Friday, December 12, 2008

Vietnamese Style Chicken Currry - Ca Ri Ga

Vietnamese curry is not as thick as your typical Indian curry. I think it has a little more coconut taste to it. We normally dip it with French Bread. Again another one of my favorite dishes.

1 pound Chicken Legs/Wings
1 Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1 Lemongrass stalk
3 Potatoes, sliced
2 Carrots large, sliced
½ can Coconut Milk
½ can of condensed milk or regular milk
1 large can of Chicken broth
Madras Curry Powder
Curry Paste

1) Marinate the chicken with a dash of salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons curry powder
2) Leave overnight to marinate, or let stand in fridge for 2 hours before cooking
3) Peel and cut carrot and potatoes into chunks
4) In a large pot, add oil, garlic, sliced onions, sliced lemongrass and sauté chicken pieces for about 10 minutes, to allow the skin to firm up
5) Add potatoes and carrots in, being careful not to over-stir or you will break up the pieces
6) Add water into pot, just enough to fill the chicken pieces
7) Add 1 tablespoon curry powder
8) Add 3 tablespoons curry paste and stir
9) Pour in 1 can of large chicken broth
10) Spoon about ½ can of condensed milk, or you can substitute with regular milk
11) Let mixture cook for about 30 minutes until chicken is done
12) Pour in ½ can of coconut milk towards the end and stir well
13) Stir on low heat to allow the coconut milk to absorb
Serve with French bread or side of rice

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waldorf Salad

Vietnamese Homemade Soup Stock

OK, so these are bad pictures, but you get the idea. I made my own homemade soup stock. Except this is pork stock, used for one of my noodle dishes, and not chicken broth like most people would use.


For 6 cups of stock

2 pounds of pork bones or chicken wings
Boil 6 cups of water
1 Tablespoon of salt
1 Daikon cut into large cubes

Make sure you skim off the fat and the foam bubbles every 15 minutes. Cook the bones for 2 hours. In case, you're wondering Daikon is this vegetable that I use to enhance the flavor of the stock even more:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Food in Vegas

While in Vegas I did nothing, but stuff myself with Vegas buffet. With the skyrocketing prices they have, you can't help, but think a $30 buffet is a steal. Especially, when there's Alaskan snow crab legs on the menu! Yummmmm.

I would highly recommend Mandalay Bay if you like your crab legs hot, and at your dispense. I tried the Bellagio buffet, and I thought it was highly overrated. Yes, the selection was vast, but if you're there for the crabslegs, like me, then I find waiting 5 minutes for the chef to re-steam your crablegs, is rather time-consuming. So, yes you can get your crablegs hot at the Bellagio as well, but you have to wait in 10-minute intervals, which I wasn't willing to do.

Can you tell which one is Lychee and which one is Coconut?

The hubby and I stopped for a sorbet break while in the Venetian hotel. Oh myyyy, the selection they had. I had a hard time narrowing my choices down to two!

A well-plated dessert selection from the Mandalay Bay Hotel

Las Vegas Trip - Part 1

I haven't posted in awhile, b/c I've been busy on vacation on the west coast. We went to Vegas for a few days, and it was enjoyable. This was my 3rd trip to Vegas. I think this time I was more relaxed because I've already taken in all the touristy sites previously.
No, I did not go on the gondola ride

The hotel I stayed at

Red peppers as decorations inside the Bellagio. What a neat idea.

I never get tired of seeing the Bellagio watershow at night. I think I could sit there for hours and watch this.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Honeymoon - Honolulu Hawaiian Lua

I finally have a chance to post some leisure pictures. This is from my honeymoon in Hawaii in May of 2008. What's Hawaii without a Lua right? This is from Germaine's Lua in Honolulu.

Roast Pig anyone? Mmmmmm, it was good. Believe me it was!

What's a Hawaiian dish without Poi (In the little purple container above the tray). Poi is the staple food of the Polynesian people. It's made from basically from Taro. Our host from the lua insisted that everyone MUST try the Taro at least once before leaving Hawaii. I tried it, and my conclusion is it tastes like NOTHING. It had no taste to it. Just a creamy-like texture added to enhance the food we were eating. If you ask me would I eat it again, sure why not, but it's not something I would die to eat again, nor something I miss from my trip either.

Cupcakes and Fondant

These are homemade cupcakes from my aunt's friend. Pretttttyyy right? The red velvet was my favorite one. These were from my little cousins' 4th birthday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eggs in a Basket

This dish was inspired by my friend SushiMonkee. Ok, so it's not an original recipe, but it's famous, and if you're not into cooking fancy breakfeast foods I still highly recommend trying this dish. It's quick, delicious, and tastefully presented.

