Thursday, April 29, 2010

Secret Pleasures Not For Public Viewing

I bet you were wondering what on earth this was going to be about!

Well, that's what Mother Meg says about her biscuits - and I think I get what she means. They are oh so delicious. Last July, when Mrs. G. and Nole came to Sydney, Mrs. G and I scoured through the food hall of David Jones on Market Street. As you know, food window shopping is one of our greatest pleasures in life. So, we chanced on a pack of biscuits: Mother Meg's Pecorino Cheese and Green Olive. They were incredibly yummy bite sized biscuits with the just the right crisp, and wow, could you taste the cheese and olives in them. You can tell they don't scrimp on ingredients, these biscuits are bursting with flavor. As the package reads: when making biscuits, precise measurements are vital, after all - it's chemistry! If this is her idea of chemistry, then I'm all for it! I guess that's why I'll never be an excellent baker, I just don't have the patience for precise measurements. But Mother Meg - she's obviously precise and has mastered the ionic bonding between her green olives and pecorino cheese. And guess what, she uses all organic ingredients - from the whole wheat flour to the egg yolks and everything else in between.

Don't you just love her packaging too? The copy on it is so entertaining: Guaranteed to bring squeals of delight to those you love! So, Mrs. G, Nole, Mr. P and I are avid fans of cheese.  Though there were no squeals, (imagine Nole squealing?!) we were delighted. 

On that note, I will end with this last Mother Meg quote: Savoury treats are not wicked, nor are they sinful - they are there to be enjoyed. Sure Mother Meg, we enjoyed them, but based on the buttery goodness, I'll have to disagree with you on the sinful part. But your biscuits are well worth it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mrs. G's Kalbi Chim and My Chapchae

Remember how this blog idea all started? I emailed you asking for your mom's chapchae recipe because I was planning to make some that same night. Well, my short notice got me no answer from you so instead, I looked it up online and made my own modifications, as usual. I just thought it would be nice to start with the meal that got this thing whole idea going.

Can I just say that I am so happy to have an Asian Grocery down the road from where we live? At least I know I don't have to trek too far to get the tastes we miss from back home.
I'll start with sharing the Kalbi Recipe of Mrs. G, our Hong Kong connection. She gave this to me when I was still living in San Francisco, and it never fails to please!

Kalbi Chim
1 kg boneless beef ribs or 2 kg if bone in
1/3 cup kikkoman soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. chilli paste
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 C chopped spring onions
Toasted sesame seeds

Put beef, soy sauce, sugar, chopped garlic, chilli paste, sesame oil and water in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 1-2 hours or until meat is tender. Simmer uncovered for another hour to reduce sauce. In case your pot dries out, you may add 1/3 of a cup of water at a time to soften the meat and get the sauce to the consistency you like. Serve hot immediately and garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions.

Kalbi and Chapchae go so well together.

1 package sweet potato/glass noodles
1 red onion
5 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1-2 heads bok choy or napa cabbage
5-6 shitake mushrooms
canola oil
sesame oil
soy sauce

Boil noodles according to package directions. Sauté onions in canola oil, add garlic to the pan and saute until onions are clear. Add juliened/sliced carrots, bok choy, and shitake mushrooms. Cook for 1 minute and then put noodles into the pan. Add 1 part sugar, 2 parts sesame oil, 3 parts soy sauce, 3 parts mirin. Toss noodles in the pan until all coated in sauce and all ingredients are combined evenly. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

Chapchae is done.