Friday, October 3, 2008

Tony the Chef

So after a week of being evacuees in Dallas, the wife and I visited a good friend in Austin named Tony. During our weekend there, Tony prepared breakfast for us each morning.

Saturday morning

Breakfast @ Tony's
Clockwise starting with the center bowl: pepper-braise pork, rice, stir-fried ong choy with garlic, mushroom & green onion omelet, lemongrass pork chops (cut into smaller pieces), fresh cucumbers.

Our first morning there, Tony prepared Vietnamese food. For those who think this looks more like lunch or dinner, keep in mind that the typical Vietnamese breakfast is merely a cup of coffee. So a "Vietnamese breakfast" really just means we ate Vietnamese food in the morning, which balances out all those who get the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity for dinner at your neighborhood IHOP. I really enjoyed his cooking, partly because I love pork for breakfast and partly because his cooking style is similar to my mama's (his family is from the same part of Vietnam as mine).

Sunday morning

Bo Bia
Our second morning in Austin, we awoke to Tony preparing bò bía, which is another type of Vietnamese spring roll; typically people think of Vietnamese spring rolls with sliced pork, shrimp, rice vermicelli, and veggies. Bò bía is made with (clockwise) slices of Chinese sausage, fresh basil, fried eggs, dried shrimp, grated carrots and jicama, peanut sauce, and spring roll wrapper. Here, Tony's combined the dried shrimp, carrots, and jicama for easy assembly.

Assembly instructions:
1. Dip the dry, brittle spring roll wrapper in warm water briefly and place onto your plate. You won't want it to get soft while in water, just get it wet, transfer to your plate and it will soften by the time you start wrapping.
2. Add a small spoonful of each ingredient, tear off some fresh basil leaves
3. Roll like an eggroll or enchilada with the ends closed off.
4. Dip in sauce and enjoy.

Yes, I know these directions lacks detail but getting good at making spring rolls only comes after having made many ugly, broken ones.

We've never been in a position to have Tony cook for us, but we were pleasantly surprised. Tony's a great cook. If I could, I'd have him cook for me everyday. Though I've only said this to a handful of people, no one's ever taken my offer for some reason. I'm not sure why.

No comments: