Sunday, March 31, 2013

Crawfish Boil

We had a crawfish boil the other weekend. It was my first time doing one solo (no family help), and it was a success. Good times with good friends, good food and beer, and good weather.

We had corn, potatoes, and crawfish/crayfish boiled in some lemony, Louisiana seasoned water. I topped a few off with my butter-garlic dipping sauce.  Next time I'll have to do some sausage, too.  I tried to keep it simple since this was our first one, but we were definately hurting for some sausage.  I think our German friend would've enjoyed some sausage, too, since he didn't really care for the prehistoric looking creepy crawlies.

Beautiful pics taken by our friend, Marcus.

Thank goodness we were able to keep them alive through all the purges.


Laissez-les bons temps roulez

Reid hard at work

The most handsome dog

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (Vietnamese Grilled BBQ Pork and Eggrolls overVermicelli Noodles)

Every time we go to any Vietnamese restaurant, I already know what Reid will order; Bun Cha Gio and a Cafe Sau Da.  I don't think he'd even look at a menu if it wasn't to look for what order number it is.  Yea, he orders by number at any Asian restaurant even when I try to encourage him to practice his Vietnamese.  So since bun cha gio thit nuong, or Vietnamese BBQ Pork with Eggrolls, is his fav, I decided to give it a try.  Usually, if my mom is making this dish at home, to save some time she will purchase ready-made thit nuong and cha gio from the countless of delicious shops in Houston's chinatown. Since I don't really have that luxury in Austin, I decided to try and make the thit nuong myself.  Traditionally, the pork is charbroiled over a grill, and sometimes has lemongrass in it.  Traditionally northerner's thit nuong has to have lots of lemongrass.  Since I don't think my backyard grill even works, I decided to try this recipe I adapted from Hungry Huy's blog. I did not make the cha gio home-made last night, but used frozen egg rolls that were a little disappointing. But, hey, I only had a half day off of work! ;)

It came out pretty well, so at least Reid was rewarded for coming home from work early to mow the lawn. Yay daylight savings time!

But Thit Nuong Cha Gio attempt #1:

BBQ pork

  • 1.5 lbs pork shoulder or butt, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 small squirt (~1/8 tsp) hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs canola oil

  • 1 package rice vermicelli, thin (bun tuoi dac biet)
  • 4-6 fried egg rolls (cha gio)


  • Red leaf lettuce
  • mint (rau thơm)
  • Vietnamese perilla (tiá tô)
  • Vietnamese balm (kinh giới)
  • cucumbers, sliced


  • Pickled, shredded carrots (đồ chua)
  • Green onion oil (mở hành)
  • crushed peanuts
  • Dipping Sauce (nước chấm):1/4 c coconut vinegar or lime juice, 1/2 c fish sauce, 1 c sugar melted in 1 c water, 1 tsp garlic chili sauce

Directions :

  1. Marinade pork with rest of BBQ pork ingredients for at least 1 hour, overnight is even better.
  2. Boil noodles according to package directions.
  3. Bake pork in 375*C oven until nearly done, then broil to get a nice char on edges of pork.
  4. In a bowl, layer lettuce, noodles, pork, vegetables and garnishes. Spoon nuoc cham over and enjoy!

Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio

Reid's favorite Vietnamese dish

Friday, March 8, 2013

Turkey and Quinoa "Chili"

This is one of Reid's new favorites, which is awesome because it is quick, easy, and I usually have most the ingredients on hand. Plus, it's protein packed and makes yummy left over lunches. Last time I brought it for lunch one of the other vets asked for the recipe, and I knew I had to stop procrastinating about posting it. I call it "chili" because Reid argues real chili doesn't have anything but meat (more on that later...if I can ever convince him to publish his family's competition winning chili recipe). Anyway, because of that, we call it turkey and quinoa stew or turkey and quinoa fiesta at home. It takes about 25 minutes to make, so it's a great weeknight meal.

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can diced tomatoes
14 oz can chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tsp each: chili powder, ground cumin, oregano (or you could use one of those taco seasoning packets)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped, optional
1 tsp lime juice
salt & pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1 tbs chopped cilantro, optional

In a large pan with a little olive oil, brown the ground turkey, garlic and onion over medium heat.

Add the green pepper, jalapeño, and chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir to coat with the seasoning.

Add the beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and quinoa. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer about 20 minutes until quinoa soaks up most of the liquid.

Stir in the lime juice and serve! I sprinkled a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro on top.