Sunday, February 28, 2010

Japchae and Dukboki (Feb 28, 2010)

I made Japchae and Dukboki tonight.  For the Japchae recipe, I used Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee's Eating Korean cookbook.

For the Dukboki, I modified a recipe from  I didn't use the anchovy as suggested but instead, used about a cup of bulgogi (I marinated this the day before when prepping the japchae).

For dessert, I made Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars (minus the cream cheese frosting...I am on a diet you know).  I got this cookbook from my friend Pyul and these pumpkin bars are so moist and delicious!  There's no butter, but there is 1 cup of oil ; ) 

Brunch at Norma's and Chicken Thighs, Potatoes, and Tomatoes (Feb 27, 2010)

We met our friend Yumi for brunch at Norma's, for her first time.  I think I've been there at least half a dozen times now and the food is consistently great.  There's usually a long wait to get a table so luckily I thought ahead and made reservations.

[NOTE: The Burger Joint is located across from Norma's.  In case you forget to make a reservation, don't just sit there going hungry.  You can eat a burger first while you wait...then you go ahead and order your "real" brunch at Norma's - yes, I have done this before.]

Yumi and I both ordered the Huevos Rancheros and Ethan ordered the Foie Gras Brioche French Toast.

a complimentary strawberry/blueberry smoothie shot

huevos ranchero

foie gras brioche french toast

We were planning to have dinner at Ippudo, but the brunch kept us full pretty late so Ethan made dinner at home.  He made Jamie Oliver's, Crispy and Sticky Chicken Thighs with Squashed New Potatoes and Tomatoes which we ate with leftover wheat berry and Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach from yesterday.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chickpeas With Tomatoes and Spinach (Feb 26, 2010)

Tonight I used a recipe I adapted from a recent Mark Bittman column.

His recipe is for chickpeas fried in olive oil with Spanish chorizo and spinach. I followed his recipe but substituted olive oil marinated sun dried tomatoes for the chorizo.

We had it with salad, yellow & red beets, and wheat berries

And apple crisp for dessert

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spam and Banchan (Feb 25, 2010)

Maybe you never tried Spam...maybe you should ; )  I especially like it with kimchi and rice.

Ethan cooked some left-over roasted potatoes with gochojang, tahini sauce, sesame oil and scallions.  It was really good!  We also had kimchi, rice, dried seaweed and ojingha.

Pork chops (Feb 25, 2010)

After the vegan dinner last night we were feeling the need for some meat. So it was pork chop night!

With potatoes...

And leftover cabbage from the night before.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chou Rouge a la Limousine (Feb 23, 2010)

I've been noticing that I only had one French meal in the labels to the left. So I was determined to up that number and get another vegan notch on the cooking spoon, too. So I looked through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, after eliminating all the recipes that called for butter or cream or veal I was left with red cabbage braised in red wine.

It's actually an interesting recipe... It cooks very slowly (5+ hours) and calls for red wine, carrots, onions, apples, and chestnuts. Also bacon, goose fat, and beef stock--but I substituted olive oil and vegetable stock to keep it vegan-legit.

The french title for the dish provoked a few thoughts. Limousine, I gather, means chestnuts... Who knew that high school students have been going to proms in stretch chestnuts? I figured out a few years ago that choux creme is French for cream puffs (because that's what the Japanese bakeries call them). But now I'm guessing that the puffs are being compared to cabbages (which kinda makes sense, I guess).

Anyway, here's the cabbage pre-five-hour-braising:

Here's after the cooking:

Julia Child's recipe mentioned that the acidity in the apples & wine help keep the cooked cabbage red. Yeah, and I think the red in the red wine didn't hurt either!

Plated (along with some potatoes) and ready to eat!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dubu ganjang jorim (Feb 22, 2010)

Tonight we have dubu ganjang jorim (seasoned tofu) with brown rice, gim (seaweed sheets), kimchi, leftover potatoes that I seasoned with guchujong (chile paste), shreaded daikon, and lettuce.

I (Ethan) had some sake that my dad had sent:

And we pretty much ate everything in sight:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitake and Bok Choy (February 21, 2010)

I tried a new recipe from epicurious and it was pretty tasty.  I think I'll make this one again sometime.  Since the gochujang flavor was pretty intense in this dish, I'm going to consider this more Korean than Japanese.

Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitake and Napa Cabbage
Gourmet, August 2007
Maggie Ruggiero

I did make some modifications based on one of the reviewer comments.  Instead of using water for the sauce, I used 1/4 cup vinegar and added sesame oil until it reached 1/3 cup.  The napa cabbage didn't look so good at the grocery store, so I bought bok choy instead.  Oh, and I added some shrimp as well.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sarah Magid's "Easiest Chocolate Cake" (February 20, 2010)

Sarah Magid designed and baked our wedding cake.  She has the most stylish and tasty baked goods.  Luckily for all of us she just came out with a great book called "Organic and Chic: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets That Taste as Good as They Look"

I've made her chocolate cake recipe before and used her Vanilla Whipped Buttercream frosting, but this time I ended up using a cream cheese frosting.

Here's her recipe which I found online for Sarah Magid's Easiest Chocolate Cake.
It really is a very easy to recipe.  It's very moist and tastes amazing!  

Dinner was leftovers tonight

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fava Bean Soup with Mint and Ancho Chile (Feb 19, 2010)

When I was in the Mexican supermarket near my work (picking up ingredients for our tamales) I noticed some interesting dried, peeled fava beans. I found a recipe in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen featuring the beans, so that's what we had for dinner tonight.

I did a web search to see if I could find a copy of the recipe online to share... The first place I checked had Rick's recipe to the teaspoon (and with the exact same recipe name), but was presented as Karen Sonnessa's recipe from Vegetarian Times. The descriptive text (the copyrightable part of a recipe) was worded slightly differently than Rick's recipe, but the ingredients & their amounts were identical.

I'm don't know how the recipe was presented in the magazine, but I sure hope Karen acknowledged that it is a Bayless recipe.

Anyway, we had the soup with roasted potatoes...

And marinated chiles and cheese on top of the soup...

And jicima and corn chips on the side...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Galbi Jjim (Feb 18, 2010)

Ethan prepared a very tasty Galbi Jjim tonight.  He served this with white rice.  Banchan consisted of Ojinguh (spicy dried squid), geem (dried seaweed), jicama (diced, made with rice wine vinegar, cayanne, salt and mirin) and of course, what's a korean meal without kimchi?

Spaghetti with Tomato & Artichoke Sauce (Feb 17, 2010)

Ethan made an appetizer of a white bean salad with chunks of tuna red onion, fresh thyme, and olive oil. Ethan's dad sent us the tuna and it was delicious!  We ate the salad with some flatbread.  

The main course was spaghetti with artichoke, onion, tomato, basil and oregano.  I couldn't get enough!  I think I had at least 3 servings...I had a small plate ; )


There was plenty for leftovers to take to work the next day!  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gochujong-Marinated Chicken (Feb 16, 2010)

Tonight we made my chicken marinated in Korean flavors (gochujong, sesame oil, corn syrup, garlic, and ginger), seasoned spinach, rice, and some very fresh kimchi.

For dessert I tried a new recipe from Discovering Korean Cuisine, a cookbook composed of recipes from Los Angeles Korean restaurant. I made Hobak-Juk (pumpkin porridge) using what remained of the kabocha squash from the other night.

Those are rice balls, pine nuts, and sliced jujubes in the porridge. The recipe for the rice balls had a big error in it--it called for 3 teaspoons of water where clearly it needs 3 tablespoons of water.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Duck Legs (Feb 15, 2010)

Dinner tonight was about using the legs from the duck I got for last night's dinner (which only called for the duck's breast).

Duck breast cooks very quickly--I cooked them in 13 minutes last night (and perhaps 11 minutes would have been better). I don't cook duck a whole lot (I think Christmas 2008 was the last time), so imagine my surprise tonight when I took a closer look at the recipe I was going to follow and saw that it required 3 hours of cooking time.

So I tossed the recipe and winged "Duck Legs in Hurry." What I did was brown the legs a bit on the stove top; toss in chopped apples and onions; added a bit of cider vinegar, stock, and flambéed some cognac on top. I covered it and put in the oven to braise for an hour, then removed the cover and let it roast for 30 minutes to brown up.

The duck tasted great and the apples & onions were pretty good too (albeit a bit rich from all the duck fat they soaked up). The broccoli I had intended to use as a side vegetable was no longer any good, so I sauteed up some zucchini. And for a starch we had a medley of wild, brown, & whole grain rice. 

Oh, and we started with leftover beet soup from last night. I was a bit more successful in getting the 2-color effect this time around.

Duck Breast with Pomegranate Chile Sauce (Valentine's Day 2010)

The day started off pretty busy. We had plans to see our friend's G&C who just had a baby boy a couple weeks ago, on 01/22/09. I wanted to bake some banana/blueberry bread to bring over, so as soon as I got up this morning I got busy baking.

We got home around 3:30-4pm and Ethan went right to work in the kitchen while I did laundry (sounds super romantic already, right?).  Well, I can't even begin to tell you how lucky I am to have a husband who not only enjoys cooking but he's pretty damn good at it too!

Ethan's Valentine Day dinner menu: Golden and Red Beet Soup, Roast Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce, Swiss Chard sauteed with garlic and olive oil, and Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Ethan made this Beet soup last Valentine's Day and I liked it so much I asked him to make it again.

Golden and Red Beet Soup
Gourmet, September 1998

Bon Appétit, December 2009
by Selma Brown Morrow

Molten Chocolate Cakes
Bon Appétit | September 1999