My first foray into Korean: a friend of mine, Sookkyung, came over a few weeks ago to teach me how to make bibim bap, a lovely Korean dish with beef, vegetables, egg and rice. I'd had it a few weeks earlier in Lexington, KY (see the first photo below), with family and loved it; it was delicious, so I had to try making it at home.
Bibim bap in Lexington
If you want the recipe, it's best to find it online (or email me); I didn't take down an exact recipe, so I'd hate to mislead anyone with bad instructions. But I highly recommend checking it out; the combination of sweet, soft, crunchy, salty, spicy and sesame makes for an incredible, makes-mouths-happy kind of bliss I forgot existed (okay, maybe that's exaggerating, but it was really good!). For the GF/DF among you, I used a gluten-free tamari soy sauce to marinate the meat, and Sookkyung brought over some dried chili flakes, which I mixed with a smidgen of white rice, some water, sesame oil, and brown sugar to make my chili paste. Yum. Here's a photo:
Oh, heaven. If you've already heard the story, feel free to skip down to the photo and the next story; if you haven't, stick around. I went with a friend to Dino, a Tuscan-Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., for D.C.'s Restaurant Week. Friends, especially those of you with allergies, this place is incredible. Granted, outside of restaurant week it would be easy to spend $50-60 on the same amount of food, but it would have been worth that much because it was more than worth $30.08.
We're talking grilled veggies that melt in your mouth - perfectly seasoned summer squash, zucchini, eggplant and asparagus - and that was just the appetizer. For the éntree, I had grilled swordfish that tasted like it had been soaked in a brine, giving it a silky texture I'd never tasted before. The swordfish was served on a bed of baby root vegetables - parsnip, carrot, and new potatoes - wrapped with steamed spinach. It was surrounded with a sweet, light tomato sauce. Pure heaven, and that's no exaggeration. I have never tasted such an incredible dish in my life.
That wasn't all - after the celestial swordfish, they served a sorbetto trio: grapefruit, melon, & papaya. Who could ask for anything more in life when you have such wonderfully satisfying food? Sigh.
Tuesday I came down with a really bad cold - either that or a mild case of the flu. Either way, I knew I was getting sick and would be out for a couple of days, so I had to throw together some chicken soup. I was surprised and proud of what resulted from the following recipe:
Lynnae's Chicken Soup
3 chicken thighs (or breasts), whole
2 parsnips, sliced in rounds
2 carrots, sliced in rounds
1 sweet potato (not a yam), sliced in half- to one-inch pieces
1-2 bunches kale, cut into small pieces
1 bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs)
3-4 c. water
salt & pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, boil chicken & bouillon cube in 2-3c. water for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (15-20 minutes into boiling, I removed the thighs, cut the meat off the bones, and returned the meat and the bones to the boiling water for another 10-15 minutes).
While the chicken boils, cut carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, & kale. Steam carrots, parsnips & sweet potato in a medium saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and a pinch or two of salt for 5-10 minutes, until just soft enough to pierce with a fork.
Add vegetables and kale to the boiling chicken and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt & pepper as needed; serve hot.