Tuesday, November 27, 2007

spaghetti.rucula.e.salmone



What to do when you have just enough for one, but two at the table? Pasta!

We had the equivalent of one portion of uncooked leftover salmon from this weekend's tzatziki.salmon dinner, and tonight I was looking for a quick and easy dinner where I could use the leftover salmon and most importantly stretch it for two. I decided to make spaghetti in a cream sauce (stretching tip: if you want to create the illusion of quantity, slice or cut what needs to be 'stretched' into smaller pieces).

I have never been a fan of cream sauces, I am the girl who goes for the spicy puttanesca or frutti di mare. Cream sauces are usually a little too bland, a little too heavy and a little too white for me. But if paired with something like rucula (aka 'arugula, roquette, or rocket') to break the 'white ride' I'm all in. I also have a husband and a sister who love white sauces. So tonight I met them halfway with this dish, composed of spaghetti, salmon, rucula and a simple white sauce. Seasoned lightly with salt, pepper and lemon zest. And finished with soft shredded cantal cheese.

So here it goes, a middle of the week eat-your-dinner treat: spaghetti.rucula.e.salmone ...


R E C I P E

400gr uncooked spaghetti

* this is a 'medium' portion, I use a little less than half a pack for two

1 clove of garlic - mashed

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 salmon fillet (100gr) - lightly seasoned with salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of flour

1/2 cup of milk + 1/4 cup of water

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup shredded cantal cheese

1 1/2 cups of fresh arugula

salt and pepper

Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook over very high heat, with the olive oil, for two minutes on each side (or until you get a slight crust). Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Return the pan to the stove. Add the flour, and mix with the remaining oil. Add the milk and water and stir until it reaches boiling point. This is when it will start to get thicker. Once it has thickened (it won't be too thick, but you will notice a change in texture) season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Set aside. Slice the salmon. Cook the pasta as you normally would. Drain. Add the sauce, the cheese, and season with more salt. Fold carefully to coat the pasta with the sauce. Fold in the arugula right before you serve it.


* I am happy to report that both the 'cream team' and 'not-so much team' loved this dish!
** Come back tomorrow for the nutrition facts.




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Sunday, November 25, 2007

lemon.raspberry.swirl.yogurt.squares



I don't bake. I cook. But every once in a while I feel the urge to mix something up, put it in the oven and see what comes out. This has resulted in countless so-so cakes, and even though Eduardo swears they are good, I know better, they are really borderline edible. Don't get me wrong I can make a good cake, but baking is science, it's about following the rules. That's the root of the problem, I tend not to follow the [cooking] rules - have you noticed? - I have my version of almost everything.

Well, this attitude has not translated well into baking, first because I also have a calorie conscience, and second because I don't like overly sweet things. So I usually cut the sugar and the fat. Oh, I am also not a fan of electric mixers, so I usually rely on my abilities with the wooden spoon. Needless to say the butter usually gets swapped for vegetable oil. You get the picture. Not a good one. But wait don't stop reading, this recipe is actually good!

I baked this cake for a picnic last year, so I wasn't as strict with the rules. The original recipe called for butter and sour cream. When Eduardo found out the cake was going to have sour cream, he gave me a 'sour-cream-is-for-dip' look and told me 'he didn't like sour cream in cakes'. The cake came out pale and silky and the raspberry swirls created a beautiful contrast. Eduardo was sold. He later reflected on the fact that he loved sour cream - why wouldn't I love it in cake too? - yeah.

For my version of the cake, I substitute the sour cream for fat free yogurt (* yogurt cake is a classic in France, it's a rustic cake made by measuring all the ingredients with the yogurt pots!). It calls for vegetable oil, so I used that, and vanilla. I substituted the vanilla for lemon, because it breaks the sweetness and works well with the raspberry jam.

I beat it by hand, so all you need is a bowl, measuring cups and a wooden spoon, enjoy!


R E C I P E


2 eggs

2 pots of yogurt - 125 gr each

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

1 lemon - juice and zest

2 cups of cake flour

1 1/2 tablespoons of rapsberry jam (framboise)

1 tablespoon of water

Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C


In a large bowl beat the eggs, the yogurt and the sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the oil, the lemon juice and zest and mix. Mix in the flour.

*Mix only until the batter is homogenous, if you beat it too much it can result in a hard cake (believe me I know).

In a small cup dilute the jam with the water.

Grease and flour a cake pan - I like to make squares so I use a square or rectangular pan - pour the batter onto the pan. With a spoon laddle the jam on top of the batter, and make swirls with a knife. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Let it cool, cut it into squares, and dust with confectioners sugar!


Ta-dah!


PS - No nutritional info on this one. It's cake! ok, so it does have a lot less fat that regular cake, but it is still cake, so enjoy it! Just don't eat the whole thing or do it every day :)





tzatziki.salmon



Last week was 'strike week'. Most of France was on strike. Metro workers, bus drivers, airlines, the postal service, the energy company, teachers, students, doctors, where on strike, to name just a few.

The situation was surreal, especially since I was still expected to show up for work. ‘Eat-your-dinner’ was the fist one to suffer the consequences, and automatically went on strike, I don’t even remember what we ate, if we ate (did we?) last week.

The events that happened during the strike are all blurry in my mind. Due mostly to the fact that in order to avoid the crowds (herds) of people on the metro, we went on a ‘shifted schedule’ in a routine that went like this:

5:30 am - Wake up
6:00 am - Drag myself to the metro station
7:00 am – Work
4:00 pm - Go home
6:00 pm - Aimlessly surf the internet
9:00 pm - Collapse into bed
10:00 pm - Fall asleep

*Repeat as many days as necessary.

So today I celebrate freedom! By cooking! I had wanted to post a Greek plate for a long time; I actually made Moussaka, a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get around to write about it. I like to post recipes from all over the world, I think nowadays is so easy to find ethnic ingredients, that we can all experiment a lot more. The star of today’s recipe is tzatziki (just saying the word makes me happy).

Tzatziki is a greek dressing, or mese, that is made with plain yogurt and cucumbers. Tzatziki is one of those things that you can eat with anything: sandwiches, salads, meats, chips (!). Tzatziki is to Greeks what ranch dressing is to Texans! Speaking of Texans, it would be great with chicken wings. And the best part? It is really healthy, it is very low in saturated fat and in calories.

We had it on top of salmon with a side of wheat. The salmon was cooked for a couple of minutes, which kept it raw inside, like a tartar. And the wheat was dressed with a lemon and cilantro vinaigrette (with a twist).

R E C I P E S

Tzatziki

This recipe makes a little over two cups

1 small pot of plain sweetened yogurt (125gr), fat free is perfect.

1 1/2 cups of grated seedless cucumber (about one big cucumber)
1/4 teaspoon (or less) garlic (mashed into a paste)

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon of crushed black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

* I changed the proportions of the ingredients, my recipe has a lot more cucumbers than yogurt, which makes it really thick. You can play with this, I knew Eduardo wouldn't like it if it tasted (too much) like yogurt, so this is why I made it like this.

Peel the cucumber. Grate it. And (in parts) squeeze with your (clean) hands the cucumbers, you can use a cheese cloth if you want to do it all at once. I don't normally have cheese cloth around, so my hands worked just fine. All you do is transfer from on bowl to another. Reserve the liquid, the color is a beautiful bright green and it is a great base for a salad dressing. (read wheat recipe).

For the plain yogurt, you know how when you open them, they tend to have a solid part and some liquid around? discart the liquid and use the solid part. In France they sell ready-made tzatziki, made with crème fraîche instead of yogurt, you can substitute the yogurt if you don't like the taste of it, sour cream works too, just keep in mind that it won't be as healthy.

Mix all the ingredients. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

-----

Semi-Tartar Salmon

2 salmon fillets (100gr each) at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon of garlic (paste, use what was left from the tzatziki)

1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

salt and peper

1/2 tableepoon of olive oil

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, and rub with the garlic and lemon zest.

Heat a pan until it is smoking, coat with the olive oil. Cook the salmon two minutes on each side. Make sure that the salmon is at room temperature, so it is not cold inside, remember we are going for a raw middle. Serve immediately. Top with Tzatziki (be generous, it's really really good).

-----

Cucumber-Lemon Wheat Grains

1 cup of dry wheat
*wheat grains are a great alternative to rice. They are high in dietary fiber and in phosphorus and manganese.

vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of cucumber liquid (what you squeezed out of the shreded cucumbers)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (same one)
1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of any herb you have (dill, cilantro, basil, or parsley work well)

Whisk together and set aside.

Cook the wheat like you would pasta: in boiling water for about ten minutes. Drain. Incorporate the vinaigrette and serve.

I hope you liked this, I don't generally post full menus like this, but because of the way the ingredients work together in all the plates, I thought it would be a nice change of pace. Don't forget to check out the nutritional facts for the whole meal. Bon Appétit!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

i.heart.curry

It was this summer that Gob, a Thai intern who worked in the office from June to September, created a curry madness in the office. Turns out Gob, this is not his real name, this is his nickname, I will refrain from mentioning his real name for he is so attached to Gob he actually introduces himself as so. Once, I dared calling him by his real name, and he made it clear to me that if I chose to refer to him as that, I would join the club of 'people Gob doesn't like', yes he refers to Gob on the third person. If you haven't figured it out already, Gob was quite a character, quite a cook as well, of everything Thai, exclusively Thai, and, (lucky for me) he could recite recipes on cue. That's how I learned to make curry. The Thursday before summer break, We had a little potluck at the office, and along with the curry tasting came the recipe. A following came too, and for a few of us, curry is still a weekly indulgence.

Now this is where I am going, curry is by all means an indulgence, sure it is spicy, sure it can squeeze a few tears out of you, but health wise it seems pretty innocent right? WRONG. Two words: COCONUT MILK. (Check out the new addition to the blog! Nutrition Facts!). Coconut Milk is the equivalent of tropical mayonnaise! It's PURE fat! And not the good, make-your-hair-shiny avocado-like-fat, the bad kind! the lard kind. The saturated kind! I was talking to Lisa, another curry groupie, about this today. She actually looked up the nutritional info of coconut milk and was appalled with what she saw. She also helped inspire, along with Eduardo, the new 'eat-your-dinner' nutrition facts label. Which means I'll be crunching numbers to bring you the nutritional information of the recipes we post.

After discussing the un-benefits of coconut milk, I thought I could come up with a version of curry that used the least amount of coconut milk, without compromising the flavor. I must admit it is pretty close, minus the guilt feelings. Before, I didn't usually use the BIG can of coconut milk the recipe called for, but I still used about 3/4 of a cup, which we now know what amounts too in terms of fat and calories.
I say, leave the full fat curry for special occasions, and try the heart happy version, for weeknights. Leave out the fish sauce for a heart happier version, the sodium content in fish sauce is sky high!


R E C I P E


1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of red or green curry paste (green is spicier than red)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast cubed

1 medium eggplant sliced

1 medium zucchini sliced

1/2 cup of water

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1/4 cup of coconut milk

5 basil leaves (I like to use both cilantro and basil, but that's up to you)

1 lime

-------

1. Heat a wok or a big pot. Add the oil. When it starts to smoke, add the chicken and the curry paste. Keep moving it, you don't want it to stick.


2. Before the chicken starts to brown, add the water and stir to dilute the curry paste.


3. Add the sliced vegetables.


4. Cover. Let it sweat now. Move every now and then. Careful with the eggplant. You don't want to break it.


5. After a couple of minutes, add the fish sauce. Add more water if it looks like it's drying out. There should about a cup of liquid from the veggies.


6. When the vegetables are ready, add the coconut milk. Cover. Cook for about one minute, only to bring it up to temperature. This is the trick! The more you cook it, the more it looses its flavor. By just heating it you can get maximum taste with the least amount of milk.


7. Squeeze half the lime in the broth. Add the herbs. Serve over rice with a wedge of lime.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

spaghetti.al.pomodoro.e.basilico



Spaghetti al pomodoro e basilico sounds absolutely beautiful! In reality what this is, is my basic tomato sauce. So simple yet so enjoyable.

