Sometimes the simplest things makes the most delicious dish. My husband Lulu planted Persian cucumbers this year and he's been harvesting 2-3 cucumbers a day lately. I love the flavor of Persian cucumbers and have had a lot of fun coming up with simple recipes that showcase the vegetable.
Salads are a great way to enjoy cucumbers and this recipe is no exception. Since cucumbers have a h
This weekend, I was inspired by the seafood I prepared for myself and created fish-like "scales" using thinly sliced zucchini so my husband Lulu, who is a vegetarian, could enjoy a similarly-themed meal.
First, I steamed thinly sliced and shredded zucchini. Then I cooked finely chopped morel mushrooms with garlic. Shredded zucchini, preserved lemons and the mushrooms became the base of
This weekend, I was inspired by the seafood I prepared for myself and created "fish"-like scales using thinly sliced zucchini so my husband Lulu, who is a vegetarian, could enjoy a similarly-themed meal.
First, I steamed thinly sliced and shredded zucchini. Then I cooked finely chopped morel mushrooms with garlic. Shredded zucchini, preserved lemons and the mushrooms became the base of
When Lulu and I attended my older sister's wedding back in 2007 in Paris, I recall the most delicious store-bought dairy dessert I discovered at my very dear friend Nathalie’s house. We had a lovely dinner and finished the meal with Bonne Maman brand miniature jars of petits pot de crème. But unlike the ones I usually prepare, these pot de crème had a much heavie
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,
The taste and texture of okra differs drastically depending on the cooking method. I’m not a fan of the slimier preparations of okra, so I typically pan fry the veggie to keep it dry. In this recipe I used onion-flavored oil to cook the okra, then seasoned it with the usual Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder and a touch of garam masala. Once the okra is soften
Taheri is to Indian cuisine what risotto is to Italian cuisine. In the Indian version, basmati rice is cooked in the same manner as Arborio rice would be in risotto.
This dish can be flavored with many ingredients. I cooked a few vegetables such as string beans, broccoli, zucchini (freshly picked from our garden) and carrots with caramelized onions and spices, then pan-fried pre-boiled
Paneer masala is pan-fried paneer cheese simmered in spicy creamy sauce. It is amazing with plain basmati rice or hot naan. But instead of serving this dish the traditional way, I used it as a filling for mushrooms. The bold flavor of the curry marries beautifully with the earthiness of the mushrooms; they make the most delicious fusion appetizers.
The idea of these cute appetizers was
This week has gone by so fast, I can't believe it's already Dessert Friday! To celebrate the end of school (and finals) and to reward the girls for their hard work, I decided to bake a pie.
The girls love coconut macaroons, so I decided to prepare a coconut macaroon pie. I made the filling with sweetened shredded coconut flakes and sweetened condensed milk. I served the pie with coconut flavored
Granola topping is a healthier, more nutritious alternative to croutons for salads. I incorporated as many, if not more, flavors as I would for the bread, using lemon thyme, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, Pecorino cheese, Italian parsley, spices and extra-virgin olive oil. After the baked savory granola has cooled to room temperature, I mixed arugula with fresh cherries as an natural sweete
I had one leftover smoked eggplant from the weekend. I used large, heavy, firm eggplants that I brushed with a bit of oil so the oil could absorb the smoky flavor from the hot charcoals. This evening, I peeled the paper-like skin and processed it with sesame chutney (til chutney in Urdu). I fried a shallot, added a little mound of butter, then added ground beef, fresh dill and tomatoes.
Here in the Bay Area, the weather has been gorgeous. I lit up my grill for the first time this season and made my favorite meal; I had top sirloin steak that I accessorized with a dollop of artichoke butter, marinated artichokes capellini pasta and grilled artichokes.
I cooked the steak a la plancha by placing a cast iron griddle over the charcoal grill. The hot plancha created a nice crus
This butter is so delicious on a piece of toasted bread, but would go wonderfully with pasta, fish or grilled veggies.
