Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 01 May 2015 15:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Miso Salmon with Orange and Fennel Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/21477-miso-salmon-with-orange-and-fennel-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/21477-miso-salmon-with-orange-and-fennel-recipe.html#comments Tue, 08 May 2012 17:51:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=21477 When we first moved into our house, I had carved out a small patch of land for the herb garden. Since the irrigation was a little messed up, the gardenette was close to a hose and small enough to be manageable daily. Once the main garden was built last October, I had transferred all my energy, plants and herbs into ...

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Miso Salmon Orange Fennel Recipe

When we first moved into our house, I had carved out a small patch of land for the herb garden. Since the irrigation was a little messed up, the gardenette was close to a hose and small enough to be manageable daily.

Once the main garden was built last October, I had transferred all my energy, plants and herbs into raised beds and sort of neglected the temporary gardenette. Most everything had died (that patch is still without automatic irrigation) except for the weeds and the fennel plants, which had miraculously thrived with no attention and no water. I have no idea what super-strain of fennel this is, but heck, I’m grateful.

I’ve got more fennel than I can ever eat myself, so I’ve been inserting both the bulb and the fragrant fronds into salads and grilling recipes when we entertain. People say fennel is licorice-y, but it’s so much more than that. Fennel is refreshing, slightly minty with the fragrance and “mist” of anise. I think the word, “licorice flavor” is too strong of a description — I don’t taste the licorice flavor straight on my tongue, it’s more of an overall delicate aroma. Kind of like how fresh basil, mint or dill tastes in your mouth.

Fennel is perfect to pair with miso, honey and orange. It’s an herb that can stand on its own – the fresh crunch of the bulb and don’t forget the lovely fronds, which are equally fragrant with a more floral slant.

If you’re not a big fan of fennel – I’ve got substitutes for you in the recipe.

Miso Salmon with Orange and Fennel Recipe

This is another miso inspired recipe I’ve developed for my client, Miso & Easy, a ready-to-use miso paste. Use any miso paste that you wish!

Here’s what ya need:

The first step is to marinate your salmon (or any fish of your choice) with miso, honey, ginger, sake (or white wine – or omit the alcohol altogether). Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour or even overnight is fine.

On a baking sheet, layer sliced fennel bulb and a few orange slices. Substitute onion for the fennel, omit the orange if you’d like.

Lay the marinated salmon on top.

 

Top with fennel fronds – or fresh herb of your choice (basil, parsley, etc) You can even top it with more orange slices if you want.

Bake until done and serve with rice.

 

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Miso Salmon with Orange and Fennel Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
miso-salmon-recipe-7769-2.jpg

The fennel and orange gives the salmon amazing aroma. They also serve another purpose - they keep the salmon elevated so that heat can circulate all over the salmon fillet. If you do not have fennel, substitute with thinly sliced onion and fresh herb of your choice (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, etc.) The miso marinade pairs perfectly with salmon.

Ingredients:

4 salmon fillets
salt and pepper
1/4 cup Miso & Easy (or 2 tablespoons miso paste)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sake (or dry white wine)
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 orange
1 bulb fennel (with fronds)

Directions:

1. Marinate the salmon with the salt, pepper, Miso & Easy, honey, sake and ginger at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. It is easiest do this in a resealable bag.

2. When ready to cook, Preheat oven to 375F. Thinly slice the orange (you can keep the peel on) and thinly slices the fennel bulb. Layer the orange slices and fennel slices on a baking sheet. Place the marinated salmon on top (discard the leftover marinade.) Cover the salmon with several sprigs of the fennel fronds. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until desired level of doneness.

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French Carrot Fennel Salad http://steamykitchen.com/20939-french-carrot-fennel-salad-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/20939-french-carrot-fennel-salad-recipe.html#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:10:15 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20939   I’ve known Béa, author of La Tartine Gourmande blog, ever since I first started blogging. The first time I saw her blog, I was just blown away – every photo made me daydream that I was on some kind of gorgeous picnic in heaven! (they do have picnics in heaven right?!) All these years of corresponding with Béa via ...

