Black Swan Pavlova

April 8, 2014

Pavlova

My life is full of meringue memories.

Slow Sunday mornings, no school, my favorite childhood TV program on, a plate of freshly baked snow-white vanilla meringues next to whichever fruit is in season. Sheer happiness.

11 years old. My friends crowding over a cassette player I just received from my “American” grandma, listening to the sounds of the forbidden West, snacking on the creme-colored cinnamon meringue.

Passover dinner 2013. My family of four gathered around the holiday table. Wine, tea, strawberries and, of course, crispy meringues.

Pavlova

Black Swan Pavlova

This year tiny crispy meringues have been upsized and fancified to the ethereal and magnificent Pavlova.

The original recipe calls for whipped cream, however you can make this dessert Parve by replacing it with Coconut Whipped Cream or healthy by using creamed bananas instead. See below for these modifications and additional simplifications!

Adapted from One Pot Wonders

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup ready-to-use whipped cream or one of the following: homemade dairy, coconut or banana whipped cream  (recipes for the homemade versions below)
  • 1 cup of mixed berries and fruit (ideas: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, red or black currants, halved cherries, halved grapes). I made mine with strawberries, blueberries and red grapes
  • 4 passion fruit

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 300F. Add the egg whites to the mixer. Start the machine slowly, increasing the speed as the whites froth. Add the cream of tartar, continuing at the top speed until you have firm peaks. Add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture is glossy and stiff. Turn the mixer off.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the meringue in a shape you want, with the sides slightly higher than the center. Bake for 30 minutes, reduce to 220F and cook for an hour until crisp and cracked on the outside, half cooked and soft inside. If the meringue starts to brown, turn off the oven and leave it to finish cooking as the oven cools.
  • Leave to cook in the closed oven. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the meringue and transfer to a serving plate. Spoon cream of choice into the middle; the meringue may split or crack but that is part of its charm. Tumble the fruit into the middle of the Pavlova and scrape the passion fruit seeds and juice over the top.

Whipped Cream (dairy)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks

Whipped Coconut Cream (parve)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Open a can of coconut milk and scoop out the top layer into a mixer bowl
  2. Mix on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns to liquid
  3. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy

Whipped creamless banana cream (healthy, parve)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add bananas and vanilla to the food processor
  2. Puree for about 3 minutes. The bananas should get increasingly smooth and creamy

Lastly, Pavlova and regular Meringue is not that hard to make but if you are scared, check out these tips from Food52. And if you are new to whipping cream, here is a good tutorial for you

Pavlova

Pavlova

 

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Homemade Matzo

April 3, 2014

My kitchen often feels like a chemistry lab: bottles of acid, cans of base,  containers of coloring agents… Almost like back in college except that I enjoy my home lab a lot more.

This new kitchen experiment is pretty basic. Mix flour, water and oil, roll out the dough, rush into the oven and…. try not to finish all the matzo at once (been there, done that. Not a pretty sight. Had to live on fiber and water for the next few days.)

Just FYI, homemade matzo tastes nothing like the boxed variety. It is also a bit thicker (unless you use the pasta machine to flatten the dough) but both me and my kids prefer the texture. In fact, I am now being asked to stack our snack cabinet with matzo on regular basis. We use it as crackers with brie, hummus, pate and dips.

Matzo

Adapted from The Mile End Cookbook

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients until they come together to form dough. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Flatten each piece slightly and roll as thinly as possible with a rolling pin.
  4. Use a form to prick holes in the surface of the dough. For slated matzo, brush or spray the dough surface with water and sprinkle with salt
  5. Carefully slide the pieces of dough onto the pizza stone. Bake until the surface of the matzo is golden brown and bubbly, 30 secs to 2 mins, depending on your oven. Using tongs, flip the matzo and continue to bake until the other side is browned and lightly blistered.

Drink pairing

Tea (if you are under 21) or anything stronger, like this Pinot, that I have served time and time again and have already blogged about in my Latkes post

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Infusing Vodka

March 25, 2014

Vodka

I spent the first half of my childhood in Moldova, a tiny republic of the former Soviet Union, rich with fruit, vegetables and wine. It is the Napa of the Eastern Europe!

