Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I need a Korean Halmoni


Halmoni is Grandma in Korean. Why do I need a Korean Grandma? Actually I would take any grandma that would cook for me and make me feel like the most important person in the world.


I miss my grandma very much. She really was someone that treated me like I was the most special human on earth. The reason I want a Korean Grandma is because I want homemade Korean food all the time. She would bring me into her kitchen and feed me bulgogi. She would make me Kimchi (the radish kind that I like). She would hand feed me Dolsot Bibimbap.


So since this fantasy isn't going to come true in this lifetime I have to take care of my own cravings. I decided to take a recipe for chicken wings from Kimchi Chronicles Cookbook and use the marinade for a whole chicken.


I stuck the butterflied chicken into a bag with the marinade.


I made some Kimchi and rice thingy.


I channeled my Korean Halmoni.

recipe adapted from Kimchi Chronicles Chicken Wing Recipe

Whole 3lb Chicken

1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon red pepper paste (gochujang)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of ginger minced

1. Butterfly chicken (or you can use chicken parts)
2. Make marinade with all listed above (except the chicken)
3. Bake at 350 until internal temperature of the chicken is what it is suppose to be.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some times you need a Boule Babka in your life


This worked. This was my hairbrained idea for a Boule Babka! I thought that instead of taking the Boule that I have been making for Abby Dodges #baketogether I would make the same dough into a savory "Babka". Not sure this still would be a Babka if it is savory but I liked the name "Boule Babka".


So what I did was this...

I made the Boule dough. I roasted a head of garlic. I removed cloves of garlic from their skin and I mushed it up with a stick of softened butter. I spread on the dough that I had divided into two balls (which I let rest for 10 minutes) and rolled out. I then sprinkled (liberally) Gruyere cheese and italian herbs. I rolled each of the two rolled out doughs into a log.


I cut each log in half and fit into a 9" cake pan. I then let rise again until the dough was above the top of the pan.



Voila. Then I baked at 350 for about 30 minutes. This was a huge success. Just look what you bite into when you take your first bite.


Ok, the picture is a little blurry but you get the idea. This bread was awesome.


We made lamb chops to go with the bread. Sad part is that we have used all our lamb. Good news is that Leyden Glen Farm has another one for us (waving to Kristen). The recipe we used was from Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry. This is one of my favorite cookbooks and I have made almost everything in there. This recipe was Harissa Marinated Lamb Chops with Bean Chickpea Puree.


Dinner was awesome.


So Sunday was to be the hand rolled couscous that we didn't make last weekend because Dr. Food had the stomach flu. I had every intention of doing it this last Sunday but by the time we went grocery shopping and ran errands my body hurt. I know that I have been whining a lot about "hurting" but this compressed disc thing sucks. Luckily I am going for a cortisone shot on friday (ouch) and I am hoping to be like new again. Well maybe that is overstating it a bit. Why am I blabbing on about my ailments? It is because I backed out of the hand rolled couscous because of pain. I still went ahead to make the goat tagine that we wanted to make.


So it started off well enough...


and turned to this. Ew. I then asked my idol ... um, BFF uh, amazing source of all things tagine...Paula Wolfert, what I did wrong. She then told me about Fava beans and how you cook them. These were dried beans and I did a quick soak on them. Paula told me that you really can't do that with old world beans. Live and learn.


I will leave you with a picture of a happy customer in my kitchen. My P-man loves Gamma's cooking. Shut up, I didn't feed him the dried out goat. That is brisket and "braplie" on his plate.

Harissa Marinated Lamb Chops with Chickpea Puree
adapted from Pure Simple Cooking - Diana Henry

Printable Version
2 1/2 tbsp harissa
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 C olive oil (I used 1/4 C)
juice of 1/2 lemon
a good handful of mint leaves, torn

chickpea puree
1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1/4 C olive oil, plus extra if frying onions (calls for 3/4 C but I used 1/4)
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

1. Mix harissa with garlic, oil, lemon juice, and mint and put the chops into it, turning them over to get well coated.
Cover and put them in the refrigerator. Leave them to marinate for 1 1/2 hours to overnight, turning them every so often.

2. To make the chickpea puree, simply chuck everything (except the onion and cilantro) into the food processor, with salt and pepper to taste, and blend. The mixture doesn't have to be absolutely smooth. Fry chopped onion in a little oil until golden brown and slightly singed in some parts. Sprinkle onion and cilantro over the puree.

3. Heat a grill pan for the chops. Salt the chops at the last minute and then cook them over high heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned but still pink in the middle.

