Cinco de Mayo Inspired Recipes Recipe

Cinco de Mayo Inspired Recipes

05.06.15 by Jackie

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces in 1862. The streets in the Bay Area are so colorful for the festivities. I'm inclined to customize our own Cinco de Mayo-themed dinner at home.

I recently ordered a Molcajete mortar and pestle especially for the celebration and I'm planning on preparing a lot of guac! Did you know that more than 80 million avocados are consumed by Americans on Cinco de Mayo? I'm sure our family greatly contributes to the statistics!

I listed dishes I will very likely prepare today (I'm going to make fish tacos, for sure!). Hope you find some inspiration in this post.


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Carrot and Turkey Rolls Recipe

Carrot and Turkey Rolls

05.05.15 by Jackie

If you follow my culinary diary, you'll notice I'm often challenged with what I'm going to serve my husband Lulu. He's a vegetarian and I'm not. So I usually try to make a meatless equivalent for him and the vegetarians in the house. Last week, I cooked carrot rolls; they were obviously vegetarians but also nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten free. This dish is the meat equivalent I prepared for little Aria and myself and even though the meals look similar; the ingredients are completely opposite!

I prepared the meat filling with ground turkey, wood ear mushrooms, breadcrumbs and onions. I wrapped the rolls in the same manner as the vegan version with slices of carrots but looking back, I should have rolled them with smoked salmon for an even fancier flair. Both results were a success and everyone in our home found a dish that suits their diet!


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Carrot Bean Curd Rolls Recipe

Carrot Bean Curd Rolls

04.30.15 by Jackie

My husband Lulu hasn't been traveling at all for work these days, so I'm back to my old habits.  I often attempt a similar meal to his, even though he's a vegetarian. That way we can "share the meal" and we can give each other feedback about the food. Last night, I made turkey rolls that I wrapped in carrots. My vegetarian substitute is dried bean curd. So what is dried bean curd, you may ask? Contrary to what you might think, it's not made directly from tofu; it's a more pressed version of soybeans and  is usually smoked; it contains 40% less liquid than standard firm tofu. It's packed with protein, super healthy, yet still flavorful and it's a great meat substitute.

I prepared the filling of the rolls with the dried bean curd, fresh wood ear mushrooms, onions that we grow in our garden and Japanese sweet potatoes for natural sweetness. Remember, you eat with your eyes first! So I enhanced its look by wrapping the rolls in carrot to give them a fancy flair. You'll be surprised; it's not that complicated to make a dish look a bit more appealing. I'll be sharing the meat version tomorrow. Stay tuned!


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10 Fabulous Duck Recipes Recipe

10 Fabulous Duck Recipes

04.28.15 by Jackie

I think duck meat is very sophisticated. If you've been following my culinary diary throughout the years, you know I don't eat duck often (for health reasons), but I love how succulent and fabulously flavorful the meat is. My daughter Aria is no different. I just bought some duck breast that I'm about to roast for lunch. Since I've already posted countless recipes about this delicacy, I thought I'd gather my best duck recipes for you to see.

Don't forget to save the duck fat; it makes the most wonderful fries or pommes rissolees! Despite the overstated unsaturated fat health claims, for cooking or frying it's a healthy alternative to beef fat, pork fat, palm oil, coconut oil or even butter and it actually has culinary benefits (it has a higher percentage of mono-unsaturated fat that can help lower levels of blood cholesterol). Plus, unlike olive oil and butter, duck fat can be recycled.

Hope you enjoy cooking and tasting duck meat as much as little Aria and I do!


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Banh Gio Recipe (Steamed Meat Rice Cakes) Recipe

In Vietnamese cuisine, just as in many other types of cuisines, the use of banana leaves in cooking dates back 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 that a smart, eco-friendly way to make good use of biodegradable, natural materials? Plus, the banana leaves give awondderful additional aroma to the food. If you ever visit Vietnam, you'll notice how commonly food is wrapped in banana leaves. Bánh giò is no exception, and it's one of my favorite Vietnamese street foods.

Bánh giò is a steamed rice cake, often filled with meat. This time, I filled them with ground chicken (a more authentic version would use pork). 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 achieving the perfect texture is to add a bit of cornstarch to the rice flour to firm up the dough, then flavor it with warm chicken broth and cook it on the stove before shaping the rice cakes.

Steamed Meat Rice Cakes Recipe with Picture


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