Cobb salad – Salad Mĩ

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This week has been crazy for me as my stomach has felt upset every evening. Maybe I ate too much of beef that over supply the demand of meat of my body. Thus, I think of some salad that helps me balance the crazy stomach.

Cobb salad is an American salad that usually consists of Romaine lettuce, bacon, hard boiled egg, avocado, tomato, roasted chicken breast, blue cheese and red wine dressing. This salad takes you only 15 minutes to prepare, including boiling the egg and frying the bacon. In my version, I skip the bacon because I have eaten too much meat for this week and the dressing here is not 100 percent handmade. I mix a store-bought sweet Dressing and red wine. This is the fastest way for someone that does not have enough ingredients like garlic, herbs but still wants to enjoy this salad. In addition, I used assorted vegetables instead of only Romaine lettuce to satisfy my need for vegetables for this week.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
– 1 avocado, pitted and diced
– 1 roman tomato, seedless and diced
– 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
– 1 big chicken breast
– blue cheese, crumbled as much as you like. I use only 1 tbsp for each person.
– vegetables for salad
– 8 tbsp of sweet dressing and 1 tbsp of red wine
– salt and pepper

Method
– Slice the chicken breast into 2 thinner pieces then season both sides of each with salt and freshly ground black pepper
– use 1 tbsp of olive oil to fry the chicken. Each side needs 4 minutes to cook. Don’t over cook chicken breast or it will be very dry
– slice the chicken breast
– divide all the ingredients, except the dressing and red wine, equally into 2 dishes. Arrange vegetables at the bottom and other ingredients on top to have a beautiful decoration
– combine red wine with dressing then drizzle into the salad 5 minutes before serving.

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Lemon glazed grilled spare rib – Sườn heo nướng mứt chanh

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My hubby is a big friend of grilled ribs, no matter what they are pork, beef or mutton ribs. He usually comes visit a vicinity of our current living town to find the best char grilled back ribs for at least every two weeks, thus making a cost to our very thin pocket. It hurts me.

Back ribs are the best choice in making good grilled, juicy and flavorful ribs because they have less fat than other parts of the animals. I’m fed up with eating BBQ ribs all the time in the town in that they have too much smokey flavor, no matter what that flavor is natural or artificial, and no fruity glaze on. I found that we can use some of the favorite jams or preserves (preferably for me) to glaze the grilled ribs. Some leftover in your jar can make a hit to your family’s dinner. I used to serve the grilled back ribs together with a simple but elegant mix veggie salad and some beautiful fancy mushrooms.

Ingredients (for 2 – 4 servings)

– 1 big pork back rib

– salt

– pepper

– dried thyme

– 1 cup of lemon preserve

– 1/2 cup of your favorite marinating sauce

– 30 fancy mushrooms, or more to your favorite

Salad

– 3 cups of mix vegetables for salad

– 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

– 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt, to your taste

– Juice of a lemon wedge (or more to your taste)

Method

– Sprinkle salt, pepper and dried thyme over two sides of the rib. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

– Use an electric grill or char broil, grill the back rib for each side 15 – 20 minutes at 400 F (200 C) uncovered. Depending on the hot of your grill, the grilling time can be different but if you use a theometer, the temperature when the rib is done should be 160 F (80 C).

– Spread the sauce over each side of the rib and grill for 2 minute each side. Repeat 3 times.

– Spread the lemon preserve both sides and grill for 1 minute each side. Repeat 3 times.

– Grill fancy mushrooms (or any type of your favorite mushrooms) until their color is golden brown both sides.

Salad

– Mix all the ingredients with the vegetables well right 5 minutes before you serve the rib to retain the crunchy of the salad.

New Orleans styled Chicken Jambalaya – Cơm gà kiểu New Orleans

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My friends told me, or maybe most of people I had a chance to talk about New Orleans of Louisiana, that city is an ideal heaven for drugs and guns, illegally. For me, I don’t care much about the evil face of that city but really am into its uniquely delicious food. It’s hard to name all of the famous dishes in New Orleans. The food here is a medley of French and Spanish style, thus easily to understand why their food is hot ( like Spanish favor ) and perfectly cooked ( as we can find in French cuisine ). My suggestion for those of you guys who are deliberating in chosing which place is the best for food in America, New Orleans is the one you can’t miss it. As long as you’re still the tourist, it’s safe for you in that city.

If you don’t have time or chance to visit New Orleans, it’s okay. For New Orleans styled food craving, this recipe is a good try. Jambalaya is rice cooked with a variety of vegetable and some chosen meat or seafood. Certainly, a kick of hot would be added to enhance the flavor of Jambalaya. You can reduce the amount of pepper if you’re not a big fan of hot (yes, it’s pepper, not chili, that makes you feel hot in Jambalaya). My recipe originates from the recipes in the cook book of Chef Paul Prudhomme  “Louisiana Kitchen”.

Ingredients ( for 8 servings)

Seasoning

– 3 bay leaves (lá thơm)

– 1 tsp red pepper (ớt bột)

– 1.5 tsp salt

– 0.5 tsp white pepper

– 1 tsp dried thyme leaves

– 0.5 tsp black pepper

– 1/4 tsp chopped sage (một loại lá thơm ướp thịt)

Vegetable

– 2 yellow onion, chopped

– 3 stalks of celery, chopped

– 1 green bell peppers, chopped

– 1 tbsp garlic, minced

– 1/2 cup tomato sauce (you can blend seedless tomatoes to have tomato sauce)

– 2 tomatoes, chopped

Meat and stock

– 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, if you don’t have any stock on hand, use water

– 1 1/2 cups rice, without soaking

– 3/4 pound (700g) chicken breast, cubed

– 1/2 pound (225 g) smoked sausage, cubed

– 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Direction

– Heat the butter until it’s hot  then add the sausage and cook until it’s brown for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is brown.

