Bulgogi (Korean Beef)

July 24th, 2019

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The genesis of this Bulgogi recipe happened while traveling in the backseat of the car with my Grandson. We were playing a word game with tiles and a hangman.  Cameron, at age 8, does very well with spelling words and solving word games.  But Mimi (me) is very good too.  The challenge was on!  After many rounds, Cameron gave me a seven letter word for food.  Guessing letter after letter, I never came up with the answer.  I had never heard of Bulgogi.  Cameron’s Mom, in the driver’s seat, was impressed too.  It turns out he knew the word after reading a book about a Korean boy trying to fit in at his new school in America.  His Mother had packed his school lunch with this Korean beef dish.  But the boy would have preferred the same food his classmates had brought to school.  So Cameron remembered this passage, the word, and a desire to try Bulgogi.

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Bulgogi is an addictively delicious beef dish.  The sauce is a blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, pear, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper flakes and sesame oil.  The results are a salty, slightly sweet and nutty dish. Although you could use a tougher cut of beef like, chuck, sirloin or flank steak, the preferred cut is  rib eye or strip steak.

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Traditionally Bulgogi would be served over rice, but we served it in lettuce cups.  Thank you Cameron for the inspiration.  I love that my Grandchildren are interested in trying foods from all over the world.  As soon as you return from your European trip with your parents, I will make this for you Cameron and your sister Rachel.

BULGOGI ( Adapted from Bon Appétit)

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ pear, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound boneless rib-eye or strip steak
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Sliced scallions (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru (I used 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes), ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.

  • Serve topped with scallions.

    Printable Recipe

Stuffed Vegetables Provençal

July 11th, 2019

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Summer calls out for sunny colorful food.  Red, orange, and green sweet peppers, plus plentiful zucchini are all wonderful stuffed with a meat mixture.  Topped with a marinara sauce and baked, this makes a satisfying meal with a crispy cool salad.  It is easy and would be so inviting doubled and served to guests on a huge platter.  There is something special about Provençal recipes.

French Friends

I know I have posted this picture before,  but it reminds me of our friends in France and the wonderful meal that Carole (second from left) served us in her Loire Valley home.  Stuffed vegetables were the main course after our Prosciutto wrapped melon.

Tours-stuffed-peppers

Carole stuffed peppers and tomatoes with a flavorful meat mixture.

Lulu's Kitchen

This is Lulu Peyraud’s kitchen at the Domaine Tempier winery in the Mediterranean coastal village of Bandol, France.  While in France on that same trip, we stopped at the winery and learned more about  Mrs. Peyraud.  She is a great friend of Alice Waters and the late Richard Olney.  Alice Waters serves the winery’s Bandol Rosé in her Chez Panisse Restaurant.  Lulu has a cookbook of her recipes written by Richard Olney.  You can find it here.  Lulu’s kitchen is dominated by a huge fireplace, where most of her cooking is done.  She has a small gas stove in her pantry.  It is obvious where her priorities lay.  I can just imagine how well stuffed peppers would taste coming out of that fireplace oven.  We encountered both stuffed pepper dishes and versions of ratatouille all over Provence.

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This dish is obviously summer and Provence on a plate.

STUFFED VEGETABLES PROVENÇAL

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably lean
  • 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

    Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the turkey. Cover and refrigerate the turkey mixture. 

    Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables. 

    Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.

Printable Recipe

Beef and Bacon Stew

December 19th, 2018

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With the holidays fast approaching, thoughts turn to warming comfort food.  I would even consider this Beef and Bacon Stew a worthy meal for Christmas Eve or Day.  It has been a challenging week.  We were hit by a freak snowstorm that normally would not occur in North Carolina.  Five days without power tested our coping capacity.

Snow in 2018

It was a test of our capacity to get along without things we all take for granted.  We stayed warm because our home is well insulated and  we have a gas fireplace and a wood burning fireplace.  We stayed well fed because we have a gas stove and oven, plus the grill grate in the fireplace.  We stayed hydrated with jugs of water and other drinks.  The only thing missing was a shower.  That’s why we have friends.  Thank you to Ron and Jackie for a much needed clean up and a delicious dinner.  But next year we are getting a whole house generator.  Weather in our area seems to have taken a more violent and unpredictable bent.

 

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David is actually responsible for this delicious stew.  Over the years he has been cooking more of our meals with creativity and elan.  While I was finishing my wonderful new book in the series from Louis Penny, Kingdom of the Blindhe was chopping and assembling this flavorful dish.  It did require a new ingredient.  Miso Paste.  I found it at Whole Foods in the refrigerator section near the cellophane boxed lettuces.  Do not leave it out as it adds a great depth of flavor to the sauce.

Chistmas silliness

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I couldn’t resist including this outtake of our Christmas card photo shoot.

