Friday, June 4, 2010

Cuisine: Nouveau Kimchi Recipe

I love, love, love, love kimchi. I like its spicy heat and vinegary finish. It is a flavor explosion that always puts me in a good mood. Kimchi, however, is most definitely an acquired taste. Not everyone likes it because the "salt" is fish sauce, which has a very strong and pungent flavor.

I created Nouveau Kimchi for those that do not like fish sauce. Instead, I substituted Worcester Sauce. Yes, Worcester Sauce has some anchovies in it, so there is a fishy flavor. It is, most definitely, not as fishy as fish sauce. I also replaced the sugar with maple syrup. These two substitutions created a Nouveau Kimchi that still reminds you of traditional kimchi but with a little of the south thrown in.

1 head green cabbage, quartered, cored, and roughly chopped
3 carrots, completely peeled using a peeler
2 bunches green onions, cut into 1-inch chunks and then sliced
3 jalapenos, diced
3-inch piece of ginger, grated
1/8 cup Worcester Sauce
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chili flakes
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup salt

Fill a large bowl with water and add half a cup of salt. Stir to combine. Add the cabbage and let sit for about four hours. Discard water. Mix in all the other ingredients. Let stand overnight. Enjoy the next day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cuisine: Salvadoran Quesadilla RECIPE

I have decided to become a baker. I used to hate it. It was messy, time-consuming, and too precise for my ADHD. I love innovating and throwing things in at the last minute to boost flavor, and that is something you cannot do with baking.

But then I got The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook, and everything changed. Their recipes are not my favorite. What I love, love, love about them is that they teach you why you need to do things certain ways. It is the technique that has always gotten in the way of my baking; not my need for innovation. With this cookbook in hand, I dare to try new recipes including baking!

One of my all-time favorite treats is Salvadoran Quesadilla. It's sweet cake-like taste is just sweet enough without being too sweet. It's slightly crumbly texture is a little moister than cornbread, but not quite a tea-bread. It is the perfect thing for breakfast, coffee or a late-night snack.

I set out for a recipe online because I just had to make it. However, all the recipes online only called for regular flour. I knew this to be a mistake! I have tasted corn meal in all of the quesdillas I've had across this fine land of San Francisco, and trust me I have had plenty of quesadillas. So...I found one with ingredients that seemed to match almost perfectly, perused my America's Test Kitchen Cook Book, and created this incredibly tasty morsel. It tastes almost exactly like the quesadilla's I buy from this bakery in The Excelsior. I say almost because I always have to make this differently. Always.

Hope you enjoy. It is bound to be a hit at any brunch or dinner party.

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup corn meal, finely ground
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup grated queso fresco
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cups Salvadoran Crema
1/4 cup half and half
2 sticks butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, cornmeal, and baking powder together into a bowl.

In another bowl, mix together queso fresco, sugar, eggs, crema, half and half, melted butter, and vanilla until well combined. Pour mixture into the bowl with the flour. Stir until well combined.

Grease two bread loaf pans. Pour half the batter into each. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top until the entire top is coated in sesame seeds.

Bake for 35 minutes.