The recipe is so easy I think even the husbands will be able to make you breakfast in bed. I made the hubby this the other day and being the healthy person he said it was too heart-clogging for his taste buds. Oh well, what does he know? I live for buttery and fattening food!
  1. Butter the frying pan, or you can use olive oil
  2. Cut the bread in the middle with a cookie cutter. You can make fancy shapes and try hearts as well!
  3. Place the pieces of bread into the pan and crack the eggs in the hole (Make sure you toss in the round pieces of bread too)
  4. Drop a tad bit of extra-virgin olive oil on top of the yolk, so when you flip it, the eggs don't stick to the pan

  5. Serve with pepper and the extra left-over bread

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fruit Tart

One of my favorite recipes from my friend Joy of Food. She should just name her blog Joy of Baking, because I refer to her as the Queen of baking. I think maybe that blog name was taken already.

Fruit tart is my all time favorite desserts. This is the most simple and delicious fruit tart recipe ever. Pictured is my attempt without the nice fancy fruit tart shell, because baking the shell is considered to me as "too much work". In fact anything that involves baking from scratch is either too much work, or not considered real food to me. Below Joy of Food's crust tastes much better than mine. Since I'm constrained for time I used the pre-made shortbread crust from the supermarket.

For the filling:

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth
2) Add the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until soft peaks forms
3)Just before serving, spread filling into the tart shell and top with fresh berries or cut up fruit

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dim Sum in Queens- Jade Asian Restaurant

If you’re ever in Queens NY, be sure to stop by Jade Asian Restaurant. It’s one of my favorite Dim Sum places to dine at. They recently renovated it, and I’d have to say the service is much slower than it used to be. The décor is very high-class, not your typical Chinese restaurant, you’d find in New York.

Dim sum is a Chinese cuisine which has a wide range of light dishes, almost like what westerners call appetizers. Best served alongside with teas. Normally, it’s offered in the mornings until about 2 pm. Dishes come served in a bamboo steam basket or tiny plates. They vary from shrimp dumplings (my favorite!), Chinese pastries, steamed chicken in lotus leaf, and even chicken feet.

Yes, I know chicken feet sounds gross, but it’s actually pretty tasty and has a fatty-like texture.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Ritz Carlton Tea Time

One of my girlfriends is getting married. What better way to throw an intimate bridal shower then having tea time at the Ritz! Yeah, I talk like I"m a pro, but last weekend was our first experience ever with it.

I was expecting a bunch of old, rich people, drinking tea, and wearing hats. It was nothing close to that.
It was all women, and it seemed like they were either celebrating Bridal Showers or Baby Showers too. The options came in 3 price ranges. I can't remember what, but you can find the menu on their website.

The tea itself was good. The little cucumber and lunch sandwiches were excellent. In fact, we wish they served us more of those, than the sweets they hounded us with.

Dessert with tea was good, but I've had much better desserts at other places. There was nothing really exotic about the dessert. Just your usual fruit tart, eclairs, and chocolate cake. Overall, it's a nice atmosphere if you want to spend the afternoon munching and drinking tea with your friends. However, I highly recomment it for a special occassion, and not just because you want to spend $50 on tea and sandwiches one afternoon. hehehe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crabcakes from Costco

Ok, so I cheated on this recipe a little at one of our dinner parties. It consists of Jumbo Lump Crabcakes from Costco, French Beans, and Corn. Not really being my own creation, but it still looks good right! And healthy tooooo.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Summer Roll with Peanut Sauce

This is a pretty mainstream Vietnamese appetizer. Not sure what the correct name for this would be, but many people call it "Vietnamese Summer Roll", so we'll go with that.

I think of it as a more healthy appetizer to it's more greasy sister, the eggroll (Cha Gio).

Ingredients Needed:

Package of Rice Paper (Banh Trang)
Shrimp, Boiled and Peeled
Pork Loin, boiled
Vietnamese Herbs (Any type)
Vermicelli Noodles

1) Boil shrimp for 10 minutes, or until slightly pink
2) Boil pork for about 30 minutes and then slice in thin pieces
3) Boil Vermicelli noodles for about 15 minutes, then drain in cold water until not soggy
4) Dip rice paper in water and make sure it's not too soggy
5) Place all the lettuce, vermicelli, shrimp, and pork and roll like you would normally an eggroll

I've seen this sauce made with other ingredients such as tamarind and mung beans. This is my mom's recipe I inherited, and it's the quickest and most authentic tasting, so I just stick with it. Just make sure it's not watery or it will kill the entire dish.

