Friday, February 8, 2013

short rib stew with caramelized kimchee

Let's be serious here...the title of this dish has the word "kimchee" in it...of Course I must make it! Was it worth it? Yes - absolutely. Even people who don't usually care for kimchee loved it served atop the beef. Giving the kimchee a quick little saute did wonders to mellow out the flavor but still ensure a little bit of zing with each bite. Delicious. 
This dish does require quite a chunk of time set aside in your day - but there is not much actual 'stand over a hot stove' time. 
Give it a go.....I think you'll enjoy this.

recipe lightly adapted from Food and Wine magazine.


1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 small Asian pear- grated (about 1/2 cup)
2 scallions - chopped - plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
6 pounds beef short ribs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion - finely chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 large Daikon radish - peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
(do NOT skip the radish - it was the best part!)
4 large carrots - peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 russet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups traditional kimchee
4 radishes - thinly sliced
salt and pepper

steamed rice for serving


in a bowl - whisk the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, pear, fresh ground pepper, sesame seeds, 2 sliced scallions and 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil.
add the ribs.
turn to coat - make sure all the ribs are covered in the marinade.
cover and let sit at room temperature for an hour - turning the ribs occasionally.
or - cover and leave in the refrigerator over night.

heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven.
brown the ribs in batches until all pieces are crispy on the outside.

over crowding the pot - i.e...tossing all the ribs in there at one time - will result in steamed ribs, you will not achieve the lovely caramelized, crispiness on the outside of the beef. 
do this in batches.

remove to a baking sheet and cover.
save the marinade!

in same pot - add the onion and a couple tablespoons of water.
gently scrape all the fond from the bottom of the pot.
return the ribs and any accumulated juices to the pot.
add the saved marinade, broth, and 5 cups of water.
bring to a boil.
cover, lower heat to medium-low.
simmer for 1 hour - skimming as needed.
uncover and simmer for 1 additional hour - skimming as needed.

add the daikon, carrots and potatoes.
simmer briskly until the vegetables are tender.
30 to 40 more minutes.

in a non-stick skillet - heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over moderately high heat.
add half the kimchee and cook until the edges are a little crispy.
add a little more sesame oil and saute the remaining kimchee.

serve the stew over steamed rice - topped with the kimchee, thinly sliced radish and a sprinkling of fresh scallions.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

cucumber-rye tea sandwiches

I think this has become my most requested dish lately. Funny thing is, I've probably made this 6 times in the last month and every time it has been a little different - but everyone still loves it...go figure...
I did mention this recipe to my friend Joe who suggested to add something pickled and maybe a little spicy to cut through the heaviness of the cream cheese. YES - do add something pickled and/or spicy! It makes a world of difference with each bite.
The original recipe is in a Food and Wine cookbook - so the basic ingredients here will be the same - but after a bit of trial and error I have decided I like this little appetizer best the way I will post here.

Super easy, very pretty - definitely tasty!
(in this photo i used the suggested dark rye bread but decided i preferred the dill rye best)


1 large seedless cucumber
(actually about 1 1/2)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces softened cream cheese
1 1/2 scallions - finely chopped
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canned jalapenos - finely chopped
1 loaf Dill Rye Bread


oven to 350

coarsely grate the 1 large cucumber - avoiding the juicy center part as much as possible.
add the grated cucumber to a bowl with the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
stir well.
let sit for about 15 minutes.

using a round cookie cutter - cut circles out of each slice of bread - you should be able to get 2 circles per slice.
i usually use the entire loaf.
toast the circles just until the edges turn golden.
remove and let cool.

place the cream cheese in a bowl and mix a bit with a fork.
place the cucumber mixture into a colander and press out as much of the liquid as possible.
add the cucumber mixture to the cream cheese and mix well.
add the chopped scallions and chopped jalapenos.
mix well.
taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

peel and slice the other cucumber - enough for one cucumber slice per round of toast.

now just put it all together.

spread the cucumber cream cheese on each bread round.
top with a slice of cucumber.
little fresh ground black pepper.
serve and enjoy.