Tonight I had dinner at Thailand Cafe in the East Village. I love Thai food, but sometimes I get into a rut of always ordering the usual favorites: Pad Thai and Green Curry. This time, one of the specials, the Haw Mok (Fish Custard Curry) caught my attention. The dish contains fish, coconut milk, and red curry, egg and Chinese cabbage – a sublime balance of light fish custard and fiery curry, made complete with a small of rice. This may be my latest culinary obsession. At only 11 dollars total, including tax and tip, it couldn't get any better!
Here are some recipes for Haw Mok that I found online:
I hope to be able to try them out soon. I'll keep you updated.
95 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Aunt Jennifer, uncle George, and my cousin Howard (above)
Heirloom tomato, avocado, gruyère, and mixed green salad (below)
My dad, my cousin Charlie, and my sister Lee-Lynn (below)
Glögg-glazed lamb chops and lamb shoulder confit (below)
Last night, I cooked Christmas Eve dinner for the family. Typical of my eclectic style, we had an Asian/Californian style first course, an Italian/Mediterranean main course, and a nice Scandinavian dessert. Here are the pictures and the recipes (everything serves 4):
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Half a pound of cooked, peeled shrimp
- 1 avocado, cut into bite sized cubes
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- a handful of cilantro, chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of good quality, all natural soy sauce
- Black pepper to taste
- Mixed salad greens
This recipe is super simple: just mix together everything but the salad greens in a bowl, toss gently to avoid mashing up the avocados, and serve on a bed of mixed greens.
Ligurian Duck Legs with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Fennel
- Olive oil
- 4 duck legs
- 1 bag (about 2 pounds) of fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 small bulbs of fennel, green tops removed and cut in half-inch slices
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary
- 1 and 1/2 cups of white wine
- 1 tablespoon of capers
- 1 handful of niçoise olives
- 3 oil-cured anchovy fillets
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley (for garnish)
This recipe requires 1 large oven with 2 racks, or 2 ovens. The duck cooks on the top rack while the roast potatoes and fennel cook on the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat a paella pan with a thin layer of olive oil, and sear the duck legs on both sides, skin side first for about 5 minutes each side on a medium heat. Remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside. Pour off the rendered duck fat, and reserve. On a baking pan, mix the potatoes and fennel with some of the reserved duck fat to coat lightly, season well with salt and pepper.
Return the pan to a medium heat, add garlic and the thyme and rosemary. Cook until garlic just starts to brown. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Return the duck legs to the pan along with all of the other remaining ingredients (except for the parsley). Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Cover the pan and place in the oven with the potato and fennel mixture for about 40 minutes. Remove the thyme and rosemary stalks before serving and garnish with parsley.
Baked Apples with Vanilla and Lingonberry
- 4 baking apples, peeled and cored
- 1 vanilla bean
- Vanilla sugar to sprinkle on top
- Lingonberry preserves
- Crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice open the vanilla bean lengthwise and rub the little black seeds on the apples. Place a piece of the vanilla bean in the cavity of each of the apples. Fill the apple cavities with lingonberry preserves and top off with a pat of butter. Sprinkle some vanilla sugar on top and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.
We had some brut Italian prosecco with the savory courses and some Canadian icewine with dessert.
I took a walk over to Chelsea Market today for a look around. The official Chelsea Market website describes the space as “a one-stop, NYC culinary food shop, a gourmet lover’s wholesale-retail wonder world, and an energetic, industrial-chic hotspot, all meshed into an entire city block of space in the heart of West Chelsea.” In other words, it’s a wet dream for a foodie like me.
At the Thai restaurant-cum-import food market inside Chelsea market, I picked up a bottle of my favorite hot sauce, Huy Fong’s Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce, an all-natural, hot chili and garlic sauce with a Thai name, made by a Vietnamese/Chinese immigrant-owned company in California, and a holder of cult status in my culinary canon since the late 90’s (my late teens). Me and my friends in Arizona have given this sauce the nickname, “cock sauce,” because of the rooster on the label. Huy Fong’s cock sauce has many imitators, but none replace the original’s all-natural, pure ingredients and versatility. Cock sauce has the perfect amount of heat and spice from ripe, red jalapeño peppers and garlic balanced with a bit of sour and sweet notes. Put some cock sauce on your hotdogs, hamburgers, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Mexican, etc.. Cock sauce to go with any ethnicity of cuisine. Cock sauces for the masses! Cock sauce for all. Long live cock sauce! Vive la “cock sauce”!
A Fred and LS original recipe. We made this cold noodle salad for lunch on Friday and enjoyed it al fresco on the terrace.
cooked udon noodles, rinsed in cold water
julienned carrots and cucumber and turkey cold cuts
chunks of avocado
wedges of tomato
chopped green onion
Arrange the vegetables on top of the noodles in a bowl. Garnish with some sesame seeds and season with Wafu Dressing. Mix well before eating. If you can’t find Wafu Dressing, any soy, sesame or miso-based Japanese-style dressing will do. A perfect lunch for a late summer day.