R E C I P E

1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
5 tomatoes (small ripe ones like roma tomatoes would be great, but whatever you have on hand really) diced.
1 teaspoon of salt
Fresh basil (a small handful, you can put as much as you want/have in, you can't go wrong with basil) torn with you fingers.

In a small pot over medium/low temperature, pour the olive oil, and add the garlic and the chili pepper flakes, all at the same time.
Cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes, make sure the garlic doesn't brown, this will make it bitter.

Raise the temperature to high and add the tomatoes with the bay leaf, once little bubbles start forming, lower the heat to medium and cover. Cook for about 10 min, add the basil and season with salt.

The sauce is ready!
Enjoy it over spaghetti (or spaghettini, my favorite) or for 'melanzane al pomodoro' or 'eggplant al tomato'.



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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

balsamic.carrots

When I started cooking, I stuck with what I liked. I learned to make my mom's classic dishes, like lasagna better known as pasticcio at home, and basic things like rice and chicken. As I started venturing out on my own, and reading cookbooks, I made dishes I already knew I liked.

My sole objective was making whatever it was that I liked even better, mixing different recipes, substituting ingredients and adding a few unexpected ingredients to the mix, all this worked really well, but I needed a challenge.

That's how I started experimenting with things I didn't enjoy so much, like petit pois, or ginger, or carrots. I now like petit pois and ginger, especially ginger, very much. The only thing I still can't get around to eating are olives, and it is not because I don't give them a chance, I do, I really do, I try them at every chance I get, I even tried them in Morocco, I just don't like them. So, if you have any good recipes involving olives that you think I would like, you know how to reach me (clue: look for the bananas).

I also post this in light of the controversy over Jessica Seinfeld's (Jerry Seinfelds's wife) book 'Deceptively Delicious', which is all about making children eat better by hiding things like spinach (eew) in brownies, which is not only deceptive, it's also sad. I am sure most kids would eat spinach in say, raviolis? There are better ways to nourrish your children, than fooling them into thinking they can eat whatever they want.

By putting spinach in the brownies, you are just ruining the brownies! How about... (just a thought here) the classic... "No, brownies, until you eat-your-dinner!" that seemed to work fine with my generation. Oh, and the controversy surrounding the book is not about the insane premise of this book, it is about plagiarism (!) , turns out someone else thought about this too, poor kids.

Anyway I got carried away with the spinach brownies back there (greenies?). Returning to my carrots, this was the dish that brought carrots back into my life. It also made me realize, that I didn't have a problem with carrots, I actually like them, what I dislike are boiled soggy carrots. I like to eat this as a snack over crackers, it also makes a good side dish.


R E C I P E

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 julienned onion
3 shredded carrots
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar


Once you have your onion and carrots ready, heat a large pan add the olive oil and sautee the onion until it becomes translucent. Add the carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and cook mixing frequently for about 7 minutes until they are done. Aside from the heat, add the balsamic vinegar and toss well. Serve it warm or at room temperature.


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Monday, November 5, 2007

falafel


I have to admit I love falafel, ever since the first time I tried falafel I loved it, it wasn't an acquired taste or something that grew on me, I loved it, I always did. The one little problem? It always gave me a stomach ache. So I stayed away, I loved the idea of it, not the reality.

I was suddenly re-introduced to falafel the other day at work. Will was having these delightful little treats for lunch. He had pita bread, hummus, and fried eggplant, it looked and sounded great! The best part? They were homemade. It never, in all my falafel days, occurred to me that I could make them! (This is starting to sound too much like the Vietnamese sandwiches, but bear with me, it gets better).

Falafel is a fried ball of spiced chickpeas, that is traditionally Jewish, and it is said to date back to biblical times. Nowadays, falafel can be found all throughout the Middle East and in India and Pakistan as well.

On Sunday we were also doing a ‘technology Sabbath’ at home, so naturally, I decided falafel would be the perfect choice! I couldn’t consult the computer for recipes, so I had to rely on memory (what Will had told me), and on cooking savvy. I, for example, based my falafel on meatball principles and used breadcrumbs and an egg to bind the mixture together, instead of flour which is what is normally used, this resulted in ‘crunchier’ falafel. The crunchy falafel won me ed-points, I got a five this time, but since I usually get a five, I don’t know how reliable these ed-points are. I have my own little rating system: 'blog-worthy' o not, so you can be sure that whatever is here has passed at least two rating systems.

I served the falafel over eggplant, accompanied by a yogurt-parsley sauce, I highly recommend them on computer-free days. Also, the homemade version only results in a stomach ache if you use the same oil for 45 to 60 batches (not recommended). Enjoy!


R E C I P E

1 medium can of chickpeas - mashed
1egg
¼ cup of chopped parsley
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1small clove of garlic - mashed
¼ cup of breadcrumbs + more for breading
Frying oil

Combine all the ingredients until they form a paste, yes with your hands. Form ping-pong size balls. Roll in bread crumbs (optional), and fry. You can deep-fry them, or shallow-fry them like I did, just make sure you turn them so they get a nice golden color all over.
* as Ed was reading this post he said out loud 'ping-pong sized balls? I'd make 'em bigger, man!" See how I get those fives?


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Thursday, November 1, 2007

bánh.mì

The first time I mentioned vietnamese sandwiches was on one of my first posts, when i I wrote about pho noodle soup. Our friends Yu and Kurt were the ones to introduce us to these delicious and easy to make sandwiches that are called Bánh mì in vietnamese.

This is one of those things that people don't think of making at home, when we think of sandwiches we usually go with what we already know. But we love these, we don't use pickled carrots, and we have our own version of the spicy mayo, but they still make a great saturday lunch.

Today we made bánh mì gà, the chicken version. The nice thing with these is you can stuff them with whatever you have, whether it's chicken, pork or beef (or even tofu), we tried them with tuna one day and they were excellent (this is the americanized version! but who doesn't like a tuna sandwich?).

