Wednesday, February 23, 2011

World Wednesdays: Vientiane food edition

We enjoyed our first meal in Laos on the outskirts of Vientiane. It was a Sunday and most of the preferred noodle shops were closed, but we eventually found a bowl of steaming hot noodle soup.

This photo takes me right back - I remember perspiring from eating too many chilies, and worrying about the water used to wash the fresh herbs. I remember chasing away flies with a flick of my wrist and trying not to step on the matted dog under our table. I remember children lazing in hammocks and chicken scratching the dry dirt. I remember vividly, the excitement from being in a new place.

Thum muk hoong, Lao papaya salad. Bursting with flavour and fiery hot (by far the spiciest thing I ate on that trip). The Thai version, som tam, is much sweeter than the Lao version.

My first taste of dragon fruit, a perfect respite to all the spice.

Grilled fish along the banks of the Mekong.

We were also lucky to be part of a baci ceremony, where we got to try some expertly prepared traditional Lao dishes by our friend's family. A few food photos from the ceremony:

Vientiane: baci ceremony
The spread included,

Vientiane: baci ceremony
beef laap,

Vientiane: baci ceremony
a delicious soup (that I can't remember the name of),

Vientiane: baci ceremony
fresh vegetables and herbs, and sticky rice (that I don't have a picture of).

Vientiane: baci ceremony
Of course, there were crates of warm Beerlao to wash down all of this delicious food.

Vientiane: baci ceremony
The aftermath.

Thanks for indulging me as I reminisce on this especially grey day in Paris.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Croissant sandwich with comté and thyme roasted mushrooms and shallots, with a small salad.

Sautéed onions, mushrooms and broccoli with lots of garlic. I can't remember what I did with them once cooked!

Homemade roasted pumpkin gnocchi in a brown butter sage sauce, with a side of caramelised leeks.

Okra for dinner
We bought okra from one of the Indian grocery stores near Gare du Nord to make a delicious bhendi masala.

Masoor dal to go with the bhendi masala.

Homemade glazed doughnuts
My first attempt at homemade yeasted doughnuts turned out rather well. Except our apartment smelt a little like a diner after all the frying, and I cut the holes a little too large! I used this recipe.

Arnaud Larher chocolates
A box of Arnaud Larher chocolates to nibble on.

Crusty baguette with ripe camembert, tart apples, and a grainy mustard-balsamic spread.


Our weekly homemade pizza in the oven. My preference is for a slow-rise pizza dough but this time I tried Jamie Oliver's recipe. Tasty but a little bread-like. Also, I miss my pizza stone.

Spagetti with roasted eggplant and mushrooms in a basil and tomato sauce with buffalo mozzarella.

Chocolate Ganache Custard Tart

Chocolate ganache custard tart from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert. Easy and fantastic!

Lemon looking Clementine
A lemon-looking clementine that we found lurking in the piles of clementines at the market this weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

World Wednesdays: Vientiane, Laos

Last year at this time we were in Laos. Vientiane, the capital city felt miles away from the crowds of India. We rode bicycles in the cool of the mornings, sought shelter in the shaded temples as the day warmed, and watched the sun set over the Mekong while sipping on Beerlao. I took several hundred photos on our trip as we travelled north through the country, and then beyond. Here are a few pictures from Vientiane:









If you are interested, I'll be adding more photos here as I edit them.