Thursday, April 17, 2008

BBQ Dreams Awaken!

So, it's been a while since I've added to this blog. I've been away, gathering my senses. However, although I have left my culinary job to seek better pay. I still have been crafting my recipes and gathering more culinary knowledge. Recently I've traveled to New York and Washington D.C.. While there I reawakened my passion for food. It also made me aware that my aunt and uncle passed some family recipes my way. I want to preserve them for the future, so, where else but the internet to spread the knowledge.

My uncle once told, "These recipes are just the base, you need to take them and make them your own!"

BBQ Pork
(Let me, state these are restaurant ratios!)


3500 ml sugar
375 ml salt
375 ml MSG (monosodium glutamate)
1 Teaspoon freshly ground garlic
4 Tablespoons Pure Bean Soy Sauce

(2 to 1 ratio)
Yellow food coloring
Red food coloring

Marinate the pork for 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Place the pork on a rack and cook in oven for 40 minutes.
Finish the pork with honey prior to serving.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tamarind Crab

This is a family recipe that has been passed on from my aunt in Vietnam. The perfect addition to any BBQ... it is a sweet and sour crab with a hint of smokiness. Ahhh... perfect with a tall bottle of beer or a nice white wine, possibly Gerwertzimmener "probably butchered that wine name." I like mine a little more tart than my mom.

Tamarind Crab
Crab Prep

2 Large Crab (I prefer, "Dungeoness or Large Blue"
1 Box Cornstarch
1 Bottle of Oil (For Frying the Crab)

Tamarind Sauce

1/2 package Tamarind Puree
1 head of Garlic (Rough chop)
4 Tbsp Osyter Sauce
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Cornstarch Slurry (A Mixture of Cornstarch to hot water, 1 part Cornstarch to 3 parts water)
1 Bunch Cilantro

Frying the Crab
1. If you purchased the crab fresh, slaughter it, and clean the crab by removing the sharp parts of the leg and removing the gills of the crab.
2. Coat each piece lightly with cornstarch.
3. You will be cooking and blanching the crab in oil. I recommend that you cook the crab in oil about 350 degrees for about 2-4 minutes. You really don't want to over cook your crab, otherwise the moisture in the meat will cause the crab meat to explode and stick to the shell.
4. After frying the crab remove it a paper towel lined bowl to drain off the excess oil.
5. Now you have a decision to make, are you going to deep fry the garlic to get a crispy garlic flavor or will you simply cook the raw garlic in the sauce. Mind you if you deep fry the garlic it will taste more authentic, but it's going to add calories.

Making the Sauce
1. Take your block of tamarind puree and dilute/rehydrate in a water bath. Then Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds and fibers. Add the sugar and stir until sugar is diluted.
2. In a hot pan, quickly saute your garlic in a little oil, do not add too much color. Add your tamarind solution, and toss in your osyter sauce.
3. Try out the flavor of the sauce, now is the time to adjust the sweetness to what you like.
4. Bring your sauce to a boil and mix in your cornstarch slurry to thicken it, remember a little slurry goes a long way. So really consider how thick you want your sauce.
4. Add your crab pieces and toss until it is coated.
5. Now add your fresh cilantro and serve to you awaiting companions.

Hopefully this recipe brings you as much joy as it has me. Of course if you run into any problems feel free to leave a comment. But otherwise enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ngoc Nam, "Ngoc Cham," or just plain Vietnamese Fish Sauce
Fish sauce a staple in vietnamese cuisine... this recipe is my mama's recipe. Ahh... good old family traditions, she taught it to me so now I'm teaching it to anyone who wants to learn.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce
6 cloves Garlic (minced)
4 fl oz. Fish Sauce
4 fl oz. Lemon Juice
4 oz. Sugar
8 fl oz. Water

and a generous squirt of Sriracha (or to your liking and taste)

Put this together...
Just mix all the ingredients together, but the most important part is to let the sauce marinate in the refrigerator overnight. You have to let the flavors melt together otherwise it's not as good. Also don't get lazy and use dried garlic, it just doesn't taste the same as when you use fresh, the drying process destroys the flavor.

