Habeas Brulee » Hot/Spicy http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Pistachio Wasabi Beets http://habeasbrulee.com/2013/01/07/pistachio-wasabi-beets/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2013/01/07/pistachio-wasabi-beets/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 05:29:33 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=725

This is another Dave invention, but of course. It’s sweet and spicy and we’ve made it a bunch of times over the past year, so it’s way past time for me to share it with you!

The spicy awesomeness of these beets comes from wasabi oil, which you can find locally if you live in a city with a large in Chinatown. If not, your alternatives are to order wasabi oil in Amazon (not the brand I have, but it’s probably about the same), or just use horseradish instead.

Pistachio Wasabi Beets
5 beets
1/2 C pistachios
3 tbsp sour cherry vinegar (red wine vinegar works fine, honestly)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp wasabi oil (or less if you’re not so into the spicy)
flaky sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.

2. Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil. Wrap each beet individually in tinfoil (put it in the middle, then scrunch the edges together at the top) and place on the baking sheet. No oil needed – they’ll roast fine on their own.

3. Roast the beets in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender when you poke a fork in.

4. Peel the beets, then cut into 1/2″ cubes.

5. Crush the pistachios, either by chopping coarsely or using a mortar and pestle.

5. Mix everything together and season to taste.

6. Sprinkle extra pistachios on top right before serving if you care about things looking pretty.

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East African Sweet Pea Soup http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/12/26/east-african-sweet-pea-soup/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/12/26/east-african-sweet-pea-soup/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 04:00:14 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=616
East African Sweet Pea Soup
(adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant: Ethnic and Regional Recipes from the Cooks at the Legendary Restaurant by the Moosewood Collective)

Hurry, hurry, you have to make this soup! I took a Hipstamatic photo just so I could post it for you all the sooner!

I adapted this from one of the fantastic Moosewood cookbooks, with just a few adjustments. I like to have extra meatiness and protein in my soups, so I use pork stock instead of water. Less liquid, too – I like my soups thick and hearty, not too watery – more like stews than soups, perhaps. I’m also opposed to puree soups, so I did a minimal immersion blender partial puree of this one before adding the peas, to retain some texture.

It’s absolutely delicious, and I think I’m about to go back for a third bowl…

2 C coarsely chopped onion (about 3 medium onions)
safflower or other neutral oil for frying
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated fresh peeled ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tomatoes, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 sweet potato (approximately 2 C diced), diced into 1/2″ cubes
2 C pork stock
1/2 C water
1 lb frozen green peas

1. Saute the onions in a splash of oil over medium heat in a medium pot, until they just turn translucent.

2. Stir in the spices, salt, ginger, and garlic and saute for another minute or two, until very fragrant.

3. Stir in the diced tomatoes and sweet potato until coated with spices, then immediately stir in the pork stock and water to dissolve the spices and deglaze the pot.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the sweet potato chunks are tender (about 20 minutes).

5. Partially puree. I like lots of chunks, so I just use an immersion blender to puree just enough to thicken the soup some.

6. Stir in the frozen peas and simmer just until everything is nice and hot again.

7. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.

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Farmhouse Pork with Black Beans and Green Peppers (and Trotter Gear) http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/19/farmhouse-pork-with-black-beans-and-green-peppers-and-trotter-gear/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/19/farmhouse-pork-with-black-beans-and-green-peppers-and-trotter-gear/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2011 02:08:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=517

God, look at those charred peppers! They’re the long, vaguely gnarly, kinda slender but not really, fairly spicy but not very, probably Italian ones I find at my local organic Korean grocery store. I love them with a deep and abiding love. Dave, however, is pretty sure that nightshades give him stomachaches, so I don’t get to cook with them very much lately.

He’s out of town for a conference this weekend, and I was trying to make up for missing him by cooking delicious foods that he can’t eat. This tasty, spicy, black bean sauce pork dish was perfect!

I find that I’m losing my interest in refined food lately. I don’t want to deal with the tiny dabs of sauces and careful presentations. My photography oomph is being taken over by marketing photos for my glass work, and I’m less interested in taking the time to arrange careful photos of my food. But I still love variety in my food, and I’m still particularly in love with Chinese cuisine. I actually just read Fuschia Dunlop’s memoir, and now I’m even more hopeful of managing to come to like more of the unfamiliarly textured foods I mostly shy away from nowadays.

But peasant food doesn’t have to be boring or bland. The peppers are vivid here in flavor as well as in heat. I raised the proportion of fermented black beans because I love their intensity, and I threw in an ice cube of the trotter gear I made with trotters and pig tails from Bobolink farm according to Fergus Henderson’s recipe, which calls for intense homemade chicken stock as a building block for building that tasty building block.

I’ve come to prefer peasant food, sure, but my peasant food is damn good.

2008: Kumquat Marmalade
2007: Chewy Maple Cookies
2006: Cocoa Nib and Currant Rugelach

Farmhouse Pork with Black Beans and Green Peppers (and Trotter Gear)
(adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuschia Dunlop)
9 oz long Italian green hot frying peppers
2 oz pork belly
14 oz pork tenderloin
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped
corn starch
Optional: 1 ice cube worth of trotter gear (recipe below; needs to be made way in advance if you plan to use it here)

Thinly slice the meats against the grain and place into separate bowls.

Stir the sliced pork tenderloin (or other lean pork) with the soy sauces, shaoxing, and a good hefty sprinkling of corn starch, and set aside.

Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers, then slice them at an angle into oval-ish rounds about 1 1/4″ long and 1/4″ wide. Keep the seeds and ribs – as Dunlop aptly points out, this is a peasant dish! Man, I love peasant dishes.

Prep the garlic and black beans as described in the ingredients list.

Heat your wok until it is nearly smoking and feels like a radiator with your hand a couple inches above the bottom. Swirl in some oil, then stir-fry the peppers in batches as needed until they get a nice tasty bit of char to them. Pour them out into a bowl and set aside.

Wipe any pepper seeds remaining out of the wok and return it to the heat, swirling in some more oil.

Add the pork belly and stir-fry until it’s lightly browned (and not necessarily fully cooked), then stir in the garlic and black beans and fry for just a moment until they’re gorgeously fragrant.

Add the lean pork and stir-fry until mostly done, then return the green peppers to the wok and keep going until everything looks totally done.

Shove everything in the wok out up the sides, and toss an ice cube of trotter gear into the bottom to melt it. When it’s melted, stir everything else back down in with it until hot and melded, then remove from the heat and serve with lots of rice and perhaps some sort of nice, sweet-ish tofu as a second entree.

Trotter Gear
(adapted from Fergus Henderson)
3 trotters (pigs’ feet) (I threw in some pig tails, too)
2 red onions, halved
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup Madeira or other sweet wine
Chicken stock to cover (about 1 quart) (ideally the homemade good stuff)

If your trotters or tails are a bit bristly (and sometimes they are), shave them. A disposable razor works wonders, and it’s very straightforward. Sort of comfortably homey, even. No shaving cream, though, please.

Put all the solid ingredients into a pot. Pour in the madeira or wine, and then add enough chicken stock to cover all the stuff in there. (Homemade chicken stock really is best. We condense our chicken stock down to fit into our freezer and then often use it condensed, so this was some pretty intense stuff to begin with.)

Bring to an almost-boil, and then simmer for 3ish hours, until the trotters/tails are “very wobbly” and the meat is falling off the bone (or easily pierced by a chopstick, or whatever measure you tend to like for this sort of thing).

Take the trotters (and tails!) out of the pot and put on a cutting board. Strain the stock and set aside.

Pull all the meat, flesh, skin, tendons, and other wobbly bits off the bones. Discard the bones. If you missed any hairy bits, just pull those bits off and throw them away too. But keep all those weird, gross looking wobbly bits – they are the magic here.

Chop your meat and skin and wobbly bits and such sort of medium finely – not a superfine mince or something, but more along the lines of pieces around the size of a pinky fingernail that’s been trimmed down to the quick. (Not the pig’s. Yours.)

Stir your chopped up wobbly mess back into the stock.

Set up a few ice cube trays lined with plastic wrap, and portion out the wobbly-bit-filled stock into ice cubes of meaty goodness. Freeze. Once they’re frozen, store them in your freezer in a big ziplock bag of meaty chunks. Add them to fried rice, to finish other stir-fries and sauces, soups, what-have-you. Instant tasty umami injection!

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Black Pepper Tofu with Pork http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/07/black-pepper-tofu-with-pork/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2011/03/07/black-pepper-tofu-with-pork/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2011 16:42:26 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=506

Dear people who live in or visit London,

Have you stopped by Ottolenghi yet? You should. It is a happy place that makes people happy. I spent about 2 hours fighting through insane crowds and delayed buses to get there during a London tube strike once (not counting the time spent flying across the pond and back, of course), and it was worth it. (Though to be fair, partially for the adventure and nearby chocolate shop.)

