Posts Tagged ‘2013’

Mien Xao Cua (Glass noodles w/crab & mushrooms)

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Mien xao cua

I have been craving this dish for months…impatiently waiting for crab season to start. Since my brother and I wouldn’t be together for Thanksgiving, we celebrated early with Crabsgiving! (exclamation points required).  I purposefully bought a few extra crabs so that I’d have enough left over to make mien xao cua, a dish my mom used to make for special occasions.

Growing up, my mom’s version was loaded with chewy noodles, crunchy wood ear mushrooms, sweet sauteed onions, cilantro and tons of pepper. She probably used white pepper but my black pepper grinder works a lot better so I used black. I don’t have her recipe but a Google search gave me a rough idea of what to do. Read more…


Eggplant Lasagna Bolognese

September 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Eggplant Lasagna Bolognese

Eggplants are plentiful at the farmer’s market and I was craving lasagna but didn’t want to eat or make heavy pasta. I remembered an eggplant lasagna I’d winged a while back and figured it was time to improve upon the recipe. I had some time, so I made a batch of the tasty bolognese recipe from Smitten Kitchen the day before I wanted to assemble and bake. I tried a different method of oven-baking eggplant which I also prepped the day before–and what resulted was a light but hearty (as in it will fill you up but it won’t sit like a gut bomb) eggplant-based lasagna that is leagues better than what I did before.

When I got home from work, I just reheated the bolognese, layered my eggplant slices with cheese, sauce and grilled veggies (portobello mushrooms, roasted red/yellow peppers, summer squash). Next time, I need to remember to use my deeper lasagna pan instead of my Pyrex 9×11…it all barely fit.  Read more…

Categories: Italian Tags:

Smitten Kitchen’s Harvest Roast Chicken w/Grapes, Olives & Rosemary

August 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Roast chicken with olives and grapes


I’ve had this recipe bookmarked in Deb Perelman’s book since last summer. And then I forgot about it. While cleaning out our bookshelves, I stumbled upon this recipe again and realized it would be perfect for Sunday dinner. The leftovers could be used for weekday lunch! I used a mix of jarred kalamata olives but had to supplement with fancy black and castelvetrano olives from the Whole Foods olive bar. Next time, I would stick to kalamatas because they’re cheaper and saltier. The other olives were also tasty, but I want more of the brininess. I like this method of roasting chicken. It is faster and requires less cleanup!

We served this with a side of grilled vegetables from the farmer’s market (peppers, okra, zucchini and eggplant) but a side of eggplant dirty rice would be nice too! Read more…

Categories: meat, roast chicken Tags:

Eggplant Dirty Rice

August 13, 2013 3 comments

Eggplant dirty rice

Cajun food and smooshy eggplant? Yes please. When I saw this in Food & Wine, I knew I had to make it. However, I’m still not very good at cooking rice without a rice cooker…I had to send it back into the oven for an extra ten minutes because when I took it out at the prescribed time, I still had crunchy rice. I used one red and one green pepper instead of two greens just because green peppers aren’t my favorite and I added half a chopped zucchini at the very end because I had it in the fridge. The eggplant adds a richness to the rice without having to add fat. Top it with some hot sauce and you’ve got some zippy rice that can stand on its own. We served it with a portion of grilled salmon and had a really tasty dinner! Read more…

Categories: Cajun, vegetables, vegetarian Tags:

Corn Soup w/Grilled Shrimp & Truffle Oil

July 30, 2013 Leave a comment


Corn is in season! Growing up, my mom would make a ton of che bap, a Vietnamese dessert soup made with corn and coconut milk. She and my brother would go nuts over it but I never ate more than a bowl or two through the course of the summer. Why mask the natural sweetness of corn with sugar and coconut milk?

I searched for a savory corn soup recipe but it took a while to find one that didn’t require cream or milk. The original recipe is for a chilled corn soup that is strained and smooth, but as I started cooking, I either got lazy or sentimental. I didn’t do any straining, ate the soup warm and threw in some extra corn kernels for body.

After cooking, I topped it with grilled shrimp and some white truffle oil. Later in the week, I will grill some salmon to add to the soup. In the winter, I’d top the soup with a handful of Dungeness crab. Maybe I’ll add a cubed potato with the onions next time for some extra heft? Read more…

Categories: soup Tags: , ,

Pasta with chicken liver & porcini sauce

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Liver & porcini tagliatelle

I’ve always loved chicken liver. When my mom boiled or roasted a chicken, she would always set aside the heart, liver and lungs for me (gizzards require a lot more manipulation for me to enjoy). My husband (!), on the other hand, didn’t think he liked liver. He’s said that in the past about many things, including coconut, beets, and green beans. It turns out he just doesn’t like certain preparations (generally American/midwestern) of these items. Mounds does not equal all coconut, beets don’t only come from cans, green beans should never be cooked to a mush.

When Claire’s husband posted about this pasta several months ago, I knew it might be a challenge dish for Joel. But I also knew I’d like it. I finally made it earlier this week and he gave it the thumbs up to put into our meal rotation. That said, it is a rich dish that may be better suited for special occasions, but it takes only 30 minutes to pull together. So you can get fancy without spending much time–and your liver-hater might just love it too! Read more…

Categories: Italian, noodles, pasta Tags: , ,

We did it!

July 12, 2013 Leave a comment

We did it!

June 29, 2013 – Portland, OR

Categories: food Tags: , ,