Life in Moldova was simple. Eat seasonally, drink year-round. During summertime, my mom would bring home mountains of produce and my dad would can it for the winter. My grandpa would pick the grapes off the vines outside our home and my grandma would make enough wine to last until the next pick. Sometimes, for a special occasion, she would also infuse Vodka.

I’ve always been intrigued with wine making and alcohol infusion but never really had a chance to try it myself. Until I received a book from a publisher with a page full of interesting flavored vodka ideas. I knew it was time for experimentation.

As it turns out, infusing vodka with flavor is a piece of cake (although it goes better with a pickle.) Buy your favorite brand, drop in the flavoring agent, and perform probably the most difficult step in the process – wait a few days.

After that, enjoy a low calorie/full flavor mood enhancer. Sip it on the rocks, since the taste of the alcohol is mellowed out by the smoothness of the flavoring agent, or mix it into a drink for a greater deeper flavor.

На Здоровье

Vodka

Infusing Vodka

Adapted from A Taste of Russia

I decided to go with 4 different flavoring agents and played around a little with the infusion time. I felt that keeping the aromatics in the spirits a little bit longer (1 week vs 24 hrs) produced most flavorsome infusions.

Garlic-and-Dill Vodka/Чесночная

Place 1 clove of garlic, slightly crushed, 1 sprig of fresh dill and 3 white peppercorns in 1 pint of plain vodka. Infuse at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain. A small bit of dill may be left in the vodka, if desired.

Great on its own.

Herb Vodka/Травник

Place a few sprigs of tarragon (or any other favorite herb,) in 1 pint of plain vodka and infuse at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain. A small bit of the herb may be left in the vodka.

Great mixed in a Tarragon Vodka with Oro Blanco Grapefruit Juice or Miss Vicki.

Lemon or Orange Vodka/Лимоновка or Оранжевая

Remove the rind from 1/2 large lemon or 1 orange in a single strip, taking care to avoid the bitter white pith. Infuse in 1 pint of plain vodka at room temperature for 24 hours. (Do not leave the peel in longer, or the vodka will turn bitter.)

Great on its own or mixed in a Cold Comfort Martini or a Blueberry Lemonade

Horseradish vodka/Хреновая Водка

Place a 2-inch peeled piece of horseradish in 1 pint of plain vodka and infuse at room temperature for 48 hours. Strain, then add a couple of springs of dill.

Infusing vodka with fresh horseradish lends extra spice to many of your favorite vodka drinks, especially Bloody Mary. But it is also great on its own. Vodka Cheers! If you want to try other flavors, listed in the book (anise, apricot, black-current, cherry, coriander, pepper, saffron, tea or buffalo grass vodka), get your own copy of A Taste of Russia. Vodka

{ 11 comments }

Quick Scallion Kimchee

February 11, 2014

Quick Scallion Kimchee (Kimchi)

No personal anecdotes to share this time. Just One Really Good Recipe, from One Good Dish.

You know that the cookbook is good when you frantically bookmark recipe after recipe until you cover most of the pages (or run out of post-it’s.) So, I am temporarily putting all of my other cookbooks on hold until I go through at least some of my bookmarks from One Good Dish.

Quick Scallion Kimchee was one of the first recipes I tried and it is definitely a keeper! This simple-to-make condiment compliments just about anything that is not granola, however, it feels most natural in the company of the following delicacies:

  • Roasted teriyaki salmon
  • Grilled vegetables (inside a sandwich or on their own)
  • A bowl of cooked quinoa
  • A fish taco
  • An avocado toast
  • A breakfast omelette
  • Roasted potatoes, smoked salmon and creme fraiche
  • A Reuben sandwich

Quick Scallion Kimchee (Kimchi)

Quick Scallion Kimchee (Kimchi)

Adapted from One Good Dish

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Trim the scallions and cut into 3-inch lengths. Put them in a glass or ceramic bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together the garlic, sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, sesame seeds, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Add to the scallions and toss well to coat.
  3. Lay a plate over the bowl and leave in a warm place for 24 hours. Or, for a stronger-tasting kimchee, let ripen for up to 72 hours. It will keep for a month, refrigerated.

