November 18, 2012
In a recent post about this years Epcot Food & Wine Festival (Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2012: more food… more thoughts…), I showed you the offerings at the Vegan booth terra, one of which was a meatless chili topped with a faux cheese…
about the same time as I had tried this dish, I happened to stumble across a recipe for cashew cheese in the November 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine, and since I’m quite fond of cashews anyway, I decided to give it a try…
So be prepared to make a trip to the health food store or Whole Foods, etc for a couple of the ingredients, and then Let’s Cook!
Spicy Cashew Cheese
2 Cups Raw Cashews, soaked in water to cover for 12 to 24 hours
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbl Nutritional Yeast (not the regular stuff – you’ll likely have to hunt for this, like the raw cashews… or find online)
1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tsp White Balsamic Vinegar (or white wine vinegar – rice vinegar would work too)
1/4 Tsp Granulated Onion Powder
1/8 Tsp Granulated Garlic Powder (or a little more, to taste)
1/8 Tsp Ground White Pepper
2 Chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, along with a Tsp of the sauce (of course you can up this as desired… as I usually do)
Drain the soaked cashews and put into the bowl of a food processor.
Process for about 1 minute until a coarse paste develops.
Add the rest of the ingredients, other than the chipotle peppers and sauce, and process for 4 or 5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth.
Add the chopped peppers and adobo…
and process for a couple more minutes until well incorporated.
Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight to firm up a bit.
And now what do you do with it?
Use as a dip, spread on a chip,
use it as a bread spread, and yes, you can dollop it on chili (veggie or not) or with some pasta…
So is it “cheese”? Of course not – the nutritional yeast gives it a little bit of that cheesy taste – but what it really is is a cashew-based hummus – and it’s really good (and probably, shhhh… sorta good for you).
Now if you want to season this differently, at the point after the second (long) processing (and before you add the peppers in this recipe), you have a fairly “blank slate”, as the “cheese” is a bit nutty, but still fairly bland. If you don’t want to make it spicy, omit the chipotles and try adding herbs of your choice (basil?), and/or roasted garlic, or whatever strikes your fancy… or even more or different peppers (habaneros anyone?) for the chile-head!
This is worth a try, and after you’ve found the ingredients it’s is easy as pie… or “cheese”…
Back to the kitchen – see you soon!
September 23, 2012
As Dedicated Readers know, I have quite a fondness for Korean cuisine, and have shared a few Korean (or Korean-inspired) recipes here over the years…
and with the South Korea booth making a return appearance at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year (yeah!), I thought I’d share another… and it gives me an excuse to cook and eat some Korean food!
The Korean food has been a big hit since this location was introduced to the Festival in 2010. This was actually a bit of a surprise to me, as I was afraid so many guests would be reluctant to try a cuisine that I think is mostly unknown to the majority of Americans. But I think the food items were so good that word of mouth soon had long lines at the kiosk almost constantly. I’m glad that Disney guest have taken to this introduction to a type of food I really enjoy… but I hate that I now have to wait in those large lines to get my taste!
The two savory items featured the first couple of years were Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw (which has been the most popular recipe I’ve shared on the blog) and Barbecue Short Rib (aka Kalbi) with Rice and Kimchi.
The 2012 version of the booth still has the pork dish, but the beef ribs are being replaced with a Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce. Koreans seem to be quite fond of savory pancakes (called Pajeon or Pa Jon), and it’s something I’ve been wanting to try out a recipe for for quite a while, so inspired by the upcoming addition to the Food & Wine kiosk, I pulled out my Korean cookbooks and settled on a dish from the Kimchi Chronicles book.
The Kimchi Chronicles is a PBS series starring Marja and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness also along for the ride while actress Heather Graham also makes a few apperances). The series chronicles Marja discovering her culinary roots in Korea (she is the daughter of a US serviceman and a Korean woman who was adopted and raised by a family in the United States). Her husband Jean-Georges is one of the most famous chefs and restauranteurs around, and adds his knowledge and his own spin the the traditional recipes. I can recommend both the show and the cookbook to those interested in the foods of Korea. You can check out the Kimchi Chronicles at their website.
After that long preamble I’m getting hungry, so Let’s Cook!