Basically what you need is: a fresh baguette (we prefer it on the softer side for this), thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers, cilantro and whatever meat you decide to use, leftover chicken is perfect, all you have to do is slice it. The secret ingredient is the mayo, what I do is mix some mayonnaise with sriracha sauce, a little bit of sesame oil and some black sesame seeds. All you really need is the mayonnaise and chili sauce, but the oil gives it a nice flavor and i just love the way black sesame look. I also like to keep the chili oil that comes with pizza, and just mix that with the mayo. Compose your sandwich with all the ingredients and eat away! I love them!



* For the tuna version we just mixed the tuna with the mayo before hand.

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red.rice

Today at the Asian Market we discovered this beautiful red whole grain rice (I must confess that was the only reason I bought it) and I figured that taste wise it couldn’t be too far from the regular whole grain rice, and would give me a boost in my quest to create an original ‘eat-your-dinner’ recipe, even though I ended up mixing and matching ingredients to create a ‘sort-of-thai’, ‘kinf-of-vietnamese’ fried rice, it was well worth the effort. I also found out that Red Rice is being used in China as a dietary aid to lower cholesterol; they have even started developing medicines from this type of rice. So it is healthy too.

The whole point of this blog is to share inventive alternatives for everyday cooking, and this recipe was pretty much that! I bought my beautiful rice, but didn’t plan on much more than that. I left the market with one small can of coconut milk (good to have in case you have a curry emergency), cilantro, one piece of ginger, one carrot, and one giant sweet potato. I know the sweet potato sounds strange, but I found a Japanese baked sweet potato recipe that sounds amazing. I might write about it later. That is, if it turns out good.

I got home, got my groceries out, and realized that my choices weren’t all that consistent, and I really wanted to do something with the rice. I had week-old brussel sprouts, eggs, lime, and onions. I could make brussel sprout fried rice! That’s not too weird, is it? Well the lesson behind this story is you can make dinner with whatever you have at hand. I hope you like it! Eduardo gave it 4/5 ‘ed points’, he’s started rating recipes, I’d say it’s a VERY good score for ‘Brussel Sprout Fried Rice’, but we’ll call it ‘Red Rice’.

* I forgot to mention the rice! It is wonderful, it’s nutty and has a more delicate flavor than that of regular brown rice. The grains are also long and thin, which gives it a very nice texture.


R E C I P E

1 cup red whole grain rice
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 pinch of chili pepper
1 small onion
1 ½ cups of sliced brussel sprouts
½ carrot in very small cubes
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
¼ cup of soy sauce
The juice of one lime
1 egg (optional)
2 + 1 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro (keep some for garnish)
One one-inch piece of fresh ginger sliced
One clove of garlic sliced

For the rice:
This can be done up to one day ahead. Wash the rice, once is enough; this is not starchy rice. Soak it for a couple of hours, this is not necessary but it will cut the cooking time (whole grain rice tends to take longer). To cook it, rinse the water, measure two cups of water, put it on the stove on high heat until it boils, lower the heat, and cover until all the water has been absorbed or evaporated.

For the vegetables:
Heat a wok or a large pan, add the oil. When the oil thins, add chili pepper, the onion and chopped carrots. When the onion turns translucent, add the sliced brussel sprouts and cook for a couple of minutes. The brussel sprouts should be crunchy, and a bright green. Don’t overcook them, they get gray and bitter. Put aside.

For the sauce:
Mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and lime. Some chili paste would be nice too, if you like it spicier.

Toppings:
Fry the ginger and garlic.
Make a thin egg omelet (a little bit of sugar in here works great). Roll it, and slice it thinly.
Roughly chop the cilantro. You’ll mix two tablespoons with the rice and reserve one for garnish.

To finish:
Heat the rice + veggies quickly, mix the two together carefully. Set aside from the heat, incorporate the sauce or dressing + two tablespoons of cilantro. Top with omelet, the fried garlic and ginger and the reserved cilantro!





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czech.knee.out




Here are a couple of pictures of us eating Vepřové koleno (or pork knee, yes knee!) in Prague.

The pork knee is served with horseradish, mustard, and bread, and you carve it yourself!(I'm glad I had a surgeon with me). Very 'Flinstones' I must say!

Did you know the Czech Republic is the country with the highest per capita consumption of beer? In the picture you can see how a beer was trying to consume me!

Overall the food was really good, but to be honest the BEST 'I-would-come-back-to-Prague-just-for-this' food, are the hot dogs at Wenceslas Square, so if you go to Prague do NOT miss them!



mujadrah

Last night I felt like cooking something different, and since I hadn’t posted in such a long time, I thought I would come up with something inventive, an ‘eat your dinner’ original recipe! I had about half a cup each of lentils and brown rice, and some onions and garlic, which sounded good already, and I used lots of cumin and curry to give it a nice smoky taste. Turns out, unknowingly, I made and Arab dish! So much for inventive! I ‘googled’ rice and lentils, and not only did I find out my recipe was quite faithful to the original, but I also found out it had a much better name that rice and lentils! Mujadrah! (Pronounced M-Jed'der-a). Anyway, this dish is really good, I highly recommend it. It is also vegetarian and very inexpensive. So here is it! Enjoy.


R E C I P E

This recipe is good for two people, just double, triple if you have more people or are really hungry.

½ cup of French lentils
½ cup of brown rice
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 small bouillon cube
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of curry powder
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups of water

Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the spices, the rice and the lentils. Cook for a couple of minutes, making sure everything is coated with the spices. Add the water and the bouillon cube. When the water starts to boil, turn the temperature down and cover. When all the water has been absorbed or evaporated your dish is ready! If either your rice or your lentils are still hard after all the water has been absorbed, this could happen if your grains have been in your cupboard for a long time, just add more and repeat the process until they are done (boil, lower temp, and cover).
I hope you enjoy this, we sure did!


* I just read this is the dish (pottage) that Jacob sold to his brother, Esau, in exchange for his birthright. Genesis 25:29. People make up all sorts of stuff!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

moroccan.inspired.beans

I haven’t posted in a while, but I had a crazy couple of weeks, that included a 48-hour trip to Marrakech, Morocco. I have to say that I was so impressed by it. It was really beautiful; I loved the ‘medina’ with all its smells, colors, and people (medina literally means ‘city’ in Arabic). Here are some images: top row, my husband and my boss breaking the fast at the Jemaa El Fna Market, middle row, the spice market inside the Medina, bottom row, more images from the market, nuts, dates, and mint tea.



