Fusion Recipes

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Fusion Raita (Indian Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Raita (click on the link for the traditional version) is an Indian condiment made with yogurt. It is paired with a lot of spicy dishes like biryani, tandoori chicken or vegetarian cutlets because dairy products have a cooling effect when food is extremely spicy. If you follow Ted Allen's show, Food Detectives, you've probably seen the premier episode which asks "What is the best way to cool your mouth after eating spicy food?" After some experimentation it was clear that dairy was the most effective.

This particular recipe is my take on traditional raita. Similar to the Greek sauce called tzatziki, I add dill, lemon, and olive oil. Being French, I also add some Dijon mustard to add some more complexity to the flavor. 

I know, some people are going to balk at my additions, but I think that sauces are the highlight of a meal, so why not enhance them with a lot of flavor? Sometimes I also add cilantro or dill, depending on what's available in my garden. I'll try to post the traditional recipe soon so that you can make your own variations to your taste.


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Vegetarian Quinoa and Eggplant Caviar Recipe

"Chose promise, chose due!" This is a French expression that translates as promises are made to be kept.

As promised, this is the recipe of the vegetarian equivalent of fish caviar that I served my "vegetarian" dinner guests last night. I paired it with mini-crumpets and a little dollop of crème fraîche in between.

This recipe was inspired by the Tassajara Cookbook by Karla Oliveira, which is an excellent resource for vegetarian party food recipes. The quinoa grains and eggplant seeds resemble the original fish eggs. It is basically eggplant caviar, very similar to baba ganoush, mixed with cooked quinoa.

For more flavor, I topped it with an Asian-style mint and cilantro sauce that added a beautiful, bright green color.


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Coffee and Cardamom Flavored Creme Caramel Recipe

Crème caramel is one of my favorite desserts. It's basically a rich custard with a layer of soft caramel. I dressed this one up with a little espresso powder and cardamom.

Making these desserts reminded me of my childhood. My mom would tell me every day not to eat anything before dinner, but after coming home from school, I would always make a beeline to the refrigerator when she wasn't looking. I would get one crème caramel, flip it onto a plate, and let the delicious caramel flow in every direction. It didn't last very long; I would inhale the dessert and lick all the caramel off the plate before I got caught. You would think that I wouldn't really have enjoyed the dessert because I ate it so fast, but there was something thrilling (and delicious) about sneaking a bite without anyone knowing.  Maybe that's why I named my site Pham Fatale.  I've been in the (food) espionage business for a long time!

These covert operations inevitably would make me too full for dinner. I know I was a terrible child! My parents always wondered why I never ate, and have probably been unaware of my antics until now. Sorry Mom!

I think, in America, crème caramel and flan can be used interchangeably.


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Tandoori Glazed Roasted White Sea Bass  Recipe

Tandoori paste is a true culinary chameleon. In Indian cuisine, it is commonly used with chicken in the eponymously titled dish. But there are so many more possibilities. We just purchased some sea bass for a dinner party, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to marry the very strong blend of flavors in the tandoori paste with the rich, buttery texture of the sea bass.

Speaking of marriage, the idea for a tandoori glaze came to me after our wedding reception menu tasting. It was almost 5 years ago. How time flies! Anyway, our caterer gave us a lot of samples to taste before the big day. One of the options was a hoisin glazed roasted Chilean sea bass. It tasted wonderful and it got me thinking about other "ethnic" flavors to marinate the fish.

 tandoori sea bass

Look at the buttery succulent texture of the sea bass. Mmm.

 



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Pandan and Coconut Brioche Recipe

Pandan and Coconut Brioche

05.28.09 by timran

Brioche is a French bread made out of eggs and butter. I remember every morning getting a brioche from the neighborhood bakery when I was a student in Paris. It tastes very buttery, slightly sweet and it has a fluffy texture.

I made some pizza today and I had some dry active yeast left. We got some Asian powdered coconut candies from the Asian market and I had a few knick-knacks like pandan paste from the pantry. I haven't baked in a while so I decided to make something original and give a twist to the traditional brioche.

Pandan Coconut Brioche Recipe


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