2014/03/14

We're Moving!

Thanks to those of you who have followed us here on Blogger for the last number of years! For multiple reasons, we have decided to move the blog to a self-hosted solution, and so, you can now find us at http://givetothewheat.com.


We've moved all the content and comments over, and will be posting new things there only from here on out. We'll leave this blog here to redirect people for a while, but it will eventually disappear.

Thank you again for following us here, and I hope you'll come with us to the new place. I promise it's cozy, warm, and has a lot of great food.

Cheers!

2014/02/09

Pozole Rojo

We had this dish at a restaurant recently, and both of us immediately looked at each other and said "We have to learn to make this!" It is seriously one of the best dishes we've had in a very long time.


We happen to have a good friend from Mexico whose family makes this, and she was kind enough to send us their recipe. We did it a bit the short way this time, as she says to make a pork bone stock first, using pork spine, garlic and salt, but we already had chicken stock that we needed to use up, so we just used that instead. We also added some different varieties of chiles, as we had them sitting around. Her recipe called for just chiles de california.

The toppings are arbitrary, you can pretty much use anything you want, but having the fresh veggies mixed in with the stew is really a brilliant combination of textures, flavors and even temperatures. In this case, we used red cabbage, avocado, radishes, and cilantro.

This recipe we're posting here will probably feed 4-6 people, depending on how hungry you all are.

Ingredients
  • 2.5-3 lbs (1.15-1.35 kilos) pork shoulder, cut into small chunks
  • 7 chiles de california
  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 2 aji panca chiles
  • 2 large cans white hominy
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Salt
Directions
  1. Toast the chiles in a dry pan until they are just getting fragrant. Then, boil them until they are soft and you can easily remove the stems.
  2. While they are boiling, brown your meat in a large pot over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary (if you put too much in at a time, it will just steam).
  3. Drain the fat from the pot, turn the heat down, then add the meat back in, along with the chopped garlic. Cook until garlic starts to soften, but don't burn it.
  4. Once the chiles have boiled until soft, ladle some of the boiling water into the pot with the meat and garlic, until you just have about 2-3 cups left in with the chiles, and then add stock to the pot, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Drain the liquid off the hominy, then add to the pot with the pork and garlic.
  6. Pull the stems off the chiles.
  7. Using a blender, puree the de-stemmed chiles into the boiling liquid. We have an immersion blender, and just did this right in the pot they boiled in. You can also pour into a blender and do it that way.
  8. Add the chile puree and water into the pot with the pork and hominy.
  9. Salt to taste, and then let simmer for about 2 hours, until the pork is very tender.
  10. When the stew is almost ready, chop up your toppings and have them ready.
  11. Dish the stew into a bowl, and top with your toppings.
  12. Have a second bowl, you're going to want to. Forget dessert, this is better!
Boiled Chiles de California Pozole. Pozole.

Potato Croquettes with ham, cheese, and panko bread crumbs.

This endeavor was motivated by having a large amount of extra mashed potatoes from a meal a few days ago, so we saved them and decided we'd try making potato croquettes. We bought a little bit of ham to put in them, but other than that, everything came from our cupboards. We used panko bread crumbs, but you can use any kind. We used peanut oil for frying because you can get it quite hot without it burning.

Ingredients

  • Mashed potatoes (ours had butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper in them already)
  • Cheese, cut in small chunks
  • Ham, cut in small chunks
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flour
  • Oil
Direction

  1. Mix the small chunks of cheese and ham into the mashed potatoes. If the mashed potatoes aren't sticking together well, you can also mix in a beaten egg now to help them be a little more doughy.
  2. Form the potato mixture into whatever shapes you like - we made them into cylinders. Put in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to help them solidify.
  3. Take out three plates. On one, put a single, beaten egg. On another, some flour. On the third, bread crumbs.
  4. Put a large skillet on the stove, and heat up about a half-inch of oil in it until it is about 350 F (175 C).
  5. For each croquette, dredge in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, then set aside.
  6. Once all the croquettes are ready, and the oil is hot, start placing them in the pan carefully, and turn periodically to brown on all sides. Remove once the cheese and potatoes just start oozing out.
  7. Let the croquettes cool for a few minutes, and then eat away! They will be hot inside, so bite carefully!
Potato croquettes with ham, cheese and panko bread crumbs. Potato croquettes with ham, cheese and panko bread crumbs.

2013/11/30

Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken

There are few things in the world as wonderful as a fantastic roast chicken. This one borrows some flavors from Northern African cuisines. A bit of harissa (a Tunisian chili paste) for some spice, and dried fruit for some sweet and sour.


Served with cous cous, this makes a very hearty meal for 4 people, or for two with lunch the next day. We often each eat a leg, thigh and wing, with some of the fruit, veggies, sauce and cous cous for dinner, then shred up the breasts into the leftover fruit, veggies, and sauce, and make some more cous cous to mix in with that for lunch the next day (or a day or two later).

Because you're essentially braising it in liquid, the chicken remains very moist and is falling apart by the time you have finished cooking it (literally, I lifted the chicken out of the pot and the wings just fell off). All the vegetables, fruit and stock roasting together and mixing with the chicken fat produces an incredibly rich sauce to pour over everything.

Give this recipe a try, you won't regret it! This is one of those recipes where we never measure anything, so amounts here will be a bit vague, but measure it out to your taste, and then adjust as you go at each step.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, about 4.5 lbs (2 kg).
  • Mustard seed (a little bit)
  • Coriander seed (a stupid amount)
  • Dried fruit (we used apricots and cherries), chopped
  • Cous cous (we used 1.5 cups, but make as much as you want to eat)
  • Harissa to taste
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • Zest of one orange, juice of 2 oranges
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
  2. Grind up mustard seed and coriander seed in a spice grinder, set aside.
  3. Dice your onion, peel and chop up the sweet potatoes or yams, mince the garlic, and peel and grate your ginger. Set aside.
  4. Pat your chicken dry, and in a large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, heat up some olive oil and brown the chicken both on the breast side and the back side until nicely browned.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pot.
  6. Lower heat to medium.
  7. Toss in the onion, and cook until beginning to soften.
  8. While onion is cooking, zest one of your oranges, and then juice both of them.
  9. Toss in the ground spices, cook for a minute until fragrant.
  10. Toss in the ginger and garlic, again cook for a short time until fragrant.
  11. Add the stock, orange juice, orange zest, dried fruit, and harissa - heat until simmering.
  12. Put the chicken back in the pot, and drop in the chunks of sweet potato around it.
  13. Cover the pot and put in the oven, cook until it's done (cooking time will depend on the oven and the size of the chicken - for a 4.5 pound/2 kg chicken, check after 40 min).
  14. While chicken is cooking, heat up a small amount of oil (1-2 tbsp) in a skillet over medium heat.
  15. Toast the cous cous in the oil until slightly browned, then add water or stock according to the cous cous directions on the package. Simmer in the liquid until the cous cous has absorbed all of it and is properly cooked.
  16. Once the chicken is fully cooked, pull it out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes, and then cut into pieces.
  17. If there is a lot of liquid left in the chicken pot, you can strain out the veggies and fruit and reduce it over high heat until it thickens.
  18. Serve chicken pieces over a bed of cous cous with the vegetables and fruit, and drizzle some of the cooking liquid over everything.
Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken Moroccan-Inspired Roast Chicken

2013/10/13

Kimchi Bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥)

This recipe is fantastic in that it uses mostly ingredients you have already made. It's a delicious, simple, comfort-food type of meal that is very warm, filling and satisfying. This is often made with just kimchi and rice, but you can add beef or some other meat as we have done to make it a bit heartier. We mostly followed the recipe from Maangchi, and made a few modifications.

When we cook a dish that uses rice, if we have leftover, we often wrap it in saran wrap and freeze it, and this is a great way to use some of that already-cooked rice. If you use frozen rice, thaw it before making the dish. It is also a great way to use up kimchi you have made. If you add beef, use a cut that is good for pan-frying, such as skirt steak, bavette, hanger steak, or flank steak. Cut the beef in strips against the grain, so that it will be more tender when you cook it.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups cooked rice
  • 1-2 cups napa cabbage kimchi
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 1lb beef, sliced
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp gochujang (red chili paste)
  • Shredded seaweed (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 egg per person (optional)
  • Sesame oil
  • Apple juice
  • Salt
Directions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, heat up a small amount of sesame oil, then cook the beef until just done. Just before it is finished, add in the garlic and a splash of apple juice, and cook for a few minutes.
  • Remove the meat and garlic from the pan, and reduce the juice and meat drippings until it is somewhat thick, then pour it over the meat and set aside.
  • Take the kimchi juice, water, and gochujang, and mix it all together in a small bowl until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add another tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan, and add the rice to the pan. Leave until the rice starts to brown a little on the bottom.
  • Stir in the kimchi and cook until everything is hot.
  • Add the meat and sauce back and cook until it is hot.
  • Pour in the gochujang sauce, stir in well, and cook for a few minutes.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Serve up in bowls, optionally with some shredded seaweed, whole sesame seeds on top. You can also put a fried egg on top of each bowl if you would like.
Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap Kimchi Bokkeumbap

2013/07/30

Chicago Dogs

We often spend a good part of our evenings cooking dinner and eating, but sometimes you just need or want something a bit easier, but still tasty. Hot dogs in general may not be the pinnacle of healthy eating, but if you can find nice ones like Sabrett, they're not so bad, and this meal comes together in about 15 minutes. Technically, you're supposed to use sport peppers, but we happened to have spicy pepperoncini, and those work just fine as well. Tasty and delicious.


Ingredients:
  • Hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Sport peppers (or some other kind of moderately spicy pepper)
  • Dill pickle
  • Fresh Tomato
  • Onion
  • Celery Salt
  • Mustard
Directions:
  1. Cook the hot dogs either by steaming or boiling in water.
  2. While the hot dogs are cooking, chop up the peppers and onion, and slice the tomato and dill pickle into small wedges and spears, respectively.
  3. If you steamed the hot dogs, you can also steam the buns for just a minute or two to soften them up.
  4. In the bun, put the pickle wedges, then your hot dog, then on top on either side go the peppers and the tomato wedges, then onions, celery salt, and mustard to top it all off.
  5. Best served with a nice beer, and some potato chips.
IMG_8550 IMG_8547

2013/07/25

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Homemade Kimchi

In case you are wondering what kinds of things you could do with your home-made kimchi, other than just eat it straight out of the jar: we offer you this delicious, and perhaps slightly unexpected combination.

A friend of ours was in town recently, and left us with a bag of smoked pulled pork. What did we do with it? Lightly coated it in some BBQ sauce, put it in the oven at 350F (175 C) until the sauce started sizzling, then scooped it onto a fresh ciabatta roll, put a little more BBQ sauce on, and then heaped kimchi on top.

You definitely should try it.

Pulled pork sandwich with homemade kimchi.