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French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

 

I’ve known Béa, author of La Tartine Gourmande blog, ever since I first started blogging. The first time I saw her blog, I was just blown away – every photo made me daydream that I was on some kind of gorgeous picnic in heaven! (they do have picnics in heaven right?!)

All these years of corresponding with Béa via email, blog, twitter and facebook, it was only last year that I finally got to meet her in person. We were both in London to speak at Food Blogger Connect – Béa brought her family along and I got to squeeze the baby toes of sleeping Lulu. Sweetness!

 

Béa just came out with her book, La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook and it’s every bit of picnic in heaven as her blog. There are so many fresh and healthy recipes that I want to try: Beet and Quinoa Tabouli, Potato Nests with Gingered Crab and Crustless mini Quiches, just to name a few. All the recipes are gluten-free.

The dish I chose to make first is crazy simple – French Carrot Salad is grated carrot tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. I’ve added fresh shaved fennel from my garden and plucked a few fennel fronds to add to the salad.

It’s absolutely refreshing. Picnic in heaven food.

French Carrot Fennel Salad

Fennel in my garden:

fennel bulb: French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

Have a taste of the fennel fronds (the green stuff) and it’s amazing – AH-MAZE-ING raw in salads. Don’t throw it away! In fact, I grown the fennel in the garden specifically for the fronds. Every time I make salad, I just pinch one little stem off and mince for the salad.

The bulb, shaved and added to a salad gives an nice crunch and light anise flavor.

French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe cutting fennel

Slice the bulbs very thinly – I used a mandoline, but feel free to just use a sharp chef’s knife.

French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe shaving fennel

Whisk together the dressing ingredients – lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh parsley and a few pinches of fennel fronds.

dressing French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

Toss with grated carrots and fennel bulb.

add dressing French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

 

final dish French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

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French Carrot Fennel Salad

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes
French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

From La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook by Bea Peltre

Ingredients:

1/2 fennel bulb + fennel fronds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 large carrots, peeled

Directions:

1. Pick a few fennel fronds to make 1 tablespoon. In a bowl, whisk together the fennel fronds, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Set aside.

2. Use the large holes of the box grater to grate the carrots. Use a mandoline to shave the fennel bulb (or slice very thinly with chef's knife).

3. Toss together the carrots, fennel bulb with the dressing.

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Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing http://steamykitchen.com/16578-asian-slaw-ponzu-dressing.html http://steamykitchen.com/16578-asian-slaw-ponzu-dressing.html#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:00:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/16578-asian-ponzu-slaw.html When I think of a summer slaw to go with the barbeque, I want something light, tangy, cold and crunchy. Traditional coleslaw just doesn’t do it – its heavy mayonnaise dressing really weighs down the vegetables. Instead of a mayo-based dressing, my Asian slaw is made with a bright, citrusy ponzu sauce – one of the most versatile Asian sauces ...

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When I think of a summer slaw to go with the barbeque, I want something light, tangy, cold and crunchy. Traditional coleslaw just doesn’t do it – its heavy mayonnaise dressing really weighs down the vegetables. Instead of a mayo-based dressing, my Asian slaw is made with a bright, citrusy ponzu sauce – one of the most versatile Asian sauces that I own.

Ponzu is a Japanese “sauce” however I refer to it as both a dressing and sauce. It’s much lighter than soy sauce, with a distinctive tangy lemon/orange flavor combined with a savory note. It’s a perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour! You can use it as a dipping sauce for potstickers, a light sauce for steamed vegetables and combined with some crushed garlic, make the best marinade ever.

I’m working with Mitsukan (pronounced mit-soo-kon) to develop several recipes using popular Japanese sauces and vinegars. This Asian slaw that I’ve made is incredibly simple: thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, snow peas and fennel with a 4-ingredient dressing: ponzu, sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt. 10-minutes to make and you’re done!

How to make Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing

Slice the snow peas on the diagonal into thin matchstick-sized pieces.

For carrots, you can purchase matchstick carrots, or slice them yourself — but only do this if you have a very sharp chef’s knife. Skinny, round hard carrots are difficult to slice with a dull knife.

I cut the cabbage into four wedges – we’ll only use 1 wedge. Then, I shred the cabbage as thinly as possible. To do this, use a vegetable peeler and go along the corner. You can also use a box grater with large holes or…..

use a sharp knife to shred by hand, which I prefer.

