Thursday, December 30, 2010

Apple Cobbler


I must try this again...because I can't quite remember how much of what went into it, but it was delicious!
Mini apples - sliced...toss in:
Sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour
Mix pancake mix with some milk until ...
you have what you deem to be the right consistency

Bake. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Carne Guisado


I really miss Mexican flavors. I'm always, always searching for a way to have a bit of that experience here in South Korea. I followed the basic premise of an recipe - lacking only a few things: the quantity of beef called for, the quantity of chili powder called for, and red bell peppers (although each of the items can be found in South Korea, they simply were absent from my kitchen the morning of piecing this crock-pot meal together).

It's particularly delcious served with a Cheese Quesadilla or re-vamped and used for burritos and ramen dishes, but those instructions will come later - for now, check out the base recipe at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is entirely too interesting to me.

My recent history with food and dumpsters and waste, leads me to love this.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grandpa's Breakfast - Re-Mix

This dish reminded me of my grandpa's famous camping dish. His dish is canned potatoes, bacon and eggs. Bacon cooked first, add canned potatoes, heat through, add eggs cook eggs through and enjoy in the cool morning of a Wyoming Summer.

My dish made good use of some Thanksgiving leftovers: Scalloped-Potatoes were chopped down a bit, heated in a skillet with a touch of oil before about 5 whisked eggs were dumped into the mix. Eggs scrambled, potatoes hots this mixture was served in a bowl with a little cheese on top - would have been equally delicious in a toritilla with a bit of salsa. Uber-easy and extremely delcious!

What creative ways have you used leftovers recently?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Green Tea Latte


On Thursdays, my favorite coffee shop is closed. Oddly enough, Thursdays is the day I am most likely to want a Green Tea Latte. (It's the most unfortunate of affairs). On a more fortunate of affairs note - I recently set my eyes on a container of Match Powder (I think) at the incredible price of 5, 000 won (US$5)!!!! Needless to say, the powder went from the shelf to my graocery basket in a matter of moments.

So on a Thursday when I was needing some Latte-Love, I whipped up a little latte. Some milk, some sugar and some Matcha. If you'd like a recipe to follow or give you some sense of direction - try out this one.

Thursday, December 16, 2010



I'd never made crepes before. But a semi-recent Crepe night at a friends house and memories of Crepes made by a French CouchSurfer AND the availability of Nutella meant I was knocking on the door of asking for a crepe recipe.

Here it is: Basic Crepes.
Not difficult at all.
Fully delicious!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Creamy Chicken Pasta


Thanksgiving leftovers were a HUGE joy and blessing to use this month for various meals. I'd made this Cream of Mushroom Soup for these Slow-Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and had Chicken Meat left over from the Home-made Chicken Broth making this meal a snap to create! Boil some water - add your favorite noodle cook to al dente. Add noodles to warm/hot cream of mushroom soup and chicken - deliciousness ready to consume!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Banana Bread


Banana Bread is a favorite stand-by. I've used numerous recipes to produce this delectable treat. Most recently, I used this recipe from - ridiculously easy and exceptionally delicious.

Because walnuts seem relatively affordable here, I threw in a handful or two, but the bread would be delious regardless.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Smoothie Queen

I love smoothies.

I should drink them with greater frequency.

I'm happy that I purchased a multi-functioning kitchen device.

Immersion Blender. Blender. Food Processor.

MMMM, smoothies.

Fruit, yogurt, juice, milk. Whatever serves your fancy.


Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Broth and Chicken Tortilla Soup - OH My!


Last week we had a most fabulous dinner of Chicken Tortilla soup. Part of the reason it was so delectable is that I had the pleasure of prepping nearly every aspect of the soup from 'scratch'. No canned tomatos, no chicken granules or broth from a box - I rocked this whole meal from broth the finished product.

I'm a bit proud of this accomplishment.

Let's begin with the story of the Roasted Tomatos.

Having lived too long in the refrigerator their 'shelf life' was quickly approaching the end. My history with food that's on the outs taught me a number of tricks to 'save' food at this stage of its life. I simply sliced the tomaotes in half, laid them out on the roasting pan/cookie sheet, threw some chiles in for added flavor and to save their lives as well - pop it all in the oven for about an hour, enjoying the delectable smell of roasting peppers. An hour or so in an oven causes the skins of the tomatos to losen their grip on the pulp making for easy removal. To prepare tomatos for future tomato purpose simply remove skins, chop tomatoes or through into a blender - add some kick by adding a chile or two (I did two and it was spectacular) and you have some delicous-ness just begging to go into a soup!

