Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kimchi.

Of course I have to do a post on kimchi.  This post is for all Korean's in Korea suffering kimchi shortage.  It is true.  Country is in a turmoil.

Ingredients
2 heads of Napa cabbage (quartered)
1/2 Daikon radish.
1 bunch of green onions.
2 cups of sea salt or kosher salt, enough to coat the cabbage inside and out. 
Water, enough to cover the cabbage while brinning. 
Prepare cabbage.
Coat the cabbage inside and out with salt.
Cover with water and let it sit in cool spot in your kitchen for at least 4 hours.
Rinse well, at least 3 to 4 times squeeze all the water out.

Mean while julienne the radish and chop green onions.

Kimchi paste
1 whole garlic peeled and roughly chopped
2 inch piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped.
Korean pepper flakes. 1 cup. depending on hot spicy you like it.
1 large Korean pear or 2 Bosc pears peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 onion roughly chopped.
2 TBSP of kosher salt.
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of fish sauce (preferably 3 Crabs brand)



Add all the ingredients and puree them in blender or food processor till it
becomes and paste. Should be slightly watery paste. Taste. It should taste like good kimchi.
Add the julienned radish and chopped green onions.

Here is the important part. Use you hands. ( I wear rubber gloves)

Add all the ingredients except for the cabbage and mix well.
in a large bowl coat the cabbage with the kimchi mixture inside and out.
Make sure to add to every layer of the cabbage.
After done rolled the cabbage (liked cradled) with all the sauce put them in a sealed container and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 2 days.
Refrigerate for 1 week.
It should be ready to eat once it is refrigerated.
Gets better as it ages.

*note.  There are many options to making kimchi.  You can add salted shrimp, more chili powder, some traditional recipe's call for making the paste with rice flour. 



























Monday, September 27, 2010

Martini


How to make a martini.




















Martini, in my view is the king of all cocktails.
Its elegance, traditions, and simplicity can’t be matched by
any drink in the history of alcoholic beverage.
There is 1 very important rule to making a martini.
NEVER EVER SHAKE THE MARTINI!!!!!
(Any self respecting bartender should know this rule)
Why?  “BECAUSE IT WATERS DOWN THE ALCOHOL”.
A true martini is about 3 shots of pure chilled vodka/gin
For the price of one drink.
Oh and that thing about James Bond drinking martini shaken.
"It’s a movie and it’s not real".
Oh, and one more thing, if there any other ingredient then vodka/gin and dry vermouth it is not a martini. 
Just because the drink is in a martini glass, it does not make it a martini. 

Ingredients
Ice, Vodka/Gin, Dry vermouth, olives or lemon rind
Recipe
1 Chill a martini glass.  Fill it with ice cubes or put it in the freezer.
  (The goal is to make it as cold as possible)
2 Fill a pint glass with ice, pour chilled vodka/gin to the glass. 
    I usually count to 3.  4 On a bad day.
   Here is the hard part.   STIR gently.
3 Remove the ice in the martini glass.  Pour a drop of dry vermouth and swirl.
   Pour out the vermouth. 
4 Very carefully with a strainer pour very cold and very chilled vodka/gin into    
    martini glass.
5 Garnish with olives skewered on a toothpick on the side.    
   (Olives take up valuable space in the glass) 
Option:  Lemon twist.  Peel a lemon rind twist over the martini to add zest oil  
               to the martini, gently curl it and lay it on the rim of the glass. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bacon

I mean really, is there anything better?  Especially cooked over camp fire? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Portrait of a butter.


Need I say more.

Chicken Liver Pate.

This is how you impress people.  Making real pate from scratch.  The easy version.





















Ingredients.

1 1/2 stick of butter.  (Don't be shocked, Jacques Pepin uses 2 1/2 sticks of butter)
1 pound of chicken liver.
1 shallot sliced.
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
3 to 4 stalks of fresh thyme.
2 small or 1 large bay leaf.
Splash of dry sherry, white wine, cognac, bourbon or dry vermouth.  ( All I had was dry vermouth)
1/4 cup of chopped parsley.  (Optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.




Melt 1 stick of butter in pan in med/low heat.
Don't want to burn the butter.
add thyme and bay leaf saute for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic and shallots.  Saute till shallots are soft.

