Dinner at the Doan house can be appropriately described as a feast on any given weekend. Dinner on Christmas Eve is a buffet fit for hungry football players....probably a whole team. I'm not sure why my mom decided to make so many dishes, but I'm guessing my sisters and I all requested different dishes and she felt the need to accommodate all of us. All I can say is it was a roll-filled evening.
I rolled tiny egg rolls for two straight hours and still didn't finish all the filling.
Freshly fried egg rolls! Yum. They're filled with ground pork, ground shrimp, crab meat, taro, yellow onion and scallions.
My mom is rolling spring rolls in rice paper here. They're filled with green lettuce, Vietnamese herbs, vermicelli noodles, pork belly, shrimp and the essential ingredient--a sprig of Chinese chives.
These are eaten with an oyster-peanut dipping sauce. So fresh and delicious. Relatively healthy too.
This was my request--roasted catfish. It's marinated and basted with oyster sauce, green scallions, garlic and peanuts. It doesn't look like much here but the meat is moist and tender and eaten with lettuce, cucumbers, vermicelli noodles all rolled in rice paper. I eat this pretty much every time I'm home.
These are the "appetizers." Quite a spread for only 8 people.
Grilled beef, shrimp, squid, yellow onions all cooked in butter! This is eaten in yet another rice paper roll. By this point, I was full so I just ate the meat by itself. Normally I like my beef not overcooked but for some reason, we Doans love to let the beef in this dish get charred and burnt and crispy. It just tastes so much better.
I made a pear and apple cobbler for dessert. Served with vanilla ice cream, it was a great way to end the meal of all meals.
I also brought home some macaroons from La Maison du Chocolat in New York. They had a rough trip in my luggage but were still ridiculously good.
We all ended the night comatose but still had energy for Band Hero and poker. I love being home.