Chef Khai Duong finds inspiration all around him. The idea for combining haricot vert and white peaches dawned on him as he watched his daughter, Aivy, snack on persimmons and green beans. Intrigued by the unusual combination, Duong decided to try it as an accompaniment to turbinado-and-chili-glazed freshwater prawns — a sweet, salty and spicy entrée. It worked. And the rest is culinary history.
Duong, a native of Nha Tran on the south central coast of Vietnam, emigrated to the United States in 1975. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Academie Culinaire de Paris where he was first in his class, Duong combines traditional Vietnamese cooking with classical French influence.
Dungeness crab with tamarind Serves 4
4 whole medium Dungeness crabs
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1⁄2 scallion, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons tamarind pulp
8 tablespoons hot water
In a small bowl, cover the tamarind pulp with hot water and set aside. When tamarind is soft, mash it with a spoon and pass it through a strainer. In a small bowl combine sugar, black pepper, salt and fish sauce. Stir the tamarind into the mixture and set aside.
Steam the crabs until they are bright red. To clean the cooked crabs, remove the tops and rinse thoroughly. Cut into quarters and break the claws in two or three places without disturbing the meat. In a large pan or wok, sauté the garlic and onion in hot oil until soft, add the crabs and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes over high heat. Add the tamarind mixture and stir until the sauce is the consistency of syrup. Stir in the scallions. Remove from heat.
PRESENTATION: Place crabs and sauce onto a large platter. Serve hot.
Garlic noodles Serves 6
1 16-ounce package fresh egg noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, for garnish
In a large pan of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the noodles. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until they are firm, but tender. Drain the noodles and transfer them to a large bowl of cold water for 1 minute. Drain again and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots. Stir for 30 seconds. Add oyster sauce, sugar and soy sauce; simmer. Add the cooked noodles and bean sprouts. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
PRESENTATION: Spoon noodles onto plates and top with roasted sesame seeds.
Turbinado-and-chili-glazed freshwater prawns with haricot vert and white peach Serves 4
For the prawns:
8 extra-colossal (U/10 per pound) whole freshwater prawns (about 3⁄4 pound) with heads and tails attached (or substitute tiger prawns)
4 to 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons prawn roe (reserved from prawns)
4 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce, or to taste
Shell and devein the prawns leaving the heads and tails intact. Remove the roe from behind the head and reserve. If using the prawn roe, pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet. (Without the roe, use only 1 tablespoon of oil.) Add the garlic to the oil and sauté over medium-high heat for about 15 seconds until the garlic is a light golden color. Add chili powder, sugar and, if desired, prawn roe. Whisk together until thick and completely blended, about 30 seconds. Over high heat add the wine and whisk together for about 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add the fish sauce and continue whisking until the mixture is reduced by half, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. The sauce should be a light creamy glaze consistency. Set aside. Keep warm.
In a separate large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the prawns and toss occasionally, until lightly seared on all sides. Cook until medium-rare (prawn will feel firm to the touch when pressed). Remove the prawns and pour out all the oil from the skillet. Return the prawns to the skillet and pour the sauce on top. Cook together over medium-high heat until the sauce glazes the prawns. Keep warm.
For the haricot vert and white peach:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces haricot vert or blue lake green beans, trimmed and blanched
1 white peach, peeled and julienned (substitute persimmon when white peaches are not inseason)
Kosher salt, to taste Black pepper, to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter. When hot, but not burning, add the haricot vert. Toss to cook and coat with the butter, about 1 minute or until tender, but still crisp. Add the peaches, salt and pepper; toss until mixed.
PRESENTATION: Divide and arrange the beans and white peach in the center of each of four plates. Top each with two prawns. Pour extra sauce on top and onto the sides of the plates. Serve hot.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.