Wine Pairing

I balked at the very idea of finding a perfect alcohol pairing for this condiment. Then I began researching. I tried a couple of things on my own, like my most favorite brand of Sake. I also went to the local wine shop and asked for suggestions. And I googled my way around the internet as well. Through a number of tastings, I finally came across a stellar match – a spicy E. Guigal 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Quick Scallion Kimchee (Kimchi)

If you want to try your hand at a more traditional Kimchi, go back to the recipe I posted a few months back, from the ever-so-popular  The Kimchi Cookbook.

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Cauliflower Soufflé

Happy 2014! May this year bring you a lot of cauliflower, wheat berries, and chocolate!

Cauliflower Soufflé

Cooking is an art form. And as with any art, it takes time to master.

First, you learn the skill by copying someone else’s perfection. Recipe after recipe. You learn to broil, cream, and season. You practice until, finally, you close all cookbooks, reach into the pantry/fridge/veggie basket and create your own masterpiece. And then YOU KNOW; you’ve mastered the art of cooking! You are an artist.

After years of practice and experimentation, humbly yet with confidence, I can call myself a culinary artist!

And now that I can so easily express myself through cooking, I feel a need for a different form of self-expression. So, secretly, behind my kitchen’s back, I’ve taken up sketching…. I feel bad, as if I am cheating on my pots and pans with the new and shiny pencils and erasers… yet I continue listening to the voice inside me, and I keep on drawing.

My sketching is at its very early stages of evolution. I mainly draw inspiration from photographs. I sketch in black and white, following one very distinct style. I pick one simple subject: a meaningful facial expression, a gnarly smile, a telling silhouette… I turn my paper upside down; stroke by stroke, until finally a picture emerges. The act of sketching itself is therapeutic and meditating; while seeing the final result is completely intoxicating… Just like with cooking….

This new recipe was inspired by a master of simplicity, the one and only Malevich. I saw a picture of the dish in The Art Of Eating Well and it reminded me of White on White. Light, graceful, and delicate. Healthy, comforty, and clean. This souffle will tickle your senses and inspire you to start cooking again… and perhaps even drawing.

Cauliflower Soufflé

White on White: Cauliflower Soufflé

Adapted from The Art of Eating Well: An Italian Cookbook and The Iron You

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, washed, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup (80 gr) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (Optional, in my opinion. I have done both with and without it)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush the sides of 2-quart soufflé dish (or 6 ramekins) with butter and coat the bottom and sides with grated Parmesan cheese, knocking out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan add cauliflower florets, milk, garlic clove, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. When the cauliflower is cooked, remove from the heat and with an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy (be careful not to splatter yourself). You can pre-cook the cauliflower days in advance and store in the fridge. This really makes this dish easy to whip up last minute.
  5. In the meantime, in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer), whip egg whites with a pinch of salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks forms, about to 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Add egg yolks, one at a time, working quickly to make sure that they don’t poach. Stir in cheese.
  7. With the help of a spatula gently fold egg whites into cauliflower mixture and pour into the prepared baking dish.
  8. Transfer to oven and reduce temperature to 375°F. Bake until top has lightly browned and soufflé has risen about 25 to 30 minutes if you’re using the soufflé dish or 15 to 20 minutes for the ramekins.
  9. Serve immediately (before the soufflé starts collapsing).

Cauliflower Soufflé

Wine pairing

Once upon a time I was blown away by a food and wine pairing. A simple, creamy cauliflower dish with a bottle of vintage Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes. To share :(  This is probably the only French wine I will ever reference on Cucee (only because I am a supporter of local and talented wine makers).

Cauliflower Soufflé

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Chocolate and Brie Panini

November 18, 2013

Panini

I am in love. And he is gorgeous! Long soft curly blonde locks. Kind eyes. Unwavering loyalty. He never speaks back. Always by my side. And never leaves his plate dirty.

His name is Toby Gennadich Shpiler but you can simply call him Toby.

Toby

I’ve only been around two pets when growing up, and for a short period of time too. Cherusha was my pet turtle, that would spend most of her life behind a piano. She would come out a few times a year and I’d take her outside, where she’d slowly fill up on yellow dandelions. One day, she crawled onto the balcony, fell through the cracks down four stories, did a couple of somersaults, landed on her back, flipped over, and walked away in a search of a new owner.