In other news, we made a modified version of Ottolenghii’s black pepper tofu, modified for us carnivores who keep Momofuku-style pickled chilies in our fridge, just in case. Though the black pepper is incredibly spicy all on its own, no chilies needed, which I’ve never experienced before playing with this recipe. And I’m really learning to love tofu in spicy dishes. It’s absolutely marvelous!

My apologies for the terrible photography. We made this dish while my mother was borrowing my good camera, so this is the iPhone Hipstamatic version of food blogging instead. It’s hardly ideal, but it’s better than failing to get my version of the recipe out to you.

2008: Shredded Burdock Root
2007: Lamb Kofta with Apricot Sauce

Black Pepper Tofu with Pork
(adapted from Ottolenghi)
800g (1.75 lbs) firm tofu
Corn starch, to dust the tofu
454g (1 lb) ground pork
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
Safflower [or some other neutral] oil, for frying
65g (~4.5 tbsp) butter
12 small shallots (~350g), peeled and thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed and then minced
3 tbsp minced ginger
5 tbsp crushed (or very coarsely ground) black peppercorns
16 small, thin scallions, cut into segments 3cm (~1″) long
Optional garnish: sliced pickled chilies (recipe below)

1. Stir the pork in with the soy sauces and sugar and set aside.

2. Cut the tofu into cubes (3cm x 2cm, or about 1″ x 1/2″) and toss them in corn starch, shaking off the excess.

3. Heat your wok until it starts to smoke and feels like a radiator with your hand held a few inches above the bottom, then pour in enough oil to really coat the bottom in a thin pool. Fry the tofu in batches in the oil, turning the pieces as you go so that they’re golden and crispy on all sides. Once they are golden all around, and have a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel. It’s important to do this in batches, because if you overcrowd your pan the tofu will steam instead of frying and will never develop that wonderful crisp, dried texture.

4. Clean the oil and tofu bits out of your wok, then throw in the butter. Once the butter melts, add the shallots, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until it’s all shiny and soft (should take about 15 minutes, but of course your mileage may vary).

5. Stir in pork once the shallots are soft.

6. Stir in the black pepper once the pork is pretty much cooked.

7. Stir in the tofu and keep going for just a minute until it’s thoroughly warmed up and coated in the sauce, then stir in the scallions and remove from heat.

8. Optionally, serve with sliced pickled chilies and a bit of their pickling liquid (recipe below). I really like the flavor and extra heat these offer. Though seriously, even without the extra pickled chili garnish, it was ridiculously spicy considering that all the heat came from just the black pepper, not chilies of any sort. Really tastily so. Serve with lots of rice.

Pickled chilies
(adapted from Momofuku)
1 C water, as hot as your tap can get (~120 degrees F in most American kitchens)
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 C Thai birds-eye chilies (or other small (less than 2″ long) chilies)

Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring them until the sugar dissolves.

Wear gloves when handling chilies, please. Just rinse them off and remove any stems if you feel fussy. You can slice them however you like when you actually use them later on. I like using green Thai chilies, because I enjoy their flavor and the green ones are supposedly spicier than the red ones. Really, use whatever makes you happy, and it’ll turn out just fine.

Pack the chilies into some sort of fringe-friendly, long-term-storage-friendly container (tupperware or mason jars), and pour the brine over them to cover. Stick them in your fridge for at least a few days. They’ll last approximately forever, to make every day a happy spicy vinegary day.

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Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/03/spicy-shrimp-with-wine-rice/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/03/spicy-shrimp-with-wine-rice/#comments Tue, 04 May 2010 03:48:46 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=456

Perhaps you’ve perused the fridge at Kam Man or some other Chinatown grocery store and seen jars of this crazy awesome mushy liquid that looks like rotting rice in cloudy water. It’s sweet and boozy, a tasty precursor to more refined sakes. You can brew your own using Chinese wine balls (actually, yeast balls), but personally, I just buy it by the jar.

This recipe was adapted from Ken Hom, who has become my go-to source for quick and easy weeknight dinners. (I can’t believe I’m writing this. Since when do I prioritize quick and easy? Honestly, I still don’t, but once in a while when we get home late it really is nice to be able to throw something together in a rush.)