Korean Seafood and Scallion Pancakes
For the Pancakes:
2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Rice Flour (available in Asian markets, or check the “health food” area of you local market)
2 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
2 1/4 Cups Cold Water
8 oz Containers of Oysters, drained
1/3 Lb (give or take) Medium or Large Raw Shrimp
1/2 Cup Scallion (aka Green Onion) Pieces (cut into about 1.5″ long pieces)
Vegetable Oil for frying
For the Scallion Dipping Sauce:
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
2 Tbl Rice Vinegar
2 Tbl Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Powder, available at Asian markets. This is good stuff – I use it a lot in all types of cooking, it’s worth finding.)
6 Scallions, thinly sliced
Start by making the dipping sauce – simply whisk all the ingredients together and set aside. You can make this a day or two ahead and stick in the ‘fridge if you’d like (it probably even gets better…).
For the pancakes start by shelling and deveining the shrimp and cutting them up: if medium size just halve, if large split lengthwise and then cut in half.
Whisk the AP and rice flours along with the salt together in a medium to large bowl (the rice flour adds a bit of extra crispiness to the pancake when cooked).
Whisk in the water until the batter is smooth.
Add the seafood and scallion pieces…
and stir to mix well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add about a cup of the batter (try to get an even amount of the goodies in each pancake) to the hot skillet.
Cook until browned and crispy on one side, about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the heat, the thickness of the pancake, etc. Carefully flip over to cook the second side.
After the second side is done (another 2 – 3 minutes), remove to a paper towel lined plate and start on the next pancake, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
I found the large (1 cup of batter) size pancake a bit hard to turn (of course if you have to break it into pieces to turn it’s not a big deal). Try it for the first one, and if you have the same issue, just make smaller ones. Like “regular” pancakes it may take one or two to get it right… the first ones are for the chef… 😉
You can certainly vary the seafood used, if you’re not fond of oysters you can sub more shrimp, or add scallop pieces (but I really like the oceany, almost meaty, flavor the oysters add to this – mussels would be nice too). All scallions can be used for a strictly veggie-version (and the all-scallion pancake seems to be a popular and very traditional dish in Korea).
The scallion dipping sauce is a nice thing to add to your repertoire – it can be used with pot-stickers and even just simple cooked/roasted chicken.
The original version of the recipe is, of course, available in the cookbook, but is also on the Kimchi Chronicles website.
This is sure worth giving a try! I liked it a lot and will be making it again! If you whip it up be sure to let everyone know what you think in the comments!
The Food & Wine Festival at Epcot is now less than a week away! We’ll soon see how the pancake at the South Korea kiosk is!
Now, as always, back to the kitchen!
September 7, 2012
Yes Dear Dedicated Readers, we’re once again counting down…
At the time of this writing it’s just over three weeks until the official opening date (September 28) of the 2012 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (aka the Best Time of the Year)!
Over the past few years I’ve shared several recipes directly from, or inspired by, dishes served (or demoed) at the Festival.
So I thought I’d give you a quick review/links to those posts so that you can try a dish or two (or more…) in the days leading up to the fun at Epcot!
Below are links to the recipes (I think I’ve gotten them all, if you catch one I’ve missed, please comment!). Take a look!
Recipe prepared by Andrew Zimmern at the 2010 Festival.
This is one of the most popular posts/recipes ever on the blog!
Another very popular post…
Trust me… make this one!
There you have it – a quick wrap-up of the Food & Wine Festival recipes from the blog. Hope you will give some of them a try!
Now back to the kitchen… and we’ll keep counting down to the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival! See you soon!
August 29, 2011
As our minuscule numbers of Dedicated Readers will recall, Miss Bonnie and I attended the Sneak Preview for this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and at that event we were able to sample several of the new items that would be presented to guests this fall (and yes, we know we still owe you part three of that post… keep your collective shirts on…). If you for some bizarre reason haven’t yet read our first two parts of the Sneak Preview review, you can visit part one here, and click here for part two.
One of the items we sampled that evening was the Kalua Pork Slider from the new Hawaii kiosk.
My opinion of this dish was basically that it was solid, if unspectacular… so let’s try to tweak it a bit… so yes friends, one again, Let’s Cook!