My second pet, a porcupine, kept me company for only a few days. My mom threw him out of the house (together with my grandpa, who rescued him off the streets) when the rodent pricked me head to toes.

So, yes, I have not been around pets much in my life and, thus, never really developed an affinity or a desire for any four legged pals. Or kids. Then I changed my mind about kids. And they changed my mind about pets.

We started with a cat. Skeeter. An adorable creature with the cutest overbite and the sweetest purrr. We all fell in love with him the moment he brushed his fur against our faces.  But Skeeter didn’t stay long with us, as I suddenly developed cat allergies.  We had to find Skeeter a new home. That was really hard on everyone.

Our next pet was Neptune – the fish. We killed him fairly soon when we oversaturated his water with cleaning chemicals. His followers, Pluto and Galaxy are a part of our pet success story!

Then came Toby. And the little monster changed our lives forever. Mainly because we now need to hide dark chocolate on the highest shelf in order not to kill our furry friend :) And also because he has filled our house with lots and lots of pure and unconditional love….

Toby

And, while I am on the subject of chocolate and love, I have a perfect panini sandwich recipe to share with you.

Love,
Cucee Sprouts

Panini

 

Panini

Chocolate and Brie Panini

Slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the panini grill (or a regular old Foreman)
  2. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the panini grill. Cover both slices with honey. Follow which cheese.
  4. Add the chocolate, berries (optional) and a sprinkle of basil to the bottom slice. Cover with the top slice.
  5. Return the sandwiches to the panini grill until the chocolate begins to melt, about another 2 minutes.
  6. Cut the sandwiches and transfer to a serving platter.

Wine Pairing

If you’ve ever done wine tasting, you probably know that Cabs and Zins go really well with chocolate. Well, my favorite wine to sip on with this sweet, bitter and fruity panini is the rich and berrylicious 2011 Castoro Cellars Paso Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Panini

 

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

October 15, 2013

Vanilla

 

The following recipe is a no-brainer and only consists of three simple ingredients

  1. Vanilla beans
  2. Vodka
  3. Patience

But it produces

  1. One very potent vanilla extract and
  2. Lots of sweetness and laughter

My little girl, an older child, a dreamer, a Taylor Swift fan, came home from school, dropped her bag by the door, gave me a big warm hug and said 5 words that changed our relationship forever, “Mom, can we cook together?

I’ve been cooking with my son for years now. He is a scientist, a math whiz, a troublemaker. He loves to measure, stir, whip, and make a lot of mess. All while his sister is reading, humming, trying on my makeup or playing with her stuffed animals. Homemade vanilla extract was my very first cooking project with HER!

We made a great team! She split the beans, I scraped them. She dropped them into the vodka bottle, I mixed. She babbled about her hair and soccer, I listened. And at the end, we ended up with a bottle of deliciously sweet, lovingly strong vanilla extract… and a very positive mother/daughter cooking collaboration.

Vanilla step by step

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Adapted from Food in Jars

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Remove about ½ cup of vodka from the bottle (but don’t drink it! save for later)
  2. Split the beans
  3. Scrape the seeds from the beans
  4. Drop both the seeds and the pods into the vodka bottle
  5. Pour the reserved spirit back into the bottle
  6. Cap it and shake
  7. Let the extract infuse and mellow for 4 to 6 months in a cool, dark place. It’s done when the vodka is dark, syrupy, and very vanilla.

To use it, decant some into a smaller bottle and then top the bottle off with more vodka and vanilla beans once again to create a new batch of extract.

Vanilla

Serve in

Vanilla

 

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New York-Style Bagel

September 23, 2013

Bagel

This was my second time visiting Seattle. The design conference was over. The weather was dry. My friend was in town. And I had enough of the city.  A trip to Mt. Reiner was overdue.

We rented a car for a day, picked up a bag of gourmet bagels and drove through the snowy landscapes for hours. My friend quizzed me on the winter sports (that I knew nothing about) and chuckled as she taught me about an activity called snowshoeing.