4. Serve with chickpea puree.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I can so cook like a normal person - Enchilada Casserole


I know you think I am odd. No, really...it is ok. I know that you think I cook weird things and say things that are a bit "off". I know that when I am not around you gossip about me making weird stuff out of meat. I am here today to clear my name. I have turned over a new leaf. I have reformed. I am saying that I can cook a basic meal that doesn't have anything weird in it and that all the ingredients are easy to get. OH and it was from Cooking Light so it is healthy too.

But first let me tell you about the Migas that we made that does have weird things in it and was in a Spanish cookbook and not from Cooking light. This was before we turned over the new leaf. We turn over a new leaf all the time.


I made this Peasant Boule that I learned how to make and used it for the breadcrumbs.


Lots of vegetables. Look how pretty.


Ok, so there was some homemade MEAT. Shut up. I know I said that this was going to be me being a normal person without dried meat.


But look how pretty!


My trusty companion was by my side and supports my decisions.


I loved this dish. I loved it even better because...


It had a duck egg on it. What? You don't buy duck eggs?

The next day Dr. Food got the stomach flu and I don't think he is ever gonna want this dish again. That is all I am sayin.


We also made lambchops that were awesome. That was an in between recipe. Not odd at all, other than the fact that it has lamb in it and I know for a fact that some people think lamb is weird. That is ok because I find people who think lamb is weird to be weird themselves.


I loved this dish and would make it again.



This is hamburger meat. Ordinary no fat ground beef. It was layered with tortillas and a sauce. It actually was fantastic. I just had to pretend that it bored me.



For dessert we had Strawberry/Banana stuff made with the Yonana machine that I got Dr. Food for Xmas. He took one taste and it looked like how he looked the morning after he ate the Migas. I liked it.


Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops
Printable Version

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shoulder lamb chops
1 large sweet onion , cut in half,and each half quartered
3 medium carrots , cut in half inch circles
3 large celery ribs , with leaves,cut in half inch lengths
1/2 lemon , unpeeled,cut in very thin slices
1/2 cup red wine (sherry or port is good) or 1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes , diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
4 cloves garlic , smashed
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 -4 sprigs fresh mint , leaves removed and rolled up,cut in thin strips

1. Trim fat from chops.
2. Heat oil in large deep non stick frypan or Dutch oven; brown chops on both sides, about 5 minutes each side; remove from pan, set aside.
3. In the same pan, add onion chunks, saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Add carrots, celery, salt and pepper and lemon slices, saute until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Stir in wine or broth, bring to simmer and deglaze pan.
6. Meanwhile, empty tomatoes, undrained, into a bowl, add curry powder, cumin, coriander, garlic and soy sauce.
7. Stir to mix, pour tomato mixture into pan; stir to mix with caramelized veggies.
8. Return chops to pan and spoon mixture over them.
9. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour or until chops are fork tender.
10. Make a slurry of cold water and cornstarch, stir into pan and bring to boil, simmer until juices are thickened.
11. Sprinkle with chopped fresh mint.
12. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice or noodles.

Enchilada Casserole
Cooking Light - January 2012

1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning mix (such as Old El Paso)
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble.
2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broth, taco seasoning, and tomato sauce to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato mixture to beef mixture; reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture.
4. Place 1 tortilla in a 9-inch pie plate. Top with 1 cup beef mixture. Repeat layers, ending with tortilla. Spread reserved tomato mixture over tortilla. Top with cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cool slightly. Cut into 4 wedges.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Tale of Three Breads...#Baketogether Peasant Boule


I joined another "thing". I couldn't help myself. Abby Dodge does #baketogether and this month it was a Peasant Boule. I love making bread. I jumped on the baking bandwagon and I am sure glad that I did. I started off by making the recipe "as written so I could taste what it was suppose to taste like.


My first attempt went fairly well. Well, maybe not totally but I will show you what I mean...


It sort of burped up a bubble and I stood there looking at it and talking to myself:

Janis: Bread, why do you always do crap like this to me? Why can't you ever just be pretty?

Bread: No answer

Janis: I did everything exactly as the recipe said.

Bread: No answer

Janis: Oh forget it. I bet you will taste good anyhow.


It did. I also tried to take "professional pictures" of it. Dr. Food bought me a new flash and also a tripod and little tent thing.


What? I am not suppose to take a picture of the whole set up? Pffft. Do I look dumb? (don't answer that). I didn't like the picture in the circus tent sent up.


Shhh. Play along with me here... Dr. Food, I love my little photo tent that you bought me. You are the best husband in the world... Ok lets move on.


