Sunday, 16 January 2011

Good Evening Vietnam

I could eat these till I pop. Which I nearly did.

On Friday I returned to my family nest for a weekend at home, and little sister and I had planned to cook dinner together. She was very excited about some Vietnamese spring rolls (goi cuon) that a friend had made her and she wanted to make them for us. That would be our starter and I would do the main. Very exciting. Mostly because I love Vietnamese food and don't eat it enough, let alone cook it, and also because I love cooking at my parent's house as their kitchen is about 5 times bigger than mine and therefore more fun to be let loose in. Plus there is endless free red wine and Annie Mac was on the stereo.

The spring rolls were basically rice papers (got them in china town) wrapped up to enclose a mixture of cooked prawns, rice noodles, lettuce, mint and spring onions and little sister made them beautifully. She methodically soaked each paper until pliable then got wrapping. So fresh and delicious, we all felt very virtuous munching on them, dipping into the special sauce she'd made that consisted of a delicious combination of rice vinagar, sugar, chilli, crushed garlic, lime juice and fish sauce.

Vietnamese Duck a L'orange
I did duck in a spiced orange sauce for a main, stolen from Rick Stein's recent series. Mum's stressing over various texted shopping lists from two different daughters was now worth it. The duck dish is so easy and so delicious I urge anyone reading this to make it, its like a casserole but with really exciting ingredients.

Use one duck leg per person, brown in a casserole dish, remove and put aside. Add lots of chopped ginger and garlic to the dish and fry for a few minutes. Add a litre of orange juice (fresh or a carton) a massive lug of fish sauce, 5 star anise, 4 chopped bird's eye chillies, 2 finely chopped lemongrass stalks and grind some black pepper in. Throw the duck back in and simmer with the lid mostly on for about an hour and a half, until the duck is really tender. Serve the duck on rice, with lots of sauce, sliced spring onion scattered on top, and some nice veg. So tasty and so easy. Gotta love Rick Stein. Accompany with lashings of red wine and then go and collapse in front of the TV.

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