Caviar Sauce — Cream of Ocean

Cream of Ocean Sauce with Caviar

Sea scallops are probably the most winning seafood ingredient to serve with this sauce. They can be made using different cooking methods, including searing, steaming, and simmering, etc. This sauce is good with fresh pasta. And, of course, any combination of pasta and seafood are perfect. My favorite dish with this sauce is sea scallop dumplings.

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Smoked Basmati

Smoked Basmati with Eggplants

Smoking grains with Camerons stovetop smoker is a no-brainer. Cook them to 80-90% of doneness, season, add some fat, and finish by smoking with wood chips of your choice. But if the introduction to smoked grains made you curious, you might want to try this recipe with Middle Eastern flavors. You can start without the Mandi spice mix or replace it with another Arabian mix you like and have handy.

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Beggar’s Chicken

Beggar's Chicken

In Hangzhou, I visited Qinghefang Ancient Street food market a few times. I saw Beggar’s chicken during the first visit and decided it’s a must to try! The next day, four of us brave enough to eat street food came there for lunch. We enjoyed every bite! The funniest part of that experience was that the same day, after a few hours of walking around the West Lake when it was time to join the rest of the group for dinner, all four of us unanimously decided to come back and eat Beggar’s chicken instead!

I suppose only people who tasted Beggar’s chicken at least once and crave for it since then, would cook it at home. This recipe is for those who would like to recreate their experience without traveling to China.

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Salsa Macha

Salsa Macha

If you read about original Salsa Macha, you’ll see that there is a reason for its name. Salsa Macha comes from Veracruz region that features extremely hot chile peppers comapeños available only locally. It’s a truly fiery condiment. When this salsa is made in other regions of Mexico, comapeños are replaced with other hot peppers (e.g., arbol). I admired this condiment not so much for its heat, but for the bold and intense flavors. To adjust it for my palate, I combine my favorite dry and fresh red chile peppers, which are fruity and smokey, but pretty mild.

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Romantic French Menu: Seafood Served on Puff Pastry Shell

Crabmeat Appetizer

It was our seafood block. Chef J finished his st jacques demo and arranged seared scallops between two halves of baked puff pastry with a splash of creamy sauce — perfect combination of flavors and textures. For the old classic preparation, the puff pastry was shaped as a shell. I couldn’t understand why nobody serves scallops like this any more. Since than, I’ve been using this idea for my scallop dishes and seafood appetizers.

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Fried Rice with Hamachi

Making Kona Hamachi Fried Rice

This recipe will help you to fix a quick dinner if you happen to have leftover sushi rice and a piece of good sushi grade fish. Yellowtail is my favorite, but salmon, fatty tuna, or escolar are suitable substitutions. When preparing the ingredients, slice your fish frozen and keep slices frozen until the moment they go on top of the rice. It prevents overcooking the fish. I usually cook and serve this fried rice in a hot pan. It is fun to put chairs closer and enjoy eating dinner shoulder to shoulder.

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XO, XtraOrdinary Sauce

Homemade XO Sauce

My first XO sauce was a gift from Taiwan. Three little jars with shrimp, scallops, and assorted seafood flavors looked very expensive. I opened the first jar, sniffed, and immediately liked its complex flavor. The sauce went into a variety of stir-fries and I was gone in the blink of an eye!
Asian cooks claim that homemade XO sauce is always better than commercial. It makes sense, obviously, if all ingredients are available. In Austin, find them in MT Supermarket.

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The Most Popular Thai Soups: Tom Yam

Vegetarian Tom Yam

Tom Yam Kung (prawns or seafood combo) and Tom Yam Gai (chicken) are the most popular variations of Tom Yam outside of Thailand. They are made with fresh readily-available ingredients, they are easy to make, and they are beautiful, low-calorie soups. Vegans can use recipes where the shrimp paste and fish sauce are substituted with plant-based ingredients. The best way to substitute is to make your own Thai chili and curry pastes, stir-fry sauces, and salad dressings. Once you make your own vegetarian Nam Prik Pao, it’s only a matter of minutes to cook a vegetarian Tom Yam.

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