Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beef Pho

Looks just like what you'd get at your favorite pho restaurant, eh?

I was feeling very ambitious and decided to make Pho for the first time. I had nothing better to do, so I decided to take a stab at it.

One large yellow onion
Piece of ginger
Rock Sugar
All kinds of herbs & spices (see pic below)
4-6 pounds of beef shank with bone

Pho Noodles (get the fresh ones in the refrigerator section at the asian market)
Red Onions (thinly sliced)
Scallions (green only, cut into thin rings)
1/2 pound raw steak (sliced VERY thin - the butcher can do this for you, or my mom freezes it a bit and slices it partly frozen)
Pho meatballs (can be bought at the store, I got these from my mom)

Bean sprouts
Lime wedges
Chile peppers (thinly sliced)

1. Char the onion and ginger. If you have a grill or gas stove, use the open flame. I used my oven. After about 15 minutes in the oven, they will soften and become fragrant.

I cut my onion in half cuz it was a pretty big one. Turn them over about halfway through:

2. Parboil beef shank with bones: Boil a pot of water and place the beef shank in the boiling water to remove impurities. Let it boil vigorously for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes you can see all the nastiness:

Dump bones and water and rinse the beef shank and bones in warm water. If you only have one large pot, wash it and bring a fresh pot of water to a boil (I used another pot).

3. Make broth: Bring fresh pot of water to a boil. While waiting for water to boil, tie herbs into a cheesecloth. Once water is boiling, add charred onion and ginger, herbs, meat, season with salt and add sugar cubes. Use ladle to skim any residue. Simmer for 2 hours.

These are the packets my mom said would be easiest for me to use, it has all the herbs and spices needed for pho broth:

Note: I cut up the ginger into 4 pieces. You might want to tie the onion in cheesecloth because the layers will unravel in the broth as it cooks through.

Once the meat is cooked to your liking (tender), remove the meat and put it into a bowl of cool water for 10-15 minutes so that the meat doesn't dry out.

Drain and separate the meat from the bone.

Meat falling off bone (yum)

Taste the broth and season as necessary. Strain broth through a strainer and into another pot.

Continue to simmer broth for 1.5-2 hours. Adding water and seasoning as needed.

Take a picture of your pet waiting (I had to):

When your broth is near ready, bring a small pot of water to boil, chop up the scallions and cilantro, thinly slice the red onion, cut the lime into wedges, and wash the bean sprouts and basil.

Meatballs (optional):

Arrange garnishes (bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, chile pepper) on a separate plate

Assemble the bowl:
1. Place noodles into the strainer and then into the boiling water for 10 seconds.

2. Put noodles into bowl, add raw meat, meatballs, cooked meat, red onion, scallions, and cilantro into bowl.

3. Pour hot broth into bowl. The broth will cook the raw slices of meat.

Slurp away!

Note: I suppose you can get tripe and tendon and all that other stuff. I don't like that stuff, so I stick to just meat.

Remember, the proper way to eat pho is to have a small side dish of hoisin sauce and sriracha and dip the meats into the mixture.

Guacamole + Beer

Could this be the perfect snack? I think it must be very close...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Tomato + Mozzarella + Basil

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shrimp Pasta in Garlic Butter

We don't scrimp on the shrimp! I had this with half a bottle of moscato bianco I got in Sonoma last month. I drank too much too fast and went to bed. J called me a lush the next day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's Delovely and Delicious

For what would have been Gerardo's 80th.

Yellow cake with ice cream & cool whip

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Roasted Veggies with Orzo

J came home and said something smelled good, but he didn't want to eat this because it was "too healthy." HHHHMMM????

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Avocado Shake

Avocado shakes are a childhood favorite of mine. I've been making these since I was a kid, so I don't measure this recipe. Just don't put too much condensed milk or sugar. You can always add them in later if it's not sweet enough.

Avocado (1 avocado = 1 glass)
Condensed Milk (I use the Longevity Brand)
Sugar (depending on how sweet you want it - I don't use much)

Blend it up

Taste to make sure it's to your liking. You can add more sugar to make it sweeter if you like.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Darn, We Missed Tom Colicchio!

Rice Pilaf w/ Chicken

What's for dinner? I made rice pilaf with roasted pine nuts and grilled some chicken. I found a bottle of "Pineapple and Papaya HOT Sauce" we bought in Maui. I decided to try it out so I marinated some chicken thighs in it. I was hoping the marinade would have some sort of kick to it, but there was none. Oh well, it was good enough.

Shaky Beef aka Bo Luc Lac

What's for lunch? Jerry works from home every Wednesday, so I get to eat with/make lunch for him. This is the only meal we have together. Today, I made shaky beef aka bo luc lac for lunch. I marinated the beef overnight.

2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar (I used Splenda)
1 tbs soy sauce

Plate the tomatoes on the plate:

Vinegar sauce:
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
some sugar (again, I used Splenda)
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Toss the lettuce/watercress lightly in the vinegar sauce and then plate:

Toss the red onions in the vinegar sauce (I only used 1/3 of a small red onion cuz I'm not a fan of raw onions)

Cook the meat (we like it medium)

Plate the meat on top of the bed of lettuce/watercress:

Plate the red onions on top of the meat:

You can drizzle more of the vinegar sauce on the plate if you want.

I served this with a small bowl of rice, but it can be eaten alone. I also made a chili soy sauce dip to add a little bite to the dish. It's just a little soy sauce with a chili pepper mashed in the sauce.