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Recent Reviews


After years of eating various types of kimchi, I decided to take the challenge and make it. A visit to a great Seattle market, Uwajimaya, got me started. A young Korean produce grocer was king enough to tell me the pros and cons of this recipe from his perspective but overall, encouraged me to go forth. He said his family had just done 50 liters, but he only helps cut the 4 cases of cabbage, as he is not yet worthy to make it himself. This store had a 1 pound bag of hot pepper powder (small flakes actually), and he had me buy a bag of coarse natural sea salt, more coarse than kosher. First, I did the kimchi paste on a Friday night. Sunday morning, (which I'll call Day 1) I did the kimchi. The instructions are very straight forward, but you'll need to take your time with all the cutting to match stick size. As directed in the recipe, following the last mixing, I tasted for seasonings when done and just grinned. It was awesome! Now, into the plastic bag to ferment at room temperature. Day 2, I spooned the mixture into a half gallon glass jar. A tasting at this point revealed no fermentation but a textural change, and a wonderful mellowing of flavors already. It's pretty potent smelling and I did not have a 100% airtight container, so I wrapped plastic wrap around the top and sealed with a rubber band, then put the glass top on. Today is now day 5, and my morning is exploring the web for a recipe using my home made kimchi. I can't wait and I'll return to this post over the next three weeks and share my observations and explorations. May thanks to Debra Samuels for the recipe, and congrats to the photographer and food stylist who stopped me dead in my tracks with the great photo. One look and I said, I have to make that!

Posted: 10:47 am on April 6th 2011

Re:Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Leeks, Carrots, Rosemary, and Orange

Don't know where to start. This was such a skillfully developed recipe. You can't imagine how well until you take that first bite. The balance of spice and savory, with the kiss of orange was just amazing. The lamb was fall off the bone tender. We've done lamb many ways over 33 years but this was the best lamb dish we ever ate. I would have liked more texture to the veggies but that may have been us not cutting large enough pieces. However, the flavor of the veggies was killer. Do not omit the orange rind. Even a small piece will make a difference and it is subtle. We did it with mashed spuds, although I'd prefer polenta but a certain red head won out. Follow to the letter is my advice! We had large shanks (two weighed in before trimming at 3.5 pounds) and they were perfect at 2 1/2 hours. I trimmed very aggressively, and followed the advice of cutting the tendons at the top bone so the shank came out looking "frenched". Also, I used a young Chardonnay and not Vermouth in the cooking liquid. I know, this is long winded but I am trying to get you to try it!

Posted: 10:37 pm on March 20th 2011