.

***If you do not have a tea infuser, you can place the toasted spices into a cheese cloth and tie it up with a kitchen string.

Step 3: Boil the noodles

1 package Phở noodles
8 cups water

Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Then rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside until you are ready to assemble the dish.

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Thai basil
Bean sprouts
Cilantro
Lime wedges
½ cup sliced yellow onion
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Jalapeno slices
Sriracha and Hoisin Sauce

Make sure your herbs and veggies are washed and clean. Then mix the chopped cilantro, green onion and red onion into a little bowl for the garnish. After the chicken is fully cooked, remove the chicken from the broth, allow it to cool and then separate the chicken meat from the bones. Then add the bones back into the broth to give it more depth in flavor and make sure to discard all of the small chicken bones to prevent choking. Then pour in your fish sauce and continue to simmer the broth for about another 30 minutes. This a good time to taste the broth to ensure that it is to your preferred taste. If it is too salty, add in more sugar a little at a time and if it is too sweet, add in more salt or fish sauce a little at a time. Now slice the chicken pieces into thin slices and set it aside until assembling time. To assemble, add some noodles in the bowl, then place the chicken slices on top and garnish with the onion cilantro mix. Finally add in the broth and top it off with some ground pepper. Serve with the herbs, veggies and sauces.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sizzling Vietnamese Crepes (Bánh Xèo)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bánh Xèo -- Vietnamese Crepes and Nuoc Mam Cham

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Mix the Batter

12 ounces Bánh Xèo flour or rice flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
14 ounces coconut cream
3 cups water
½ cup chopped green onions 

Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together until the flour completely dissolves into the liquid and then set the batter aside.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

½ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 ½ cups water
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon chopped Thai chili

Pour all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix it together until the sugar completely dissolves into the sauce.

Step 3: Prepare the Vegetables

Lettuce
Mint
Cilantro
Cucumbers 

Make sure all the vegetables and herbs are washed, clean, and dry. The cucumbers should be cut lengthwise into strips.

Step 4: Cook the Crepes
8 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 cup sliced yellow onion
3 tablespoons chopped garlic 
1 pound lean pork meat (sliced thin)
1 pound shrimp (peeled and deveined)
½ teaspoon salt 
½ teaspoon pepper 
½ pounds bean sprouts

Sprinkle salt and pepper on sliced pork and shrimp. Turn stove on medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan. When the oil gets hot, add in the onions and garlic stirring it around until fragrant. Then sauté the pork slices and shrimp with the garlic and onions, making sure to cook the meats all the way through. Spread the pork and shrimp out on the pan and pour in a ladle of the crepe batter (about 1/3 cup) swirling it around to create a thin layer. Put a lid on the pan and allow the crepe to cook for about 4-5 minutes. Then put bean sprouts on half of the crepe and cook it for about another minute until the crepe is crispy on one side and fully cooked on the other side. Fold the crepe in half and place it on a serving plate. Repeat this process until you cook all of the crepe batter. To eat the crepe, wrap the crepe in lettuce along with cucumbers, and herbs and dip it in the sauce that was prepared earlier.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If you build it, they will YUM!

What am I building you ask? I am building a “once in a blue moon” slider for this summer’s burger bash!  This is a tiny flavorful blue cheese burger slider that includes crispy mini onion rings, turkey bacon strips, lettuce, tomato and avocado moon-shaped wedges! You may be wondering where I got the idea to build such massive, yet tiny slider. Well, let me give you a tiny little clue with the following riddle:
What do you get when you cross a Smurf with a cow? Bleu Cheese!
Yes, one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters inspired me to make these tiny little blue cheese sliders, since sliders are tiny and blue cheese came from this cutie little riddle. I saw the Smurfs 3D movie this weekend and it was SMURFTASTIC!!!  I hope you guys enjoy my SMURFLICIOUS blue cheese sliders as I hum that loveable Smurf tune! La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
 




Blue Moon Sliders
 With Avocadoes, Bacon and Onion rings

Servings: 4

Ingredients

Burger

2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
8 mini hamburger buns

Toppings

Crispy onion rings (see recipe)
Crispy turkey bacon strips
Avocado wedges
Green lettuce leaves
Vine ripe tomato slices
Ketchup, for serving

Crispy onion rings

5 cups vegetable oil
½ cup sliced yellow onions
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the turkey bacon. Cook until crisp, 3 minutes on each side, remove to plate.

