Since it’s been pretty cold, I decided to cook up some chicken pho. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

* makes 6 servings

1 each yellow onion
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger
1 5 lbs. chicken
1 each cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar or 2-inch rock sugar
6 quarts water

2 lbs. small flat rice noodles
cooked chicken
1 each yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, and drained
3 each scallions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups bean sprouts
12 sprigs Thai basil
2 each limes, cut into wedges
2 to 3 each Thai or serrano chilis, thinly sliced

1. Roast 1 yellow onion with the unpeeled fresh ginger at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Peel the yellow onion and fresh ginger and set aside.
2. Wash the chicken with salt.
3. Bring 6 quarts of water to boil. Add cleaned chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Skim the scum on the surface of the broth as necessary.
4. Add roasted ginger, onions, sea salt, and sugar.
5. Simmer the chicken for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked fully. Remove the chicken from the broth.
6. Separate the meat from the bones. Shred the meat and set aside. Return the chicken bones back to the broth.
7. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise to the broth.
8. Simmer the broth for another 2 hours.
9. Add the fish sauce in the last hour of cooking and adjust seasonings if necessary.
10. Strain broth.
11. Cook pho (rice noodles) per package directions. Ladle broth, add shredded chicken, and cooked noodles in each bowl. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and thinly sliced onion rounds.
12. Serve with bean sprous, basil, lime, and Thai or serrano chilis on the side.


My girlfriend, Karrie from Park Place Dental Care, wanted to make bacon wrapped dates for her holiday party cause it happens to be her current favorite thing to eat. So on a Friday night, instead of going out, we spent our evening prepping a bunch of these!


Pitted Dates
A Slab of Bacon
A Chunk of Parmesan Cheese

1. Cut the bacon into thirds.
2. Make a slit onto the pitted dates.
3. Cut the parmesan cheese into matchstick pieces.
4. Stuff the cheese into the pitted dates.
5. Wrap the stuffed dates with 1/3 piece of your bacon.
6. Par cook the bacon stuffed dates on a saute pan until halfway cooked.
7. Lay the par cooked bacon stuffed dates on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes, or basically until your bacon is cooked and crispy. Enjoy!


My cousin Pete requested that I cook up some Bo Luc Lac, also known as “Shaking Beef.” So this one is for you cousin!

* Serves 4

1 lb. filet mignon, cut into 1” cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. sugar
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. fish sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. fresh cracked black pepper
1 T. butter

¼ c rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
½ T. sea salt
1/2 T. soy sauce
2 T. salad oil

Dipping Sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

½ red onion, julienned
1 tomato, quartered into 8 pieces
2 cups watercress

1. Marinate the beef with the garlic, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cracked black pepper, and soy sauce for at least one hour.
2. In a pan over high heat, add 2 T. cooking oil, add the beef in an even single layer and sear before turning the beef and then searing the other side. Add the butter to this when the meat is almost done cooking. Do this in batches!
3. Serve seared meat with the salad with the dipping sauce and vinaigrette on the side.

Com Do Ca Chua [Vietnamese Red Rice]

2 cups cooked, day-old jasmine rice
2 medium shallots, minced
2 T. tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. Maggi seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
tt salt and pepper

1. In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2 T. oil and the minced garlic and shallots.
2. Stir in the rice.
3. Add in the tomato paste, the Maggi seasoning, and sugar.
4. Mix thoroughly and serve with the bo luc lac.


For our one year wedding anniversary, I decided to cook up my husband’s favorite dish, beef stew…although he tells me every dish I make is his FAVORITE dish…I obviously married the perfect guy! So I made some Boeuf Bourguignon with an Asian twist by adding some star anise and cinnamon. I hope you enjoy my version!

* Serves 6.

1 T. vegetable oil
8 oz. thick sliced bacon, diced
2.5 lbs. beef chuck , cut into 1-inch cubes
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 lb. carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
½ red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups red wine
1 14.5 oz beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 lemongrass stalk
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. all-purpose flour

1 lb. mushrooms, sautéed in oil and butter [1 T. butter, 1 T. oil]


1. Heat oil in pot. Add bacon and cook until bacon is crispy. Set aside.
2. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Sear beef in oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Set aside.
3. Add carrots, minced onion, minced garlic, lemongrass, cinnamon, and star anises. Cook until fragrant, about one minute.
4. Add tomato paste and cook for about one minute.
5. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil.
6. Add meat back to the pot along with the bay leaf, beef broth and enough water to cover the meat.
7. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, basically until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
8. While the meat is cooking, prepare the buttered mushrooms by heating 1 T. butter and 1 T. oil in a pan. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly brown.
9. Combine 2 T. flour with 2 T. of butter and stir into the stew. Add the mushrooms to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
10. Serve with French bread.
11. Garnish with cilantro.