Allegra_K's Profile

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March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

The book also contains a recipe for chapchae sweet potato noodles, as well as soba recipes (buckwheat is technically a seed!)....

I hope my enthusiastic attempt at helping isn't off-putting. I can empathize with you very well, as I was recently on a no-fun diet for nearly a year after discovering my baby was allergic to everything delicious. I became desperate for anything resembling real food and scoured the internet for recipes or alternative ingredients that were "safe".

Digressions aside, I do hope that you find something that you can make within the pages! I love reading about your culinary adventures.

about 23 hours ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
2

March 2015 COTM: GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN - Section 3

Great, thanks for the tips--I thought of adding some rice flour to the blend as I had seen it in other recipes. I will try that next time.
How thin should the pancakes be? Mine were probably around 1/2".

about 24 hours ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

March 2015 COTM: GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN - Section 3

Summer Squash Pancakes, p.160

This delicately-flavoured yet hefty-sized pancake was a great kick-off to this month's exciting cookbook selection.

Julienned summer squash is salted and wrung out of as much moisture as possible, and then mixed with garlic, hot red and green peppers (I used a mix of fresno, jalapeno and bell) and scallops. Ice water, flour, and an egg are gently stirred into the blend. The batter is divided into two batches and cooked in a hot oiled skillet on both sides until golden and crispy around the edges. Once done, it is cut to wedges or squares and sprinkled with parsley (?!) "or other decorative green" and served with either the vinegar soy sauce or the allspice sauce (both recipes on p.28).

The recipe does not state how large the pancakes should be, but I got mine to about 7-8" and I could have flattened them more. They never became very crispy, or at least the texture never remained crisp for very long before softening up to a floppy disc. Perhaps it would have been more crisp had I made them larger, or maybe I was unsuccessful with the initial moisture-squeezing of the zucchini. Even so, these were very nice indeed. The subtle flavours of the squash played nicely with the sweet scallops and I wonder if crunchiness would have detracted from the final picture, anyway. The pancake itself was a sight to behold: a light, pillowy wheel streaked with green and mottled brown that tantalized the diners.

This makes a lovely light starter to any Korean meal, or a meal in itself if paired with other pancakes, as I had done. I didn't even get a chance to remove them from the cutting board before they were gone.

Photo clockwise from top: Squash pancakes, potato pancakes (page opposite) and kimchi pancakes (p.162)

March 2015 COTM: GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN - Sections 1 & 2

A beautiful sight.

Mar 01, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

Yes, I would LOVE an adjunct thread, I have the library's entire Korean collection sitting in my living room.
You are inspiring me to start my own kimchi! I'm very much looking forward to March eating.

Feb 23, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Well, it looks fantastic and makes me want to cook it anyway!

Feb 22, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

I'm not sure if this would be worth your while, but if you are bored of the coconut aminos and can do legumes, South River Miso makes a chickpea tamari as well as an adzuki bean miso.

Feb 21, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Coconut oil in coffee. Not quite "bulletproof" but delicious low-carb "breakfast"

Throw it in the blender! That should hold the emulsion until you finish the cup. Sometimes I add a touch of maple syrup to sweeten and a pinch of cinnamon as a treat.

Feb 21, 2015
Allegra_K in Special Diets

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Tapas and First Courses Thread

I found it useful enough; it made for excellent bedtime reading, hah! I also brought along The New Spanish Table. I didn't make as many recipes as I expected to, but it was nice to thumb through the book, reading the head notes and little tidbits of info along with finding use of some ingredients I wouldn't often come across.
I hope you have an enjoyable trip!

Feb 19, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN

Feb 15, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

February 2015 Cookbook of the Month Companion Thread: "MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS COOKBOOK" by John Gregory-Smith

Parsi Eggs, p.55

What's not to like about scrambled eggs? This was a lovely variation on a lunchtime favourite and I was very happy to add this version to the repertoire.
A mix of garlic, tomato, and scallions are sauteed, then frozen peas and corn are tossed in. Eggs beaten with garam masala, chile powder, coriander go into the veg blend and a handful of cilantro is scattered amongst the eggs just before they are cooked through, et voila! Food.

