All posts tagged: featured

Make Your Own Mild and Fragrant Chili Oil

Every Asian culture has its own iteration of chili oil. I love the aroma and extra oomph chili oil adds to any dish; however, I cannot take the heat. Since last year, I started to experiment with making my own mild version and I finally got the right chili ratio that just gives it a nice kick without making it a torture device for my mouth. Make this easy chili oil recipe today and it will become a staple in your kitchen. Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 2.5 cups of chili oil/ Time: 1 hour Ingredients: 2 and 1/2 cup of vegetable oil 1/3 cup of coarse Korean chili pepper flake (gochugaru) 1/3 cup of Sichuan pepper flake 5 star anise 1 cassia cinnamon stick 3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorn 2 black cardamon pods 1 tablespoon of sand ginger 2 teaspoons of cloves 2-3 shallots halves 4-5 crushed garlic cloves Directions: On the lowest heat setting that you have available on your stove, simmer 5 star anise, 1 cassia cinnamon stick, 3 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorn, 2 …

Vietnamese Beef Stew / Bò Kho

Vietnamese beef stew is a fusion dish that was influenced by French colonialism. The stew reminds me of a rustic dish that I would get in the French countryside, but with Asian flavors. This recipe is not hard to make; however, it does take time like all good stews. Traditionally, a variety of cheap meat cuts are added to this dish such as tendons. To keep this recipe simple, we only used rough beef flank. Additionally, we demonstrated two ways to cook it using a pressure cooker or a Dutch oven. The pressure cooker cuts the total cooking time in half, but it does require that you know how to use a pressure cooker or have one available. The longer and more traditional way is to use a Dutch oven and simmer the stew over low heat for an extended period of time. This is a perfect dish for any weekend this winter. Vietnamese beef stew has more of a watery consistency than the traditional western stew, which is much thicker. This is so folks …

Bosnian Bread / Pogača

Bosnians love their breads and can’t have a meal without it. As such, it is not surprising to see the variety of breads available from the region. I heard that Sefira’s in-laws, Azra, makes the best pogača, a traditional bread that is similar to focaccia. On one Sunday, Azra came over and taught us how to make pogača from scratch. The texture is crusty on the outside and fluffy like a pillow inside and it’s absolutely tasty. This bread is best served warm right from the oven. Serving size: 6 servings / Difficulty: Easy / Time: 3 hours total – 30 minutes of prep time, 2 hours of rest time and 30 minutes of baking time Ingredients: 925 grams / 6 cups of All Purpose Flour 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter 3 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash 3 teaspoons of instant yeast 600 ml of lukewarm milk 1 tablespoon of salt 1 teaspoon of sugar Equipment: A large deep baking dish. I used a 12.5 inch circular baking dish for this recipe. You …

Bánh Chuối Hấp/ Steamed Banana Cake

Every culture likely has a dessert that utilizes overly ripe bananas so they do not go to waste. Vietnam is no exception. We have our version of a banana cake, which uses ordinary ripe bananas and turn them into a special treat. The concept is similar to a traditional banana bread, but you’ll be using tapioca starch and then steaming the cake to create a chewy texture. Add this to your dessert arsenal today. Serving size: one 6 to 7 inch cake / Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes Ingredients Cake: 6 ripe to very ripe bananas 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder for color 1 and 1/2 cups tapioca starch 1/2 cup of water 1/4 teaspoon of pandan extract or vanilla extract Unsalted butter or baking spray to grease the pan Equipment: 6 to 7-inch cake pan or springform pan a steamer big enough to fit the cake a clean kitchen towel Coconut Sauce: 1 can of coconut milk 1/2 can of water 2 teaspoons of …

Easy 4-Ingredient Potato Casserole

My brother-in-law’s mother made this ridiculously simple, yet creamy and delectable baked potato casserole that has become a weekly staple in this household. My niece loves to eat it and I like to make it for her since it requires minimal effort. This dish is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially on a busy day. Ingredients: 6 starchy potatoes like russet, white or yellow potatoes 1/2 tablespoon of Vegeta (European vegetable based seasoning) or any vegetable seasoning of your choice. If your vegetable seasoning does not contain salt, you will need to add at least 1 teaspoon of salt or an amount to your preference for this recipe. 1 tablespoon of olive oil 5 tablespoons of Mexican or Guatemalan crema or crème fraiche thinned with approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons of lime juice or water. You can easily find this at your local supermarket, Amazon or Walmart online. Directions: Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut 6 potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices and soak in cold water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch. …

