Moo Shu Pork Rolls

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I made this on my birthday this year.  I love this recipe.  First start with the Mandarin pancakes.

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Mandarin Pancakes (for 10 pancakes)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached)
• 1/2 cup boiling water
• 1 tablespoons sesame oil

In a mixing bowl put the flour, and gradually stir in the water, mixing to make a thin batter.  Work the dough until smooth.  Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rest for 45 minutes.  Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into rounds with a 3-inch cutter.  Brush a small amount of sesame oil on top of 1 round.  Place another round on top and press together.  Roll the 2 rounds together to form a circle about 6 or 7-inches in diameter. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Cook 1 pancake at a time until barely golden and dry on both sides, turning once, about 1 minute.

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Or see this video on how to make pancakes:  Asian Cooking Made Easy youtube. https://youtu.be/Ge9UCY_W0gY

Moo Shu Pork

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Ingredients (for two people)
1/2 pound pork, julienned
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 TBSP minced ginger
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups shredded white cabbage (Napa Cabbage)
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, julienned (may use canned that have been rinsed well in cold water)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Canola oil
1 TBSP sesame seeds

Directions
1. In a wok filled with 3 TBSP oil, bring to high temperature and add the pork. Using a strainer, quickly stir around the pork and cook until lightly browned. Remove, strain pork and set aside.

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2. Leave 1 tablespoons of oil in the wok and return to high heat. Add egg to hot oil and scramble. Set them aside with cooked pork.

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3. With remaining oil in wok, stir fry the garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and sesame seeds until soft, about 2-3 minutes and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove and set aside.

100_62114. Add the cabbage, bamboo shoots and scallions and continue stir frying 2-3 minutes.

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5. Add back all previously cooked ingredients.
6. Add the hoisin sauce and check for flavor.
7. Meanwhile, reheat the pancakes until hot.
8. Lay individual pancakes on plates and top with Moo-Shu.

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Bánh mì Vietnamese-Style Sandwich

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Bánh mì Vietnamese-Style Sandwich

Pronounced: bon me

This is a very healthy sandwich and easy to make. It is also great for those times when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. I am a fan of New Orleans poor-boys and French Quarter Italian Muffulettas but this New Orleans’ standard ranks with the best of sandwiches. I found this sandwich last year when working in a predominately Vietnamese section of South Mississippi. After the war many Vietnamese migrated to the Gulf Coast – a home very similar in many ways to the one they left. In the 19th century they were under French Colonial rule and adopted many French cooking methods. The marriage of Asian, French and New Orleans cooking is a perfect match.

The main points about this sandwich are you can use any type of meat. Traditionally it is made with seasoned pork, pork pate or chicken but you can use any cold cut. My sandwich includes a thinly sliced olive loaf and sliced turkey. True to the main features of the sandwich it is garnished with sliced cucumber, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeño and an easy to make pickled daikon radish and carrot mix called Do Chua. It is served on French bread or some sort of baguette. Banh Mi translated means “all kinds of bread”. The Vietnamese bake their own version of a single-serving French baguette specifically for Banh Mi.

First make the Do Chau. I will offer this website for you to see how to make it. http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2009/05/daikon-and-carrot-pickle-recipe-do-chua.html 100_6156

1 carrot cut is small matchsticks.
1 3-inch piece of daikon radish cut into small matchsticks
4 TBSP of sugar
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup warm water
Sea salt

Cut the carrot and radish into match sticks. In a bowl mix the veggies with 2 tsps of sugar and sprinkle with salt. Mix with your hand and let sit for about 20 minutes. This will wilt the veggies and remove some water. When the daikon and carrot can be bent without snapping, rinse it in water and drain.

In a large bowl add the remaining sugar, the water and stir, then the vinegar and stir. Mix all in a container or a jar, cover and leave in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving. The pickled mixture can last three to four weeks in your frig.

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Build the Banh Mi:

Bread sliced in half
Mayonnaise
Several slices of sliced olive loaf
Several slices of sliced turkey
Sliced cucumber
Sliced jalapeño
Cilantro
Do Chau
Soy Sauce

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Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom slice of bread. Add all the meat.

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Then the cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro. Add the Do Chau on top. Sprinkle the top slice of bread with soy sauce.

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Ready to eat. This sandwich is incredible.

Corn Salad

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Do you want a great fantabulous corn salad recipe?

Dang, this is so good. This is another of my very own recipes.

