Cook The Cover

Cook The Cover

Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil

Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.

Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.

As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.

One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.

Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.

Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe

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Totally Captivating Yuzu Tea

Yuzu TeaTotally Captivating Yuzu Tea

We harvested the last of this year’s yuzu fruit today. It is a neat fruit to grow in the garden because it can be used in so many different recipes and is edible when young and green all the way into the late fall when it is ripe and yellow. An extremely aromatic fruit – a basket of yuzu perfumes the whole room. And it makes an equally aromatic tea: a heady floral elixir with notes of mandarin orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit.

The yuzu tea recipe is quite simple. Cut the fruit in half around the equator and remove the seeds. The seeds are large and plentiful but easy to extract. I use the skinny end of a teaspoon to pop them out. Slice the fruit into slivers. Without taking too much trouble, remove as much pith as possible. Place cut fruit in a bowl and muddle with a good amount of sugar. Once well-muddled, place the yuzu/sugar mixture in a teapot and pour in boiling (filtered) water. Steep only briefly then pour the sweet citrusy tea into mugs, along with some of the soft rinds and flesh which are edible too.

Kimchi Flatbread with Fresh Mozzarella

Kimchi Flatbread with Fresh Mozzarella - Gochujang Sauce, Scallion Curls, Roasted Seaweed

Kimchi Flatbread with Fresh Mozzarella
Gochujang Sauce, Scallion Curls, Roasted Seaweed

Looking for something out of the ordinary to top your next pizza? Try kimchi. Funky tangy cabbage kimchi pairs deliciously with creamy fresh mozzarella and gochujang, a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. The sauce is definitely spicy but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers. The resulting global flatbread is unique and quite irresistible (for the grown-ups, that is). Crispy roasted seasoned seaweed and whimsical scallion curls add the final flourishes.

Kimchi Flatbread Recipe

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Macaroni Bibimbap

Macaroni Bibimbap

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap
Seasoned Vegetables and Beef
Fried Egg, Gochujang Sauce

I struggled to come up with a name for this dish. Traditional Bibimbap is a super-popular Korean dish where seasoned vegetables and beef are neatly arranged over cooked rice, often topped with a fried egg and served with red chili sauce. Just before eating, the diner vigorously mixes it all together creating a wildly colorful, nutritious, and immensely flavorful meal in a bowl.

The Korean word Bibim translates to mixing. Bap translates to cooked rice. Myeon translates to noodles. Since I’ve substituted red rice macaroni for steamed white rice…should the name be bibimmacaroni? bibimmac? bibimmyeon? Ultimately I decided on the name Macaroni Bibimbap because it is made with rice-based macaroni, hoping that is not too confusing.

Macaroni Bibimbap

Made in Italy by my friends at Explore Cuisine of organic rice flour and pea protein, Red Rice Macaroni is loaded with 11 grams of protein per serving.  With a chewy al dente texture, unique shape and color, it makes for a fun fusion twist on the traditional Korean recipe.

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap Recipe

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Fluke Crudo, Gochugaru Vinaigrette

Fluke Crudo, Gochugaru Vinaigrette

Fluke Crudo
Gochugaru Vinaigrette, Korean Pickled Radish, Bird’s Eye Chili
Luxardo Cherry, Scallion, Nasturtium

Its texture is firm and smooth and the taste is mild, fluke is an excellent fish to serve raw, Italian style – with oil, acid, and salt.

An intensely flavorful vinaigrette of olive oil and toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and mirin, is enhanced with gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder. The coarsely ground powder is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried red peppers.

Korean yellow pickled radish, danmuji, brings sweet, sour and crispy notes while dark Italian Luxardo cherries add a dense, chewy sweet-tart unexpected counterbalance to the fish.

Finished with whimsical scallion curls and petite peppery-green nasturtium leaves, this Korean-Italian raw fish dish has delightful visual appeal and complementary global flavors.

Fluke Crudo Recipe

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Kimchi Lasagne

Kimchi Lasagne

Kimchi Lasagne
Made with Gluten-Free Lasagne Noodles
Creamy Spicy Cabbage Kimchi Sauce with Beef

Funky tangy kimchi makes a flavor bomb of lasagna. Kimchi’s spicy, salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami, fermented flavors simmered into a creamy sauce with ground sirloin and gochugaru (Korean red chili powder) replaces the ubiquitous tomato sauce in this fusion-style lasagna.

My friends at Explore Cuisine make an extraordinary noodle for lasagna recipes. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour. These no-boil noodles soak up sauce to two-and-a-half times their size to a perfect al dente texture.

The noodles are full of plant-based pea protein, a lovely olive-green color, organic and gluten-free. They are also higher in fiber and lower in carbs than traditional lasagna noodles.

The lasagna is garnished with shilgochu (Korean chili threads), scallion, and toasted sesame seeds for a striking garnish adding texture and spice. Shilgochu are finely-sliced dried chilis that are reddish-brown in color with smoky red pepper and fruity flavors, and a medium degree of heat.

Exploding with flavor and seasoned with a secret ingredient (you’ll have to see below), this lasagna paired with makkoli (Korean rice wine) is perfect for a rainy (or snowy) winter day.

Kimchi Lasagne Recipe

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