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Kimchi Soup (Kimchi-guk)

Kimchi Soup 1

Today, I am using some of my homemade Simple Kimchi to make a simple, but very tasty, soup. Many people may think of Kimchi as a simply a cold side-dish, or a Banchan (when included as part of a Korean meal). However, it is often used as a cooking ingredient as well. Most notably, it can be added to fried rice, it is used as a primary ingredient in particular types of Korean stews known as Kimchi-jjigae, and  is also used  in a class of soups collectively called Kimchi-guk.

As with any ‘traditional’ soup, there are as many recipes as there are cooks and, today, I didn’t have in mind any particular Korean recipe, rather, I have simply created a fairly straightforward Pork and onion soup to which I add a good, healthy dollop of Kimchi to give it a sour and spicy finish… Read more

Leek Stuffed Chicken Roll

Leek Stuffed Chicken Roll B

I start lots of culinary projects with a view to publishing them on my blog at some point but, sometimes, the odd one gets put on the back burner and languishes forgotten in a directory on my computer. I have been going back though some of these recently and have found a couple I thought my readers might like to see. This first one was for a nice little appetizer I tried one day and, though I never got around to recording all the steps, or writing up a proper recipe, I am able to reproduce my original notes:

Halved Leek sections seasoned with garlic salt, pepper and butter, wrapped in Prosciutto. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until Leek softened. Place inside a boned chicken thigh, add chopped fresh sage and roll up. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Bake until golden. Drizzle with melted red-currant jelly.

And… for the verdict I recorded?

Nice but the prosciutto was a little leathery. Bacon or Pancetta next time?  Hot Pepper Jelly might be nice here too.

Steamed Whole Tilapia

Steamed Wole Tilapia 1

It’s been ages since I last steamed a fish (years in fact). Today, I am steaming a whole Tilapia using a very popular Chinese method. It is quite simple but (and trust me on this one), you really want to try this recipe yourselves… Read more

The Paderno™ Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Paderno Spiral Slicer 1

Sometime ago, I posted a review of a ‘cheapo’ kitchen ‘Spiralizer’ called ‘The Vegetti’. As I mentioned in that review, I barely got my money’s worth as the product was limited to vegetables of a limited range of sizes, produced a lot of waste, and really didn’t ‘cut it’ as advertised. Anyway, after doing a bit of research, I chose another model online and duly received it for testing.

As you can see in the picture above, it came with three different blades for various effects (the reverse side of the machine has a rack for storing the two not currently in use). A stainless steel machine might look a little more professional and ‘sturdy’ but this model is actually well designed and performs its advertised functions nicely.

You can take a detailed look at the various features of the product here at Amazon.ca, so I will just limit my review to my initial tests… Read more

Sweet Pepper Parsnips

sweet-pepper-parsnips-1

I had been planning to use some parsnips along with my Red Bell Pepper Sauce as a side for a roast one day when it struck me that the preparation might make a very nice Spanish Tapas sort of dish, rather along the lines of Patatas Bravas. The difference here, of course, is that I am substituting the sweetness of red peppers  for the usual tomato based sauce, and adding just enough chili to make it ‘sparkle’ rather than being very spicy … Read more

Casa Italia® Salami Cacciatore

casa-italia-salami-cacciatore-1

I love trying new things that appear in food shops and I was intrigued by this particular variety of Salami because of the descriptive name ‘Cacciatore’. In particular, I wondered if there was some connection to the traditional Italian dish ‘Chicken Cacciatore’.

As it happens, despite the Italian brand name and logo, the sausage appears to be manufactured in Canada. Moreover, it is made from pork, not chicken, and while it is actually pretty good, I have to conclude the ‘Cacciatore’ connection is entirely fanciful… Read more

‘Kraut-abaga’ (with Sausage)

krautabaga-1

The name for today’s dish is one I came up with and is a contraction of ‘Sauerkraut’ and ‘Rutabaga’. It was inspired by a lovely dish presented by my blogger friend, Stefan, in a recipe post called ‘Zuurkoolstamppot met Rookworst’; a lovely Dutch comfort that translates into English as ‘Sauerkraut and Potato Mash with Smoked Pork Sausage’.

Now, the dish Stefan posted  looked delicious, and I would love to try it, but, these days, I am very conscious of my carbohydrate intake and so I decided to try and replicate the basic idea using the yellow turnip variety known as ‘Rutabaga’ or ‘Swede’. This particular vegetable has about one quarter the carbohydrate level of potato, and a low glycemic index so it works very nicely into my diet. I am using pre-cooked Sweet Italian Sausage rather than the smoked sausage used by Stefan, and my method is a bit different, but I get a chance to use some of my Homemade Sauerkraut in the preparation… Read more

Lamb Patty with Mint-Jalapeno Salsa

lamb-patty-with-mint-jalapeno-salsa-1

Today’s post accomplishes a couple of things… First, back on January 7th, I took a look at LÄM Brand Lamb Sausage and I mentioned that I would be trying the Lamb burgers from the same company in due course. Well, in today’s post, I did a taste test of the plain burger for you and I also used one to prepare the dish you see pictured above. The other thing this post accomplishes is illustrating another use for the Mint-Jalapeno Salsa  I recently prepared for you… Read more

Simple Kimchi

simple-kimchi-1

When most people hear ‘Kimchi’, they tend to think of the most common variety made with Napa Cabbage. In truth, though, many things are pickled to make Kimchi and, even with the cabbage variety, there are thousands of versions, from the simple to highly complex. Beyond the cabbage, and, of course, chilli, there can be other vegetables added (scallions, for example), and the umami quotient is often enhanced with some sort of sea product. This can be in the form of Korean Salted Shrimp, oysters, anchovy essence, whole dried anchovies, or even fish guts.

Today, I am preparing a very simple cabbage version using just chilli and scallion. I am departing from the most common method of adding chilli, which is usually done by making a paste from powdered chilli, water, and generally rice powder, or even, in some cases, wheat flour. Instead, I am doing what some recipes do, and using Gochujang, or Korean Chili paste, which carries its own umami punch. I will be adding this to my cabbage a bit later than is common for a couple of reasons. First, while I am fairly confident, having regard to the ingredients list, that there are no preservatives in my commercially made paste that will inhibit fermentation, I am not taking chances. Also, the paste is already fermented and the chilli and rice flour don’t need further fermentation to develop their flavors…. Read more

Shrimp and Pork Stuffed Mushrooms

shrimp-and-pork-stuffed-mushrooms-1

Combining shrimp with pork is quite common in Chinese cookery and a well seasoned blend of ground pork and chopped shrimp is one of may favorite dumpling fillings. That being said, I wanted to experiment with the typical filling for dishes that don’t include the carb load of a dumpling wrapper and today’s post shows you the first of a few little ideas I tried… Read more

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