Now the story of Chicken Broth.

Home-made Chicken Broth is as easy as 1-2-3 with a slowcooker. 1-Throw a chicken carcass into the slow cooker with some onions, carrot and celery. 2- Add enough water to cover the bird bones. 3 - cook on high for about 4 hours. (Okay, maybe there's a step 4 and 5). 4 - Ladle broth into containers of choice for freezing or refridgeration. 5 - Add chicken pieces to broth or use in Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! (Or any other chicken dish)
Now, the story you've all been waiting for: that of the Chicken Tortilla Soup...

Saute up some garlic and onions. Add two or three cups of liquid, perhaps the Chicken Broth you've just conquered. A bit of salt, pepper, canned or home-roasted tomatoes and chilies plus a healthy serving of cooked chicken (breast or from the chicken carcass which has now become chicken broth). Heat through. Throw in some cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and/or a cheesy quesadilla! You will love it!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Maybe you've heard - I have an oven!

Later this month some friends and I'll bust out some delicious cookies.

For now, I need to store this gem of a link.

So many Cookies.

So much potential Deliciousness.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Craisin Cranberry Sauce

By far the biggest hit of Thanksgiving with our co-teachers was the home-made cranberry sauce.
Again, inspiration for this dish was received from the Ovenless Chef which linked to this original recipe. Here are the adjustments I made.

Peels from two Clementines/Tangerines
4 Tbsp. Orange Juice
1 Tbsp. Soju (can use Port or additional Orange Juice)
About 1 cup Dried Cranberries
Grated Apple
Sugar and Cinnamon to taste

In a sauce pan throw in all the ingredients (this is not how the original recipe reads, but I didn't read closely and this worked out, so it's your call). Simmer for about ten minutes. Remove from heat and let set for about an hour so that craisins can rehydrate. Add sugar or cinnamon per taste requirements and enjoy on a bread roll gathered around the Thanksgiving table.

Slow-Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Our Thanksgiving meal was already to be complete with mashed sweet potatoes, so I opted for scalloped potatoes when we hosted our co-teachers. I did a few parts of this dish exceptionally well where as other parts were kind of a fail...but, the dish still received rave reviews! I'll post the recipe as it should have been prepared.


To begin, I opted to make cream of mushroom soup from scratch, an attempt to use up some mushrooms I had on hand (I'm not sure if cream of mushroom soup is available in Korea, but I think the answer is yes). Anyway, here's a good recipe for Cream of Mushroom soup should you decide to go all out.

The potato recipe comes from my new favorite book "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook" received from friends whom I love dearly.


1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar (or Baking Powder)
1 cup Water
8-10 Potatoes, thinly sliced
Half Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup grated Cheese
10 oz. Cream of Mushroom soup


Dissolve cream of tartar in water toss with potatoes, drain (I missed this part, so had a semi-soupy dish of potatoes). Place half of potatoes in the slow cooker, sprinkle with onions, salt, pepper and cheese. Repeat with remaining potatoes and cheese. Spoon soup over the top, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4 hours. Enjoy with Korean co-teachers, sitting on the floor around a small little table, piled with food or any hungry soul in your community of friends and family.

Deviled Eggs


Inspired by the Ovenless Chef we took on preparing a full out Thanksgiving meal for 5 of our co-teachers and one darling little daughter of theirs. To ensure plenty of variety and "traditional" tastes, I opted for these deviled eggs choosing only to substitute chili powder for the paprika (primarily because I was a bit lazy).

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes


I didn't know I loved sweet potatoes until my first Thanksgiving out of the country in 2005 when I had the great joy of dressing up as an Indian, enjoying a Thanksgiving feast with a couple of sorority sisters and a crew of Welsh men and women.  Therefore, as Thanksgiving in Korea rolled around, I knew I wanted to share this food tradition specifically.

Having just received a cookbook from dear and lovely friends back home, I was eager to put the slow cooker to use!


