Tag Archives: Banh Pate So

Bun Rieu Cua and Cards Against Humanity – A Winning Combination

15 Oct

As the Government shutdown continues, so too does my housekeeping and entertaining repertoire. Hungry for some social contact and fun to chase away the rain, we had a few friends over to dig in to a big pot of Bun Rieu Cua and Cards Against Humanity.

I had leftover pork mixture from our Dam Hoi, so I decided to whip up a batch of Banh Pate So. They disappeared *like that*.  Love it when that happens!

Banh Pate So meat puff pastries and calamari salad appetizers

Costco sells this really tasty calamari salad that is another great appetizer or đồ ăn nhậu (drinking food). Spoon over Romain leaves and you’ve got a lovely presentation that tricks guests in to thinking you toiled all day in the kitchen.

I really love this soup. It is so easy – really – and a real crowd pleaser. What’s even more exciting is that I don’t even need to taste as I cook!

Bun Rieu Cua tomato crab soup

After the main event, which was also the third and fourth courses later in the night, we opened Cards Against Humanity and laughed – and cringed – for hours. If you haven’t played, I highly recommend it – but do take the age restriction seriously. It gets pretty raw. Take for instance, these Haikus…

Cards Against Humanity

I think we’ll be making game night a more regular occurrence.


Officially Engaged

12 Aug

Our Dam Hoi engagement ceremony and celebrations last weekend were a resounding success. It’s taken me a week to recover. What I thought was a slight hangover turned in to actual sickness – severe allergies apparently – but I am happily medicated and on the mend. We laughed, we cried, we danced. Our families came together around tradition, stories from our childhoods and, of course, alcohol.

Preparations continued until the day before, but we pulled it all together and I was able to get out to my parent’s house for an early bedtime. It seems like we’ve been waiting for ages to get to the dam hoi. We were engaged in July 2012, so it was just over a year getting to this point. Now we’re only three weeks away from the wedding.

The day started bright and early with a dear friend who agreed to beautify me at 6 AM. There was much coffee, indeed. My ao dai fit beautifully and – bonus – was almost as comfy as my pj’s. Unfortunately the khan dong (or circular hat – like a halo) didn’t fit. Either the fabric retracted and tightened or my head shrunk massively. Either way, I couldn’t get it to sit properly on my head and there was no pinning it in place. At least I got to have a fuller up-do as a result.

Wearing the Vietnamese hat

See? We tried. There’s tons of daylight on both sides of the hat.

The weather was overcast and drizzly throughout the morning, which makes for gorgeous photos and even, muted lighting. I hope to get our professional photos back this week, which I will of course share with you here.

In the interim, here’s one of my favorites thus far spending a little quality time with my nephew who was a trooper and spent the entire day with us.

Holding my nephew before the ceremony Continue reading

Win Some, Lose Some

7 Jan

As in sports goes cooking. Unfortunately the Redskins lost in a crushing blow to the Seahawks after to coming out with a strong lead. We had a great season and still have lots to build on looking forward – I’ll stick with my Fantasy Football team name “Maybe Next Year.”

Another early weekend day start got me in the kitchen bright and early. I zonked out Saturday night and didn’t get to prep the Banh Pate So as planned, so here we go:

Banh Pate So

1 lb ground pork or chicken (we used chicken in this recipe)
1 can pate (or not, your preference)
1 cup finely diced carrots and peas (can use any veggies you like, or none at all)
1/4 cup rehydrated and chopped woodear mushrooms
2 tbs fish sauce
1/2 tbs ground white pepper, fresh cracked black pepper
1 package puff pastry
1 beaten egg for wash

Mix all of the ingredients – except pastry and egg wash – for the filling (this can be done ahead of time).

Banh Pate So before going in the oven.

Banh Pate So before going in the oven. The ravioli style rectangles worked out best.

Lay out your thawed puff pastry and cut in squares. NOTE: Don’t overwork the puff pastry. Mine got too warm and was difficult to work with. Take a small spoon or tablespoon and add filling to a corner of your square. Fold opposite corner back to make a triangle and pinch edges with a fork to seal to make little “triangles”.  Place pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg wash. Use a paring knife to make a hole in the top of your pastries so they don’t explode in the oven.

Obviously, mine are not triangles and instead look like a toddler’s array of blocks at daycare. They all come out the same in the end. Next time, however, I’m going to make sure the puff pastry is thicker and cut rounds to hold the meaty goodness.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Banh Pate So

Banh Pate So

Next up, Nem Nuong Cuon after the jump.

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