The Salad:

4 fresh ears of sweet corn w/husk
1 Avocado chopped into small squares
4 fresh basil leaves chopped
6 Scallions (Green onions) chopped

How to cook corn in a microwave: Cut off the stalk end of the corn. Leaving the husk on, (un-shucked), place four ears of corn in a microwave oven. On high heat cook the corn five minutes. Remove and squeeze the corn out of the husk from the cut end. The corn will come straight out and there won’t be any corn hairs to contend with. The corn will be al denta.  With a sharp knife, cut the corn off the cob and place the kernels in a large bowl.

Add all ingredient above into a bowl.

The Dressings:

In a bowl whisk the following:

4 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 TBSP white wine
1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
Salt (Kosher Salt)
Pepper (from a pepper grinder or white pepper)

Mix everything in a bowl. Cool and serve.

The sweet basil, sweet corn and avocado do all the work in this dish.

This is so good!!!

Smoked Cornish Hen

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This can be a good Easter meal providing you have a good BBQ pit/Smoker and wood chips. I use apple wood for all birds.

I have been making this dish forever and it is so good. I serve it with Oaky string beans and dressing using the drippings in the pan for gravy.  (See recipes below).

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First thing is to defrost the birds and relax them. As Julia Child would say, “You need a laid-back bird.”

Mirepoix:

1 small onion chopped
1 orange chopped
1 apple chopped
Several sprigs fresh rosemary

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While the birds are standing, take a chopstick and separate the skin from the breast to make a pocket. Pour oil in the pocket of both breasts and then take a very small spoon (1/8 measuring tsp.) and liberally stuff the pocket with herbs. I use Herbes de Provence. Then salt the cavity with sea salt, place the rosemary inside the cavity and stuff the cavity with the mirepoix.

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Cover an oven proof glass pan with aluminum foil (easier to clean), place the birds in the pan, tie the legs together and then spoon in the remaining mirepoix on the sides and add one cup of white wine to the pan.

1 cup of white wine

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Make a fire and separate the coals.

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Place the pan between the coals and smoke with apple wood chip or a piece of your favorite hardwood placed on the fire.

Check the fire every 30 minutes.  The temp should be at 255° to 300°.

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At one hour the birds should look like this.

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Cook birds two hours until they look like this.

Preheat oven to 250°.  Bring in the birds and cut them in half, remove all the onion, apple and orange from the cavity.  Remove the mirepoix from the pan and strain the drippings into a bowl.  Place the birds back in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and put them in the oven to keep them warm and moist while you cook the side dishes.

Gravy

1 cup pan drippings
1 tsp. corn starch
2 tsp. cold water

Premix cornstarch with cold water. Add that to a small sauce pan with the drippings. While whisking the gravy get the sauce pan hot.  The gravy will thicken very quickly, salt to taste. Turn off, cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Oaky String Beans

2 strips of bacon chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Bunch of fresh string beans
Salt and Pepper

In a hot sauce pan, fry the bacon to render the fat. Add garlic and fry, but don’t burn. Add the beans, mix, while the pan is hot add the Balsamic Vinegar and Worcestershire. Mix several time. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let beans steam until al dente.

Serve.

I just love this dish.

Daube de Boeuf Provençal

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“Daube is a classic Provençal stew made with inexpensive beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de Provence, and traditionally cooked in a daubière, a braising pan” – [Wikipedia].  Daube is pronounced “dobe”, like robe.

I love these French names for dishes. It makes me sound so cultured when talking about a pot roast. When I think daubière, I think crock-pot!  Make your choice. Would you prefer to say you’re making a “Daube de Boeuf Provençal slow cooked in a daubière,” or would you prefer to say you’re making a “Beef Stew slowly cooked in a crock-pot?”  It’s the same thing.

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Researching this dish as I do all dishes, I find the same thing I do of all dishes. There are so many variations! I ask, what makes this dish any different than Beef Bourguignon? There are differences.

Boeuf Bourguignon is a dish from the Burgundy region in eastern France and the dish calls for Burgundy wine.

Boeuf Provençal is from the Provence region in southern France and Côtes-du-Rhône wine from the Rhône Valley is used.

Boeuf Bourguignon is beef, beef broth, wine, garlic, onions, bouquet garni, pearl onions and mushrooms.

Boeuf Provençal is beef, wine, vegetables, garlic and herbes de Provence. I can tell you the herbes de Provence makes an immediate difference.

Both are larded with lardons (non-smoked bacon).

This is where the technique of braising comes in and adds even more difference.

In Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy) the meat is browned in a Dutch oven, rolled in flour, placed in a 425⁰ oven for 10 minutes to bind the flour, then the fond (the brown stuff on the sides of the Dutch oven) is deglazed from the walls of the Dutch oven, then all the ingredients are added back to the Dutch oven and cooked several hours at a low temperature. (I have made this many times – the Julia Child version. It is a lot of work. Your elbows are moving at all times.)