6-8 med. Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
Milk and Orange Juice -- sufficient to make potatoes 'creamy'


Boil potatoes with salt, add butter, milk and orange juice - mash. Continue adding orange juice until you reach desired consistency. Mix in sugar and spice and everything nice, place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high. May add walnuts or marshmallows if you so desire. Enjoy while in the company of numerous expats, dear friends, and/or family.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brie and Apple Pancake Stacks


The Harrington household has one ... or two ... or more, favorite food ideas/concepts/traditions. One is that "everything is better with an egg" (Mike is adamant that he will one day take this to the limit and enjoy some ice cream with a fried egg on top, we'll see how it goes). Another favorite is anything that invovles Brie and apples. Our friend Mark made an appetizer of Brie surrounded with sugary, cinammony apples which would be heated in the oven then dug into with pieces of baguette bread - it is always a heavenly experience.

Recently, we had pancakes.
Rather than topping with syrup...
I sauted some apples with brown sugar and cinnamon
sliced some brie
Threw it all on a plate and
voila! Delicious-ness for a breakfast themed dinner.

Spinach and Lentils


I loved everything about this dish. Seeing these photos have stirred a craving in me which I did not expect! Lentils are delcious! Cumin is fantastic! Spinach and tomatoes - stellar! Tomatoes especially. I mixed in about a cup or so of tomatoes into my bowl of spinach and lentils.

I more or less used this recipe from

Ingredients and Directions:

Saute some onion or the whites of a couple of green onions plus two or three garlic cloves in some veggie oil. Add about 2 cups of water (may need to add more as lentils cook) and 1 cup of lentils as well as some salt, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until lentils are soft adding water or broth as needed. In the last five minutes add as much fresh spinach as will bring your heart content. Top with fresh, deliciously sweet tomatoes and enjoy on the couch next to the one you love the most.

Beer Bread


Desiring to invite our co-teachers over for a traditional holiday meal, Mike offered to buy me an oven for our Korean apartment. Honestly, I was committed to making do without. But, now that there's an oven in this apartment, I must admit I am THRILLED. Something about cooking AND baking brings me such great joy. Providing friends and co-workders foods which I honestly believe in, which I poured effort, thought and serious love/excitement into making is a ridiculous pleasure for me. Therefore, thanks to GMarket, Korea's equivelent to eBay, we had ourselves a beautiful little convection oven waiting to serve my baking needs.

The first baked good?

Beer Bread. This recipe to be exact.
It seriously is the easiest bread recipe EVER.

I will make it often.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tomato, Spinach and Mozz Omelet


Tomatoes here are FABULOUS! Incredibly sweet, I could eat a bowl full with chopsticks and be a happy camper! I can also whisk up some egg, throw in some spinach, green onion and the tasty tomato morsels, pour into a hot skillet cook through, throw in some mozzarella cheese and enjoy a giant, beyond satisfying omelet. I highly recommend it!

(I wanted to try the egg roll concept to get it on video, but tomatoes and spinach are too heavy of ingredients to conduct an egg roll with - maybe next time).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cocktail Hour


We haven't quite fallen in love with Soju yet.

However, as part of a mixer - it's not a bad deal!

Orange Juice and Soju, a good way to enjoy a meal at home!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Creamy Pasta


I don't measure, but I'll try my best to convey the ingredients and amounts used for this dish.


Pasta for 2; boiled to al dente

Meanwhile chop, dice, and/or mince the following:
1/4 cup Mushrooms
3 Sm. Tomatoes
2 Green Onions
3 cloves Garlic

In a sauce pan:
Melt ~2Tbsp. Butter
Saute Mushroom, Garlic and Onion
Add Milk - 1/4c - 1/2c (rough approximation)
Add a handful or two of Mozzarella Cheese
Stir till melted and looking delicious
Decide if it's sufficient for the amount of pasta you're boiling.
Add aditional milk and cheese as you deem necessary.
Thicken it up with cornstarch or flour.

When pasta is al dente, mix it into the sauce.
Place in bowl, top with some tomatoes and Mozzerella

Enjoy with a glass of wine or a Korean Cocktail!

Curry Beef Lettuce Wraps

One of my FAVORITE aspects of eating at Korean restaurants is the frequency in which deliciously marinated and grilled meats are wrapped in a leaf of lettuce with the eater choosing what other food items to add to the the lettuce taco. (Now is when I would normally link to a previously posted recipe but in a moment of brillance, I decided to change the name of my blog, so while all my recipes are still here, I can no longer link to those which were the original Extended Shelf Life posts). Fortunately, my dal was essentially a recipe I got out of a Vegetarian Times magazine and can be found here.

