Archives for August 2016

A New Kind of Lunch/Snack: Triangle Sushi (Samgak Kimbap) by Jenny Chang

TriangleSushiHaving grown up in a traditional Korean home, there were many dishes that I was often embarrassed or afraid to introduce to my friends. Kimbap was one of them. I distinctly remember going on a preschool field trip to the circus where my mom had to pack a lunch for me to eat on the bus. My mother, having only known what kids in Korea ate for lunches, packed me two rolls of kimbap (aka. Sushi) neatly packed in what would today be known as a bento box. I looked around me and saw my fellow classmates eating ham or PB&J sandwiches, and so desperately didn’t want to be different with my rice rolls and seaweed.  It was mortifying as a 5 year old to open my lunch and have to quickly eat my rice rolls to avoid as many “What is that?” questions from classmates. Who in preschool wants to be different? Certainly not me.

Flash forward thirty years later, and I have a different story to share. You see, my oldest son (who is now 12) loves kimbap and his favorite is triangle kimbap. He begs me every year to send him to school with these cute rice triangles and every year I turn him down. You see, I’m still scarred by my own experience in school where bringing something different and foreign for lunch made me somehow not normal.  Succumbing to his ongoing request, I finally relinquished and sent him to school with seasoned rice and nori. Unsurprisingly, many of his friends asked what it was, but truly out of curiosity. Even more to my surprise many of them asked if they could try it. And some even LIKED it!!!

Triangle kimbap is a staple snack, lunch or even light dinner in our home. It’s a quick meal that can be made from staple pantry ingredients served with a green salad, veggies, or even soup. In fact, often in Korea, it is served alongside miso soup. Through my son and his adventurous classmates, I’ve learned that children today are far more open to trying new things and certainly more exposed to other cultures and food. It’s encouraging to see that my children can enjoy what they like, when they like it without fear or trepidation that someone might be offended by their snack or lunch. It’s comforting to know that our world and society has developed into a food-loving domain where all cultures are not only celebrated and appreciated but also sampled! Mash-shee-suh (Yummy in Korean)!

Tuna Triangle Sushi (Samgak Kimbap)
Yields 6
A delicious Korean snack.
Print
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of cooked rice (can also substitute half with brown rice)
  • 1 T. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ t. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 t. rice vinegar
  • tuna in oil, drained (I love the white tuna sold at Marcels)
  • 3 sheets of sushi nori (cut in half)
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  • Gently mix cooked rice with sesame oil, salt, vinegar, and sesame seeds. Place the triangle mold* on the top half of the ½ sheet of sushi nori and fill 1/3 with the seasoned rice. Add a small amount of tuna on top of the seasoned rice (about ½ tablespoon) and fill triangle mold with more seasoned rice. Tap with the top of the mold and push the rice through the mold using the top. Fold over the bottom half of the sushi nori over the rice triangle and fold sides down. Dip fingertips into the water and gently rub some water on the top sides of the nori still folded down and fold over the triangle.
Notes
  • *Sushi Triangle Molds are available at most Asian grocery stores
  • I often use tuna, but this dish can be prepared using cooked salmon, chicken, beef or even pickled vegetables. Just be sure that whatever you use to fill the triangle doesn’t have any liquid, as excess liquid can make the rice watery.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • basil or other herb, optional
Instructions
  • Trim green beans and parboil them in salted water until tender. Drain and immediately spread them to cool. Cut tomatoes in half. These steps can be done in advance.
  • For the vinaigrette, peel and dice the shallot finely and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the vinaigrette; this can sit awhile.
  • Do not add green beans or cannellini beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. Garnish with basil or another herb.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Herb Garden Harvest by Robin Nathan

I live in Roscoe Village, a great neighborhood in the city, a little west of Wrigley Field, in a house that was built in 1904. While many houses in my neighborhood are either new construction or gut rehabs, our house has only been updated over the past 116 years.  By city standards, we have a very large backyard – one of the biggest on the block, and the only one with the original trees. The oak tree is as old as the house, with an enormous trunk and towering branches. Our maple tree is a baby – a mere 60 years old. These trees provide lovely shade – but there is one downfall. Not enough sun for a true garden.

HerbPotsInstead, every spring, I line the stone fence surrounding the trees with pots of herbs.  They get enough sun to keep going through the summer months. There’s always basil, cilantro, and mint, sometimes rosemary, and this year there is also lavender and oregano. These herbs form the basis of many a weeknight dinner. Sometimes I’ll grab three and puree them with a little white wine vinegar and olive oil to drizzle over quickly grilled chicken, fish, or steak. Or I’ll throw in pine nuts or pistachios and make a quick pesto. Often I don’t even bother with the pureeing and just mince two or three herbs with a little arugula to toss into a quick summer sauté of grape tomatoes, sweet onions and bi-color corn. The fresh taste and color are welcome and delicious, and give new life to old weeknight standbys. You really can’t miss when you combine fresh herbs – just go a little easy on the mint so you don’t end up feeling like you’re eating toothpaste. Have fun and go a little herb crazy! In a few months, this freshness will be a only a memory.

5 Herb Purée
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh arugula leaves
  • 2 T. packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 T. packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  • Chop all the herbs. Place in a blender or coffee grinder (my favorite, because it really pulverizes the herbs) with the vinegar and oil. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Notes
  • To turn it into a pesto, add a couple tablespoons of a nut and some Parmesan cheese.
  • Serving Ideas: Drizzle on freshly grilled chicken, steak, fish, or pork. Stir into ratatouille or any other fresh veggie sauté. Drizzle over veggie crepes or breakfast eggs. Drizzle over goat cheese and serve with crackers.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Flatbreads

Grilled Flatbreads
Print
Ingredients
  • 2 t. dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup white flour
  • ¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour
  • 3 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Topping ideas
  • Pesto and Parmesan or Ricotta
  • Za’atar
  • Onion and sage
  • Rosemary and thyme
  • Tomato
  • Various cheeses
  • or serve with hummus or other dips
Instructions
  • Stir together the yeast and lukewarm water.
  • Add the ¼ cups of white and rye (or whole wheat) flours and mix well. Allow this mixture to sit until bubbly.
  • Mix the 3½ cup flour and 1 t. salt together in another bowl. Stir this into the yeast and flour mixture with ¾ cup cold water and ¼ cup olive oil. Mix together thoroughly and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is soft and elastic (5 minutes). Add more water or flour as needed.
  • Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Or refrigerate overnight, then remove from refrigerator 2 hours before shaping.
  • Heat grill until hot.
  • Divide dough into 8-10 pieces. Roll each piece into 1/8” thick round or oval. Lightly brush with olive oil and place the rounds directly on the grill grates, oil side down.
  • Grill the flatbread until golden brown, flip, add oil (and toppings, if desired) and grill other side. About 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and add salt and pepper or additional toppings.
Notes
  • Makes 8 - 10 flatbreads or 2 10-inch pizzas
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/