I’ve never eaten anything else like this. That’s really the point. It tastes almost as alcoholic as Dave’s chocolate mousse, with that gorgeously savory spiciness from the chili bean paste. Dave (my partner) is trying to avoid nightshades nowadays, which didn’t stop me from making a whole batch of this to eat myself over the next week. So worth it, even for me alone.

2008: Rhubarb Soup with Nicoise Olive Cookies
2007: Sour Cherry Braised Lamb Shanks
2006: Pear and Basil Tart

Spicy Shrimp with Wine Rice
(adapted from Chinese Technique by Ken Hom)
1 lb ground pork
1 lb large unshelled shrimp
kosher salt
safflower/peanut/canola oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 dried birdseye peppers, crushed
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 C thinly sliced scallions (circles of the green parts only)
for the marinade
2 tbsp shaoxing
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
for the sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp chili bean paste (I use Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce (Toban Djan))
1/2 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C fermented wine rice

1. Mix the ground pork with the marinade ingredients and set aside.

2. Devein the shrimp, but leave the shells on; you can just slice through the shells easily when deveining.

3. Here’s the trick for making sure the shrimp are nice and crunchy instead of mushy – stir in 1 tsp kosher salt and let sit for 1 minute. Rinse with cold water. Repeat two more times (three salt/rinse cycles, total), then pat dry.

4. Heat your wok until it feels like a hot radiator with your palm 2-3 inches above the bottom, then add about 3 tbsp safflower oil and swirl it around to coat the inside of the wok. When it’s almost smoking again, add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are opaque. Remove from wok and set aside.

5. Add a bit more oil to the wok, maybe 2 tbsp or so, then stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and crushed birdseye chilis for a minute, until fragrant.

6. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it no longer looks raw.

7. Add the sauce ingredients and stir thoroughly as it boils for a minute or two.

8. Add the shrimp and cook for a moment longer, then turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil and scallions.

9. Serve with rice.

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Pecan Mole http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/08/11/pecan-mole/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/08/11/pecan-mole/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2009 13:48:40 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=385

We’ve served this sauce at the restaurant twice now, and I’m not tired of it yet, which is an absolute miracle for me. It was another one of Dave’s brilliant sauces, where he came up with the main idea and all I had to do was taste and give him a few suggestions for rounding out the flavor in the end.

When we’re cooking in our tiny Lyceum kitchen, we can’t really hear what’s going on in the big room outside. Our waiters come back and tell us what people say and how they look, and we eagerly wait to see which plates come back with fingerswipe marks in lieu of leftover sauce.

When this mole was served the first time, though, a moment later someone out in the dining room exclaimed with delight so loudly that I could hear it back in the kitchen: “Oh my god, this sauce! There’s so much going on!”

Back to work, anyways. We are at t minus 3 weeks for the wedding, and there’s still so much left to do! There are fans to be made, Zambian honey to be labeled, and the flower girl still needs new shoes.

Right after the wedding, we’re leaving to wander around Southeast Asia for 3 weeks. We have a few days in Tokyo on the way to Bangkok, and then eventually we fly home from Hanoi. Haven’t figured out the middle yet. I definitely want to stop by Chiang Mai and Siem Reap (and Angkor Wat, of course), possibly somewhere in Malaysia, and almost certainly not Singapore or Laos. Indonesia is tempting, but 3 weeks just isn’t enough time. Melaka is iffy enough as is.

Any advice? Restaurants we need to check out, people we need to meet, places we should avoid?

2008: Duck Confit and Fig Crostini
2007: Fig, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Stuffing
2006: Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars

This makes a ton of sauce. For 18, Dave thinks, but we always have plenty left over after that. It freezes well.

Pecan Mole
4 tbsp safflower/peanut/canola oil
1/4 C ipek pul biber (a Turkish ground hot chili – not too hot, with a complex fruity flavor)
1/2 tsp pulla (another chili – grind it before measuring)
1.5 tsp new mexican chili
2 tsp kalonji/nigella
200 gm shallot (about 5), sliced
1 plantain, sliced
4 cloves garlic
100 gm pecans
50 gm shelled raw sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp packed tiny dried shrimp (easily found in Chinatown)
1/2 C raisins
2 C water
2 C intense chicken stock
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the chilis and kalonji. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and plantain.

After the shallots have softened, add the garlic, pecans, and sunflower seeds.

Cook until the garlic is translucent and the pecans and sunflower seeds are lightly toasted.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 cups.

Blend until smooth.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

We most recently served this with warm zucchini terrines, lamb chops that had been cooked sous vide and then seared, garlic scapes, and cocoa nibs.

Zucchini Terrines
1/2 recipe pecan mole
8 red potatoes
4 small or 2 large zucchini
12 shallots
cocoa nibs
Salt to taste

Add a bit of extra salt to the mole sauce, as it has to flavor the potatoes.

Briefly saute the shallots until translucent.

Thinly slice the potatoes and zucchini. Toss the zucchini with oil.

In oiled ring molds or foil-lined muffin tins, layer potato slices with mole. Top and edge with zucchini. Top with shallots. Press to shrink.

Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, cover with foil, and bake for 20 more minutes.

Sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

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Quick-Pickled Cucumbers with Chili Bean Sauce http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/24/quick-pickled-cucumbers-with-chili-bean-sauce/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/24/quick-pickled-cucumbers-with-chili-bean-sauce/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2008 14:45:51 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/24/quick-pickled-cucumbers-with-chili-bean-sauce/

I’ve been focusing so much on heavy, rich winter dishes lately, it’s really time to switch gears and try something different. Something clean and fresh and light to clear the palate. So instead of a braise, why not a try a nice quick pickle to go with a simple dinner? Crunchy, salty, spicy, and satisfying, these quick pickled cucumbers add a nice kick to most any meal.

I grew up hating pickles, by which I meant those typically pickled cucumbers they give you with your sandwich at the deli. I still won’t eat them. Seems a bit strange, since I love both cucumbers and vinegar. But what I’ve slowly learned is that I do like other sorts of pickled fruits and vegetables – I started with a love of pickled ginger, and most recently I was utterly wowed by a jar of homemade pickled garlic seeds that a friend gave to me.

Quick pickles are a way of feeding that urge with a lighter touch, and without having to go to all the trouble of setting up the large pot of boiling water for home canning. It’s more like cucumber salad, really, which I also love. (In fact, I’d be hard pressed to tell you the difference between quick-pickled cucumbers and cucumber salad. Perhaps it has to do with the intensity of flavor? The way we categorize food in our minds is fascinating in itself.)

Around this time last year, we were making: Chicken and Rice, Curry Banana, Roots and Rhizomes Stew

Quick-Pickled Cucumbers with Chili Bean Sauce
(adapted from The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo)
For the quick-pickling
2 firm cucumbers (a little over 1 lb)
2 1/2 tsp salt
For the sauce
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 heaping tsp chili bean paste (I use Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce (Toban Djan))
2 tsp sesame oil
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

Cut the ends off the cucumbers, then quarter then lengthwise. Cut out the seeds. Peel a line down the middle of each piece, the long way, for decoration. Then slice them into crescents about 1/8″ thick, or thinner if you prefer.

Stir the cucumber slices with the 2 1/2 tsp salt and leave them in a non-reactive bowl in the fridge to macerate for about an hour.

After the hour, rinse and drain the cucumber slices, and pat them dry. Stir the rest of the ingredients together, then stir the sauce in with the cucumber.

Serve cold, straight from the fridge.

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Roasted Rice Cakes with Onions and Red Chili Pepper Sauce http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/09/roasted-rice-cakes-with-onions-and-red-chili-pepper-sauce/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/09/roasted-rice-cakes-with-onions-and-red-chili-pepper-sauce/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2008 16:39:47 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/01/09/roasted-rice-cakes-with-onions-and-red-chili-pepper-sauce/

I love Momofuku, especially now that the Noodle Bar has moved to a larger location where Dave and I can actually bring our friends and chat with them at a table over dinner instead of just hoping to find one or two spaces at the bar. The food is amazing, and being the devoted carnivore that I am, I enjoy chef David Chang’s devotion to adding meat to every dish on the menu (with one exception). Momofuku is not the place to bring vegetarians or people who keep kosher, but for the rest of us it is a pleasure to visit.

While I hope beyond hope that Chang will eventually write a cookbook, Dave decided to do his best to recreate one of our favorite Momofuku dishes on his own in the meantime. Here, then, is his version of Momofuku’s Roasted Rice Cakes – it’s not the Momofuku recipe, but just our own attempt to make something similar at home. (Hey David Chang, if you read this – did we come close to getting it right?)

It’s hot and chewy and crispy and spicy and more than a bit overwhelming on the palate, in a good way.

