for the morning

cardamom coffee cake with orange glaze

 

cardamom coffee cake with orange glaze

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Ragu Bolognese

I lived in Bologna, Italy for 7 months or so in college (“study abroad”), and I was, believe it or not, a vegetarian the entire time.  Bologna, if you didn’t know, has a few nicknames.  One is ‘Bologna, the red’ because it’s fully of commie college kids, and the other is ‘Bologna, the fat’ because of the food.  Bologna, in Emilia-Romagna, is near Modena (origin of balsamic vinegar) and Parma (origin of the ‘king of cheeses’) and in the historically fertile Po valley.

Italy was where I first started to get into cooking, which is so cliché, but true.  I think it was just part of the ‘having fun’ culture there, that you would start with aperitivo, continue to a home cooked meal with ingredients so fresh they were impossible to screw up, and lots of wine which was also wonderful and cheap, and then go out, taking some more wine or beer for the road.  Those were the days.  Anyway, of the many dishes Bologna is known for, ragu might be the most famous, and the one thing I could never enjoy while I was there.  To be honest, once you are vegetarian for a while, seeing someone chuck a few pounds of meat into a pot is kinda gross, so I wasn’t particularly unhappy.  The vegetables and fruit (and gelato) were more than enough to keep me sated.  And I did end up breaking my vegetarianism, when I went to visit a friend in Sicily over Easter, and his mother put down an entire fish in front of me for lunch, because not eating meat I guess means that you eat fish, right?  This fish was the second course of an average weekday sicilian meal, the first being a divine cauliflower pasta dish (to which I mistakenly added one single drop of vinegar, and my friend’s mother insisted that she make me a new dish (I refused, of course)).  The two lunches I had at her house were some of the best, most revelatory meals that I’ve ever had (discounting my own mother’s cooking, which is objectively the best in the world. :)).

Anyway, I digress.  To make up for the absence of ragu in my life thus far, I decided to make ragu for valentines day, because it seemed like an elaborate, valentines-y meal.  And if you don’t have an actual special someone, might as well make a nice meal for one.  :/

Ragu Bolognese

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onions, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
4-6 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1lb ground beef
1lb ground pork
1/4lb thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped or ground
1/2 cup dry red wine
1-2 cups beef stock
6 Tbsp. tomato paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 lb. tagliatelle, pappardelle, or fettuccine (preferably fresh egg)
Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots, or ‘mirepoix’ as it’s called.  I also threw in some garlic.  How long did it take you to dice all that up?  It took me 20 minutes!  I would never be able to compete on chopped, for that and many other reasons.  But I still have my fingers.  Anyway, sweat the mirepoix on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or even more.  Just don’t brown any of it.  Keep it on a medium or medium low heat.

mirepoix

mirepoix

2. While that’s sweating, prepare the meat.  That sounds so sinister.  So here’s the deal: recipes for this ragu call for some combination of beef, pork and/or veal in varying amounts.  Some call for one pound total, some for two or more.  I decided that I did not want to use veal, even the ‘humane’ veal at whole foods, and so used 1lb beef and 1lb pork.  I think that’s about right, for making four to six portions.  You don’t want to be cooking for three hours just to make two portions!  That will only feed you and your valentine, or in my case me and me the next day.  You can always freeze it.

I decided to grind my own meat, because I’m fancy.  I bought pork shoulder (‘butt’) and beef shoulder (‘chuck’) and then of course the pancetta.  It’s a lot of meat.  Cut it into chunks.  As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been liking my new kitchen shears for this task, maybe because my knife blade is dull and my shears are new.  The key to this is that you have to divide this meat into maybe five batches and grind them in your food processor one at a time.

ragu bolognese

The resulting product is sticky and weird looking.  This is when you start to have doubts about this process.

ragu bolognese

yum

 In any case, wash your hands and all your equipment throughout this process, at least twenty times, because you are a hypochondriac.  A fancy hypochondriac.

3. Add beef, pork, and pancetta to the pot and saute for about 30 min over medium heat.  At this point in the process, I turned to Molto Mario for some advice

Apparently, boiling is not ideal here, at least not initially.  There will be a fair amount of moisture in the meat, and one should get that to cook off so the fat renders and sticks a little to the bottom of the pot.  I’m not sure I did this entirely, but you can easily let the meat cook slowly in this step for 30 min or more.

ragu bolognese

see, liquid

 

4.  Stir in tomato paste completely and continue to cook for another 15 min (or more).  Unlike some recipes, we aren’t using fresh or canned tomatoes here, so the tomato paste will have to provide all of the tomato-ness.  Hence, 6 tablespoons.  The paste will also absorb the remaining moisture and caramelize on it’s own as well.