In order to have a meal of these Curry Beef Lettuce Wraps, start the Indian dal first. Meanwhile, saute some onions and save for a potential lettuce wrap addition. I used the concept of these Garlic Curry Burgers to make (with the help of a dear friend) mini-curry burgers for our lettuce wraps. Soon as lentils, onions and burgers are ready, gather around the table and enjoy the lettuce wrap with a spoonful of lentils, a little burger and some onions - should be delicious!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tofu Tacos

There are few doubts in my mind that there are better recipes for Tofu Tacos available. And, truthfully, I'm a Wyoming girl through and through, so tend to prefer my tacos with beef. However, Tofu was sitting in the fridge begging to be used and the craving at the moment was Tacos. Taco Seasoning would have made a sweet difference.

Tacos are not rocket science. Neither are Tofu Tacos.

Choose your taco veggies. Decide if you'd like to enjoy them raw or sauted. Take necessary action. I sauted mine, shoved them to the edge of the pan and made room for the Tofu. A little more oil, a bit of Cajun seasoning a little waiting a little stirring, Tofu was warm a little 'fried' and ready to be added to a tortilla with lettuce and cheese served alongside chips and salsa.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Korean Cooking: Class Five

Recently, our small, point and shoot died. So I only took one photo with my phone. Not very representative of the meal -- apologies.

This past Friday we went to the fifth and final cooking class. We prepared an outstanding dish of Pork Ribs (돼지 갈비 찜) and Egg Roll/Omelet (달걀말이). We were also given our first printed version of the recipe therefore this may turn out to be the most detailed Cooking Class post I've yet provided ^^

On the other hand, Mike and I split responsibility on these two dishes and I only mastered the Egg Dish (because I am a Master of Eggs).

Pork Dish Ingredients:

150 grams Rib Pork
1/2 sm. Carrot
1/2 sm. Potato
1/4 sm. Onion
1/2 Red Chili

(For Sauce)
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Cooking Wine
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp. Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
Seasoning Salt


Rinse of pork ribs in cold water, cut into bite size pieces then boil for a few minutes. Chop the carrot, potato and onion. Dice the red chili. Strain pork ribs use sauce pan to saute chili pepper before adding boiled pork ribs and half of the sauce plus one cup of water. Add carrot and potato, bring broth to boil then reduce heat and decrese liquid by about half. Add onion, the rest of the sauce and return to boil. Finally, add some sesame oil and return to boiling. Stir occassionally. Enjoy with rice.

Egg Dish Ingredients:

2 eggs
1/2 Carrot, diced
Sm. Green Onin, diced
Onion, diced
Sprinkle of Sugar
Salt to Taste
Cooking Wine/Liquor
Oil for frying


Boil together 2 spoons of broth, sugar, salt and 2 spoons of liquor. Remove from heat. Mix two eggs with wisk or fork, add broth mixture. Add carrot and onions. Sufficiently oil a small pan to begin frying the egg. You will essentially attempt now to make an omelet but rather than folded, it needs to be rolled. Koreans manage this with a spoon and set of chopsticks ... here's the basic concept, pour a thin layer of egg into the hot pan, when egg is mostly set begin rolling from the edge toward the center. The side of the pan which is now exposed is ready for more oil (if necessary) and more egg mixture until all the egg has been cooked and rolled. (I'll try to video it sometime - because it's kind of a fun trick to learn). Cut into bite-size pieces and enjoy with a bowl of Makoli -- Korean Rice Wine (the white, creamy and more delicous one!). DELICOUS!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp

Extended Shelf Life for: Lemons (seriously, in the fridge for more than a month, maybe close to two)

As part of an all-out Fall-Apple celebration early in November, I finally tried out the one dish I've been planning since late September - a slow cooker Apple Crisp. The main idea for the recipe came from this Slow Cooker Apple Crisp Recipe on with a few substitutions as were necessary for my Korean life.


6-8 cups thinly sliced Apples (I also threw in an Asian Pear because it was here)
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Toss together apples and lemon juice.

To apples add --

1/3 cup Sugar
Healthy Shake of Cinnamon
A bit of Flour (unless you have cornstarch)

(When I was preparing this dish most recently, I had to cut my apples in the morning, refridgerate them, mix the dry ingredients together separately adding them after work right before turning the slowcooker on to begin cooking the meal. An easy step to take if the timing isn't quite on your side).

