Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Celebrating Sandwiches

No matter what your idea of a sandwich is ...

Chances are that we all have a favorite sandwich that pops up in our mind's eye when we hear the word. It was invented in England but it is American as all get out.

Today is Slashfood's Sandwich Day. Glorious photography, lotsa links and many posts. Don't miss it. Even if your idea of a sandwich is as basic as this:


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Celebrate: Andrew Kim Taegon and the Korean Martyrs

To honor the courage and fortitude of the Korean martyrs, today you might help develop these virtues among your family members, by serving them Kim-chee, the Korean national dish. It's made of cabbage that has been buried in a jar, in a sauce of extraordinarily hot pepper, to rot until it ferments. Served as a side dish at almost every Korean meal, it is decidedly an acquired taste (especially with your morning coffee). Force yourself, your spouse, and each one of your kids to heat a healthy portion. It will build character and prepare you for any kind of persecution. Whatever happens today, it won't be as painful as breakfast.
I have never been brave enough to try kim-chee. Not only have the descriptions frightened me but I also have only eaten at a Korean restaurant once so my exposure has necessarily been limited.

If you want to celebrate and go a less stoic route, I know that the Koreans love beef, especially BBQ. Now that speaks right to any red-blooded American's heart, especially those living in Texas. Take a look around here for Korean recipes to try. I might even get brave enough to try kim-chee after taking a look at these different types.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Updated Recipe Archives

Finally, finally it is done. I went through and updated the recipe archives which will be in the sidebar but which I also present here for your perusing pleasure. I hadn't realized I had so many recipes posted and some were for dishes that I had completely forgotten but look forward to revisiting.

Linguine and Grilled Beef Salad

Another brilliant recipe from Jim Fobel's Big Flavors. I love those big flavors as much as Fobel does and you can't get a recipe that is much easier than this. This makes a really simple weeknight meal if you have some linguine and grilled beef left over from the weekend.

Of course, you can even use roast beef from the deli and that makes it quite simple. Naturally, you can change this up by substituting chicken for the beef and other spices for the cilantro (such as basil).

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces linguine, broken in half
8 ounces trimmed grilled steak or roast beef, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium sweet onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, and separated into half-rings
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs, for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs, for garnish
2 cups shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mayonnaise, and oil. Add the spices and whisk to blend.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop in the linguine and stir constantly until the water returns to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender but firm to the bite. Drain and rinse under cold water. Shake thoroughly to drain well.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and toss with the salad dressing. Add the beef, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and cilantro and toss. Cover and chill thoroughly, 1 to 2 hours.

Just before serving, add the lettuce and toss. Serve cold, garnished with sprigs of parsley and cilantro.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Now Serving Hot Links

Although I haven't been doing diddley on this poor blog, luckily others have been more interesting and prolific. Here are some of my favorite bits from around the blogosphere of cooking.
  • In the Kitchen with Bella: Dom talks about cooking with canned Indian sauces and Melanie gives her mother's Beef Stroganoff recipe.
  • Not only did Pim cook french fries in horse fat but in answer to many questions she sought out Harold McGee for expert advice. A fascinating article.
  • Rum and ginger beer ... mmmmm. Darwin Catholic has the recipe and a little talk about rum to go with it.
  • Rambling Spoon shares an email from a Lithuanian reader about On Food and Liberty.
  • The ghost of an English soldier in a northern Indian village bothers people for a nice cuppa tea and a few biscuits.
  • Phnomenon sets us straight about Cambodian food in Why Travellers Dislike Khmer Food
  • No, not Penzey's. The other venerable spice institution ... Pendery's (free registration required).

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What the Last Couple of Weeks Have Shown

It isn't that I haven't been cooking; indeed I have been cooking more during the week than in a long time and trying new recipes. This was inspired by the fact that our pickiest eater had gone to college thus leaving me free to abandon blander, predictable dishes. Sadly, although all were "fine" (surely "fine" must be one of the most negative of positive words when applied to a meal) none were so good that we saved the leftovers or thought we'd like to have it again.

However, in the midst of all this I still have managed to snatch a choice victory.

I always have read those "emergency meal" suggestions for when people drop by with a great deal of skepticism. Do people really "drop by" at mealtime like that? None of our acquaintances seem to ever do it. That is, no one ever had until Hannah invited the few friends who hadn't left for college over at dinnertime. This was unbeknownst to me and as person after person suddenly came through the door I was seized with panic. I had planned dinner for four, not for eight. Especially not with most of them being teenagers.

I sliced the four kielbasa thinly and put them to cook in a skillet with some water that came up about 1/4 of the way up the slices. When the water had cooked off, enough fat had rendered from the sausages to allow the slices to brown. Our baked potatoes were mashed with plenty of milk and butter. A couple of packages of frozen corn and a 2 pound bag of frozen green beans were put to good use. Finally, some skillet cornbread finished up the menu. We even had cake since Hannah's birthday had been celebrated the night before.

Simple but toothsome. Everyone had plenty to eat and I felt unaccountably proud.