Inspired by all the Moroccan flavors, I came up with a recipe for white beans, which turned out to be really delicious; of course it is not Moroccan AT ALL! It has pork! Enough to make it not Moroccan. But the flavors are definitely Moroccan, and if you like a little variety in your beans, I highly recommend it! So here it is:




















R E C I P E

Moroccan Inspired Beans

4 cups of cooked white beans (cook them just like black beans)
1 cup of smoked bacon in small cubes
1 diced small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 diced celery stalk
1 diced carrot
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of ketchup
½ tablespoon of red chili pepper
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of cumin
2 medium tomatoes (processed)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 bouillon cubes

There isn’t much science to this recipe, when your beans are soft and there is still some liquid in them, heat a medium pan and add the bacon. When the bacon is sizzling, add the rest of the ingredients in the same order I wrote them on the ingredient list, one by one, gently stirring. Add this ‘flavor mix’ to the beans, and cook over a medium flame until they thicken. Taste, and adjust the salt to your taste. Serve with crusty bread. This is a great cold weather meal, you'll feel like you are under the Marrakech sun!




Saturday, September 8, 2007

chateau.romanin

Chateau Romanin is located on the northern slope of the Alpilles, the mountain bordering the Mediterranean in Provence. There are some 58 hectares of vineyards on the property, made up of the usual southern French red and white varieties. It’s been certified as biodynamic (with Demeter) since 1998. The wines are universally of a very high standard and the difference between the various cuvées is in the origin of the grapes and the oak regimen.


Biodynamic wines are usually highly concentrated, very personalized and specific to their homeland, the "terrroir". This wine has won multiple Gold Medals, and according to the owners, will take a few years to fully express itself.






























This wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet and Mourvèdre. The palate is rich, spicy, with the vivid fruit and firm tannins. I agree with every wine trader: This vintage is worth every cent!

Classification: Very good/excellent.

Recommended for:

Mood: Fine Dining / Entertaining
Food: Hearty Meat / Seafood

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

blackberry.balsamic.dressing

I've never been one to like jellies or jams, but I tried this amazing dressing at a restaurant called 'La Verbena' a few years back, and I had to ask the waiter what the secret ingredient was, and I was completely taken by surprise by the answer: blackberry jam! and I don't even like jelly! but I love this dressing, and it is the only reason I keep a jar of jelly in my refrigerator, I've also tried it with other flavors and it's not as good. Back in my kitchen, I tried a couple of versions of it, and this is my favorite. You can make it sweeter by adding more jelly or more tart by increasing the amount the balsamic vinegar, you could even leave the olive oil out all together for a healthier alternative.

















R E C I P E


1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of blackberry jelly
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (not the grainy type)
1/4 clove of garlic mashed (optional)
salt and pepper


* if you use garlic use very little


In a small bowl mix all ingredients! Isn't it great when that's all there is to it? a lot simpler than beans! :)

For an easy salad, toss a bag of baby greens (jeunes pousses) with the dressing, and top with quartered figs and goat cheese (or sliced green apples and blue cheese). Its great with nuts too! Bon appétit!

* You can make a variatian of this dressing by using one tablespoon of honey instead of the jelly, white balsamic vinegar instead of the regular balsamic, one tablespoon of sesame oil and a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds! You can use rice wine vinegar too.










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Monday, September 3, 2007

sesame.ginger.noodles

This is the easiest, best dinner ever. It literally takes ten minutes. I love how it looks too!
We shop for groceries once a week, Saturday morning to be more specific which means that I’m thinking about the following week’s menu since Friday afternoon. I write down one dish per day, and buy accordingly. This means instead of buying a bag of onions for example (that are going to last me a month, if I don’t make an onion tart or something that requires lots of onions), it simply means that I buy two onions, three potatoes, two carrots, etc. This is especially practical when you live in an apartment with a five story walk up like we do. Also, we spend less money, and we don’t waste any food. Another reason this is good system for us is that if I just go to the store and buy whatever I feel like buying, we end up eating the same thing week after week, because I tend to gravitate towards the same things.
Last week, we had (for the first time) a wonderful pot of sesame noodles (with this system you also experiment a little bit more). And as I mentioned before this dish was very easy and really tasty.




















R E C I P E

½ package of flat rice noodles
1 piece of fresh ginger (2.5 cm / 1 inch) chopped
1 tablespoon of honey
2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
¼ cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds
1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut in small pieces
2 baby bok choi

1. Get you water boiling.
2. Heat a pan with the vegetable oil
3. Add the ginger and garlic to the oil.
4. After about 30 sec. add the chicken.
5. Cook.
6. Put a metal colander in the boiling water and put the bok choi in.
7. Cook until changes color. Take the colander out. Drain the bok choi.
8. Cover the water and wait until it boils.
9. Get your noodles in the water.
10. Cover the noodles and remove them from the heat. Soak noodles until soft. Drain and rinse with water. Drain again.
11. Add the soy sauce and the honey to your chicken.
12. Cook for a couple of minutes and add the noodles. Add the bok choi.
13. Cook for a couple more minutes (to reheat the noodles).
14. Add the sesame oil.
15. Add the sesame seeds.
16.
And serve!

Oh and eat your dinner! It gets cold really fast!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

arroz.con.pollo

I’m baking a carrot cake, and since it takes a long time, I thought I would spend it wisely and write a post about a dish, that it my mind at least, bears some similarities with carrot cake.

‘Arroz con pollo’ is literally ‘rice with chicken’, although nothing could be further than the truth, because it is closer to ‘rice with a whole bunch of things AND chicken’. Arroz con pollo is actually a great vegetarian dish if you take out the chicken, although if you take out the chicken you end up with ‘rice’. I had a home ec teacher in seventh grade, who taught us how to make a version of this rice without chicken and called it ‘garden rice’ which is a nice name that all you vegetarians out there can use if want to be fancy.

