Cá Nướng Cuốn (Vietnamese Roasted Fish Rolls)

Those who are familiar with Vietnamese cuisine understand that it’s all about freshness and different flavors coming together perfectly. Cá nướng cuốn is no exception to the rule. Cá nướng means ‘fish grilled or roasted’ and cuốn means ‘roll.’ Using a fish, such as Bluefish, that has a lot of flavorful, white meat with a minimal amount of bones is very important; however, what makes this dish so fresh and bursting with flavor is the combination of herbs and vegetables in the roll. Fresh mint, Thai basil, cilantro, lettuce and cucumber are the usual suspects in any Vietnamese roll. The fish sauce, though, takes everything to a whole new level!20140408_175524

Vietnamese people love to socialize and have a good time over a meal. Hence, dishes like this are typically eaten for lunch or dinner in a group setting. Growing up, I watched my grandma, mom, aunts and uncles make this dish many times for our family gatherings. Using their original recipe, I made a few adjustments based on available ingredients and my own preference. I hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones too :).  Continue reading

Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta

Happy 2014! Many of us probably have eating healthier, or some variation, on our New Year’s resolutions list. We are very committed to the cause the first month or two, but things start to change a little towards the third month. Perhaps we just can’t quite make that spinning class, or we simply can’t bare the thought of eating another cold, boring salad. The reasons are endless. Let’s face it – eating healthy is much easier said than done. The trick, however, is to have a variety of easy, healthy and tasty recipes at hand.

That’s why this dish is one of my favorites! I first came across this recipe in a Living magazine. It’s such a nice mix of flavors that are light enough to serve as an app or side dish, but satisfying enough to serve as a main. Imagine Greek salad meets Caprese salad, all on top of a nice grilled slice of eggplant. It’s great to make on the outdoor grill in the summer, or on your stove top grill pan throughout the year. No grill pan? No problem. You can always use the good old frying pan!  Continue reading

Grilled Summer Vegetables

One of my favorite side dishes to serve in the summer is grilled peppers and zucchini. They are so fresh and sweet during the summer months, and I love how they get that nice smoky charred taste from the grill. I make these veggies almost every week in the summer and we can’t seem to get enough of them! The best part about this dish is that it’s SO easy to make. You could use any type of summer squash you like – zucchini, yellow straightneck squash, or yellow crookneck squash. And the different kinds of peppers available in the summer are endless! I prefer to use red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, and poblano peppers. Poblano peppers have a deep, yet still mild, flavor and are best in the summer.

So make sure to add these grilled vegetables to your next summer barbecue! No outdoor space or grill? No worries! You could also cook them over a stove top grill pan 😉 Continue reading

Shish Kabobs

Barbecues are synonymous with summer. Living in the city, however, makes having a barbecue very difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in New York, but it comes with both pros and cons. One of the cons is not enough outdoor space to have a proper grill. So, Michael and I improvised. We decided to have a mini barbecue tonight by taking our little electric grill onto the balcony! :)

The excitement quickly faded away, though, when I realized we can’t cook much on our grill. It’s too small and doesn’t produce enough heat. Basically, we ain’t makin’ baby back ribs or anything fancy tonight! I got a little sad at the thought of this, but came up with a perfect solution. Something fun, yummy, and quick to grill?  Shish kabobs! Continue reading