After making sweet potato tarte amandine and purple potato lavender white chocolate torte for my first cooking demonstration in front of a live audience recently, I had a lot of leftover high quality butter, so I decided to make a batch.
I prepared the flavored butter with
After posting recipes for almost 5 years, I realized I had never paid homage to the most famous French pastry: le macaron. Today is my attempt to correct this blasphemy. I made cherry-flavored macarons since the delicious red fruits are finally available in the market.
Making this delicate confection is very time-consuming but so rewarding. I'm not as good at it as I would love for them to rise a
Canh bí d? is Vietnamese pumpkin soup. But in this recipe instead of simply boiling the pumpkin in broth, I used it as the filling in wonton wrappers (hoành thánh in Vietnamese).
The Vietnamese pumpkin has a naturally sweet creaminess. If it's cooked properly the skin is also edible and adds a wonderful texture. To make the dish into a complete meal, I added fried tofu f
This evening, I finished preparing dinner but realized everything was vegetarian. And if you know me, vegetarian food is good but it's still lacking one thing. What's missing, you might ask? I looked at our dining table and I immediately knew what would make dinner complete: a dish of shrimp.
I had one pound of small shrimp begging to be cooked. So in less than 30 minutes, I whipped up some t&oci
I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while but Daddy, my father-in-law, kept telling me to be more patient. We harvested our last batch of Meyer lemons more than a month ago. I preserved them by making all sorts of pickles. The method is pretty much the same regardless of the cuisine type, but the spices differ.
Today I'm going to show you how to make my family's favorite, called nim
I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while but Daddy, my father-in-law, kept telling me to be more patient. We harvested our last batch of Meyer lemons more than a month ago. I preserved them by making all sorts of pickles. The method is pretty much always the same regardless of the cuisine type, but the spices differ.
Today, I'm going to show you how to make my family's favorite cal
My husband Lulu has become such a garden expert over the years. This morning he harvested over 2 pounds of zebra striped zucchini in our garden, which left me almost speechless. I wasn’t expecting to make a zucchini dish today, but that’s half the fun of having your own vegetable garden!
I decided to prepare a vegetarian zucchini lasagna. The dish consists of three elem
We're a large family and often, we have surprised guests. I'm always prepared for this possibility and have uncooked cookie dough or individual dessert cups ready in the freezer. Today was no exception. I used readily-rolled almond cookie dough that I simply popped in the oven for 10 minutes, rotated the tray, pressed them to create a cavity and continue baking them for exactly an additi
When I was first offered the Haute Potato project a year ago, I was asked to come up with 75 gourmet potato dishes. On that very same day, I probably already had hundreds of recipes lined up in my head. I tried featuring potato dishes from around the world, but as you can imagine, a lot were left out of the final product. So today here's a potato dish that would have been in th
This tofu stir fry dish is a staple in our home and I make it at least one a month. The reasons for this is it's quick to prepare, flavorful and packed with fresh green vegetables.
The preparation is always the same. In this version, pan-seared tofu pieces (or leftover chicken breasts) are tossed with previously cooked zucchini and baby asparagus in maple syrup, chipotle garlic sauce and so
My sister-in-law Lya's girlfriends had a sleepover last weekend. They had to wake up very early the following day to participate in The Color Run™ 5k paint race event. I promised I'd give them a large breakfast so they'd have enough energy. I served them sweet potato tarte amandine (check out the photo on Facebook), thumbprint cookies and crepes. I prepared plenty of crêpe
If you follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, you probably saw how huge the plants in our garden are. Thanks to the recent sunny, warm weather we’ve experienced, they have really taken off.