Arroz con pollo is a typical Central American dish; it is a one pot meal (which is great) especially for Ed who is perpetually on dishwashing duty. In Costa Rica, they like to make ‘arroz con pollo’ for big family reunions or birthday parties, in a huge pot that is only used at Christmas to boil tamales, or for this rice. They serve it with black beans and potato chips, I don’t know how this came to be, but my guess is that since there ARE potato chips in most parties, people just started eating them on the side, and it became a tradition to have potato chips with the dish, although from the outside (us foreigners) it does seem pretty strange, this is perfectly normal for Eduardo though.

Ok, so carrot cake and arroz con pollo aren’t all that similar, the one thing they have in common is they both have carrots in very small pieces. Maybe it was the color that reminded me of the rice. It doesn’t matter really, this rice is very good, it has tons of vegetables, it’s easy, it’s one pot (well two, close enough), it has a nice presence too, and if you make it vegetarian and you are NOT a vegetarian it could go nicely with rotisserie chicken. And tortillas! But that’s probably too much to ask. You can also substitute the chicken for small shrimp and serve it with a wedge of lemon, and you’ll get ‘arroz con camarones’.

(The first layer of my cake just came out of the oven and it smells and looks great! I will definitely post about it! It will be my first sweet post!)




































R E C I P E

Arroz con Pollo

1 cup long grain rice
1 chicken breast
1 teaspoon of salt
1 carrot
¼ of a bell pepper (any color)
1 small onion
1 handful of green beans or green peas (about ½ a cup)
2 cloves of garlic
2 chicken bouillon cubes (small)
2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of oil
¼ teaspoon of food coloring (annatto, onoto, achiote, or bija they’re all the same, it is a natural coloring that comes from a South American tree, that is sometimes called ‘lipstick tree’ because of the color of its seeds) this is not necessary at all, ‘achiote’ has no flavor, it is just aesthetic). You can use any food coloring; even liquid food coloring is fine if you dissolve it in the stock first. Aim for a light orange.

In a small pot place the chicken breast, the water, the bouillon cubes and the bay leaf. Cook on high until it boils, cover, lower the temperature, and let it simmer. This will create a quick stock.

In the meantime chop all you vegetables in small peaces. In a large pot, heat the oil until its smoking; add all your vegetables, while stirring every now and then. Take the chicken out of the stock you’ve just made and put on a chopping board. By now you should start to feel the ‘aromas’ (this a very Latin way of cooking), add the rice to the vegetables, stir it until it is coated with the oil and all the ingredients are mixed well, add the stock (if you are using food coloring dissolve it in the stock before adding it to the rice). Stir once, and no more (if you stir rice too much it will get sticky), wait until it boils; lower the temperature to the minimum and cover. The rice will be done when the water evaporates.

Chop the chicken into small pieces and add to the rice when it is almost dry, mix lightly and serve!












Tuesday, August 28, 2007

black.soup

I’ve decided to open this post simply with: ‘this one’s for Jono’. As you know, I have been struggling with the opening line for my posts; this line even comes up as ‘fragment’ on my spell check (or grammar)! I’m going to ignore it and tell you the story, a few weeks ago we had a mini farewell dinner party for Ceara, a girl from work, who was here for the summer. Turns out Ceara, being from California, really missed Mexican food. So I compromised and offered to make her a Latin American themed dinner party instead. We had ‘sopa negra’ or black soup in english as a starter, and they loved it! (especially Jono). Sopa negra is a black bean soup that takes some time, but it is well worth it. I just remembered my 9th grade English teacher explaining to me how I had a problem with ‘run-on sentences’, I wonder why.

The four things you must remember about beans are, one – soak them over night, two – don’t boil them, they don’t like it, they’ll just stay hard, three – you need to sort and wash them BEFORE you soak them (by sorting I mean looking for tiny pebbles disguised as beans), and four – canned beans are just nasty, so use the real thing. Also very important, where do you find them? In France, Asian (not Japanese though) and African markets usually carry them, Indian stores too. And if you live in Paris, there is a store that sells beans behind ‘La Bourse’, where they have every imaginable type of grain.

The reason this one is ‘for Jono’ is because he asked me for the recipe one of these days and I said – ‘I’ll make the soup, post the recipe, AND I’ll bring you some’- turns out I calculated the amount of beans wrong and we ate most of it, so I didn’t bring any soup to Jono and forgot to say anything about it, and for all I know he thinks of black beans everytime he looks at me, so Jono, I hope you like it, and next time I promise I’ll bring you some. And for the rest of you here it is!






















R E C I P E

2 cups of black beans ‘sorted, washed and soaked in water over night’
1 quart of water
2 tablespoon of olive oil
½ an onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of chopped red sweet pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 red chili pepper chopped (no seeds!) or more than one that's up to you!
Salt

-Toppings –


Diced tomatoes
Sour cream
Diced avocados
Chives
Hard-boiled or poached eggs
And/or anything else you like!

Recapitulating, this is how you deal with the beans:

1. Measure the two cups.
2. Go through your beans and take out discolored/shriveled beans and the occasional pebble.
3. Wash them with water.
4. Rinse them.
5. Place them in a container or pot with four cups of water. (use a big pot, it’s better).
6. Cover them and, leave them over night.
7. The next day the beans will have absorbed a fair amount of water, and the water will be a dark purple, it’s ok! you’ve washed the beans, that’s the bean’s own pigment. Cook them in this water and the result will be a ‘blacker’ BLACK soup.
8. To cook them add a couple more cups of water to the beans, place your pot on the stove on high, and once the water is boiling lower the temperature to the minimum. Cover and let simmer until they are soft.

* All beans are different, the cooking time always varies, so keep an eye on them, check them every hour or so, and make sure they don’t run out of water. Also, if the beans have been sitting on the shelf for a very long time they will take more time to cook.


Once the beans are done, chop all your vegetables finely, and cook them over medium heat with the olive oil. While your vegetables are cooking, mash some of the beans (if you like a thicker soup) with a food processor or blender (I just use the bottom of a heavy mug, and do it in the same pot), if you use a food processor of blender, take about a cup of beans with some of the liquid (add more water if you need to), and return it to the pot. At this point the vegetables should be caramelized, add them to the soup together with the cilantro. Season with salt. Let the soup simmer for half an hour, and serve.

