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Showing posts from May, 2016

Mom's Flan Recipe

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I remember a time period when I was younger, maybe about 10 years old, when my mom would bring this flan (or as she called it by it's fancy French name, creme caramel) to every family or friend gathering. It was tasty and looked pretty. Maybe it was a thing to do in the 90's, because my husband said his mom also went through a similar flan phase. Well, here is my mom's recipe. I made it for the first time yesterday when we had a few friends over and I had to get creative with things husband-who-just-had-wisdom-tooth-removed and guests could eat. Though it is a very simple and easy recipe, I was pretty nervous the entire time I made it. Worrying about the caramel sticking to the pan or the flan breaking while I flipped it. Came out great, though!  Like my mom says, it's a simple and easy recipe.
Mom's Flan aka Creme Caramel Ingredients:
2 c. sugar, divided6 eggs6 egg yolks5 c. whole milk1 tsp. orange liquor 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced for decoration Dir…

Mushy Foods for Post-Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Right now I am sitting in the office of an oromaxillary surgeon waiting while my husband gets a wisdom tooth extracted.  The hubs will need to eat soft food for the next few days in order for his dental extraction site to heal well.  Knowing him, that will be tough.  This household is not known for it's love of soft food.  So I'm taking this time to brainstorm a potential list of foods/meals to make today.

1)Congee or rice porridge: Probably the most quintessential sick food.

2)Smoothies won't be much of a change here since we usually start the morning with a smoothie

3)Kale soup: use up the last of my garden kale.  This will be great for the leftover leaves that got some insect bites/holes.
Ingredients

1/2 c. kale, stems removed and roughly chopped2 c. chicken stock1/4 c. heavy cream2 cloves minced garlic1/4 c. chopped onionssalt and pepper1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, optionalolive oil Directions

Saute garlic and onions in a large stock pot in 1 tbs. olive oil over medium he…

Bun Chay Vegetarian Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowl

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My last post was a recipe for nuoc mam chay (Vietnamese vegetarian 'fish' sauce).  A great way to use that condiment is on vermicelli bowls.  Rice vermicelli bowls are pretty versatile.  Although there are the traditional pork bowls; see recipe here: http://smokedsaltandpepper.blogspot.com/2013/03/bun-thit-nuong-cha-gio-vietnamese.html

I made a vegetarian version of a vermicelli bowl using a combo of tofu, avocado eggrolls, and other delicious things I had in my kitchen.  This was a great way to use the giant cucumber growing in my vegetable garden!

Bun Chay (Vegetarian Vermicelli Bowls)
Ingredients:

1 8oz. package of vermicelli rice noodles, cooked and drained according to package1/4 c. or about 3 small carrots, shredded1/3 c. rice vinegar2 tsp. sugarcanola oilegg roll wrappers (banh trang cha gio)1 large Haas avocado, choppedsmall shallot, mincedsalt and pepper1 block of firm tofu3 tbs. soy saucelettuce, fresh mint, sliced cucumbervegetarian 'fish sauce' recipe here: 

Nuoc Mam Chay, Vegetarian "Fish" Sauce

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I'm pretty convinced that the only way my dad has been able to stay a vegetarian for the past 10+ years is through the brilliance that is my mom's cooking ability.  She can vegetarianize pretty much anything.  Her bun bo chay (vegetarian Vietnamese spicy beef noodle soup) is so good that I prefer it to the real version a lot of the times.  One of the huge struggles for a Vietnamese vegetarian is fish sauce.  We put fish sauce on EVERYTHING.  Like, seriously, everything.  Have you had nuoc mam on scrambled eggs?  Well, it's freaking amazing.  So, rather than having to use soy sauce condiment as the lone vegetarian condiment, some amazing people have figured out how to make vegetarian fish sauce.  
Of course, it does seem to lack that extra 'funk' that fish sauce has, but it's pretty darn close.  This recipe is from my mom's cousin.  She makes a huge batch and takes most of it over to the Buddhist temple where they use or sell it and then divies the rest up …

4th Annual McCao Crawfish Boil

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Last weekend we threw our annual crawfish boil.  Well, technically not annual since last year was rained out.  Luckily the storms paused for the day and we were able to power through over 100 lbs. of crawfish with the help of some of our friends.  I didn't take many pictures, but it was a good time.  Reid and I joked it was an adjustment going from lazy Saturdays hanging with our cat to partying outside for over 12 hours.  We started the boil around 1pm and finished the last of the beer around 1am.

Every year we get a little better about time managment and our boil so this is what we did this year that really helped:

Had 2 large boilers going.  It can take up to 2 hours for one of those huge pots of water to come to a boil so this helps ensure a steady stream of foodBoiled sausage, potatoes, and corn first to flavor the water and kept them warm in a cooler.  Yea, "cooler sausage" sounds a bit shady but I swear that stuff stayed warm up until nightfallHad something to of…