Roasted Rice Cakes with Onions and Red Chili Pepper Sauce
1 lb Korean rice cakes
2 medium onions
A little oil for frying
1/4 cup hot water (we suspect pork stock would make a good substitute, if you have it)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
3 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
1-3 tsp Korean red chili powder
1 tsp Korean anchovy sauce
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Slice the onions thinly and fry them in a bit of oil until they are lightly browned. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the rice cakes until they are also nicely toasted on all sides.

Combine all the ingredients and stir-fry quickly until they come together, then serve. Use however much red chili powder you can handle – 3 tsp is probably closer to Momofuku’s level of spiciness, but 1 tsp was closer to what I actually wanted to eat at home.

Garnish with sesame seeds to taste, if you like. Dave does. I do not.

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Cubed Radish Kimchi http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/11/29/cubed-radish-kimchi/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/11/29/cubed-radish-kimchi/#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2007 01:06:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/11/29/cubed-radish-kimchi/

For my first attempt at making this sweet, salty, spicy, satisfyingly crisp bite o’ banchan, I followed this recipe from one of my favorite Korean food blogs, Evil Jungle Prince. Unfortunately, it turned out to be way too fishy for me. (This may have something to do with my misreading the measurement for anchovy sauce as calling for tablespoons instead of teaspoons, but never mind that, and let us never speak of it again.)

Full of despair, I turned to the fine folks at the eGullet kimchi thread for advice. Properly comforted that I could safely reduce the amount of anchovy sauce without suffering fatal intestinal maelstroms as a result, I decided to try again.

I adjusted the proportions a bit more to my liking, and stole a few ideas from this other recipe (also from Evil Jungle Prince) as well.

Finally – success!

Korean food is my latest obsession. I ordered a cookbook, bookmarked a few blogs, and am going wild in the kitchen. I found a grocery store near my apartment that sells fabulously tasty homemade gochujang (red pepper paste) in little tupperware-ish tubs, and picked up everything else I need Han Ah Reum in K-town.

It’s a good thing Dave loves the cubed radish kimchi, and can tolerate my filling the fridge with things like tiny spicy salty sweet itsy bitsy anchovies for the munching.

Cubed Radish Kimchi
1 daikon radish (weighing approximately 1 1/2 lbs.)
Water and kosher salt for brining
2 tsp Korean fine chili pepper powder
1/2 bulb of garlic, finely grated
1 1/2″ fresh ginger, finely grated
4 tsp Korean anchovy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3 tsp Korean coarse chili pepper flakes
4 scallions, green parts only, sliced into 1″ lengths
1 1/2 tsp rice flour
3/8 C water

Fill a big non-reactive bowl (this means no metal!) with cool water and stir in a handful of kosher salt. Peel the radish and cut into 1″ cubes. Put the radish cubes into the brine and leave them there to soak for 20 minutes.

Make rice porridge by mixing the rice flour into the 3/8 C water and bringing it to a boil, at which point it will thicken, then removing it from the heat and setting it aside to cool to room temperature.

Sterilize a jar. (Yeah, this seems kinda silly, but all the recipes I’ve read suggest it, so why not?)

When the radish cubes are done brining, rinse them off with cool water. Mix in the Korean fine chili pepper powder.

Mix all the other ingredients into a paste, then mix them into the radish cubes, making sure that all the cubes are basically smeared all over with this stuff. This is tons of fun to do with bare hands.

Put the whole mess into a jar and screw on the lid. Leave it out at room temperature for about 40 hours, at which point it is ready for eating and should be kept in the fridge henceforth.

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Persimmon Mint Salsa http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2007 17:14:09 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/

This started out as a mint chutney, until we chanced upon some gorgeous persimmons at the store. And I have been craving cucumbers lately. (To be fair, I am almost always craving cucumbers.) As we combined our key ingredients, we realized that it would be a shame to cook or overspice them. And so a salsa was born.

You can make this as hot or as mild as you like, by adjusting the amount of jalapeño seeds and ribs you leave in. We’ve eaten it with lamb shanks and short ribs so far, though I’m sure it would hold its own with a bag of chips.

Persimmon Mint Salsa
One persimmon, peeled, ribs removed, chopped fine
One jalapeño, minced (keep or remove ribs and seeds to taste)
Three cloves garlic, minced, sauteed in oil
1.5 tsp grated ginger
seven large fresh mint leaves, minced
2″ cucumber, julienned
white wine vinegar to taste (about 1 tbsp)
2 drops sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix it all up. Finit.

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