Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday, February 11th - Yak-shik -Barley-Bean stew and Brandade

For breakfast, D had to take off early so I got up half an hour later and went upstairs to find, coffee brewed, my mug sitting there with warmed with hotwater, berries sitting out with a paring knife and yogurt all waiting for me! How sweet. I had some strawberries and blueberries on Organic Vanilla Yogurt with Smart Bran.

For Lunch, I had lunch with a team mate. We went up to the Korean food joint up the road on Seymour between Georgia and Dunsmuir. I had Raboki. It's like Duhkboki but it had some ramen noodles. Duhkboki is korean rice cake, mentioned in a previous blog on Lunar New Years as rice flour dumplings, with a very spicy sauce. The classic will often only be the ricecake with the sauce. Sometimes you'll get it with onions and fishcake. This place stretched it further, like meatloaf, with cabbage and noodles so you have less Duhk. The fishcake is a typical asian standard thing. You'll find them all over in different shapes and flavours. The Korean ones used here look like finger sized dumplings with a tanned coloured wrinkly skin, not unlike the fried tofu balls or 1/2 cm thin sheets of the same colour and texture. It is a pre-cooked pattie of chopped fish, often neutral tasting pollock with some soy or other savoury flavourings. If you've ever ordered Thai Fish cakes as an appetiser in a Thai restaurant, they're sort of like that but no lime or lemongrass or chili. It was pretty good. 5.50 for a plate and it came with two 'ban-chan' or korean sides, kim-chee and kong-namel. My friend just had egg-ramen. Looked alright. Your basic noodlebowl with some veg and an egg on top. But unlike the other Korean restaurants they come with real thick noodles but these were like those thin pack ramen noodles.

Dinner will be involved cuz I accidentally volunteered to make Yak-shik. D accidentally purposely bought a 10kg bag of sweet rice because he just thought it was short grained asian rice. He asked me to look for recipes. Yak-shik is a classic sweet rice dessert with sugar, chestnuts, pinenuts and red dates. (red dates are red, shrivelled, round and the size of a grape).

YAK-SHIK2 cups sweet rice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp caramel or cornsyrup. my mom uses corn syrup so I will too. or maple. haven't decided.
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
15 pieces chestnuts
15 pieces dried seedless red dates (if I have to soak the dates, I might have to use a substitute)

Soak the sweet rice in water overnight, then drain.
Place a gauze or cheese cloth in the steamer
Put the rice on the cloth and steam over high heat (15 mins)
Put the sweet rice in a large bowl
Add in brown sugar, syrup, sesame oil and salt
Add in the chestnuts, dates and pine nuts
Mix everything together while rice is hot
Put rice cake mixture back on steamer and steam for another 40 mins
Remove and cut into slices
These rice cakes can be served hot or cold
1 tbsp pine nuts (mashed)

D is making a recipe from an Australian GOURMET magazine cuz he also has a large bag of barley he needs to use. (Recipe to come)

Barley, Portobello and Berlotti Bean Stew with Pumpernickel Garlic Toast

Also sitting in the fridge is some saltcod soaking in water waiting to be turned into Brandade. A potatoe, cream and saltcod mash. D also made his Brandade from Panisse. It was a bit salty because he didn't change the water but he wanted to strictly follow the directions and poured out the change water I added :-). It was still tasty when we added back some of the potato to dilute the salt. (Recipe to come)

Classic Brandade from Zuni Cafe

Brandade is a salt code mash. It is so yummo and versatile. You can serve it as a side, dip or on toast. You can also use leftover to make fritters by adding potato mash. Be sure to desalinate your salt cod by soaking in water for 24 hours (12 if you're rushed) by submerging in water and changing the water every few hours.

The first time D made this, he didn't know and the recipe in the book he found did not specify in the recipe. It just said to soak and not change the water. Weird. It did in the pages before describing the use of salt cod. Anyhoo. Desalinate.

2 - 3 garlic cloves mashed with salt and pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup water
500 g salt cod (you can play with this but don't be chintzy)
3 T heavy cream
3 T olive oil

Simmer the milk and water. Add the salt cod. Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Don't boil.

Lift the fish out and drain on a dry clean towel. When cool, flake the meat. The cooked meat should way about a pound. The salt weighs alot so it will be lighter than when you started.

Heat the cream and oil, separately. In a mortar and pestal. Mash the cod until fibrous. Add the cream and oil slowly and continue to grind. You can add slightly more than the 3 T if the cod takes and and doesn't separate. Add the garlic. Grind until you have a nice fluffy emulsion.

YUMMO. Keep leftovers covered in the fridge. Lasts a week.

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