Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Korean Spicy Braised Chicken (Dak-bokkeumtang)

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently on a Korean-cooking kick. This braised chicken recipe is not at all dissimilar from the pork recipe in the previous post- the ingredient lists for the two recipes feature a lot of the same items.

I turned to Maangchi again for this recipe, but made a few changes- I used skinned chicken legs and thighs instead of wings, and used some carrot as well as potato. Reading a few different variations for this recipe suggested to me that any cut of chicken would be OK to use. Maangchi used chicken wings, but I used what I had instead. I also prefer braised chicken dishes without skin, as I don't really like non-crispy chicken skin. In a few other recipes, carrot was used as well as potato, so I added that too. Other recipes also suggested daikon root, which would also be a nice addition.

I think this chicken stew is a great dish for colder weather- it is very comforting, but makes a change from the usual heavy casseroles that I associate with winter food (as much as I love them). It is quite a spicy dish, but not as spicy as the red colour of it would suggest.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Jeyuk Bokkeum- Korean Spicy Stir Fried Pork

I recently went to Toppoki, a Korean restuarant in Birmingham, and it gave me a gentle reminder that Korean food is something I really should get to know better. The food at Toppoki was delicious, and I wanted to recreate some of the dishes we had, one of which was this vibrant coloured and flavoured pork dish.

There were many possible recipes I could have used for this, but a friend pointed me in the direction of Maangchi for good Korean recipes. I hadn't actually heard of her, it seems I have been missing out. If you are interested in Korean cooking, I would recommend looking at her website. I also like Beyond Kimchee.

So, I went with Maangchi's recipe. There are two ingredients that you probably can't pick up at your average supermarket, but if you have access to a decent Asian super market you should be ok. The ingredients in question are gochujang, a chilli paste, and gochugaru, Korean chilli flakes. Both are an exciting fearsome red colour, spicy, but not as hot as they look.

 I used pork belly for this dish, but to be honest I think in future I would prefer something leaner. I love the fattiness of pork belly, but the fat wasn't crispy, like when you cook it quick and fast, or soft and melting, like when you cook it slowly. It was still good with pork belly, but I felt I would prefer it this way.
Despite that, it was a very good dish- hot, quick and tasty.
Link to Maangchi's recipe

Ingredients for the jeyuk bokkeum- pork, onion, green chilli, spring onion, sugar, soy, garlic,gochugaru and gochujang

Ingredients mixed together

Finished dish

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Cranberry, Pecan and Chocolate cookies

225 grams cups oats
75 grams desiccated coconut
225 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
350 grams light brown sugar, packed
250g  unsalted butter
125 ml  maple syrup
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
60 ml boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 grams pecans
100 grams dried cranberries
100g chocolate chips-milk or dark                                                              

Preheat oven to 150 C , and line two baking sheets. Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine. Combine butter, maple syrup and golden syrup in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring, then remove from the heat. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water, then stir this into the butter and syrup mixture along with the pecans, cranberries and vanilla extract. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and then stir in the chocolate chips.
Take golf ball sized lumps of the mixture, and lightly roll into balls. Place on baking sheet, and flatten slightly, leaving a 5cm gap between then cookies. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer with a fish slice to a wire rack.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Raspberry and Ginger Bars

As much as I love cooking and eating curd, I don't get through it especially fast, so I usually need to find a recipe to use it in bigger quantities than I would put on toast. I am usually happy to use it as a cake filling, but I felt like doing something different with this raspberry curd that I made recently.
These raspberry and ginger bars were the result- I was really happy with them! They have a base made of crushed ginger biscuits, similar to a cheesecake base, and then topped with raspberry curd. The raspberry curd is baked on top of the base for a few minutes to firm it up, so you can slice the cake neatly. The curd is still soft though, and is a nice contrast to the crunchy base.
This would work well with other curds- lemon is an obvious choice, but I would also consider this pineapple curd, as this would pair well with ginger too. Playing around with the biscuit base is something I'd like to do too- for raspberry curd, I think a dark chocolate base would be really lovely too.

200g ginger nuts
2 tbsp caster sugar
90g unsalted butter
1/2 quantity of raspberry curd- or a medium jar of a shop bought curd.

Preheat the oven to 200 C, and line a 20cm x 20cm square tin. Crush the ginger nuts, either in a food processor, or by hand (put in a bag and use a rolling pin to reduce them to rubble). Melt the butter, and stir into the biscuit crumbs, along with the sugar. Press into the base of the prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes, and turn the oven down to 160 degrees. Leave for a few minutes to allow the oven to cool down to the lower temperature, then spread the curd on the base. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool, and put in the fridge to set for a few hours before slicing.