Sugar Cane Vinegar Recipes

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Cauliflower Tomato Salad Recipe Recipe

Cauliflower Tomato Salad Recipe

08.03.12 by Jackie

 

We recently had guests for dinner and I made a cauliflower and tomato salad. I explained to our guests how this "salade de chou fleur et tomates" was made and the following day our guests emailed me back thanking me for this new recipe.

Inevitably, whenever we have guests over, my mother-in-law exclaims "Look what an amazing dish Jackie made today! Did you know Jackie has a food website? She posts daily recipes on PhamFatale.com and she's a soon-to-be published author." And whenever she goes anywhere, she talks about my cooking and about PhamFatale.com. And now that I have my first cookbook coming out soon ("Haute Potato" due on December 18th), she hands out cards to promote my book. She's my own one-woman PR firm!

Back to the dish...I boiled cauliflower very briefly then flavored it with champagne vinegar and a bit of honey. I mixed the cauliflower with beautiful heirloom tomatoes from our garden and shredded lettuce. For a nice contrast in texture, I added lightly toasted almond slices. If you want more crunch you could also top the salad with croutons.


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French Cauliflower Salad Recipe (Salade de Chou Fleur) Recipe

Today's recipe is an easy and healthy salad called "chou-fleur vinaigrette". During my childhood in France, it was a dish that was served fairly frequently at the cafeteria of my elementary school (carottes Vichy too!). Cauliflower is boiled, then coated with vinegar and oil and sprinkled with flat-leaf parsley. That’s it! Who says French cooking has to be complicated?

I've mentioned quite a few times lately that I've been trying to eat healthier. Cauliflower is a big part of that because it's packed with fiber and vitamin C. But cauliflower salad is not a full meal by itself, so I added hard-cooked quail eggs and a piece of bread on the side. It’s a simple, quick and healthy summer meal. Rachael Ray would be proud!


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 Vietnamese Grilled Beef Rolls (Bo Cuong Hanh Huong Recipe) Recipe

Bò nướng hành hương is a wonderful South-Vietnamese specialty. It's a dish of beef wrapped around sliced yellow and green onions, then grilled to medium doneness. The beef is infused with the aromatic scent of green onions and five-spice powder rub with honey. The blend of all the flavors gives the meat a sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty taste.

The dish is traditionally served with vermicelli rice noodles (bún) and aromatic Vietnamese herbs, but I served mine with nước chấm, ginger guava sauce and crushed peanuts. The main component of ginger guava sauce is guava jam. It can be difficult to find, but it's available in some Indian stores. Make the effort to find it because the flavor is amazing, and it contrasts with the beef very well.

I make this dish quite often for parties because it's easy to eat in one or two bites and doesn't interrupt conversations. Try it as an appetizer at your next dinner party. Your guests will love you!

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

= beef

Bún = vermicelli rice noodles

Cuốn = rolled

Hành = onions

Hành hương = aromatic onions

Nướng = beef

Thịt = meat

 


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Banana Flower Salad (Goi Bap Chuoi Chay) Recipe

In case you were wondering, banana flowers really are the flowers of the banana plant. They are also known as banana blossoms or banana hearts. The taste is reminiscent of artichoke hearts. They are consumed throughout Southeast Asia and also in India as well. In fact, I bought the banana flowers I used in this dish from an Indian market.

Gỏi bắp chuối chay literally means vegetarian banana flower salad in Vietnamese. It's a popular dish in the Buddhist community where many recipes, due to dietary restrictions requiring vegetarianism, are made to simulate meat. Banana flower salad is thought to imitate the flavor of gỏi gà, Vietnamese chicken salad. Other recipes use ingredients such as tofu skin or fried soy gluten that are chewy and resemble the stringy texture of meat.

This is a dish that is not only exotic but tasty as well. You might not make it every day, but it's definitely something you should try.


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Pomegranate and Mandarin Marinated Tofu Recipe

If you're wondering why I made a pomegranate and mandarin sauce, the reason is simple: I love the flavors of both fruits and I think they complement each other very well. Both have acidic notes which make them work well together.

The combination is perfect for white meats, salads and tofu. To the pomegranate and mandarin juices, I added lavender honey, sugar cane vinegar and granulated sugar. I bound the sauce with a blend of walnut and olive oil. Before serving, I added some pink peppercorns and African basil leaves. This sauce will brighten whatever dish you add it to. 


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