Ginger Syrup and Vietnamese Mochi: Che Xoi Nuoc

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Here in the Fierro house, we are trying to push our own boundaries of our cooking. In my last edition, I made egg rolls with the help of my new friend, the deep fryer, and this week, I attempted to make Che Xoi Nuoc, one of my favorite Vietnamese desserts.

Made from sweet rice flour, the mochi in Che Xoi Nuoc are filled with savory mung bean and then served with a ginger brown sugar syrup and salty-sweet coconut milk.

A bit of a heavier dessert, it is perfect when served at room temperature or warm. There’s quite a bit of work (and many pans!) involved, but it is completely worth it for the sweet, savory, and chewy fun of Che Xoi Nuoc.

If you have left over mung bean filling, you can use it to make mung bean pancakes or more of the mochi treats! And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can deep fry the mung bean filled mochi as well and serve with nuoc mam for a savory appetizer as compared to a dessert. Enjoy!

Currants, Capers, and Pollock Join Forces For Generoso’s Involtini di Pesce

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As my dearest Lily kicked my butt last week with her Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls) I had to return the favor by making rolls of my own and so I whipped a pan of my Involtini di Pesce (Italian fish rolls) my take on the traditional Sicilian dish, Involtini di Pesce Spada (Swordfish Rolls).  I have made this dish using swordfish before but truthfully, I have used a variety of fish based on whatever was the freshest option I had before me at the market that day, so for this version I am using six beautiful fresh pollock filets.  From prep to plate should only take you an hour and you’ll have a sweet and savory piece of fish that will take your taste buds for a loop.

You will need a decently sized backing pan, aluminum foil, and about two pounds of pollock filets, breadcrumbs (I like panko for this), cashew nuts,capers, currants, olive oil, salt, pepper. Enjoy and let us know how yours turned out. Love, Generoso XOXO

Music: Dvorak-String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180

Deep Frying Fun Episode #1 – Lily’s Gia Gio

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The Fierros have now acquired a deep fryer!!!! Now, with both a deep fryer and a mandolin, we can finally make gia gio a.k.a Vietnamese egg rolls.

Lily grew up eating egg rolls made from these egg roll wrappers:

But after years of eating Vietnamese egg rolls with a delicious bubbly, crispy skin in restaurants, she decided she would use the filling she loved with rice paper to make cha gio that would achieve this more complex egg roll skin.

Rolled gingerly and fried carefully in medium low heat, these cha gio are fun for a summertime party. Wrap with crisp lettuce and dip in fish sauce, and you have a perfect bright, fresh, crispy, chewy bite! They’re also super delicious cold and straight from the refrigerator! Enjoy!

Generoso’s Quick and Tasty Linguine Con Capperi e Pancetta

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As we are still in a slightly colder than normal June here in Los Angeles, I am still pulling out some of my dishes that are more meant for fall than summer.  Unlike my eggplant dish from a couple of weeks back, Timballo di Melanzane, my dish for you this week, Linguine Con Capperi e Pancetta (linguine with capers and bacon), should only take you about 25 minutes from prep to plate.  You will need the following, Linguine, olive oil, capers, one sweet onion, four large strips of bacon, 1 cup of light cream or half and half, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup of parmesan and eight cloves of garlic.  If you have a large frying pan, a colander, and a pot to boil your pasta, then you are all set.  Let us know how yours turned out.  This is a tasty and fast dish that you will enjoy again and again.  XO Generoso

Music: Frédéric Chopin’s Ballade No. 3 in A-Flat Major, Op. 47.

 

Lily Makes Summertime Bun Thit Xao Xa!

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Summer is almost here, and with the warm weather, Generoso very kindly asked Lily if she could make a bun dish.

Bun (vermicelli) comes in many forms. It can be served with soup, or it can be served with crisp, fresh veggies.

For this week’s recipe, Lily made bun with lemongrass pork, a cross between the very traditional Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli with BBQ pork) and Ga Xao Xa Ot (chicken with lemongrass and chilies) that you will find in most Vietnamese restaurants.

This episode also has a new friend in it….the mandolin! It is a great tool to prepare the carrots and the cucumbers that give this dish perfect amounts of crisp textures and freshness.

Music by Franz Liszt, Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178

Enjoy! Happy summertime!

Generoso’s Delicious Timballo di Melanzane

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Be warned: This dish is not a quick meal. Prep and cooking time should be about three hours but I assure you that it’s well worth it! Think timpano but instead of dough and bechemel you will used fried eggplant slices. You will need two large eggplants, a box of penne pasta, romano cheese, sweet Italian sausage, 1/2 pound of ground beef, one onion, one can of puree tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, ground oregano, six cloves of garlic, 1 ounce of fresh basil.

Make sure you let the dish cool for 30-40 minutes before cutting as it will fall apart.

Music: Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye

Generoso’s Stufato di Maiale Italiano Con Farfalle (Italian Pork Stew)

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Generoso’s take on the Italian pork stew is a sweet and hearty dish that was made for these late winter’s when you crave something rich and filling after a long day. Think of this as an Italian Beef Bourguignon! You will need 2 pounds of pork sirloin, a can of puree tomato, ground bay leaf, salt, pepper, parsley, one cup of red wine, white flour, cinnamon, one box of farfalle, and a large onion. Takes about 2 hours to make from prep to plating.  Let us know how yours turned out!!  XO Generoso and Lily

Music: Aaron Dunn’s Sonata No. 1

Lily’s Fluffy And Crispy Banh Tieu

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Lily grew up eating Banh Tieu almost every weekend. In Houston, it could be picked up at most bakeries and sometimes even in Vietnamese grocery stores.

However, in Boston, Banh Tieu is not quite as available. Because of the scarceness of Banh Tieu, Lily must make it at home! For Easter, she will show you how to make these fluffy pieces of fried dough covered in sesame seeds.

Remember to flatten the dough into thin discs; thinner discs will help make the dough puff up!

Enjoy!

Music: Sinfonietta, Op. 60 by Leoš Janáček

Generoso’s Rigatoni Con Due Formaggi e Salsiccia (Rigatoni With Two Cheeses and Sausage)

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The word decadent does not even begin to surmise Generoso’s creation, Rigatoni Con Due Formaggi e Salsiccia (Rigatoni With Two Cheeses and Sausage). WARNING: This dish is for the dead of winter so we implore you not to make this ridiculously fattening, creamy dish during a season where you cannot easily burn it off.

You will need: Two boxes of rigatoni, 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, 6 oz of pecorino romano cheese, 8 oz of whole milk mozzarella, three large eggs (oh no, not eggs too!), 1 can of tomato puree, six cloves of garlic, fresh parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Music by Mauro Giuliani, 2 Rondo for Piano and Guitar. Op.68

Lily’s Savory and Geometrically Delicious Banh Gio!

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For Lily, many of these recipes bring back memories of eating after school meals with her grandmother. Nothing brings back more memories for her than Banh Gio.

This cone shaped savory rice dumpling filled with pork, onions, and wood ear mushrooms was something that Lily ate often when she was a little kid. The smell of them steaming was always a welcoming one when she got off of the school bus and entered her grandmother’s home.

Banh Gio is quite simple to make! The rolling and filling technique is a little tricky, but Lily will show you how to do it!

Once steamed, Banh Gio can be eaten plain or with a drizzle of soy sauce (Lily and Generoso’s preferred way to eat). Enjoy!

Music by Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet no. 2 in D