* The mashed beans have a grayish color, when you put them in the pot with the rest of the soup, if it doesn't look black (as black soup should), don’t despair, this is the reason you need to simmer for an extra half hour. Beans are not hard to make, you just need to know the tricks. (Jono is learning to cook, since this recipe IS for him I’m being thorough).

You can top this soup with anything you like, in Costa Rica, if the soup is not too thick, they poach some eggs in the soup and serve one egg per person, this is really good if you want add MORE protein to this dish (beans a great source of protein on their own). I served mine, with tomatoes, avocados, and sour cream. Buen Provecho! (enjoy! or bon appétit! in spanish).


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Saturday, August 25, 2007

green.couscous

When my sister and I where kids, we loved to tell people a joke that we called ‘the green world’, we thought it was the funniest thing ever! The whole point of the joke was to describe – well - a green world. The story could easily extend to over an hour and it was a favorite on long drives, like returning home from a weekend at the beach. In this 'story-joke' every possible word was preceded by ‘green’.

The joke would go sort of like this: ‘In a green world, there was a green town, and in the green town there lived a green boy. The green boy’s green mother told the green boy not to go out and green play that green afternoon” – insert every possible twist and turn here, while describing the green landscape, green flowers, green friends, green etc. – after the longest minutes of my parents lives, I’m sure, we got to the climax of the story where the green kid gets hurt, and an ambulance from the ‘green cross’ would come to take him to the green hospital (this was our favorite part, we felt so clever). Once the green kid got to the hospital they would wheel him into an operating room (green of course, but those are actually like that), and the green doctor would come out with terrible news for the green mother… “Mrs. Green, your green child…. (wait for it… ) has…. RED blood.” And we would burst out laughing every single time.


Today’s recipe is a little bit like that, it’s a couscous that is mostly green with a touch of red. You can embellish this couscous dish with any number of green ingredients you like. It comes with a really tasty chicken, that we topped with avocado (this is optional, but we have been taking advantage of the fact they are in season) – yes, the avocado was green – The recipe goes like this (my recipes are for two generous portions – well, more like one normal portion and one large portion).


























R E C I P E

Green Couscous


1 cup of dry medium couscous
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 juice of one lime or lemon (I prefer lime)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of chili pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley or cilantro (I prefer cilantro), you could use mint too.
2 cups finely diced cucumber.
2 tablespoons of finely diced red bell pepper

In a small pot heat the water with a teaspoon of salt. When it boils add the couscous. Cover and set aside.

In a large plate make a ‘dressing’ with the lime, the olive oil, cumin, chili pepper (or black pepper, red gives it a nice kick), salt and cilantro. Add the cucumber and the bell pepper.

Prepare the chicken, and right before it is time to serve, add the couscous to the dressing and mix carefully with a wooden spoon. Adjust the salt, and it is ready to go, you can also add more olive oil at this point.

Honey Glazed Chicken

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of honey
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper


Make a quick marinade, mixing together the mustard, honey, garlic and cumin. Coat the chicken with this mixture and let it absorb the flavors for 10 to 15 minutes (you can marinate it for a lot longer if you have the time).

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until very hot, place the chicken in the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (I find this is the easiest way to make sure your seasoning is right). Don’t move it, when you fist put chicken in the pan it STICKS to it, after a few minutes the chicken develops a ‘crust’ and then you can move it easily. This is when you turn them, wait until they have a nice caramel color (thank the honey for that). If your chicken breast are on the fat side you might want to add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover for a couple of minutes to make sure they are cooked through, if not, they are ready when the other side had caramelized as well.

Serve over green couscous, and enjoy you green dinner.

* this is the order in which I cooked this ‘eat-your-dinner’:

1 . I put the couscous and salt in the boiling water, covered them, and put them aside.
2. I made the marinade and put the chicken in, and put it aside.
3. I uncovered and broke up the couscous, and placed them on my windowsill to cool.
4. Got my couscous marinate ready.
5. Heated the pan, and cooked the chicken.
7. Asked husband to place the table.
6. Moved chicken to a plate.
7. Incorporated the couscous into the dressing.
8. Opened the avocado.
9. Added some leftover peanuts (from the famous pad thai, that I haven't written about yet) for crunch.
10. Served dinner.



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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the.frenchie

The hardest part about writing a blog is the opening line. This is my third entry, and I already know that. Blogs are just too informal. At least mine is, and this is something I don’t see changing any time soon, I don’t even think I would want to change this. The second hardest thing is trying to write when your husband is beside you surfing the web, I just forgot where I was going with this, you see want I mean? Oh yeah, now I remember, I always (all three times) have had the impulse to open with “so, this and that…” I’m going to have to dedicate some serious thinking to the opening line from now on.

In other news, I am happy to report, that I’ve gotten four comments on my newborn blog! I’m also happy to inform to my readers (all 14 of you!) that my dad is my biggest fan! thanks. I've been thinking about dinner all day, the thing is, yesterday I made pad thai (I’m going through an asian phase here), and we thought it was great, the pictures came out nice, everything was good, and then as I was about to start writing I realized that my last post was pho. And to go from lentils, to pho, to pad thai was just confusing, so I decided to swing back and forth and make something western first and then pad thai. (also Gob, gave a me what i am sure is a much better recipe today, that i might try tomorrow). So my recipe for today is ‘the frenchie’. Also, since my dad had such sweet comments for me, I’m using his favorite herb: tarragon, which I love too. I don’t use tarragon often enough. Tarragon is one of those few lucky herbs that are still great when dry. I don’t know about you, but for me most other herbs like basil and oregano, get a generic tea like flavor (mmm smell, I don’t try them after this stage) after a couple of weeks in the cupboard. It’s also a great herb to use during the winter when it is hard to find fresh herbs. So dad here it goes.

