I was first introduced to today’s raw fish dish, poisson cru, or e’ia ota, many years ago, on a trip to Moorea, one of the islands in French Polynesia, more commonly known as Tahiti. Poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish, literally means “raw fish” in French. It consists of fresh fish, usually tuna or mahi mahi, and vegetables marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. It is found just about anywhere in Tahiti – from roadside stands to fine restaurants.
The result of the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine is very evident in the bánh mì sandwich. Usually served on a baguette and slathered with spicy aioli that is borrowed from French cuisine, this sandwich is then filled with meat and other ingredients that are decidedly more Vietnamese – vegetable slaw made with pickled carrots and daikon radishes, sliced jalapeños, and fresh cilantro. Other typical fillings include barbecue or roast pork, pâté, sliced ham and other deli meats, and even tofu. Continue reading
Today, I bring you another dish that includes a vegetable I’ve harvested from my edible garden. I pulled the first bunch of lovely “Round Romeo” carrots this week, which I planted back in October. At the time I sowed the seeds, their uncommon round shape intrigued me and looking back, I think I planted them primarily for their novelty. However, upon tasting them, I was pleasantly surprised by these smooth-skinned carrots and their sweet flavor and crunchy texture; they are delicious! I used a couple of them for these cupcakes, along with some regular carrots I already had on hand. I am going to steam the rest and toss them with a little butter and chives to fully enjoy their uniqueness and flavor.
Chris & I devoted most of the last week of August working on our new garden. Chris tilled and leveled the soil and removed some tree roots left by two huge trees in preparation for the placement of four new raised beds he built. I had it fairly easy; I was in charge of selecting, buying and planting all the vegetables and flowers. I included flowers around the vegetables to add splashes of color amidst all of the green foliage. I also transplanted all the herbs that were scattered around in different pots to a single raised herb bed. Now most of my herbs – French tarragon, Greek oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, sage, lemon thyme, and garlic chives are together. I also have basil but I read that it is the perfect companion to tomatoes so I planted them together in a separate pot. The basil is supposed to keep insects away and even enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.