Polynesian Pulled Pork Sliders
Okay – we gave you a couple of recipes recently that we told you to keep on hand, so now here is when we’ll put them to use – what? You didn’t keep them nearby? Damn…
So now go back and get them: we’ll use the Pineapple Chutney and Polynesian-style Pulled Pork in this recipe, and both need some extra time to prepare, so get your rear in gear and get these ready and we’ll move on…
Easy Asian-Style Slaw (we won’t make you go to another post for this, see below)
Rolls/Buns – since we’re making a take-off on the sliders (and don’t get me started on the whole-slider-thing…), the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are perfect for this. They are pretty much available everywhere… if you want a real sandwich, you can use the King’s Sandwich Rolls, or any other sandwich/bun of your choice…
Make the chutney (ideally a day ahead, but not required) and pork (see recipes at links above).
While the pork is cooling,
make the slaw:
Easy Asian-Style Slaw
I felt this sandwich needed a bit of crunch, so I came up with this is a super-easy slaw inspired by a recipe from my Culinary Goddess Jaden Hair of SteamyKitchen.com (you can see the original recipe here). Feel free to use regular cabbage if you like (I’d just use the finely shredded Angel Hair slaw mix in the produce section of the grocery), and even omit the carrots and snow peas if you’d like…
Napa Cabbage, finely shredded, about 2 cups (give or take)
Carrots, cut into matchsticks (just use the pre-cut ones from the grocery) about a 1/2 cup
Snow Peas, cut into small matchsticks (about the same size as the carrots), about a 1/2 cup
1/3 Cup Ponzu Sauce (a citrus-soy product you should be able to find in the Asian section of your grocery)
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbl Toasted Sesame Seeds
Hard stuff coming:
Mix the Ponzu and Sesame Oil – add the veggies and mix… stir now and then until serving time… I think I need a rest now…
Now back to the main recipe… more difficult steps to follow…
Split your bread of choice and toast lightly if desired.
Put a bit of the chutney one one side…
add a generous amount of tasty pulled pig…
add the crispy slaw…
In all modesty, we think this is a bit more interesting and flavorful version of the dish we sampled at the Preview dinner… the original included a (not very) spicy mayonnaise, and we won’t be heart-broken if you want to add the same to this version (take your favorite mayo and blend in Sriracha to your taste)… if you’d just like some more spice, add a squirt or seven of Sriracha atop the pork or a slice or two of pickled jalapeno…
We hope you give this a try – it really is tasty, and would make a nice dish for a party over the up-coming Labor Day holiday – and we’d like to see how you compare it to what will be served at Epcot this year…
We have lots of cooking to do pre-Food & Wine… so back to the kitchen!
August 25, 2011
Fruity, a bit spicy, a bit sweet… a tasty, versatile condiment… sounds good, huh?
Again (like the Polynesian Pulled Pork recipe), here at the Eating (and Drinking) Around the World Kitchens, we’ve been inspired by the inclusion of Hawaii at this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
And when you think of Hawaii, you think of surfing, ukuleles, Don Ho and Jack Lord (if you are of a certain age), and of course, pineapple.
I perused several recipes, and came up with the version below (the main inspiration came from a Food Network recipe credited to one Cheryl Smith). And, if I do say so myself, it came out pretty Dang Tasty.
So without any further ado (or blatant attempts to pad the word count of this post), let’s cook!
1 Fresh Pineapple (peeled and cored), diced into about 1/4″ pieces
1 Medium Sweet Onion, diced
2 Tbl Fresh Ginger, peeled and finely minced
6 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, diced (seeded if you want a slightly milder heat)
1 Tbl Ground Cumin
1/2 Cup Dark Rum (you thought we’d have a recipe without alcohol?)
1/3 Cup (give or take) Raisins (soaked in the rum)
1/2 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Sugar (you could use part brown sugar if you dare)
1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbl Oil (Peanut or Canola)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onions, ginger, peppers and cumin and saute until beginning to soften and aromatic – about 5 – 10 minutes.
Add the rum and raisins and cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the pineapple, lime juice and sugar. Simmer over medium-low heat until the pineapple is a bit softened, but not mushy (maybe 15 – 30 minutes or thereabouts).
Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cool and serve, or (preferable) refrigerate overnight (taste again and re-season if needed). This should keep for several days in the ‘fridge (just don’t ask me how long for sure…).
So what do you do with this tangy goodness? Try it alongside a simple grilled chicken or fish. As a condiment to most any type of pig it’s a natural. You can certainly slather it on a sandwich…
Mistress Sandra used it as an accompaniment to some sharp Cheddar Cheese… yeah, baby!
Like the Polynesian-Style Pulled Pork, we’d like you to keep this recipe handy – we’re going to use it again soon…
Back to the kitchen – see you soon!
August 17, 2011
A couple of items sampled recently at the World, and with the inclusion of a Hawaiian booth at this years Epcot Food and Wine Festival, inspired me to go into the Eating (and Drinking) Around the World Kitchens and come up with a tasty, Polynesian/Hawaiian/Island-styled pig dish…
The traditional Hawaiian version of big-pieces-of-pork-cooked-slowly is called Kalua Pork, and it involves pork seasoned pretty simply with sea salt and wrapped in banana leaves… oh yeah, you cook it in a pit in the ground…
Not that I’m averse to the idea of digging up my backyard and filling it with rocks and coals to cook some tasty pig, but my neighbors, and the Homeowners Association, may have other ideas…
So in researching recipes for Kalua Pork, most involved cooking in the oven for a long time seasoning with sea salt and copious amounts of liquid smoke… I’m sure would turn out edible, but I decided to go in a different direction…
Many, many moons ago I made my last (and only) trip to Hawaii – one of the things I sill recall is how pineapple in one form or another seemed to be in every dish – a spear was in your iced tea, pineapple juice was in the cole slaw dressing, etc…
So I came up with a marinade that I think many of us would feel has the “Flavors of the Islands” – pineapple, soy, rum (gotta have a Mai Tai, right?) – probably not really very authentic, but I think it turned out nicely and still gives you the feeling of something tropical and “island-ish”…
Keep in mind this is not a last-minite dish – you have significant marinating time, and it needs to cook for quite a while, so be sure to plan ahead…
So now, let’s cook!
Polynesian-style Pulled Pork
For the marinade:
1 3″ long piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Rum
1 cup Soy Sauce
3 cups Pineapple Juice
Salt to taste
Liquid Smoke (optional, see below)
For the pork:
1 Pork Butt (bone-in or boneless, your pick, I usually chose the bone-in – most will run between 3 – 6 pounds, bigger will just take a bit longer to cook…)
Dark Brown Sugar to coat (2-4 tbls)
Coarse Sea Salt to coat (Hawaiian if you have, 2-4 tbls)
To make the marinade, put all the ingredients except the salt (and liquid smoke) into a blender or food processor (if yours isn’t big enough to take all comfortably, just use part of the juice and mix the rest in later) – blend until the ginger and garlic are smushed and well incorporated into the liquids. Add salt to taste. If you are going to cook the pork in the oven instead of an outside smoker, you may want to use a bit of Liquid Smoke in the marinade – your call – just be judicious, try maybe 1/2-1 tsp or so.
Take out a cup or a little less of the marinade and stick in the fridge.
Now take your piece of pig and put into a big zip-lock bag – add the remaining marinade, zip it up (removing as much extra air as possible), and put the bag-o-pig into a proper size container and stick it into the ice box for at least overnight.
If you have a marinade injector (nothing more than a syringe with a big needle at one end), you can also inject part of the marinade deep into the meat all over. You can find this goodie for just a few bucks, and if you marinate many larger pieces of meat, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Remove your butt (the pork butt, that is) from the refrigerator about an hour or so before you plan to stick it into your cooking vehicle of choice (oven or smoker…).
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (or light/prepare your smoker/grill/etc).
Remove the meat from the marinade (and discard the marinade) and dry well with paper towels. Rub all over with some coarse sea salt and a bit of brown sugar – just enough to color the outside, don’t try and make a thick crust of the sugar.
If cooking in the oven, place the meat in a roasting pan (on a rack if you have one) and cook uncovered for 4 to 6 hours (depending on the size) until very tender. Internal temps should actually be around 195-200 degrees.
If you’re going to use an outside smoker, I’m going to go under the grand assumption you already have some knowledge of low-and-slow butt smoking… so knock yourself out with your favorite method… I’d shoot for about 275 degrees (indirect cooking with smoking wood, I used Guava Wood chunks from Hawaii to complete the “Island” theme) and let it go for as long as 10-12 hours… some real “butt pros” will smoke at even a bit lower temps for as long as 18-24 hours.
Now you may think that a piece of pork cooked to 200 degrees would be horribly overcooked, but when you take a fatty piece of meat and take a long time at a low temp to get to that point, magical things happen… the connective tissues and fat seem to melt away and it becomes, well, something wonderful…
When done, remove your butt from the oven/smoker and allow to cool a bit until you can handle it (probably at least 1/2 hour or a little more). You can pull and shred by hand or use a couple of forks to shred into as fine pieces as you like.
