Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Glazed Potatoes)

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These are THE potatoes at our house and much whinging ensues if they are absent from my Korean dinners. The best thing about Korean food is having a whole bunch of different dishes and sides (banchan) to choose from but trying to make five things at once at the end of the day is enough to make me pull my cranky pants on. Sides like these potatoes keep forever so you can make them ahead of time and whip them out for a mid-week Korean feast. Or, if you like to keep it simple, just eat it with rice and kimchi. This recipe does the four of us for one meal but we are crazy for taters.

You can find gochugaru and corn syrup at most Asian supermarkets and all Korean supermarkets.

Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Braised Potatoes)

Adapted from Gamja Jorim (Korean Glazed Potatoes) over at My Korean Eats.

4 tbsp vegetable oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

4 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp corn syrup

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Place a wide-based saucepan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and potatoes.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce, brown sugar, gochugaru and garlic.

Stir together and turn the heat down to low, cook for 15 minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork.

Add the corn syrup and sesame oil, stir gently to coat the potato.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Eat warm or keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Salty Almond Praline

almondpraline

Sooo has anyone else realised that all 6 seasons of Xena are on Netflix? I’m still on the first season but my crush on Lucy Lawless is well underway. I’m also in disbelief that it was aired right after school in the afternoon, so many sexual references! Xena and Hercules are also fun to watch because of the number of Australian and New Zealand actors who played bit parts before they got famous (and before they could act, ZING!).

Of course Xena has nothing to do with this praline, I’m just spreading the good word. I have doubled the original recipe because you need half for you and the other half for making friends, bribes etc. Sprankle over ice cream, fold into brownies or eat straight from the oven tray. Bonus points for being vegan and gluten free.

Salty Almond Praline

Recipe hardly even adapted from Salty Maple Almond Praline over at The Sugar Hit.

2 cups whole almonds

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp maple syrup

4 tbsp brown sugar

sea salt to taste (I started with 1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 180 C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, taste and adjust the flavours to your preference.

Spread evenly onto your prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes.

Remove the tray and mix the nuts, spread out evenly and bake for another 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven, give the nuts a final stir and set aside to cool completely.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

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Get ready for an influx of Korean recipes, I’m working my way through Maangchi’s book. I’ve even bought it for my step-dad, who seems to have fallen in love with Korean food (an interesting dalliance for an Irishman). If you are already a fan of Maangchi’s videos and recipes then this book has some content that isn’t on her website. Hard to believe considering the variety and number that are already available on the web. If you can get a few banchan (side dishes) under your belt then every night will feel like a feast.

These pickles pair well with spicy food, they cool your mouth down and give you a break from the burn. As you may have guessed from the picture, I didn’t cut my radish exactly as small as the recipe says. This wasn’t a problem, I just let the radish pickle for 2 days before I went to town on it. I found the radish at a Korean supermarket but I think Japanese radish would work in a pinch. I used 2 Korean radish (radishes? radishii?) but you proably only need one Japanese radish because they are waaay bigger.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

Recipe slightly adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/3 cup white vinegar

4 tbsp coarse sea salt

3 cups water

900g Korean radish, cut into 7mm cubes

Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Place the radish in a glass jar and pour over the prepared liquid (make sure that the liquid covers the radish completely).

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

Raw Choc Chip Cookies

rawchocchipcookies

I’ve had more days off than usual lately, and unfortunately/fortunately that means more opportunities to cook. I’ve got baked goods coming out the wazoo and not a whole lot of it is healthy. I’m not a health nut but I do my best to keep things balanced (please ignore the kilo of Doritos that I got from Costco yesterday) and these Raw Choc Chip Cookies caught my eye. Another bonus is that they don’t require any kind of heat to make and that is kind of essential this time of year, all my homies in Queensland will know what I’m talking about. There is a large list of things that become an absolute no-no in summer which includes but isn’t limited to turning on the oven, leaving the house, eating soups/stews, moving beyond the limit of your fan and any unnecessary movements in general. As a result I’ve been collecting recipes that don’t need the oven, as well as watching every possible thing on my hard drive (had an all day Back to the Future Marathon, dayum that is an awesome trilogy).

If you want them to be gluten free then you will need to track down some gluten free oats. Oats are naturally gluten free but commonly gluten-tainted from being processed.

Adapted from Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies over at This Rawsome Vegan Life.

1 cup rolled oats

10-15 dates, pitted

1 cup nut butter ( I used peanut butter)

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp water

5 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used honey but that makes them not vegan)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup raw vegan chocolate, chopped

Blend the oats in a food processor until coarsely ground.

Add in all other ingredients (except for the chocolate) and pulse until the mixture starts sticking together in a dough.

Pinch the mixture between your fingers, if it sticks together easily it is done, if it is crumbly add more liquid sweetener 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until it does stick together.

Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir through the chocolate.

Roll tablespoon sized balls (or press into a tablespoon measure and slide the formed cookie out like I did) and place on a tray lined with baking paper, chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Chimichurri

chimichurri

For the longest time I wasn’t a massive fan of steak but as far as I can tell it was due to a childhood of eating blackened steak cooked way past well done (the treatment that Australians seem to give everything that they put on the BBQ). In response to this depraved childhood I now take my steak rare, although I am a chronic over-cooker as befits my Australian heritage.

Chimichurri is my new steak sauce of choice, it’s rich but still super fresh and has garlic for days. This recipe will serve around 4 people but go ahead and double it because the more of this you can slather on your meat the better. Use it as a versatile sauce for any grilled meats and chuck it on your salad as a dressing while you’re at it. It’s even great as a dip, I know that we couldn’t stop scooping it up with fresh bread. I’ve also got plans for using it on a steak sandwich, seriously, chimichurri can do anything.

Adapted from Chimichurri over at David Lebovitz.

1 large red chilli

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh oregano)

1/2 – 3/4 tsp sea salt

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley

1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp lemon juice

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (start with 1/4 cup olive oil and add more in between pulses).

Alternatively, chop everything finely then combine in a small bowl.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

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I am just crazy for anything smokey or charred, especially paired with fresh and zingy flavours. As soon as I finished making this salsa I had to test it with a few Doritos, nek minnit half the packet is gone (okay, so that happens any time that I open a packet of Doritos but on this particular occasion the salsa was to blame). It’s great as a dip or as a side, next post I’ll show you what I did with it.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

1 ear of corn

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

big pinch of salt

125g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

large handful of coriander, finely chopped

1 avocado, cubed

Leaving the husk on the corn, microwave it for 5 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then peel of the husk and silk.

Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, spray the corn with oil and grill on all sides until black and blistered, set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the red onion, lime juice and salt, allow to sit for 5 mins.

Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, coriander and avocado.

Mix gently and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice to taste.

Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

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This is the first salsa recipe I tried after becoming interested in making my own, it’s so good that I haven’t got around to trying any other recipes. Coriander seems to be one of those foods that inspires love or absolute hatred, if you’re a hater then you might be reading the wrong food blog. If you don’t have a food processor then just chop everything real fine and mix it together. Slap it on yo tacos or use it as a dip, you can’t go wrong.

Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

1/2 small red onion

1 jalapeno (de-seeded if you want it mild)

1 bunch of coriander

1 garlic clove

4 ripe tomatoes (or the equivalent weight in cherry tomatoes)

juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 tsp salt

In a food processor pulse the onion, jalapeno, coriander and garlic until chopped finely.

Add in the tomatoes and pulse until they reach desired consistency, pulse longer for a smoother salsa.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in the lime juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.