Monday, April 25, 2011

Family Easter Dinner

Spring certainly sprung this Easter weekend as we headed out of town for a family dinner. We all went for a walk in the park, came back home to fill our bellies with delicious, healthy food and then our family had a very nice evening as a family. Usually the adults and kids go their own ways during and after dinner, however this evening we were asked to take pictures out of Ba Ngoai's old photo albums. Questions started popping up from us 2nd generation kids as we saw old black and white pictures from Vietnam and from those came a plethora of stories. Mostly the stories were hilarious and the house was full of the laughter of both generations laughing together.  I'll leave it at that because, as you can probably imagine, with the past come stories that bring tears though not from laughter.

Our menu was mailed out a few weeks in advanced, as we are very organized about food. It's very important! I was in charge of the appetizer which was the black bean dip because we were shooting for a healthy meal.

1. Appetizer 
2. Mango salad & Fresh Fruit
3. Stuffed peppers & a green salad
4. Salmon & Rice
5. Beverages(fruit juice, beer & wine)
6. Tofu in tomato sauce (dau hu xot cachua) – doesn’t have to be home-made tofu
7. Shrimp salad rolls & dessert
8. Breakfast for those who are staying over

I'll learn how to make this nice Goi soon.

There's the salmon, ready for the oven.

This is delicious Tofu. Yes, we'll get everyone liking
tofu soon enough.
At first I thought this post would just be me writing about all this great food I got to eat without telling any of you how to make some of it. Luckily, I remember I was sent the recipe for the salmon we sometimes make for our various get-togethers. I made it at the cottage once. It's easy and tastes great, I just don't have a name for it. Here is the recipe my aunt sent me.

Baked Salmon
Printable Recipe
4 salmon fillet
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoon of oyster sauce
sesame seed(optional)
3 green onion finely chopped
olive oil

Cover tray with foil then add some oil on the tray to prevent the fish from sticking to the tray
put all ingredients (except olive oil) in a large bowl. Mix well. Place fish into mixture, cover and marinate for at least 30 min.
Preheat oven to 450F then reduce to 400.
Place marinated fish into tray sprinkle with olive oil then bake for 15 min or until fish is cooked.

Breakfast the next morning was amazing as always, as my aunt spoils me. D'awwwww. Before breakfast though, my six year old cousin had her Easter egg hunt, which involved little clues in plastic eggs that sent her around the house in rhyme. I had the same when for some of my birthdays as a kid and they were so fun and watching her run around, trying to figure out where the next egg could be found was adorable. After that, we found out that my little cousin had hidden chocolate eggs for us to find. You know how you make it easy for young kids to find their Easter eggs? Well, little kids return the favour! We then had to give them back and she hid them again! 

If you've never had a bagel with smoked salmon,
cream cheese, capers, red onions and a sprinkle of lemon
juice, then you should.
That hard boiled egg was dyed in beet juice. There were
blue ones dyed with red cabbage. 
After breakfast, we the two and a half hours back home and I got started on a Sunday night dinner I decided to have for a friend who couldn't make it to Friday night dinner and a couple other usual guests. We had some sweet corn, steamed broccoli, roasted potatoes and roasted pork tenderloin with a cilantro-mint marinade. I had a lot of mint and cilantro left over, so a simple Google search of "pork tenderloin mint cilantro" gave me that recipe. I subbed apple juice instead of orange juice. I didn't have the capability to grill it so I put them in the oven at 350 degrees F. I wrapped one of them in tin foil, with a little white wine, and left the other on the pan. After 45 minutes, the non-wrapped one was definitely more tender and juicy. Yeah, I experiment. I also mixed potatoes in the remaining marinade after I took the pork out, added some chopped garlic, some red pepper chili flakes, put them on a baking sheet and put everything in the oven. I made sure to turn the potatoes about halfway through the baking process. So, a bit of a food frenzy weekend, but that's what makes it a good one, ya?

Oh, and the biggest news of all from this Easter Family visit was a little note book that my Ba Ngoai had written some recipes in! How great is that? Oh, did I mention I'm Vietnamese illiterate? I can actually read a bit of it and I have a few corrections to make in some of my other entries. Most notably, some important changes to the Dua Chua .

Happy Easter!