For the fennel, cut the white bulb from the green top, reserve the green fronds for another recipe (like Bouillabaisse) — you can use them just as you would fresh herbs.  Cut the bulb into quarters and slice one of the quarters as thin as possible using a knife, vegetable peeler or mandoline (save the rest for another recipe).

The dressing ingredients are simple: ponzu, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.

Add 1/4 cup of ponzu to a bowl.

The sesame oil and seeds are added.

Season with a big pinch of salt.

Whisk with fork.

Pour the  dressing over the snow peas, carrots, cabbage and fennel.

Toss to combine and taste. You can add more ponzu and salt if needed.

Serve immediately.

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Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time:
Asian-ponzu-slaw-recipe-9578.jpg

If you are not serving immediately, combine the dressing, but do not add the dressing until just before serving.

Ingredients:

1/4 head cabbage, shredded
1/4 lb snow peas, cut on the diagonal into matchsticks
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/4 fennel bulb, sliced as thinly as possible
1/3 cup ponzu sauce, Mitsukan brand preferred
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon dark or toasted sesame oil
salt

Directions:

1) To make the dressing, in a bowl, whisk together the ponzu, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.
2) In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, snow peas, carrots and fennel. Add half of the dressing, toss to combine and taste. Keep adding additional dressing until you get the desired flavor.

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Bouillabaisse http://steamykitchen.com/15777-bouillabaisse-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/15777-bouillabaisse-recipe.html#comments Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:30:04 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=15777 A couple of weeks ago, I hosted my buddy Hank Shaw of the award-winning Hunter Gardener Angler Cook at our home and hit 2 out of the 4 activities from his blog name: fishing and cooking. If you must know why those 2 specific activities, our garden is winding down for its summer rest and hunting involves either a gun, ...

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bouillabaisse-recipe

A couple of weeks ago, I hosted my buddy Hank Shaw of the award-winning Hunter Gardener Angler Cook at our home and hit 2 out of the 4 activities from his blog name: fishing and cooking. If you must know why those 2 specific activities, our garden is winding down for its summer rest and hunting involves either a gun, spear, snare or crossbow – none of which I know how to use.

Hank is traveling the U.S. as part of his book tour for Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast, where he will be visiting each of the 50 States to experience each native species. For us here in Florida, we were out to snag a grouper. You can read about our experience on my blog post. Oh, and if you have a chance, you must read the glowing review by the NY Times of Hank’s book.

Not only did we catch the grouper – but also (from left to right): Bonito, Grouper, 5 Amberjack, 3 Snapper.

bouillabaisse-recipe fishine photo

So what do you make with all this fish, but more importantly the heads and tails of fresh fish? Bouillabaisse, of course.

This Mediterranean seafood stew’s uniqueness comes from the herb and spice combination of orange peel, fennel and saffron, which is what gives the soup its deep golden color.

bouillabaisse-recipe final shot

How to Cook Bouillabaisse

You start with leek, onion and garlic – and saute in olive oil.

Bouillabaisse - leek, onion, garlic

Just a few minutes over medium heat is all you need.

The next step is to add in the herbs. Fennel is essential, but you can also add in other fresh herbs like parsley, oregano and thyme. I only use the green fronds of the fennel (save the white bulb to use in another recipe, like a salad)

bouillabaisse-recipe fennelbouillabaisse-recipe herbs

Use a vegetable peeler to peel strips off the orange.

bouillabaisse-recipe orange peel

This is saffron that I’ve gently crushed with my fingers – I want to get the saffron threads into smaller pieces, almost in a powder form.

 

I’m part of the McCormick Gourmet team, bringing you in-depth information about everyday spices. From McCormick Gourmet’s Enspicelopedia:

About Saffron

Observe the stigma, the tiny strands at the flower’s center, of any crocus in your garden, and you’ll begin to understand why saffron is so expensive. It takes 220,000 dried stigmas from a specific variety of crocus, Crocus sativus, to make one pound of saffron. The flowers appear over a two-week period only, usually in October. Saffron is available as strands and also ground.

The deep orange red color and unique flavor of the famous Spanish rice dish paella, the Indian dessert kheer and French seafood soup bouillabaisse are the work of tiny saffron threads steeped in liquid during cooking. Used both for color and flavor, saffron is a prized spice in Mediterranean, North African and Asian cuisines and in bread and pastries around the world.

Originating in the Middle East, this spice is planted, harvested, dried and packaged by hand. Today, Iran is the largest producer, while India and Spain are much smaller growers, Spain holds the honor of producing the highest quality saffron.

Cultivated in Southern Europe since the 3rd century or before, saffron has found use in medicine, religious offerings, perfume, make-up, potpourri and, of course, cooking. Its vivid orange red color gives it great use as a fabric dye, which makes it humorous to imagine what Greeks and Romans must have looked like after using it perfume luxurious baths.

Chop up 3 tomatoes.

bouillabaisse-recipe- tomatoes

Throw everything into the same pot that has the leek/onion/garlic, water, wine along with the fish trimmings. I’ll spare you the photo of the fish trimmings.

After simmering for 30 minutes, strain the bouillabaisse into another pot.

Now let’s talk about seafood. You can use whatever you want, though traditional Bouillabaisse recipes will call for 3 different kinds of fish along with shellfish. I used Amberjack and Grouper (from our fishing trip), salmon, shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels. Okay, I went a little overboard :-)  Bring the strained Bouillabaisse soup back to a simmer and cook the seafood for just a few minutes.

bouillabaisse-recipe seafood

Ladle into bowls, garnish with fennel and serve.

bouillabaisse-recipe

 

More Bouillabaisse Recipes

Simply Recipes: Bouillabaisse
Family Style Food: Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse
La Tartine Gourmande: My Simplified Bouillabaisse
Use Real Butter: Bouillabaisse Fish Stew
NY Times: Provençal Potato “Bouillabaisse”
All Things Nice: Bouillabaisse

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Bouillabaisse Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes
bouillabaisse-recipe-9350

Bouillabaisse Recipe adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
peel of 1 orange, orange part only (use vegetable peeler)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fennel fronds
fresh herbs (in any combination): thyme, parsley, oregano
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
3-4 pounds of fish trimmings (heads, bones, tail), shrimp shells
10 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 pounds of assorted fish and shellfish (clams and mussels should be scrubbed clean)

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add in the leek, onion and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes until softened but not brown.

2. Add in the orange peel, tomatoes, fennel, fresh herbs, saffron, fish trimmings, water, wine, salt turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the soup into another large pot.

3. Bring the strained soup to a boil over medium high heat. Taste and adjust with additional salt if needed. The soup should be slightly salty (remember we still have unseasoned seafood to add into the soup). Now we'll cook the seafood, adding in the items that require the most cooking time first. If you have whole lobster tails or large crab claws, add them in first and give them a 2-minute head start. Clams next, then the mussels and extra-large shrimp, lastly the fish, scallops and any smaller shrimp. You want to be careful not to overcook the seafood, so 4-5 minutes max then turn off the heat.

4. Ladle bouillabaisse into each bowl with the seafood and garnish with fresh fennel fronds.

 

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Crock Pot Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) http://steamykitchen.com/3136-crock-pot-pho.html http://steamykitchen.com/3136-crock-pot-pho.html#comments Mon, 04 May 2009 12:00:16 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=3136     It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to ...

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Crockpot Pho Recipe   

It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to do the same. Dump a bunch of beefy, tendony, knuckley, marrowey bones into the largest stockpot that I have and let it simmer away while I slept.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

It didn’t quite work out as I had intended:

11:30pm Initial hard boil of the bones to get all the yuck, guck and scum off. Char ginger and onion.

11:38pm Dumped out water, added clean water, the clean bones, spices, ginger and onion. Let the dance begin.

11:45pm Nighty-night

12:35am Is the flame low enough? Maybe I need to check to see.

1:23am Hmmm…I smell something funny. Go check.

2:41am What if it boiled over? Go check.

3:24am What if there’s a gas bubble in the pipe and the the stove spontaneously bursts out in big flames? Maybe I should sleep on the couch closer to the kitchen.

4:45am Gosh I’m hungry. Sneak a big spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Ice Cream.

