Showing posts from June, 2016

Bà Ngoại's Pâté Chaud Recipe

I don't think I ever realized how great of a childhood I had.  Every summer when I was in elementary school, my mom would take my sister and me to visit her family in Paris, France.  I remember waking up to the smells of fresh baked mini croissants and pâté chaud and pain au chocolats wafting in the bedroom from my grandmother (bà ngoại)'s tiny Paris apartment kitchen.  I didn't know it at the time, but my mom would later tell me that bà ngoại would wake up at 4am just to make us that special breakfast.  Lately I've been feeling really nostalgic and my bà ngoạidoesn't really remember me so I wanted to remember her in a way that I could.  I visited her last summer in Paris and although her physical health is still pretty good, I don't know if she remembers me and those memories we shared.

Pâté Chaud is a Vietnamese-French meat-filled pastry.  If you've ever had a Chinese bao zi (steamed pork bun) think like that, except instead of a steamed outer soft bun, a …

Watermelon and Mint Sorbet

It's the summertime! And here in Austin, it's hot!  Watermelon is in season and the mint in my backyard has not yet had a chance to be demolished by my fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream.
So I bought a little personal sized watermelon at the grocery store, cut some up to refrigerate and enjoy left over and was still left with a lot that wouldn't fit in my tupperware.
Enter, the Blendtec.  Popped the rest of the watermelon in there with some fresh mint, lemon juice, sugar and triple sec and had a tasty and refreshing dessert for later.


3 cups watermelon1 tbs. fresh mint1/4 c. sugar1 tsp. triple sec or vodka, can omit1 tbs. fresh lemon juice Directions:

Throw everything in the blender and blend.Freeze or refrigerate until sorbet-yUse a fork to carve out sorbet or spoon depending on consistency.

Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken)

Ga ro ti, or Vietnamese roasted chicken, is one of the easiest recipes.  This recipe was actually the first thing my mom taught me when I'd moved off campus in college and would soon have my own kitchen to cook in.  It has 4 ingredients.  That's it.  And you need a pan.  Doesn't get that much simpler with Vietnamese cooking.  Also, it doesn't take like, 5 hours to make.

The sauce, although photographically uninteresting, is really really really good.  Coco Rico, a Coconut soda (Puerto Rican soda available at Fiesta and other places), is caramelized with TONS of garlic and Maggi to make this really awesome, sticky, sweet, salty sauce.  It's almost like the French 40 clove garlic roasted chicken in the proportion of garlic it uses.  The dark meat of the chicken makes it almost impossible to dry out, too.  My mother's recipe used drumsticks, but I've cut the recipe down in size to feed 2 and subbed chicken thighs which I find a little tastier and more versatil…

Chicken and Pesto Gemelli

Sometimes you have so much basil growing in your herb garden that you make tubs and tubs of pesto. And then you freeze some of that pesto. And then you get home from work 2 hours late and your stomach is screaming and you make this dish with chicken you have in the freezer, that bag of dry pasta from Costco, more grated Parmesan cheese and frozen peas. 
Chicken and Pesto Gemilli Ingredients  1 lb chicken breast, cut in 1" cubes1 lb Gemilli pasta2 cups pesto, can sub store bought1/2 c frozen peasGrated Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Boil pasta according to directions in salted water.  Drain and set aside, reserving about 1/4 c. pasta waterHeat 1 tbs olive oil to bottom of pot. Add chicken and cook through over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.   Add pesto, frozen peas, and pasta back to pot. Adjust consistency of sauce if needed with reserved pasta water.   Add parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.Enjoy or shovel in your mouth while watching …