Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kimchee Bokum Bap - Korean Leftover Favourite!

Kimchee Bokum Bap - Kimchee Stir Fried Rice
There are dishes in every cuisine that will never be found on a menu.  Alas, they are often the best.  Perhaps some day the homey Korean favourites will become more popular they way peasant dishes like Bread Pudding and Haggis have.  Until then you'll have to enjoy my photos or try it out yourself.

There is always cooked rice in a Korean home.  I remember a few years back, we all joked about the omnipresent halogen fire hazard lamps everyone was buying as being aliens setting up for the invasion.  Well, that could certainly be said of the ubiquitous Rice Cooker in Korean homes.  I'm not talking about the tin bowled, one button dealy you can buy at Walgreens or London drugs for 20 bucks.  No.  Those work fine except on harder grains or brown rice.  Forget brown rice in those things!  No, they've come along way, the simple Rice Cooker.  For years, the next generation were the self contained cookers that let you know when they're done and kept your rice warm for upto a day.  Though mom still had to do the end 're-do' where you press the cook button one last time to ensure the bottom was 'cooked' away from the bowl.  Then a few years back they evolved yet again.  The Rice Cooker!??  Now mom's Rice Cooker plays some Bach when the Rice is done and it needed be pressed again.  It shows a timer for cooking and how long it 'should' be kept in the cooker.  The link is to a similar one. 

Regardless of the model, we always had warm or cooled cooked rice sitting around the house.  Why Korean mom's never got into the habit of cooking to order still baffles me.  Mom still cooks for twice as many people as are at the table.  Leftover rice in many cultures hardly ever goes to waste.  Indian, Chinese and Koreans like to stir fry theirs.  Italians roll and fry theirs into Arancini.  Koreans also sometimes deepfry the drier bits left clinging to the older Rice Cookers and sprinkle them with Sugar.  mmmmm

One of my favourite dishes as a kid with leftover Rice was Kimchee Bokum Bap.  Bokum is a stirfry. Bap is Rice.  It is a simple and humble dish that is super simple and amazingly tastey. 

Kimchee Bokum Bap

2-3 c cold leftover Rice
1 c chopped Kimchee (Cabbage Kimchee, bit sized)
1 c Mung Beans, blanched
1 small Onion, sliced
1-2 cloves Garlic
2-3T Kochujang
1/2c - 1c Cucumber, seeded and sliced
1-2 T Canola/Peanut Oil for cooking
Sesame Oil for garnish
Toasted Sesame Seeds for Garnish
Scallions for Garnish

In a Wok, heat the Oil on high.  Your Bean Sprouts should be blanched and drained before frying.

Toss the Onions for a minute or two until slightly softened.  Add the Garlic for a minute. Add the Rice Sprouts, and Kimchee.  Toss and mash.  Toss and Mash.  Add the Kochujang and distribute thoroughly.  If the Kimchee is spicy enough for you, leave out the Kochujang and add a couple of T of the Kimchee juices.  Mom made her own Kochugadru (Chili Powder) for her Kimchee so it was pretty firey as it was.

Turn the heat off.Add the Sesame Oil to the pan and distribute.  Garnish with the Cucumber.  You can use Scallions and Sesame seeds too.

Comforting Yummmmmmmmo!

Le Club Chasse et Pêche - Hubbo's Birthday - cozy old school Montréal

Halibut with Clams - Le Club Chasse et Pêche
I'm back!  The inertia of the holidays got the better of me.  You'd think that having family around would alleviate the burden of the new lil one but it just made me more tired.  We were home for nearly a month for the Christmas break and the grandparents were able to bask in the their first little one.  I say the first because his paternal grandfather has other grandchildren and he's not really a baby or kid person.  He certainly wouldn't bask.  It takes him a few minutes to realise there is a non adult in the room.  If you can't keep up your end of the conversation, you're not worth the energy to recognise.  My story about the unruly grocery store clerk is far more important! Listen up!  Gee, I hope D doesn't see this :^D

Anyhoo, we spent Christmas in Montréal this year which meant that we were also able to spend D's birthday together.  He was born on Christmas Eve Eve.  That meant of course, when he wasn't old enough to keep up conversation with his dad, he was too a forgotten birthday boy.  He took it in stride.  Not me!  I would have expected double the Christmas presents.  I took him out while our niece baby sat.  The last image I had was of him sitting on a personal sized trampoline while the younger one was doing ballerina twirls.