This is good for 6 portions/guests:

1 bottle Hoison Sauce
4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Tapioca Starch (Bot Nang)
2/3 cup water

1) Heat up a sauce pan to medium heat and pour in Hoison Sauce and Peanut Butter
2) Stir vigorously until it melts and does not clump together, if you're using chunky peanut butter make sure to process in a blender, until smooth
3) Pour in the water, sugar, and taste, add more if you like it sweeter
4) Pour in Tapioca Starch and stir until mixure is slightly thick

*Serve at room temperature or slightly warm
** The sauce should be slightly thick, and not watery

Margaritas, Mojitos & More

So you like to entertain? Like mixed drinks? But you’re not skilled like me? Well, I highly recommend this book. I just ordered it a few months ago, because I’m one of those people that like to drink Mai Tais, but I’m not too confident about my mixing capabilities. Well, this book came to my rescue!

I spotted it at my local World Market store, and after skimming through it I ordered it online. Because you know everybody knows that books are always cheaper online right? I love the full page color photos of the drinks, easy-to-follow recipes, and creative drinks like Kiwi Mojito! And they even have non-alcoholic drinks like Lemongrass Lemonade. Mmmmmmm, you know you wanna try.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bo Luc Lac - Shaking Beef

A Vietnamese beef dish, typically served over rice. The "shaking" part name for this is literally translated into English. I've never really understood where the "shaking" part originated from, but it's good still!
Filet Mignon tastes BEST with this dish, but if you don't have the budget for it I find beef shank works well too.

1 lb beef filet mignon or beef shank
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion
Sesame Oil
Vegetable oil, butter, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper

1) Dice beef into cube-sized pieces
2) Mix with minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, pinch of sugar, pepper, and sprinkling of sesame oil
3) Marinate 4 hours or overnight
4) Heat oil and 1 spoonful of butter over a wok
5) Add garlic and onions and stir until onion is slightly translucent
6) Add in beef (You can do the entire batch or half at a time)
7) Turn or shake to cook all the sides, add onion to cook
8) Throw in your choice of veggies (I added some sliced tomatoes in mine)
9) Can be served with tomatoes or cucumbers on the side as well
*Serve over rice

Monday, September 15, 2008

Drink Obsession of the Month

A mojito. Yes, that's my current drink obsession of the month. A relaxing night is when there's a mojito waiting after dinner.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seafood Pan-Fried Noodle - Mi Xao Gion

One of my FAVORITE dishes in the entire world.
This is typically a Chinese dish, but since we have varations of it in Vietnam, I'm calling it a Vietnamese dish. There are many variations of it, but since seafood is my favorite I'm only posting the Seafood part.

1 bag fresh chow mein1 small can chicken broth
1 dozen Shrimp1 package cuttlefish 2 medium tomatoes, sliced1/2 yellow onion
4 springs of Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
1 small package of Oyster Mushrooms (Or any other type you prefer)
1 red or green bell pepper (Red is usually better for coloring the dish)
1 large carrot
Handful of fresh minced parsley
3 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 Tablespoons corn starch mixed with water
3 cloves garlicSoy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar

1) In a large pan, fry the Chow Mein Noodles until brown
2) You might want to do this in portions to allow the noodles to fit flatter on your plating
3) Place on paper towels to drain oil
4) To prep slice all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces
5) Stir-fry with oil, minced garlic and sliced onions
6) Stir in shrimp, cuttlefish, and any other seafood you’d like to the dish
7) Add in carrots and bell peppers first, since they take longer to cook
8) Add in oyster sauce and a dash of salt and sugar
9) Pour in 1 can of chicken broth and ½ cup of water
10) Add the rest of the vegetables and mix
11) Add your corn starch mixture in be sure that you added some water to the corn starch before doing so. Sauce should be slightly thick
12) Taste and add more salt or soy sauce as necessary

Garnish with green onions or parsley

The sauce should be thick like this:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Parmesan Chedder Bowls

This creation was from my friend PeachyMangoDelight. Created during one of our dinner parties.

It's baked Parmesan cheese, that's been shaped into a bowl.

Prettttyyyy right? I think it's a perfect compliment to any salad dish, and tastes delicious too.

Cucuzza Squash Soup - Canh Bau

This is a Vietnamese squash soup that is normally a compliment to an entrée during dinner. The Chinese have it too, but since I’m Viet I’m going to say that it’s Vietnamese squash. You can add ground pork or minced shrimp to the dish. Pictured is my plain version of it. Cucuzza Sqash can be found in most Asian grocery stores.

