Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This delicious kimchee stew is one of my favorite winter dishes. Last night I made a batch that even my wife liked (she usually doesn't) so I had to record the process for posterity.
I started with this recipe from My Korean Kitchen (an excellent Korean food blog). I didn't have the mushrooms, so I left those out. I used some kimchee that I made a few weeks ago. The biggest departure from my usual procedure was than instead of cubed pork, I used bacon. Any old bacon will do, as great bacon would be wasted here, I think.
I also added some little disk shaped Korean rice cakes right at the end, which made for a nice texture addition, and made it a bit more filling.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. I've been doing a fair amount of cooking, but none of it seemed interesting enough to post about. That's probably not true, so hopefully things'll pick up a bit here.
Last night I had a craving for chicken, so I picked up a nice 5 1/2 lb. "Rocky" organic roaster at New Seasons, as well as some veggies to go with. My wife gave me one of those stand-up chicken roasting doo dahs a few years back, so that's what I propped Rocky up on, in a roasting pan.
I rubbed the outside of the bird with olive oil, coarse salt, rosemary, and some black pepper, and set him roasting at 350°, with me electronic thermometer/alarm in place. I love those things. Totally worth every penny (and they aren't very expensive). I set the alarm for 180°, and prepped the veggies.
About an hour into it, I took some brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes, carrots, and chopped rutabega, and mixed them with salt, olive oil, and some more rosemary, then popped them into the bottom of the roasting pan with the chicken. About an hour later, the alarm went off, and dinner was served.
I've just recently started roasting brussel sprouts like this, and I love it (as does Vikki). They aren't mushy at all, and it really cuts down on the "cabbagey" smell of them.
The chicken came out very moist, thanks mostly to the thermometer. It really makes a huge difference.
Tonight, the leftover chicken and veggies will chopped up, gravied, and topped with biscuits for a chicken pot pie (one of my all time favorites). I'll probably add some sage, which I really enjoy with poultry, but I didn't want it to burn on the surface of the bird. The rosemary holds up better.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Once again, I had some winter squash that needed using up, and I happened to recently come across a reference from the journals of Lewis and Clark about a stew they were fed by the Mandan/Hidatsa while wintering at Fort Mandan. They referred to stew of pumpkin, chokecherries, beans and dried corn. I thought that sounded good, so I gave it a try.
I added some stew beef (buffalo would have been better) and a few spices, but otherwise pretty much stuck with the basics as described. I used parched sweet corn, pinto beans, dried cherries, and butternut squash, and added some dried sage and salt and pepper, plus a dash of balsamic vinegar, as it was a bit too sweet for my taste otherwise.
I started by browning the beef, then added the dried pintos and water to cover, and simmered until the beans were nearly done, then added the dried cherries and parched corn, and cooked until the beef was starting to get tender, then added the chopped squash, and cooked it until it was soft but not mushy.
Served with green salad and cornbread, it made a nice Fall dinner.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I had half of a lovely Amber Cup squash to use up, so last night I tried Saffron Trail’s Parsi Dhansak, which is basically dal with pumpkin. My favorite part was that you pressure cook the pumpkin with the dal, and it all came out done just right. Very easy to get right. I didn’t have any methi, so added some cilantro instead, which I thought came out well.
I love winter squash, but it’s one of those things that I just never think to cook. I bought a bunch of beauties at the farmers market last weekend, so I’ll be experimenting with some more squash recipes in the next week or so. Over the weekend I made a squash soup (with the other half of the Amber Cup) with some apples, pears, onions and fresh sage. I added just a touch of balsamic vinegar at the end, since it was a little too sweet with the fruit. The balsamic cut it just enough. I topped each bowl of soup with some fried sage leaves (fresh sage leaves fried in oil until crisp) which make a really attractive garnice, and they’re tasty too.
I’m thinking Morroccan-themed pumpkin & tomato over couscous tonight. Report to follow…
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I know I've said it before, but caldo gallego has got to be one of my very favorite soups. I made a batch last night that went basically as I described before, but added some Spanish smoked paprika at the end. Totally put it over the top. Loved it. It's such an easy soup, and full of nutritional goodness, especially from the kale, which is one of my favorite greens.
