Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Thai Basil leftover?

Yes, it's true. I still had Thai basil leftover from my Vietnamese fish rolls (AND from Thai basil chicken stir fry dinner) and needed to figure out one more meal to cook it with. I had so much left over rice vermicelli noodles as well so I figured I'd make this dinner an easy one; easier than the last two. I went to one of my go-to Vietnamese deli's, Ba Le Deli, in the area to pick up ready made meats. They sell everything from Vietnamese baguette sandwiches to ready made side dishes, even pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) and other noodle soup bowls if you wanted to dine in or carry out. My choice for dinner was to make Bún thịt , Vietnamese grilled chicken with rice vermicelli noodles.

For this dish I purchased some already grilled chicken breasts, thighs and legs. I reheated the chicken in my toaster oven so the skin would get crispy; I then sliced them into smaller pieces for the noodle bowl. All the greens (lettuce, mint, cilantro, Thai basil, cucumbers, scallions and tia to leaves) from my previous dinners last week were used and mixed into the rice noodles. I had nuoc mam cham as the dressing for this noodle dish and also sprinkled some chopped peanuts into this mix - gave it some good crunch.

Now I'm finally done with all my greens! Do you have leftover ideas you have had success with? I always like to hear about how many dishes I can make with the same ingredients. Do share!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Spicy Basil Chicken

Thai Basil is one of my favorite herbs out there and I can never get sick of it. I like how this herb is so versatile and can be used in soups, stir fry's and eaten fresh [similar to the way I had them in the Vietnamese fish rolls in my previous post]. Since this herb has many uses I had to think of something else to make with it since I had SO much leftover. I thought of Thai basil chicken stir fry dish to make since stir fry's require just mixing everything together with some rice on the side (jasmine rice is a staple in my home).

I took some skinless/boneless chicken breasts and sliced them into bite size cuts. Then sliced red pepper, green onions and a small yellow onion into the same shape. Other seasonings included, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper and Thai chilies. I had everything already so this was the easiest left over "new" dish to make during the work week. The recipe calls for some other ingredients that were not easily accessible to me so I just left them out (kaffir lime leaves and Thai holy basil). I don't know if I missed out on any flavors by doing this but I was still happy with the end result. This probably took me less than 30 min. Cooking time for rice was a bit longer in the rice cooker but I called ahead on my way home and hubby made the rice ;-) it's usually his daily assignment. Hope you enjoy this easy stir fry dish for those of you that work full days and have little time to cook.

Do you have any quick and easy stir fry dishes to share? I found this one at Thai food and travel.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vietnamese Burritos

When the spring-like weather approached us last week it reminded me of a Vietnamese dish I am drawn to when it's nice out. It's a very simple fish recipe I loved to enjoy while growing up with my parents and I sort of came up with my own short cut version throughout the years. It requires baking or grilling a whole fish and wrapping your own rolls in rice paper along with fresh herbs and other ingredients that balance your palette. My sister, Kim Kima, of Put a Spoon In It, came over to share in my Friday night spring feeling dinner. This dish is fresh and easy because it only involves cooking the fish. Everything else is kept fresh; only cleaning and cutting is needed.

I baked two whole rock fish [which I asked the market to scale and clean the insides for me]. For the fillings to wrap in the rice paper we had sliced cucumber and green apple, leafy lettuce, fresh thai basil, mint, cilantro and tia to leaves. I like to have rice vermicelli noodles to stuff my rolls as well. My hubby likes to call this dish Vietnamese burritos as he can make his the way he likes it, which is what's awesome about this dish for all dining guests. All this sounds kind of bland right? Well don't fret, there's a dipping sauce! Some folks do not enjoy the fish sauce that is used in various Vietnamese dishes but I can assure you if you didn't know what it was you'd love it too! For this sauce I made a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc mam cham; I found Wandering Chopstick's recipe for those that need it; I usually "guestimate" with my dressing recipes.

What I understand is that all these ingredients really balance each other when eaten together. The sour green apple is balanced by the sweet sauce while the spice in the sauce is cooled by the cucumber and fresh herbs. I love ying/yang kind of meals.

leafy lettuce, mint, thai basil, tia to leaves

Rice Vermicelli

Rockfish - I forgot [till halfway through our meal] that I didn't spread green onion/oil spread and crushed peanuts over the fish. OOPS next time

We not that fancy for dinner at home so please excuse the paper/foil goods. If you're a fan you wouldn't judge anyways ;-)

All ingredient rolled in rice paper; I had a big bowl of warm/hot water on the table to dip the raw rice paper; this softens the stiff paper in order to roll everything inside.

The first bite is always the best, after choosing your fave fillings to roll.

As a palette cleanser I made Vietnamese lime soda. It's simply crushed ice, a whole fresh lime squeezed [I like to include pulp], sugar [eyeball as to your preference - I usually add a couple teaspoons], mix with plain seltzer, lemon/lime seltzer or soda water. Enjoy through a straw and there you go - instant refreshing limeade.

I hope everyone starts to enjoy their spring/summer craves in foods. Don't forget to share what you've had - I love to hear/try what others are enjoying too.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bonjour terres Irlandaises

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

For this green holiday I made stuffed cabbage; Vietnamese stuffed cabbage to be exact. I found a great recipe from Wandering Chopstick's blog for Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup). My cousin, Angry Asian Creations (Cabbage Roll Soup Canh Bắp Cải Cuốn Thịt), also shared this recipe with me recently when we discussed how we love this home style Vietnamese dish. I missed it and have never made it so I thought what better day to make this for my part Irish hubby?! He loved it! We had it w/ jasmine rice and some sauteed shiitake mushrooms. I also sub'ed the ground pork and shrimp for ground chicken and I added some of the shiitake mushrooms to the meat mixture as well. Hope you little leprechauns have fun today. Enjoy and feast like kings!


L'introduction de Pauline

Meet Pauline, my French persona of a Vietnamese-Chinese girl, who enjoys cooking for the love of my life, a Lebanese-Polish-Irish boy.

Bienvenue to La Cuisine de Pauline where I'll share what I crave to grub on and what I try to experiment with. My husband, family and friends all love to share recipes and our taste of great restaurants. Some dishes may not be entirely from scratch and some may not even require cooking, just eating, but altogether everything will come from my heart.

Salut, I'm Buu Linh and I spend a lot of my time in my dressing room, playing dress up. Sometimes by myself but usually with friends, as evidenced by my fashion blogs (La Buutique and La Buutique's Dressing Room). However, I also have food fight tendencies. This is my mayhem. I am not a chef, nor do I bake. I just like to eat and feed people I love.