5. Add (red) wine to deglaze, stirring and scraping up browned bits.

6.  Add one cup of stock and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.  Season with salt and papper.  Basically keep an eye on it.  If it seems a little too dry, add a little more stock.  I found that at this point that all of the moisture from the meat and the wine had not completely cooked off, so I held back on the stock.  I think I initially added only half a cup.  So I may have done more stewing/boiling than Mario would have liked.  If you were more successful, you might have a drier sauce at this point, and you might need more stock (btw, this is obviously not Mario Batali recipe, as he does not use any stock).

At this point you are realizing that you are not going to be eating for a little while.  You can pour a glass of the wine for yourself and your partner.  Pretend your partner is a ghost, but doesn’t realize that they are a ghost, and that, because they are a ghost, you don’t see them.  Only your son sees them.  Spoiler alert!

7.  Heat the milk for 15 seconds in the microwave (or bring to simmer in a separate pan, if you want to do more dishes later), and then add to sauce.  Raise the heat to get everything up to temperature and then drop again to medium low heat.  Again, gauge how much liquid you have and if you need more.  If you need more, just add more stock.  Simmer this for 45 minutes.  If you feel like you need to cook off some of this liquid, leave the lid to the pot off, otherwise, partially cover the pot with its lid.  Check seasoning and adjust You can make all this head of time.

ragu bolognese

8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente.

9. Heat a pan over medium and add some of your ragu until warm.  Using tongs, take the noodles out of the water and add them to the pan.  This way you get some of the pasta water with the noodles, which is starchy and helps the noodle absorb the sauce.  Add more ragu or pasta water until you get the right consistency.  Do all of this over medium or medium low heat so as to not overcook or burn anything.

ragu bolognese

10.  Serve with parmesean and parsley.

ragu bolognese

I don’t know if this is crazy, but this dish in some ways reminded of me of ramen!  You get the thick meatiness of the pork fat along with the carbiness of the noodles, and the cheese gives the whole dish even more of umami flavor.  This is not one of those dishes that seems healthy but is really not.  This dish tastes unhealthy and is; it also is delicious.

Though, not really valentines food.  A bit heavy, you know?  It’s more grandmotherly than romantic, ya know I mean?? 😉  Because I don’t.

 

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Mo Chica and Chicken Cau Cau

It was Dine LA week again recently.  Last time I decided to go to Ricardo Zarate’s lovely Picca, and had a wonderful time.  So this time I decided to go to his ‘original’ restaurant, Mo Chica.  I put original in quotes because Mo Chica was originally in a different and more down-scale location, but has recently moved to a more glamourous spot next to Bottega Louie and across the way from 7 Grand.

The new Mo Chica is correspondingly glamourous and shiny on the inside, and tiny in a way that makes you feel special.  No true bar, which was unfortunate.  In any case, they didn’t skimp on the Dine La menu, similar to Picca.  Picca seemed to have more of a Japanese influence than Mo Chica, but other than that they seemed quite similar.  Between the two of us TAL and I could order most of what they offered from their Dine La menu.  We had:

Tuna Tartare (avocado yuzu mousse, soy dressing, wonton chips): sometimes creamy avocado concoctions fall a little flat, but this added the right amount of body and depth to a very sprightly and bright tartare.  A good appetizer.

Ceviche Crocante (local halibut, leche de tigre, crispy calimari) :  the halibut was hidden under the calimari, and both were cooked perfectly.  Whatever the ‘leche de tigre’ was it was good.

Arroz Chaufa de Marisco (seafood medley, Peruvian fried rice, pickled radish): very similar to a dish at Picca that I still remember as being hearty and delightful.  But then who doesn’t like fried rice.

Chupe Gratinado (lobster and scallop gratin, potato, sea urchin ceviche sauce): sea urchin sauce!  the whole dish was rich, creamy and delicious.  It was a main entree that arrived before the Ceviche dish that was an appetizer, thus messing with my OCD, but the dishes were basically the same size anyway.

Corazon (anticucho sauce, twice cooked potato, huancaina, rocoto pesto): apparently beef heart is hard to cook, which makes me even more impressed with this very tender heart.  Aww.

Chicken Cau Cau (Peruvian chicken stew, jalepeno salsa criolla, cumin yogurt): a hearty chicken stew with a delicious piece of grilled bread.  What was in that bread?  No one else on the internet seems to talk about it and thus we will never know.

Tres Leches Cake and Vanilla Pisco Flan: the flan was amazing.  I opted to not get the flan at Picca the last time around and regretted it.  So this time I made sure to get it.  I mean, there were two of us, and two desserts on the menu, so we got both, but still.

My new thing (I have a new thing) is to try to make dishes I have at restaurants.  I think it comes from going to Italian places and feeling I could easily make what I just spent $14 for.  And I could.  But with food like this, it’s more complicated.  I decided to attempt the Chicken Cau Cau, because it’s a more straightforward chicken stew and seems not impossible to make.  And because recipes would be available on the internet, that being my old thing.
Chicken Cau Cau

(from a few different places, so, basically mine at this point…)

• Ingredients •

2lbs potatoes, cubed (4 medium sized potatoes, works out to 2 cups)

2lbs boneless chicken breast, cleaned and cut into cubes

1 regular onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 aji amarillo or jalepeno peppers, minced

1 tsp tumeric

2 tsp ground cumin

salt and pepper

1 cup chicken broth

juice of one lime

3 tblsp fresh parsley or mint (or both), chopped

1/4 cup yogurt

• Directions •

1. Peel potatoes and chop into bite-sized pieces.

2. Cut the chicken breast into equal sized cubes.  I bought these kitchen shears, which are very handy for this kind of task.

3. Blend the aji amarillo/jalapeño peppers into a paste.  Add some vegetable oil to help make it paste-y.  Aji amarillo are a peruvian pepper and it looks like this.  I used jalapeños.

4. Heat some vegetable oil in large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute over medium heat until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, tumeric, cumin and salt (if you had not already) and mix to combine.  Cook for one minute and then add pepper paste

5. Add chicken to the pan, stir for about 1 minute. Next stir in potatoes and add 1 cup of chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low-medium heat for 15 minutes, opening cover to stir occasionally and ensure nothing is sticking to bottom of pan.

Finish by stirring in lime juice, yogurt and herbs.  Serve with…

Salsa Criolla 

(from here)

Some raw/lightly pickled ingredients really brighten up the above stew.  You can just put some of this salsa on top of the stew in the serving dish.

Ingredients:

2 red onions, sliced in very thin half moons
1-2 ají or jalapeño peppers, sliced into very thin matchsticks
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley, or both
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:

1. Soak the onions in salt water for 10 minutes. Drain and let dry.

2. Mix onion with the rest of the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

3. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Grilled Bread

As mentioned above, the bread was amazing.  I kept trying to think about how to replicate the bread.  There is a traditional anise seed bread in Peru, but it’s more a sweet bread, and served as rolls.  But was the amazing taste of the bread anise seed?  It was bright and forward and self-important, so maybe anise in part fills that description.  What I ended up doing however, partially because I was lazy and didn’t want to make bread, was to zest some lime into olive oil, brush it on the bread, and put it under the broiler.  If I had more time I would have made a lime oil by heating the olive oil/zest mixture (with more zest) to ‘infuse’ as they say (I hate the word infuse, just because I do).

Overall, the dish was good, if not particularly inspiring.  The same was true of the original though, which is why I chose to make it at home, so maybe it was inspiring, in that sense.  Really what I wanted was that bread.  Oh and I made poached pears for dessert, just randomly.

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Holiday German Apple Cake

apple cake

Here is a very simple and tasty apple cake courtesy of smitten kitchen.  It’s a holiday apple cake insofar as it’s the holidays.  And I’m not quite sure how it’s German, or if it’s maybe Jewish-German, or neither of those, but I did make it as part of German-themed Spaetzle party in honor of my friend M (more details on that later).  The biggest change I made was to use a regular cake pan (who has a tube pan??).  You could use a square pan or a loaf pan also.  Also, I used one cup of oil, as SK calls for, but would recommend half oil and half butter, for a richer texture and flavor.