I wanted to make the most of dinner and asked D to pick.  He told me of a handful.  I was close to selecting Chuck Hughes place down the road but for some reason landed on Club Chasse and Pêche.  The menu looked a tad more diverse, though albeit, less adventurous.   It is a classic French Game style.

Le Club C&P is around the corner from the Notre Dame church on, well, Notre Dame.  So bear that in mind when thinking about parking.  We just go lucky when a gent pulled out and offered us his parking stub.  Woohoo!
Sweet Breads - Le Club Chasse et Pêche
First thing you'll note about le Club is that it is rather unremarkable from the outside.  I almost walked by, or rather slid by.  There had just been some sleet.  It is dark and a bit cavernous on entry.  D tried to convince me it was meant to convey the feeling of a hunting lodge.  I'd rather disagree.  With it's chunky purplishish/bluish painted walls and random use of crystal and glass intermingled with some taxidermy, it was more like Vincent Price meets Liberace's den.  The rooms are separated with heavy velvet curtains.  Odd.  We were seated at a small table in the smaller room which was fine.  The vestibule and the velvet curtains kept most of the draft out.  It was packed when we arrived and when we leisurely left.  So despite it's uninspired decor, it is still a popular locale.

Artic Char - Le Club Chasse et Pêche
We started our dinner with some starters.  I ordered the Halibut with Clams with a nice rich veloute. The Halibut was perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned.  The Clams were equally well cooked, not at all rubbery or fishy, very tender. D had some Sweet Breads on Risotto.  The Risotto was well cooked and balanced.  Our server helped select the wine.  I insisted to D that since it was his birthday, that he needed be concerned with my order.  I wanted him to enjoy his meal.  He prefers a bigger red but when we eat out he usually orders on the lighter side because I do not eat meat.  Our server recommended this wine based on our conversation.  It worked very well with both our meals.  Though it seems like trend/style deal with the whites and seafood.  There are some reds that simply clash with seafood.  I experience a very very unpleasant metallic, jaw tightening sensation with some reds and seafoods, particularly white fish or tuna.  Not so with the Abadia.

Duck three ways - Club Chasse et Pêche
I ordered the Arctic Char.  I struggled with it because I liked the sides on another dish.  That said, be aware that the restaurant does turn the menu over every so often.  I would rather draw your attention to the quality of the ingredients, and the skill of the chef.  The Char was well cooked with a nice crispy skin.  The Eggplant puree was tastey though lacked a bit of texture.  There was originally some meat on this dish which may of contributed to the Eggplant's lack of texture.  That said, they were very gracious in offereing to leave it off.  D ordered the Duck three ways.  He was concerned that normally the Duck breast in this sort of dish is often dry and a let down.  Our server assuaged his fears and D thoroughly enjoyed his Duck.

I had discretely told our server that it was D's birthday but when it came to dessert, he was otherwise occupied with another large table so another server took our dessert order.  I couldn't stall much longer.  So when our lovely dessert came out, our server was confused.  He had planned for something else.  But very generously, he offered us a glass of Brut Rosé in lieu of an embarrassing candle in another dessert.  Perfect for D.

Apart from the odd decor, it is a cozy restaurant.  The servers are very welcoming, and knowledgable.  The food was wonderful and fresh and very well prepared. Though the menu may read otherwise, it was not a heavy meal.

Cost: $$$-$$$$
Wine list: Extensive
Service: Excellent and warm
Ambiance: Dark yet cozy

Le Club Chasse Et Pêche
(514) 861-1112
Old Montréal
423 Rue St-Claude Map.4536f2c
Montréal, QC H2Y
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