Well enjoy this sauce with many different things, the vietnamese love this sauce with fried egg rolls wrapped in lettuce and herbs... mmmm... herbs and fried goodness.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mussels In Tarragon Butter Sauce

This recipe is from my ventures of cooking in Berkeley. At a little restaurant called, "Liaison Bistro," a quaint place run by a great chef named Todd Kneiss. My favorite dish there and a top seller.

Mussels in Tarragon Butter Sauce
3 oz. Olive Oil Mix
2 tbsp Garlic (Chopped)

4 tbsp Shallots (Chopped)
8 oz Mussels (Cleaned and de-bearded)
6 oz. White Wine
1 oz. Patis Alcohol
4 oz. Butter
1 tbsp Tarragon (Chopped)
2 tbsp Parsley (Chopped)
2 cups Spinach
Salt to taste

1. Heat your sautee pan up, add your oil, shallots, and garlic. Sweat them together without getting too much color on them.
2. Add your mussels and white wine. When the mussels have started to open add your butter and white wine.
3. Finish with the patis, tarragon, parsley, and spinach. Toss in the hot sauce until the spinach is wilted and salt to taste.
4. Serve in a nice bowl with a couple pieces of bread for dipping in the sauce.

mmmm... just thinking about it brings back memories of the bay and spending countless hours in chatting with my co-workers. They were so good to me there, always joking.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What's the Point

So this blog is a site where you will find recipes that I have encountered through my career and recipes that I am currently researching or developing. Please feel free to try the recipes out and comment on how they are and if the instructions you received were easy to follow. If you have any problems with the recipe I would love to hear some feed back, because one day I would love to publish these recipes for everyone.

Lavender Honey Shrimp w/ Grilled Mango Salad

So this recipe came to me on my way to work... I was sitting in my car driving down Camino Sante Fe and all I could smell was the fresh lavender planted next to the road. So I thought wow, if i could mix the lavender scent with food it would be "epicurious".

Lavender Honey Shrimp w/ Grilled Mango Salad (1 Serving)
4 Tbsp Lavender (ground)
4 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Clove Garlic (minced)
1 Pinch Salt
1 Pinch Pepper

4 Shrimp (Shelled/Devined)
4 Skewers

1. Soak your skewers in water, so that when you grill them they will take a little longer to burn. Allow them to soak for at least 1 hour, but I perfer to soak them over night.
2. Mix your marinade together, just mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Reserve half for later. Place shrimp in marinade and leave it alone for about 5 minutes. It's not much but it'll just barely coat all the shrimp.
3. Skewer your shrimp, and place on a medium heat area of the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
4. To finish off the shrimp brush with remainder of the marinade.

Grilled Mango Salad
1 Mango (grilled/peeled/diced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (roasted/peeled/diced)
1/4 Green Papaya (juilenne)
1 Micro Greens

1/2 oz Lime (Juiced)
1/2 oz Lemon (Juiced)
1 tsp Sugar
3 oz EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1. Peel your mango, and slice. Grill it on a grill pan to mark the sides. Then dice.
2. Roast your bell pepper on the grill, charring the outside, then you can peel it and dice.
3. Peel your green papaya, remove all the seeds, and juilenne. (I perfer to use the mandoline for this task, it's just easier.)
4. Mix your citrus dressing. Mix your two juices together with the sugar first making sure it's completely dissolved. Then with a whisk, constantly whisking slowly add your oil. Continue adding the oil slowly until you reach the consistancy you want for the dressing.

Pull it all together:
Using a small 2 ounce ice cream scoop, scoop up a serving of your mango salad. Place it center on your plate and arrange your skewered shrimp around it in a box formation. Garnish with the micro greens and circle the plate with little of the marinade that has NOT touched the raw shrimp.