In a large bowl, combine chuck, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, shallot, blue cheese, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients together to combine them, but be careful not to over mix. Divide mixture into 4 patties and then divide each quarter in half to create 8 mini burger patties.

Brush or drizzle burgers with extra-virgin olive oil and grill on indoor electric grill preheated to high for about 4-6 minutes on each side. On an outdoor grill, cook 5 minutes on each side 6 inches from hot coals or over medium high gas flame with the grill lid closed. For preparation with no additional oil, broil 4 inches from broiler 5 minutes on each side.



For the onion rings, preheat oil in a large pan on high heat. Whisk 2 eggs and set them aside. Have flour on a large plate and set that aside. Spread the onion slices out and sprinkle them with salt. Pour all of the seasoned onions in the eggs and then remove them from the eggs and dredge them in the flour. Place onions rings into the hot oil in batches and fry until golden brown and crispy.

Serve sliders on mini hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, avocado slices, onion rings, bacon strips and ketchup.

Monday, July 25, 2011

When life throws you lemons….

Make some limonade!  That’s right; I said limonade; no misspellings or typos there. I am talking about a perfectly tart and sweet treat that will quench any summertime thirst.  The lime makes it a little different from the traditional plain lemonade but it is refreshing and lip smacking good.  Now go try this recipe before the temperature get above 200 degrees!



Summertime Limonade
Servings: 6
Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
½  cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
½ cup lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1.       To make simple syrup, simmer sugar and water in a small pot until sugar is completely dissolved. Then chill in refrigerator.
2.       In the meantime, use a juicer to extract the lemon and lime juice from the lemons and limes, just enough for ½ cup each.
3.       Add the lemon and lime juice, simple syrup and cold water into a large pitcher. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes and then adjust the sweetness by adding additional sugar or tartness by adding additional lemon and lime juice as needed.
4.       Serve with ice, lemon and lime slices.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bò Lúc Lắc - Shaking Beef and side dishes (Tomato Fried Rice, and Watercress Salad)

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Marinate the Beef

2 pounds filet mignon or beef sirloin
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon pepper

Cut the beef into one inch cubes and put them into a bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients in this step to the beef and mix well. Finally marinate the beef for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Make the Salad

2 tomatoes
5 cups watercress
1 cup sliced red onion
1 tablespoon plain vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup water

To make the dressing, add the vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar into a bowl. Then whisk all of the ingredients together while slowly pouring in the oil to emulsify the dressing. Next, add the tomatoes, watercress and onions to the dressing making sure that everything gets coated with the dressing. Finally place the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Step 3: Prepare the Fried Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste 
6 cups cooked rice (one day old)
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning (optional)

Turn your stove on high heat and add oil into a large wok or frying pan. Then add the garlic in the pan and cook until fragrant. Pour in the tomato paste stirring it around a little bit. Then add in the rice breaking it up and coating it with the tomato paste and garlic. Next, pour in the soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and mushroom seasoning stir frying everything until the rice is evenly coated with the tomato paste and all the seasonings are incorporated with the rice.

