Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dahk Kalbi (닭갈비)

I am so so so excited to share my recipe for 닭갈비 (dahk gal-bee). Literally translated it means "chicken ribs" which is so weird because ribs are not an ingredient in this dish. It originated as a dish meant to be a little cheaper than the regular bbq-at-your-table dishes. It's one of those mish-mosh type dishes that incorporates a lot of ingredients and can be customized to suit your tastes. The first time I had it was at my friend (and former roommate)'s house and it's a perfect time to share this recipe, as it is her birthday! I went over her house during one of our college breaks and she made this for us and I loved it.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 lb chicken thighs (you can use breasts too but the thighs are more moist and flavorful!)
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green cabbage, sliced
3 tablespoons hot pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 cup rice cakes
1 package udon noodles
1 package enoki mushrooms
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 cups cooked short grain sticky rice (1-1/4 cups uncooked)
+ strips laver/nori (dried seaweed)
+ chopped kimchi
+ sweet potatoes (or regular potato) - I didn't have any sweet potatoes at home and I forgot to pick some up from the market so I had to omit this ingredient. However, if you decide to add these, cut the potatoes up into chunks and then boil until they are tender so that you don't end up with crunchy potatoes, as the rest of the dish cooks up rather quickly.
The first step is to make the sauce. Combine the hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil (1/2 teaspoon), garlic, and ginger and stir together.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

French Toast

My parents used to make french toast a LOT on Sunday mornings for breakfast. If we weren't having pancakes, it was french toast. I'll just remind you that I used to despise pancakes and now let me share some new information: I used to despise french toast as well. There was just something about the eggy soggy white bread that did not appeal to me. The problem with my parents' french toast was the texture and quite possibly the taste, as they only used 3 ingredients (bread, milk, and eggs) and no seasonings. Seriously, no seasonings! No cinnamon or sugar or salt or vanilla - it was just a vessel for maple syrup, which is something I don't really like either.

As is my solution for many things I dislike, I decided that I'd tackle the beast myself and if at that point I still didn't enjoy it, it was going on my list of things I despise and refuse to eat (along with pickled horseradish, cauliflower, and people who don't know the difference between "your" and "you're"). Well, obviously I liked it, because otherwise I wouldn't be posting about it, right?

Ingredients:
bread (something hearty like sourdough or french baguette)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
butter (for cooking)
+ 1 cup strawberries
+ 1 teaspoon sugar
+ 1 teaspoon honey
+ powdered sugar

*You may end up doubling the custard ingredients depending on how many pieces of toast you're making.
This step is purely optional. If you are allergic to strawberries or you hate them or you just don't currently have access to any that are fresh and sweet, please skip.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kofta (Lamb Meatballs)

Okay, so this will be my last Indian recipe post for a little while, which may relieve some but may disappoint others. Today, I'm sharing kofta, a.k.a. meatballs, which is a really easy dish but it's super flavorful. It's another dish that would be great to serve to guests because it looks amazing and tastes amazing. By the way, you don't have to use lamb; you could use beef or pork or chicken or turkey or even faux-meat (whatever that means).

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 egg
-----
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons oil
1 cinnamon stick
chopped cilantro
Start by putting roughly chopped onion, ginger, garlic, salt, chili powder, ground coriander, and cilantro into a food processor. Grind it up for just a few seconds until you have a mixture that is the consistency of a chunky applesauce.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tilapia in Spicy Tomato Sauce

I know I shared Indian recipes ALL last week and that might seem like overkill but I am going to overkill the overkill and share two more Indian recipes this week. Today, it's tilapia in a spicy tomato sauce. This is a great recipe for anyone watching their cholesterol (hello fish!) and even people who are watching their sodium intake, as the sauce is SO flavorful that you won't miss the salt.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
2 tilapia filets (or cod or any other firm white fish)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon oil
----
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
chopped cilantro
Start by cutting up the fish into small pieces. And this would be a good time to turn on the oven and preheat it to the hottest setting (at least 450 degrees).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ground Rice Pudding

I'm sharing an Indian dessert today, if you couldn't tell by the blog post title. I quite enjoy going to this particular Indian buffet near my house (Cinnamon) and a really great part of the experience is finishing off the meal with some gulab jamun, which are little round dough balls that are fried and then soaked in a sweet syrup, and kheer, which is a rice pudding. My Indian cookbook didn't have a kheer recipe but it did have a ground rice pudding recipe so I decided to make that.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1/2 cup basmati rice
2 cardamom pods
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
+pinch of salt (optional)
Start by grinding the rice in a food processor for just a few seconds. You want to just barely grind the rice so you have a mixture of sizes of grains.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cashew and Raisin Pilau