To celebrate our first crop of Persian cucumbers, I prepared a chilled noodle salad. I used soba noodles, a variety of fresh vegetables, flavorful pean
Bánh bao literally translates to "cakes that wraps something" in Vietnamese. The dough is made of flour, milk, sugar and a hint of oil. Once the dough rises, it's formed in the desired shape, usually presented as dumplings shaped similar to a pointy turban, then steamed until plump and perky. In general, they're stuffed with savory meat or sweet egg custard (called bánh bao
Whenever I prepare duck meat, I try to add a lot of spices to attenuate the strong gamey flavor. The spice mixture I used in this recipe is a combination of dried red chilies, fresh oregano, cumin seeds, a cinnamon stick, star anise and fried onion paste. A little red wine vinegar brings these flavors together and also helps to tenderize the meat.
I seared the duck legs and then braised them in a
I've prepared this Indian curry called korma a countless number of times since I got married. I learnt this dish from my husband Lulu's aunt (I call her Phoopi). It is a very flexible dish that allows for many combinations of meat and vegetable. Chicken, beef, goat, potato, taro, vegetable (peas, carrot, broccoli) are commonly used. The spicy gravy is what's constant.
The spicy gravy is made
Cháo cá (Vietnamese for fish congee) is Aria's favorite dish these days. At one and a half years old now, she's able to eat pretty much anything and everything. But don't be fooled by its appearance; rice congee isn't only meant for babies. Cháo is a very popular meal in Asia; I personally love it too.
In this version of congee I cook rice in fish stock until it be
Braiding is a fancy way to present stuffed bread. To get this recipe started, I prepared the dough and let it rest for a few hours. Once it's ready to roll, the sides of the resulting long rectangle are cut into long strands, filled with tapenade (or your favorite filling) then the bread is tied into a two-strand braid.
I used homemade tapenade made with kalamata olives, must
My first Mother's Day with Aria being able to say "Maman" #thankful
I loved the combination of dark Morel cherries and balsamic vinegar. Since I have balsamic cherry vinegar from Bellindora on hand, I thought I would use the pairing in a dish. I made cherry vol au vent drizzled with Bellindora balsamic cherry chocolate sauce. If you've had balsamic syrup with fruits in the past, you will certainly love this uncommon flavoring as the balsamic cherry vinegar brings
Here's probably the easiest baked fish recipe. Swai fillet (catfillet) is seasoned with Bellindora seasoning, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Then, it's pan-seared with a combination of olive oil and butter and transferred to the oven until fully cooked. I use the combination of fats so that the butter doesn't burn. Right before the end of the cooking time, peach relish is spread over the
The filling of the tart is as delicious as it sounds. Cherry roasted chicken breasts are shredded into fairly large pieces and mixed into a creamy sauce.
The tart is sealed with a thin layer of Monterey Jack cheese. I made the flaky crust with fresh herbs: chives, creeping red thyme and Italian parsley. You could prepare the crust in advance and store it in the freezer until you're ready to bake.
I prepared stuffed Poblano peppers in four steps. First, I cooked balsamic shallots until they're very soft and turn almost like a compote. Then, I cooked ground beef in chipotle fig sauce and mixed in plump and chewy farro berries. The last step consists of stuffing the beef mixture into halved Poblano peppers and bake in the oven until golden.
Today, I used Bellindora balsalmic fig vinegar
I've mentioned several times in the past that vinaigrettes are extraordinarily versatile. I've developed multiple variations over the years and the recipes are very forgiving. At the core, vinaigrettes are an emulsion of oils, vinegar, sometimes flavored with sweeteners, herbs, spices and mustard. The trick is to use the best ingredients you can. I've cooked with several quality vinegars in the pa
If you've been keeping up on my recipes this week, you know that I've been making use of the wonderful cheeses from Queso Del Valle. I thought a dessert would be a nice way to end the week. Lulu and I had lunch at the appropriately named "Lulu's" Mexican restaurant last Sunday, and we both enjoyed a nice cup of horchata (cinnamon-flavored rice drink). I thought it would be fun to captu
This vegetable terrine was inspired by Blaise, a regular PhamFatale reader, who suggested this vegetarian dish. I adapted it this week in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo. I layered grilled eggplants, tri-color roasted bell peppers, sweet basil leaves, celery, fresh pineapple, black beans and a lot of Oaxacan cheese.
