Friday, May 22, 2015

Spicy Kimchi

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This month as part of my New Year’s Resolution I’ve gone with Kimchi. My awesome neighbor is a wonderful gardener and I love getting stuff from them. They brought over some radishes which I had never seen before. I also am not familiar with what to do with this amount of radishes either.

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Upon researching I found out they are Green and white winter radishes. Not knowing what to do with these softball size monsters I took to Pinterest and came across kimchi. I happen to really love this Asian slaw. When friends asked what I was gonna do with it once I made it I simply said it’s like salsa it goes on anything haha. I’ve got to say this is super easy to make and it last up to a year in the fridge so it’s worth making up a batch. Monday I’ll have a recipe that uses some of this delicious stuff!

Spicy Kimchi

(Adapted from Primally Inspired)

 

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2 heads Napa cabbage (about 6 pounds total)

1 cup sea salt

2 cups spring or distilled water

1 large diakon radish (about 1½ pounds), peeled

4 large carrots (about ¾ pound total)

1 apple, peeled and core removed (don't leave the apple out! The apple provides sugar for the bacteria to eat so it can ferment properly)

2 bunches of scallions, chopped

1 whole head of garlic, peeled

4 ounces fresh ginger

1½ cups hot Korean chili flakes (found in Asian markets or online. I use THESE)

optional: 1 teaspoon fish sauce (I use THIS)

optional: pinch or two (or three!) of dried red pepper flakes. The more pinches, the spicier! I typically use 2 pinches - about 1 teaspoon.

⅓ cup additional distilled or spring water

clean mason jars (I use 8 of THESE jars)

 

Cut your cabbage in one inch (bite size) pieces and place it in 2 very large bowls.

 

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Add ½ cup sea salt and 1 cup of water to each bowl and toss with your hands to coat.

 

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Let the cabbage sit for one hour, tossing every 20 minutes. You'll start to see the cabbage releasing liquid and shrinking in size - that's exactly what we want!

 

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While the cabbage is sitting, shred your radish, carrots and apple in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can chop them in small pieces. Set aside.

 

In a food processor, process the garlic and ginger until smooth.

 

Fold in your Korean hot chili flakes, red pepper flakes (if using) and fish sauce (if using) and ⅓ cup water. Stir until it becomes a paste. Set aside.

 

After the cabbage has sat for 1 hour, rinse it very well with cold water and then strain the water. Rinse and strain for a total of 3 times. Rinsing and straining 3 times is important because you want to wash away most of the salt or it will be way too salty!

 

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Place your rinsed cabbage in one of your very large bowls (it should all fit in one bowl now).

 

Add the radish, carrot, scallions and apple and your hot chili/garlic/ginger paste.

 

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With gloves on your hands (important!), toss everything together making sure that the paste coats all the veggies well.

 

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Add the kimchi to your mason jars packing it in tightly. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches of headroom (the kimchi will expand as it ferments). Close the lids to your jars. This recipe usually makes about 8-10 pint size jars.

 

Close the lids on your jars and let them sit for 3-5 days.

 

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You must "burp" the jars once a day during these 3-5 days. You do that by quickly opening the jar and then closing it. You'll hear gas releasing - just like what it sounds like when you open a soda. That is normal and a good sign! You should see small bubbles in your jar, too. And if you hold the opened jar to your ears, you'll also hear it fizzing. That's like music to a fermenters ears :)

 

After 3 days, give your kimchi a taste. If it tastes tangy and "fizzy", that means your kimchi is finished and you can move your jars to the fridge. They will last about a year in the fridge. If you don't taste that tanginess, let your kimchi sit for a few more days.

 

Notes

You may want to put the jars on a tray while they are fermenting. If you didn't leave enough headroom, your kimchi liquid could spill out of the jars, leaving you with a big mess - a tray helps catch that liquid :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Saltimbocca alla Romana

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I happened to use up some steak we had from our steer instead of veal, but it still came out delish. This is really easy to prep ahead of time and then pan fry and make the sauce for dinner. I just served it with some mashed potatoes to make a nice hardy meat and potato meal. If anything I may thicken the sauce just slightly next time as it was a little thin.

Saltimbocca alla Romana

(Adapted from the italian chef)

 

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8 slices prosciutto

8 veal scaloppini, thinly sliced and pounded

flour spread on a plate for dredging

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

8 sage leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

 

Place one slice of prosciutto on each veal scaloppini and pound in lightly with a meat pounder.

 

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Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dredge both sides of the scaloppini in flour to coat, shaking off any excess.

 

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Place them prosciutto side down in pan and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a warm plate.

 

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Drain oil from pan, place back over heat and add butter. When butter is melted add sage and sauté for one minute.

 

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Add the white wine and scrape loose any bits from bottom of pan, then add the chicken broth and salt and pepper.

 

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Place scaloppini back in pan, prosciutto side up and cook until sauce is reduced by half and scaloppini are heated through.

 

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Transfer veal to serving plates, two scaloppini per person, spoon sauce over top and serve.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made a cheesecake. When I say long time I mean like 10 years. There’s tricks I’ve noted over the years and vowed I would give it a try again one day. Well, it paid off and this cake came out gorgeous!!

Special shout out to my brother today….Happy Birthday!!!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

(Adapted from OMG Chocolate Desserts)

 

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For the Crust:

24 Oreo cookies-finely crushed

¼ cup unsalted butter-melted

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

 

Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, add melted butter and blend until it’s all moistened.

 

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Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool while making the filling. I put it up on the sides a little to keep my cheesecake from falling apart and it comes out of the pan a little easier too.

 

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For Cheesecake Filling:

2 lbs. cream cheese- room temperature

1⅓ cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoon cocoa powder

4 eggs- room temperature

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate-chopped

 

Melt 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate and set aside to cool.

 

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Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth, mix in cocoa powder.

 

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Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed and do not overbeat it.

 

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Add melted chocolate and mix on low speed to combine.

 

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Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top.

 

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Bake the cheesecake until the center is set and the top looks dry (about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes).

 

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Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides of the pan and set the cake in the refrigerator (uncovered), for at least 8 hours, or better overnight.

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For Chocolate Topping:

¾ cup heavy cream

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate-finely chopped

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

 

In a medium saucepan stir together cream, chocolate and sugar on low heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

 

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Cool and pour over the cheesecake. I added the chocolate curls now so they would set in the chocolate.

 

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When the topping is set and cooled again run a thin knife around the sides and remove the springform pan sides.

 

This cheesecake can be prepared up to 2-3 days in advance just store covered in the refrigerator.

 

Garnish with chocolate curls (optional).

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