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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 with Lulu, even though he's a vegetarian. That way we can "share the meal" and we can give each other's feedback about the food. Last night, I made turkey rolls that I wrapped in carrots. My vegetarian substitute is dried bean curd. So what’s 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 that is usually smoked and 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 with 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 first! So I enhanced its look by wrapping the rolls in carrot to give it 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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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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