Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursdays are for Pickles and Kimchi
After starting off the morning taste testing yet another eggs Benedict , this time from Jimmy Beans (I had the Eggs Blackstone and it was not stellar, but solid), I did my produce shopping, and then spent the rest of the afternoon making pickles and kimchi.
This afternoon's batch of kimchi features daikon, carrots, and of course Napa cabbage as the stars, and loads of garlic, ginger, green onions, fish sauce, and tiny dried shrimp as the supporting actors. Also, there was a healthy dose of chili powder. I'm almost through with my package of arbol chlii powder, and once that is gone, I'll treat myself to the real deal chili flakes from the Korean market. Although, I do like the idea of sourcing some California grown dried chili flakes, so I'll take a look around before loading up my cart at the Korean market.
I also put together another batch of Mexican carrot pickles, this time with more garlic cloves. Surprisingly, until my friend popped one of the pickled garlic cloves into her mouth, I never had the guts to try them myself. I imagined that they'd be overwhelmingly pungent and that people would part like the Red Sea when I approached. However, to my delight, they had a crunchy texture and the garlic "bite" was mild. Yum! I won't be pushing the garlic cloves to the side of my plate anymore.
One little trick I tried was to soak my whole garlic cloves for a couple of hours before taking off their papery husk. When I cook with garlic, I usually smash them with the side of my knife and then remove their husk, but for the pickles I wanted them to be intact and pretty. It was so much easier to peel the garlic after their water bath!
Another batch of Japanese cucumber salt pickles are on the counter, too, in my cool pickle press. I'll probably mix them with some dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes tomorrow.
One impulse buy were these gobo (burdock) roots. They were advertised as organic, and since I find so many Asian vegetables hard to find in organic form (lotus root, for example), I pounced on them. I'm going to make a gobo root kinpira tonight, using the same technique and marinade as my lotus root kinpira.
When I went to feed my pet worms all the vegetable food scraps, I happened upon the worm invader. It's stupid, but I am terrified of this slimy salamander. I'm getting better - I can take a picture of it now instead of slamming the lid on the worm bin and screaming for the boy to feed the worms.
Mingus remains unimpressed with this afternoon's activities, but he's a dog. What does he know? (He knows that he doesn't like kimchi or pickles. You can bet if I was making a batch of pork potstickers he'd be sitting outside of the kitchen sniffing the air with a happy face.)