Caramelized Onions Recipes

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Com Ga Hai Nam (Hainanese Chicken Rice) Recipe

Whenever I have chicken broth leftover from making bún măng gà, literally "bamboo and chicken rice noodle soup", I make chicken rice with it. The dish is called cơm gà Hải Nam; the yellow hue comes from the aromatic chicken broth (in place of water) made from Vietnamese chicken. What is a Vietnamese chicken, you ask? In Vietnam, the gà đi bộ chicken are considered "free-range"; the chickens are "trained" to run and as a result the meat has a totally different texture from the chicken found in American grocery stores. If you want to make a very authentic broth, the choice of chicken is crucial. You can find it at Asian markets; ask for a gà đi bộ, literally a walking chicken.

Traditionally, cơm gà Hải Nam is served with pieces of the boiled gà đi bộ chicken and rau thơm, which translates to fragrant herbs. The herb mixture is usually composed of rau răm (Vietnamese coriander), Vietnamese mint, Thai Basil, ngò (cilantro) and thinly sliced cabbage. Of course, the dish is seasoned with nước mắm (Vietnamese fish sauce), fresh red Thai chiles, pickled shallots and thinly shredded fresh ginger. The overall dish is light and absolutely delicious!


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Salsify in Butter with Capers Recipe

Salsify in Butter with Capers

01.26.10 by Jackie

Salsify in butter is a very simple yet tasty dish. I blanch the salsify and then sauté them in butter. A little lemon and some capers balance out the flavor. I garnish the dish with curly parsley for color and voilà, a delicious 5-minute side dish is ready.

This dish reminds me of the lunch meals from the cafeteria of my elementary school in France. It was usually served au gratin, but that's another recipe. Before you start thinking that my school served incredibly gourmet food, you should know that while salsify may not be very familiar to many in the US, in France it's down right common. The flavor and texture is similar to leeks or white asparagus, but less fibrous. It's one of my favorite vegetables, and if you give it a try, you'll fall in love with it as well. Given that this it takes about 5 minutes to prepare this recipe, you have no excuse!


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Ratatouille Recipe

Ratatouille

01.21.10 by Jackie

For most, the name of this dish evokes dreams of animated rodents scurrying around a Parisian restaurant kitchen. In reality though, ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish from the seaside city of Nice. I make my version with zucchini (courgette in French), eggplant (aubergine), olives, capers, bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.  With the exception of the tomatoes, everything is fresh. I prefer canned tomatoes in this dish because they tend to be sweeter (especially during the winter season).

Given the abundance of fresh vegetables, this dish would be perfect for the summer. In fact, I make it often when the vegetables in my garden ripen. I also like it in the winter though, because it's excellent comfort food. The flavor of the veggies marries wonderfully with the herbs and spices. My family always ends up fighting over the "broth" at the bottom of the bowl.

Ratatouille can be eaten with just about anything. Crusty bread and rice are common options, but my personal favorite delivery device is a savory crêpe. However it makes it to your mouth though, you'll be happy it did!


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Vegetarian Gravy for Thanksgiving Recipe

I personally love homemade turkey gravy with all the caramelized bits and drippings of the roasted turkey, so I was a bit skeptical when Lulu asked me to try his vegetarian miso gravy recipe. I couldn't believe that it would have the complexity of flavors that are present in traditional giblet gravy, but to my surprise, it was absolutely delicious. 

Miso is fermented soy bean paste, and it imparts a strong, earthy flavor to the gravy. For additional flavor I added fried onions and chili flakes. Butter and a touch of heavy cream created a rich texture.

Even if you don't have a gaggle of vegetarians in your house as I do, it's worth trying out this recipe.

Gravy for Vegetarian Thanksgiving


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Pissaladiere Nicoise Vegetarienne (Vegetarian Mediterranean-Style Onion Tarts) Recipe

In France, you can't start a proper meal without an appetizer. This recipe marks the start to my 4-course "French meal" in honor of the opening of the movie called "Julie and Julia".  I thought about making mini quiches, but I decided against it because of the vegetarians in the house who find them a bit eggy. I settled on making Pissaladière niçoise.

Pissala what, you say? Pissaladière niçoise is named after the city of Nice, located on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. The dish is composed of all the typical ingredients from the region such as black olives, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni (see tips). You can either use pizza dough or pastry dough. The only change I made is that I substituted nori for the anchovies. I know it's not traditional but none of the vegetarians in our house like anchovies. If you don't have a problem with them by all means, use them instead. They add additional flavor and complexity.


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