What's for Dinner #23 - 07/2017 - the Summertime Picnic & Grilling Edition

Which part of PQ were you staying? The place, bungalow resort I am starting now staying is next to the Long Beach and very beautiful greenery. No tv but we have electricity. Next to a city centre of Duong Dong. The city Is a busy area.

I think you were mentioning the northern part of the island? We will try to go there for a swim. But I read a site that even there, hotels are popping up.

We have been hesitating a lot whether to visit PQ or Con Dou… but husband had not bring his diving card with him. Originally on the trip, I had planned to go to Koh Ta Kiev, an Island without electricity at night, husband didn’t want to go, thinking that an internet addict like me will be impossible to live without network and we stayed more days in Kampot.

We have been Vietnam in 2008, 2012, now nearly 10 years later, I feel the lay back city feeling is gone, place has tons of hotels and restaurants and busy streets. Very different from Cambodia,we arrived since yesterday, I’m still trying to adapt…very different from the sleepy Kampot.

Husband was talking about prolonging the stay here, our next destination will be Ho Chi Minh, we have been to the city before, didn’t like the transport, the crowd, and the stress. Visited the monuments already too. Only reason is for food.

So far street food wise in PQ, a lot of grilling and deep fried, and rice. Missed a bit of variety found in the mainland.


Tonight was a leftover meal, of sorts. Leftover grilled salmon with a salad of lettuce purchased at market yesterday. Also part of our market buy were dainty, shall we say a precious zucchini and summer squash. I turned those into salad with ribbons of the vegetables, a basil, lemon juice and olive dressing, with parmesan and toasted pine nuts. This new-to-me salad was a really refreshing dish and I expect we will make it again, until the zucchini at market is more mature. Some carrots and radishes, plus one of those breads i made earlier in the week.

And the zucchini’s close up:


Still hot.
Still muggy.
But I needed to feed the freezer.
And I needed comfort food.
So a big-ass pot of meat sauce was made.

Sketti, sawce, grated Parm-Reg, crusty buttered roll, and cucumber-radish salad. Wine.

(And yes, that’s a cheese plate saying “CHARDONNAY” that I used for the salad - I didn’t have anything else appropriate.)

Wish I could sleep in tomorrow. :frowning:


Cutie kitten, lovely!

I think I’m not posting in a linear fashion, but I need to mention our last dinner in Phnom Penh. We went to a beer garden mainly filled with locals. A kid was celebrating birthday, his family booked a big table for for at least 12 people. There were singers the whole night, very loud music but fun.

The hightlight dish was a grilled marinated pork ribs, it took At least 40 minutes to arrive.

Other dish we took a BBQ with mixed meat and seafood. We had our stove and the waitress cooked our food.

We had of course some crabs in Kep, we had 2 meals there, some highlights:

Amok with crab, lots of crab meat makes this dish even better!

Crab cooked with Kampot pepper

Our last dinner in Cambodia ended with a dish for special occasion, saraman: Velvet beef curry with peanuts and herbs, served with rice and pitta bread.

Sad news for Bokor hill lovers, they are already starting to make it a large resort hill, big project include renovation of the old palace hotel and casino and building plenty of hotels and casinos.


What a great looking salad! I bet the cuc and radish is very refreshing together. And probably also nice with chardonnay!

Great all to rare afternoon with my BFF just the two of us hanging out without any obligations or specific plan. The i packed the potato salad inside a gallon ziplock of ice which went in my backpack and helped keep me cool on the 8mile ride. It stayed cold!
After a mani and movie - in this fantastic theater with reclining deluxe chairs! - we needed some dinner asap and with the heat my (pregnant) friend needed to literally put her feet up. We made a quick stop and then i put together some mexican-ish lettuce wraps on romaine leaves. She’s omni but loves soyrizo, so i sautéed soyrizo with onions and bell pepper. We cheated and just nuked some frozen brown rice which was better after the addition of cilantro and some pumpkin seeds. Wraps got a layer of sautéed soyrizo mix, guacamole, fresh cilantro and spicy salsa for her, cherry tomatoes for me. Rice on the side since it wouldn’t fit in the wrap!
Seltzer for her, a hard lemonade for me. We ate outside on the breezy terrace, it finally had cooled down to be nice outside.

Odds are this watermelon will be my late night snack with a good sprinkle of salt, i finally found a really good one!


Tonight, had cataplana using squids, shrimp, clams with sofritto made from sautéing onion, carrots, tomato and some fish stock with pinot grigio white wine, a couple chipotle with adobo sauce, added parsley and lemon juice after 8 minutes in my cataplana served with garlic and rosemary focaccia from the Italian deli. My now grown up teenage helper ( when he was in high school) dropped by to give me some home made zucchini bread. I had a slice, was fantastic. Sorry did to take pictures.


thank you
not good with photography but I do like stir fry wok cooking a lot.
I do love squid but usually like cooking it in my cataplanas , in my paella or fried squid!!.
Tried relleno camaron de carlos recently but not really impressed.
should try gochujang recipe one day . Is the korean fermented bean paste different from the chinese broad bean ? I basically use the same things, garlic , ginger, scallions, rice wine , sesame oil but not sesame seed. I also do not use gochugaru/korean chili powder.

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CCJ, you don’t have to use gochugaru. Koreans sure do, seems never hot enough for them. I sprinkled a bit over the plated food for a taste.

