View all posts filed under 'Recipes (Savory)'

Build A Better Banh Mi

Monday, 1. September 2014 5:28

Banh mi fixiings: Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken (foreground) and Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickles (back).

Banh mi fixiings: Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken (foreground) and Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickles (back).

 

Banh Mi has been a touchstone in my life.

It all started years ago when I was part of a team of reporters at the San Jose Mercury News covering race and demographics. As part of our — ahem — research of various cultures and communities, we naturally tried to hit up as many ethnic restaurants at lunch time as possible. After all, what better way to learn about a culture than to immerse one’s self in its cuisine?

The first time I encountered the ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich otherwise known as banh mi, I admit I was dubious. A fresh, satisfying sandwich for under $4? How could that be?

My low expectations matched the low price.

Of course, one bite was all it took to prove me wrong.

The sandwich was miraculous. A fresh baguette filled with lemongrass chicken, smooth pate, hot chiles, fresh herbs and the most deliriously wonderful slivers of pickled carrots and daikon. It was savory, fragrant, tangy and bright. It wasn’t a ginormous sandwich by American standards, but it was full of so much flavor and texture that it left you completely satiated.

What a bargain, too. In fact, my colleagues and I were so amazed at the bang for the buck that we jokingly started using the banh mi as our own personal form of currency.

The cost for the city of San Jose to add resources to its gang prevention efforts? That would be $3 million. Or as we liked to think of it: nearly 1 million Viet sandwiches.

Building the BART extension to San Jose? Politicians might call it $3.2 billion. We likened it to about 1 billion Viet shredded pork sammies.

Yeah, that’s how we rolled.

BanhiMiHandbook

My friend Andrea Nguyen’s newest cookbook, “The Banh Mi Handbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a copy, brought back all those zany and delicious memories.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General, Great Finds, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (4) | Author:

A Sauce for Salmon That’s a Pure Taste of Sunshine

Monday, 25. August 2014 5:26

A simple sauce inspired this entire dish.

A simple sauce inspired this entire dish.

 

What do you get when you cook down fresh orange juice with lime juice?

The makings for a simple, sublime sauce that’s perfect for most anything.

The recipe for this easy “Citrus Sauce” first appeared in Everyday Food in September 2004. After cooking down the citrus juices, whisk in a little sugar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. That’s it.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author:

A Celebration of Wild Salmon Plus a Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 18. August 2014 5:25

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

 

Every summer, I look forward to heirloom tomatoes, peaches, plums, and one other very special item:

Wild local King salmon.

Like fruits and vegetables, seafood also has a season. For California wild salmon, it’s summer. And it ends all too soon for my liking.

Indeed, get your fill now because the season will soon come to a close toward the end of September.

There’s nothing like eating salmon in summer with its bright reddish orange flesh that tastes downright luxurious. To be sure, it’s not an inexpensive ingredient at $25 or more per pound. But it tastes far more expensive than that with its unbelievably lush texture and resonating flavor that just fills your mouth like a dream.

I like to enjoy it simply. Sashimi-style, when you can really taste the fat and freshness. Or grilled, with a kiss of smoke to heighten its robust richness.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Enticing Events, General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood | Comments (20) | Author:

Getting Corny For Dinner

Wednesday, 6. August 2014 5:27

Summer on a plate.

Summer on a plate.

 

I have developed a serious corn dependence.

But I can’t be the only one buying fresh corn from the farmers market week in and week out.

Whenever I come within a few steps of the stand with its boxes of just-misted ears and kernels so fresh that they squeak, I succumb.

Typically, I tote them home to char on the grill while still in their husks. Sometimes, I take a knife down the length of them to dislodge the milky kernels to saute with garlic, butter and herbs for a side dish or the makings of a room-temperature salad.

Creamed corn is not something I grew up with. Nor ever craved. But one day, with a load of fresh ears staring up at me, I spied a recipe for “Grilled Lime Chicken with Creamed Corn” that nudged me to get to work in the kitchen.

CulinaryBirds

The recipe is from “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook” (Running Press), of which I received a review copy. The book, by esteemed Chef John Ash, was the recipient of a James Beard Award this year. It includes 170 recipes for a wide range of poultry — from duck and goose to even partridge and dove.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author:

Skewer It on the Fourth

Friday, 27. June 2014 5:26

Snowy white halibut chunks get grilled with pancetta and artisan bread cubes for a taste sensation.

Snowy white halibut chunks get grilled with pancetta and artisan bread cubes for a taste sensation.

 

I like nothing better than working up a sweat by hiking or snow-shoeing through the great outdoors.

But at the end of that, when I’m spent, starved and sweaty, I long for a hot shower (with adequate water pressure) and a real bed (preferably with fine linens).

Which is probably why I confess I’ve only camped once in my life.

And I had to be sweet-talked into it.

That’s why I was happy to find that “The Great Outdoors Cookbook” (Oxmoor House) by the editors of Sunset magazine, of which I received a review copy, is made for die-hard campers, as well as folks like me who’d rather do their outdoor cooking in their own backyard.

sunset-the-great-outdoors-cookbook

The book is divided into recipes for “Campfires,” “Home Fires,” and “Inspired Fires” (when you dig pits and such). There are even tips for foraging and doing a seafood boil on the beach.

“Halibut Kebabs with Grilled Bread and Pancetta” is as easy as it gets. Chunks of halibut are quickly marinated in olive oil and fresh rosemary before being threaded on long skewers with pancetta and bread cubes.

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Category:General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood | Comments (6) | Author: