Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fried Egg with Kimchi and Two Sauces

When I first started rebeatworld, Mom remarked to me that she wanted to try most of the recipes I posted. It was a simple thing to say, but I was very flattered. I took it as quite the compliment! Well, that probably has changed by now, and here I am posting a recipe which almost everyone (who looks at rebeatworld) is likely to find TERRIFYING. But, after all, I started this as my recipe box, and so it will be. These are flavors that I became fond of as a very young child, and so my palate-brain cannot know what they taste like to someone who was not introduced to them early. As for me, I think they're the stuff comfort food is often made of.

I had kimchi and eggs, and I have heard about combining the two. I remembered a Melissa Clarke recipe in the New York times for a kimchi omelet (, and also found a blog post about frying eggs with kimchi (

I took the fried egg approach, and decadently used BOTH SAUCES, albeit moderate drizzles of each. And I loved every bite. The simplicity of the egg with the vegetal/acid kimchi, the umami/salty oyster soy sauce, and the sweet/spicy sriracha syrup covered every single base there is--  harmoniously.

Fried Egg with Kimchi and Two Sauces

Sriracha syrup (makes less than 1/2 cup; will probably store forever in the fridge)
1/2 c rice vinegar
1/3 c sugar
1 T sriracha (Melissa Clarke used 1-2 t, but I felt it was too sweet and needed balancing)
generous dash salt (also my addition, to balance)

Combine vinegar with sugar over medium heat. Bring to the boil, simmer to reduce by half (this took about 10 minutes for me). Remove from heat, cool slightly, stir in sriracha and salt (to taste) till dissolved.

Oyster/soy sauce (amount per egg)
1 t soy sauce
1 t oyster sauce

Stir together.

For the egg
1 egg
2 T chopped mild cabbage kimchi

Fry the egg in the manner you are accustomed to. I like the edges of the whites to be a little crisp and the yolk to be not liquid by any means, but quite soft and capable of moving a bit. Early on, as the whites begin to set, scatter the chopped kimchi over the whites (don't break the yolk). Finish cooking till your desired doneness, slip onto plate. Drizzle two sauces over.

Consider serving with:
sesame seeds
chopped scallion
cilantro, if you're into that
fried shallots 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Green Chili Desabrada

For Sunday dinner, Mom prepared this shredded beef recipe from a recent Penzey's catalog. Another hit as far as my appetite and palate goes. The recipe comes from a Penzey's reader, Shari, who notes that she likes to use a mix of different grilled chilies: anaheim, jalapeno, etc. Mom served this with tortillas, black beans, tomato, cheese, avocado, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa.

1 3-4 lb beef roast (advises to use sirloin tip roast, but that any pretty lean roast will do)
1 10 oz can green chilies 
2 T minced garlic
1-1 1/2 T salt
1 T fresh cilantro leaves, minced
4-5 large fresh tomatoes, finely chopped, or 1 29 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 large onions, chopped
1 T ground cumin
1 T fajita seasoning
1/4 -1 t black pepper, or to taste

Start early in the morning you plan to serve the meat. Cook the roast in a slow cooker with 1/2 c water on high for 6 hours.

Shred/cut the beef into thin strips. Remove and discard any fat or bones.

Add all remaining ingredients.Turn the slow cooker on low, cook all day (8 or more hours). Stir occasionally. You could instead cook on high 4-5 hours.

Meat in 350 degree oven (with 1/2 c beef broth, in deep casserole, cover with foil) 10 hours before meal; 4 hours in, shred the meat and add the vegetables, put back in oven approx. 6 more hours.

4 oz has: 260 cal, 10 g fat 8 g carb, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein.

Shredded Pork in Ancho-Orange Sauce (Chilorio)

It was the weekend of shredded meat! On Saturday, the family trekked down to Ephraim, where sister S. has recently moved to The House with the Creepiest Basement of All Time. The house is otherwise charming, and has a nice, airy kitchen. In this nice, airy kitchen, she had prepared for us this recipe from Pati's Mexican Table: the Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking, Pati Jinich, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, p 174-176. I like pork, and I like orange, and I like chiles, and I liked this! She served it on sandwich rolls with avocado. Yum!

3 lbs boneless pork butt (shoulder) or loin, preferably with some fat, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/4 c orange juice
1 1/4 c water
1 1/4 t salt
4 ancho chiles (2 oz), rinsed, stemmed, and seeded
1/2 c coarsely chopped white onion
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c chopped fresh italian parsley
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground black pepper
2/3 c apple cider vinegar
3 T oil
16 flour tortillas
1) Place the pork in a heavy 12-inch skillet or dutch oven/ Add the orange juice, water, and 1 t of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid has cooked away and the meat is lightly browned and has rendered most of its fat. Set aside to cool.
2) Meanwhile, place the chiles in a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.
3) Place the chiles, along with 1 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, in a blender or food processer, along with the onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, cumin, the remaining 1/4 t salt, the pepper, and vinegar and puree until completely smooth.
4) When it is cool enough to handle, shred the pork with your hands or two forks and place it and any juices in a large bowl.
5) In the pot in which the meat was cooked, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour in the chile puree, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and darkened. Toss in the shredded meat and juices and cook until the meat has absorbed most of the chile sauce, 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for salt.
6) Serve the meat rolled up in the warm flour tortillas or with the tortillas on the side.

