Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Slanted Door, Squamish-style

Last year we had a girls' trip to San Francisco.  Mom, Bronwyn & I went down for a long weekend.  Briana was supposed to come as well, but unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute (which of course means that we are all due to go down again, this time properly with the 4 of us!)

I hadn't been to San Fran in a long time, but I remember loving it and I remember eating well & too much.  This trip was no exception.  In fact, it would be fair to say that eating was the main activity, and we just threw in some sight-seeing to re-work-up our appetites.

Mom, me & Bronwyn at the Ferry Building in San Francisco
It is hard to choose a winner, but my favourite meal on the trip was at The Slanted Door, a very popular and trendy Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building.  It had an awesome atmosphere and the food was unbelievable.  They also had bathroom attendants that actually opened the stall door for you, which made me slightly uncomfortable, but maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to appreciate it.

I was very excited to receive a cookbook from Bronwyn for Christmas by Charles Pang, the owner-chef of The Slanted Door.  "Vietnamese Home Cooking" is a really great looking book, filled with delicious recipes, but also gorgeous photos of Vietnam and interesting stories & anecdotes from the author.  I'd flipped though it and salivated over several pages, but until today, had not yet made anything out of it.

For this cookbook challenge I chose a main meal out of the book and a few condiments & sides to go with it.  I combined them all into what Charles Pang calls a "Vermicelli (Bun) Bowl".  Basically make a grilled meat of some sort, make some condiments & sides, put on top of vermicelli noodles & top with peanuts, hot sauce, mint, etc.  Yum.

Cookbook Challenge #12 Vermicelli (Bun) Bowl featuring Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Lemongrass Marinate, Spicy Mango Salad and Pickled Carrots.  From "Vietnamese Home Cooking" by Charles Pang.

The lemongrass is sad in Squamish.   It used to be available in nice long normal stalks, but now you can only buy in little pre-packed plastic containers.  You usually get a 1/3 to 1/4 of a stalk, sometimes with mould, sometimes without, for the bargain price of $3.  So I just use this now, which is not quite a flavourful or fragrant, but at least its mould-free.

The marinate for the pork chops was lemongrass, Thai bird chillies, fish sauce, garlic & sugar... It was very tasty!!!  Tonight it was warm in Squamish and a perfect night for BBQing.  My sides of choice were spicy mango salad (awesome for the pregnancy-induced heartburn) and pickled carrots.

Everything came together nicely for a really light, fresh & tasty dinner.  I love Vietnamese food.  I can tell that this will not be my last foray into this book!  Thanks, Bronwyn!!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I had only one wish: not to be in labour on my birthday.  I wasn't, so I was a happy birthday girl.  I had a great birthday, full of lovely surprises and treats.  Thank you to my friends who brought their fine cooking over on the weekend for a potlatch party.  Thanks to everyone for the birthday phone-calls, texts & emails. And a huge thanks to Derek who spoiled me rotten!  Here is a glimpse of the goodies I enjoyed:

Triple chocolate moose cake from Xocolatl in Squamish

Gorgeous flowers from my sweetheart

Cutest birthday card!  Hopefully Rufus is not sitting contently in a breech position!

Treat to myself: my all time favourite ice cream - Chunky Monkey.
How do you like my customized scooper?  It was gifted to me by my grandmother when I worked at Ben & Jerry's.

There was only one close call this weekend.  Fattened up on ice cream and cake, I was a tempting treat for this rare giant sparrow.  Luckily, I made it out alive!!

People need to stop feeding the animals in Vancouver - they are getting big and aggressive!
Having a cat-nap with Zambo!

1 comment:

  1. I love the way Zambo has turned you into a shelf to sleep on!