Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quick Kimchi

I planted cabbage in the patch last September to over winter for spring. It seemed like a good idea to have something in the ground as a winter crop. All true except for the fact, I never cook with cabbage! especially white cabbages. sometimes i'll make bacon and cabbage, but not 10 plants worth, which is what i have growing. I decided the best use would be a load of kimchi, and I was right!

my over wintered cabbage plants took awhile to produce heads after the long winter we had in Ireland.

I love kimchi and its quite hard to get in Ireland. Kimchi is the spicy Korean equivalent to sauerkraut. which is a fermented cabbage condiment. this recipe is for a quick 'white person' version, as opposed to the one that ferments for weeks (sometimes months!) as is the standard with authentic kimchi. a Korean friend of mine told me his Nan (grandmother) would put hers in a clay pot underground for 6 months during the winter! now, that must be a pungent mixture!

chill powder, ginger, green garlic and anchovies
don't let that scare you, with this recipe you'll have tasty kimchi in 2 days. the flavour develops nicely over the next couple of weeks so you have time to eat all of it. try keeping some around and tasting it as time passes.

if you are feeling creative try mixing different thinly cut veggies into the kimchi, as anything goes with this mix. beetroot would be interesting as well as some kale. I used green garlic stems, as my garlic wasn't quite ready for digging up, and im really happy with the results. I've been eating it with beef burgers (see the FWDR Instagram feed) and teriyaki mayo. its amazing with fish and chicken too. I even had it with scrambled eggs for breakfast, shoved into a pita - its the perfect kick start to the morning!


Quick Kimchi

Makes nearly 1.5 litres (6 cups)

Recipe adapted from What I had growing in the veg patch, The Simple Things Magazine and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz (see Bookshelf)

this is a two day affair, but the kimchi gets better with age so you can keep it in the fridge for weeks after preparing. serve kimchi with a Korean BBQ, roast chicken, grilled fish, breakfast, lunch or dinner. its especially good on a burger with a bit of soya sauce mixed into you favourite mayonnaise. VERY more-ish.

2 pounds (900g) white cabbage, finely sliced into ribbons
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 whole stalks of green garlic, or 10 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
20 slices of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chilli powder
1 small tin anchovy fillets in oil
4 fl oz (100ml) soya sauce
1 bunch of spring onions
1/2 pound (225g) carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

  • place cabbage salt and sugar in a large container and toss, leave covered in the fridge overnight.
  • the next day, rise the cabbage and dry out thoroughly
  • in a separate bowl add the marinade ingredients - garlic, ginger, chilli powder, anchovy fillets, and soya sauce and mix thoroughly, blending in the anchovy as much as possible.
  • add water to make the marinade the consistency of a thick salad dressing.
  • add the spring onions and carrots to the cabbage
  • stir in the marinade to the veggies.
  • tightly pack the kimchi into sterilized jars or a large container
  • this kimchi is great after 24 hours in the fridge, better after a week and at 2 weeks its in its prime. if you like strong flavours you can keep it around up to a month

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Easy Sponge Cake - with citrus, rosemary and thyme

this week  is the FWDR Blog Birthday week! it's been an whole entire year since the first post 52 weeks ago, and how far we've come. the year has been a good one, with lots of sun (and rain) and great home grown food. when FWDR first posted the Homegrown Bloody Mary post, it was also THE Julia Child's Birthday, and what a day to begin a food blog! So, in honour of Julia and the big birthday, I've taken from Julia's, Baking with Julia Cookbook, a cake recipe I've used time and time again with great results. I tweaked it a little to give it an FWDR spin, by adding lime zest, rosemary and thyme. its a perfect sponge recipe made even better with freshly whipped cream and homemade jam.

I've added a lot of pictures of the sponge making process, as I feel many people are afraid of making sponge cake. it really is easy, though. the one trick is to use a light touch, and not to be scared! the only leavening to this cake is the air you whip into the eggs, so an aggressive hand will knock out vital air and lend to a dense, lifeless cake. this is a traditional French genoise recipe, using the cold technique. don't skimp on whipping time, you need to whip the eggs and sugar until a ribbon sits on top of the mixture for 10 seconds, so beat those eggs for at least 5 minutes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Phew! Finally found a scrap of time to pull this post together. The computer is still being fixed, which is the main reason it's taken so long to post. So just The same as my last post, this is all being written on my smartphone. 

The weather has really turned back to an Irish summer, it's grey, warm, wet and the air is quite close. Which are the perfect conditions for blight! That said i just finished pulling up my second early potatoes, called 'records'. They looked great, with no blight at all. All that's left are the main crop 'golden wonder' spuds. Looking forward to them! 

Since its been so dreary out I've been really craving warm summer Mexican cuisine. The first crop of tomatillos were harvested just last week. I knew what was destined for those babies- tomatillo salsa. It's great as a dip for tortilla chips or it makes a fantastic and authentic enchilada sauce, which is where my tomatillos ended up. Baked with cheese and spicy beef filling.