Caramel Chicken

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This recipe was taken from the October 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Dark meat chicken is pan-seared in vegetable oil. Whole garlic cloves follow. The pan is de-glazed with water and brown sugar, then rice vinegar, soy sauce and chicken broth are added. Fresh ginger is added to the broth once it reaches a boil, and then the chicken and garlic cloves go back in the pan to braise.

Once the chicken is done, it is removed and the broth is boiled until it becomes a glaze. The glaze is very rich and sweet. Goes well with the dark chicken. Top with scallions and serve over steamed white rice.

 

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Perfect Brown Rice

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I have perfected brown rice to bring out the nutty, flavor-packed potential of the grain. I start by heating a pan over medium-high heat and adding toasted sesame oil. I heat until smoking. Then I add the rice, between 2-4 cups and saute for about a minute. Then I add 2-4 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 2-4 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2-3 teaspoons of fish sauce. I stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and evaporated and then add 4-8 cups of water. I bring the rice to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Delicious! 

Mai Lee Restaurant in St. Louis

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Mai Lee Vietnamese Restaurant in Brentwood, Missouri

We ate at Mai Lee again last night. Over five visits to this wonderful Vietnamese restaurant in Brentwood, Missouri. I posted a review on Hubpages. I had Curried Eel with steamed rice. Good flavor, but the eel is hard to eat. Bones. Hard to chew. Marissa had Beef Meatball Soup, or Pho Bo Vien. It was delicious. The boys ate pork-fried rice, eggrolls and we all split a steamed pork bun. Marissa and I also drank wonderful Vietnamese coffees, made with extremely strong coffee and condensed milk.

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The Spread at Mai Lee

The service was good, but the young man forgot the boys’ Pepsi. But he put it on the bill. We had him take it off. No problem. Everything else was good. Wonderful spot for a Saturday night gathering of family and friends.

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Pho Bo Vien, or Beef Meatball Soup

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Curried Eel Stir-Fry. Sloshed Around a Bit.

Asabi Bistro Sushi Bar and Grill

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Asabi Bistro Sushi Bar and Grill is a collaboration of multiple Asian cuisines. With a focus on their sushi bar, they present beautiful, fresh ingredients on a bevy of contemporary dishes in an appealing aesthetically-pleasing dining room. Menu items include tempura’s, stir-fry‘s, fried-rice, curries and Pad Thais. Everything we sampled on our visit was delicious.

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We started with Seaweed Salad and Miso Soup. Both were fresh and wonderful. Hot and cold contrasts to start a meal. We followed that with Pork Lettuce Wraps and Shrimp Tempura. These were likewise wonderful. The only negative of the meal was when we realized that the wraps were missing the crispy fried rice noodles ubiquitous with lettuce wraps and were clearly stated on the menu. The crunch of the noodles would have been welcome with the well-seasoned pork and crispy lettuce.

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I tried only two of the sushi options. My stomach is only so big. I had the Spicy Tuna and the Vegetable. Both were great tasting, but the presentation is what set these apart. Rolled like a flower bouquet, not only were they almost too pretty to eat, but the size makes them a great value as well. I anticipate a return visit so I can make a meal out of the sushi alone.

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We finished with some generous entrees. Pork-Fried Rice and Char Tofu with Pork. Yes, I know, we tried too much pork. But it is Asian Cuisine after all, and pork rules! Both these dishes were delicious as well. The tofu was crispy on the exterior and creamy on the interior, as good tofu should be. The rice was well-seasoned with soy and garlic. The meats in both dishes were cooked well, nice and crispy; a great compliment to the rest of the dish.

Asabi Bistro very well may be the most underrated Asian restaurant in all the St. Louis metro area. I have not seen it listed in any directories, nor have I seen any reviews on the establishment. Hopefully this post will open some eyes and generate some traffic.

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Asabi Bistro Sushi Bar and Grill is located at 1325 Lake St. Louis Blvd. in Lake St. Louis, Missouri. They are open from 11-9 on Monday-Thursday and 11-10 on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sundays.

 

 

Portuguese Baked Eggs

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This recipe was taken from the October, 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Stewed bell peppers, onion, garlic (lots of garlic), tomato, basil, oregano, jalapeno and chili powder. Topped with eggs, ricotta, white cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all those awesome juices. Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or midnight snack!