Separately Mix together --

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Butter

For a little crunch add Walnuts OR
                  Oat Clusters from any oaty breakfast cereal available at a grocer near you!

Into the crock pot base throw the apples with sugar and cinnamon, pour buttery-crunchy-sugary-flour mix on top, turn slow cooker to high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. With 30 minutes left, check to see how it's cookin' mix things up if it seems fit, rest lid on slow-cooker so that top of crisp my begin to crisp without allowing excess heat to escape. Enjoy with a small paper cup of Apple Cider, more than 10 friends and small or large scoop of Walnut Ice Cream on top (or vanilla if you're back in the states) -- perfect way to encourage some fall joy into an otherwise ordinary night.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Apple Cider Taste-Alike

What says fall better than Apple Cider? Not much.

So, Wednesday night, we had some friends over for a night of Apples!

It began with a rather successful attempt at Apple Cider followed by an Apple Crisp to which I will soon post directions, and ended with a few good rounds of Apples to Apples. How about that for bringin' in a little Fall Tradition on the opposite side of the globe?

If you find yourself in Korea, craving Apple Cider this mix of beverages should satisfy the craving:

2 Parts Apple Juice
1 Part 수정과 (soo-jeon-ggwa)

For those living in the US, here are two Cider Options:

Chai Cider - which I was making last year about this time

Or, try your hand at making your own Soo-jeon-ggwa

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cajun Rice-Cake Stir-Fry

Extended Shelf Life for: Garlic, Mushrooms, Carrot (seriously, they'd all been in the fridge WAY to long, some garlic is even growing a little hair).

Dalk - Korea rice cake. One ingredient I anticipate will be difficult to come by upon returning home. However, while in Korea, there is no shortage, so I am happy to play around with these thick rice noodles.

A weekend or two ago I went to a church bizarre with some friends and purchased what I assume are home made rice-cake noodles. I wanted to practice making the dalk pokki we had made in our Korean Cooking class. However, there are more than enough of these rice cake noodles to keep on experimenting.


3-5 Rice Cake Noodles, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 Carrot, sliced
1/2 cup Mushrooms, diced
1 cup Onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Seasoning Salt
Cajun Spice Mix
Korean Red Pepper Sauce
Oil for frying and preventing stickiness
Cheese, grated
1 Fried egg for each dish


Saute first 5 ingredients together in enough oil to prevent sticking. When veggies and noodles are tender add seasonings. Throw the mix in a bowl, top with cheese and a fried egg -- because everything is better with a fried egg. Enjoy! (consider making the batch a bit bigger, you're likely to want more...well, we did).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Korean Cooking: Class Four

This will likely be my shortest post regarding the cooking class.  This was, I hate to admit, my least favorite dish we've made thus far. Another hangover soup and fried anchovies...

The fried anchovies were simple but not friendly toward my tastebuds.  Take some dry little anchovies, rinse them off (if you're lucky you'll see a little bitty squid!). Heat some olive oil in a frying pan add to the anchovies a sauce of: 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce, 1 Tbsp. Spoon full of Sugar, 1 Tbsp. Corn Syrup, 1 Tbsp. Cooking Wine, minced Garlic and Black Pepper to taste. Saute for a few minutes, throw in a few chili peppers continue sauteing until peppers are crisp but tender. Enjoy the meal that stares back!

If you prefer not to see the eyes of what you're consuming, you can try out this bean sprout/hangover soup.


Dried Pollock ~ 1/4 cup
Bean Sprouts ~ 1/4 cup
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Chili Pepper, to taste
1 Red Chili Pepper, bias cut
1 Green Onion, bias cut
Anchovy Stock or Chicken Stock ~ 3 cups
1 Egg - whisked


Wash Pollock. Fry pollock in pan with a little sesame oil, soy sauce and black pepper to rid the fish of fishiness. In 3 cups of boiling stock add bean sprouts, cook 5 minutes to reduce smell ^^. Add onion, chilis, and garlic. Simmer 3-4 minutes reduce heat. Gradually pour in whisked egg but DON'T stir until egg has set, remove from heat and kiss your hangover goodbye!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pasta Alfredo

Honestly, I can't claim any kind of culinary genius with this meal. But, personally, there's been something novel about learning how to create dishes quickly and simply.  For the first time in my cooking life, I'm choosing things that come together quick and easy.  For the first time in my life, I'm eating like a college student.  Occassionally it makes me a little sad. Other days, it's totally enthralling -- a whole new set of challenges that I'm a little anxious to tinker with.