Today I'm sharing a rice recipe that I think is really amazing, and probably my favorite component of this week's Indian recipe extravaganza. I want to say it's the best rice ever, but that's a pretty bold statement so I'll just say it's really delicious. If you aren't a huge fan of either raisins or cashews or you just don't like "things" in your rice, you could definitely omit those two ingredients. But, I will say that it's important to try new things and even if you think you don't like something, it's possible that your palate has changed because people evolve! Anyway, I really enjoyed this rice, as did my family, so please, try this recipe soon.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1-1/3 cup basmati rice
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
pinch saffron
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
The first step is to soak the rice. Pour the rice in a bowl and add enough water to cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lamb Samosas

So today's recipe is based on yesterday's recipe, lamb stuffed eggplant. I had a bit of lamb filling left (about 1 cup) and I thought it would be a perfect filling for some samosas. If you remember, I shared a vegetable samosa recipe last summer which used puff pastry. Today's recipe uses phyllo dough but you could definitely use puff pastry instead (and vice versa, you could use phyllo dough to make the vegetable samosas).

Ingredients [makes 4 or 5 samosas]:
1 cup leftover lamb mixture from stuffed eggplants (OR 1/4 lb ground lamb, cooked until brown)
1/4 cup peas (frozen is fine)
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 sheets phyllo dough (might need more)
1 tablespoon melted butter

Start with the lamb mixture and add in peas and garam masala and give it a stir. It's fine if your peas are frozen, as these are going to cook further in the oven. Just make sure they're not all stuck together in one frozen mass.
This is phyllo dough. If you've never used it before, it's a super super thin dough and you've probably seen it before in baklava and spanakopita, which are just two really common examples.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

As promised, here's another Indian recipe from my Christmas gift cookbook. Today I'm sharing lamb stuffed eggplant. It's pretty easy and extremely delicious which means it's an impressive but low-maintenance dish for a dinner party. It's also really yummy when it's heated up and eaten the next day, so leftovers won't go to waste. And it's a recipe that can be adjusted to your tastes and dietary restrictions so hooray.

Ingredients [serves 4]
4 baby eggplants
vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 plum tomatoes, seeded, squeezed, and chopped
1 bell pepper (or a handful of baby bell peppers), seeded and chopped
1 lb ground lamb (or you could substitute ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, or even crumbled tofu if you are a vegetarian)
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
**optional: hot chili pepper for some added spice
First, start by prepping the spices and the vegetables. Measure out the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric in a bowl. Then chop up the onions, bell peppers, chili (if you are using one), and tomatoes.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grilled Endives

Happy Friday! I'm sharing a super easy recipe today, in honor of the weekend, during which I plan to be lazy and comfortable.

Ingredients:
4 endives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

All you have to do is split the endives in half. Then heat up a grill pan or cast iron skillet (or even your actual outdoor grill) with a bit of olive oil. Place the endives, cut-side down, into the olive oil and let them grill for about 5 minutes or until you see them start to get a bit of color on the edges of the leaves. Plate them up and sprinkle with a bit of salt and that's all there is to it! If you are the type of person that hates veggies and needs a little more flavor in order to be able to stomach them, you could also drizzle them with some balsamic vinegar.


Here's the recipe page:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Potato Skins

This recipe is not a traditional potato skins recipe because I didn't scoop out any potato flesh to create a little nook for the filling ingredients. Instead, I just piled it all on top because 1) it was easier that way and I am just that lazy and 2) I was using smaller yukon gold potatoes and I just didn't think they needed to be scooped.

Ingredients [makes 4 portions]:
2 yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
salt & pepper
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 scallions, finely chopped

Start by cutting the potatoes in half and then trimming off a little bit off the base so that the potato will sit flat. (You can see those trimmings in the pan in the photos below). Then boil them for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the potatoes from the pot, drain, and then place on an oiled cast iron skillet (or any oven safe dish or sheet pan). Rub the potatoes around in the oil on both sides and then season with salt and pepper and then place in a 450 oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and then place garlic (which is optional) on top of the potatoes, followed by the thinly sliced jalapenos and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Look at how lovely!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mexican Bagels

This is a post inspired by my favorite breakfast place from my college days, CTB (Collegetown Bagels). They had a bunch of bagel sandwiches but this is probably the one I got the most often: the Mexican bagel. It was a bagel of your choice with jalapeno cream cheese, salsa, and jack cheese, toasted in the oven.

I felt a little lazy and wasn't in the mood to make my own jalapeno cream cheese so I decided to use pepperjack cheese instead of regular jack cheese.

