Welcome to my new blog!

I’m so excited to finally have a blog. It seems everyone and their mama has one, so I’m happy to join in. Although my favorite cuisine is Vietnamese, I also have an undying love for all things French. I married a frenchman to boot!

Here, I’ll be posting all the yummy details of my journey on this delicious planet. So, sit back and be ready for some fun in the culinary sun!


10 Responses to “Welcome to my new blog!”

  1. John Says:

    Looks great. Makes me hungry. Wow looks professional too.

  2. Janet McCollom Says:

    Congratulations, your site is gorgeous!!! Have you burned up any mixers lately? LOL Just stay away from Christmas cookies! I have a few budding chefs here that will enjoy your blog. Love ya!

  3. Nicolas JUSTEAU Says:

    Bravo ! Excellente idée.
    Your site smells good !!!

    One of these days, I will cook vietnamese I think.

    It is always delicious.
    I will keep you informed about the result.

  4. Janet Says:

    Help! I just went out to my garden (it’s been over a week) and picked 16 good size Japanese eggplant, lots of yellow peppers, and a gazillion cherry and little yellow pear tomatoes. I need some new ideas for the eggplant. Please no Italian!!! I composted about 10 eggplant last week, too much of a good thing 😉 Yes, I have turned into a farmer!

  5. holybasil Says:

    Salut Nicolas,
    Merci beaucoup! Peut-être, queque jour, on peut cuisiner toutes ensembles 🙂

    Janet the Organic!
    What a bounty. One of my favorite recipes for eggplant is Cà Tím Nướng Mỡ Hành — Grilled Eggplant topped with ground beef, scallion oil and a spicy, citrusy sauce (nước mắm ớt ngọt).

    Cà Tím Nướng Mỡ Hành

    2 lbs. eggplant
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 scallions (green onion), thinly sliced – [both green & white parts]
    1/3 cup vegetable oil + 2 tsp. for cooking
    1/2 lb. ground beef
    Vietnamese Sauce (ingredients below)
    Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

    Prick the eggplants all over with a fork, and then place eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast the eggplants in a 375F oven until tender (about 1/2 hour), turning the eggplants halfway through. [You can also grill them over charcoal, the traditional way]

    Remove and set aside.

    Prepare the Scallion oil by heating the oil in a small sauce pan. Drop a small piece of green onion into the oil. Once it sizzles, remove the pan from heat. Toss into the pan the sliced green onions. Give it a quick stir and set aside.

    In a skillet, add 2 tsp. oil, add the garlic and beef and cook until well done.

    Depending on how tough or tender the eggplant skins are, you can peel & discard them or just cut the eggplant in 1/2 lengthwise. Assemble the eggplant on a single layer and with a spoon, top with the scallion & oil mixture. Layer the beef on top and scatter the cilantro over the dish. Serve with the Nước Mắm Ớt Ngọt.

    Nước Mắm Ớt Ngọt – The sauce

    1 part fish sauce
    1 part fresh lime (not lemon) juice
    1 part sugar
    2 parts water
    1 garlic glove, minced w/
    1 small red chile (you can omit the chile if you want)

    Combine all the above in a bowl, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust to your preference.

    This is a very traditional dish from South Viet Nam. My family loves it. Wish I had a photo to share with you. Maybe soon!

    Let me know how it goes… Bon Appétit!

  6. J-O Says:

    Instead of J-Lo I will be J-O (Janet Organic) This recipe sounds awesome!!! Thanks, I knew you”d have something for me. I’ll let you know how it is.
    God bless!

  7. J-O Says:

    Last night I finally made the” Cà Tím Nướng Mỡ Hành”. It was awesome!!! even though I used lemon juice. One of the kids ate my lime, they love lemons and limes. I sent my six year old over to my neighbors to see if he had a lime. He came back with a green lemon,LOL. Not to worry I have plenty more eggplant to make it right! My friend came over today and tasted the leftovers so I sent her home with the recipe and eggplant.

    I guess I have lived a sheltered life. I have never used fish sauce before. My kids were a little put off by the smell while I was cooking but they are troopers so they all gave it a try. They were amazed that the food did not taste like the smell, so was I. However, I think you solved a mystery for me.

    My grandparents lived in South Vietnam for 1 1/2 years during the 50’s. My grandfather built roads for the government. He used to pick up his Vietnamese foreman, at his home, on the way to the job site. After about a week of doing this my grandfather told his foreman that whatever he was eating stunk and that he would either have to stop eating it or ride in the back of his pick up. The man chose to ride in the back. I am guessing it was fish sauce!

    Have you checked out, Fr. Leo’s “Grace Before Meals” food blog? It is pretty fun and interesting.
    Thanks again!!!

  8. holybasil Says:

    Hi J-O!
    I’m really happy that you all liked the recipe. Yes, I know fish sauce doesn’t exactly sound appealing. It has an awful smell but you’re right – it doesn’t taste the way it smells. I’ve heard it described as “essence of the sea,” which I feel is more accurate.

    Lemon is fine to substitue – although white vinegar could also be used in place of the lime as well. Lemons just aren’t abundant as limes in Viet Nam so they’re not utilized as much. I actually prefer lime-aid to lemonade.

    I think I remember you mentioning that your grandparents lived in Viet Nam. I still find that so fascinating.

    But I must say, if I had to choose between riding in the back of a truck or giving up fish sauce, I’d take the former!

    I will check out Fr. Leo’s blog. Thanks for the info. Love to Gerry and the fam 🙂

  9. J-O Says:

    Hi Christine!
    My daughter, Kelsey, and I made the Crêpes Suzanne. I did not have spinach or lettuce so used shredded zuchini and Pepper Jack cheese. Everybody loved them!

  10. holybasil Says:

    Wow – I’m so glad you liked the crêpes! Zucchini and pepperjack sound delicious. Thanks for letting me know. Oh, and I’m working on getting a photo of the grilled eggplant dish for you.

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