Friday, January 15, 2010


I've wanted to make this dish forever. It seemed so simple and satisfying, and I think the only thing that's stood in my way all this time is the buying of the rice cake.
I've been watching a lot of Maangchi's Cooking videos lately, and she inspired me to just get down and do it.
I adapted her recipe slightly, but most of it is the same.
I sauteed thinly sliced tofu in sesame oil while I boiled four cups of water with some dashi soup stock base. Then I separated store-bought rice cake. I added 2 spoonfuls of hot pepper paste (gochujang) and 3 tsp of sugar to the boiling water, and threw in the rice cakes. I let the evil looking stuff boil until it began to thicken, and added chopped green onion and my fried tofu.
MMMM! Nose-running goodness!

Pate a Fruits

Edie and I have been cooking together more often since she and I moved into the same neighbourhood (hooray for neighbours!).
First we made macarons (Chocolate and Prune from David Liebovitz). They were a great success, and our next mission was to make Pate a Fruits. I've personally only ever had one measley serving of the stuff, at Canoe Restaurant as a part of a dessert dish. It was delicious, and we aimed to try to veganize it.
What was inter
esting about this adventure was that we each used a slightly different recipe and different ingredients. Hers was to be a mango pate de fruits, while mine would be apple. Mine had juice in it, while hers did not. Hers had more pectin in it, and no straining.
God, I wish mine had required no straining. I microwaved fresh apples and pears, then smushed them through a wire sieve (which took the better part of an hour).
We both stood at the stove, adding pectin to our fruity, lemony mixtures, and stirring. We had no candy thermometers, so we guessed when the mixtures had come to the app
ropriate temperature, and then poured them into containers lined with parchment paper to set.
Next morning: they're still loose. No lovely jelly.
We both try to
salvage ours by boiling them again. This time, I added agar to mine while she added gelatin to hers. We both got a great result this time! Mind you, we'd been futzing with this jelly for hours.
Some issues: I end
ed up with WAY TOO MUCH JELLY, and had to throw a bunch of it away. I don't know what I was thinking. No one wants more than a couple of small pieces of fruit jelly, and some people don't want even that!
Also, I sugared it the night before, and it got sweaty and had a runny, honey-like coating the next morning. That didn't prevent kind co-workers from eating it, but it felt like a bit of a fail.
So remember, Liz, for you French fruit jelly is not worth the effort!

Blueberry Chutney

Triple-post today. I made a few things over the holidays, but since school's started I haven't got around to posting.
I was going to an X-Mas party, and wanted to bring something interesting, low stress, and good for sharing. I thought I invented this dish, but googling proved me wrong on this, as it often does.
The process was quite similar to making Mango Chutney - I simmered a pint of blueberries, half a chopped onion, 1 1/2 cups vinegar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a handful of raisins, a teaspoon of salt, some mustard seed, cinnamon and ground cumin together until it became chutney-like, tweaking the seasoning until I liked it. I also threw in a small chopped apple for substance about halfway through the simmering.
Verdict: not as good as its mango cousin. A little too sweet, and with a background taste that did not mesh well with the papadum I served it with. However, my host claimed she loved it, and saved the leftovers to have with her dinner the next day. Go figure.