Vietnamese Buns

My cousin Tamara was in town recently and that means we get to indulge in Asian flavours as we both love that style of food. This night we went to our neighbourhood Vietnamese hangout called Pho Huo’ng. The restaurant is on the corner of Pacific Ave and Dundas St. West and is a real local spot in the Junction. The restaurant is always busy but we always manage to get a table as the turn over is quite fast.

When you sit down they hand you menus and an order sheet where you write  down what you want.  The waiter swoops back and picks up your order, brings you a lovely tea and within 5 minutes your order arrives – fresh and delicious.

This night I had the lemongrass chicken bun and Tamara had the grilled chicken and pork with a spring roll bun.  Oh so good!!! Including tip and tax the meal is between $9-$10.  How can you go wrong?

For those not familiar with what a “Bun” is – it is “everything in a bowl” – fresh steamed rice noodle vermicelli on the bottom with sliced cucumber, sliced lettuce, bean sprouts, pickled carrots along with whatever grilled protein you order. You pour a vinaigrette over top that is a bit sweet and a bit tangy. Then you dig your chopsticks into it and enjoy.

Highly recommend this restaurant!

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Thanksgiving at Richards

Spent a wonderful Thanksgiving (Canadian) at my friend Richards with a number of friends eating great food and having great conversation.  After a wonderful turkey dinner, out came dessert which his friend Rita made that was not only beautiful to look at but out of this world delicious!.

Baked brie with toasted almond slivers and sliced fruit.

baked brie

So aside from a lot of slicing this was fairly easy to make according to Rita.  Here is how she made it.

1 round of brie cheese with the top skin sliced off

Toast a handful or two of slivered almonds in butter

Bake the brie in a 350 oven till it becomes creamy (she pre-baked it and then we heated it up)

Thinly sliced apples and pears

You dip the slice of fruit into the brie and viola….you are in heaven.  The fact that Rita used double cream brie just made it even better.  Definitely not a dish for lactose intolerant individuals!

I have also seen this dish with dried cranberries on top or apricot jam or anything you like as a topping.

Try it for your next gathering as an appetizer, dessert, with wine – anything will do.

 

 

 

Breaded Chicken with Lemon Sauce

I had a request for this dish as a food order and thought I would make some extra for myself. It is always so good. Now I will preface this blog with a note that this is not the most low calorie meal however it is not crazy but any stretch.  I use good ingredients and I think that makes all the difference.  Below is a shot of the finished product and then the ingredients and direction will follow the picture.  Enjoy – I know I did as did my food clients.

breaded chicken with lemon sauce

Ingredients for breaded chicken: – serves 4

1 dish with whole wheat flour for dredging chicken – I added some chopped lemon rind into this

1 bowl with 8 egg whites (you may need more depending on how much you make)

1 dish with 1/2 seasoned breadcrumbs or panko crumbs and 1/2 with grated parmesan or romano cheese (breading portion)

2 large chicken breasts boneless skinless

Pepper to taste (I use lemon pepper and then added some chopped lemon rind into the flour – you can add it to the breadcrumbs as well or instead of adding to flour)

5 tablespoons canola oil (see how much you need – I use a non stick pan so I don’t use too much oil)

Directions

Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise like you are butterflying them but cut right through so you have two pieces per breast. Pound each piece till thinned (as thin as you like).

Heat canola oil in the pan and take a piece of chicken and dredge it in the flour mix, shake it off and coat it in the egg mix, then put it in the breadcrumbs and cheese mixture to coat.  Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the pan and repeat the process for all the slices of chicken (4 in total if you used two breasts). It only takes a minute or two to brown on one side and cook.  Turn over when golden brown on one side and sear the other side till also golden brown.

I tend to wipe the pan after each group of two pieces so I don’t get burning. Add fresh oil and do up the next two pieces.

Lemon sauce

This is a no brainer – I wipe the pan clean after cooking the chicken and add about 3/4 of a cup of chicken stock (I use low salt). Add 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard and about 1/3 cup of lemon juice or the juice of two lemons. Stir till it starts to boil slightly – turn heat to low and take a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tsp – 2 tsp of corn starch – mix the water and corn starch in the little bowl till it is a milky water and then add to the sauce.  Stir and let simmer till it thickens.  If it is not thickening add a bit more water and corn starch (small bits at a time as it will come together and thicken in a short while).

Dip pieces of the chicken in the sauce and enjoy!

Tahini Dipping Sauce

Had this at my friend Victorias recently with cut up vegetables and roasted sweet potato slices.  I thought it was wonderful and immediately we were coming up with a ton of uses for this dipping sauce which is easy to make and delicious.

Here is the recipe (Serves 4) – sorry no picture

Whisk together the following ingredients:

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt (we used regular yogurt and it was perfect)

1/4 cup of tahini

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp sriracha sauce (hot chilli sauce)

Serve with vegetable, fries, as a creamy dressing for salad, with coleslaw…..Come up with your ideas and send them over!