Also known as "Italian Squash"

1 Cucuzza Squash
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 dozen shrimp heads
Fish Sauce, Salt Pepper to taste

1) Boil 3 quarts of water
2) Mince shrimp by hand or in a food processor with pinches of salt and pepper to marinate
3) Cut squash into long strands
4) Once water has come to a boil spoon bite-sized pieces of the shrimp into the water, until small clumps form
5) Add 1 cup of chicken broth and stir for more dense flavoring
6) Add squash and simmer on high for about 15 minutes, until you feel the squash softening

* Top with hot peppers or green spring onions and serve over rice entrée

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Swans' Fruit Arrangements with Fondue

I found inspiration for this from:
One of my favorite desserts to make. I wouldn't say that it's quick and easy, more like very time consuming, but the results are worth it in the end, don't you agree?

These are two different arrangements I made to dip with fondue, or to simply eat alone. I often like to do this when I'm entertaining a large group of people, and it's often a hit at the majority of my parties.
Can you tell the difference between them?

My New Backsplash - Loving It!

The highlight of my hard day of work is coming home to my kitchen. I like it clean, sleek, and cleannnnn. The hubby worked 2 weeks upgrading "my space in the house" and here are the fantastic results. Having the backsplash gives the kitchen the extra Ooomph it needs to create gourmet meals and inspires this blog.

Shrimp Simmered in Garlic Onion Sauce - Tom Kho Tau

1 lb shrimp or large prawns

2 Tablespoons Shrimp Paste in Soya Bean Oil Sauce

2 shallots2 cloves garlic

2 green onions

Salt, pepper, fish sauce, sugar

  1. Heat frying pan on high
  2. Mince garlic and dice onion pieces about 2 inches long
  3. Stir-fry garlic and onion rapidly for a few minutesPlace shrimps or prawns into pan and toss until golden
  4. Add shrimp paste with soya bean oil in and stir (Paste can be found in most Asian supermarkets)
  5. Season with fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar to your tasting
  6. Simmer for about 5 minutes

*Can be served with your choice of veggies. I added stir-fry squash in mine.

Vietnamese Asparagus Crab Soup - Sup Mang Cua

A Vietnamese soup normally served at dinner parties or special events.

For a 5-quart stock pot:
1 can of frozen lump crab meat
3 cans of the large chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can baby corn
1 small bunch of fresh asparagus
2 or 3 eggs
3 tablespoons tapioca starch (bot nang), dissolve in water
Salt, pepper, fish sauce

1) Boil the chicken broth on medium heat, or you can use fresh cooked broth as well (works even better)

2) Wash asparagus and remove the hard bottoms. Drain and wash baby corn. Slice corn and asparagus into bite-sized chunks

3) Beat 2 or 3 eggs, depending on how many egg drops you want in your soup. Set aside for use in last step

4) Add corn and asparagus to the pot

5) Dissolve about 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch (bot nang) to 1/2 cup of cold water. Add the mixture to the pot and stir rapidly, until you see the soup becoming thick. You can add an additional tablespoons of tapioca if you like your soup extra thick, but remember after it cools the soup will thicken more than what it is currently

6) When your soup pot starts boiling, add in the crab and start stirring the ingredients

7) Slowly pour the bowl of scrambled eggs into the pot, while stirring rapidly in large strokes to create long egg strands

8)When the eggs are all in, turn the heat down to medium to simmer for 10 minutes

9) Add a pinch of salt and about 3 tablespoons of fish sauce to your desiring and taste the asparagus and corn to see if they have by now softened enough to your liking

Korean Glass Noodles - Jap Chae

I like the chewy texture of these noodles

1 bag “Malony” Japanese noodles
3 Carrots
3 Celery Sticks
1 pound Shrimp
1 Red PepperSeasame Oil
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
5 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic, Dried Onions, Scallions

1) Cut carrots, Red Peppers, and Celery into desirable pieces

2) Boil hot water, add a pinch of salt, then add celery, pepper, and carrots (Boil until slightly done)

3) Drain over strainer w/ cold water

4) Boil shrimp seperately until done

5) In a big mixing bowl place shrimp, peppers, celery w/ sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce (about 3 tablespoons or until desired taste)

6) Boil noodles about 10 minutes until soft, then drain w/ cold water

7) Mix noodles with, some more oyster sauce to your tasting and a teaspoon of virgin olive oil, and granulated garlic

8) Put in vegetables and shrimp into noodles and mix well

9) Add dried onions, pepper, dash of sesame oil, and scallions to garnish

Monday, September 8, 2008

Korean Pickled Cucumber - O-I Keem Chee

A recipe I inherited from my neighbor. One of my quick and delicious recipes.

1 English Cucumber
½ Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablsespoon Honey
2 Tablespoon Korean Red Pepper Flakes
2 Minced Garlic Cloves Seasame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon White Vinegar

1) Slice cucumbers into rounds and slice onions into thin strips

2) Pour red pepper flakes, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and sesame oil and mix together until well coated

3) Let stand in refrigerador for 15 minutes

4) Pour white vinegar and mix one last time before serving