Suddenly we came to a stop. Dead end. Our navigation system kept insisting we had another hour to go. Puzzled, we made a sharp turn into a ski resort. We parked. We walked around. It looked creepily abandoned. We knocked on the doors. Finally one opened.

“What brought you two here in the late April? The resort is already shut down; yet the entrance to the mountaintop has not been re-opened.”

Snowy mountain. The two of us in our t-shirts and gym shoes. Stunned.. Disappointed. Looking utterly amusing to the ski resort guy. “I can offer you snowshoes to explore my mountain!”

Abandoned resort. Snowshoe contraptions attached to our feet. My friend rolling on her belly, laughing, “Here you go – learning about snowshoeing – LIVE!”

Not a soul around, sun on our faces, bagels in our backpack, crunch under our feet, crisp fresh air, blindingly white surroundings in every direction you look. A new experience forever etched into my memory!

Bagel

These bagels are so easy to make! I will never buy bagels again :)

Serve smeared with

  • Mashed avocado + sliced peach
  • Laughing Cow + broccoli sprouts + smoked salmon
  • Cream cheese + honey
  • Hummus + marinated bell peppers

Bagel

20 New York-Style Bagels

Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Ingredients

The Dough

The Bagel

Directions

Mixing and storing the bagel dough

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.

Forming, Boiling, and Baking the Bagels

  1. 20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 F, with a baking stone placed near the middle. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bagels.
  2. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 3-ounce piece of dough (about the size of a small peach). Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom of all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  3. Repeat to form the rest of the bagels. Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Bring a large saucepan or stockpot full of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add the sugar and baking soda.
  5. Punch your thumb through the dough to form the hole. Ease it open with your fingers until the hole’s diameter is about triple the width of the bagel wall.
  6. Drop the bagels into the simmering water one at a time, making sure they are not crowding one another. They need enough room to float without touching or they will be misshapen. Let them simmer for 2 minutes and then flip them over with a slotted spoon to cook the other side. Simmer for another minute.
  7. Remove them from the water, using the slotted spoon, and place on a clean kitchen towel that has been lightly dusted with flour. This will absorb some of the excess water from the bagels. Then place them on a peel covered with whole wheat flour. Sprinkle the bagels with poppy or sesame seeds.
  8. Slide the bagels directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake with steam for about 20 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.

BagelBagelBagelBagelBagel

 

{ 6 comments }

Kimchi

September 10, 2013

Kimchi

Sometimes I get so frustrated.

Just the other day, I was feeling a need for comfort food and decided to make a pot of hearty Korean Kimchi Stew. I drove to Whole Foods, grabbed a pound of beef, a couple of onions and a package of red pepper paste. I reached for a jar of kimchi, quickly scanned the ingredients for nuts (something I always do with new products) and almost threw it into my cart when, to my surprise, I saw shrimp in the lineup. A shrimp in the fermented vegetable product?!

I put the jar back and scanned the shelf for an alternate brand with no shrimp. No such luck. Frustrated, I drove to an Asian supermarket, sure that I would find vegan kimchi there!  Nope. Three different brands, all non-kosher. I went from one store to the next until, finally, I located one with no seafood in-sight. I grabbed 3 jars, paid 3 times as much and went home to cook, 3 hours later than originally planned to.

That was frustrating!

Since then, I have been on a hunt for a kimchi recipe, vegan style. My prayers have been answered by Olga Massov, the author of The Kimchi Cookbook and the blogger behind sassyradish.com. Olga discovered a really cool vegan seafood substitute – the juice of soaked shiitake mushrooms. As surprising as that is, the smokey deep flavor of the liquid really matches the flavor of, um, shrimp!

So, here is how you make kimchi at home. Trust me, this will be fun and absolutely painless. Just make sure that you have these two items before starting your fermentation project:

  • A large plastic or glass container
  • Korean pepper flakes (kochukaru.) You can get those at an Asian market or on Amazon. Do not substitute with crushed red pepper – the two are pretty different! Korean pepper is much sweeter and smokier in flavor. And don’t get hung up on the word “flakes” – what you are actually looking for is pepper in a form of a coarse powder.

Ok, ready, set, ferment!