Holiday German Apple Cake

6 apples, any kind you like

1 tablespoon cinnamon

5 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup apple juice (I used sparkling apple juice from TJs, which worked)

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

4 eggs

1 cup walnuts, chopped or crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cake pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.  I forgot to toss with the cinnamon and sugar, and everything came out ok.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, a smaller one perhaps, mix together oil, butter, apple juice, sugar and vanilla with your hand mixer or whisk. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.  That’s it!

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Top with crushed or chopped walnuts.  You can crush the walnuts in your mortar and pestle, which, unlike a tube pan, everyone has, right? Bake for about  hour or so, or until a tester comes out clean.  It may take another half an hour so just keep checking.

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Butterscotch Pudding

Several months ago, I visited a Jar, a steakhouse, during dine LA.  It was the first time I had eaten a steak since I was a teenager, and while good, what stole the show was the butterscotch pudding they served for dessert.  I said at the time: “Once it cools down, I’m going to make this for the first person who comes over to my house to eat.  I will make you some butterscotch pudding and you have to eat it.”  And I came through.  It was delicious, and easy!  And I’m not on the primal diet anymore, fyi.

Butterscotch Pudding

(via David Lebovitz who took it from someone else etc etc.)

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2½ cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons whiskey (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter, then add the dark brown sugar and salt and mix well.  Remove from heat.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth, and then whisk in the eggs.

3. Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar while whisking.  Then add the cornstarch mixture.

4. Return the pan to heat and bring to a boil while whisking.  When it bubbles, reduce heat to low and whisk until the pudding thickens to the consistency of a hot fudge sauce.  This is sort of the magic stage, because it will be very thin and milky one moment, and all of a sudden become quite thick and pudding-like the next.  It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and whisky if using.  Chill for several hours before serving.  If you are fancy, you can put the pudding in individual glasses to chill, so that each person gets her own. If you are not fancy, you can just put it in one big bowl, and your guests can just dig into it for their individual portions, like depraved animals.

6. Before serving, place some shaved chocolate on top.  To get nice shaved chocolate, place a big piece of baking chocolate upside down on a cutting board (so that the side facing you is smooth).  Then, scrape the chocolate with your knife towards you while holding the edge, almost as if you were ‘peeling’ the chocolate.  Learned that from Jamie Oliver.

Ta da!

dinner party-30

 

Look how fancy it is!  It tasted really good too, and everyone was happy to get their own little chilled portion, that told them, ‘you are not a depraved animal, but rather a rather sophisticated, elegant and fancy animal’.

 

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rainy day beef stew


Heat apologists would argue that the endless Los Angeles summer, with its ‘dry’ heat, is infinitely preferable to the summer just about anywhere else.  However, I still wilt on 95℉ in my second floor AC-less apartment, and furthermore am not especially fond of the sun.  (Why am I living here again?  Oh yeah, cause it’s awesome).  In any case, I welcome the Long and Harsh Winter that is upon us, meaning of course fairly temperate weather that everyone still complains about.  That includes, yes, a few days of actual weather, as in clouds and rain and what not.

dinner party-2

For me it’s perfect, because I get to pull out one of the forlorn, forgotten sweaters from my closet and pretend I’m a peasant in the English countryside (that’s what everyone does when it’s raining, right?).  So I decided to invite some of my lovely friends over and make them a hearty beef stew.  My typical exhaustive research on the subject yielded this:

Why hello, Felicity Cloake!  This is a very helpful and clear video that you made.  And you are so cute with your accent and all your little sayings.  Yes, I saw that you have a ring on your finger.  I mean, you didn’t have to show it so many times.  It’s like a girl who keeps dropping references to her boyfriend.  I GET IT, Felicity, you’re taken.  We’re just beef stew friends.  I’m going to repost your beef stew recipe, because that’s the sort of thing beef stew friends do.  Because it’s stew, a comfort-y, friendly dish, not a date-y romantic dish at all.  Something you have with friends.  Just friends.*

*I’m in love with you, Felicity.