After the simplicity of Ramen Stir-Fry I threw a little Italian into the mix. Boiled noodles, alfredo and your favorite mix of sauteed veggies -- or whatever happens to be in the refrigerator -- for us, it was onion, mushroom and garlic.

Quick. Simple. Delicious.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kitchen Memories: October 2010

I just got to thinking.

I MISS our dumpster diving rituals.
The 'harvest'
The anticipation and imagination
that went into every meal.

I'm still feeding friends
and experimenting with
unfamiliar foods.
But it's not the same.

So, I'm going to get a little nostaligic.
Remembering what I made about a year ago.

Last October was all about the Eggplant.
I made four incredible dishes.
I remember rave reviews on this
"Easiest Eggplant" with "Fresh" Marinara

Another thing I've been missing this fall is canning.
Last October I did some killer Kosher Dill Pickles
and the most amazingly delicious
Freezer Strawberry Jam

And the greatest joy is always in sharing the meal or snack
with dear friends.

It's official.
I miss my 519 Kitchen and dinner guests.

Fortunately Korea isn't holding too much out on me.
Still have a kitchen (although not as homey and cozy and perfect as 519)
And still have Fabulous Dinner/Snack Guests.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ramen Stir-Fry

Ramen Noodles in Asia are better than ramen noodles anywhere else - South Korea is not exception! Our dear friends mentioned something about making ramen stir-fry when they wanted a qucik easy meal, so I thought I'd give it my best shot. Mike and I were, fully satisfied with the way this dish came together and it's one of the quickest, easiest meals I've ever prepared.

Simply prepare some ramen. Saute your favorite stir fry vegetables - or whatever happens to be in the fridge (I used carrots, mushrooms and onions). Drain your noodles, cut them up and add them to the skillet. In our house hold, we operate under the premise that "everything is better with a fried egg on top" so of course the ramen stir-fry was topped with a fried egg before being gobbled down!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beer Cheese Soup

New Life for: Max [Korean Beer] and curd-y cheese

One great truth about Korea is...the beer is not of the utmost quality. Fortunately, for a good beer cheese soup, Max or Cass are fully acceptable.

1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Flour
3 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup Beer
1 cup minimum Cheese (grated is preferred, Velveeta is what most recipes call for - but we don't do processed cheese)
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Milk or Cream
Cajun Seasoning to taste
Carrots, Mushrooms, Onions - as much as you like in your soup
Chives for Garnish

Melt butter, then slowly add flour and mix until you have a semi-thick butter/flour paste. Add to chicken broth, stir until butter/flour mix is fully incorporated. Throw in cheese, garlic cloves and veggies. Turn slow-cooker on to low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Add Cajun seasoning last 30 minutes or so. Stir in milk last 20 minutes. Enjoy with chives on top and as many new friends as you can round up (so long as they each contribute to the meal by bringing a dish to share).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Korean Cooking: Class Three

Our second Korean cooking class covered the preperation of one of our absolute favorite dishes: man-du -- Korean dumplings. Man-du comes in a variety of forms; steamed, in soup, fried, filled with meat and veggies or kimchi.
For mandu - you'll need a little magic. Only because they're tricky to close and I can't accurately tell you how to make the dough or where to purchase it - however, I assume something like wonton skins would work.

To make the filling finely chop:
Chunk of Pork (1/8 cup) -- loin or chop
Tofu (1/4 cup) -- after squeezing out the moisture using cheesecloth and your hand
Small portion of Leek or Scallions
Clove of Garlic
Kimchi (2 Tbsp.) -- liquid squeezed out

(Measurements given are HUGE approximations and would only allow for about 6-8 dumplings.)

Place a tsp. or two into the center of the dough circle bring edges of dough together using a light touch of water if needed to assisst the coming together of the dough -- this is where the magic comes in. It's a learned art, this folding of Mandu and at this point - I have no tips for the perfect folding technique...sorry.

Using a steamer, steam the dumplings for 8 - 10 minutes, enjoy dipped in soy sauce. Your tastebuds will love you for it!

The second dish we made was 'goong joong tak pok ki' -- Mike describes the dish as a Korean twist on stir-fry. We were informed that this dish is finding increasing popularity among the younger generations of Koreans - so, here are the rough directions for a 'trendy' Korean dish.