4:51am Did I forget to put ice cream back in freezer? What if the gas bubble really does happen and stove spontaneously bursts out in flames? Then sleeping on couch is a dumbass idea. Crawl back to bed.

6:00am Kids wake up. Jumps up and down on my belly trying to wake me up.

6:15am PHO-KING TIRED

Enter the Slow Cooker

A few weeks later, I was contacted by the peeps at Crock-Pot® The Original Slow Cooker <- yes, they are insanely paranoid about me using their correct trademarked name, so much that they’ve given me very specific instructions 4 separate times on how to properly spell/mark their product names.) They sent me their new eLume Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker with Touch Screen Technology to test.

crock-pot-elume <- shiny, pretty and fancy. Oh crap, I forgot the ™ after eLume™.

It’s the perfect size (6.5 quarts) for a big mean mama pot of PHO!!!

Oh yeah, baby! It solves my problem of paranoia when leaving stove on all night.

What I love about the eLume™ Crock Pot® is© its™ lighted™© touchscreen®™©. Just a light tap is all that you need and it’s totally programmable from 30 minutes to 20 hours of cooking time. You can also set it to start cooking at a certain time, but when making my Crock Pot Pho Recipe, I don’t recommend a delayed start time since we are working with raw meat bones.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

How to make Crock Pot Pho

Whether you use the Crock Pot Pho method or the traditional stove top method, there are a couple of steps that you’ll need to do before throwing it all in the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Namely, toasting the spices, grilling the onion/ginger and pre-boiling the bones. These aren’t absolutely necessary steps…you’ll still make great pho…BUT these extra steps will make the difference between good pho and pho-bulous pho.

Toasting the Vietnamese Pho Spices

Toasting spices for Crock pot Vietnamese pho

You can buy Pho spices at most Asian supermarkets – you can buy the spices separately (coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel and cardamom pod) or purchase them already mixed up in a package (which also includes a small mesh bag). The quality of these pre-mixed spices are just okay – but sometimes it’s just convenient to pick up a bag, not to mention much cheaper if you don’t already have many of these spices. A Pho spice pack will typically sell for $1-$3.

This day that I made the Crock Pot Pho, I used individual spices. I didn’t have cardamom pod. So yes, if you are missing one of couple of the spices, it’s okay. To get the best flavor from these spices, you’ll toast them in a dry skillet.

Grilling Ginger and Onion

This is a totally optional step, but it really gives the ginger and the onion a deep, sweet, mellow flavor. When I’m making Pho the traditional stovetop way, I’ll char them in the broiler. But with the crock pot method, I didn’t want to use the oven at all. After toasting the spices (above) in a frying pan, I add a bit of oil and grilled the onion half and thick ginger slices.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__004_onion-web

Pre-Boiling the Bones

Knuckles, leg bones with lots of marrow are the best for making soup. The marrow will also make the soup rich and thick. The bones are pre-boiled for a few minutes on high heat to clean the bones and get rid of the nasty scum.

You’ll bring a big stockpot of water to a boil on high heat. Add the bones and boil hard for 10 minutes. You’ll see brownish scum rise to the surface. If you hadn’t taken the time to pre-boil the bones, all that scummy stuff ends up in your soup.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__003_scum-web <– nasty pho-reaky scum

Drain, discard the scummy water and briefly rinse the bones.

Now you’ll add the spices, ginger, onion and bones to the slow cooker.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__008_pot-web

Fill with fresh, clean, cool water about 1-1/2 inches below the surface. Set your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I haven’t tried this method on high, but I’m sure it would be just fine.

So let this cook during all day while you’re at work or at night while you sleep and you’ll be rewarded with the cleanest, best tasting pho soups ever. Because the slow cooker doesn’t let the stock boil hard, it’s safe, easy and convenient.

Here’s what the stock looks like when it’s been cooking for 8 hours on low. Notice that the level of the liquid is still pretty high. The low, even setting doesn’t evaporate the precious liquid as much as a stove top can. The stock is strained before serving.

Crock Pot Pho Soup

Other Pho Ingredients

I used different ingredients than my previous version of traditional Vietnamese Pho and I wanted to highlight them. Instead of using dried rice noodles, I used fresh rice noodles found at Asian markets, in the refrigerated section because all these need is a quick dip in boiling water. Very fast!