It's nice that we're finally getting a bit of soup weather here in Oregon. It's been such a hot summer, it's a pleasant change to get some cooler, wetter days. Makes it so much easier to plan for dinner when it's OK to produce some heat in the kitchen.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Yes, indeed, the rumors are true. There is a restaurant serving Ethiopian food in Hillsboro. Vikki and I had lunch there on Monday. It's still mostly a deli/diner, so most of the menu is burger-fries and cold sandwiches, but they have 7 Ethiopian dishes on the menu, each of which comes with a salad and your choice of injera or rice. We had a spicy beef dish, and the collard greens, both with injera. Very tasty! The injera was very fresh, and the flavor of both dishes was excellent. It's a bit expensive, and portions are small, so keep that in mind. It's not the cheapest lunch around, but a welcome addition to the local lunchtime scene for sure.
Lalibela Ethiopian Cafe, 5289 NE Elam Young Pkwy, #F-800, 97124
I had some rutabegas I needed to use up (doesn't everyone?) and decided to try the traditional Scottish version, "bashed neeps". Basically, you cube your rutagegas (turnip? swede?) and boil until tender, then mash with some salt, pepper, a touch of mace, and plenty of butter.
These made a great side dish with some of New Seasons' pork bratwurst cooked in beer (Fat Tire) with some onions. Much more interesting than mashed potatoes, and less starchy. The rutabegas have less of a "turnipy" taste (IMHO) than the white turnips, so might have a wider appeal.
Monday night I had to use up some turnips ( ) so I made some "armored turnips" which is a medieval recipe. Cube and boil the turnips until tender, but still firm, then drain and add some butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ground ginger, then stir in some cheese. I used parmesan. Very tasty, and a quick and interesting side dish.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I have a great and abiding love of almost all things leafy and green, but possibly my favorite prepration is Southern style 'greens' with some kind of pork product. I had some collard greens I needed to get rid of, so I got some bacon and set to work...
I chopped up the bacon, and fried it with a couple of chopped onions until the onions were soft and the bacon had started to harden up a bit, then added the greens. I discovered lately that WinCo has pre-washed and cut up greens of several varieties, which makes them sooooo much easier to use. I dumped in half a bag of collards, and a full bag of mustard greens, and stired them up with the bacon and onions until they started to wilt a bit.
On top of the greens I tossed in some chopped garlic, a splash of sweet vermouth, a few dashes of Angostura bitters, a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper, plus just a bit of sugar (I used Rapidura, 'cause I like it).
After that, I just let it all cook down for about 45 mintues to an hour, and served it up with some leftover jambalaya. Made for a great easy meal. The sugar and the complexity of the vermouth and bitters really played well with the mustard greens, which can be a bit strong, but ended up in this case not notable different from the collard greens, which was just about perfect.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Yesterday I was having a total craving for a good bowl of chili verde, so I decided to set about making my dream a reality.
I started with some pretty lean pork rib pieces that WinCo was selling as "carnitas". I hacked it up into reasonable sized pieces, and browned it in some peanut oil, then started cutting up and tossing in the remaining ingredients, which were:
- some quartered tomatillos, maybe 2 cups worth (I wanted more, but WinCo didn't have many fresh, and I don't like the canned ones as well)
- 5 fresh pasilla/poblano chiles, chopped roughly. I knew I was going to be stewing them, so I didn't bother to roast the skins off first.
- 4-5 chopped seeded jalapenos
- chopped garlic
- Mexican oregano
- ground cumin
- salt to taste
After everything had cooked down (maybe an hour) I added a jar of nopalitos (cactus). I knew they tended to get a bit squishy if cooked to long, so waited a bit before throwing them in with the rest of the stuff.
I served it up in bowls with some cheese, fresh sweet onions and avocado, and warm corn tortillas.
My son declared that I should add this to the list of things to make anytime. I think that's an endorsement.
Monday, August 21, 2006
On our trip to San Francisco last week, my family and I managed not one, but two trips to Ton Kiang
, which has possibly the best dim sum I've ever come across.
My Dad turned me on to them a few years back, and it was a particular hit with my son, who's a huge dim sum fan, so we never would have made it out alive without at least paying a quick visit.
I've had a fair amount of dim sum, including places in SFO like Yank Sing, most of the well known places in Seattle and Portland, and even Hong Kong, and I've have to put Ton Kiang at the top of my personal list.
The individual dished are very well executed, and there is a ton of variety, including many dishes you don't see often. They have a whole series of shrimp dumpings, similar to har gau, but including different greens such as green onions, spinach, cabbage, and snow peas. It's well worth it to try them all. The dumplings are all quite small, which is nice because it means you can try more dishes instead of filling up on giant hum bao right off the bat. The fried taro was also exceptional. Not to everyone's taste, but one of my favorites.
Best of all, Ton Kiang is right down the street from the Wirth Brothers' Bakery, which is home to my wife's favorite poppyseed coffee cake in all the world.
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