Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Small Amount of Kale Kimchi

One bunch of kale and 3 carrots yields about 2 cups of kimchi
Carrots and kale abound in our garden, although for this experimental round of kale kimchi, I used the kale and carrots that came in my weekly CSA box. The idea is that in the near future, I can make kimchi from all the things growing in my garden, sans ginger and garlic. Oh, I know I can grow garlic here because other people do, but my garlic turns out wormy. Two seasons of wormy garlic and my drive to continue growing it is in the gutter. 

Carrots and Russian red kale
Loosely, I followed this recipe. I salted my kale and carrots instead of drizzling them with fish sauce, and I added 1 T of hot Korean chili powder and 2 T of Korean chili flakes. I also added minced ginger and reduced the sugar.

Reducing sugar intake has been a thing around here thanks to reading Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar and Salt, Fat, Sugar: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Admittedly, I am one bummer of a dining companion right now because I'll tell you how putting that sugar- and carb-laden dessert in your mouth will mess up your liver. Oddly, people don't want to talk about it, although I find it fascinating and I just bring it up because I think my companion will think it's fascinating as well and not because I am admonishing that person's choice of food. Apparently, I am out of control because the boy will come home, grab a beer, and go into another room as fast as he can so I won't talk to him about liver damage and visceral fat. He's glad that I'll be reading Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation next.

Beautiful red pepper paste made with fish sauce, rice flour, ginger, and garlic
More cooking thank knitting has been happening in these parts. I thought I'd be sick of cooking since we pulled off a party for 30 people with only 1 day of preparation and lovely friends who all pitched in, but it actually fired me up again. (You must make a Green Glove cocktail!) Well, that and the longer days. Staying inside and cooking when it is sunny outside is more appealing than staying inside and cooking when it is cloudy outside, although it makes no sense to me since I'm indoors in both scenarios. I guess I like the view best when it's sunny.

Tonight's dinner is pork belly braised with soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, star anise, cinnamon, dried chills, and plenty of ginger and garlic. The two pound pork belly from our meat CSA was beautiful, and I used half of it for a kimchi stew and the other half for this Chinese stew.

Time to eat! I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Radish Pods

Last winter, I planted Munchen bier radishes in the hopes of reaping some lovely, mild white radishes that I could spiral cut and eat with salt, just like I did in Munich. Alas, since I was lazy and didn't prep the soil very well, our radishes were knotty, woody things that tasted too peppery to consume. But, these radishes give you a second chance! In addition to their root, they are known for their delicious pods! Spring has brought us an abundance of radish pods, and these are delicious on their own or pickled. I'm going to plant some more just for the pods.


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