Crock Pot Pho Noodles

I also bought a package of Vietnamese Beef Balls (called Bo Vien Dan). There are all sorts of balls – beef, pork, chicken, fish, crab, and my favorite – beef tendon. They come frozen in a package and they are pre-cooked, so all you need to do is throw the frozen balls into the same pot of boiling water as you cooked your noodles in. Just boil for a couple of minutes until the beef balls are heated through. I like cutting these beef balls in half, so make them easier to eat. It’s not so pretty trying to stick an entire beef ball in your mouth. Unless…you’re like really into that.

Crock Pot Pho Beef Balls

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Crockpot Pho Recipe

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Crock Pot Pho Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
crockpot vietnamese pho

This is a recipe for a 6.5 quart (or larger) Crock Pot. Any smaller really isn't that great - you won't get enough stock out of it...because the beef bones are really chunky and big. The thinly sliced meat for the bowls may be easier to slice if you freeze the chunk of meat for 15 minutes prior to slicing. You really want them as thin a possible. You can also do what I do - palm your butcher a $5 bill and he'll slice the meat for you on his fancy slicing machine

Ingredients:

For the Pho Stock:
4 pounds beef bones
1/2 onion
4 inch section of ginger, sliced
1 package Vietnamese Pho Spices (or as many of these spices as you have: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons whole coriander, 1 teaspooon fennel, 3 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 1 cardamom pod)
9 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon sugarFor the Pho Bowls
16 ounces fresh or dried rice noodles
1/2 pound flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round steak, sliced as thinly as possible.
11 ounces Vietnamese beef balls, cut into halfFor the table
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
fresh herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, mint
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot chili sauce

Directions:

1. Bring a large stockpot with water to boil over high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the beef bones and boil vigourously for 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, heat a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the Vietnamese Pho Spices and toast until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Dump the spices to the empty Crock Pot or slow cooker immediately. Return frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger slices and the onion half. Cook until the ginger is browned on both sides and the onion half is nicely browned and softened. Add the ginger and the onion to the Crock Pot or slow cooker.

3. When the bones have been pre-boiled, drain, discard water and rinse bones briefly to clean them. Add the bones to the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Fill the Crock Pot with fresh, clean, cool water to just 1-1/2 inches below surface, add the fish sauce and sugar. Cover and set the Crock Pot or slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and season with additional fish sauce if needed.

4. When you are just about ready to eat, you'll prep the rest of the ingredients for the Pho bowls. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beef balls and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove the balls, keeping the water boiling and now cook the noodles according to package instructions. If you are using fresh noodles, all they need is a couple of minutes. Drain immediately.

5. Strain the stock with a fine meshed sieve. Discard the solids.

6. Line up 4 large bowls on counter. Distribute the noodles, beef balls and thin steak slices evenly amongst the bowls. Ladle the hot Pho stock into each bowl. The hot stock should cook the thin steak slices. Serve with lime wedges, fresh herbs, chili peppers, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot chili sauce at the table.

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vietnamese-pho-beef-noodle-soup-recipe Vietnamese Pho Recipe (cooked the traditional, long, slow, stovetop method)

vietnamese-chicken-pho-recipe Vietnamese Chicken Pho Recipe (Pho Ga)

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Stephanie Izard’s Steamed Mussel and Fennel Escabeche http://steamykitchen.com/2841-mussels-escabeche.html http://steamykitchen.com/2841-mussels-escabeche.html#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2009 03:01:01 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=2841 Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard I am SO guilty of slacking on my recipe posting duties. Forgive me. I’ve come up with several really good excuses: 1) I’m still editing my cookbook. Working on my intro chapter (why is it that the intro chapter is the last chapter I wrote? Shouldn’t it be a “this !(*%&!_#@ cookbook is killin’ me!” ...

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Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard

I am SO guilty of slacking on my recipe posting duties.

Forgive me.

