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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.