Print Friendly and PDF

Translate

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.