Sunday, June 3, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

You've seen these in the Blogosphere, right?  Potatoes boiled in vinegar until fork tender (try not to take deep breaths while over the pot - that vinegar will make you cry) then covered in olive oil, salt and pepper and thrown on the grill.

We finally got to gardening today and broke out the grill for the first time this year.  Although our tailgate grill has already gotten a workout, our backyard grill has hardly been used since we bought it last summer.  It has been hiding under a cover for months - but now that our little concrete slab back yard is looking up to snuff (See?  Behind the potatoes!) I'm sure I'll be taking a break from the oven and using it much more!

Next time you make potatoes you should make these potatoes - really.  Yum.

BTW tomorrow I turn 30 but I'm totally cool with it guys.  Really, totally cool.  Really.  Kind of.  Not really at all.  Holy crap.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Kimchi!

Ron can't get enough Kimchi and he's kind of in love with David Chang.  He eats so much of this stuff that I swear it seeps from his pores.

See?  He REALLY loves it!  Needless to say, I recommend eating slightly less than he does.  On that note, here's my very first guest blog.  Take it away Ron!

Hey y’all!  I’m Ron, I’m Sara’s hungrier, heftier half and I’m writing from our new “hood”, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  We love and miss Philly (Sara note: I'm back in Philly now and Ron's still in NY so what he's really saying is HE loves and misses Philly and, of course, his lovely wife), but truth be told, we also love New York.  Don’t get me wrong you won’t catch me buying a sub or hero here…  It’s hoagies all the way for me, but there is amazing food everywhere you turn and because New York welcomes the wretched refuse of everyone’s teeming shores, each time you eat out is a chance to taste something you’ve never had before.

One of my favorites places to eat, New York or anywhere for that matter, is Momofuku Noodle Bar.  Noodle Bar looks and feels like another cool East Village bar to hang out in, with a soundtrack that could be my itunes playlist, but it’s an elegant restaurant serving a weird hybrid of Korean and American food.  Their Ramen is waaaaay more than those little packets of brittle noodles and instant broth!  It’s fine dining. (Sara note: We can also get killer ramen close to our Crown Heights 'hood at Chuko. Sooooo good)  The pork buns are little clouds of pork belly and awesome.  But the first time I went there was this other thing that burned a hole in my taste buds and memory… A sweet and sour cabbagey mess on the side of my plate…  It’s called Kimchi!  Korean folk swear by it and serve it with nearly every meal. 

Cut to three years later and I can’t get enough of the stuff.  It’s hot, salty, pungent and actually really good for you. They say it aids digestion…  I dunno, but it tastes awesome!  For Christmas, my brother and sister in law bought me David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook and I dove right into making my own Kimchi. 

It’s a two-week fermentation process, but totally worth it. There are a ton of ingredients like little tiny jarred salted shrimp:

Kochukaru i.e. Korean chilli powder - lots of it!

And lots of other stuff: 

But you only need to buy the non vegetable ingredients one time and once you do, you can whip up a batch  that will last for a month or so.  (Sara note: you can whip it up in no time but then it has to work its magic and get a little funky in the fridge for a few days before you can eat it.)

I tweak the recipe every batch.  My newest one has about 2/3 the sugar and 1/4 less ginger.  And it’s still fantastic!

I eat it as a side.  I put it in soup.  Put it in the food processor and use it as a marinade. Eat it in omelettes…  On top of pork chops.  With chicken thighs…  mackerel…  steaks...   Anywhere you would use a salsa, try Kimchi next time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eatin' Good in a Brand New Hood!

As most of you know my husband, Ron, has been working and living in New York more than he's been in Philly for the past couple of years. It's been a bummer for a lot of reasons:

1. being apart 5 days a week stinks
2. staying in short term sublets with strangers stinks for him and for visitors (i.e. ME)
3. constantly searching for a new place to live stinks
4. not having your own kitchen means you eat out all the time which is bad for the wallet and the waistline - which, you guessed it, stinks!

So...we bit the bullet and signed a year lease for an amazing apartment in Brooklyn - and it's kind of in the hood so we feel right at home! We're renting our place in Philly for now but I'll be back there soon for work so Ron and I really trying to enjoy this rare time we have of actually living together in a new place.

We've been here just over a month and there are tons of places in the neighborhood I want to visit but we've been adhering to our new year's resolutions and eating healthy and easing up on the booze (boring!). Which also means I've been cooking things like split pea soup and beans and greens, things I've written about one million times! Hence my severe lack of blogs.

I did make this killer Eggplant and Chicken Green Curry the other night:

First I salted a medium cut up eggplant and let it sit in a colander for a bit. Then I sauteed a small onion with some ginger and garlic then added a can of light coconut milk and a couple tablespoons of green curry paste. I added about a cup and a half of leftover roasted chicken and let it all simmer together. Separately I sauteed a half of a green pepper and a half of a red pepper with another small onion and the eggplant. When the veggies started to get a little color but still had bite I added them to the chicken with a few splashes of chicken stock. I also threw in come bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and a touch of brown sugar - I like my curry a little bit sweet! Right before it hit the plate I added chopped cilantro and green onions. I served it all over a smashed sweet potato.

Delicious. I'm gonna go eat leftovers.

PS - Ron hates that I haven't been blogging so he's agreed to a guest blog. Keep an eye out for his David Chang inspired entry soon.