Step 4: Shake your Beef

3 tablespoons cooking oil
½ cup of diced yellow onions


Turn your stove on high heat and pour in some oil. When the oil gets very hot, add in the onions and marinated beef in small batches. Shake and toss the beef in the hot pan until it is to your desired doneness. Serve the beef with the tomato fried rice and the watercress salad you made earlier.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It’s a Meringue Tang Lemon Thang…


I was in the mood for a slice of lemon meringue pie and was looking for a good recipe to satisfy my craving. During my search, I came across a Lemon Meringue Cupcake recipe that caught my eye. It was from Martha Stewart’s (or as my mother- in- law says in her Vietnamese accent, Marta Tewurt) cupcake book. I was reading the directions on how to make each part of the cupcake and adjusted the recipe a little bit to make it faster and easier for myself and for all of you guys who would like to try it at home. I used store bought lemon curd instead of making it from scratch and made my cupcakes without buttermilk since I found that buttermilk can make the cupcakes too tangy. Hope you guys try this and enjoy!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Servings:  12 cupcakes

Ingredients for cupcake

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup store bought lemon curd
Directions
  1) To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place cupcake liners in 12 cups of a muffin pan and position on oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2) Beat together the oil, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and lemon zest until light in color, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
  3) Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture lightens in color, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed.
  4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  5) At low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with two additions of the milk; mix until blended, about 30 seconds.
  6) Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  7) Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes; the cakes will remain quite pale.
  8) Remove from the oven, and after 5 minutes transfer to a rack to cool.
Ingredients for the meringue
4 egg whites
¼ cup tablespoons sugar

Directions
  1)  In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg whites.  Place over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl, and heat just until the sugar dissolves, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  2)   Spread 1 tablespoon of lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill pastry bag with fitted open star tip with meringue frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak.
  3)   Hold a small kitchen torch 3-4 inches from surface of frosting and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly brown all over. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (Bún Bò Huế)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bún Bò Huế - Spicy Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Cook the Broth

14 cups of water
1 pound chuck roast
3 sticks lemongrass
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 large peeled shallot
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Turn your stove on high heat and bring your water to a boil. While waiting for the water to come to a boil, bruise the lemongrass with a large knife and microwave the lemongrass along with the garlic and shallot for 3 minutes. Once the water comes to a boil, add in the sugar, salt, microwaved lemongrass, garlic and shallot to the water. Then add in the beef and turn your heat down to medium and allow the beef to cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the Noodles

8 cups of water
½ teaspoon salt
1 package of Bún Bò Huế noodles

Soak the noodles in water for 10 minutes. Then bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the salt. Put the soaked noodles into the boiling water cooking it according to the directions on the package. Finally rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside.

Step 3: Sauté the Beef

1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon Bún Bò Huế seasonings or paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons oil

After the beef has been cooking in the broth for about 15-20 minutes, remove it from the broth and allow it to cool down before slicing. Once the beef is cool enough to handle, slice it thinly. Then place the sliced beef into a bowl and add in ½ tablespoon chopped garlic, ½ tablespoon chopped lemongrass, ½ tablespoon chopped shallots, Bún Bò Huế seasonings or paprika, salt, pepper, sugar and fish sauce and mix everything well. Turn your stove on medium heat and add in the oil and the other half of the chopped garlic, shallots and lemongrass stirring it around the pan until fragrant. Now add in the seasoned beef and sauté it for about a minute. Next, add in the fish sauce and make sure that all of the beef slices get coated with the sauce. Continue to cook the beef until it is cooked all the way through. Finally add the beef back in the broth, cover the pot with a lid, and cook the broth for another 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Assemble the Dish

2 tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable or canola oil)
1 tablespoon Bún Bò Huế seasonings
½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Lime wedges
Jalapeno slices
Shredded iceberg lettuce 
Chopped green onions & cilantro
Bean sprouts
Basil
Precooked pork's blood or congealed pig’s blood (optional)

Optional: Cut congealed pig’s blood into 1 inch cubes and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the blood cubes. Cook the cubes for about 2 minutes or until you see the color darken. Make sure you cook the cubes all the way through. Finally drain the cubes and set them aside. 