Be sure the dark outside coating (what ‘cue aficionados refer to as the “bark”) is well mixed in with the softer inner meat. Now you’ll want to add more seasoning – use your reserved marinade to mix in with the shredded pork – just enough to season, but not make it sopping wet. You may also want some more nice coarse sea salt as well – taste and season as you like.
So what shall you do with this? You can simply serve on a plate with some rice and veggies of choice, or put on a bun (duhhh…) with you choice of condiments, or…
Well, I say for you to put the recipe in your back pocket, and we’ll have a couple of uses for you soon (well, as soon as we normally get around to things here…).
Keep in mind that pulled pork usually freezes very well, so even if you don’t plan on eating this puppy (or rather, piggy) right off, you can make when you have time and stick into the freezer for a bit.
That’s it for now – take a stab at this pig and let us know what you think. The same marinade should also be good on pork tenderloin or chops, chicken pieces, or even a nice rib eye…
Back to the kitchen…
October 22, 2010
Even in my advanced years, it’s taken me a long time to become a fan of sweet potatoes. Being raised a good Southern Boy I was most often presented with them at holidays and filled with many added sugars and topped with marshmallows – almost more like an orange-colored dessert than a savory side dish… yuch…
Only in the last couple of years have I come to appreciate the subtle sweetness (and good nutrition) contained in these gnarly tubers.
This recipe comes from one served at the South Africa booth at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
The main star is supposed to be the Seared Beef Tenderloin, but to me the real winner was the side of mashed Sweet Potatoes and a nicely spicy and sweet sauce. The creaminess and flavor of the potatoes are enhanced by (surprise) the addition of a banana (another food item I’ve never been too fond of…).
So without further ado, let’s cook!
Sweet Potato Puree with Mango Barbecue Sauce
For the Sauce:
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce (see notes below)
1 Cup Mango Chutney (see notes below)
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1-2 Finely Chopped Hot Peppers of Choice (optional, to your taste/heat preference)
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat 20 – 30 minutes stirring frequently. If unsure about the heat level, omit the peppers to start and taste after a few minutes, add to taste and continue to cook the sauce. Taste and add salt if needed. Can be made ahead and refrigerated.
Notes: the original recipe just calls for “Barbecue Sauce” (which for me encompasses quite a wide variety…), so I’d say use whatever you like or may have on hand, but I’d recommend to start with a basic tomato/ketchup based sauce – I used Stubb’s Original.
For the Mango Chutney, the original recipe included instructions to make your own, but you (like I) can cheat and use an off-the-shelf jarred sauce found in the condiment aisle of your friendly neighborhood grocery (if you don’t find it there, try the ethnic/imported food section) – I used Cross & Blackwell Hot Mango Chutney. The standard size jar was just about 1 cup (how convenient).
For the Sweet Potatoes:
3 Medium Sweet Potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 – 2 inch chunks
1 Medium Banana, peeled and sliced
1 – 2 Teaspoons fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
3 – 4 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
Boil the sweet potatoes until fork-tender. Should take 8 – 10 minutes or so depending on the size of the pieces. Drain well.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the ginger and bananas and saute for a few minutes until soft (I like ginger so I used 2 teaspoons).
Add the OJ and the cinnamon – mash the bananas to a paste with your spoon.
Turn off the heat and add the sweet potatoes and 2 tablespoons of the butter.
Mash with whatever implement of potato destruction you prefer (or if you have one of those fancy-dancy potato ricers pat yourself on the back and use that…) until smooth. If not quite as creamy as desired, add a splash more juice and/or the other tablespoon of butter. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
As it was served at Epcot, this is a natural with beef… I served with a grilled rib eye and some steamed broccoli. It should also go very well with pork (I think sweet/hot sauces like this go particularly well with pig…). I like the sauce slightly warm, but that’s your call..
I’m calling this an “Inspired Eats” in that it’s a recipe inspired by something I’ve had, but not the exact recipe as given… an Inspired Eat may be a streamlined recipe (or using a prepared product like the chutney here), or a variation on a theme, or maybe something I just think is an improvement (at least for my tastes…). Take these and use your own inspirations…
Back to the kitchen…