Lobster rolls all over New England are delicious, but where better to have a Maine lobster than in Maine? They aren’t cheap, but this one from Perkins Cove was well worth the price and drive to get there.
The other day Tara and I stopped by a sushi restaurant and were served a bean sprout salad. Although we did not ask what was inside of it, we put together this recipe based on what we thought it could have been made out of. You can always buy ponzu from the store, but I have included how to make it from scratch. Also, it has to rest for a couple hours, so keep that in mind if you’re hoping to eat this immediately.
I prefer to cook than bake. I look at a recipe and feel like I can improvise more when it comes to cooking on a stove than in an oven. The creative side of my brain works better when something calls for a pinch or a dash versus exact measurements, temperatures, and times. So when I came into a box of Harry and David pears, I knew I was going to make a pie. Starting with a family apple pie recipe in my head, this is my take on a pear pie – plus ginger and cranberry for some added zest.
Of the many cuisines I encountered around the world, this is one of the rare recipes that I enjoy making as much as I enjoy eating. It is a fun process and a very interactive dish. The end product is a fresh spring roll with shrimp. It takes a bit of work – about an hour – but it is totally worth it! The real recipe calls for pork fat, but since we don’t eat meat we used an egg instead.
We weren’t going to give away any more of Chef Aon’s recipes from our cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but this ubiquitous Thai soup is just too good not to share. We have used Chef Aon’s recipe to make this soup a couple times since returning to the States. The delicious flavors immediately bring us right back to Thailand. Enjoy!
For this recipe, you can make tom kha gai or tom kha goong. Gai means chicken and goong means shrimp. Some of these ingredients may be difficult for Westerners to find fresh (like galangal and lime leaves) unless you go to an Asian grocery store. If your local supermarket has an international section, you may be able to find these items preserved in jars. Just don’t buy them pickled! Continue reading →
The best coffee of my life! I wanted to savor it forever.
The best iced coffee I have ever had was in Pakse, Laos. Surprised? I was too, but southern Laos’ Bolaven Plateau produces high quality coffee beans (you can thank French colonization for that). The local cafes know how to brew it well, so every cup Mike and I had was absolutely brilliant. Southeast Asia’s coffee culture made the region home to our most memorable cups of joe, particularly those cranked out by Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. We fell so in love with Vietnamese coffee that we left clothes behind so we could stock our backpacks full of Vietnamese coffee filters and Trung Nguyen beans. Hardcore, right?
Brewing and serving techniques varied widely, and it was quite interesting to learn about the variations as well as the history of coffee within each culture. We didn’t set out on this trip excited to taste coffee around the world, though. Quite the opposite, we viewed it as a beercation of sorts, where we’d have the opportunity to try beer we can’t find at home (and did, but that’s another post). However, it’s worth it to note that Mike and I really enjoy coffee. Not just because the burst of energy it provides or the way it makes my hands shake when I consume too much caffeine. We both love to savor the rich, bold taste of a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
We didn’t encounter Starbucks everywhere we went during our 14-month RTW trip, so it was up to the mom-and-pop cafes to impress us with their local techniques. And impress us they did! Except in the case of a few countries that enjoy tea so much they neglect all things coffee and instead rely on Nescafe instant (Boo!). You’ll probably have a few “ah-ha!” moments as you read through the country list below, and hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two even though this isn’t meant to be a fact-heavy post.
This is a delicious fish recipe I learned to cook in Hoi An, Vietnam. Mouthwatering goodness! If you can’t buy ingredients like turmeric and banana leaves at your local grocery store, seek out an Asian grocery store. You can ask them to order the ingredients you can’t find. If you absolutely cannot get banana leaves, try using corn husks (but you will need to soak them in water so they don’t burn on the grill). Wrapping the fish inside banana leaves or corn husks steams the fish and cooks it more evenly. At the bottom of this post I give a short review of the cooking class I attended in case you find yourself in Hoi An. I hope you enjoy the recipe. More to come!
Grilled Fish in Banana Leaves, serves 2
Delicious Vietnamese-style fish!
Ingredients: 2 pieces, 8 oz each fresh mackerel
2 tbsp lemongrass, chopped finely (tip: smash it first with the knife blade to make it easier to chop)
4 three-inch pieces of lemongrass, smashed with the knife blade
8 thin slices of carrot (optional)
2 tsp shallots, diced finely
2 tsp garlic, diced finely (tip: smash with knife blade first, then dice)
2 tbsp turmeric, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar Continue reading →