Ingredients:
1 bagel (flavor of your choice, I used plain)
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 tablespoons salsa (I used storebought, you could make your own)
2 slices pepperjack cheese
All you have to do is split the bagel, spread on some cream cheese, spread on some salsa, top it with cheese, and then stick it on a sheet pan. Pop in the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes until the bagel is warmed through and the cheese is melty.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jalapeno Cheddar Bagels

About a year ago, I made homemade bagels and this year, I did it again, except this time, I tweaked the recipe a bit and made jalapeno cheddar bagels! They came out pretty good so I'm sharing the photos here. It's the exact same technique used in my first bagel post except that instead of using just water, I used water and eggs and I also added in cheddar and jalapeno (duh). Oh, and I reduced the amount of sugar (because it's a savory bagel) and the amount of salt (because the cheese adds lots of saltiness).

Ingredients:
1 package dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
+ baking soda (about 1 teaspoon)
+ sugar (about 1 teaspoon)
+ cornmeal (about 2 teaspoons)

So start by blooming the yeast in a bit of warm water with sugar.
And then crack open a few eggs (3 large, to be exact) and beat with a fork.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dduk Guk

So I'm posting this kind of late - like I should have been more organized and posted a dduk guk recipe BEFORE new year's day so that you could make it on new years BUT the thing is, I made this on new years myself so it's not like I was able to go back in time and post this before that. Dduk guk (떡국) if you don't know, is a beef-based soup with rice cakes and it's traditionally eaten by Koreans on New Years Day.

This isn't a photo diary-style post because it was new years day and I wanted to cook in a relaxed environment and at my leisure but I do have a recipe page at the bottom so just use that! And obviously, no one is limited to eating dduk guk on New Years only (not like the way that whole roasted turkey is reserved just for Thanksgiving, at least at my house), so make this today or make it tomorrow and enjoy it.

We actually made dduk mandu guk, using the kimchi mandu we made on Christmas Day and it was amazing.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spicy Marinade

This is a really yummy marinade that's great for chicken and pork because it's flavorful and adds moisture.

Ingredients:
1 cup grated apple (or pear)
3 tablespoons hot pepper paste
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons honey
All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients together.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Belgian Waffles

I LOVE Belgian waffles. The first time I ever made them for myself was when I got to college and they had the little waffle makers in the dining halls. We have a waffle maker at home but I never liked those waffles for the same reason I never liked pancakes - at home we always used a box mix and the result was always less than satisfying. However, it's easy enough to make a homemade batter, so for Christmas morning breakfast, I decided to whip up a batch of waffles from scratch.

Ingredients [makes 4 waffles]:
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
+ 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (leave this out if you prefer a more savory waffle)
+ butter for greasing
+ blueberries and/or chocolate chips and/or sprinkles and/or strawberries...
Start by combining the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk together to make sure the ingredients are well mixed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kimchi Sujebi (김치 수제비)

Sujebi (hand pulled noodles) is a dish that's close to my heart because it reminds me of my childhood. My mom would usually make this on the weekend and she'd let me and my sister help her make the noodles. If you don't know, sujebi is a soup and it's similar to kalguksu (knife noodles) except the shape of the noodle is just different. It's a great dish for cold winter nights and rainy days. This recipe isn't exactly same as my kalguksu post because I made kimchi sujebi instead of plain sujebi!

Ingredients [serves 4]:
6 cups water
5 to 6 large dried anchovies
6 to 8 cloves of garlic
1 cup chopped kimchi (and juice)
1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped into half moons
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water
scallions for garnish
**If you prefer a plain sujebi, omit the kimchi and hot pepper paste
Start by making the dough for the noodles. In a large bowl (I used a giant stainless steel one because that's what my mama always used) add the flour, salt, and boiling water and a bit of sesame oil or vegetable oil. Mix it up gently with a fork at first because you don't want to burn your fingers in the boiling water! Once the mixture looks crumbly, get at it with your hands.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Strawberry Bread Pudding

Over the Christmas holiday, I made a strawberry bread pudding for dessert. I was at the grocery store and when I walked past the fruit and produce section, I could smell the strawberries and they smelled so sweet and yummy, I felt like I needed to use them somehow. Also, the sourdough boule looked really fresh too so I decided to put the two together and make a strawberry bread pudding. This recipe is based on my vanilla bean bread pudding with just a few tweaks so I'm not going to do a step-by-step photo diary because I am lazy and it just feels like it would be redundant.

Ingredients:
4 cups cubed (stale) bread (I used a sourdough boule)
1 cup cream
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup strawberries, chopped up

Start by buttering a 9" x 9" casserole dish and fill it up with the cubed up bread and strawberries. Whisk together the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, melted butter, and eggs and pour over the bread and strawberries.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour until the top layer of bread is golden brown.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Creamy Spinach

I don't like the way "creamed spinach" sounds; I prefer to say "creamy spinach" just because it sounds more delicious to me. Honestly, I hadn't really thought about blogging this recipe and then changed my mind last minute and that's why it's not in my typical format and many of the photos came out a bit blurry in my haste so I am sorry!

