Category Archives: Cooking

Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)

Cold, wintry nights like the ones we’ve been having recently call for comfort food, and I can’t think of anything more comforting than a big bowl of jook. Some may know this dish as congee. I think of it as kind of an Asian risotto. Now, there’s the more authentic versions that require preparing a whole chicken, but for those days when you don’t want to deal with that, I find this to be a super easy way to make jook.

Chicken Jook

6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced coarsely
2 teaspoons salt
Ground pepper
Scallions
Egg (optional)

1. Place all ingredients except the scallions in a large Dutch Oven.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a fast simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is nice and creamy. About 1 hour.
3. Turn off the heat. Remove the chicken from the jook, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the chicken to the jook and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve in bowls, top with the scallions. Top with a fried egg if desired.

This is just one version of jook. You can top it with any veggie that you like (I put kale in the version pictured) and you can make this with pork, beef or even seafood. In fact, one of the best meals we had in Korea was Abalone Jook at a tiny restaurant on a tiny island off the southwest coast.

While I took a few other photos of the cooking process, I quickly realized that rice porridge is not very photogenic. So, instead, here are photos of the pups.

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Making Kimchi

Hello everyone. It’s been WAY too long since we’ve posted anything on the blog. However, we’ve graduated from residency, and we’re finding that we’ve got a bit more time on our hands. We’ve also moved to our dream house in the Sierra Foothills, so hopefully, we can start sharing our many homesteading projects from the new place.

First up though, it’s getting cold out, and for the Koreans, that means time for kimjang, aka making TONS of kimchi. We had a mini kimjang today and made ourselves 2 big jars of kimchi. Here are the highlights.

First, you start with your Napa cabbage. Chop coarsely, and brine in salty water for 1-3 hours depending on how salty you like your kimchi.  Rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the kimchi paste. There are many variations to this. I like to use a combination of a lot of gochugaru (korean chili flakes…there is absolutely no substitute for this), water, salt, garlic, ginger and a little fish sauce or korean salted shrimp. Sometimes, I’ll throw some scallions in there as well. Some people add a little sugar, but I omit this step if I’m using fish sauce.

Finally, throw some rubber gloves on and mix the paste and the cabbage together. Find some large jars and stuff away. You’ll want the kimchi to ferment on the counter for at least a few days before enjoying…but everyone has their own idea of when the kimchi tastes the best.

While traditional kimchi is all about Napa cabbage, you can experiment with pretty much any veggie. I’ve had carrots, green cabbage and daikon in this way and they’ve all tasted great.

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Sunset Magazine Inspired Pissaladiere

We recently made this Pissaladiere recipe from Sunset and it was delicious! If you love caramelized onions, anchovies (yes, I do actually like anchovies) and puff pastry, I definitely recommend that you make this.  The magazine recommended that you pair it with a nice Rose and we did just that.  We’ll be making this one again!

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Canning Bonanza

Sorry for the lapse.  There’s a lot to catch you all up on.  I’ll start with what’s been going on in the kitchen. We recently had a pickling bonanza.  We made some dill pickles and we canned 10 pints of roma tomatoes from our garden. Here are some highlights.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Dukka and Carrot Puree

We made this dish a while ago, and it was SO good.  I had my first taste of dukka a few years ago and have been excited to recreate it at home.  It’s a ground up nut and spice mix that you dip bread in after dipping it in olive oil.  It was surprisingly easy to make.  For this snack, you dip your bread in the olive oil and dukka and then top off with the carrot puree…super good!  I used the recipe from a great blog called Lottie and Doof. Below are some photos from the process and, of course, some photos of the dogs.

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Orange and Lemon Marmalade

Despite the odd winter that we’ve had, there has been plenty of citrus around.  I wanted to preserve some of it, and marmalade seemed to be the perfect way to do it.  I’m feeling a bit lazy, so I’m not gonna type up the recipe but will show you the basic process through photos. I will say that if you are inspired to make it, it’s in a cookbook called Canning for a New Generation…an awesome resource for canning with great modern recipes.  I definitely recommend it!

You start by zesting several oranges with a veggie peeler. You then julienne the zest into marmalde-sized pieces.

Section the oranges using a sharp paring knife. Save the pith, skin and seeds and place in little cheesecloth pouches.

Throw the sectioned oranges, a diced lemon, julienned zest, sugar, water and the pouches in a pot.  Boil until the zest is tender then take the pouches out. Simmer until the mixture has a nice jelly texture. You can test this by placing a small amount of the marmalade on a freezing cold plate.  If it’s ready to be canned, the marmalade will crinkle when pushed with a finger. Place the marmalade in sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace and boiling for 5 minutes to process.

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Kombucha

We love Kombucha, especially G.T. Kombucha’s Trilogy flavor. To our delight, we saw a make-your-own kombucha tea kit at the co-op and we couldn’t resist.  Part of me is a bit grossed out, but if this is successful, that’s a lot of money we’ll save.  The process is pretty straightforward.

The kit comes with instructions, tea, sugar and a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) sitting in kombucha.

All you do is boil a gallon of water…

steep some tea in it, add a cup of sugar…

pour the tea in a clean non-metal container and let it cool to room temp.

Once the tea is cool enough, you pour the SCOBY along with the kombucha and cover with cheesecloth.

Now, we’ve left it in a warm place and we’ll get to taste it in 7 days.  It’s supposed to get fizzier and tarter as the days go by, and you can let it go for 30 days even.  When the kombucha has developed to your liking, you can add fresh fruit juices to it, sweeten it, water it down or drink it straight. Apparently, the SCOBY is reusable and it’ll grow in size. You just store it with a cup of kombucha in a closed jar until you’re ready to start the process all over again.  If this turns out well, we may have SCOBYs for any of you that are interested!

Pickle and his rabbit toy were a big help in making the Kombucha.

As were Greg and Dwight.

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Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortas

I love tortas, and when I saw this Rick Bayless version of a Torta in this month’s Food and Wine magazine, I had to try it. Here are some photos from the process, and the adapted recipe is at the bottom.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tortas

adapted from Food and Wine
2 heads of garlic, cloves peeled and lightly smashed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1/2 pound trumpet mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
6 crusty rolls, split
3 cups packed arugula leaves
1 cup prepared tomato salsa
1/2 pound soft goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Put the garlic in a small, deep baking dish and toss with the olive oil, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bake until the garlic is soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Combine all of the mushrooms in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and toss with the roasted garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 35 minutes longer, until the mushrooms are tender and golden. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

3. Scrape some of the bread out of the center of the rolls and set the rolls on a large baking sheet, cut sides up. Spread the mushrooms over the rolls and bake for about 5 minutes to crisp the rolls. Spread the arugula and salsa on one half of the rolls and the goat cheese on the other half. Close the sandwiches and bake for about 5 minutes, until hot and crisp. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

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Fondue

To continue with the theme of Christmas gifts, Greg’s sister got us a fondue pot.  We made a pretty basic cheddar cheese fondue and stuffed ourselves silly with bread and bratwurst.  We’ll definitely be using the pot again soon…thanks Anne!

 

And, just because…here are more pics of the dogs.

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