Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We have had a wonderful week in Laos of swimming in waterfalls, riding elephants, boating upthe Mekong, and exploring the numerous Wats. All this activity left us hungry, and we enjoyed feasting our way through the country. And since we have been eating Lao food all week, I thought it would be a great time to post this particular recipe. I had made this dish before I left DC, after being inspired by the Lao meatballs from the Adams Morgan Day street fair a couple of months ago. After tasting real traditional Lao food here in country, I will admit this recipe is not completely authentic. However, it is very close to what I ate in DC and very reminiscent of the flavors here in Laos. More importantly - it tastes great!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Just because winter is just around the corner doesn't mean you have to give up frozen treats. In fact, when I lived in Russia, I quickly learned that you eat cold foods on the streets when it is cold outside, so as not to shock your system, according to folklore. As a result, in the dead of winter you could find vendors selling dirt cheap ice cream cones on almost every corner. This honey vanilla frozen yogurt with fig compote is the perfect treat for winter when you're desperately craving summer to return.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Ha Noi is electric, with the fast moving motor scooters weaving and honking through the narrow streets of old town and creating a frenzied musical soundtrack for the city. The markets and street vendors are endless; the streets are packed with vendors selling their prized dishes - pho, com, or bun. We have gladly taken up the challenge, picked up our chop sticks, and eaten our way throughout the city. We found a real gem when we stumbled upon Ly Van Phuc street, or as it is know by the local HaNoians, "chicken street". This is a narrow alley filled with open air grills cooking nothing but chicken parts marinated in honey. The aroma is enticing and will lure any drooling carnivore to take a seat in the nearest plastic chair and start calling out orders of wings, thighs, and feet - oh my! The heavenly chicken was served with the most delicious banh my (crusty french baguette) glazed with honey and toasted lightly on the grill pan. In addition, cucumbers quickly pickled in quat (similar to lime) juice, and khoai (potato) skewers accompany the juicy yet crispy chicken. All the delicious morsels are dipped into a lime, salt, and chile mixture and eaten off the skewer. This lime dipping sauce has become my new favorite condiment - salty, spicy and tart - cutting the richness of grilled chicken. It is addictive and will be making many appearances on my table once I get home. In the meantime, here is the recipe so that you can make it in your home.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The weather has been rainy and cold in Victoria lately. As a student, I love to take soups to school to have a hearty, warm meal in the middle of my day that takes literally no time to prepare in the morning. This Chilaquiles is a great Mexican twist on the classic chicken noodle soup that will definitely be making many reappearances on my staple menu.
Monday, November 8, 2010
This dish was inspired by an episode of Rick Bayless's One Plate at a Time show. I watched it about a year ago, and the tomatillo poblano chilaquiles left me drooling - and running to the market to make my own version. What I discovered is that this traditional Mexican dish is easy to prepare, is a great leftover meal, and tastes oh so good! So grab your apron and your dutch oven, and get into the kitchen!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Jeremy and I just left rainy Hoi An, Vietnam. We had previously left sunny, hot, and humid Sai Gon and had landed in central Vietnam to be greeted by winter – cold with grey skies and rain. The gloomy weather did not hold us back, however. In fact, we had the best time, cooking and eating our way through this quant old town.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Jeremy and I have been exploring Hong Kong for the last three days – the harbor and its breathtaking cityscape, the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, and the packed, busy streets of Kowloon. We’ve been doing our best to take in the culture and, of course, the food. Walking through the Pei Ho street market in the Sham Shui Po neighborhood of Kowloon was an amazing experience in particular. Three floors of pure food delight – here you will find everything you need to make a delicious Cantonese dinner. Animal proteins are on the first floor - fresh whole pigs butchered on the spot, live chickens in cages waiting to be bought for dinner, huge prawns swimming in tanks, the freshest fish resting on ice. On the second floor you'll find fresh veggies, eggs, dried sausages, noodles, rice, and beans. And moving up to the third floor you'll find food vendors slicing and dicing all the ingredients from the levels below, offering locals (we were the only tourists) a delicious breakfast – including dim sum, chow mien, and congee.