Mexican Cook's Trick: Although chilorio is traditionally made with pork, you can also make it with chicken breasts, legs, and/or thighs. Be sure to use chicken with skin and bones for the most flavor.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A way with rice

I love rice. I like a good rice preparation with flavors and additions and all, but I also just love good steamed (salted) rice. A lot of this stems from the memory of the rice of my childhood, a rice which I have chased but not been able to find since. We lived in Southern California, in an area with a majority Korean population, and adjacent to an area called "Little India." Mom would buy jasmine rice from the markets and steam it for breakfast or cook it in a very simple pilaf-style (quick saute in fat till opaque first). The rice must have been exceptionally good and exceptionally fresh. It smelled heavenly... the name 'jasmine' seemed so obvious for it. In all the years since, I've been buying jasmine rice, opening the package with eager anticipation, breathing in deeply, and ... being disappointed. And the flavor of that childhood rice! A lot of rice is flavorless, but it doesn't have to be. This rice tasted almost sweet and just so... ricey. It was a pauper's breakfast, but I loved it. We would have a bowl of cinnamon-sugar on the table, and I would sprinkle it on some times, but thought the rice had enough flavor on its own.

Well, no news about finding that rice. I think I would have to actually go back to Cerritos... and hope.

But we tried a new rice preparation recently... simply steaming jasmine rice in coconut water instead of water. Remember to use plenty of salt. We didn't tell Dad what we had done because he does not like coconut. When I indicated that something had been done differently as regards the rice, he asked if it was trying to achieve that California rice flavor. Well, that hadn't occurred to me, but when he put it in my mind, I thought, well... "yes, this does get it a little closer." It replicates that slight, natural sweetness and a hint of nuttiness.

Mom said, if she did it again, she'd probably dilute the coconut water somewhat. I do not find it to be too 'sweet,'  however. I find the effect subtle and natural, although diluting would be fine too. In fact, when I did it again (undiluted) and fed it to the family, I didn't tell anyone and no one noticed, at least consciously. What did happen is the rice got devoured.

I think this idea came to us from the Parade Magazine Sunday newspaper supplement.

A.B.'s shrimp, sun-dried tomato, and artichoke bricolage

I recently dropped by a friend's house for an impromptu dinner. She is a talented cook, and has moved well past the bound-to-recipe stage in her development; I am still woefully stuck there. She's also an intuitive cook, and is good at matching components. She threw together what she had, sauteing some oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and some canned artichoke in some olive oil with some minced garlic and some shelled deveined shrimp. And it was good. I'd like to try it at home. I would serve it on pasta or couscous. Leftovers could probably be eaten chopped a little and mixed together with the couscous as a chilled salad. Not sure about that, but it is summer so everything is sounding good chilled right now.

Lemony Pasta and Garlicky Pasta a la Bilbo

While I was in California this spring, Brother-in-law B (I was going to abbreviate the whole thing to B.I.L.B, but then it looked like Bilbo, and I thought I couldn't do that, but now that I am typing it again, I like it, so I am just going to call him Bilbo for the purposes of this blog and the strange culture of putting other people's names, veiled, into one's blogs) made some yummy pasta in two varieties, a lemony version and a garlicky version. The other day my appetite wanted the lemony version, so Bilbo kindly provided the schemes. I'm aware that these are pretty classic, normal pasta preparations, and I suppose a more experienced cook than I would not need recipes per se. But, well, I'm not more experienced, so here goes.

The lemony pasta comes from Mario Batali, from an episode of his show "Mario Eats Italy." um, yum:

Lemony Pasta (a la Bilbo) or "Tagliarini al Limone"

6 qts water
2 T salt
6 T butter
1/4 c fresh lemon zest (zest of 4 lemons)
1 lb fresh tagliarini (or 1 pound dried) -- Reb notes that any dried, long, slender, flat pasta will do
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional, Bilbo did not use when he fed it to me)
salt, pepper

Bring water to boil, add salt.--> Of course, you will cook the pasta according to package directions. In large saute pan, heat butter with lemon zest over medium heat. Drain pasta and add to lemon butter. Remove from heat and add cheese, if using. Serve with salt and pepper.

Bob added halved cherry tomatoes (do not cook down), and maybe he added some spinach, which wilts just slightly to remove the chew? Other options: basil chiffonade, shrimp, mushrooms, artichoke hearts. A slim hit of goat cheese crumbles rather than parm-reg.

Garlicky Pasta a la Bilbo (Or better yet! Aglio e olio a la Bilbo) 

Saute garlic in olive oil and add to pre-cooked pasta, salt, pepper to taste. Bob adds the cherry tomatoes and spinach, which is good. Parm-Reg would be good here. The chiffonade basil (or parsley) would work well here; the shrimp; and... you know.. bacon. Prosciutto crisped up with garlic. Chicken. Mushrooms. Sun-dried tomatoes (the soft kind, packed in oil). Whatever.