Brine

Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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Dak Bulgogi (Korean Grilled Chicken)

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A few day’s ago a friend an I went to our favorite korean BBQ restaurant Kabose in Ft Lauderdale. Maria and I used to frequent this place quite often, especially when we had guests from overseas for whom the grilling at the table was usually a new and well-loved experience. This time around, the food and service was still as good as ever, but boy oh boy, the prices have skyrocket 😦
So what’s a poor retiree to do when Korean BBQ calls? – you guess’t it, do it at home. I must say my home version may not be as genuine as the restaurant’s, but it was at least as delicious and definitely a lot prettier to look at, not to mention at a fraction of the cost. Of course, this is usually the case with the food one cooks at home versus the same dishes at a restaurant, but in this case, the difference was tremendous and therefore well worth the extra little effort 🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Korean Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Chicken  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to read all about  Capon
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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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P.S.
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This dish is part of my upcoming meal plan # 2 –
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH TWO 
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Click here for
“HANS’ LIGHTER, HEALTHIER COMFORT FOOD”  –  MONTH ONE

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Corned Beef – Getting Ready For St Patrick’s Day

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Here  is the deal – you can of course buy corned beef ready-made :-(,  – or you can make your own, which in most cases will leave you not only with a far  superior product, but also with unbeatable bragging rights 🙂
Usually, you want to brine your brisket for about 10  days (depending on the size), but if you add the beef to a boiling brine, bring it back to a simmer for a few minutes, then cool it down in the brine, your beef should be ready after 4 – 6 day’s, again depending on the size of the brisket. (Cut it into smaller pieces if you are pressed on time, the brine will penetrate faster)
So, two weeks ago I bought 8 lbs of the finest brisket I could find –  grass-fed, organic – no added hormones nor added antibiotics. At about $ 10.00 a lb, this was a sizable investment, but judging after the first test, well worth the Mula. Bella agreed, as you can see in the pic below 🙂 Then there was the waiting time for ten days until yesterday, when I cooked the meat  for about 2,5 hours, (one more time – cooking time depends on the size of the brisket) and then, finally, corned beef wonderland !
Bella and I had some of it yesterday, the rest will be had for a variety of dishes for the next few days leading up to St Paddy’s day.
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Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !

Click here for  Corned Beef Brine

Please note that I omitted the  Saltpeter  (potassium nitrate) in the brine of the corned beef. Saltpeter will turn the meat into the bright- red colored corned beef we are normally used to. However, I am trying to stay away from the stuff since my doctor has given me the news that all the medicine I am forced to take has messed up my kidney’s, most notably Metformin. Saltpeter is therefore not an ingredient I should use in my food. On top of that, if you want to use the stock from cooking the corned beef for a soup, you sure don’t want that soup to be laced with saltpeter ! After the corned beef is cooked, you want to strain the stock and reserve for further use for soup and/ or sauce. I will make a  Velouté  with some of the stock to make a horseradish sauce for my  “Corned Beef With Horseradish Sauce And  Colcannon. (Upcoming post).

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to serve, slice into 1'3 inch thick slices

to serve, slice into 1’3 inch thick slices

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Bella loves it :-)

Bella approves 🙂

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pig’s Tail Souse

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How  many folks have actually tried pig’s tails? Not many in this part of the world I assume. In my opinion, pigs tails are one of the best parts of the pig, but sadly underutilized in the  “civilized world”, were we tend to discard secondary cuts or feed them to the animals (lucky dogs 🙂 ).
Thankfully, lately some of these special cuts have found new fans and pigs tails are now widely available again at your favorite butcher and even in supermarkets.
Buy them fresh, smoked or salted (dry or in brine) for a variety of wonderful dishes. For the following dish I used pigs tails in brine.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Pig's Tail Souse

Pig’s Tail Souse

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Pig's Tail Souse

Pig’s Tail Souse

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Preparation :
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remove tails from brine, rinse under running water for 15 minutes, cover with cold water, season with cider vinegar, garlic paste and hot sauce, simmer until tender but not falling apart, about two hours

remove tails from brine, rinse under running water for 15 minutes, cover with cold water, season with cider vinegar, garlic paste and hot sauce, simmer until tender but not falling apart, about two hours

cooked, tender pigs tails

cooked, tender pigs tails

for the dresing, slice onions, cucumbers and radishes into fine julienne, add kosher salt, cayenne pepper, garlic paste, cider vinegarand a few drops of olive oil

for the dressing, slice onions, cucumbers and radishes into fine julienne, add finely sliced chives, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, garlic paste, cider vinegar and a few drops of olive oil

pour over tails, let stand at roomtemperature for about one hour, serve with rustic bread

pour over tails, let stand at room temperature for about one hour, serve with rustic bread

Pig's Tail Souse

Pig’s Tail Souse

Pig's Tail Souse

Pig’s Tail Souse

Pig's Tail Souse

Pig’s Tail Souse

this weeks herb bush :   Chives

this weeks herb bush : Chives


Links to more pig’s tails on ChefsOpinion:

PIG’S TAIL AND POTATO CURRY, NAAN AND CUCUMBER RAITA

CONGEE WITH SMOKED PIG’S TAILS & VEGETABLES

SMOKED PIG’S TAIL, BOW TIES & VEGETABLE STEW






EASY DOES IT # 15 – Gravlax

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There  are a few compelling reasons to make your own gravelax instead of buying it at a store or online:

– Price – Fresh salmon $ 15.00 per pound versus store bought gravlax at $ 40.00
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 – Ease of preparation – actual preptime about 10 minutes, curing between 3 and 5 day’s
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 – Total control of texture and taste of finished product
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 – The joy of adding another stunner to your cooking repertoire
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My  standard  dry-marinade recipe is as follows :
3/5th  of kosher salt, 2/5th of sugar, fresh chopped dill including stems, white pepper, lemon peel, crushed mustard seeds and dark rum.

In the variation  below, I have changed the dry-marinade recipe a bit as follows:
3/5th  of kosher salt, 2/5th of sugar, freeze dried dill leaves, raw garlic paste,  cayenne pepper, dijon mustard, vodka.
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Mix the marinade ingredients, place half of it in a chemical reaction-free container. Top with salmon filet. Add remaining dry marinade to top of salmon. Cover airtight, place in refrigerator. Flip salmon every twelve hours. After twenty four hours, dry-marinade will have transformed into a thick brine. The salmon will be cured after two to three day’s, depending on the thickness and salt to sugar ratio in your marinade. I usually keep my salmon in the brine another one to two days, again depending on the marinade and thickness of the filet. The extra time will give me a slightly dryer and more opaque product which I prefer. This one took four day’s to be exactly the way I like it.
To serve, remove salmon and wash under running water to clean off excess brine. Slice into thin slices, accompany with dill/mustard sauce and rustic bread of your choice.
(To think, first time I prepared  Gravlax  was in the summer of 1973 at the  Hotel Kattegat,  Torekov,  Sweden.  Good times 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Note:
Start out the first time by following my standard recipe, the next few times experiment with the marinade and curing time until you find your own sweet spot.
Variations can be, but are not limited to, different salt/sugar ratios, different herbs, different seasonings, different liquors, different curing length’s.
Enjoy your gravlax journey !
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mise en place

mise en place

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Preparation :
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mise en place

mise en place

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sprinkle top of salmon with plenty of dill leaves, mix dry-marinade ingredients

sprinkle top of salmon with plenty of dill leaves, drizzle with vodka,, mix dry-marinade ingredients

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add half of the marinade to chemical-reaction-free vessel

add half of the marinade to chemical-reaction-free vessel

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add salmon filet, top with remaining dry-marinade, cover airtight, store in fridge for 3 - 5 days

add salmon filet, top with remaining dry-marinade, cover airtight, store in fridge for 3 – 5 days

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flip salmon every twelve hours

flip salmon every twelve hours, cover again, back into fridge

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4 day's later - done, rinse under cold running water, carefull not to rinse of the dill

4 day’s later – done, rinse under cold running water, carefull not to rinse of the dill

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

the beauty and the beast

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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Gravlax

Gravlax

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” Roasted Pork Knuckle ” ( Gebratene Schweins Haxe )

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A few years back when Maria and I finally had a chance and the time to visit Germany
after being away for 14 years, our friend’s, the Henning’s and the Otto’s took us to lunch
into Stuttgart, to a restaurant named “Ochsen Willi”. This place has been a famous
fixture of this city for many decades, mainly because of it’s Schweine Haxen.
Here is a Picture of Maria attacking her small portion of haxe during that wonderful lunch :
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Traditionally and ideally, this would be done on a spit roast, which I don’t have.
So I used the alternative method, slowly roasting the knuckle (or ham hog) in the oven.
I brined the meat in a brine of kosher salt, cayenne pepper, cider  and red wine
for two day’s. Then I removed it from the brine, padded the meat dry and seasoned
it with more cayenne and a good amount’s of garlic powder and onion powder.
I roasted the knuckle at 420 degrees for 30 minute, then turned the heat to 260 degrees
for 3 hours, after which I turned the heat up to 420 again for 30 minute.
Usually you want a roast to rest for about 20 minutes before you cut into it,
but not this baby. I’d like to see anybody who can resist the temptation to just whack
into this hunk of porkness as soon as it comes out of the oven.
In Germany, we either have this as an elaborate mal with jus, red cabbage or
white cabbage (in the form of sauerkraut, kraut salat or bayrisch kraut) and
semmelknoedel (Braed Dumpling),  or a potato side dish such as puree, dumplings,
roasted.  Most times however, a simple rustic bread and a good mustard on the side
is all that’s needed to achieve culinary bliss  🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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