Last week, I had a last minute assignment to interview the owner of a Cyclo Vietnamese Restaurant for Valley Lifestyles Magazine. It was a pleasant surprise when the owner insisted I have dinner. What came out of the kitchen was a small sampling of the available cuisine. This included one Vietnamese Egg Roll, one Spring Roll, and Black Pepper Shrimp on grilled bread. Plus, two sauces. One for the egg roll. One for the Spring Roll.
Since I had never eaten Vietnamese food before, I didn’t want to look too foolish trying to figure things out. “It’s okay. This is our first date,” Justina Duong said, as she told me how to wrap the mint and lettuce around the egg roll, then eat it like a burrito. Yes, it was all delicious. My favorite was the black pepper shrimp, with its garlic and tang of cilantro.
As I mentioned, the portion was so tiny, yet I was full when I finished. I was happy that dessert was nothing more heavy than a creme brulee. This has re-instigated my interest in cooking. I hear so many times how large American portions are. Yet, so many of us overfill ourselves. There may be something when it comes to ingredients. The number of taste sensations and flavors in that small meal were enough to convince my tummy it was definitely full. I don’t believe it had much to do with the champagne I had, either. Although, that did make the meal feel even more elegant.
By the way, the German champagne Phillipe Prie’ is now my favorite champagne. I have never tasted another alcohol beverage that was so smooth and didn’t ‘bite’ me when it got to the back of my throat.
What are your favorite healthy meals? How do you cook to get the most flavor, yet maintain portion control?