In a skillet, fry up some thinly sliced beef (perferably marinated in soy and sesame oil). Add thinly sliced carrots, onion, green pepper and cabbage. Too the skillet add a dressing of soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil (for our small skillet we used probably 2tsp of the first two ingredients and 1 of the oil). Then add to the pan a small bit of water and heat the dish until much of the water has evaporated. Now, for those of you in America, I hope you have a glorious Asian market or some connection because the rice cake noodle may be hard to duplicate -- anyway, find yourself some rice cake noodles, cut into thirds coat with a little sesame oil and soy sauce and add toward the final minutes of meal preperation. Enjoy with mandu and a few good friends, you can't go wrong!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Slow Cooked Banana Bread

My desire upon arriving in our Asian kitchen was to conquer baking. The Korean kitchen does not often house an oven. Stove-top yes. Oven no. Many choose to avoid baking or purchase a toaster oven. However, toaster ovens are pricey and kind of small. I took about 5 minutes to consider my baking desire, our financial desires and within those 5 minutes I'd decided a crockpot was cheaper, had more uses and provided a few more challenges that I was anxious to take on! So, after Frito Pie came Banana Bread in the Slow Cooker.

Now, I must mention, I DID NOT conquer this in the most perfect manner. I was a bit...extremely...impatient. Therefore, my bread was doughy and a little burned on the edges - but I'm confident it's only because I wanted a haircut more than perfect Banana Bread

2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 cups Mashed Ripe Banana

Preheat crock on high. Mix ingredients together. Grease the sides of the crock-pot. Pour the dough into the crockpot (should fill up about 2 - 2.5 inches evenly). Bake bread for about 2.5 to 3 (maybe 4) hours until bread is cooked through. [Many websites recommend propping the lid open a tad to let some of the moisture out -- good idea. Many also suggest using a loaf pan - You can see how it's done here.]

Enjoy the bread for breakfast or as the perfect Settlers of Catan snack!

Korean Cooking: Class Two

We signed up for a Korean Cooking class. We signed up late though. So we missed the first class. If I would have made it to the first class, I would have known that I should bring a notebook and pen to write down the recipe so I wouldn't feel so helpless when it came time to cook. Regardless, I have a memory like an elephant and was surrounded by notebook toting (?) cooks - so our dishes were successful!

The menu for the event was: Fried Tofu and 'Hangover' Soup (aka Bean Sprout Soup)

Since I did not have a notebook, nor did I have to measure out my own ingredients, I can only give a rough estimate as to how these dishes would be re-created, but that's more or less how I record all my recipes these days, so nothing new there.

For Bean Sprout soup you need:

1 Large Handful of Bean Sprouts
4-5 Clams
3 cups Anchovy 'paste'/water with 1-2 dried anchovies disolved
About 1/4 cup diced scallions
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
A dash of salt

To prepare: Rinse off the bean sprouts, throw into a pot. Add anchovy paste/water, salt and clams. Boil for about 8 minutes [we were also warned not to open the lid because it would smell bad]. Check dish, if clams have opened you're well on your way to a complete pot of 'Hangover Soup'! Add the scallions and salt to taste! Enjoy after a night of heavy drinking!

For the fried tofu you will need:
1 package of Tofu
1 cup (or less) Anchovy paste/water
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder [unless you have a week tongue or gut]
2 Peppers (one red, one green) diced
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (I think)
1 Tsp. Sugar...maybe a Tbsp.

Begin by boiling the tofu in water. Remove block of tofu from water then slice. In skillet, heat anchovy paste, chili powder, soy sauce, sugar and peppers until HOT! Add slices of tofu, cook on each side until 'fried' -- brown. Remove from pan, serve with rice and hangover soup - you have yourself an official Korean meal!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Frito Pie

Everybody has a favorite chili recipe - and I'm not about to convince you that my Korean style chili was all that impressive and that you should switch over. On the contrary, it was too sweet! Between the corn and tomatoes and even the spicy sauce we have, this chili had too much sweetness to make me LOVE it, but I did enjoy it!
Korean "Fritos" - the ones on the left are better for frito pie, more sturdy
The best part about the meal, or a highlight to the meal, was preparing it in the crock-pot! I'm very grateful for my husband getting me a crock-pot one week into our Korean stay ^^. So - into the crockpot went: 2cans black beans, 2diced onions, 1 can sweet corn (not my best idea), 5-6 small chopped tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, about 1 pound of ground beef, some chili powder and seasoning salt (I would have loved to have this chili spice mix...but didn't) - cooked on high for 3-4 hours before being served over Korean Fritos with a little spicy sauce -- welcome cooler weather, I will perfect my Korean Frito Pie, don't you worry!

