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Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes…
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Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes

by Nancie McDermott

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If you're looking for the ultimate Vietnamese recipe compendium, you won't find it in Nancie McDermott's "Quick and Easy Vietnamese" (Chronicle, $20). But if you'd like some simple dishes with Vietnamese origins that could fit easily into a modern American kitchen, you're more on track.

One guest made me repeat the simple recipe for lemongrass beef over and over, disbelieving how such simple steps and ingredients could result in such tender, tasty meat. Chicken simmered in caramel sauce was a restaurant-quality offering that took perhaps 15 minutes, start to finish. While I tend to associate chicken curry with Indian recipes, curries are popular in Vietnam as well, and this simple dish, spiked with lemongrass and chunks of sweet potatoes, was another dinnertime hit. The only main-course misfire was Vietnamese meat loaf, which used dried bean-thread noodles instead of breadcrumbs as a filler, and resulted in an odd, rubbery texture.

From the sweets and drinks chapter, warm banana-coconut pudding with tapioca pearls sounded wonderful, but the resulting dish was less what we think of as pudding and more a watery coconut-milk based broth with bobbing banana pieces. But overall, even if you've never thought you could make Vietnamese food at home, this book is a delightful way to get started. —G.F.C.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10839983/page/2/
  GaelFC | Nov 3, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081184434X, Paperback)

From the author of the popular Quick & Easy Thai come these 75 oh-so-delicious recipes for every level of cook. Though it shares certain culinary traditions with its Asian neighbors, Vietnamese cuisine is entirely distinct, focusing on a bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for signature clear, bright flavors with contrasting notes of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. Creamy chicken curry is paired with the zesty tang of lime juice and the heat from ground pepper and chilies. Crisp, fried fish is served with a puree of pineapple-chili sauce. Delicate, rice paperwrapped summer rolls merit a rich and savory soybean dipping sauce. From snacks and soups to grilled meats and seafood to the essential noodle dishes and desserts, Quick & Easy Vietnamese presents the full spectrum of Vietnamese cooking at its most simply delicious.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:45 -0400)

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