Add chicken liver cooked till pink inside.
about 5 to 10 minutes.

Fish out the bay leaf and thyme.
Add to blender or food processor.
Add splash of dry vermouth.

Blend smooth.

Pour into a ramekin.  Let cool to room temperature.  pour melted clarified butter.  (The other 1/2 stick of butter) on top of the pate.
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hr.


Serve as a topping for your favorite bread or crackers.


*It should last 2 weeks in the refrigerator if not used.







 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Japanese Hot Pot.

Its that time of year.  This is a great cold weather dish that should warm you up.
All Asian's have there own version of hot pot dish. 
I like this one for light and more delicate flavors of all the vegetables.

This is Kombu.  Dried seaweed.








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  • Ingredients
  • 8 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms soaked and sliced.
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped.
  • 1/2 inch of ginger diced
  • 1 shallot sliced.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4cup mirin
  • 2 TBSP of sugar.
  • 2 (6-inch) pieces kombu
  • 1 yellow squash sliced.
  • 1/2 package of tofu diced.
  • 3 stalks of green onions diced
  • 1 cup of Asian chives diced.
  • 4 ounces daikon, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium carrot (about 4 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 ounces napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 package of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 pound (2 blocks) frozen, precooked udon noodles, or 8 ounces dried
Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for atleast 5 hours.  Save the water from soaking.  It will be used as a stock.
Place the kombu in the bottom of the pot, add the liquid from the shiitake mushroom.
Add all the ingredients in a pot except for the noodles.  Close the lid and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the noodles close the lid and simmer for additional 10 minutes.

Ready to eat.  There is really nothing to serve with.  Everything is in the pot.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Quick and easy pizza.

Pocket less pita.  Extremely versatile bread.  I use it often as a pizza dough.  This is healthy and easy.  Make your own by adding any toppings of your choice.















This one is with frozen spinach, artichoke ,feta cheese, shaved parmesan cheese and olive oil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 whole wheat pocket less pita bread.
1/2 cup fz. spinach thawed.  (Squeeze all the water out)
1/2 cup of artichoke thawed.
Enough feta cheese and Parmesan to cover the pizza.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Add all the ingredients and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

More tools for kitchen

Clothes pin.  Its a work of art.  Cheap, simple and reusable almost forever.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chocoflan cake, the impossible cake!




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Often served as a birthday cake in Mexico.  Flan on top of chocolate cake with caramel sauce.
Baking this cake is easy with an impressive result.






































Ingredients

Box of your favorite chocolate cake (I used Duncan Hines) or your own recipe.
1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce 

Flan
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated 
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extract 
For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds. 
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the cake batter.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter or spray oil, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce.
Pour in the cake batter on top of the caramel sauce.
Pour flan mixture on top of the cake batter.

Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil tightly.
Place the cake pan in the a large roasting pan with water.  This technique is called bain-marie
Place the cake in the middle rack and bake for 1 hour.  To check if the cake is done poke the cake
with a toothpick.  If it comes out clean the cake is done.
Cool the cake on a rack for atleast 1 hour.  Place in the refreferator for atleast 2 hours.  (This will set the flan).
Take it out of the refrigerator let stand for about 30 minutes.
Invert the cake on a platter.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Korean pork BBQ/Daeji Gui

 I am big fan of pork.  This is my favorite pork dish.  It's also delicious as a sandwich.
























Ingredients.

1 Pound of Pork thinly sliced.  (pork tenderloin is usually a good option)
1/2 Cup of gochujang.  (Korean red pepper paste)
1/3 Cup of soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp of sesame oil
1/2 Inch of ginger grated
3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Tbsp of sugar
1/4 Tsp of black pepper.
1/4 Cup of green onions for garnish.

Mix all the ingredients together well and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hrs.
Grill on a med/hot charcoal grill for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until it cooks.
Serve with steamed rice, red leaf lettuce, and other popular Korean side dish of your choice.