Easy Holiday Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

One of the simplest crowd pleasing appetizer in my holiday cooking arsenal is this delectable baked brie in puff pastry. My version smothers creamy cheese with honey, cranberries and chopped nuts and then wrapped in a delicious puff pastry…just to be extra. Serve this salty and sweet melted cheese with thin slices of French bread or crackers to kick off the holiday season or any season of the year. Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes / Servings: for 4-6 people Ingredients: 1 Brie circle or camembert 1/2 cup of unsalted roasted nuts of your choice 1/2 cup of dried berries of your choice. My favorite is a mix of dried cranberries and other berries. 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry slightly chilled but not frozen (You can defrost frozen puff pastry in the fridge.) 3/4 to 1 cup of honey, depending on your preference for sweetness 1 egg for egg wash Crackers or your choice of bread Directions: Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Rough chop 1/2 cups of roasted nuts …

Bánh Mì Chiên Chạo Tôm / Easy Vietnamese Shrimp Toast

A fantastic party dish that is easy to make ahead of time is my version of shrimp toast with a Vietnamese twist. Shrimp paste mixed with ground meat of your choice, pressed between slices of white bread and then deep fried is always a crowd favorite. I have deep fried these mini sandwiches and have also used the air fryer. Deep frying creates a crunchier and tastier shrimp toast. Air frying these mini sandwiches is a healthier alternative and you will still get the nice crunch in every bite. Whichever method you choose, your friends and family will love you for it. Difficulty: Easy / Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 24 toasts Ingredients: 3/4 lb. / approximately 22 shrimps/ 350 gram of shrimp (devein with no shell and no head) 1/2 lb. of frozen ground meat such as pork, chicken or turkey 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder 1 teaspoon of sugar 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of a neutral oil 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder or annatto powder 1/2 tablespoon of …

Quick and Easy Egg and Tomato Noodle Soup

When I have only a few basic ingredients on hand and need a meal asap, I turn to this fairly simple yet delicious egg and tomato noodle soup to feed a family of four. Try it for your next weeknight meal. You won’t be disappointed. Difficulty: Easy Time: 30 minutes Servings: 4 large bowls *This recipe can be modified for one or two servings by cutting the measurements according to the serving size. Ingredients: 6 cups of low sodium chicken stock 1 cup of water 3 large ripe tomatoes 3 medium size egg 1 tablespoon of minced garlic 1/2 of an onion diced 1 tablespoon of oil 1 teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of sugar 1 teaspoon of soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder. (You can skip this if you do not have it.) Tapioca starch water (2 tablespoons of tapioca starch mixed with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of water). You can substitute tapioca starch with corn starch. A package of egg noodles …

Bosnian Pita – Phyllo Pie with Apples, Walnuts and Cinnamon Sugar

Autumn is the perfect weather for apple picking and eating warm meals to welcome the cooler temperature. Apple pie is a classic American dessert to go along with many other seasonal treats. We took the basic Bosnian cheese pita recipe and made our sweet version of apple “pie” with phyllo dough filled with apples, walnuts and cinnamon sugar. It’ll be hard to eat just one slice. This recipe has directions for home-made phyllo dough or you can substitute with frozen phyllo sheets. You may need approximately 10 sheets, depending on the size of your sheet pan. This recipe is customizable for the amount of apples and phyllo dough that you have on hand. Difficulty: Easy (if using store bought phyllo dough) to medium (if making phyllo dough from scratch) / Time: 45 minutes – 1.5 hours and up to 24 hours rest time if making phyllo from scratch Servings: 8 slices Ingredients: approximately 10 frozen phyllo sheets thawed or make the dough below: Dough from scratch: 325 grams / 2 and 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour 1/2 …

Easy 4 Ingredients Coconut Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is such an easy dessert to make and modify with a few ingredients. This version is made with coconut cream and coconut milk that tastes like fresh coconut meat according to my family. You can add decorations such as pretty flowers like I did for this post or top with toasted coconut strips for an extra crunch. Difficulty: Easy / Time: 15 minutes to make, 4 hours to set/ Servings: 4 Ingredients 200 ml of coconut cream 200 ml of coconut milk 1/4 cup of sugar 2 and 1/4 sheet of silver grade gelatin (160 bloom) (You can buy this easily on 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. Optional toppings: Toasted coconut strips Directions: Soften 2 and 1/4 sheets of gelatin by soaking …