I made chicken (you can use veal too, or any meat that you like) topped with a creamy tarragon-mushroom sauce, you know the French love their champignons!, with caramelized carrots and a boiled potato with butter and salt on the side (so simple yet so good). Speaking of champignons I actually have a question about them. A few of us went out for crepes yesterday, and since it was our first day back from our summer vacation, we didn’t have the street crepes, we had a nice sit down lunch at a restaurant called ‘Suzette’ (appropriate don’t you think?) in Rue des Francs Bourgeois, in Le Marais (if you’re ever in town, you should check it out). They have this crepe (it’s actually a gallette, the ble noir version, dark wheat flour) with chicken, mushrooms and cream. Three people ordered this crepe, except for one of the guys, who got it without mushrooms, for no particular reason, other than they didn’t do anything for him. I had never heard of anybody not liking mushrooms!, even my sister who ‘doesn’t like any vegetables’ (her words) likes them, am I the only one who finds this bizarre? (I just love it when they say bizarre in French).

For my sauce, I heated a big pan, you want to heat it well, so that when you throw in the mushrooms, they cook fast and brown (if it’s not hot enough they will dehydrate and get mushy and chewy). Once the pan is smoking, put in about one tablespoon of olive oil with a couple of minced garlic cloves, let them sizzle for a bout 30 seconds and throw in about 500 grs. of quartered mushrooms. Move them around in the pan, don’t season until the end! Salt will result in a water problem again. When they brown, add one tablespoon of tarragon, and about half a cup of milk with one tablespoon of flour diluted in it (it’s hard to dilute flour in cold liquids, if your milk is cold, use a little bit if warm water of chicken stock to dilute the flour), it’s important to dilute de flour before, that way your sauce will come out creamy and smooth. Keep moving it, until it boils (this is when the flour will thicken the sauce) season with salt and pepper, and serve over pan fried chicken. If you want a richer sauce, finish with butter.
For the side dish, I sliced a carrot finely and boiled it until it was cooked (same water as the potatoes I just put them in when the potatoes where almost done). I drained my vegetables, put the potatoes aside, heated a small pan, and put in a tablespoon of butter + the cooked carrots + 2 teaspoons of brown sugar + salt. Gave it a minute, and done! This resulted in deliciously simple dinner and in pretty pictures too!


























R E C I P E


Mushroom Ragu

500 gr / 1 pound mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tarragon
½ milk
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
Butter (optional, but this will make it frenchier)
2 chicken breasts


Caramelized Carrots

2 Carrots sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt (no pepper)

* the potato was pealed and boiled, topped with butter and coarse salt


Sunday, August 19, 2007

pho.noodle.soup

Dear reader:

The reason you are reading this, is because the blog has a name! yeii! So ‘eat your dinner’ is our name. Since both Ed and I are out all day, we only eat dinner together, which is the only meal I cook, except for weekends when I make lunch too. So ‘eat your dinner’ seemed appropriate, it should be ‘eat your dinner, and lunch too’ because I usually take leftovers to work, but that was pushing it, so ‘eat your dinner’ it is! Welcome!

Ok, on to today’s (I almost wrote show, haha, and we don’t even have a tv) recipe. It is my friend Yu’s birthday, and I am making ‘Pho noodle soup’ in her honor, she really likes it! Well, she loves any Asian noodle dish, but I am gonna go with Pho.

I am making my own version of Pho, for I am not Vietnamese, let alone Asian. Although I have to say, that during the last year and a half, I have been working with a lot of Asian women, all of them American-fill in the blank (Chinese, Korean, Singapore, etc) and one Thai guy, Gob, who just last week made a delicious green curry for us, and gave me his very HOT recipe, which he had to tame down for our wimpy palates.

Since we are on a Vietnamese theme, Yu and Kurt (her boyfriend) also introduced us, to Vietnamese sandwiches, they are so good! I had never tried them (I didn’t even know the Vietnamese had typical sandwiches). They were made with French bread (like our hot dogs, from the last post, I don’t know if that is the traditional way, or just convenient here in France) sliced pork, a spicy mayonnaise type sauce, thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers, and fresh cilantro. Do give them a try, they are delicious, we’ve made them at home a few times and really love them.

Back to my soup, I know this is going to sound like a lot to do, but it really is not, it didn’t take me that much time, really. While I had the stock simmering I prepped everything, and then five minutes before serving, I sliced the beef, cooked the noodles an assembled (strange word, but that is how this one works) the soup.

These are the steps, I sliced garlic and ginger, and slowly cooked it in olive oil. I then mashed some chili pepper with a little bit of oil and salt. Diced some scallions, and washed a handful of fresh soy beans, a handful of cilantro and one baby bok choi (I didn’t see this in any of the recipes I consulted, but I thought it would be nice, and it was). After, all that was left to do was boil and rinse the noodles, assemble a pretty plate, and pour the hot stock over it.


































R E C I P E

Stock

4 cups of water
1 bay leaf
½ unpeeled washed onion
1 clove of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
1 cup of beef (any beef that’s good for soup) cubed (1x1)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of fish sauce

Place all ingredients in a big pot. Cook on high until it boils.

Lower the temperature. Simmer for 45’.

Strain the broth. Slice the meat thinly. Reserve.

Add the fish sauce to the broth.

Taste. Adjust salt.


Soup

1 baby bok choi
1 package Asian noodles (I used flat rice noodles)
3 cloves of garlic
1 one-inch piece of ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 scallions finely chopped
½ cup of fresh bean sprouts
1 handful fresh cilantro, without chopping
1 lime quartered
1 tablespoon of crushed chili pepper

* I made a paste with the chili pepper, crushing one tablespoon of chili pepper, with a drop of olive oil and some salt.

Thinly slice the ginger and the garlic. Place it on a cold pan with the olive oil. Stir. Cook on a low flame until the ginger and garlic are caramelized. Set aside.

Wash cilantro, bean sprouts, and bok choi in cold water.

In the meantime, boil some water. Chop the bottom part of the bok choi off, separate the leaves, and cook it in the hot water for a couple of minutes, rinse in cold water. Use that same water to cook the noodles. About 5’

Heat the broth. Rinse the noodles in cold water.

On a deep dish, place a handful of noodles. Arrange the rest of the ingredients one next to the other on top of the noodles. Pour the hot broth until it covers all the ingredients. Serve with a wedge of lime and extra chili pepper paste for the brave ones! (aka Ed)

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