Archive for the crossover Category

Garlic-studded Pork Neck

Posted in american, condiments, corn, crossover, discount, french, mediterranean, pork, roast, yogurt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by oskila

Went to the store to catch up on vegetables a bit. Not a lot of those at home lately. Stumbled upon an almost suspiciously good offer on pork neck for members of the cooperative.  Took one home, studded it with garlic.

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I didn’t bother with tying it this time. There’s a limit to how fancy one manages to be on a Monday afternoon. Apart from (fresh) garlic it’s been brushed with dark soy sauce and sprinkled with crushed black pepper and thyme. If you have the time, do brine your pork neck before roasting. It just gets so much better.

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Here’s the pork neck after perhaps an hour in the oven. I relied solely on the meat thermometer’s alarm (which was a bit off this time. Had to microwave the sliced meat a bit since I don’t trust even slightly pink pork.)

While the roast was roasting, some corn on the cob got prepared, along with a simple but effective tzatziki.

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Those three elements are seldom seen on the same plate, but they were all good!

 

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Defacing Fish Soup

Posted in asian, cabbage, crossover, fish sticks, noodles, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2013 by oskila

Today’s dish is a very fishy soup. I was trying to think up something that would involve the Hong-Kong style shrimp noodles that had found their way into my kitchen. I didn’t feel like going to the store again to get proper fish, so I dug some fish sticks out of the freezer.

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Just putting straight up fish sticks in a soup would quite likely be a horrible experience, so I quickly fried them and peeled the breading off (It’s the breading that’s good anyway). When I was a kid, fish sticks were white on the inside, but I guess that with Atlantic cod population plummeting, pollock or something was a better alternative.

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These noodles are wheat noodles flavored with a bit of shrimp. New to me, but seem tasty. Here they are cooked and put in a bowl together with Chinese cabbage, carrots and garlic sprouts. (Yes, there’s been a lot of cabbage and sprouts recently, but that’s what happens when one wants to use everything up)

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Former fish sticks sitting in a pot of boiled broth containing katsuobishi dashi (made from fish flakes) and a dash of rice vinegar. After a while the pieces started to float, so I assumed that they were done, especially since they already had been cooked once.

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Pot tipped into bowl and soup done.

More Noodly Frolicking: Soba

Posted in asian, cabbage, condiments, crossover, discount, eggs, japanese, korean, mushroom, noodles, preserve, side dish, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2013 by oskila

As said before, I got hold of a lot of interesting stuff at that Asian store recently. One of them was Soba noodles, which are made with buckwheat (perhaps something for gluten sensitives to look into?) In addition, the little supermarket on the way to work had dirt cheap button mushrooms. Like so often before, the resulting food is  some kind of general fusion of Japanese and Korean, interpreted by someone with limited actual experience of either.

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Frying up a considerable amount of sliced mushrooms, along with a bit of carrots, shallots, garlic sprouts and a little bit of celery

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Plop slightly undercooked noodles into pan. Season a bit, with for example light soy and Worcestershire sauce (sitting in for mirin. That stuff is really expensive)

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Served up with a fried egg and a knob of ssamjang. For a proper Korean meal one should have kimchi. I didn’t feel like doing a weekend of fermenting napa cabbage, so I cheated a bit and just pickled some white cabbage. Just mix up one part distilled vinegar with two parts sugar and three parts water. Add salt, chili and garlic to taste and chuck in cabbage, onions or whatever tickles your fancy. The resulting condiment could be regarded as something halfway between Korean kimchi and Japanese tsukemono.

Clearance Stew: Gumbo-inspired Muck

Posted in american, cabbage, cajun, crossover, discount, ground beef, leftovers, mushroom, okra, peppers, sausage, stew, stock with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by oskila

It was one of those days when the leftovers and odds and ends reached critical mass. A number of loose food ends that are at risk of going bad unless they’re chucked out (which is very unfashionable these days) or made into a clearance stew (a.k.a. fridge stew). Such stews can take any number of directions, depending on what it is that you’ve forgotten behind the eggs and the jam. The deciding factor for me was probably the bag of okra pods in the freezer. I bought them just because I could, with only a vague idea that they’re used for thickening in Cajun cooking. As per usual, I knew very little about the dish I was going to get inspired by, in this case gumbo. Apart from okra I seemed to recall that onions, celery and green peppers were important, and that it was supposed to be fairly spicy. From there it was touch and go.

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Leftover spanish chorizo, beef stock cubes, ground beef (bought just before Christmas, frozen and forgotten) green bell pepper, the last bit of savoy cabbage, shallots, carrots, cured sausages of some kind, red chili pepper, mushrooms, garlic, onion, celery and okra. Since the main protein is ground beef, this dish can at most be Cajun-inspired or have a hint of Louisiana, but my intention wasn’t to make actual gumbo, but rather to make a stew that’d last all week.

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Chopped onions, carrots, garlic, celery, peppers and chili. Whole shallots.

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Beef, mushrooms, cabbage, cured sausage and chorizo added

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Stock and okra go in, along with some herbs and a bit of tomato paste

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A couple of hours of slow simmering produces half a gallon of swamp-like stew. Way tastier than it looks.

 

Exploring Udon and Dashi

Posted in asian, condiments, crossover, japanese, lotus root, mushroom, noodles, peppers, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by oskila

Raided the recently mentioned Asian grocery store again, and came home with five different kinds of noodles, frozen okra, some instant dashi granules and ssamjang. Since noodles obviously are one of my favorite kinds of food I thought I’d make some.

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Leek, dashi, mushrooms, red chili pepper, carrot, garlic sprouts, ssamjang, udon noodles and lotus roots. Since udon noodles are commonly served in soup that’s what I’m going to do. Ingredient-wise this dish has roots in Japan, Korea and probably China too, so I’m ending up with a general Asian concoction again. This doesn’t really bother me, since the main objective is to simply make tasty food.

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Noodles boiling away. I put them in a sauté pan only in order to be able to put them in whole. Most of my other pots except the really huge ones aren’t wide enough to do that. Save a pint or so of the water after the noodles are cooked, in order to save time and power when making the broth.

For some reason I forgot to take pictures of the broth, but on the other hand it wasn’t very visually enticing. Simply put the hot liquid back in the pan on the hob and sprinkle instant dashi in it to taste. Season with soy and vinegar (ideally rice vinegar, but I used white wine vinegar and a hint of sugar.)

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Meanwhile, the vegetables are jumbled together in another sauté pan. I only used a bit of the green part of the leek and sliced the carrot with the help of a vegetable peeler. Since the lotus root slices were still frozen I simply microwaved them along with a spoonful of water for some time instead and then chopped them up a bit.

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To assemble dish, simply scoop noodles into bowl with vegetables on top and then pour dashi broth over the whole thing. I topped with a dollop of ssamjang and black and white sesame seeds for additional tastiness.

Surely this isn’t what they meant by ‘fusion cooking’?

Posted in asian, cabbage, crossover, lotus root, mushroom, noodles, sausage with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by oskila

I went to a new Asian food store the other day. It’s been there for years, but in the past they’ve mostly seemed to sell silly kitschy stuff. This time I looked closer and found that they had a wide selection of interesting foods, such as very small frozen crabs, fresh pak choi and hundreds of different instant noodles. I managed to tear away with only a bag of instant rice noodles, some frozen lotus root and a small quantity of enoki mushrooms. To get a break from the bacon I decided to combine those with another commonly reoccurring  proteins – sausages.

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Many, but not all of the ingredients; Enoki, green chili, onion, rice noodles, savoy cabbage, frozen lotus root and frozen sausages. While planning the post I had someone comment that it ‘sounds like something someone would cook if they were staying at a Vegan’s house and only brought sausages ‘, which is probably both right and wrong.

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First, soften cabbage and lotus for a little while. If only fried and not parboiled, savoy cabbage takes some effort to digest in my opinion. Half a cube of veggie stock too.

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Fish cabbage and root out and drop the noodles in. This particular brand had no less than four bags of seasoning included, one of which was dried vegetables – a nice addition.

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I heated a pan and dropped the onions and chili in first, then lotus root, cabbage and sausages. After a while the noodles were added (as usual, save the broth!) and enoki for last. I seriously doubt this is the best way to use enoki mushrooms, but at least now I’ve tried and they still look cool. Apart from chili and broth, the only seasoning I added was a splash of Japanese soy and a hint of white pepper/allspice/ginger mix.

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A small helping just to taste it – the rest goes in the lunch box.

Winter Wok

Posted in asian, crossover, lotus root, meatballs, mushroom, noodles, snow peas, vegetables with tags , on December 5, 2012 by oskila

I STILL don’t really have time to mind the food blog, but sometimes you can’t help but do it anyway. This is another installment of ‘do Asian stuff to prefab Swedish meatballs’. I’ll be using the same flat wheat noodles, the same Sichuan pepper and the same old meatballs, but a new blend of vegetables.

I usually avoid frozen vegetables in my blog food (unless it’s peas) because most of the stuff is readily available fresh anyway, but some of the stuff in this bag, like jelly ear mushroom, lotus root and garlic sprouts are hard to find. There’s also leaf spinach, leeks, snow peas, pumpkin seeds and broccoli in there.

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First, some spices. I’m a bit less happy about Sichuan pepper now than when I first used it, since getting all the seeds out of the pods is rather fiddly, and leaving them in gives the dish a lot of gritty little surprises. Also, chili flakes, star anise seeds (the three large seeds) and a mix called ‘minced meat seasoning’ which is white pepper, allspice and ginger. One can toast this a bit, put the pestle to it or leave as is.

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Noodles, boiling in vegetable bouillon with star anise husks.

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Frozen veg goes into piping hot pan. One of the reasons that I seldom use frozen vegetables for stir frying is that the freezing does structural damage, so that regardless of how quick and careful the cooking is, some sogginess is inevitable. Spices go in too.

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Meatballs, cut in half goes in for some time, before adding the now cooked noodles.

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Liquids vigorously reduced, with a bit of Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of sugar added. Thickened with arrowroot (other types of starch are probably fine too) before pouring it into the bowl.

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Nothing like a warming wok when the cold and snow sets in.

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