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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Bibimbap and other food matters

Bibimbap is Korean rice bowl. I've only had it once in a restaurant (a very vegetarian place in Northampton, MA, many years ago.) I remember I loved it - very spicy and flavorful, with lots and lots of vegetables, over brown rice, and topped with a fried egg.

This year, during the Nine Days, I decided to make it. Or pretend to make it. I have no idea if it's authentic or not, but it was delicious.

I made it again last night. I love that it's random vegetables that look good. Last night, it was sugar snap peas, carrots and zucchini. I spiced it with dried chile flakes and fresh jalopeño plus garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. And I keep getting better at tossing those vegetables, too. I don't know why I love it so much, but I suspect it's the egg. It just makes the whole thing perfect.

I was going to make pan-seared trout tonight. It's one of my favorite dishes. However, my fish store was out of trout. What they had was really lovely farm-raised striped bass. And striped bass are farmed environmentally, so it's all good. While striped bass does well pan-seared, it's better braised. So I bought plum tomatoes and cilantro and green peppers,and I have a jalopeño left. I'm going to serve it over noodles.

I love braising. This morning, I watched the first episode of the new season of Top Chef, and they had to cook a dish reflecting their biggest vice. Mine is laziness. Braising is a lazy person's way to cook. You brown off the protein and maybe the veg, you add the sauce ingredients and you just let it cook. I'd have braised chicken legs (braising a whole chicken, as one person did, is tricky because the dark meat and the white meat cook so differently. Also dark meat takes to braising beautifully) with standard mirepoix, and roasted seasonal veg (roasting also being a lazy thing to do) as the garnish, with homemade pasta as the starch. So, not quite so lazy. :)

Speaking of Top Chef, I also watched the end of the Master competition. I have to tell you, I cried at the final meal - twelve courses from three talented chefs, all telling the story of their lives. So much love, so much passion, so much sensory memory at that table. I have no idea how anyone chose a winner - but Rick Bayless winning is a major victory for non-continental cuisine. He showed that sophistocation and delicacy can happen anywhere. It was so lovely to see this gentle, soft-spoken man win.

And now a minor peeve. I have a colonoscopy on Monday. Yeah, fun, fun, fun. That means liquid diet on Sunday. And I couldn't find sugar-free lemon popsicles! I'll look in a different store tomorrow when I pick up the nasty drink.

Comments

I LOVE bibimbap, especially wih raw fish.

Rick Bayless? Really? Wow! If'd known he was on the show, I would have gotten cable or something so we could watch it. He's a hero to me. Last year I made us go way out of our way on a trip through the midwest just so we could eat at Frontera, and then I was bummed because we couldn't stay an extra night for dinner at Topolobompo as well.

Ooh, I used to love bibimbap from a local cheap Korean place when I was in college (I didn't keep kosher then). I haven't had it since; thanks for reminding me that this is now Googlable. :-)

Rick Bayless' food has made me want seek out some good authentic Mexican. I was rooting for him and Hubert Keller, so I'm glad he won.

Bibimbap is one of my favorite things to get at Jae's. I love it so much it's hard for Osirus to find something else on the menu that will tempt me to share! But I never thought about making it at home, because the best part is how the rice gets all crispy in the hot stone bowl, and I can't think of a good way to duplicate that ... but now I am inspired anew.

(And hungry. Very, very hungry. And wishing I hadn't suggested Columbian over Jae's for Osirus' father's visit tonight.)