Hmong Chicken Laab

The first time I tasted Chicken Laab it was made in the kitchen by the author of the Cook Book.  I was immediately addicted,  I had never tasted anything with so much flavor and fresh tasting. Chicken Laab is eaten like a lettuce wrap, the best lettuce wrap you have ever tasted.

Cooking from the Heart  The Hmong Kitchen in America

Authors: Sami Scripter and Sheng Yang
I had the honor of shooting the food photography for this cookbook. It was a cultural experience, from shopping at the Hmong market in St. Paul to having the food prepared in the kitchen and hearing all the history and family tradition behind each recipe. I got to try alot of new things and one of my favorites is the chicken Laab lettuce wraps.
I used fresh ground chicken at the grocery store and lots of herbs.  This is a great fresh summer recipe.  Packed with lots of flavor, light and no fat. All the herbs and fresh citrus juices is an amazing combination. It is a regular dish at my house this summer.
We worked with a food stylist and a prop stylist who pulled alot of the dishes, linens and backgrounds. And then we got to play on set the idea food photography job. Here are some of the samples from the book.
Please check out alot more great information on the book and the authors at their web site

Chicken Pot Pie with Roasted Red Peppers

This is a classic comfort food, Chicken Pot Pie. I’ve made this recipe several times, what makes this so good is the combination of white wine and chicken stock with a little bit of heavy whipping cream. Which makes it slightly lighter than your traditional pot pie.  Short on time as usual I bought a rotisserie chicken and the pre-made pie crust can make ahead the roasted red peppers and then the pot pie comes together pretty quickly.

I shot this cover photograph several years ago for this republished Pot Pies by Beatrice Ojakangas.  I highly recommend this cookbook it has lots of great recipes.  I would like to share this recipe with you.

Beatrice Ojakangas is a Duluth local and has published something like 27 cookbooks.  She started her career when she won the pillsbury bake-off.

“The year was 1957, and a young cook, wife and soon-to-be first-time mother living on a military base in England entered her recipe for cheese bread into the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Beatrice Ojakangas didn’t win first place that year — the top prize went to Mrs. Gerda Roderer of Berkeley, Calif., who received $25,000 for her “Accordion Treats,” a delicate horn-shaped walnut cookie. But Ojakangas’ bread took the second grand prize and helped launched an enduring career that has included 27 cookbooks on a wide range of subjects, from whole grain breads to casseroles to pot pies to her specialty, Scandinavian cooking and baking.”

“Passing on the culinary secrets of her heritage in twenty-two cookbooks and hundreds of magazine and newspaper contributions, Beatrice Ojakangas has been the voice of Scandinavian cuisine in America for over 20 years. Influenced by her mother’s love for the kitchen, Beatrice learned about her culinary heritage and the art of baking from an early age. ”

She has a blog with lots of recipes to check out.

I’ve never met her but I have photographed several covers for her cookbooks for The University of MN Press.  Here are some other covers I’ve worked on: