Summer Recipes

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Asian-Style Red Rice with Mixed Vegetables Stir-Fry Recipe

My uncle (the one who likes angel hair pasta) has been trying to convince me and Lulu to switch to red rice. Red rice is unpolished rice. It is short-grained, non-glutinous and has a maroon-red color. I've been giving Lulu brown rice with his meals for health reasons, but apparently red rice has a greater source of vitamin B, fiber and iron. 

Cooked red rice has a nutty aroma and is a lot chewier than regular white rice. Just make sure you cook red rice slightly longer than any other rice, such as brown rice.

I stir-fried the rice with some mixed vegetables to enhance the flavors. I added edamame for extra proteins. It's the perfect side dish for poultry or steamed fish.


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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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Carpaccio de Radis (Radish Salad with Herb-Infused Olive Oil) Recipe

I love red radishes. It's such an under-utilized and under-appreciated vegetable. The taste is clean, crisp, and mild. Unlike daikon or other kinds of radishes, they don't have a harsh mustardy flavor. Traditional carpaccio is thin slices of raw meat or fish, but I made a "carpaccio" out of the radishes by thinly slicing them with a mandoline.

In France, we would simply eat them with good quality butter, salt and pepper. Since the butter here in the US isn't as flavorful as the yellow butter produced by the grass-fed cows in France, I decided to liven up the dish with a truffle-Meyer lemon vinaigrette to make it more appealing. I drizzled Italian flat-leaf parsley-flavored oil for color. I chose flat-leaf parsley because it has a much milder flavor than cilantro. I wanted the radishes to be the focus of the dish and not be overpowered by other ingredients.


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Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Syrup and Mascarpone Cream Dessert Recipe

We hosted a dinner party at home this evening. I wanted to make a "summery" tiramisu parfait, as opposed to the "wintry" coffee tiramisu I made in the past. I found some beautiful sweet Maui Gold pineapple and decided to add a refreshing twist to the classic Italian dessert. I added some fresh mint from the garden, some coconut, mascarpone and crème fraîche.

I served a wide variety of sweet petit fours and other desserts along with the pineapple mascarpone desserts. I know it was a hit because there wasn't a bit left. When everyone went home, I gathered 14 empty parfait glasses. It looked like the guests washed the dishes themselves. I'm definitely going to make this again!


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Banana flavored Thai Basil Seed Drink Recipe

Thai basil seed drink is a very refreshing beverage that is popular both in Vietnam and in India. It's called hột é in Vietnamese and falooda in India.

The visual aspect of the drink is unusual and not very appealing, but it tastes great. It kind of looks like fish eggs in a pond and tastes like gummy-textured sugar water. I flavored it with banana extract because that's the flavor combination I remember from my visit to Vietnam.


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