Feb 14, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

February 2015 Cookbook of the Month Companion Thread: "MIGHTY SPICE EXPRESS COOKBOOK" by John Gregory-Smith

In his Kway teow recipe in the original Mighty Spice, JG-S has the cook cut the noodles into smaller sections, which greatly aided in sauce dispersement! Don't know why I had never thought of that before.

Feb 14, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
2

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

I think we all have that dream.

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

My library doesn't have a copy of this book any longer! So surprising, since I just returned it less than two months ago....I even went on a hunt to see if I could catch it in the book sale, but no luck. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to buy it....

Feb 14, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

How would you rate the other three Clark books? My library system lacks all of them, and I am wavering over which I would like to add to my collection (and which to nominate!) first.

Feb 14, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

Is there another spin-off of Moro besides Morito? How does that one stack up? We could perhaps do both, if it makes the cut. I enjoyed the original immensely.

Feb 12, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

PLEASE TO THE TABLE

..is it weird that I am giddily excited about this prospect?

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

Hmm, maybe we'll get lucky and all the libraries will carry it? Happily, mine does, so I'd partake.

As far as Korean cookbooks go, I'm waiting for a stack of library copies to come in and hopefully by then I can gather up a real nomination or two; it seems like there is a lot of interest but no suggestions. Too bad there is no "Thai Food" of Korean cuisine!

Feb 11, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

I'd love to do Please to the Table, but I believe her book is pretty hard to come by, and used copies are not cheap!

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

I noticed that she has a (non self-published) book coming out in May. Curious to see that one.

Feb 10, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

ASIAN DUMPLINGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (February 2015)

Those look glorious!

Feb 10, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 5, 6 & 7

Char Kueh Toew, Fried Rice Noodles with Shrimp and Egg, p. 193

This super-simple stir fried noodle dish really hit the spot last night, and got a thumbs-up all around the table.
Shrimp is fried with a paste of garlic and red chile plus sliced scallions until pink. Cooked rice noodles (cut a few times to smaller pieces--great tip!) are added to the wok and tossed with oyster and soy sauce until warmed through. Noodles are pushed aside and beaten eggs are scrambled in the open space and then mixed through, and that's about it.
I didn't follow the instructions exactly: I soaked the dried noodles until soft and then finished cooking them in the wok (after drying them thoroughly) to get the "char" part of the kueh toew going, ensuring my noodles had delicious blackened bits on them. I doubt much char flavour would occur otherwise. I then transferred them out of the wok and cooked the shrimp and spice paste, added the noodles back in with the sauce (I used kecap manis for the soy, btw) to finish cooking up, then threw in the scallions. I also added in a large handful of bean sprouts and some gai lan leaves, and I appreciated that extra crunch and greenery in the dish. In the future I will cook the egg separately to retain a distinct colour and shape. My dish did not look much like the photo in the book, definitely not as appetizing in appearance!
All in all, this was very nice and we were happy to call it dinner.

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

I don't have any specific books to nominate just yet, but how would the group feel about doing a Korean month? I've been playing with Korean ingredients in the kitchen recently and have been just loving it; it would be great to have some virtual company!
Some of the more readily available books I've been flipping through include "The Kimchi Chronicles" by Marja Vongerichten, "The Korean Table" by Debra Samuels and Taekyung Chung, "Dok Suni" (Jenny Kwak) and "Eating Korean" (Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee), among others. The book selections aren't as varied as in other cuisines and I have yet to find a great go-to cookbook, but maybe we could have a nice medley of dishes to choose from if we picked two well-rounded books.
As far as ingredients go, as long as the cook is stocked with kimchi, sesame oil, and gochujang, one can create a variety of excellent menu items. There are spicy, hearty stews to please the folks still needing belly-warming winter dishes, and stir fries and grilled foods for those more in springtime mode. Win-win, I'd say!
If there are any other cookbook suggestions to add to this list, I am all ears. Err, eyes?

