armadillas


Fenway

image

The first time I ever tried kimbap was in a hair salon. No joke. Sure, this isn’t the usual place one may expect to chow down on this Korean rice dish, but to be fair we were expecting to be at the salon for several hours and beauty requires energy. You see, when my cousin and I were in high school we went through this period of getting out naturally curly hair straightened. I can’t remember why. I guess it was hip or something, which was a shame really because curls run in the family and now that I’m an adult I better appreciate their beauty. But we were kids and our mothers may have had something to do with it. Her own mother being Korean, we always made a long drive a few towns over to get to the Korean salon (and honestly they do hair the best; I’ve tried the Brazilian treatments and would go Korean/Japanese in a heartbeat). Anyway, so that’s how I came to discover the magnificence that is kimbap, sitting on a leather couch in the middle of a Korean run salon while I watched my cousin’s thick curls be flattened out to straight perfection. It was love at first bite.

Now kimbap isn’t as easy to come by as one might think. Korean doesn’t seem quite as popular as Chinese takeout, but I’ve managed to find a few holes in the wall. Even better is making friends with someone that can make kimbap. I’ve attempted to make it myself a few times, following recipes quite miserably. But Friday night all that changed when I went over to a coworker’s apartment for lessons. And you know what? It really is not that hard.

Since it was a lesson and I was at a friend’s place, I didn’t document the process as well as I could have, but hopefully you find what I do have to be helpful.

Ingredients:

Seaweed sheets
Sticky rice
Cucumber
Spam (I usually eat it with imitation crab strips)
Egg
Daikon (pickled radish)

Really, you can put whatever you like in your kimbap, but I think the usual ingredients include daikon, egg, spam/crab, bulgogi, cucumber, carrot, maybe some spinach. We didn’t use all these things in my lesson.

Make up some sticky rice. I’m not 100 % sure how to do this, but my friend said it was better than using sushi rice.

image

Fry your egg and spam, then slice them into long strips. Slice your veggies into long strips as well.

image

If you’re not a professional sushi or kimbap roller, a recommend using a bamboo mat to make your rolls. Spread the rice out thinly over a seaweed sheet, rough side up.

image

Line the end closest to you with your fillings. Using the bamboo mat as a guide,  roll everything together. This may be awkward at first but you’ll get the hang of it!

And that’s it. Keep rolling them slice it up into bite size pieces. Yumm

image

Share with the dog if you feel so obliged

image


Seeing pink

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER

Actually, it was a steak dinner. A very delicious steak dinner if I do say so myself. It was juicy and meltinyourmouth tender. Never have I experienced a steak like this before. I don’t know if it was the marinade I used or the cooking method, but a sun is on the horizon. I’ve always been a white meat kind of girl, whether that be pork or chicken, but I think steak might start appearing on the menu a little more often. Who ever would’ve thunk I could be converted!

So, let’s start from the beginning. Almost a year ago to the date, the boyfriend’s grandparents send him some steaks in the mail. Some Omaha steaks. Ooooh, yeah (said in a deep deep voice- draw it out!). Even I was excited, and I don’t eat a lot of red meat. Plus, the steaks came with a wok (though I’m not really sure why…), which I thought was pretty cool at the time- by the way, I’m in the market for a new wok. But all that is beside the point. My point is, those babies have been sitting in our freezer a few days shy of a year now. Sure, we cooked a couple when we first got them. Who lets steak go for that long (cough cough- us apparently)? Well, we still had two left so I pulled them out and set them in the fridge to thaw. Then today, I put them on the counter to warm up a little bit. Truth be told, I didn’t mean to leave them on the counter. I just got preoccupied. But we can say it was our intention!

Alright, now I had these steaks to cook and no idea how to do it. The weather outside was hotter than Florida and there was no way in hellfire that I was going to fire up our little grill. Nooooo noooo. I’d probably end up cooking myself, considering my cool temperature preference. Send me out in snow, not blazing heat. I supposed I could have done it on the stove top, but every time I tried to picture that, I imagined grease popping everywhere and the steaks burnin’ to a crisp. Some cooking methods I just don’t have down yet and simply cooking meat in a pan on the stove top is one of them. That left the oven. But I’m pretty sure we cooked them in the oven last time and I can’t remember a thing about them. Obviously, it wasn’t a meal to remembered. I was determined to do better this time.

After a little research, I discovered two genius things. The first, was a recipe for Korean Barbecued Flank Steak by Rachael Ray. We had beef tenderloins, not flank, but the marinade sounded too good to pass up. And I had a bag of stir fry veggies in the freezer. Sounded good to me. The second thing I discovered was a site called The Kitchn with an article on how to broil steak. Find it here I never thought about broiling steak before, but Lord was it good! It was like cutting into butter. And the flavor! I don’t use a lot of Rachael’s recipes, but this one is for keeps. For sure. I think the boyfriend may have made some threats about me not writing it down. Yes, it’s that serious.

Anyway, enough blabbering from me. Try it yourself. This steak will speak to your soul (which is obvious by the length of this post!)

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

2 tbs grill seasoning ( I used Szeged steak rub)

1/4 soy sauce

1 tbs honey

1 tsp red hot pepper flakes

1 tbs garlic, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

2 beef tenderloins (or any cut of your choice)

Okay folks, this recipe is SUPER easy. That’s mostly because the marinade is doing all the work for you. And then the broiler will finish the rest. All you have to do is listen for the timer! To make the marinade, whisk together the grill seasoning and pepper flakes into a medium bowl.  Add the honey and oil

Whisk in the soy sauce and garlic and that’s all she wrote! Did I say easy, or did I say easy?

The aroma alone is enough to set your tail wagging. Or I suppose your booty shaking?

Such bad lighting! That’s okay. No biggie. Now, here are those tenderloins I was talking about. They sure do look awfully dark. Hopefully we won’t die from eating them. They have been in the freezer, after all

I’m inclined to rinse my meat so that’s exactly what I did. Then I submerged them in that bowl of marinade and left them on the counter to become the lovely things that they became. This took maybe 10-15 minutes. However long it took me to decide to boil some water for some noodles. We were serving stir fry on the side, remember?


If you want to make stir fry, too, all I did was boiled up some egg noodles and cooked up my frozen veggies. I didn’t make my own stir fry sauce. I felt the marinade for the steak was sufficient enough. I was lazy. It happens more frequently then you know

Spicy spicy! Mix it all together (pictured somewhere above)

I don’t know when I became such a hardcore carnivore. As a child, I followed my mother and my grandmother’s suit and always ordered my burgers/steak/what-have-you well well done. No pink please. Now I like the pink. Medium-rare is just fine for me, which means the steaks will take no time under the broiler. Ten minutes tops. But if you want yours blood-free, add a few extra minutes on there. To each their own! So, turn on your broiler! I actually had a broiling pan. You’re gonna want to spray it down with PAM. Or you could rub it with some olive oil

For medium rare, broil on the first side for 5 minutes. Oh yeah, make sure your oven rack is relatively close to your broiler. I heard it recommended about 4 inches. Mine was probably around 6 inches away from the ceiling of my oven

Then flip! Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest. If you’re really concerned that it’s not cooked to your liking, I suppose it’s okay to make a little cut to see. A little released juice won’t kill us

Oooh nellie, does that look good. Just look at it! Look at those juices!

Ah, perfection on a fork. I’m still in shock! Hope you were as impressed as I was. This steak right here is marriage worthy, I tell ya!

Tijuana