The travels of Deborah Knight are documented in her recipes.
She's visited almost every continent (Australia and Antarctica seem to be the only two left off her list) and she's getting ready to head off again, when her restaurant, Mosaic closes for two months on August 1st.
The chef, who was an Anthropology and Religious Studies major in college, approaches her cuisine with a distinctively academic eye.
"I get very interested in certain parts of the world," she says, and then relishes the experience of "introducing people to something that may be a little out of their boundaries," with the flavors she brings back.
Today, she's offered up one of her all-time favorite dishes for you to try: a Vietnamese Pepper Pot.
After six years as a vegetarian in Boulder, Colorado and a lifetime of adventurous travel, Knight is dedicated to three, simple qualities in every dish she makes: "Healthy, fresh and delicious."
Lemongrass Broth: (makes 1 gallon)
10 each lemongrass stalks, crushed and chopped ½ lb. ginger, washed well and sliced 8 each shallots, sliced 15 each garlic cloves 6 cups sake 30 each makrut lime leaves, torn 2 cups fish sauce 1 gallon chicken stock 4 disks palm sugar 2 tsp. salt 1 cup sambal oelek
Combine vegetables with sake in a large saucepan. Reduce sake by 3/4. Add chicken stock and the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through chinois and adjust seasonings.
May be frozen and used for soup base. Great with added coconut milk and curry paste for curry dishes for fowl or seafood.
Hot Pot: (serves 4 as an appetizer)
1 each lobster tail, cut into 4 pieces 4 each scallops 4 each mussels, green lip 4 each shrimp Salt and white pepper, to taste 1 tsp. canola oil ½ inch ginger, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 large shallot, minced 1 each red jalapeño, julienne 1 each yellow bell pepper, julienne 2 cups glass noodles, cooked and cut to 1 inch lengths 2 cups lemongrass broth
Season seafood with salt & white pepper. In a sauté pan, sear the pieces of lobster tail, scallops and shrimp. Hold aside and add red onion to pan. Sauté quickly and then add ginger, garlic & shallots. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the 2 cups of lemon- grass broth. Add the glass noodles. Return your lobster, scallops & shrimp to the mixture and let cook 1 minute. Add the mussels, yellow bell pepper & red jalapeno and cook until mussel is done. Serve topped with fresh herb salad and lime wedges.
Fresh Herb Salad:
Mint, chiffonade Basil, chiffonade Green onion, chopped Cilantro leaves Lime wedges