Kimchi

Kimchi

Square-Cut Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Mak Kimchi)

Adapted from The Kimchi Cookbook

Ingredients

Brine

  • 2 medium heads (about 4 to 6 pounds total) napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

Seasoning paste

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Mushroom Broth (see below)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup Korean chile pepper flakes
  • 4 green onions, green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup water

Mushroom Broth

Directions

Mushroom Broth

  1. Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl
  2. Pour boiling water over the mushrooms
  3. Stir in the salt
  4. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes
  5. Squeeze the water out of the mushrooms and allow the broth to cool to room temperature or refrigerate before using
  6. Discard the mushrooms or store them in the broth to further infuse their flavor

Brine

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the salt and set aside for about 1 hour. Drain the liquid and rinse the cabbage to remove any traces of salt. Let the cabbage drain in a colander for 20 minutes, or use a salad spinner to remove most of the water

Seasoning paste

  1. In a mini food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse together the onion, garlic, ginger, mushroom broth and sugar until a paste forms
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the chile pepper flakes
  3. Set aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors combine

Kimchi

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the green onions, seasoning paste and drained cabbage until combined thoroughly, making sure the seasoning paste is distributed evenly among the leaves
  2. Pack the mixture tightly into a large container
  3. Add 1/4 cup water to the mixing bowl, and swirl the water around to collect the remaining seasoning paste. Add the water to the container, cover tightly and set aside for 3 days at room temperature
  4. The cabbage will expand as it ferments, so be sure to place the jar on a plate or in a bowl to catch the overflow

 

Kimchi

Kimchi

{ 2 comments }

Sweet Corn Ceviche

August 20, 2013

Sweet Corn Ceviche

I get so excited when I stumble upon a new culinary discovery. I walk around feeling all proud, with a huge smile on my face and a strong urge to share! My latest discovery is corn. No, I’m not talking about having made a brand new grain discovery (that was done for me a long time ago by the indigenous people of Mesoamerica.) I’m talking about discovering a new form of it – UNCOOKED!

It is daunting to me that I haven’t tried it in its purest form until just recently. Crispy, juicy, sweet… Raw! Texture unreplicable.

I am certainly not new to corn. I grew up next to a luscious golden cornfield. I remember warm summer nights in the field, hiding from my parents behind the tall leafy stalks, as they joyfully filled their buckets with fresh ears for tonight’s dinner.

As an adult, misinformed about its nutritional qualities, I learned to avoid the beloved grain… until I discovered that it is actually pretty good for you – a freshly picked ear of organic corn has as much fiber and much less sugar than an apple. And it is jam-packed with good-for-you nutrients such as thiamin, vitamin B5, folate, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

Ever since sweet corn made its way back into my kitchen, I’ve been serving it often and in various forms: cooked, raw, even popped. The quick-to-put-together ceviche is now in my weekly side-dish rotation (if you don’t believe me, check my instagram as evidence.) I just strip the kernels off the cob, toss with Serrano pepper, green onion, and lime vinaigrette and leave it be in a fridge for at least a couple hours.

Sweet Corn Ceviche

A friendly advice: triple the recipe – you will thank me when you still have a cup of ceviche left for the next day.

Another friendly advice: serve alongside fish tacos, grilled chicken or tofu, breakfast burritos or on a buttered toast.

Last advice: Make it days in advance and watch the flavors intensify like crazy!

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen whose cookbook I adore
Nutritional info

Ingredients

  • 2 Farmstand Corn Cobs
  • Zest and Juice of one Lime
  • 1 Generous Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use the good stuff)
  • 1 Green Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano Chile, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro*
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

Directions

  1. Shuck the corn and use a sharp knife to cut off the corn kernels from all sides. Put them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the zest and juice of the lime, good olive oil, green onion, Serrano and stir to coat. Add the cilantro and sea salt and give it another stir. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before eating for the flavors to blend. Taste for salt. Keep in a covered container in the fridge, it gets slightly more spicy with age.

Sweet Corn Ceviche

Wine Pairing

Cool, crisp, clean and refreshing, Shannon Ridge Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect mate for this ceviche. I actually just purchased a case of it on Wine.com (it is on sale there for 1/2 the price.)

Sweet Corn Ceviche

 

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