P.S. When eaten as a leftover, this chili takes on whole new meaning with a fried egg on top...but then again, most things take on whole new meaning with a fried egg on top

Sweet Potato Hash

Just like the 'old days' back at 519. Too much produce for Mike and I to eat solo. So...we called up some friends, I chopped up some veggies and served one of my favorite weeknight dishes - a dish I like to call hash. Any mix of vegetables fried up, add an apple toward the end and the best part, serve with an egg on top (runny). Back home, I'd generally add some sausage to give the dish better flavor - however, the sausage in Korea has not made it onto the list of favorite foods - so no sausage for this hash! The sweet potatoes, Korean 'spicy' sauce and tomatoes made this dish sweeter than I would have liked (a common problem I'm discovering here in Korea). Anyway, nobody complained and the dish was as satisfying as needed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Burritos - Korean Style

I have a feeling this will become one of the dishes I play around with the most. Mexican food is not easy to track down in this great country. And, as honestly as I'm impressed and surprised by the deliciousness of Korean food - Mexican food is comfort food and has a clear place in my culinary repertoire.

I tried to replace some common burrito ingredients with cheaper versions of the same thing in Korea - so a popular Korean pepper took the place of any other peppers, red beans took the place of refried or black beans and Korean pepper sauce that's a little sweet took the place of salsa.

One onion chopped, two cloves garlic minced and one pepper chopped are split 1/3rds to be cooked with the meat, 2/3rds to be cooked with the beans. In seperate pans (a skillet and a pot to be exact) saute these vegetables before adding the meat (to the skillet) and the beans; drained (to the pot). Each pan then had the addition of some seasoning salt, chili powder and cilantro leaves. Heat through and serve tortillas topped with beans, meat, tomatoes, cheese and a bit of sweet and spicy Korean 'salsa' - enjoy!

Italian-Style Sticky Noodles

I don't know what kind of noodles I've purchased. I think they are similar to ramen noodles, but not kinky. When I use them in the future I think I'll have them in a broth of sorts - throwing out the water made these noodles 'sticky' - hence the recipe title. Regardless, the dish satisfied hunger and was cheaper than going out for our late afternoon meal.

I minced 3 garlic cloves, sauted them, added some tomatoes, heated through. Boiled the noodles. Drained noodles and added olive oil as well as 1/2 a lemon worth of juice. Next, add the garlic and tomatoes to the noodles as well as some fresh, chopped scallions and - wham, bam, thank you mam - dinner is on the table and passing the tastebuds!

(Apologies for leaving the conventional "Ingredients" and "Directions" lists - however, some recipes are simply too simple for that kind of detail-oriented notation).

Kiwi Dressed Fruit Salad

Last week we were invited to a rooftop BBQ with some dear friends we know from back in Wyoming (part of the reason we ended up in Daejeon, South Korea) and a slew of new friends we've made since our arrival. Not being super familiar with Korean grocery items or having much cash to spend, I opted to throw together a fruit salad. The primary inspiration: Kiwi Dressing. Seriously, Koreans have a love for sweet, fruity salad dressings - Kiwi being one of them -- so, I was inspired.

Three chopped apples, two chopped Asian pears, four bananas, the juice of one lemon and a reasonable amount of kiwi dressing later I had myself a simple, delicious fruit salad!

In general, with a fruit salad it is my practice to add bananas and the dressing at the last minute, because, let's face it, the only purpose for a soggy banana is in some bread or a smoothie. The salad went over well and was a nice way for me to contribute without having a good handle on Korean ingredients and kitchens -- a Win-Win situation for sure!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bananas in Coconut Milk

Thailand was Delicious.

I'm just grateful I've figured out how to re-create a small part of that experience. AND, it's fabulously easy! Heat up a can (about 2 cups) of coconut milk with a bit of sugar (2 Tbsp.) and a dash of salt (1/2 tsp.) Slice up 4-6 bananas and add to the milk once sugar and salt are dissolved. Heat the entire dish another 5 or so minutes. Serve in small bowls and be sure to emit a good and sincere "Mmmmm" after the first bite and you'll be ready to rock.
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