Gochujang and Chinese broad bean paste (doubanjiang) taste different (to me), even though the fermenting process is similar.

Veal Schnitzel, with asparagus and rhubarb as vegs. Some boiled potatoes. Parsley sauce. Notice there’s no lemon slices in sight? That’s because rhubarb is sour enough. I used goose fat and butter to fry these. Even made the crust a bit crispy on purpose. We like it slightly crispy.


Haha not bad idea, and with a wish list, I can show husband at Christmas time some hints to buy gifts.

Hi naf - Please don’t take this the wrong way but don’t you think that “internet addicts” like yourself are part of the reason why things are getting more developed in tourist-centric places like Vietnam?

I love Vietnam dearly and not just for the food. I loved Saigon. The overwhelming humanity, the sincerity of the people, the strife that they have gone through. If you try to see past the scooters and the development maybe you will feel the history and the optimism for the future of Vietnam. I can’t wait to bring my spring onion there one day…

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wish my son would allow me to use my duck fat
I have tubs of them
He thinks it is not healthy!
I sometimes sneak and fry my potatoes with them


The recent review shows duck fat, butter is not so evil, even quite healthy, it won’t contribute to cholesterol.

The animal fat are tasty!

With a very hungry one-year old about to loose her cool, and five hungry adults, dinner didn’t get its moment of portraiture.

Pork ribs, rubbed and brined for two days, smoked on the grill, mopped with a mustard sauce just at the end. Meat was very dense so we didn’t get the smoke ring that we expect. Served with a tortellini-pesto salad, local English peas with shallot and mint, plus a green salad. Dessert was one more round of strawberries, plus some Almond-Lemon shortbread cookies baked at the last minute.


SV goose breast, marinated in Grand Marnier. I just wanted to use up the Grand Marnier. Dark blob is cherry gelée since I eat lots of cherries these days. Red bits on the plate are rhubarb “dust”. Rhubarb was thinly sliced, soaked in boiled beetroot liquid, dried in the oven then pulverised. Purple mass is purple cauliflower pureed with some butter. Raw beetroots were being sliced by the partner at the time the photo was taken.


A quiet day spent reading and watching Britain’s Got Talent and animal videos on YouTube.

Dinner was a Wegmans tri-tip marinated in a favorite - the Firecracker marinade from Country Living magazine, and then roasted in a 350° oven until medium-rare.

Sides were a quick potato salad and the Esquites street corn salad recipe from Serious Eats. I, of course, subbed Italian flat leaf parsley for the cilantro. A V&L while preparing dinner.

Dessert will be Lemon Posset with blueberries, raspberries, and a blackberry sitting atop the custard.


Tonight was a combination of new and leftover.

Since I had two quarts of strawberries leftover from yesterday, I got to work early this morning. First up, making a rhubarb-strawberry compote. Breakfast was a bit of this with plain yogurt and some of my house-made granola. Very nice. Next up? Strawberry jam which became part of dinner.

Freshly made cole slaw, leftover tortellini salad and ribs. Added to the menu, biscuits made just before we sat down, and that jam.

The whole meal:

My plate:

That jam on a biscuit:

Not a bad holiday meal.


I’m on a much needed getaway. Rented a small condo for a few days near New Bern, NC. It’s been quite hot and humid but it is nice to be some place different.

I tend to plan a flexible, no fail dinner for the first night which can use the stove or the oven depending on what I find in the kitchen. I stopped at a new Lidl market in Kinston ( home of Vivian Howards restaurant the Chef and the Farmer). Interesting grocery. Perhaps 1/5 - 1/4 is non-food - clothing, housewares, etc. similar to the special buy items found at Aldis. Had hoped to pickup some interesting German style sausage but no such luck. Ended up with keilbasa. Bought produce, some wine, several items from their “Greek” promotion and an assortment of single baked goods to test. Prices are quite good, some organic and a bit of gluten free. I’ll probably stop by on my way home to test a few more things.

Dinner was stovetop cooked keibasa, boiled russets tossed with duck fat and crisped up and roasted okra. Okra was left whole, lightly oiled and sprinkled with lemon salt. Baked at 400 , turned a few times, until crispy. It has a wonderful green flavor and no slime. I’ve been alternating the method with green beans and can’t get enough of either. Very crisp and highly addictive!

Next night had fried oysters and shrimp at a place run by a fishing family. Served with hushpuppies, lima beans and corn on the cob. Shrimp were so fresh and crisp, oysters perfectly fried and briney. There was a beer…Quite good!

Tonight will be a composed salad with warmed leftover potatoes (scallions and a pinch of basil mustard), steamed green beans, canned smoked tuna (Lidl purchase) over spring mix lettuce and a tomato/cucumber salad.

Lots of signs for soft shelled crabs. Will either cook some or go out for dinner tomorrow.

Feels good to finally have a little r&r - with the emphasis on rest!

Happy 4th!


New Bern is a great place for a getaway. Enjoy your respite.


oooh, naf, you’ve hit on a sore spot! i’ve successfully made mayo on my own 2 times, and unsuccessfully about 20. i’ve tried every method known to man (so i’m not asking for any tips here!) and i just don’t have the knack, and have wasted so many gallons of oil. I wanted to try the Dukes just because people always rave about it. i do agree homemade is better, but it doesn’t look like i will be making any anytime soon… :disappointed_relieved: