Grilled to Perfection

A shout-out to my husband for grilling this fabulous tuna to a perfectly rosy rare.

close up tuna

Tuna with Livornese sauce is easy, healthy and one of my favorite summer meals.

tuna with livornese sauce

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Korean-Themed Supper Club

Southern comfort. Eastern European. Thai. Julia Child French. Kuala Lumpur street food. And now Korean. What do these all have in common? Well, not much really, except they have all been past themes for our Supper Club events. This Supper Club group just rocks if I do say so myself — and, we have managed to hold it together now for over four years.

So on Saturday, dear husband and I hosted a Korean-themed event. I made the appetizers and main course and the remainder of the group brought the rest. I believe each one of us went back for seconds of everything — and more than one person raced into the kitchen to swipe hunks of crispy, crunchy, heavenly pork skin. Oink! Clearly a success!

Korean Menu: 

Snacks

Caramel shrimp shots: essentially stir-fried shrimp in caramel sauce. Technically more Vietnamese than Korean

Tteok Kkochi (fresh rice cake skewers ) recipe from the blog Beyond Kimchee. Everyone loved these skewers. I made over two dozen and they just about disappeared. The only changes I made were in the sauce — I used my own homemade ketjap manis in place of ketchup and my own concord grape jam in place of strawberry jam. 

Korean Rice Cake Skewers

Korean Rice Cake Skewers

Main Event

Momofuku’s Bo Ssam: a big ass pig part, cooked for a very long time. If you dig pig, make this dish. The beginning of the recipe even reads, “This is a recipe to win the dinner party sweepstakes.” Enough said. 

Accompaniments:

Ginger-scallion sauce

Ssam sauce

Soft boiled 3-minutes eggs

Kimchi

Korean sticky rice

All the fixings for lettuce wraps with the pig.

All the fixings for lettuce wraps with the pig.

 Vegetables

Eggplant veggie rolls with mayonnaise and spicy sauce: fresh and delicious

Eggplant Rolls

Eggplant Rolls

Dessert

 Mochi cake: ADDICTIVE! I cannot ever have this in my house again. Not EVER. 

Week In Review

I thoroughly enjoyed my oyster-slurping fest at the Baltimore Seafood Festival over the weekend. After sampling quite a few, I have to say my favorites were the Chesapeake Gold from Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Co. Briny, chewy, sweet — delicious! Just like licking the bottom of the ocean, in a good way.

Slllurrrrp!

Slllurrrrp!

My husband and I also enjoyed the charred octopus from Mare Nostrum in Fells Point. So much so we went back for seconds and considered thirds. We are actually headed back to this restaurant next week to further indulge.

Charred Octopus

Charred Octopus

Back in my own kitchen:  We feasted on Vietnamese and Indian dishes (different nights of course) and enjoyed them all. Clearly, however, none of them are even remotely photogenic …

Grape Raita

Grape Raita

Indian Chicken in White Sauce

Indian Chicken in White Sauce

Eggplant with Chickpeas

Eggplant with Chickpeas

Vietnamese Caramelized Lemongrass Shrimp

Vietnamese Caramelized Lemongrass Shrimp

Grape Paste?

Sigh. My grape jam is, in all actuality, more of a paste. I tried to stir some into my yogurt the next morning but alas, it never came off the spoon. I’ll have to use this batch on a cheese plate instead, much as you would a quince paste.

Kindergarten paste texture aside, the color is gorgeous and the taste is fantastic —  unlike any store-bought grape jam I’ve ever had. It’s bright, fresh and simply tastes of juicy, ripe concord grapes. Back into the kitchen I go.

Concord Grape Jam

Concord Grape Jam

Concord Grape Jam Recipe: I did skip the step that requires peeling all the grapes. I tossed them in whole and pulverized them with an immersion blender instead. This worked very well to breakdown the skins, but it did rain sugary grape juice all over my kitchen. BIG MESS. I’ll be peeling all the grapes next time.

On The Menu — 9/19/2015

Week of September 19th

This is gearing up to be a wacky week in terms of menus as we have quite a few activities planned that include dining out. As such, I will be out of the kitchen for much of the week.  So, what’s on the menu?

First, I will be slurping oysters and cracking into a nice fat crab or two at the Baltimore Seafood Festival. I recommend you do the same.

Also on the dining scene is an early, pre-theater dinner at a new (to us anyway) local restaurant — definitely more to come on that. We then have tickets to see the theater production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. ( No lace Mrs. Bennet, I beg of you, no lace!)

And finally, I am attending my monthly Girls on Grapes night at Bin 604 with my good friend and partner in wine (among other things), Christina. We are actually given wine homework, which, get this, includes drinking wine. Oh how I suffer.

So after all of the above, below are my actual cooking plans for the week. I am only making two meals, but will be cooking enough for leftovers to get us through.

  • Vietnamese Caramelized Lemongrass shrimp:  I have made this dish several times and have yet to refrain from picking up my bowl and licking every last drop of this luscious, holy grail of Vietnamese sauces. The dish is easy to turn out once you have the caramel sauce on hand, so I suggest making a vat of it on a spare weekend and fill the pantry. While you’re at it, go ahead and make a batch of your own roasted chile paste rather than use the jarred stuff. Trust me. If you want a dish that blows your mind, take that extra step. Bonus —  both the caramel sauce and the chile paste keep for several months, so double those recipes. That’s exactly what I did.
  • Stir-fried broccoli with beech mushrooms and roasted chile paste: Use the same roasted chile paste I just urged you to make at home — two for one! No excuses now.

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