* If you are wondering about my grill in the photo, it's a bakers rack for cooling cookies and cakes.
It works great for vegetables as well.  It keeps your food from falling into the charcoal between the wires.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gochujang/Red pepper paste

This is the infamous gochujang.  Used in so many Korean dishes.
Extremely versatile.  It can be added variety of dishes, not just Korean.
For example its great to use in you BBQ sauce, mix it in with a little white
wine and butter serve with pork, chicken or fish.  Also add a little to your burger mix.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Korean Cucumber side dish


















This is a delicious and easy side dish.
You can skip the salting the cucumber part.  Reason for salting is to get all the liquid out of the cucumber.  That way the dish not too watery.














































Ingredients

1 English cucumber sliced 1/4 inches thick.
1 Tbsp of salt
1 scallion chopped
1/2 Tbsp of grated ginger
1 clove of garlic chopped
1/2 Tsp of sesame oil
1 Tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp of sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt the sliced cucumber and let sit for 1/2 hour to an hour.  (This is optional)
Rinse well and pat cucumbers dry.
Add all ingredients and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

This dish is great for many cuisines.
Great on sandwiches, add to your favorite salad, Also great side dish for seafood.

Korean Cucumber side dish

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Soybean Paste


Just in case anyone is wondering what soybean paste is, here is a photo
of the product. Available in most Asian Markets and your very friendly
Korean deli's all over NYC. I usually by one's without MSG. Keeping it
healthy. There are many to choose from but they are usually in a beige
plastic tub like above.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Korean soybean paste stew/Danjahng Jiigae


This a Korean staple served often in Korean homes.
Unlike Japanese miso soup which is light and delicate in flavor,
Danjahng jiigae is deeper, richer and stronger in miso flavor.
It is a Korean staple for many families. It is also available in many Korean
restaurants. There are many ingredients you can add to this simple stew. Here is one option.







Ingredients

1/2 cup of miso paste or Soybean paste.
1 Large zucchini or yellow squash
1/2 onion sliced
1 Soft tofu diced to bite size
2 Jalapenos diced. (seeded for less heat)
1/3 cup of diced scallion for garnish

Soup Stock
5 Cups of water
2 Cloves of garlic.
2 Tbsp of dried anchovies. (available at most Asian markets)

Stock
Wrap garlic and anchovies in a cheese cloth (or my nifty mesh strainer from Korean market)
and add to water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add zucchinis, onion, and jalapenos to stock. Add miso paste to stock stir well to incorporate the paste. Simmer till vegetables are translucent.
Remove garlic and anchovies.

Add tofu and simmer for another 3 to 5 minuets.
Garnish with scallions and serve hot.

*You can also add potatoes, seaweed, mushroom to this recipe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Soondae/Korean blood sausage



Many cultures have there own version of blood sausage. Italians call it buristo, Germans call it Blutwurst, Sweden, there are variants such as blodkorv (blood sausage), blodpl├Ąttar (blood pancakes) and blodpalt. Of course although rare these days, in USA we have Boudin Rouge.
Korean blood sausage is called Soondae. It is made with pigs blood, sweet rice, potato noodle and barley. Usually available at most Korean markets. Its delicious and subtle in flavor. Served with mixture of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to bring out the flavor.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Karen's Ackee and Salt fish


Traditional Jamaican Breakfast.
Ackee and Saltfish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackee_and_saltfish




We were lucky enough for Karen our fabulous massage therapist friend, to make us Ackee and saltfish during our trip to our cabin in Maine.
She brought all the ingredients from Brooklyn all the way to Maine for this fabulous breakfast.


For those who are not familiar with this dish, please refer to the link above.





Slicing the saltfish on the bias after its been soaked in water over night and rinsed.










Ackee, its hard to find but they are available in some Korean deli's and Caribbean stores in Brooklyn. Or, on line.















Ingredients

1 med package of saltfish
1 can of Ackee drained.
3 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
1/2 onion diced
1 tomato diced
1 red or orange pepper diced
1 habanero pepper diced.
(Careful dicing this, it is one of the spiciest pepper in the world)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Soak the saltfish over night in water.
Rinse twice to get the salt flavor out.
Squeeze as much water out as possible.
Slice the fish against the grain.
Heat the oil and add onion, pepper and habanero till tender.
Add saltfish and saute for 3 to 5 minuets.
Gently fold in Ackee till heated through.
Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with biscuits.