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

I had no idea tarragon was a perennial (even in zone 2!) until it came back with a vengeance the following year. Now I have to hack it back from the rest of my herb box several times a season because it is so monstrous.

Making note of this recipe, as I am running out of things to do with the bounty I reap every summer.

Feb 08, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Looks great! I'd like to get to this one one of these days, especially now after hearing your positive review.

Feb 08, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Soups, Vegetables, Starches, and Legumes Thread

Patatas a lo Pobre - Poor Man's Potatoes, p.230

Don't let the title of this recipe fool you--this was an absolutely fantastic dish!
Sliced onions are cooked in olive oil until golden and sweet, and then fresh bay leaves, garlic, and green pepper (I topped up with a red pepper as mentioned in the head notes) go in and cook for a while longer to release their flavour. Meanwhile, potatoes are cut into small wedges and salted for five minutes. Enough olive oil to simmer the potatoes in gets added to the pan, and once hot, the potatoes go in. The lot is cooked until the potatoes are soft (recipe say 15-20 but mine took longer than 30), and the dish is drained, reserving the olive oil is for another use.
It isn't a speedy meal, but the low and slow method needed to make the simple ingredients sing brings out their best qualities. It is a sweet, complex dish, meltingly tender and wonderfully comforting. The fresh bay flavour makes a difference in the outcome, I'd say. The dining companions were very pleasantly surprised with this one. We ran out of food quickly (even though I very naughtily used the leftover oil to make some luscious scrambled eggs as a partner) and I would make a double recipe next time to ensure there was enough to go around.

Jan 25, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Tapas and First Courses Thread

Revuelto de Setas - Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms, p.145

I came across a wide selection of the most lovely wild mushrooms while meandering, jaw agape, through the Atarazanas Market in Malaga. The pine needles and gritty soil were still clinging to the artfully displayed fungi and in that instant I knew I must have them, thinking only of this recipe. In my broken Spanish I asked for a half-kilo of "mixto" and soon enough had a small fortune's worth in a waxy paper bag. Among my treasures were chanterelles, black trumpet, one I only know as "lengua de vaca", and another that I have forgotten the name of. Along the way home I stopped for a portion of the optional jamon pata negra to complete the dish (and finish emptying out the wallet) and I was ready to cook.

The mushrooms are cleaned and roughly chopped while garlic is sizzling in some olive oil, to which the mushrooms are added and cooked several minutes until soft. The jamon gets a light sautee near the end and the lot is seasoned and transferred to a bowl. Butter is then melted in the pan and six barely-broken-up eggs with milk are added. The mushrooms go back in soon afterwards, parsley is added, and the lot is cooked until barely set and then served with toast.

While this was nice, I do think that perhaps my expectations were too high and this recipe failed to impress as I had hoped. I find that revueltos have a pretty low egg-to-filling ratio and it was the same case with this recipe--six eggs to a pound of mushrooms was not nearly enough for my preference. Alas, an easy problem to solve! Even so, given the price tag, I likely wouldn't make this again and instead save my precious haul for something else.

Jan 25, 2015
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Soups, Vegetables, Starches, and Legumes Thread

Paella de pollo con alcachofas y oloroso ( Rice with chicken, artichokes and Oloroso) Moro p. 162

Finally made this last night after years of lusting for it and we just loved it! The sherry made the rice a touch sweet but it was perfect for our tastes and it went so well with the other ingredients. I didn't have any nutmeg but it wasn't missed. I made this with a less-than-ideal frying pan and failed to reduce liquids accordingly, so the rice was perhaps a little more moist that it should have been; even so, it was lovely. It wasn't the prettiest of dishes, but the taste made up for it. I wouldn't hesitate to make this again!

Voting thread: Cookbook of the Month January 2015

Just giving this a gentle nudge....

Dec 20, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month January 2015

THE FOOD OF MOROCCO-Paula Wolfert

Dec 11, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking