Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Korean Beef Stew...Simple and Delicious

Even if I enjoy preparing complex entrees, there are days when I relish the thought of making one-pot dishes . A few Korean dishes offer this kind of simplicity. And their Beef Stew is a very good example. Nothing could be simpler and be this delicious.

Korean Beef Stew

1.5 kilos lean short ribs, 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 liters water
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 stalk leeks, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 thumb-sized ginger, pounded

To serve:
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup thinly-sliced leeks

1. In a large Dutch oven or casserole, put first 8 ingredients and boil until beef is very tender.
2. Before serving the stew, top with sesame seeds and sliced leeks. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Note: For a healthier dish, you can skim off the oil on top of the sauce before serving. Or better yet, let it cool and keep in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. Remove any fat that has solidified before reheating. You can enjoy the same taste without going overboard on the fat.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Also Cook

Hi there! Welcome to my kitchen.

Guess it's no surprise that apart from baking, I also cook. I cook sometimes out of necessity and other times for pleasure (ever heard of intense craving due to PMS?).

Ever since I can remember, I've been the designated cook at family events. I'm also responsible for introducing new dishes to the family menu. You see I'm the only one who picked up the hobby from our Dad, an excellent, never-trained cook who's been playing in the kitchen for at least 50 years. He loves to cook and can whip up a feast in a flash like an Iron Chef.

He and I have been bonding in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. There have been some very important life lessons passed on with ladle in hand watching sauces simmer. The kitchen has seen a lot of laughter, banter, disputes and some tears (mostly from me).

My Dad taught me all of his recipes. I've tweaked some of them here and there much to his disapproval. I, on the other hand, have been teaching him to cook healthier dishes and practice kitchen safety. Most days we have animated conversations about food we read about in the papers or saw on the food channel. It makes me smile when I whip up a dish and he proudly announces to the help, "Nice, no? I didn't teach her that!" But no matter how old I get, I feel there's still more to learn from him.

Dad never writes down any of his recipes. He is now in his 70's so I figured it is the perfect time to start. I'm starting this blog as a tribute to my Dad and his love of cooking. I want to share with you and the next generation some of our family recipes. These recipes, which have graced many a family dinners and special events, have made us all happy little campers.