BEEF AND BACON STEW (BON APPETIT)

1 Bottle of dry red wine
1 2 1/2 boneless beef chuck roast
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
8 oz. bacon
3 medium red onions
3 medium carrots
8 coves garlic
4 large sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp. white miso paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Crusty bread (for serving)

Complete recipe here.

Chateaubriand for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2018

Chateaubriand

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a departure from the usual.  Our Son Michael loves to grill and decided to attempt a whole tenderloin cooked over indirect heat and then seared over the direct coals.  The inspiration came from Meathead Goldwyn in his iconic grilling book Meathead; The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.  The beef was outstanding.  Served with mashed potatoes and an updated green bean casserole, we never even missed a turkey.

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A whole tenderloin requires a breakdown to get to  a symmetrical log from the center.  The tenderloin tips are cut from each end.  The chain along the side needs to be trimmed away and the silverskin removed.  The trimmings can be used as a few filet mignon steaks, stew meat, and/or ground with some of the fat into upscale hamburgers.

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You will need to fold over the tapered end and tie it with string to ensure even cooking.  Once the chateaubriand is ready, dry brine it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  The dry brine is just kosher salt.  Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat all over the cylinder.  After the allotted time is up, remove the beef from the refrigerator and season it with a seasoning rub.

BEEF RUB
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

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Set up the grill in a two-zone configuration and get the indirect zone up to about 225 degrees F.  Place the meat in the indirect-heat zone.  It will cook slowly for about 45 minutes.  Check temperature with a meat thermometer.

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When the meat reaches 110 degrees F, move it to direct heat to sear.  Leave the lid open and roll the roast a quarter turn every 5 minutes or so.  When it reaches 130 degrees F in the center, move it to a cutting board.  Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

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Slice into at least 1 inch steaks and serve.  Serves 6 to 8 easily.

Parsnip Soup

Earlier in the day Kristen made a delicious Parsnip and apple soup with smoked almonds and scallions.  I don’t have the recipe but anything you add to it is enhanced by using an immersion blender to meld it all together.  Here is a similar recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

One of the most colorful dishes on our table was this fabulous Kale, roasted quinoa, purple sweet potato and apple salad.  It was such a seasonal delight that I would love to serve this every Autumn and Thanksgiving.  Kristen is so creative.  Remind me to get the recipe.  Will try to blog about this again or maybe Kristen will put it on her blog, Menubility.

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I made a Bourbon Pumpkin Pie from this recipe.  I add a Streusal Topping.  Recipe follows.

STREUSAL TOPPING

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Cool and sprinkle over cooked and cooled pie.  You will have extra for other purposes.

FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2018

We took some time over Thanksgiving to have photos taken for our Christmas cards.  We are lucky to have Christobal of Azul Photography as a family friend.  Let the Christmas Season begin.

Marmalade Meatballs

August 4th, 2017

Marmalade Meatballs

Melissa Clark, staff food writer for The New York Times has a new cookbook out called Dinner; Changing the Game.  I do not own the book yet, but it is one that I will probably purchase.  The premise is to make dinner interesting with a spin on traditional dishes. It also tries to make those meals doable in a reasonable amount of time.   Many of the recipes can serve as an entire meal.  Sheet pan meals have become very popular; all of the components cooked on one pan.  I made one on the blog last year.  But the chapter that had me interested was one called The Grind.  All of the recipes used ground meat.  These Marmalade Meatballs were delicious.

Marmalade MeatballsThe orange marmalade glaze was sweet and sour and added a nice punch to the meatballs.  Once the meatballs are formed it only takes 15 minutes to have them on the table.  So if you mix and form the meatballs ahead of time, dinner is quicker than calling for take-out.   I don’t know why I have never broiled my meatballs before.

Marmalade Meatballs

You can serve these slightly sweet meatballs over mashed potatoes, polenta or coconut rice.  There is a recipe in the book for the coconut rice that sounds very good. Melissa Clark has done a great job of making weeknight dinners inventive and exciting.

MARMALADE MEATBALLS

1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 cup panko crumbs
4 oil Packed anchovy fillets (optional)
2 scallions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tbls cider vinegar
1 tbls soy sauce
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
Fresh chives, for garnish

Set an oven rack at least 4″ from the heat source and heat the broiler.

In a large bowl combine the beef, panko, anchovies, scallions, egg, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper, and allspice and mix gently but thoroughly.

Form the mixture into 1 1/4″ balls.  At this point you can cover and refrigerate them overnight before cooking.

Arrange meatballs an inch apart on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil until meatballs are golden all over and cooked through; 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the marmalade, vinegar, soy sauce and red chili flakes and bring to a simmer.

When meatballs are cooked through, brush them with the marmalade glaze and return them to the broiler.  Broil until glaze is bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.  Serve with the chives scattered on top if desired.

Printable Recipe

 

 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.