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Banh Mi the Ultimate Sandwich October 12, 2014

 

Banh Mi the Ultimate Sandwich

Banh Mi prep

From my summer home in Charleston…. There is nothing like a Banh Mi Sandwich! There are so many flavors and textures going on between the baguette. There are many ways to make this sandwich, in fact, my friend Andrea Nguyen has written an entire book on the subject! 

For each sandwich:

  • 1 petite baguette roll or part of a longer baguette
  • Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
  • Maggi Sauce (available at Hispanic and Asian groceries)
  • Char Su (this is Asian style pork belly) or BBQ chicken, pate’ or slices of rare steak
  • 3 or 4 thin seeded cucumber strips, pickling or English variety preferred
  • 2 or 3 cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
  • 3 or 4 thin jalapeño pepper slices
  • Bean sprouts
  • Daikon and Carrot Pickle (Do Chua)

Banh Mi 1

  1. Slit the bread lengthwise, and then use a fork to pull out some of the bread, making a trough in both halves. Place the bread halves under the broiler on LOW, but watch carefully!
  2. Generously spread the inside with mayonnaise. Drizzle in some Maggi Seasoning sauce or soy sauce. layer the remaining ingredients. I like to start and end with some herbs.

DSC_0220Daikon and Carrot Pickle (Do Cha)

Makes about 3 cups

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 pound daikons, peeled
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons and 1/2 cup sugar in the raw or grated jaggery
  • 1  1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

DSC_0193

Method:

Either cut the carrot and daikon into julienne or use a spiral cutter to cut them. Place the carrot and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Use your hands to knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, expelling the water from them. They will soften and liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, then press gently. Return the carrot and daikon to the bowl.

To make the brine, in a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, the vinegar, and the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the carrot and daikon. The brine should cover the vegetables. Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. It is not traditional, but I like to add some dried red chile flakes too.

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Saffron, Blood Orange, Chicken, Fennel and Herb Salad February 23, 2014

Saffron, Blood Orange, Chicken and Herb Salad
Posted on February 23, 2014 by 

Fennel chicken salad blood orange

You are going to LOVE this. It is so good, full of herbs, honey, saffron and grilled chicken… flavor, flavor and more flavor! the original inspiration came from the fabulous cook book, Jerusalem. I added more herbs and changed the oranges to blood oranges.

This is easy. You can do it with blood oranges, regular oranges or tangerines. The honey, saffron and reduced orange pieces make for a fabulous sauce/dressing. This serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of your favorite honey
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 2 TBS champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (or more to cover oranges) water
  • 2 chicken breast halves (boneless/skinless)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBS Sumac
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small fennel bulbs sliced thinly
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves torn
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves chiffonade
  • 1 red chile thinly sliced
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees If using a grill, start it.
  • Trim and top the oranges. Cut one into wedges of 8ths with the skin on, remove the peel and make supremes on the other. Reserve the supremes for the salad.
  • Place the 8ths of orange into a saucepan with the honey, saffron, vinegar and water to cover the orange pieces.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour, till a thick syrup forms.

Blood orange and honey

  • Allow to cool slightly then put into a food processor and process till a thick syrup results. You may need to add a tiny bit more water.

Blood orange and honey food processor

  • Put the chicken on a grill pan or grill and sear till golden and char marks form (2-3 minutes per side, then put in the oven to finish, till interior measures 150 degrees and then remove and allow to cool.

DSC_0049

  • When cool enough, tear apart chicken into bite size pieces, add to a large bowl and then add the herbs, oranges, fennel, chiles, lemon juice and the orange syrup. Toss, add remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

DSC_0052

 

Meyer Lemon Focaccia January 29, 2013

Filed under: Charleston,Herbs,Photos,Recipes — Devany @ 6:11 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
baked

It is Meyer Lemon season. I have been in love with Meyer Lemons since I was a little girl. My great grandmother had an ever bearing Meyer. Coming from a citrus family has advantages. I wonder how that 60+ year old tree in Glendora, California  is doing now. I do lots with the lemons on my tree and those I buy to supplement my habit. Here is what I did with some of them yesterday.

Meyer Lemon Focaccia

Ingredients:

Makes 1 focaccia.

