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New Tastes for Redskins Post-Season Game Day

5 Jan

New things are always bright and shiny. My new kitchen – although not necessarily bright and shiny – just begs to be used. No longer am I crammed in a half-galley apartment kitchen with approximately two and a half feet of counter space for preparation. No longer am I bound to stews and soups that made the most of my inadequate space.

So this Saturday morning was different when I woke at 7am. My suburban paradise allows me to roll out – in my sweats and Uggs –  stop by Le Bledo for a ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee with condensed milk) and head over to Fresh World for my extensive grocery list. This weekend will be the first where we really have nothing to do since moving into our new home. The Redskins hosting the Seahawks this Sunday in the first round of playoffs calls for a special game day menu.

Now that I have room to prep, I’m going all out for beer and football dishes. On the menu – if all goes according to plan – are staples such as Chao Tom (shrimp patties on sugarcane sticks) and Nem Nuong Cuon (Grilled Pork Patty ricepaper rolls). Oh, and don’t forget Banh Pate So (or Chaud Pate – delicious meat and pate pastries – the best of Vietnamese/French snacks) for breakfast.

I have no idea who’s coming over to watch the game, so it may just be the two of us to gorge on delicious treats. Again – providing all goes according to plan.

Knowing full well how much dicing and preparing these simple dishes require, I was a good student and started today.

After coming home with just over $100 in groceries – mostly fresh produce and meat – I rinsed the fruit and veggies in a vinegar bath to clean off the nasties and keep whole foods fresher longer. Tonight I’ll make up the Banh Pate So and have ready to bathe in an egg wash and bake off tomorrow morning.

I’ve found lots of different recipes for these flaky pastries, but as with other dishes, it is mainly up to your personal preferences. I decided to use ground chicken and pate for a leaner dish, and add peas, carrots, shallots and a little wood ear mushrooms. Some recipes call for bean threads, but we tend to like less of that. I bought two brand of pate not knowing which is better – will see how we like the Flower brand first.

Ingredients for Banh Pate So/Chaud Pate - Savory, Flaky Meat Pies

Ingredients for Banh Pate So/Chaud Pate – Savory, Flaky Meat Pies

Next I mixed up the Ga xao xa ot or spicy lemongrass chicken to marinade. I’ve made the Ravenous Couple’s version a couple of times and really like the flavors. The red pepper flake seems to be missing since the move, so I chopped up a Thai chili to add the heat.

Ga xao xa ot (spicy lemongrass chicken) ingredients. Will marinate overnight and cook as later day meal.

Ga xao xa ot (spicy lemongrass chicken) ingredients. Will marinate overnight and cook as later day meal.

Chopped and quartered lemongrass stalks

Freeze chopped and quartered lemongrass stalks for easy use anytime.

Living in Ballston for several years, it wasn’t always easy to get out to an Asian market for Lemongrass or other flavors so I started freezing lemongrass diced and in sticks to have it on hand in a pinch. You can get several stalks for a dollar or less in Asian markets compared to a single, skinny lemongrass stalk at the Harris Teeter for at least $3. Buy more than you need and store for later use.

I also started peeling and de-veining shrimp for the handmade Chao Tom but had to throw in the towel when I started to heave. This may be one dish that I buy in the market pre-made. We’ll see if it’s worth the trouble after the Mr. finishes dev-eining the shrimp tomorrow.

A bonus to my motivation for breaking in my new kitchen is more physical activity. You may not realize it, but grocery shopping, standing and chopping, mixing, cleaning burns calories. My FuelBand says so, anyways. This evening I’m extremely pleased with my $50 comfort gel floor mat purchase feeling zero back pain after standing for 4+ hours in the kitchen.

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2 Responses to “New Tastes for Redskins Post-Season Game Day”

  1. Tuan January 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    my mom adds some curry into the pate so filling…pretty good too. HTTR!

    • amandare January 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      That sounds really good – will have to try it next time!

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