To make the red spice oil, turn the stove on medium high heat and add in some oil to a small pan. Then pour the dried red chili flakes and Bún Bò Huế seasonings stirring it around until you see the oil bubbling and then pour the spice mixture into the broth. To assemble the dish, put some cooked noodles into a bowl, place slices of beef on top of the noodles, garnish with the herbs and veggies, and add in the cooked pork’s blood cubes. Finally, pour in the broth, making sure you get the red part of the broth as well. Right before you eat, make sure to squeeze in some lime juice.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer…Summer…Summertime



Awww yeahhhh! It’s summertime!!! The sun is out, school’s out but refreshing summer drinks are in! Get ready for some outdoor picnics, BBQ’s, pool parties, and beach gatherings! For this summer get together, make sure you and all of your guests have one of these:

Wild Watermelon Mojitos
Servings: 6 drinks
Ingredients
30 large fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
4-5 thick slices fresh watermelon, seedless and rinds removed
¾ cup of your favorite light rum
½ cup simple syrup
7 tablespoons freshly squeeze lime juice (about 3 limes)
Ice cubes

Directions

1.   Make simple syrup by simmering water and sugar in a small pot until sugar dissolves  completely.Then chill in refrigerator.
2.   In a blender, puree watermelon, fresh lime juice and mint in batches until smooth.
3.   Strain into a pitcher. Mix in rum and simple syrup.
4.   Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnish with mint leaves.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vietnamese Caramelized Fish (Cá Kho Tộ)


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Cá Kho Tộ - Vietnamese Caramelized Fish

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Marinate the Fish

2 pounds catfish
1 tablespoon white wine
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped green onions (the white part only)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped Thai chilies
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ tablespoons sugar


When purchasing catfish for this recipe, make sure that the head of the catfish is removed, the fish is cleaned thoroughly, and cut up into about 2 inch pieces. In a bowl, add in your catfish along with the rest of the ingredients in this step and coat the fish pieces with the marinade. Finally, allow the fish to marinate for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step: 2: Marinate the Pork

1/3 pound pork shoulder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


Add all of the ingredients to the pork and mix well. Then marinate the pork for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Cook the Fish & Pork

1 cup water
1 teaspoon molasses or coco caramel syrup
1 tablespoon cooking oil


Add the molasses or syrup to the water and mix them together until the molasses or syrup dissolves completely in the water. Then turn your stove on medium heat and pour in the oil into a clay pot or pan. Now add in the pork arranging them into a layer at the bottom of your pot or pan. Then place the fish on top of the pork making sure to pour all of the marinade on the fish. Once the liquids come to a boil, pour in the water/molasses or syrup mixture. Allow everything to come to a boil again and then turn your heat down to low and simmer everything for about 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens to your desired consistency.

Step 4: Garnish & Serve

1 tablespoon green onions (the green part only)
Cilantro
Thai chilies (optional)

To serve, top the fish with green onions, cilantro and Thai chilies.
This fish can be served with steamed rice and Vietnamese sour soup (canh chua).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Do you like buns?

Cinnamon Buns that is....
I have eaten at many places that serve cinnamon buns, but I have to say, the buns you are about to see will blow your mind away….
If you follow this recipe, you will die and go to cinnamon bun heaven:

Raisin Cinnamon Buns
Servings: 6 buns

Ingredients
Buns
3 cup of unbleached bread flour
6 tbsp butter (room temperature)
2 large eggs
½ cup milk (warm)
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp water
Spice mix
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 stick butter- 8 tbsp (room temperature)
1 cup raisins

Glaze:
4 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 cup confectioner sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Egg wash
1 egg
3 tbsp water

Directions

Spice mix
Mix together all the ingredients.


Buns
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and cover bowl for 15 minutes or until expands 3 times its size.  In a stand mixer with hook attachment, add flour, eggs, butter, milk, sugar, and salt and yeast mixture and knead with 2 speed for about 3-4 minutes.  In a separate bowl, buttered or oiled, put dough in and cover. Leave in covered bowl for about 4 hours or until dough rises 3 times its size.


When dough triple its size, turn dough onto a flour surface. With a rolling pin, roll dough out into large rectangle.


