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.

Grilled Brie and Apple Sandwich

Remember South Africa? Remember some of Stellar Food Finds? If not, check them out here.

Turns out South Korea is no place for Avocados - so unfortunately NO Avocoado, Brie and Bacon sandwiches. Yet, have no fear, Brie is available and it pairs nicely with other foods - apples for instance. Should you find yourself in need of a small treat, light dinner or something simply delicious and simple, try this out.

Using your favorite bread, heat up a skillet, slice up some brie and apples create a sandwich and toast/melt the creation on the skillet for an absolutely FABULOUS experience! Don't forget to sprinkle a little cinnamon on the apples - gives it that extra something.

If you happen to have some extra time or should I make this sandwich again soon, I think I would stir-fry the apples first, then piece the sandwich together. But that's just a thought.

A perfect way to remember summer travels and welcome yourself into a new kitchen!
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