The key to creating the terrine is to make sure the layers of flavors ar
These fish tacos are filled with grilled halibut, cilantro lime rice, salsa verde, diced avocado, shredded lettuce, crumbled queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, carrot and daikon (the Vietnamese flair in these tacos) and finally a dollop of Mexican sour cream.
After completing my second cookbook, (shameless plug: don't forget to pre-order my Banh Mi cookbook), I've been profes
Tostadas are deep-fried corn tortilla presented in the form of a flat, open-faced sandwich. I made a slightly smaller version in the form of appetizers, called tostaditas. You can fill them with anything you like; I played with different textures and flavors. I added grilled nopales (segments from prickly pears), corn and tomato salsa and topped the appetizers with red kidney bean burgers, crumble
This is my take on a Mexican-inspired risotto flavored with tomatillo. I prepared salsa verde and added it to creamy risotto. I spooned the risotto on blue tortilla chips and topped them with salsa verde and crumbled queso fresco as a reminder of the flavor.
I recently received a goodie box of a selection of Queso Del Valle and Karoun cheeses. I’m a huge fan of their products and with
Baby Aria is very similar to Lulu when it comes to her favorite foods. She loves vegetables and she adores sweets. Today I experimented with a batch of cookies I usually make when we have guests over for tea: thumbprint cookies. They're visually so pretty, especially with the crackling effect on the shortbread cookie dough and the whimsical design in the center indentation that almost re
This is probably the last soup I'm making this season as we're slowly experiencing warmer temperatures. I prepared the soup with 10 varieties of beans. Four-pound mixed bean packages are readily available at my local Korean market. In this particular one, only seven dried beans were mixed in it, namely soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, peas, black eyed peas and lima beans. I also add
Here's a fusion version of pizza made with spicy beets. The pizza dough is baked separately then topped with Indian beets and dal. It's perfect for vegetarians since it's packed with protein.
I usually serve them as appetizers. They would also be a great addition to a party platter because of the pop of color and exotic flavors.
If you love aloo gobi, which is an Indian potato (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi) dish, I'm confident that you will adore this Indian-inspired savory tart. When I first got married, my husband's grandmother taught me a lot of Indian dishes. The traditional dishes on their own are great, but I also enjoy playing around with them, and incorporating elements into French dishes. I find that the aest
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 gh
If you love the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, you will adore these mint-flavored scones. I used my favorite Mint Julep Sugar from our friends over at Bourbon Barrel Foods for this sweet treat. The raw sugar creates a crunchy, sweet topping with a rich caramel flavor and a refreshing hint of mint.
Pair these with the Southern cocktail and I promise you won't be disappointed! Full Recipe...
The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh c? sen in Vietnamese, calls for a pork broth, dried scallop, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone's diet.
I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with t
If you've been following my culinary adventures for a while, you probably know that Daddy's (my father-in-law) diet revolves around anything spicy. So he rarely eats the French dishes (except for the desserts) or Vietnamese meals I prepare for the rest of our family. So today, I prepared pepper popper appetizers. Who doesn't like fried food? Not even Daddy could say no. I prepared mild ones u
I haven't cooked any tofu dishes for my husband Lulu in a while and I thought it would be good to vary his diet. So I prepared tofu with fresh wood ear mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers that I stir-fried in coconut, galangal and turmeric curry sauce.
I topped the tofu dish with a few roasted peanuts to create a contrast in texture and make the dish more fun.
I think a mushroom-filled crostata would work wonderfully. The rustic look of the free-form savory pie and the earthy flavors of the five londs of mushroom used go hand in hand. I also added a bit of sharp Cheddar cheese for its melty, stringy and delicious qualities.
The reason I used that many mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms, beech mushrooms, Boletus mushrooms and