In Daube de Boeuf Provençal (Beef Stew of Provence) the beef is browned and then the ingredients are placed in a daubière (a ceramic braising pot) and cooked in stages. The first day the meat and vegetables are marinated in wine overnight, the second day the pot is slow cooked for a very long time, then cooled and on the third day it is reheated and served. This is done to meld the flavors.  This dish has a far lighter flavor than Boeuf Bourguignon, better for the summer.

As it turns out, for me Daube de Boeuf Provençal is the easier of the two dishes to make b/c I have a crock-pot and a propane BBQ pit.

There are two more versions of Daube. New Orleans, my home town and a one hour drive from where I live, is home to the Creole Daube and a Daube glacé. The Creole Daube adds green peppers, creole hot seasoning and tomato sauce. The glacé I have no idea how to make and it looks a little weird to me. I’m not “into” jello and meat.

The Daube I make does call for tomatoes. I use Roma (plum) tomatoes skinned and diced. I will also use orange peel. I will add mushrooms.  Some people add olives but I don’t think this dish needs it.  I use a subtle Chianti wine. I have Côtes-du-Rhône here but the label I have is a little too fruity for my taste. I’m a “dyed in the wool” hearty Cabernet Sauvignon, oak-tannin, Napa Valley man. I’m not a fan of fruitier dry red wines. The idea for me is I want the wine not so fruity b/c everything else in the pot is natural. I want the meat and the vegetables to stand on their own with compliment. The Chianti is more fruity than Cabernet, but more dry than Côtes-du-Rhône.  Chianti is actually a Sangiovese grape from the Chianti region of Italy and has a red cherry and spice flavor.  But, whatever red wine you like, use it.

The other thing I use is herbes de Provence with lavender. Lavender is typically left out of the French version of herbes de Provence. Herbes de Provence is a mixture of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender in the American version.

How easy is this dish to make? Very!!!

Brown the meat on the BBQ (or in a pan). Chop the meat into big squares and place at the bottom of the crock-pot. Layer all the vegetables but mushrooms, add the herbs, then the wine, cover and leave in the frig overnight. Next day, place the crock-pot on low heat for 6 to 8 hours. Half way cooking adjust the seasoning and add the mushrooms. Let cool, place the pot back in frig. Next day spoon the dish into a Dutch oven and cook covered for an hour on a very low simmer and serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

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Top Round and bacon:

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Day 1: Preparing the stoneware:

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2 lbs. top round (or chuck, or bottom round)
2 strips bacon (If smoked, soak bacon in a pot of hot water for 20 minutes to neutralize the smoke flavor)
2 stalks celery peeled and chopped
4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic sliced
4 oz. whole white mushrooms (stemmed and cut into quarters)
4 strips of orange peel, (use a potato peeler)
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
2 cups red wine
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. corn starch (to thicken the gravy)

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Brown the meat on the BBQ pit.

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Chop into big squares and then season with salt and pepper.  Place at the bottom of the pot.

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Boil water in a pot for 10 minutes then turn off heat. Place the bacon in the hot water for 20 minutes to remove most of the smoke flavor. Cut into strips. Place over the meat.

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Add the garlic. Layer in the other vegetables.

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Cut an X into the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into two cups of boiling water no more than 1 minute.  Immediately you will see the tomato skin start to separate. Remove quickly from the water with tongs rinse in cold water.  Peel off the skin then chop the tomatoes and add to the pot.

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Add 1 tsp. herbes de Provence then pour in the wine. Cover the stoneware pot in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Do not stir the ingredients, leave as you layered them.

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Day 2: The next morning place the stoneware pot onto its burner, cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on the low setting. Do not stir, leave as you layered the pot.  Half way through add mushrooms and check the pot – remember do not stir.  When done turn off pot and let cool. Cover in plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator overnight.

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Day 3: When ready to serve pour off all the liquids into a two cup bowl.  Add one cup of the cold liquids to a sauce pan and then add one Tbsp. corn starch to the fluids and whisk.  Heat the sauce pan and whisk until the corn starch begins to thicken. This will thicken the gravy.  Add it to the Dutch oven.  Add the rest of the liquids to the Dutch oven, spoon the solids into the Dutch oven, adjust the salt and pepper, stir, cover and cook 45 minutes on a very low simmer to heat the food nice and hot for serving.

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Make mashed potatoes and spoon the dish over the potatoes. The meat is completely tender but the vegetables are still al dente.  This dish is completely incredibly amazingly perfect.

Oh man don’t this good?

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Can it be that easy?

Someone say yes.