Casian Seafood, a fig-mascarpone-porto recipe and a taste of summer

Many good tastes come to mind when you think of Asian cuisine, but sausage is rarely one of them. Over the years I have tasted lap cheong, those thin canned Chinese sausages, but almost all of them were packaged and imported from China.

I raised my eyebrows when I read that the Casian Seafood restaurant in Lafayette offered homemade artisan sausages on a unique menu that included Hmong dishes from Laos and Cajun dishes from Louisiana.

One taste and I was hooked – these sausages are like a festival of Asian flavors captured inside a large grilled bratwurst. The kitchen grinds juicy pork belly with fresh ginger, lemongrass, and tangy Thai chili peppers for a legit tantalizing experience. It was served with a hot sauce made from fish sauce, along with sides of sticky rice and homemade kimchi.

We also enjoyed a bowl of seafood and true-to-form jambalaya sausages and a refreshing fusion of shrimp and larb ceviche, the popular Southeast Asian salad, wrapped in lettuce.

Owners Dau Xiong and Maria Nguyen also serve shrimp and seafood porridge, fried oysters, Cajun fried rice, Cornish hens, papaya salad with fried pork skin, banh mi and fried fish po’boy sandwiches.

The food has intrigued so many diners since the restaurant opened in Lafayette that it received a semi-final nomination for the 2022 James Beard Awards.

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Boulder Recipe Flashback: John’s Restaurant

In the Glenn Miller Ballroom of CU’s UMC Building, Boulder’s culinary community gathers annually for Taste of the Nation, a walk-in restaurant tasting event that benefits local hunger relief organizations like Community Food Share and national Share Our Strength efforts.

In 1995, a group of volunteers created the Taste of Boulder cookbook with recipes from favorite local restaurants. Chef John Bizzarro of the much-loved John’s Restaurant (now the site of River and Woods) contributed the following recipe.

Saint-Jean figs with mascarpone, almonds and port

About 16 large almonds (regular or Marcona)

8 fresh ripe figs (4 whole, 4 quartered)

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

6 teaspoons (approximately) powdered sugar

6 ounces of port

Toast the almonds in a pan or in the oven. Score the four whole figs by cutting an “X” in the top, three-quarters down, and separate the sections to look like flower petals.

Stir the powdered sugar and two ounces of port into the mascarpone. Divide the mascarpone (in the shape of a dome) into four bowls. Place four almonds in the middle of each flower. Arrange the fig quarters around the edge. Place an ounce of port on each dessert. For four.

Culinary calendar: taste of summer

Shutterstock Traditional Asian tea ceremony arrangement. Iron teapot, cups, dried rosebuds and candles on wooden table background, selective focus, copy space

Dine on April 28, 2022 for a Restaurant For Life dinner at participating restaurants, including Santo, Blackbelly, Avery Brewing and The Post, all of which will donate 25% of the day’s sales to Project Angel Heart, an organization providing medical services tailored. meals to Colorado residents living with a life-threatening illness. dinnerauventpourlavie.com … Denver Botanical Gardens has reopened its authentic Japanese tea house for weekend tea ceremony experiences from June through September. https://bit.ly/3iH3A0H … Plan Ahead: Botanica — A plant festival will be held June 18-19 at Lafayette’s Three Leaf Farm. botanicafestival.com … Slow Food’s Summer Farm Food Gathering with tours, burgers and a campfire will be held June 25 at the Community Table Farm in Longmont. slowfoodboulder.org …Eagle Mushroom & Wild Food Festival, August 5-7, with classes, forays, and food. eaglemushroomfest.com