This little snack I just made is so yummy that I couldn’t wait to share it! Yesterday I watched Ina Garten make these Savory Palmiers on her show Barefoot Contessa, and I thought it was a perfect use for the large container of leftover coriander/cilantro pesto I had in the fridge. I didn’t quite follow the recipe as I added Borsin Garlic & Herb cheese instead of goat cheese, and my pesto isn’t basil pesto. And I added walnuts instead of pine nuts. But hey – same idea and brilliant result. They aren’t as ‘pretty’ as hers came out, but oh my goodness I love puff pastry! Thank goodness for the person who thought to sell ready made puff pastry.. I have so much more respect for it after making my own at LCB last summer. It’s always perfectly flaky and crisp and buttery. I literally just took these out of the oven and “had to” test one.. And then I had to have just one more to be sure they were okay.. And I’m trying desperately not to have anymore before Chris comes home
I highly recommend making this as a warm hors d’oeuvres for a dinner party. You could easily skip the sun dried tomatoes and maybe use roasted bell peppers. Some of the reviews use feta in place of goat cheese. There are definitely a lot of possibilities, but no matter what they’re yummy! Just make sure that you don’t keep opening the oven when they cook or they may not rise. But do keep an eye on them. Also be careful not to get too much of the pesto oil when you’re brushing it on.
P.S. I used coriander/cilantro pesto in this which I made exactly like a basil pesto. It had leftover coriander/cilantro, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. When I googled coriander/cilantro pesto there were lots of different variations. Most are Asian style but this one from Bobby Flay is more Italian and has parsley in it as well.
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For my sister whose future in laws are vegetarian – I found some great recipes. I haven’t made them but they look pretty good with options to put your own spin on it!
- Ricotta-Spinach Tacos
- Chile Cheese Casserole (like chilaquiles)
- Tofu Tacos
For the ricotta-spinach tacos, you could easily replace the ricotta with maybe feta, cotija, goat cheese or even halloumi. To make it heartier you could add zucchini/courgette or even mushrooms. Add some kick with some chipotle powder.
For the casserole, you could easily make this non-vegetarian by adding some chorizo or diced ham. If you wanted it to be heartier you could add a layer of pinto/refried beans before adding the tortilla chips. Some sliced green/spring onion as a garnish might also add some nice bite to it. Or you could even add them with the last layer of cheese and let them melt in.
The tofu taco is a pretty straightforward one. They simply replaced meat with tofu. You could look into other veggie options such as soy meat. I know Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs are delicious. They’re recommended for Italian dishes, but there’s nothing stopping you from using it in a Mexican dish!
Hope you enjoy!
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Posted in Vietnamese Cuisine, tagged banh cuon, cilantro, coriander, egg rolls, fish sauce, goi cuon, hoisin sauce, Los Angeles, New York, nuoc cham, peanut sauce, Pho, rice paper, Sriracha, summer rolls, vegetarian, Vietnamese, Westminster on February 3, 2010 |
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Little Saigon, Orange County, California
This past weekend, I took a quick weekend trip to the LA area with my parents to visit my sister. Of course, if we’re going to drive all the way from Phoenix, it’s expected that we’ll go out of the way to stop over in Little Saigon (also known as Westminster or Garden Grove in Orange County, CA). My siblings and I usually moan about this since it adds another two hours to the drive, but we’re never disappointed once we’re up to our elbows in Pho.
The first thing we had when we arrived in Little Saigon was Banh Cuon (Banh Cuon Tay Ho, 9242 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA). This is one of my all time favorite Vietnamese dishes to eat both at home and out at a restaurant. If you’ve ever had Chinese Dim Sum, it’s very similar. Basically, banh cuon is a rice crepe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A1nh_cu%E1%BB%91n). It’s pronounced by-ing coon? (there are accents that cause inflection similar to a question). Please remember I don’t speak Vietnamese, so this is my best attempt at trying to spell this out phonetically!
It can be served plain or rolled with a filling which may include ground pork, minced wood-ear mushrooms, onions and garlic. It’s normally served with a combination of bean sprouts, cucumber, cilantro, fried onions, and a Vietnamese pork sausage (which might be fried or steamed). The dipping sauce is a Vietnamese favorite, nuoc cham, which is sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The version shown here is also served with sweet potato tempura. Now some might be afraid of the sausage or maybe the description of the dipping sauce (which I have to confess is made with the well-known Vietnamese fish sauce, not much different from Thai fish sauce). However, if you’ve never had this, trust me you will love it. And you can ease your way into it by maybe taking out the sausage and only using a little bit of the sauce. Unfortunately, this dish isn’t something you’ll find at the main stream Vietnamese restaurants or any of those fusion places (at least in my experience).
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