Snack Recipes

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Savory Granola Salad Topping Recipe Recipe

Granola topping is a healthier, more nutritious alternative to croutons for salads. I incorporated as many, if not more, flavors as I would for the bread, using lemon thyme, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, Pecorino cheese, Italian parsley, spices and extra-virgin olive oil. After the baked savory granola had cooled to room temperature, I mixed arugula with fresh cherries as an natural sweetener, drizzled a simple lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled the salad with the crunchy savory Pecorino granola topping.

I used boxed granola mix, called Granola Basics. It’s made by our friend Sarah from "Nuts About Granola" (it's their 5th anniversary!). Ever since she sent me my first box, I've wanted to explore and develop a savory version. And if you have the opportunity to purchase this awesome product, you'll see on the back of the box one of my recipes with a photo taken by me!


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Banh Bao Recipe (Vietnamese Steamed Bun) Recipe

Bánh bao literally translates to "cakes that wrap something" in Vietnamese. The dough is made of flour, milk, sugar and a hint of oil. Once the dough rises, it's formed in the desired shape, usually dumplings similar to a pointy turban, then steamed until plump and perky. In general, they're stuffed with savory meat or sweet egg custard (called bánh bao cadé)

I've also seen them plain and shaped into a taco-style envelope at a few dim sum places. This is the version I used to finish the leftover braised duck leg from the night before. I shredded the tender duck meat and added pickled carrots and daikon and cilantro. I drizzled the bánh bao with a mole sauce using the reduced braising sauce adding 2 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate, which tied the dish together beautifully. I was tempted to post this bánh bao bun in my second cookbook, Bánh Mì: 75 Banh Mi Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches but decided to keep the recipes more traditional. Still, they’re a a lot of fun to make and quite versatile. 

Since it's the weekend already and I usually post a dessert, I’ll also mention that the leftover bánh bao wraps can be turned into sweet treats with the right filling. Dried fig spread, lemon curd (I had jars of the lemon curd I made last winter) and chocolate mousse or the more traditional sweet egg custard are all great choices.

If you live in the Bay Area, don't forget to pencil in next Saturday (May 25th) for my cooking demo and cookbook signing for Haute Potato at Los Altos Library. Hope to see everyone there. Have a great weekend!

Vietnamese Bun Recipe with Picture


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Mint Julep Scones Recipe

Mint Julep Scones

04.19.13 by Jackie

If you love the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, you will adore these mint-flavored scones. I used my favorite Mint Julep Sugar from our friends over at Bourbon Barrel Foods for this sweet treat. The raw sugar creates a crunchy, sweet topping with a rich caramel flavor and a refreshing hint of mint.

Pair these with the Southern cocktail and I promise you won't be disappointed!


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Pepper Poppers Recipe

Pepper Poppers

04.17.13 by Jackie

If you've been following my culinary adventures for a while, you probably know that Daddy's (my father-in-law) diet revolves around anything spicy. So he rarely eats the French dishes (except for the desserts) or Vietnamese meals I prepare for the rest of our family. So today, I prepared pepper popper appetizers. Who doesn't like fried food? Not even Daddy could say no. I prepared mild ones using mini tri-colored peppers and jalapeno peppers, and a couple of really spicy ones just for him.

Mini peppers are hollowed out, stuffed with a cheese mixture, breaded and deep-fried. You can't go wrong!


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Stuffed Arancini Recipe (Stuffed and Fried Risotto Balls) Recipe

If you entertain as much as we do, you'll find this masala burger-stuffed arancini a great help when you're preparing a cocktail party. This appetizer is prepared in three steps: first making risotto, which I flavored with delicious saffron our friend Jasmine brought back from Iran (Thanks! I love you, Jasmine!), then preparing masala-flavored beef and Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) and finally forming and frying the stuffed risotto balls (arancini).

I serve these with a bowl of marinara sauce: the acidity of the sauce balances the richness of the risotto balls nicely.


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