I made Bread number 2 and decided to add my own twist. I did everything the same but I added a roasted garlic and dill. This bread was awesome. I loved it.


This bread will most certainly be a staple in the house from now on.


I took it one step further and activated "Goo" my sourdough starter.


I made a sponge and then reduced the amount of flour to include what was in the sponge when I actually went to make the bread. I had let the sponge sit in a warm place for 5 hours.


Prettttty! It tasted good too but #2 bread was my favorite.


I saved some for Dr. Food for when he comes back from Switzerland tonight. REMEBER...ixnay on the photo tent-ay.

Abby Dodge's Peasant Boule
Printable Version
Makes 1 round loaf; 8-10 servings.

3 1/3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose flour

1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast (Rapid Rise)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/3 cups very warm water (between 115 and 125 degrees)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. In a large bowl of electric stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Clip the bowl into the mixer stand and fit the mixer with the dough hook.

2. Check that the water temperature registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (In order for this type of yeast to grow, the liquid needs to be between 115 and 125 degrees.)

3. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. Don’t venture too far away while it’s mixing as the mixer might dance around on the counter.

4. Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease (using some of the melted butter or spray release) the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl and pop the dough, rounded side up, back into the bowl. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. (I like to use a large rubber band to hold the plastic in place.) Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Using some of the melted butter, generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface (there’s no need to flour—the dough is soft but not sticky) and press to deflate it. Shape the dough into a 7-inch-wide round and place it, smooth side up, in the center of the prepared pan. Generously brush the top and sides with some of the melted butter. You may not need all the butter.

6. Let the dough rise (no need to cover it) in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 25 minutes. It will fill the pan.

7. About 15 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and the oven to 375°F. When the dough has risen to about 2 inches above the edge of the pan, bake until the boule is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and tip the baked bread onto a rack and remove the pan. Set it right side up and let cool completely.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grains and Chicken and this and that...


I have to say that I have been cooking and cooking and cooking, but I have switched the focus to healthier foods. For now Pork and I have broken up. We used to be BFF. No more.


There has been an elephant in the room and I want the big oaf out of here already. I haven't said anything here and I think I need to say it. I wasn't one of the last 2 of the Charcutepalooza finalist. I got to the last 10 and then was out. Thanks to all of you that laughed at my jokes and prankster(ish) approach to something that I put my heart into. It was a lot of work for all that participated and Peter of Cookblog won the trophy (or rather a trip to Gascony). It was well deserved. Ok, enough of the long face on my part. The only reason I shared is because now I can tell you that I really don't like meat all that much :--) I really don't.


So, we went to our friends house for New Years. They had cooked us a Goose and other amazing dishes. The two things that I seemed to go nuts over was the Cumin Scented Quinoa and Black Rice dish and also the Green Beans with Miso and Almonds. I loved them.


So when I was grocery shopping I picked up the stuff to make them during the week.


Of course there was a chicken in the mix too. I have made so many chickens that I am embarrassed to say that I have no idea what I did to this one. Give me a break, it was last week. You expect me to remember? Dr. Food, do you remember? No? I didn't think so. A chicken is a chicken is a shiken. I butterflied (SPATCHCOCKED) the bird and then did something to it and then roasted it. Lets move on...


Did I tell you how much I loved these green beans? I loved them.


The Cumin scented black rice and quinoa will make you into a convert if you don't like quinoa.

Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice
Printable Version
You can substitute any color of rice or quinoa to make this gorgeous (and healthful) salad, which works as a vegetarian main course or hearty side dish.
6–8 servings

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

(Black rice and red quinoa are available at better supermarkets and at natural foods and specialty foods stores)
1/2 cup short-grain black rice
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons 1" pieces chives
Freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled, pitted
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Bring rice and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine quinoa, bay leaf, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf, fluff quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add to quinoa. Add rice; mix well. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, fresh lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut avocado into wedges. Serve salad with avocado and lemon wedges.

Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
from Bon Appetite by Anita Lo
2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
Kosher salt
1/4 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, dark-green parts only, divided
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Japanese prepared hot mustard (not wasabi), or 1 Tbsp. English mustard powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup almonds, toasted

Working in 3 batches, cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Trim beans; cut in half on a sharp diagonal. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Arrange cooked beans in batches in paper towels, roll into cylinders, and transfer to plastic bags; seal and chill.

Whisk miso, 2 tbsp. scallions, vinegar, mustard, oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt. Place green beans in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Garnish with almonds and remaining 1 Tbsp. scallions. Serve warm or at room temperature.