Author: La Vie Partagée

Bosnian Donuts / Krofne

One day, my twin came home with some krofne or Bosnian donuts from her sister-in-law’s BBQ and left it on the kitchen counter. They looked so good that I had to have one, even though I generally do not eat sweets and fried food. One small bite became four large donuts later and I knew I had to have this recipe. Luckily, Azra decided to teach us so we can share it on this blog. This recipe has just the right amount of sweetness that it doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds and keeps you coming back for more. Difficulty: Easy to Medium/ Time: 2 hours including 1.5 hours of dough rest time / Servings: enough for a BBQ Ingredients: 6 cups / 900 gram of all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour 2 whole eggs 2 egg yolks 300 ml of lukewarm milk 300 ml of water 3 teaspoons of instant yeast 2 tablespoons of sugar Pinch of salt Oil for deep frying Powder sugar to sprinkle on the donuts Directions: Mix 3 teaspoons of …

Lemongrass Shrimp Noodle Bowl

More than ever, we are cooking our meals at home. Vietnamese noodle bowls make for an easy, quick and healthy lunch or dinner. This version has grilled shrimps marinated with lemongrass and fish sauce. This recipe is easy to make ahead and requires whatever vegetable that you have on hand to complete the dish. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 4 / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 1 pound of jumbo shrimps (deveined and without shell) 2 and 1/2 tablespoons garlic 3 tablespoons minced lemongrass (If you don’t have lemongrass, you can still marinate the shrimps with the remaining ingredients. It won’t be as fragrant, but it will still be tasty. Squeeze some lime juice onto the shrimp before eating to mimic the refreshing citrus notes of lemongrass.) 2 tablespoons of diced onion 3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon +3 tablespoons of fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce 1 cup of Coco Rico soda (coconut soda) – (This is for the vinaigrette sauce. If you do not have coconut soda, I …

Easy No-Knead French Baguettes

I have successfully made traditional French baguettes with the stretch and fold kneading techniques; however, the whole process can be quite labor-intensive and require some acumen to work with the wet dough. After teaching my younger cousin how to make traditional baguettes and seeing how he struggled with the wet dough, I wanted to make a beginner-friendly version. I tested different techniques and proofing time and came back to my No-Knead Artisan Bread recipe. I figure why not use that as a basis since the bread came out with a nice crust and airy insides. Low and behold, it works! Although the no-knead baguette will not be as crusty or springy as using the stretch and fold technique, it still has a similar texture and taste of a more traditional baguette. The differences between the two baguettes are marginal unless you are a die-hard bread connoisseur. Serving Size: 3 large baguette / Difficulty: Easy / Time: Rest time of  up to 26 hours – Work time of 15-30 minutes Ingredients: 450 grams of bread flour …

Mom’s Superghetti / Easy Spaghetti with Sausage and Meat Sauce

One of the first American dish that my mom made after emigrating to the US from Vietnam was spaghetti. Since we didn’t know English, spaghetti sounded like superghetti and that’s what we have called this Vietnamese fusion pasta since then. My mom’s version of spaghetti has a lot of depth with traditional Vietnamese flavors, which takes this simple Italian American dish up a notch. It’s slightly savory, slightly sweet and filled with umami that makes it hard to just eat one serving. Serving Size: 6 servings / Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 4 sausages of your choice 1 to 1.5 pounds of ground beef 1 jar (28 oz) of marinara sauce 2 cups of low sodium chicken stock 1 package (16 oz) of thin spaghetti or pasta of your choice 4 stalks of celery for about 1 and 1/2 cup diced celery. Peel the outer layer. 1/4 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons of sugar 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1 tablespoon of fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil Yellow onion 3 …

Coffee and Coconut Jelly Cake

Jelly cake was very popular in Vietnam in the 1990’s. It required few ingredients and is inexpensive to make. I remembered creating gelatin in rainbow colors with my mom growing up and pouring it into fun molds to create visually stunning cakes. This is our equivalent of Jello and is also a very refreshing dessert for those warmer days. Serving: Makes a 4-inch and 6-inch cake Difficulty: Easy Ingredients: 1 cup of sugar 4 tablespoons of Vietnamese instant coffee with creamer and sugar mix (If you do not have Vietnamese coffee mix, just use any instant coffee with cream and sugar mix.) 1 can of coconut milk 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon or 10 grams of agar agar gelatin powder (The Vietnamese agar agar gelatin brand that we used is platinum strength. You can buy it at any Asian supermarket.) If you have regular gelatin, the ratio should still be the same. 6 cups of water Equipment: Any mold that you would like to use. I used a 4-inch and 6-inch cake pan for this …

