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Daring Cooks: Vietnamese pho…and wontons

October 13, 2009

oct dk 3

My stomach is grumbling just writing this post.  I really love pho.

Back when I was in Texas, College Station was a small town with a high population of international graduate students.  What do those two things have to do with pho?  Let me tell you:  there was a really great pho place the Vietnamese kids would take me to when working on school projects.  It was easy to find because it was a small town.

Their parents would beat their hands when they were first learning to use chopsticks and held them incorrectly.  Consequently, their chopstick form is far superior to mine.  But I don’t care because I still enjoy using chopsticks but I didn’t have pain to go along with it.

oct dk sides

I was going to say that the best part about pho is the toppings.  But then I remembered the broth.  I love pho broth.  But I love pho toppings.  I don’t know which is the best part.

Maybe the best part is that my mom (who is allergic to everything…even celery) can eat pho.  It is hard to make tasty chicken stock without celery.  Enter pho.  And I never even realized this until I made pho myself this month which got me really excited!!!

No, I think it’s the toppings.  I have so much fun just adding them!

oct dk 2

As you might have noticed, this month’s Daring Cooks challenge was to make Vietnamese pho and I loved it!  Jaden over at the Steamy Kitchen hosted the challenge in celebration of her new cookbook.  The cookbook (I’ve heard) has a lot of really great, quick Asian-inspired meals in it, and it has a faster pho recipe in there.  But if you want to take the long route, you can head over to this recipe on Jaden’s site.  I made the long one and absolutely loved it.

I made chicken pho, but there is also beef and shrimp pho.  My favorite eating out is the meatballs, but I don’t want to make this at home because I’m afraid to find out what they put in those amazingly tasty meatballs!

So you might think this post is winding down and coming to an end at this point…but if you do then you’re wrong!  That’s because this month we had a bonus challenge:  dessert wontons!

DK pump

While base recipe was for chocolate wontons, we were highly encouraged to play around with fillings, and in light of the fall season, I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Wontons with Brandy Cream Sauce.  Oh. My.  These were good.

DK pump 2

To make the wontons, I combined the following:

1 c pumpkin puree
1/3 c mascapone cheese
1/4 c dark brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmegpinch allspice
pinch salt

And then I just put a little in the wonton wrappers, folded them as per the picture on the back of the wonton wrapper package, and fried them in vegetable oil.

DK pump 3

The brandy cream sauce is actually pretty easy to make, and a great use of leftover egg yolks! I’ll leave you with this recipe.  Please make and enjoy!

Brandy Cream Sauce

1/2 c cream
2 T brandy
raisins (optional)
2 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
2 T butter, cut into 4 pieces

Bring the cream, brandy, and (if you’re using them) raisins to boil in a saucepan.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat egg yolks and suger until combined.

When cream starts to boil, slowly pour into the yolk/sugar mixture to temper.  Pour this back into the saucepan and cook on low heat until it reaches your desired thickness.

Remove from heat, and wait approximately 10 s.  Add butter and quickly stir to combine.  (The sauce is allwed to cool slightly before butter addition to keep the butter from separating.)


9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 7:40 am

    Great job with the pho, and love your pumpkin spice wontons! Oh my head is already coming up with delicious excuses to make some of that brandy cream sauce…

  2. October 14, 2009 1:02 pm

    yummy!! and the pumpkin spice wontons with the brandy cream sauce sounds so decadent!!

  3. October 14, 2009 2:47 pm

    Your pho and wontons look delicious! I’ve been on a pumpkin kick the last few weeks (and didn’t get to the bonus/dessert part of this challenge)… I think I just might have to borrow your idea 🙂

  4. October 14, 2009 6:36 pm

    Mmm! That looks awesome =D. I love the sound of your wontons, and I’m so glad your mom would be able to enjoy the Pho!

  5. October 14, 2009 11:03 pm

    ooooohlala! Brandy Cream Sauce!!!!
    I want!!!!

  6. October 15, 2009 6:24 am

    WOW you did a fanastic effort on this and the pho looks perfect and those fall wontons are so nice. Well done Cheers from Audax in Australia

  7. October 15, 2009 8:12 pm

    What an original wonton flavour! And your pho looks delicious!

  8. October 16, 2009 3:42 pm

    Wonderful pho! And the wontons are inspired!
    Plus.. I am totally in love with the bowl.. I have a thing for dishes. 🙂

  9. Wendy permalink
    October 16, 2009 11:15 pm

    Both the wontons and the pho look wonderful. I’m sad I missed the challenge this month.

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