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) instant yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons if you use bulk
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, preferably organic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Olive oil, for bowl and baking sheet
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella or pecorino toscano thinly shredded
  • 2 lemons, very thinly sliced crosswise
  • about a tablespoon of fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 meyer lemons sliced thinly and seeded
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to grate over the top
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like a kick)
  • thinly sliced sweet onion

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use smoked)

*Note: It is best to use very fresh lemons for this, as older lemons rinds become difficult to chew.

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Method:

  1. In a large bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour with 2 cups water; whisk to combine. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and salt; mix until well combined. Change to the dough hook if using a stand mixer. If using the mixer, knead with the mixer. If doing by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until wet and tacky, but not sticky, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until doubled in size, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
    rusung
  3. Scatter semolina on a large rimmed baking sheet and press dough evenly into baking sheet. Let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  5. “Dimple the dough with your fingers  Drizzle some olive oil on the dough. Cover dough lightly with Pecorino or Mozzarella  and lemon slices, then sprinkle with rosemary and pepper; drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil. Gate a little Parm over the top.
    dimplesoiled
  6. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, and continue baking until lemons and crust are golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
    ready to bake
  7. Remove bread from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
    baked 2
 

Roasted Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Ravioli January 28, 2013

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Wonderfully easy and fresh Ravioli! So easy 40 minutes from oven to table. You can also roast the tomatoes ahead of time and make this even faster. This is perfect for a tiny kitchen, you use wonton wrappers for the ravioli!

The tomatoes are mostly small grape tomatoes, but I tossed in a few others too. The ravioli dough is actually won ton wrappers. I cannot find my ravioli cutters after the move, so I used a biscuit cutter. This recipe serves 2, but you could easily double it.

Ingredients:

  • 1# of ripe cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Vik’s Garlic Fix (or fresh garlic minced with a sprinkling of Kosher salt)
  • finely chopped Italian Parsley, Basil and rosemary (about 3 tablespoons total)
  • 8 nice leaves of Italian Parsley and Basil for the raviolis
  • 8 small balls of fresh mozzarella
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup of dry vermouth (or chicken stock)
  • Reggiano Parmesan for grating
  • Additional seasoning to taste for the sauce, smoked salt, Vik’s Garlic Fix, coarse black pepper & crushed red pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Place on a cooking sheet with rim. Drizzle with olive oil, Vik’s Garlic Fix, a spring of rosemary leaves and black pepper.

Roast at 350 for 30 minutes

Remove and cool slightly

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On a floured counter, lay out 8 wonton wrappers and place one parsley leaf, one basil leaf, one tomato half and one ball of mozzarella ball on each. On 8 other wonton wrappers, brush the egg wash and then place on top of the “loaded” wrappers. Seal carefully and then cut with a ravioli cutter or leave square. Place these on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and allow to dry a bit. 10 minutes is optional, but 5 is fine.

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While the ravioli is drying, put remaining tomatoes and juices in a saute pan and simmer with the vermouth and additional basil, parsley and rosemary. Season to taste.

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In a pot of boiling water, cook the ravioli for 3-4 minutes in small batches. Use a slotted spoon to plate and cover with sauce and top with cheese.

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Crab Cakes May 28, 2010

Filed under: Food,Greenwich Village,Herbs,Photos,Recipes,Seafood — Devany @ 6:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Crab Cakes with Mango Mustard on a bed of Arugula Salad

I have loved crab cakes ever since I lived in coastal Beaufort, South Carolina. There, I would put traps out off of my dock, baited with chicken necks and haul in a bushelful whenever I did so. Then I would boil the sweet blue crabs on my outdoor stove and toss them on a picnic table covered with newspaper to pick and clean them. Today I am at the mercy of the fishmonger or in a pinch I will buy a can of quality lump crab. I made these crab cakes for dinner, but since there were only two of us dining, I made the remaining mixture into appetizer sized cakes and froze them. When I am in need of a quick appetizer I can thaw and sauté them in short order. I served the crab cakes over an arugula salad and with a side of Mango Mustard that my friend Janet gave me a recipe for. I also keep a tub of chipotle mayo (just put 2-3 chipotles in adobo in a food processor with a cup of fresh home made mayo & process till the chiles are totally incorporated) in the refrigerator and often use it or wasabi mayo with crab cakes.

Here is the really simple recipe… go for it!

Ingredients:

1# of good quality lump crab meat, cleaned

Zest from a Meyer Lemon (or Eureka if you can’t find a Meyer)

1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice (Meyer is preferred)

2 plump shallots, minced finely

1/4 cup of fresh minced herbs, in this case I used garlic chives, chives, chervil & flat leaf parsley

2 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Japanese Panko crumbs (I use the honey panko for this, but plain are fine too)

Lots of freshly grated black pepper and a pinch of salt

Method:

Stir all together and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Form into cakes of any size.. for entree portions I make them about 3″ across, for appetizers about 1.5″ across. Place the cakes on waxed paper as you are forming them. They can be chilled in the refrigerator or frozen at this point, or cooked immediately.

In a large frying pan, gently melt 2/3 stick of butter. When the butter has melted, add the crab cakes, being careful not to crowd them. Let the cakes sauté  until you see a rim of golden crust forming at the bottom of the cakes. Do not try and turn them until they have formed this crust or they will stick to the bottom and fall apart.

Mango Mustard

Turn the cakes and allow them to brown on the other side. Remove to a rack to rest for a minute and then serve.

 

Eggplant Rollatini May 22, 2010

Involtini di Melanzane con Salsiccia e Mozzarella

Involtini di Melanzane con Salsiccia e Mozzarella to be exact! I had two big eggplants, some spicy homemade Italian sausages and lots of great herbs and tomatoes. I sent a note to my friend and fellow blogger Peter Francis Battaglia (whom I also call Saint Peter sometimes) asking him if he had a good rollatini recipe that did not require ricotta. He sent me one via messages on Facebook and I made it last night. I even had some for breakfast. I served it on spaghetti that was simply tossed with butter, EVOO and some garlic. Here is the recipe pretty much as he sent it to me. I added just a couple of things in the mix.  This is a recipe that can be made *creatively* and you can easily increase the amounts if you want to. I had a little extra filling left, so I just stuffed it in around the rollatini before baking. FYI: I used 1 # of spicy sausage, removed from casings, 2 large eggplants and about 4-5 fresh ripe tomatoes. This takes a couple of hours to make, but it is not difficult and it is delicious, even better the next day and the day after! Well worth the time!

Saint Peter’s Eggplant and Italian Sausage

Rotalini Involtini di Melanzane con Salsiccia e Mozzarella

Slice the eggplants longwise, and thin..make a francaise batter (2 eggs, 1/8 cup grated romano, fresh chopped parsley, fresh ground pepper), dredge the cutlets in seasoned flour, then the egg, then into 1/2 ” of medium hot olive oil, about 3 minutes per side..drain on paper towels or rack.

Breading and Egg/cheese Wash

Cutlets Frying in Olive Oil

Cutlets Ready to be Rolled

Saute the sausage in some olive oil, when almost done, add 1 onion finely chopped, a minute later, add 1 minced clove of garlic, cook for a bit, then add 2 tbs. of wine, let this cook for 3 minutes..let it cool..add 1/2 cup small diced mozzarella, some chopped basil and parsley, 1/2 tsp. capers, 1 tbs. breadcrumbs, and 3 tbs. romano cheese, mix well.

Sausage Cooling

Tomate

Sauce

Ready to Roll

Hold the cutlet in your hand and add a nice scoop to each of the cutlets. roll the cutlet around them and secure with toothpicks. Make a sauce with chopped tomato, olive oil, diced onion, fresh parsley, some fennel seeds, salt, pepper…When it has cooked for 20 minutes…check for seasoning…Add a few basil leaves…in a pan, add some oil and sauce to the bottom, arrange the rolletini, pour the remaining sauce over, and cover with foil, bake in 350 for 25 minutes, uncover, add some chopped mozzarella and grated cheese, bake another 8 minutes uncovered till cheese is bubbly…

Before the Sauce

Baked and Cooling

Dig In!

 

 
Alex Vickery

globetrotter, multimedia journalist, social media strategist

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