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One of my favorite foods to eat in Vietnam, cua rang me—crabs sautéed in tamarind—is a humble yet glorious dish prized for its freshness and balance of flavor. It’s best eaten with the hands and a chilled lager (or three), followed by a hearty serving of French bread, which is broken off the community loaf and use to mop the vibrant, sweet sauce. A fond memory of childhood summers is weekend trips to the Gulf Coast, where in addition to playing in the murky brown water, I’d help my parents

We have a friend who loves to fish. I mean, he’s one serious fisherman. He drives to our neighboring state of Louisiana on the weekends to go deep-sea fishing. He went halfsies on a boat with his dad so they could take fishing trips together. He’s getting married this summer, and for his bachelor trip, he’s going to Costa Rica on—you guessed it—a fishing trip. (I’ve been told by the hubs there are other activities on the agenda, but we’ll see what really happens when you put the old man

Here’s another “everything in moderation” (read: not-so-healthy) post for you. If you’re from the deep south, particularly from Louisiana or the surrounding states, you not only know what crawfish is, you love it. Sure, those little mudbugs give some the heebie-jeebies, but not us from nearby Cajun country. I can’t recall the first time I’d ever had crawfish straight out of its exoskeleton. I was probably in college or a recent graduate. Once I got over the miniature lobster-looking things, all bright red and steaming with their miniature, cute, harmless

Easy salmon poke

Salmon poke

It’s August, and that means it’s the dead middle of the dog days of summer. So what do you do with these dog days? You eat cold fish, that’s what. And not just cold fish but raw fish. In a recent “MasterChef” episode, Felix lovingly assigned me a beautiful whole salmon. Salmon is one of those fish that I love to eat raw but can’t stand cooked. In the form of sushi or sashimi, I gobble it up. Even smoked, I’ll throw it on some bread with cheese and herbs.

Since we are in the throes of crawfish season (which lasts from January to June), I decided to do this post. Crawfish (or crayfish or crawdaddy, as they’re known in other parts of the country) are little shellfish that resemble tiny lobsters. Here in the dirty South, we call them crawfish. They are little “mudbugs” that live in the swamps, and yes, while this sounds disgusting, they are actually delicious when cooked Cajun-style. First, let’s define Cajun cuisine. Often, it’s confused with Creole cuisine, but there is, in fact, a

Clam chowder

We recently hosted another birthday dinner at our house. This time, the guests of honor were another two friends from our wedding party: Karen and Daniel, both October babies. Daniel requested comfort food, and Karen toasted to that. October is also a good time to start cooking up that comfort food–as I mentioned in my previous broccoli cheddar soup post, we start craving comfort foods as the weather cools. I never truly enjoyed clam chowder until seven years ago during a trip to San Francisco. Being that it was my

With half a bottle of chardonnay still left over from our wedding, I’ve been looking for recipes that call for dry white wine. In addition to using it on the scallops a la Julia Child and the mushroom risotto, I found this recipe online. It is also a good opportunity to use up the last of those ripened tomatoes from your garden. I am eating the leftovers as I type this entry, and the dish tastes even better after a day in the fridge. Remember, if the Blind can Cook

In honor of Julia Child’s birthday (Aug. 15, 1912 – Aug. 13, 2004), here is a recipe from her classic cookbook. It also happens to be the second course for Jade and Uyen’s birthday dinner. (Yes, it’s another French dish.) I served it with a mushroom risotto on the side. Ever since our honeymoon, we have been obsessed with food, and especially French foods. This is why it’s no surprise that I have downloaded both volumes of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking from RFB&D and lie in