Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Grilled-Beef Summer Rolls

I hope everyone had a very Happy and safe 4th of July!  Steak is something many folks prepare for the 4th.  This recipe is a great use of leftover steak and makes for a fresh, healthy appetizer and/or snack.  You could substitute cooked, shrimp, pork or make it with no meat at all and go strictly vegetarian by adding any of your favorite veggies.  Serve with the sauce included in this recipe or serve with the peanut sauce that follows.  Happy Cooking!

1 1/2 oz rice stick
Twelve 8-inch round rice paper wrappers
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
1 large carrot, finely shredded
2 Persian cucumbers, cut into long matchsticks
2 - 3 green onions, sliced thin
2 tsp rice vinegar
6 oz very thinly sliced leftover grilled rib eye, steak or deli roast beef
4 TBSP fresh lime juice
4 TBSP Asian fish sauce
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Sriracha
pepper to taste

Boil the rice stick in boiling water for no more than 4 minutes.

Marinade cucumber, carrots, garlic and green onions in rice vinegar for a brief bit.

Fill a medium bowl with hot water. Soak 1 rice paper wrapper at a time in the water for 30 seconds, until just pliable. Transfer to a work surface.  Top each wrapper with some noodles, herbs, carrot, cucumber and beef. Tightly roll up the wrappers around the filling, tucking in the sides as you roll. Repeat with the remaining fillings.

In another bowl, stir together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, Sriracha and 2 tablespoons of water. Serve the rolls with the dipping sauce. 

*The above recipe is adapted from Food and Wine Magazine.

Peanut Sauce:

4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP white sugar
1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce
2 TBSP peanut butter
4 TBSP hot tap water
3 TBSP light soy sauce
2 green onions, chopped for garnish
1 - 2 TBSP dry roasted peanuts, chopped

In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce. In a 2 cup measuring glass add the peanut butter, then add the hot water. Stir with a fork until it is the consistency of whipping cream. Add the soy sauce, mix well. Garnish with chopped peanuts and green onion. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Salad Caprese

Happy July everyone!  Hard to believe we're already halfway through 2013.  So many fabulous recipes and so little time!  :)

We've been growing our own vegetables, and one of our newest, favorite salads has been with fresh mozzarella, our own homegrown, sliced tomato and fresh basil topped with either a balsamic or red wine vinaigrette.  For a healther version skip the oil altogether and dress the salad with your favorite vinegar only and use a lite mozzarella.  For a snack, I use cherry tomatoes and sliced, lite mozzarella string cheese for a mini-sized, healthy portion.  I dress my salad with my favorite, balsamic vinegar only and it's the perfect complement to this dish.

3 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/8-inch thick slices 
20 to 30 leaves (about 1 bunch) fresh basil
Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)*
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange with the basil leaves on a large platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.


1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 tsp dark brown sugar, optional*
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil (I only use about 1/2 cup or even less because I like my dressing more vinegary)

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

*The vinaigrette recipe is Emeril Lagasse's