Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Charity: Time for Giving, Nurturing and Celebration!

In this season of giving and celebration, I am grateful for all the blessings I have in my life and entering our 12 years with Saffron59 Catering & Event Planning. I am especially aware of the plight of others who are less than fortunate.   

That’s why I am so proud of the children from the orphanage in Myanmar that I have been supporting all these years.  Every time they get a cup of water they are deeply grateful for the new water purification system installed just last year.

I was especially pleased to hear from them from a recent phone call, that some of the girls (out of around 74 girls) who have blossomed under their care - are about to enter college.  Education is something that I have always supported for these children and it is truly a great feat to be able to obtain a better way of life.

This holiday season, please consider your good fortune in life and make every day a celebration.  Have a happy and joyous holiday!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Recipe: Cauliflower Tater Tots

As the Fall is approaching, pumpkins and cauliflowers are plentiful in the markets.
Here are a few easy recipes from our kitchen's crew. Simple, delicious  morsels for your next gatherings as hors d'oeuvres!

Crisp Baked Cauliflower with Cheddar Cheese and Birds Eye Chile 


1  medium size cauliflower
1/2 t sp turmeric
1/2 t sp paprika 
1 bird eye chile (seeded) or serrano pepper (minced)
2 T milk or heavy cream
2 T butter
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
4 egg whites
salt and pepper 
vegetable or peanut oil


Monday, September 17, 2012

Recipe: End of Summer Delights

Scallop glazed with Kalamansi and topped with Chiang Mai sausage and roasted corn

As the summer is winding down, there are still large nice fresh succulent scallops from Maine.
With the end of season of corn still available from the farmers market, these two ingredient complement well as hors d'oeuvres. Our kitchen has been serving Seared Diver Scallops with Brown Butter sauce and Sage, with abundance sage in the garden, it's delicious with crispy sage leaves!
Another way to enjoy the best of it is the Grilled Scallops marinated with Miso and Sake topped with Hijiki salad.

Recipe: Grilled Scallops marinated with Miso and Sake topped with Hijiki


2 lb. Diver Scallops (approx.18/20 pcs )
1/4 cup sake
1/4 mirin
4 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons sugar
black pepper

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Cookout: City slickers at Paisley Farm, Rhinebeck,NY

Summer barbeque time.
Working with Mike and Jan Kokas at Upstate Farm (PaisleyFarm).
A beautiful weekend of planting soy beans and string beans, picking the ever blooming Zinnias along with 20 other city slickers with a full day of roasting 85Lb of pig.

Some of us in the kitchen prepared freshly picked vegetable and created Burmese okra with dried shrimp, roast corn just picked from the farm, baby eggplant and squashes with mixed herbs.

My friend Jade made side dishes to complement the roast pork, cucumber with ginger, bitter melon with slivers of lotus and amazing cheese cakes with summer berries...Joyce made cherry clafoutis and Chazz with her childhood recipe of chocolate coffee cake to end the feast.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fundraiser: Here's to Summer Cocktails!

It’s my favorite time of the year!  But when the heat is sweltering, there’s nothing better than a nice, cool cocktail by the pool.  Serve these summery Saffron59 favorites at your next BBQ or just for yourself!

At a recent Cetana fundraiser to raise money for the educational future of Burma, our Burma Rise cocktail was a hit:

Recipe: Burma Rise
½ cup vodka
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup ginger infused simple syrup
¼ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup club soda
Muddled Thai basil leaves

Mix all ingredients except club soda and Thai Basil into a pitcher and stir to mix.  To serve, pour into glass of ice and add 3-4 leaves per glass of Thai Basil and top off with club soda.

Blood Orange Sangria

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weddings: Global Cuisine

With everyone in the world connecting and interacting with each other, it is only natural that our cuisines do too. Asian food is still a huge trend and global cuisine is in high demand - resulting in healthier, flavorful food with different textures; as seen with food trucks in major cities.  Being that we have such a diverse and international kitchen crew, many clients get a taste of our global menus.   

At a recent gala, we showcased the event with a tempting menu with cuisine from around the world.  Dishes like Ethiopian Doro Wat Chicken with Berbere curry, Salad with slivers of Lotus root, Braised Pork Belly with baked Arepas and many more were served; along with Dhoonya Dancers and live performances by the legendary Aaron Neville.

Save The Children Gala with Burmese Chicken Curry and Amok (Cambodian baked Fish with Galangal)
Ethiopian Doro Wat Chicken with Berbere Spice

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Classic Fish Recipes From Cambodia and Myanmar

I would like to share two simple classic fish dishes from Cambodia and Myanmar. It is an all-time favorite of mine and created for my previous restaurant Road to Mandalay.  You can substitute the white fish (the firmer, the better) with large shrimp or any seafood you have on hand.

Si Byan (Burmese Fish) in 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

2 lbs cod fillet or halibut, sea bass, etc - into 1-inch chunks
1-inch chunk ginger
2 tsp turmeric powder
¼ cup of vegetable oil
3 med. tomatoes, small chunks
3 med. onions, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch of ginger, minced
2 tbsp sweet paprika 1 tsp hot paprika or 2 fresh chili peppers
 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup of vegetable or fish stock
½ cup cilantro leaves (reserve some for garnish)

1. In a mixing bowl, marinade the fish with salt, pepper and turmeric for five minutes.
2. In a frying pan, heat the oil and mix in the onion till lightly brown and add in ginger, chili (if not using paprika) and garlic till fragrant.  Add in the paprika then immediately the fish and let it seared then stir in tomatoes, liquid stock and cook for five minutes.
3. Lower the heat and add fish sauce, coriander and simmer for another
2 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with steamed jasmine rice.

Amok Fish Steamed in Coconut Shell

Cambodian Fish Amok 
Makes: 4 servings

1lb White Fish Fillets, e.g. (Catfish, Cod, Haddock, Sole, etc)
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Travel: Cambodia, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh: Beaches & Pepper Crabs

It was back in 1997 that I first went to Cambodia.  There were only a handful of small hotels that were family run and Raffle Chain Hotel was the hotel to stay at.  Then, only small, hut-like vendors were open and only for a few hours, providing very few Khmer dishes.  The seaside was not safe and walks along the beach were unheard of back them. Now, there are over 300 hotels on the popular strip in the city Siem Reap; from Starckish to affordable boutique inns.


A 5-star luxurious private home with secluded ambiance.

Hotel De La Paix
Another centrally located 5-star boutique hotel with a stunning architectural fusion of ancient Khmer with contemporary art exhibits.

The One Hotel
The Passage, Old Market Area
With only one suite available, you literally have the whole hotel to yourself.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Travel: Visit of the Year: Myanmar/Burma, Yangon

This year my trip takes me to an ancient city of Cambodia, as a guest of His Excellency Roland Eng for a week of Royal visit to his homeland followed by a detour visit to sleepy fishing village of Ngwe Saung by the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar.

Another week in Yangon (Rangoon), this city is the gateway to Myanmar. The century-old buildings are maintaining the heritage landscape in the midst of the city's cosmopolitan life that is rapidly growing. Always green with lush tropical trees, shady parks and beautiful lakes, Yangon is known as the Garden City of the East.  Besides visiting the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda here are a few of my own personal favorites.

A vendor at the bay