I’ve come up with several really good excuses:

1) I’m still editing my cookbook. Working on my intro chapter (why is it that the intro chapter is the last chapter I wrote? Shouldn’t it be a “this !(*%&!_#@ cookbook is killin’ me!” chapter? I’m trying to be really peppy and nice in my tone, but my short attention span really doesn’t like it when I pull in something like a 18 month project. So, when you’re reading the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook and it sounds like I’m gritting my teeth while trying to be all light and happy – you know why.

2) Lots of TV segments! Each time I go on television, I have several hours of planning, prepping, shopping, cooking, driving, scripting in addition to the demo on TV. I love it! I think I was born to be on television.

3) Hosting a Food Bloggers Bash in the Bahamas with Club Med! Now that was seriously rockin’ fun.I know you’re all tired of reading about our adventure, but I will never tire of talking about my buddies David, Elise, Matt, Diane, Deb, Adam, Alex and Steve-Anna. Will I host another Bloggers Bash soon? You betcha. Though David is trying to convince us that Cannes in July is the place to be. I don’t care where…just as long as there’s a free bar. There’s even chatter that we may get together and hold a free giveaway for Club Med’s upcoming Food and Wine Festival in September at their Punta Cana (Domincan Republic) resort. And yes, for all you nosy folks, I’m Club Med North America’s freelance food writer, one of the best gigs I’ve ever had.

Enough of excuses. Let’s talk about Stephanie Izard, winner of last season’s Top Chef. Fabulouso woman indeed! Now, in the photos if it looks like I did all the cooking and she just looked pretty for the camera:

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that’s SO NOT TRUE! Stephanie gave us a private cooking lesson and I just happened to jump in at the very last minute to help plate.

Sneaky!!!

Okay, see this totally gorgeous gal? Jessie is Stephanie’s pastry chef…incredibly talented:

jesse - stephanie izard

The the dish that Stephanie taught us is the Steamed Mussel and Fennel Escabeche!

Stephanie Izard Mussels Escabeche

Steamed Mussel and Fennel Escabeche

Serves 4

Escabeche might be spelled or pronounced differently depending on where you find it, but whether it’s referring to Puerto Rican, Jamaican, Spanish or Provencal cuisine, it’s generally the same thing: an acidic marinade. I’ve always liked escabeche on oilier fish like mackerel or on nice plump mussels, where the acidity is a great counter balance.

Steamed mussels

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 pounds live mussels
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sprigs of thyme
3/4 cup white wine

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepot, add onion and garlic and sweat for two minutes. Add mussels, stir to coat, season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and thyme, cover and let steam until the shells just open, which should take about three to five minutes, depending on the size of the mussels.

Once they cool, pull the mussels from their shells, discarding the shells and setting the mussels aside.

Fennel Escabeche

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red pepper, julienned
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the veggies and sauté, without browning, until they’re tender, which should take about three minutes. Add balsamic, white wine, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or until the liquid is reduced until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Pour the mixture over the mussels and transfer to the refrigerator, chilling it for at least an hour and no more than overnight.

Bruschetta

12 half-inch baguette slices, cut on a bias
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, to taste
3 large basil leaves, “chiffonade” or sliced into very thin strips.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Brush baguette slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt then bake until just toasted. While they’re baking, pull the escabeche from the fridge to bring it up closer to room temp.

Once the bread slices are nice and toasted, place three on each plate and top with a small pile of the mussel escabeche then garnish with basil threads.

Tip of the Trade: How to Beard Mussels
Before cooking mussels, they have to be soaked, “bearded” (meaning you have to remove what’s technically called the byssal threads), and then cleaned. First, soak the mussels in clean water for about 15 minutes to loosen any sand stowaways. Next, grab hold of the beard (using a dry towel or even tweezers helps keep your grip on the slippery sucker) and give it a yank, pulling toward the hinged end of the mussel. (Pulling toward the opening end can kill the mussel.) Lastly, clean the shells and edge with an abrasive scrub pad under running water. Now you’re ready to cook.

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These photos were taken by Diane!

But wait…there’s more…

You must read David’s hilarious post-Club Med post, Matt’s awesome “tan and happy” photoshoot, Deb’s amazing photo collage, Diane’s recipe for Club Med’s Green Flash Cocktail and also Stephanie Izard’s blog post on the trip!

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