Side Dishes Recipes

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Lobster Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Lobster Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

09.17.13 by Jackie

This is one of my favorite salads. I pan-seared halved lobsters and garnished them with fennel, lemon and celery orzo salad. To add a luxurious touch to an already luxurious dish, I drizzled the salad with truffle oil. 

To ensure that my husband Lulu was able to share the same meal with me, I prepared the orzo salad separately from the lobster so both of us could enjoy it to our liking; Lulu loved his flavorful vegetarian meal and I absolutely adored the addition of seafood. Feeding a vegetarian has never been this easy!


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Vegetarian Fried Rice Recipe (Com Chien Chay in Vietnamese) Recipe

Yesterday, we had a lot of relatives over and after dinner there was leftover steamed jasmine rice. I wasn't going to let the rice go to waste; I usually make cơm chiên chay ("vegetarian fried rice" in Vietnamese). That way my husband Lulu and his sisters who are all vegetarians, can make it disappear!

I also happily discovered that baby Aria absolutely loves fried rice. I’m thrilled because this dish is super easy to prepare. Once you know the tricks to keep the rice from turning soggy and mushy, you can make it as often as it pleases you, with whatever veggies you have on hand.

For this version, I mixed carrots, peas, corn, red and green bell peppers, green onions and diced fried tofu with the jasmine rice. I didn't add any egg so the rest of the family could enjoy it as well.

As a child, Maman would always tell us kids not waste food; it's "tội chết" ("dreadfully sinful" in Vietnamese). As an Asian mom, I'm definitely keeping the family "tradition" and teacingh the same ethic to my daughter Aria. 


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Grilled Zucchini with Chimichurri Recipe

You've probably noticed that recently I’ve published more zucchini recipes than usual. The reason is that we have so much zucchini in our garden that's begging to be harvested.

My favorite method by far for preparing zucchini is grilling. Since zucchini tends to be a little bland, in this recipe I flavored them with chimichurri sauce. This sauce consists of a combination of Italian parsley, pickled garlic, Champagne pear vinegar, lemon, lemon thyme, coriander and extra-virgin olive oil. I also topped the zucchini with a little queso fresco before serving.


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Fig and Farro Stuffed Poblano Pepper Recipe Recipe

I prepared stuffed Poblano peppers in three steps. First, I cooked balsamic shallots until they were very soft and turned almost into a compote. Then, I cooked ground beef in chipotle fig sauce and mixed in plump and chewy farro berries. The last step consisted of stuffing the beef mixture into halved Poblano peppers and baking in the oven until golden.

Today, I used Bellindora balsalmic fig vinegar in this dish. The flavor is wonderful and I think the addition of dried fig spread added more sweetness to the sauce. These vinegars are so versatile!

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Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe Recipe

When writing my second cookbook, Banh Mi, which by the way is already available for preview and pre-order, I tried to share authentic and traditional recipes for Vietnamese sandwiches, condiments and sides. If you've ever tasted a bánh mì, you probably are familiar with the standard condiment of pickled carrots and daikon. It takes the place of cornichon-based pickles (tiny French gherkin pickles) found in Western sandwiches.

You can of course vary the ingredients to your liking, and in this recipe I prepared a modified version of the bánh mì condiment with shredded Chinese cabbage, pickled lotus and freshly-picked satsuma mandarins that baby Aria helped me gather from our garden --follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more pictures-- (sadly it was our very last batch). With a few peanuts and a nice dressing, it makes a great salad. Though it isn't strictly speaking a traditional pickle, you could also use it in your own bánh mì sandwich. The flavors are mellow enough to let the meat or tofu of your choice shine.


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