Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

First time I had brussel sprouts was at G's house - fresh from her garden. Delicious! I had no idea why there were the dreaded vegetable of commercials. They're everywhere at the markets now so I finally bought some. Not as good as garden grown, but still tasty.

  • 2 handfuls of brussel sprouts (or however many you want to eat)
  • butter
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • garlic cloves (to taste, I did 2)
  1. Chop off stem of brussel sprouts. Optional: Cut in half.
  2. Place in baking dish (cut half down unless you like them dry).
  3. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Cut garlic in half. Place in dish.
  5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until desired tenderness. It's ok if the outer layer goes black - the inside will still be tender.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pasta Bake

made this for dinner tonight. It's just like lasagna but with a different pasta shape. Used brown rice macaroni to make it gluten free. Make sure all pasta is covered with sauce or cheese...since the pasta dries up and hardens very easily.
  • bag of pasta, like elbows
  • ricotta
  • 1-2 eggs
  • parmesan
  • italian seasoning
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • mozzarella, grated
  • pasta sauce
  1. Boil the pasta until nearly done. Drain.
  2. In a bowl, mix the eggs, ricotta, parmesan and spices.
  3. In 9x13 dish spread sauce. Top with half the pasta. 
  4. Add the ricotta mixture, vegetables, some mozzarella and more sauce.
  5. Top with remaining pasta and repeat previous step. End with mozzarella topping.
  6. Bake at 350 until cheese is lightly browned (about 45 min - 1 hour).
see lasagna recipe for other things to do. spinach in the ricotta. beef in the sauce. etc.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hotteok are a delicious Korean snack - akin to a grilled pancake with a cinnamon-sugar filling. I first experienced it in Korea this past April with C. She showed me her favorite stands and I filled up on as many as I could. On a cold foggy day at the bottom of a mountain, they are the perfect snack to get you motivated. When you bite into them, the cinnamon-sugar juice is waiting to burst out into your mouth. The grilled dough wrapper is a thin vehicle to get the delicious filling inside. The dough is prepared ahead of time but the rest is done in front of you - the rolling, filling and cooking. They are a 5 star snack. This is my first attempt at making them at home. I don't have the equipment that the street-side cooks did, so I made do with what I had. They taste pretty good (4 stars) but in comparison to the authentic Korean ones, this can only garner 3 stars. Now that I'm in a cold climate again, I hope to experiment with a few other recipes before settling on the perfect one.

Hotteok Try #1
I rolled the first two by hand but they were too thick. So I used a rolling pin on the remaining six. These came out pleasantly thinner, but still not as thin as the authentic ones. It was hard to get any thinner without the dough breaking and revealing the filling. So I went to just before the breaking point. Recipe from this entry. It calls for milk but I only had lactarded milk on hand. Not sure what difference this makes but my dough did not come out sticky as the blog mentions.

  • 1/4 c lukewarm water
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t yeast
  • 1 c flour
  • 3/4 c glutinous rice flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c milk
  • oil for frying
I had trouble fitting in this much filling. Could get away with half - but I also felt there wasn't enough filling inside - so next time make sure to really stuff them.
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 2 T peanuts, finely chopped
  1. Combine the water, sugar and yeast. Let sit 5 minutes until bubbly.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and milk. Stir until comes together.
  3. Knead with hands for 2-3 minutes.The dough should be sticky (add more milk if too dry).
  4. Leave in a covered bowl in the oven with a pot of boiling water. Let rise for 2 hours or until doubled.
  5. Combine the filling ingredients in a small dish.
  6. Punch down dough and need a few times. Break off 1/8 of the dough. 
  7. Roll into a flat circular shape. Fill with 1 T of filling. Pinch in sides. Squash down with hand. Roll to as thin as possible without breaking open the filling. Note to Self: Next time try the roll into ball and pinch hole in middle method.
  8. Lay in oiled frying pan. I used a cast-iron pan at heat 5 (for other pan try medium high). Cook each side until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Continue to flatten as it cooks. Note to self: next time flatten with bowl and leave on as it cooks.
  9. Serve hot.
Other Recipes to Try
Korean recipe - uses egg in the dough
another Korean recipe - different ratio of flours (less glutinous rice flour)

- instead of peanuts, use walnuts or black sesame or almonds
- if you've run out of glutinous rice flour, use regular flour