– Add all the seasoning mix and 1/2 of the vegetable. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetable is soft. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute.

– Add the remaining vegetable, mix well and remove from heat.

– In a baking pan, stir the sausage mixture with rice. Add all the stock and bake uncoverd in 350 F (175 C) for 1 hour.

– Serve when the Jambalay is still warm.

Cream cheese Mousse

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I know that mousse has lots of fat, but a portion of it is not so bad. Mousse is the one that costs me time most in eating among other cake, albeit making this is pretty simple. I like mousse with a base of genoise, though this indulgence costs me more time in the kitchen. It reduces the overwhelming of fat in your mouth after several spoons of mousse  if you eat the traditional mousse.

IMG_5644Ingredients ( 9 inch springform pan)

For the chocolate genoise

(adapted from Cake Bible)

– 4 eggs, separated

– 124 g sugar

– 32 g cake flour

– 5 oz bittersweet chocolate

For the cream cheese mousse

(adapted from Chocolately chocolate)

– 1 1/3 cup heavy cream

– 1/3 cup sugar

– 2 tbsp water

– 3 egg yolks

– 1 3/4 tsp gelatin

– 1 8 oz package cream cheese

Decorating

– Chocolate shavings

Method

Chocolate genoise

– Melt the chocolate by using a double boiler or microwave (20 seconds a time, stir and microwave again for 3 times)

– Beat the egg yolk with 2 tbsp sugar until it’s fluffy then add the melting chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

– In a clear bowl, beat the egg white with sugar until it’s glossy and soft peak. Note: start beating the egg white slowly with the medium speed until it’s frothy then increase the speed to the highest. Gradually add 1 tbsp sugar a time. Beat until the egg white reach triple its original volume and very glossy.

– Add 1/3 egg white into the chocolate mixture to light it. Then sift 1/3 flour and gently fold the mixture. Continue this step for 2 times more.

– Spray the baking oil onto the bottom of the springform pan, except its side. Pour the mixture into the pan.

– Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

– Wait 10 minutes after the cake is out from the oven. Remove it from the pan and let it cool completely before assembling with the cream cheese mousse.

Cream cheese mousse

– Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds until it’s warm (not cold).

– Sprinkle the gelatin into 2 tbsp water. Let it sit for 10 minutes then microwave 15 seconds.

– Stir the cream cheese with gelatin. Note: the cream cheese has to be warm enough for adding the gelatin liquid, otherwise, the gelatin couldn’t be dissolved and return to its crystal.

– Heat the sugar with 2 tbsp water until it reaches 234 F. Beat the egg yolks while gradually pouring into a thin stream of hot sugar syrup. Beat the egg mixture until it’s yellow pale and fluffy.

– Stir well the egg yolk mixture with the cream cheese mixture. Let it cool for 30 minutes.

– Beat the heavy cream with 1 tbsp sugar until it reaches the soft peak. Don’t over beat the heavy cream, otherwise it would be separated into butter and buttermilk.

– Pour in the cream cheese mixture with heavy cream. Gently fold until the mousse is smooth.

– Pour the cream cheese mousse onto the chocolate genoise. Keep refrigerate for at least 6 hours then serving with shaved chocolate.

Kem caramel – Butterscotch ice cream

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Well, ice cream is the something that anyone’s childhood was obsessed sweetly. It’s funny to say that I use to keep my 3 year old child to her favor in eating by ice cream. And this one is the most favorite ice cream she likes. The taste of brown sugar is uniquely sweet like honey that you should try making this cold dessert for your child – not only the small child but someone that is totally big but still loves your everyday’s saying “my baby”.

Ingredients

– 2 cups whole milk

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 3 egg yolks

– 1 cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed, otherwise your ice cream would be bland). You can use light brown sugar

– 3 tbsp butter

Method

Making Butterscotch

– In a 1.5 quart sauce pan, melt the butter just until it becomes liquid. Add 1 heaped cup of dark brown sugar in a low heat. Stir the sugar evenly in a low heat help preventing the burning of sugar.

– Wait until the sugar totally being melt down and become caramel. This process is relatively annoying ‘coz the butter would resit the melting process of sugar. Anyway, keep patient for 2-3 minutes for a total melting and increase the heat to medium until you can see the caramel has the smell of smoky but not too dark. If you stop the caramel so soon, your ice cream will have the taste of sugar only, not the butterscotch taste.

Making ice cream

– As the butterscotch is done, add the whole milk and keep it hot but not boiling.

– In a large bowl, beat the egg yolk until it has yellow pale color. Slowly add half of the hot milk into a thin stream to avoid the egg overcooked. Pour again the egg yolk mixture into the remaining hot milk.

– In an inbetweener of low heat and medium heat, stir the custard evenly for 10 – 15 minutes. Use the spatula is a smart idea.

Here’s an important trick when making ice cream. You want your ice cream as smoothly consistent as the store-bought ice cream. You also don’t want your custard boiled like a baby food. That’s why you have to keep the heat at medium low heat and stir frequently to prevent the custard from boiling. Just until the mixture coats the spatula and if unfortunately you see a slight lumps, stop cooking immediately. Your custard is done and would make the ice cream as thick as you dream.

– Pour the custard through a mesh strainer. Keep refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight before pouring into ice cream maker. Do as the manufacturer’s instructions.

– If you don’t have an ice cream maker, that’s not a big deal but cost you a little patience and labor. When the custard is ready, pour it into a thick and anti-leak plastic bag and freeze it for 3 hours. Remove from freezer, use your hand to massage the cream. Repeat it again for 3 times and your ice cream would be as delicious as it comes from the ice cream maker.