Pho Bo Tai Nam (The Perfect Vietnamese Beef Rice Noodle Soup) Recipe

Gooooood morning, Vietnam! Phở is the National Vietnamese food. Phở bò tái nạm is a beef broth served with rice noodles and tender, thin pieces of flank steak flavored with traditional Vietnamese spices. It's one of my favorite Asian soups. When I visited Saigon 10 years ago, I remember having a big bowl of phở for breakfast! It's as good in the morning as it is for lunch and dinner. I think it's THE best street food in the world. Oh and it's pronounced "fuh" like the beginning of the word "fudge".

OK. Here goes... I might get in big trouble for handing out this recipe. I got it from my Tatie Danielle (aunt) who, unlike the one in the French comedy classic, is a sweetheart and an amazing cook, except that she does not share her recipes. She used to run a restaurant in the early 90s. She doesn't know the existence of this site yet and she's not very computer literate, so I hope that keeps me safe. At any rate, I figure I can't call myself a femme fatale if I don't do a little bit of recon and intel gathering. Shhh...

If - like me - you're a fan of Anthony Bourdain, you might be interested to know that Pho is one of his favorite dishes. Tony, this pho is for you .

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsSiA-JHm0U

 


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Coffee Tiramisu Parfait with Chocolate Raspberry Sauce Recipe

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. The combination of the mascarpone cheese filling with the strong flavor of the coffee syrup is to die for. Traditional tiramisu calls for ladyfinger cookies, but I used amaretti cookies because they are small and fit in the parfait glasses without having to break them.  I think amaretti cookies are delicious on their own or when paired with an espresso cappucino, but they take on a whole new life when used in this velvety Italian dessert. 

I prefer making tiramisu parfaits rather than the regular "family style" tray of tiramisu. The parfaits are easy to serve if you have a lot of mouths to feed, and they look very elegant whenever served at a formal dinner at home. The small portions will make your guests feel less guilty.


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Oatmeal Vanilla Almond Protein Shake Recipe

This morning, I felt like bringing breakfast to my adorable husband Lulu. He is lactose-intolerant and he's a vegetarian. It's always a challenge for me to make a variety of foods that he can eat. This oatmeal vanilla almond shake is perfect for him, it's dairy-free and full of protein with almonds and whey protein powder, just like at Jamba Juice! It's also cholesterol free (if you don't add the dollop of whipped cream of course...)

After several tests with agave nectar in the past few weeks like my Broiled Agave Nectar and Honey Grapefruit , Agave blended Homemade Yogurt with Kumquat Preserves (without using a Yogurt Maker) and  Toasted Sesame Tofu Caramelized with Agave Nectar, Wasabi and Soy Sauce, I used the delicious nectar in my protein shake. 

So prepare a tray with freshly baked bagels, some cream cheese, a freshly cut rose from the garden, and of course your delicious oatmeal vanilla almond shake. Bring to your love with a big smile and say "Bonjour mon coeur, t'as bien dormi?" translation: Hi my love, did you sleep well?


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Toasted Sesame Tofu Caramelized with Agave Nectar, Wasabi and Soy Sauce Recipe

There are many sweet and sour flavor combinations in Asian cuisine, but I've gotten bored with the traditional hoisin plum sauce.  For this preparation I added agave as the sweet element in the dish. I've been experimenting with agave nectar that I got on my last trip to Florida.

Agave has a complex flavor that is sort of a cross between honey and caramel, but milder.  Tofu absorbs any flavor it comes in contact with and is perfect for the agave sauce. The dish is finished with some toasted sesame seeds for added crunch.


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Tarte Pomme de Terre (Potato Pie) Recipe

You won't see any potato pies on an approved list for the Atkins diet. Along with a fluffy puff pastry shell, you have layers of sweet tomato sauce and fried potatoes. But that's not all! Add to that a layer of crème fraîche and some cheese. The only green is the garlic chives. It may not be healthy, but it sure is delicious!  If you're feeling guilty, pair the pies with a healthy green salad.

The procedure is very similar to the leek quiches I made a few months ago.


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