In Canada, Turkey is quite often the Christmas meal of choice more so than Roast or Ham. Mom picked up the habit from our cousins who used to eat alot more 'western' food growing up than we did. It naturally appealled to her since she has a propensity for drama and presentation. It used to make sense when we would have an extended family meal but she continued to grow the size of her bird order despite the shrinking attendance at our table. So for the past few years we had had an immediate family meal on Christmas with a boyfriend or two at the table and then have a bigger meal at the cousins. That said, despite the five of us plus a couple of guests, less the couple of vegetarians, mom did not let that deter her from buying a 20 pound bird. I know at my age I should let things go but I really can't when it comes to food waste. You see there are two things you should know about mom, she does not like to serve leftovers and she doesn't really like Turkey in large quantities. It works okay for Korean food because she'll often eat our dinner leftover for lunch the next day but not Turkey and she'll have already cooked something else before someone can get to the Turkey and the bread to eke out a sandwich. 20lbs should feed like three times the number of people at our table. It drives me to complete madness. We argue alot over it, I am not embarassed to say. She thinks a smaller turkey looks less 'special', like an everyday roast chicken. Grrrrrrr!
|Salmon Sprout Rolls and Avocado|
|Mini Korean Seafood Pancake and Shrimp Tempura|
My fusion add to the appetisers:
|Mini Kimchee Quiche - cooked|
24 mini Tart Shells, defrosted
1/2 c Milk
1/2 c Cream or Half and Half (or all Milk)
1 1/2 T Flour
1/2-1 c Shredded Cheese (any Mild Melting Cheese)
1/2 c Kimchee, finely chopped (try to avoid the spines of the Cabbage)
2 T Korean Chives, finely chopped (or regular chives)
Preheat the oven to 425. Place all the shells on a single baking sheet. Dock the bottoms by poking the bottoms gently with a fork 3 or 4 times with a fork. Place in the middle of the oven for 7 minutes.
Remove and let cool slightly on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven to 330F.
In a large bowl or even better a huge measuring cup to facilitate pouring, beat the Eggs, Milk and Cream. Slowly add the flour to avoid lumps. Don't worry, they're unavoidable. Just do your best.
Place 1t of Kimchee on the bottom of each tart. Add 1/2 t to 1 teaspoon of Cheese on top. Fill the tarts with the Egg mixture. Sprinkle the top with the Chives.
Bake in the Oven for 30-35 minutes. Rotating the baking sheet halfway so the tarts in the front spend some time in the back of the oven. Serve warm. They were YUMMO! I wouldn't make a full sized Quiche with this but it made an interesting appetiser.
There were two 'Mains' though they were indistinguishable in volume from the 'sides'. Chap-jae (or Japchae, the "J" is somewhere between the J and Ch sound) and Slo Stewed Korean Short Ribs. Mom made the Chap-jae without meat though traditionally it contains bits of fried beef. Chap-jae is Beanthread Vermicelli noodles fried in a slighly sweet sauce made from Soy, Brown Sugar and Sesame Oil. The cooked noodles are fried in the sauce then tossed with the shredded vegetables, Mushrooms, Oyster Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Steamed Spinach, Onions, and Carrots. Yum! We eat it with rice which I've never questions but I guess could be odd.
Mom really cannot seem to grasp the concept of portioning. She made each individual dish as if it were the only dish. There was a Seafood Slaw Salad which she mixed in a bowl the size of an infants bath tub. No joke. It's one of those large steel bowls that you use to make 'smaller' batches of Kimchee, so 2 ft in diameter and 1 ft deep. I was exasperated but at least there wasn't a car sized Turkey to argue over. There was Shrimp, Squid and Krabstick mixed with Shredded Cabbage, Carrots and Green Onions in a Wasabi and Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing. She cut the Wasabi with regular Mustard so as not to overwhelm. It was 70% Seafood to 30% Vegetables and I thought she could have made it 30/70 the other way. I would have left out the Squid as well. It's not a typical Korean dish but it was quite nice and refreshing.
The rice. Mom has been adding beans to our simple steamed rice for many years to add a bit of protein. Nowadays at ours, you will never find plain white Rice unless she is making Sushi or Kimbap. Steamed Rice will always have a bean, tonight it was shelled Kong (Edamame), a bit of Quinoa and Wild Rice. And the Rice it self is Jasmine. Jasmine has a lower Glycemic Index. This concoction is everpresent on our table. It's why I never feel quite satisfied with a meal without a starch. I'm a bit better about it but it is hard.
For dessert was an array of Rice Cake (Dhuk) and Slice Melons and Korean Pears.
We drank some Argento Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh as well, V, my sister made some Mulled Wine. Some folks prefer beer with Korean food so we had some Steam Whistle which Dad loves.
A typical, diverse Canadian Christmas at ours. Always an arguement or three but that's probably pretty typical as well. Merry Christmas!