Pho is actually really simple to make, but I wanted to breakdown what I've learned from my mom, and many iterations of trying to replicate her version. I wouldn't say this recipe is traditional or authentic. I'd just say it's good. Having eaten pho a dozen times and a dozen different ways, all over Vietnam, I can only say there are good and bad preparations of this dish, but no official one that rules them all.
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I love how I'm still learning new ways of preparing really basic cuisine from just about anyone. That's the great thing about classics like lasagna--everybody loves it, and everybody has their own personal take on it.
This is the ultimate burger. For an 8 oz. burger, it's the lighest, heaviest burger you'll ever eat. This is due to the a technique pioneered by Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck fame. This is how we do our version.
I stumbled on this technique serendipitously. I was aiming for a flat-baked salmon chip, but it didn't work out as planned. Although, it ended up with a cool effect of looking like glass, it also tasted like glass, or at least, that's what it felt like we were chewing on. It was virtually unpalatable.
home-made chicharones | pimenton - vinegar
Chicharones at home is easy. Remove the skin from the belly, leaving about 1/4 inch of fat. Put your pork skins into a non-stick pan and season with salt and a touch of vinegar to taste. Do not crowd the pan or else the skins will stick to each other later on in the cooking process. Add water just to cover, then add twice that amount of water (this is just a method of measurement to make you have enough water). Boil the skin until all water has evaporated and then turn the heat to low. At this point, the excess fat from the skin should have rendered out enough to cover the skins. If this is not the case, add a neutral oil so that the skins are submerged. Keep the heat on low and continue to render until the skin becomes crispy. Toss with additional salt if needed and your choice of seasoning (I like pimenton because it gives it a smokey characteristic). Drain on paper towels to cool.
I love falafels. To me, a good falafel should be explosively crunchy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. A bad falafel is bland, dense, and sometimes even pasty. I've had my fair share of those.
This recipe took some trial and error to develop. Here are the most valuable things I've learned: