Traditional Kimchi

As an Army brat, I grew up with an extremely diverse group of friends and a lot of exposure to international cuisine.  My love of Korean food stems from my cousin and her husband who is biracial and part Korean. So one day they decided to take us out to dinner to a Korean grocery store that was also a restaurant (insert side glare). Needless to say, I was SCARED! That was the day I fell in LOVE! From bim bim bap(vegetables over rice with a sunny side up eggs)  to bulgogi (marinaded beef or pork), I love it all. I usually gather my goodies from our local Asian market. I’m there so much, I should know how to speak the language, but alas I’m stuck with pointing and googling titles 🙂

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My natural progression was to try my hand at making Kimchi and it was much easier than I thought! Kimchi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasons. I will say there are many recipes for kimchi, but I prefer to make mine with more of a sauce versus a slurry. The slurry mixture makes the mixture a bit more thick, I prefer the sauce because I like to use my kimchi several different ways. It can be used as a side dish, stirred into fried rice, or added to make a kimchi pancake(kimchijeon)! I know trying new foods is a bit scary, but step out of the box with me and give it a try.

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 grated daikon radish*
  • 1 C carrots, julienned
  • 1 C water
  • ¼ C salted shrimp*
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Korean Red Pepper Powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 grated asian pear*
  • ¼ C. salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 canning jars

*These items can be found in your local Asian market; however, I have found the asian pear and daikon radish in local markets.

Directions:

  1. Cut the napa cabbage and quarter it length wise keeping the base in tact.
  2. Make sure the leaves are still connected at the base, gently separate the leaves and sprinkle salt between each section placing more salt close to the base than the tip of the leaf.
  3. Place the quartered napa cabbage in a container that’s deep enough to cover the cabbage with water.
  4. Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage and let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  5. Next combine all of the sauce ingredients in very large bowl.
  6. Once the cabbage is brined, rinse, drain, and chop the cabbage.
  7. Toss the cabbage with the sauce mixture until coated.
  8. Place the mixture into the  fermenting vessels and cover with lid.
  9. Make sure not to over pack the jars, leaving at least 1″ of space at the top. If you pack your jar too full you will have a very stinky kitchen.
  10. Let the jars sit on the counter top for at least a day and then place into the refrigerator.
  11. Use the kimchi within 2 weeks. After that you will want to discard it because it will get too strong for use.
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Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Seared Sesame Tuna with Garlic Roasted Radishes

Several years ago, I finally got brave enough to get out of my comfort zone of canned tuna and radishes from a bag. Typically, I’d eat canned tuna or tuna in the form of sushi and my extensive knowledge of radishes is pretty much limited to a salad, so imagine my surprise when I tasted an everyday radish transformed by roasting it! Yes, it’s unusual, yes it’s beautiful and it takes about 30-35 minutes tops!  Before you pass by this recipe, give it some reconsideration, all of the ingredients work well together to give you a “party” in your mouth.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of radishes, cut in half
  • ¼ c. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, base removed from each piece, but keep the garlic skin on the clove
  • 2 pieces tuna fillets
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut the radishes in half and toss with garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Bake the radish and garlic mixture for 30 minutes or until fork tender
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium high and add measured olive oil
  5. Season the tuna with desired salt and pepper
  6. Press the seasoned tuna in the sesame seeds, coating both sides
  7. Sear the tuna for a minimum of 1 minute on each side
  8. Depending on the thickness of the tuna, you may cook it longer
  9. Let the tuna rest for 2 minutes, and slice
  10. Remove the radishes from the oven and remove the garlic from the skins and mash
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and coating the radishes with the mashed garlic
  12. Place the sliced tuna on the radish mixture and top with sliced red onions and pomegranate seeds and serve

Elegant and Easy Standing Rib Roast

I am a lover of BEEF! There I said it, I love many types of beef especially rib roast and I think this love has been passed on to my son. As a teenager, we had an unspoken game where he’d try to eat EVERYTHING in sight, and I’d try to create meals where he wasn’t IMMEDIATELY hungry after he ate. I lost MANY MANY times 🙂

Anytime I can find a recipe that screams GOURMET flavor, but utilizes minimal effort it automatically gets a look from me. That’s where this elegant and easy roast comes in. You can’t get much easier, but people will swear you’ve been cooking all day!

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Ingredients:

5 lb standing rib roast, allowed to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour

1 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp kosher salt

3 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

5 fresh minced large garlic cloves

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and rub the roast with the canola oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, rosemary, and fresh ground pepper. Place the roast on the rack in the roasting pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up.  Roast the meat for 1 hour then turn the oven OFF! Leave the roast in the oven but DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR for 3 hours.  30-40 minutes before serving, turn the oven to 375 degrees and reheat the roast.

*DO NOT remove the roast or re-open the oven door from the time the roast in placed in the oven until it is ready to serve! #BonAppetite