Brush spice mix all over surface of rolled out dough. Roll up cinnamon roll and cut in 3 inch pieces.

Place in glass oven tray and cover with towel and allow to rise double its size for 2-3 hours. (If you press gently with your finger on a bun it should bounce back but your fingerprint should remain a bit.)

Brush buns with egg wash (made by whisking eggs and water together).  Preheat oven 350 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees until golden brown. While buns are baking, make glaze by mixing butter, vanilla, sugar and maple syrup together by whisking until smooth. Once buns are out of oven, brush with glaze right away! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Half An Hour Sour Soup: Canh Chua Recipe


Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Canh Chua - Vietnamese Sour Soup

Estimated Servings: 4

Step 1: Fry the Garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Pour oil into a small pot or pan and turn the heat on medium. Once the oil is hot, add in garlic and stir it around until lightly golden brown and fragrant. Be sure not to overcook or burn garlic or it will taste bitter. Finally pour the garlic into a small bowl and set it aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Broth

8 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
40 grams tamarind soup base mix
1 inch piece ginger
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 pound catfish fillets

Turn your stove on to high heat and place a large pot of water on the stove. Then add in the chicken broth and allow everything to come to a boil, which will take about 5 minutes. While waiting for the broth to come to a boil, cut a couple of slits in the ginger. Once the broth comes to a boil, add in the sugar, salt, ginger, shallots, tamarind soup base, and fish to the broth. Next, allow the broth to come to a boil (about 5 minutes of cooking); then turn the heat down to medium.

Step 3: Add Fruits & Vegetables

2 medium tomatoes
2 cups pineapple chunks
10 okras
1 large taro stem (Bạc Hà or Dọc Mùng) or celery 
2 tablespoons fish sauce

Peel the outer green layer off the taro stem and slice it at a diagonal into about ½ inch slices. Then cut the 2 ends off the okras and cut them up into 1 inch pieces. Make sure that pineapples are cut into 1 inch chunks. Now add in all the fruits, vegetables, and fish sauce into the broth and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes or until you see it come back to a boil. Make sure to check on the fish periodically to ensure that it is fully cooked but not overcooked. This is also a good time to check on the seasoning of the soup. If it is too salty add in more sugar, and if it is too sweet, add in more fish sauce until it is to your desired taste.

Step 4: Garnish the Soup

1 ½ cups bean sprouts
Jalapeno slices
¼ cup chopped rice paddy herb (Ngổ Ôm) or basil 
½ teaspoon black pepper

To serve the soup, add some bean sprouts and jalapeno slices to a serving bowl. Then pour in the soup with the vegetables, fruit and fish on top of the bean sprouts and top it off with the chopped rice paddy herb, fried garlic and black pepper.

This soup can be served with steamed rice and caramelized catfish (ca kho to).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gougère

Hi guys!
For your next cocktail party or get together, you can serve these tiny fancy treats!  In French, it is called gougère or cheese puffs. Pay close attention to the technique in this recipe, because if you get it right, you can make cream puffs, éclairs, and many other French treats!  




Gougère
Servings:  40 puffs
Ingredients
1 cup milk
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
¾ cup grated Gruyère cheese, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Directions
1.   Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.   In a small pan, heat milk, butter, salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg over medium high heat   until butter is completely melted in the milk.
3.   Add the flour in the milk mixture and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon on low heat for about 2 minutes until it turns into dough.
4.   Then transfer the dough into a stand mixer bowl and starting mixing the dough with eggs and cheese until mixture is smooth and thick
5.   Spoon the dough into a large gallon-sized plastic bag (or piping bag.) Use your hands to squeeze dough towards the bottom corner. With kitchen scissors, snip off just the tip of the bag, about 1/4" of the tip. Pipe onto a baking sheet into little puffs, keeping the puffs 2-inches apart. With your finger, press down the peaks because they can burn.
6.   Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyère cheese.
7.   Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.