Banh Gio Recipe (Steamed Meat Rice Cakes) Recipe

Banh Gio Recipe (Steamed Meat Rice Cakes)

04.27.15 by Jackie

In Vietnam, just like in many other types of cuisines, the use of banana leaves in cooking can be dated back for centuries. Back when there was no aluminum foil, parchment paper or wax paper, the thick leaves were what cooks used to pack, steam, grill, bake and serve their food. Isn't it such a smart, eco-friendly way to make good use of biodegradable, natural materials? Plus, the banana leaves give an additional wonderful aroma to the food. If you ever visit Vietnam, you'll notice how common that food is wrapped in banana leaves. Bánh giò is no exception and it's one of my favorite Vietnamese street food.

Bánh giò is a steamed rice cakes, often filled with meat. This time, I tucked them with ground chicken (A more authentic version would use pork meat.) In any case, the meat is cooked with wood ear mushrooms. It's not the prettiest meal, but it's a flavorful, earthy (thanks to the mushrooms), light, gluten-free dish.

The key to achieve the perfect texture is to add a bit of cornstarch to the rice flour to firm up the dough, flavor it with warm chicken broth and cook the dough on the stove before shaping the rice cakes.

Steamed Meat Rice Cakes Recipe with Picture


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7 Great Feta Cheese Recipes Recipe

7 Great Feta Cheese Recipes

04.16.15 by Jackie

My 11-year-old nephew, "Hashoo" (that's what little Aria calls him), is spending the entire day with us. I asked him to publish this post and he suggested writing about his favorite ingredient: feta cheese.

Hashoo is quit the foodie and is an aspiring chef. He loves to cook and improvises his own recipes. He enjoys the subtle brininess of this healthy cheese and likes it crumbled and sprinkled over pasta or salads. I mentioned that our family loves to fry feta cheese and dip it as an appetizer. Guess what? Hashoo was thrilled with the idea so that's exactly what we're going to prepare for lunch today!


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Coconut Roasted Potatoes Recipe

Coconut Roasted Potatoes

04.14.15 by Jackie

After pan-frying fillets of sole for little Aria and myself last night, I realized pairing the fish with roasted potatoes in coconut oil might lack a toothsome bite. In an attempt to create the perfect balance of texture, I added an extra step to the potatoes by breading them with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic and coconut shreds. The crunchy potatoes helped balance the texture of the fish and the addition of coconut shreds might sound a bit unusual but it was a reminder of the coconut oil used previously.

You can also find gourmet potato dishes in my first cookbook, Haute Potato, which is an ode to this root vegetable. In this book, I’ve included one of my favorites, which hails from India: a spicy potato cutlet stuffed with ground beef, or kheema. To illustrate the versatility of potatoes, the book is separated into chapters based on the primary flavor profile or texture of the dish. Each section is an exploration of the ways in which the potato can be used. So, though it may start its life in the ground, when combined with the right techniques and ingredients the potato can truly be haute cuisine.


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Roasted Carrot and Brussels Sprout Pasta Recipe Recipe

Roasted Carrot and Brussels Sprout Pasta Recipe

04.09.15 by Jackie

There are many ways of preparing Brussels sprouts. My favorite is probably roasting them but this can take a long time. This is a different approach with 3 steps: boiling, roasting and sautéing the vegetable. To add extra sweetness I cooked them with baby carrots.

I combined the carrots and Brussels sprouts with pasta, which is a great strategy for tempting my little one to eat healthy, nutritious food. The pasta sauce consisted of simple tomato sauce, Pecorino cheese and a bit of almond butter for extra protein. Voilà!

 


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Vegetarian Siu Mai Recipe Recipe

Vegetarian Siu Mai Recipe

04.08.15 by Jackie

This is my interpretation of vegetarian siu mai. The Asian dumplings are often filled with meat, so this is my attempt to create a toothsome, equally flavorful appetizer without meat. To do so, I prepared and filled the siu mai pockets with bean curd, jicama, shiitake, wood ear mushrooms, green onions, rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Shaping dumplings with a vegetarian filling while preventing them from collapsing once they were steamed was a bit challenging. I used silicon mini muffin liners to avoid a possible culinary disaster and keep them appealing. Sometimes, thinking outside the box can be a life-saver for the home cook that I am!


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