Bosnian Cheese Pie / Pita Sirnica

My brother-in-law family’s emigrated from Bosnia to the US during the Bosnian War. With it, they brought along their culture including the wonderful rustic cuisine from the Balkans region. My brother-in-law’s mother, Sefira, bakes really delicious traditional cheese pie called pita sirnica with phyllo dough made from scratch. I was very intimidated at the thought of making phyllo dough by hand rather than getting it from the friendly frozen section of the supermarket. Her recipe and handed down phyllo technique are actually beginner friendly and not as laborious as I had expected. Try this delicious cheese pie today. This recipe makes approximately 6 to 8 cheese pies depending on how large the phyllo sheet will be at the end of the stretching process. You can also use store bought phyllo dough and skip to the filling section. Buy the largest sheet that you can find. Ingredients: Phyllo 4 and 1/3 cups / 600 grams of all-purpose flour 1 and 3/4 cups / 400 grams of water 1 teaspoon of salt Approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons …

Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Sauce

Nothing says summer quite like a berry dessert. One of my favorite restaurant treat is panna cotta. The mixture of creamy panna cotta with a sweet and tart berry sauce is simplicity at its best. This dessert is super easy to make, but still has that wow factor whenever I serve it. Enjoy this summer treat at the end of your next meal. Ingredients: Panna Cotta 200 ml of milk 200 ml of heavy cream 2 and 1/4 sheet of silver grade gelatin (160+ bloom) (You can buy this easily online or Amazon. I prefer to use sheet gelatin as it is much easier to dissolve and use.) Or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of powder gelatin. (You will need to bloom the gelatin in some cold water and then melt over hot water before adding it to the warm cream mixture. Fine Cooking has a good how-to guide on using powder gelatin here.) 1/4 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Berry Sauce 2 cups of frozen berry mix 1/4 tablespoon of lemon Zest …

No-Knead Artisan Bread with Dutch Oven

As I dive deeper into my quarantine bread baking journey, I became fascinated with different baking and kneading techniques with essentially the same four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt. The variety of bread is endless. As much as I love making French baguettes from scratch, it can be a process. Using the same four ingredients with a 75% target dough hydration, I tested different proofing time and folding techniques that I learned from my research. I came up with my new favorite rustic bread recipe. It’s so effortless and only requires some patience for the yeast to do its magic. This will be your go-to recipe for a weekday bread…it’s just too easy not to try. This recipe makes 1 large round boule. Ingredients: I didn’t provide measurements in cups as I found that you need to be precise with breadmaking to have the best result. You can buy a good digital baking scale for less than $15 on amazon. 450 grams of bread flour 340 milliliters of lukewarm water 1 teaspoon of salt …

Quick Caramelized Chicken

My niece’s favorite meal, whenever grandma comes around, is this caramelized chicken dish with rice. It comprises of classic Vietnamese salty and sweet flavors with tender moist chicken and crispy skin. It’s a flavor bomb and it never lasts long in this household. This is a very simple dish, which makes it a perfect weeknight meal. Ingredients: 6 drumsticks or other cuts of chicken that you prefer 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of cane sugar (You can substitute with white sugar if it’s not available. Cane sugar gives a nicer caramelized color to this dish.) 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder 1 tablespoon of water 3 tablespoons of coconut soda 2 teaspoons of fish sauce 1 tablespoon of diced onion and thick slices of 1/4 of an onion to garnish 2 tablespoons of minced garlic A few Thai chilis (optional)   Directions: Prepare the drumsticks by removing the main bone, while leaving the end piece intact. You can also skip this step and opt for boneless …

Bánh Tiêu Mật Ong/ Honey Glazed Sesame Hollow Donuts

Bánh tiêu is essentially the Vietnamese version of fried dough or donut. One can find them sold throughout any town from street vendors. These donuts differ from American donuts due to bánh tiêu having a hollow center. This creates a light and fluffy donut with a chewy texture, which also has a light crunch from the sesame seeds. To take this traditional hollow donut up a notch, I incorporated honey into the batter and also applied a light honey glaze. This version of bánh tiêu has just the right amount of sweetness that my family cannot get enough of.  This recipe makes 12 donuts and takes about 2 hours with proofing time. Ingredients: 2 and 3/4 cup of bread flour / 400 gram 1/2 cup of water 1/2 cup of 1% low-fat milk 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 and 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1 packet of vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of instant yeast 1 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 cup of sesame seeds 2 tablespoons of honey Honey glaze …