Sunday, 22 August 2010

Burgers with a side of math

So, I had two recipes to try out today. That is what I like to call a double-whammy on the day of rest, thankyouverymuch.
First up - Burgers Indochine - I have tons of recipes that I would love to try out, but the one hurdle I am facing is ingredients. Theoretically, I can get (almost) any item here in Saigon, however, I am trying my best to utilize local ingredients in order to use fresher, less expensive products. I saw this recipe in a magazine and knew I could get all of the ingredients easily, so I went for it. This was a big one for me because I am not at all a fan of touching raw meat. At. All.
1. RAW ground pork (*I took a big swig of wine and just went for it!!)

2. Nuoc mam (fish sauce), brown sugar and chili sauce(hiding underneath - food photography is hard!!)

3. Peanut butter

4. Diced garlic and grated ginger (both of which I did by hand, thankyouverymuch)

We don't have a grill, so I just cooked these on the stove top and I did tweak the recipe a bit. The dressing I used was mayo, lime juice and diced scallions. I also left out the star anise because I am not a fan.
Rating: 5 out of 5 lotus flowers - these were delish - thankfully, the recipe made a huge amount, so I have a ton of frozen burgers to make later this week - these were super flavorful and juicy - definitely a repeat for me!

Up next - Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. Alli loves macaroni and cheese. La la la loves it. When we packed for Saigon, I shipped over boxed (hey at least it was organic) M&C to tide us over until I could get the lay of the land, so to speak. Now mind you, I didn't ship that much over, but we have already run through it all, and guess what you can't buy in Saigon? You got it. No biggie, right? I am a cooking goddess and there are about 1,000,000 recipes for M&C on the web, so I went in search of one to try out. The recipe I settled on seemed easy enough and was posted by a blogger I enjoy reading.

There really aren't any photos worth posting and I did stick exactly to the recipe.

After slaving away in our super hot kitchen, I was super excited to have Alli taste it - this is how it went down:

Me: Soooooooooo, what do you think?

Alli: (Puts one shell in her mouth and immediately Ummm, I don't like it.

Me: What? Are you kidding? I am sure it is delicious!
Alli: I want the good stuff from the box that we always have.
Ratings: 1 out of 5 lotus flowers - Now, in defense of the poor M&C, it wasn't inedible, but it also didn't have much flavor, and it definitely didn't taste cheesy, for lack of a better word. I don't know if that is because we are used to fake/processed M&C or that this recipe wasn't The One.

Not only did I conquer two recipes today, but I did MATH. Lots and lots of math. Vietnam, like 98% of the rest of the world (What's up with that USA?) uses the metric system, so there was a lot of conversion going on today in the kitchen - kilograms to pounds, tablespoons to ounces; pounds to cups. I am not particularly good at math and I was working under a hangover condition, so when I ended up with twice the sauce I needed for the M&C, I was not at all surprised. At. All.


  1. Hey super chef-I have an awesome M&C recipe for you to try. It's the Deceptively Delicious cookbook M&C. My girls have forgotten the taste of the fake stuff. This one is really good and you add 1/4 cup pureed squash to it so it's healthy too. We all love this you gotta try.
    Here goes:
    Boil 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni until done (easy enough)
    In large saucepan heat 1 TBsp olive oil at med heat, add 1 TBsp flour and stir until it's a thick paste but hasn't browned. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir until thickened, add 1/2 cup squash puree (puree to super fine-adding puree is optional I've done without too), add 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted and it's smooth. Stir in macaroni and serve. Best served hot! But if your girls are like mine they like their food luke warm-cold. Still good and a big hit in our house.

    Deceptively Delicious is a great cookbook if you don't have it.

  2. realize I said 1/4 cup and then 1/2 cup squash, recipe calls for 1/2 cup but I put anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Sorry about that.

  3. Thanks Sara - I will definitely be trying this one next!!