Summertime in Korea

May 12, 2010

Tonight Mr. K and I did a korean themed cooking class with JR and IS at the culinary center at Whole Food on Bowery. The menu had me a bit worried a lot of pig and cow, beef being something that I do not eat unless I’m feeling adventurous! On the menu were pork dumplings, cold buckwheat noodle soup, korean BBQed short ribs and Korean sundaes. Everything was soooooo yummy! I even sampled some of the short ribs. Our table scarfed down everything! JR and IS made great cooking partners, entertaining us with stories from their Morocco trip and IS’s new “sesame cucumber fragrance”. It was a lot of fun!

At some point in the conversation turned to, well I’m not quite sure what it turned to, but IS mentioned how he would love to go to Montana and Wyoming. Well he sure did pick the right state, as we all know Mr.K would probably marry WY if he could, then they could be together forever. Then a few weeks back JS was talking about a former flame and how he is really into mountain sports and would love the west, Wyoming would be right up his ally.  I find this interesting because before I met Mr.K I never thought about WY, let alone thought I would ever want to take a trip there. Now living/vacation in Wyoming seems to be one everyone’s brain. This makes me wonder if dude ranches and vast wilderness will soon replace Monaco and Seychelles for the “it” vacation spots, or at least become the new “it” vacation spots within the continental US. Are people trading lazy days on the beach for sporty mountain climbing vacations?? Mr.K and I have definetly taken our share of wilderness vacations treking from one town to another in AK, and then there is the upcoming mountain trek in Tanzania. Personally I like a nice mix of both!

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May 14, 2010. Tags: , . Cooking, Events. Leave a comment.

CSA

Jan. 30, 2010

Lately I have been learning a lot about how my food choices are effecting the environment, where my food is coming from, and how it is being treated before it gets to my table. I am not really liking what I am finding out about the food I have been eating for the past 27 years of my life. I just finished reading Mark Bittman’s Food Matters book. He makes an interesting claim, encouraging individuals to participate in sane eating which basically means cutting out all junk and heavily processed food out of your diet, while cutting back on the amount of animal proteins consumed. According to him, your diet mostly consists of real whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes. But you can still have that ice cream, and crusty white bread, just as long as you aren’t consuming them for breakfast lunch and dinner.

After watching Food Inc. I pretty much wanted to give up meat all together, but instead Mr. K and I are going to join a farm with a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. I found this amazing website locagharvest.org where all you need to do is enter your zip code and it gives you a list of CSAs in your area. Hopefully we will be able to get into one of them that offers meat too! Mr. K’s mom brought a whole freezer of grass fed beef back from Texas, so eating animals in a humane way is possible, you just gotta get a little creative.

CSAs provide you with the freshest possible produce, reduce carbon footprint, and support the local agriculture what could be better than that!

January 30, 2010. Tags: , , , . Cooking, Jersey City. Leave a comment.

Soup and Toxic Potatoes

Jan. 24, 2010

I have a problem, I go to the grocery store buy a bunch of produce, don’t end up cooking half of it and it rots. So to remedy this problem I decided to make some soups!

I pried my semi hungover self off the couch and got cooking. Back in the beginning of January I was up in Vermont and had this really good sausage, kale and potato soup. I decided to recreate that recipe with whatever I could find in my fridge. So I channeled my inner Julia Child and got to cooking.

 I realized that my Yukon gold potatoes had turned green. Not thinking much of the random color change I started chopping them up to put in the soup. The green was not just on the outside but on the inside too. This got me worried since it did not look like a “yum eat me I’m healthy green” – it was more of a toxic looking green. So I googled green Yukon gold potatoes, and found out that it is not such a grand idea to eat them when green. Exposure to light causes them to change color – one article even said that eating green potatoes can be toxic! Needless to say the entire bag went straight into the garbage. I guess a good rule of thumb is if more that half the potato is green get rid of it!

Luckily, I did not cook up poison soup, it  actually turned out pretty good, very rustic looking with all the wilted kale. I even added a little quinoa for some added texture.

Today’s learning experience: Green potatoes are not good potatoes.

January 25, 2010. Tags: , . Cooking. Leave a comment.

Knife School

Dec. 9, 2009

Tonight Mr. K and I attended Knife Class at the Culinary Center in the Whole Foods on Bowery.  The class was held the Center’s very intimate and chic kitchen. We all sat around the prep area, in what I like to call sushi style.

In the past three days I have sliced two fingers and three fingernails on my left hand – so I figured this class was mandatory. We learned and practiced several cuts ranging from a julienne to a brunoise. I also learned the correct way to hold a knife. The awesome thing about knife class is that while you are cooking you are also making a gourmet dinner. Tonight’s menu was citrus salad, glazed root vegetables, and sole au pouchette with tomato compote, leeks and thyme. It was delicious! And now I can go home and make it!

December 11, 2009. Cooking. Leave a comment.

Gourmet Day #2

Nov. 29, 2009

Today I attempted to make my second fancy pants dinner. Today’s delight is Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney, Lemon Asparagus, and Potatoes au Gratin.

The challenges of this dinner were the Potatoes and the Pork loin. I bought a 4 pound pork loin at the store, even thought the recipe called for a 1 pound loin, but that was the smallest one they had. According to the recipe I had to cut my little disks of pork from the big pork roll, so I decided to cut what I wanted and freeze the rest to use later.

I put my new awesome knives to work and proceeded to hack away at the meat. immediately my mind flashed back to all the episodes of Top Chef that I have watched where the judges accuse the contestants of hacking up the meat – I try very carefully to cut my pork uniformly. I’m pretty sure I did a halfway decent job – they all seemed to cook at about the same time.

Now for the potatoes. I don’t think I have ever eaten au gratin potatoes from scratch, so I have nothing to compare them to besides the watery boxed potatoes that my mom used to make when I was a kid. Then there was the fact that none of the grocery stores/bodegas within 10 minutes of my house seemed to carry Gruyère cheese, but queso blacho is very popular. So I settled on gouda, which can be very smokey. The potatoes turned out very well, nice and crunchy on top and a nice dense cheese sauce that was tangy but not smokey.

This meal was a lot easier to time out than the last one. I made the potatoes first and while they were in the oven, I worked on cooking everything else. When the potatoes were done they just chilled in the oven till everything else was done. My apple chutney sauce was thick and appley, and complimented the pork very well. Overall the dish came out very well and all the components were ready at the same time. It was very tasty, despite the unappetizing look of the picture!

December 2, 2009. Cooking. 1 comment.

Gourmet Day #1

Nov. 22, 2009

In an attempt to beef up my culinary skills, I have decided to make one meal a week that will push my culinary limits. After all they say if you don’t challenge yourself you won’t improve. One night each weekend I have decided to attempt to cook a gourmet masterpiece. This Sunday it was Moroccan Chicken and Mango Salsa with Pureed Potatoes. For some cooking wizards this may not really qualify as hard, but it used up almost every pot/pan in my kitchen. In my book that qualifies at tricky.
Moroccan Chicken

Mango Salsa

Pureed Potatoes

Instead of rice I opted to use some leftover quinoa I had in the fridge. I have just gotten into making quinoa, since it is the superfood of the moment, and it is quite delicious!

My meal was a success! I have moved up one rung on the top chef ladder. It looked kinda like the picture in my cook book and smelled like it tasted, very yummy! Pretty soon you will be seeing me on the Food Network:)

November 25, 2009. Cooking. Leave a comment.