Ingredients:
1 bag of baby spinach (I think they're usually 6 to 8 oz. bags)
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves minced or sliced garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup cream or milk

If you are buying regular spinach (like grown up spinach) that is sold in bundles, make sure to give it a really good wash. Spinach is grown in sandy soils so it needs to be washed really well, unless you enjoy that gritty texture. I like these salad-in-a-bag packages though, because everything is already washed. I like to give it a wash anyway, just for my own peace of mind, but I don't put as much effort into it as I might with the loosely sold stuff.
To start, make the "creamy" portion of the dish. Start with the butter, onions, and garlic in a saucepan over medium low heat. Let everything cook a bit until the onions are translucent. Then add in the flour and whisk together briskly to form a paste-like mixture. Slowly drizzle in the milk or cream and then whisk to combine. Allow to cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Prime Rib

Last year I made a prime rib for Christmas and it was so good, we decided to do it again this year. The key to a successful prime rib roast is how you cook it because you want it to be tender and juicy so this post is mostly about sharing my technique (which isn't something I invented myself - just something I learned from watching the Food Network). You'll want to invest in a meat thermometer, if you don't have one already. It's a pretty important tool to have in the kitchen in general, because, like I mentioned in my Safe Cooking Temperatures post, getting sick because something is under-cooked is a pretty horrible way to spend your time.

Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
4 to 5 lb. prime rib roast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary (fresh)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

So first things first, you want to pick out a roast that has pretty marbling and a decent layer of fat on top. I know, I know, fat is taboo or whatever but it's where the flavor and moisture is! And obviously, no one is saying you have to eat it! It's perfectly easy enough to trim off as you eat. My local market was having a sale on roasts, lucky me, so I picked up this lovely one, with the bones removed and then tied back together, for under $20. On the day you want to make your roast, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit out for at least one hour (more for HUGE roasts) so that it can come to room temperature. This will ensure that it cooks more evenly.
The next step is to mix up the herb mixture to rub all over the meat. I chose to use salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary but you could also use thyme, cayenne pepper for some spice, cumin for some smokiness - use what you think will taste good. Also, this would be a good time to preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Accordion Potatoes

I feel like accordion potatoes are super trendy right now - or at least, it seems like I've been seeing them all over the place. So for Christmas, I made a batch using garlic and bacon and lots of butter.

Ingredients [serves 6]:
6 small yukon gold potatoes
2 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground!)
+ grated cheddar cheese (optional)
+ also optional: sour cream, chives, scallions, rosemary
Start by putting the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and microwave until the butter is melted. I actually like to let it get hot enough to sizzle a bit (which takes 30 seconds on high in my microwave).

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dried Radish Side Dish (무말랭이)

Moo-mahl-leng-ee, 무말랭이, is one of my favorite side dishes of all time and the last time I ate it was probably more than 6 or 7 years ago. My mom would make this every so often and my sister and I would go nuts. There isn't anything particularly special about the flavors in this dish, because Korean cuisine reuses so many of the same flavors over and over (though, I guess most cuisines do that) but the texture of the dried and rehydrated radish is probably what makes this dish yummy to me. I've mentioned this countless times but texture is a HUGE part of what I enjoy about eating.

Most of the time, we would dry our own radishes (daikon radish, not those little red bulby ones). My mom or grandma would cut them into small sticks (probably 1/4" x 1/4" x 2") and then it would be me and my sister's job to string them together, using needle and thread - kind of like homemade Christmas garland made with popcorn or cranberries - and then make sure they were evenly spaced apart. Then, my dad would take the strings of radish and hang them up in our boiler room where they would stay for a few weeks until they were dried up. Then, we'd have to take them off the strings and they'd get stored in zip-top bags or tupperware and then get used throughout the year.

These days, I personally don't have time to do all that drying myself. Thankfully, Korean grocery stores sell the radish already dried for you. Yay for shortcuts!

Ingredients:
2 cups dried radish
3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like your food)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (which is 2 or 3 cloves)
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 scallions, finely chopped
sesame seeds for garnish
Here's what the dried radish looks like, shriveled and sad.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year! Last year, I posted a bunch of dishes I wanted to try and make over the course of 2012. I didn't make everything on the list, but I did make a lot of delicious food. This year, I want to try and make what I missed on the list AND I want to work on my blog a bit more. I will try and use a better camera (I don't have a DSLR but my really nice point and shoot has been collecting dust). My biggest qualm about that is the delay in information transfer (because with my iPhone, I can just email the photos to myself quickly and there are no cords required) but I figure that even though the quantity of posts may decrease, the quality will definitely increase.

And, as I say to myself every year, I want to eat delicious foods only!
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