Monthly Archives: June 2013

Fruits of Labor: Vermicelli Salad

June 18, 2013

I ate tons of this Vietnamese noodle salad in San Francisco. There were so many places that made up big delicious bowls of the stuff! Essentially a salad of lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers & carrots it is topped with thin rice noodles and usually a meat or tofu of some sort. 

I haven’t a place here in London yet that I really like so I thought I would try out this staple myself. You should be able to find rice noodles in the speciality sections at the market or certainly at an Asian market and same goes for the fish sauce. If not you can substitute vermicelli pasta noodles. I like to use the thinnest style of rice noodles – 

This recipe serves 2 

To make the Salad you will need: 
1 palm sized head of little gem lettuce per serving shredded (approx 1 1/2 cups)  
1 cup of peeled cucumber cut into matchsticks 
1 cup of shredded or matchstick cut carrots 
1/4 cup of cilantro & mint leaves
1/4 cup of chopped honey roasted peanuts 
6 scallions sliced thinly 
1 cup of bean sprouts 
10 oz of top sirloin (marinaded for at least 30 minutes) 
Rice noodles** 

Marinade for the meat: 
3 tbsp of fish sauce 
3 tbsp of soy sauce 
Juice of 1 lime 
2 tbsp of honey 
1 large clove of minced garlic 
1 tsp of chili flakes 
1 stalk of lemongrass sliced the long way (give it a couple of whacks against the counter before slicing) 

Place sirloin in the marinade and flip over occasional while preparing the rest. 

Sauce for the Noodles:  
2 tbsp of fish sauce 
2 tsp of honey 
juice of 1 1/2 limes. reserve the remaining half for garnish 
1 clove of garlic minced very finely 
pinch of chili flakes
Portion into two small serving bowls and set aside. This sauce will be poured over the dish just before serving. 

To make the Salad:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles and cook until just past al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Make sure they are thoroughly drained before adding to salad. 
**(usually rice noodles come in large bunches of 3 within the package and I split 1 bunch between 2 people. If not I usually figure 1cup – 1 1/2 cups of cooked noodles per serving) 

While the noodles are cooking drizzle a pan with oil and saute scallions until very soft. When the are done remove oil and scallions and set aside. Remove the steak from the marinade. In the same pan you just cooked the scallions, cook the steak. 4-5 minutes on each side over medium height heat for medium rare. let stand for about 10 minutes and then slice very thinly. 

Assemble portions of cucumber, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, herbs and peanuts in the bottom of a large bowl. Place the drained noodles on top and drizzle with scallions & oil. Place thinly sliced steak on top.  Serve accompanied with previously prepared noodle sauce, large wedge of reserved lime & sriracha sauce. Pour fish sauce down over the top of the noodles just before eating & enjoy !

Interior Ideas

June 14, 2013

Its Friday again! And this time I was inspired by the classic Eames lounge chair. It a perfect casual chic combonation and adds gorgeous sculptural lines to a space. 

Im also looking forward to an outing at the british museum this weekend, visting with out-of-town friends & lunch here 

How are you going to spend your days ? 

see you on Monday

Fruits of Labor: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

June 11, 2013

I live for Rhubarb season. Its always a short window at the edges between spring and summer and, especially in Europe, rhubarb seems to dominate the menu. What I love most about rhubarb is, with a little attention, its austerity transforms into something unique and decadently wonderful. 

This recipe is for crumble. A classic that suits the casual nature of summer cooking while yielding sumptuous results. Because of the simpleness of the recipe use only the best quality ingredients & pair with a scoop of the best vanilla ice cream you can find. 

Simply put. This recipe is a 1-1-1, mix & bake. 

About 10 stalks of the reddest rhubarb. Scrubbed and cut into 3inch chunks  
1 pint of strawberries. Hulled & sliced thickly 
1 Orange. Juiced & zested
1 cup of sugar. 

Mix these ingredients in a bowl & let stand. The sugar is really up to taste. I like mine to retain some of the tartness of the rhubarb. But, I also recommend tasting a small slice of the rhubarb to see how tart or sweet it is. You may need more or less sugar. 

For the crust. 
1 cup of whole meal flour
1 cup of quick cook oatmeal 
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of butter (or a 1/2 pound) 
1 tsp of salt 

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Dice butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture. Rub butter & dry ingredients together with fingertips until it is combined and forms small pea sized granules. You can also pulse together in a food processor. 

Spread Rhubarb mixture evenly over the bott0m of a shallow baking dish. Add topping in an even layer over the mixture. Bake at 350℉ 170℃ for aprox 45 minutes or until top is golden and sides are bubbling. 

Interior Ideas

June 7, 2013

I often see furniture that inspires me to design an entire space in my head – down to what plants would be chosen. In moments I have gone through the mental catalogue of designs, textiles, window casings, paint colors & even surfaces I have stored away up there and created a sketch of what I would pair together. 
Being in a new space, I play this little mental design game even more. Everything seems like inspiration and I find myself often off in a furniture ladened day dream.
So why not challenge myself & my photoshop skills and actually bring about a hard copy of these day dreams – 

Here is the first one. Inspired by the black leather & metal chairs at the center 

Happy weekend friends ! 


June 3, 2013

Eights months huh. 

Thats is like a lifetime in the blogosphere. 

And in someways that is appropriate. Since the last time I blogged there have been many changes in my life. The most notable perhaps, is that I am now blogging from London. East Putney to be exact. And, this is the biggest reason for my returning to this space. Leaving a place and going somewhere new, totally unexplored, its quite possibly the largest source of inspiration I can imagine. 

I have never lived anywhere but the US for more than a few months, but it is something I always knew I needed to do. And thus far I am incredibly happy. The landscape here is stunningly beautiful. So different from the hugeness and ruggedness of Northern California. In ways it reminds me of the places I grew up, but then again not exactly. They are cousins I would say, but not sisters.  
Living among so many layers of history is mind-boggling and the architecture has grabbed my heart instantly. I am sure there is a ferocity to this city, but I have yet to see that side. No doubt however that I will. 

Everything seems full up with the very best kind of Possibility and there is something quite delicious in that.  

I look forward to sharing the newest chapter here, from 10A. See you tomorrow.