July 2018


Vietnamese Coffee Milkshake

July 26: National Coffee Milkshake Day

Good morning, Vietnam—and the rest of the world! For those who have not had their morning “cup of joe” yet, perhaps for the next coffee break, try a Vietnamese coffee milkshake for an afternoon delight. It is a tropical take on the traditional coffee milkshake, with coconut and condensed milk as ingredients. The chicory in the Vietnamese coffee grounds also lends a unique flavor to this recipe.

Thanks to Islander’s BFF, Nan N., who works in Hawaii but sometimes takes business trips to Vietnam, where she got us some souvenirs: a bag of Hanoian black coffee grounds and the special filter press (phin) for our food projects. Making the coffee is almost an art form—and the result is a beautiful blend of colors (so use a glass mug to see the mixtures).

The cooled coffee is strong but makes for a flavorful Vietnamese coffee milkshake, which is perfect for a coffee break and on National Coffee Milkshake Day.

Recipe

For the Vietnamese coffee

  • 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons coffee grounds (coarse, not fine)
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

In glass mug, pour the condensed milk in the bottom layer. In the filter cup, place the coffee grounds evenly. Press down and screw it securely in the cup. Set the filter cup on its base over the mug. Pour the boiling water slowly to fill the filter cup. Cover with the lid to steam it and allow the liquid coffee to drip completely into the mug (about 5 minutes). Stir to blend. Let cool.

 

For the coffee milkshake

  • 1 cup Vietnamese coffee (or strongly brewed coffee), cold
  • 2 cups coconut ice cream, softened (we used “macapuno” young coconut sport-flavored ice cream)
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • whipped cream
  • toasted coconut flakes

Directions

In a blender, place the coffee, ice cream and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass. Garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Vietnam was a French colony so there is a big cultural influence in its coffee production (French press techniques). The French first introduced coffee to North America through New Orleans, Louisiana, where there is also a large Vietnamese population. Café du Monde brand coffee, which has chicory in it, is a close substitute for Vietnamese coffee for this recipe.
  • Substitute any coffee grounds but use coarse instead of fine grounds so they won’t fall through the holes in the press.
  • Vietnamese-style coffee is very sweet from the condensed milk so we did not add additional condensed milk to the already sweet coconut ice cream.

 

Crème Sainte-Anne

 July 26: Feast Day of St. Anne

Islander’s Daddy’s patron saint is St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Jesus Christ. When Daddy was a poor, hopeless young boy growing up in a poverty-stricken province of the Philippines, he found a tattered card of St. Anne lying on the ground. Someone must have accidentally dropped and lost the card. But Daddy found God through the intercession of St. Anne and went back to the church and got baptized. He believes that this miraculous sign gave him a better and purposeful life. Coincidentally, she is the patroness of the country of his birth where her National Shrine is located in Hagonoy, Bulacan. She is also venerated as the patroness of other places, such as Quebec, Canada, and Brittany, France. For the feast day of St. Anne, we are featuring an old recipe, Crème Sainte-Anne, from the latter country. A prayer card of St. Anne was enough to convert Daddy, and this custard-like dessert could count as edible evangelism as well!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Cooking with the Saints” by Ernst Schuegraf)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, divided use
  • ½ cup sugar, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup macarons/macaroons (see Notes)
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg plus 3 egg yolks

Directions

Butter four ramekins and set aside. In a saucepan, dissolve ¼ cup sugar in the water. Boil until it is a caramel color. Divide into the ramekins and cool the caramel to set.

Slice a tablespoon of cold butter into four parts and place into the ramekins. Crush the macarons and sprinkle evenly among the ramekins. In another saucepan, simmer the milk but do not boil. In a large bowl, mix the egg and yolks with ¼ cup sugar until creamy. Pour in the simmering milk and stir well.

Divide the mixture among the ramekins (the crushed macaron pieces will float to the top). Place in a water bath (put the ramekins in a larger baking pan filled halfway with hot water). Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the mixture is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. The custard crème may be refrigerated. Loosen the edges with a knife or toothpick and invert onto a plate and serve.

Notes

  • The macarons/macaroons in this recipe most likely refer to the crisp French almond meringue cookies and not the chewy coconut cookies because this recipe is from Brittany, France. We had a recent Food Flop with our macaron shells and crushed those for this recipe. We also used the three egg yolks leftover from the macaron recipe. Refer to our MacAttack page for various macaron recipes to add a distinctive flavor to this Crème Sainte-Anne.
  • Italian amaretti, which is similar to the French macaron, is a suitable substitute.
  • This crème is basically a flan (custard dessert).
  • Anne shares her feast day with her husband, St. Joachim.

 

Corn Fritters

July 16: National Corn Fritters Day

When we lived in Oklahoma (translated as okla + humma or “red people”), we went to pow wows that served corn-based foods, as the vegetable is sacred and the “source of life” for Native Americans. Besides the fry bread at the festivals, we liked to snack on corn fritters.

Now we don’t have to wait to go to a local pow wow to eat them. We can cook corn fritters at home and snack on them whenever we want—but most especially on National Corn Fritters Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Serious Eats)

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen, drained if canned)
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk.

Pour the egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter. Add the corn and mix well. Use a rounded tablespoon to scoop the batter and carefully drop in vegetable oil. Deep fry for 4-6 minutes or until the corn fritters are cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen.

Notes

  • Sprinkle powdered sugar after frying to make the corn fritters extra sweet. Or season with salt and sliced scallions for something savory.
  • Search our blog for other Native American inspired recipes.