iceberg lettuce

This recipe was adapted from Plenty by Yottam Otholenghi. I remain a huge fan his book. We’ve prepared many of his recipes, often more than once: a total success at home, as you can see here: Ottolenghi’s roasted eggplant, sambal okra, and chickpeas with chard. Mmmm!

endive with Point Reyes blue cheese and crème fraîche

endive with Point Reyes blue cheese and crème fraîche

This is another yummy recipe. It is decadent as it is loaded with dairy, but I think it’s a-okay to indulge every now and then. The watery crunchiness of the endive combined with the creamy texture of this sauce is divine!

Funny thing is that I made this salad right after we came back from France. Could we be suffering from dairy deprivation so soon?

endive with Point Reyes blue cheese and crème fraîche

3 heads white endive, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
1 head red endive, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
a small portion of micro greens, rinsed and dried
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup walnuts, slightly toasted, with sprinkle of salt, cooled to room temperature
Kosher salt to taste
whole leaves of Iceberg lettuce
1 cup crème fraîche
2 tbsp water
~4 tbsp crumbled Point Reyes Monterrey blue cheese

In a bowl whisk together crème fraîche, water, blue cheese, some salt and pepper. Taste it and adjust flavor adding more of any of the ingredients. It should have a somewhat runny texture; taste savory, with that punchy flavor that you expect from a good blue cheese. Toss the sauce with the endive. To serve, pile seasoned endive over iceberg lettuce leaf cups on individual dishes, top with micro greens and toasted walnuts.

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The first time that I had this soup was with my glamorous friend, Euriele. At the time we both worked together in Palo Alto. One day we just took a long lunch break and feasted on an authentic Korean meal with multiple courses: kimchi soup, pickled cucumber, bean sprout, rice cooked with beans, Napa cabbage kimchi, Korean seafood pancake, seaweed salad and other items I don’t recall right now. There were so many! The centerpiece of the lunch was the spicy soup served piping hot in a stoneware pot. You cracked a fresh egg over the soup and watched it cook while at the same time you waited for the soup to cool down enough to eat. I love spicy food. That said, some Korean dishes are not for beginners when it comes to chili pepper intensity. This soup is an exciting and hot example.

spicy kimchi soup aka Kimchi Jiigae

spicy kimchi soup aka Kimchi Jiigae

To make my kimchi jiigae, I used the rest of the Napa cabbage kimichiI had prepared the previous week.

This recipe was adapted from this you tube video. The video uses meat, so I changed it here. If you’re vegetarian then no need to watch it 🙂

spicy kimchi soup aka Kimchi Jiigae

1lb silken tofu (extra soft type) chopped into 1x1x1 inch thick pieces
5 cups chopped kimchi and juices
1tsp sugar
1tbsp Korean Gochugaru hot pepper paste
1tbsp Gochugaru pepper flakes
½ cup red onion chopped
3 whole scallions chopped
Water to cover the chopped kimchi by two inches
Toasted sesame oil
½ head iceberg lettuce cut into large wedges

Place chopped kimchi and juices in a large sauce pan with onions, scallions, gochugaru peppers, sugar and water. Bring everything to a boil, cook on high for about 10 minutes, reduce temperature to medium and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Add tofu towards the last 10 minutes.

Place a wedge of iceberg in each bowl. Add a couple of ladles of the soup, and drizzle with some toasted sesame oil. Serve with a side of rice.

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