English Beef Stew

2lb  beef chuck (shoulder)
2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
oil or butter, for frying
2 onions, sliced
2 cups or so beef stock
300ml  or so beer (stout or ale)
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky slices
2 small turnips or 1 Rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks

For the dumplings:
1 cup plain flour or more as needed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, diced
Small bunch of chives and parsley, finely chopped

1. Trim the beef of its outer sinew and cut into large chunks.  Being new to this whole ‘meat’ thing, I had no idea what I was doing in this step.  I tried to cut away most of the hard, white part.  Because that’s fat, and that’s not good to cook with?  Right?  Who knows.  Cut the beef into ‘egg sized’ pieces.  Hopefully by the end they’ll be tender enough to cut with a spoon, so bigger pieces are fine.  Cut against the grain, if you can figure out what that is.  Wash your heads AT LEAST 1 million times during this process.

2. Toss with the seasoned flour to coat. Heat a dutch oven on a medium-high flame and add a knob of dripping or butter, or a couple of tablespoons of oil.  A “knob”!  Oh Felicity, I’ll cherish these moments forever.

Brown the meat in batches, making sure there is always enough butter.  Not too many at one time.  Remove to a bowl.  I did the onions and meat *at the same time* because I’m kray kray.

dinner party-8

3. Once all the meat is browned, add some more butter to the pan and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Add them to the beef and then pour in a little stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Add the beef and onions, the rest of the stock and the stout, season, and add the herbs. Bring to the boil, then partially cover, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for two hours.  I used an Irish stout I found at whole foods.

dinner party-9

3. Add the carrots and rutabaga (I used a rutabaga  yo), and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon.  You can leave it overnight at this point if you like, or just eat it, because you have fucking guests.

dinner party-17

4. Those are dumplings, which you make by sifting the flour into a bowl and adding the rest of the ingredients and just enough cold water to bring it together into a dough. Roll it into 6 dumplings and add these to the stew.  I would actually push the dumplings all the way down so they boil.  They are sort of “fiddly” to quote Felicity.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had a stew with dumplings before, so I didn’t quite know what they should be like.  Anyway:pPartially cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then check the seasoning of the gravy.

The stew was awesome.  Felicity doesn’t mess around with her stews.  My friends had their fill and then I sent them back into the shivering cold and rain.  The end.

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Primal

I’ve decided to try out a new diet that goes hand in hand with learning how to cook meat: the primal diet, also known as the paleo or caveman diet.  Basically, the diet asks that you eat like paleolithic humans ate.  This means no processed foods, no sugar and NO legumes or grains.  Instead, you eat a lot of meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and some fruit, and fat (including saturated but not poly-saturated).  It also means certain types of exercising: no jogging, for example, because cave-people didn’t jog.  Instead you should walk (as if in search of food), weight train (as if carrying children or wood everywhere) and sprint/interval train (exit, pursued by a bear).  Of course this is probably historically and anthropologically inaccurate in several ways.  So let’s call it the Flintstones diet.  In any case, the idea is that by keeping carbs low, your body will burn excess fat instead.  And also it’s healthier to have a “lean body mass” or “LBM,” apparently.  This diet has been supplemented by the following workout, which I really like:

 

 

In sum, I’ve been strictly following this diet and work-out plan, and I’m super healthy and feeling great!

JUST KIDDING!!!

I lasted four days before I started making “exceptions.”  And the working out thing has been uneven as well.  And next week is thanksgiving, which will be one huge exception, minus the turkey.  However, I do notice that many diets suggest the elimination of sugar (including alcohol) and white flour/rice (and processed foods and soda, which I don’t really consume anyway).

In that vein, I’d like to introduce the following recipe: Bulgogi!  I haven’t eaten much Korean food over the years, despite living in LA, because I’ve been vegetarian, so I’m really just getting into it now.  One of the first dishes I had was a rice bowl with Bulgogi, a type of marinated beef that you often get at Korean BBQ places as well.  I don’t know how authentic the following recipe is, but it came out well.

Bulgogi

(recipe from Saveur, presented with my editorial comments)

This is for at least four people.  I only made a third of this, and ate it over a couple days.

2 lb. beef sirloin
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. ground black pepper
10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 scallions, sliced
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Green leaf lettuce, for serving
Gochujang (Korean chili-bean paste), for serving

1. Wrap sirloin in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Unwrap and slice across the grain as thinly as possible, about 1⁄6″; place in a bowl along with onion.  I couldn’t really tell which way the grain was going, so I just guessed.

2. Place soy sauce, oil, sugar, pepper, garlic, and scallions in a blender, and puree until smooth.  I might even add a thai chili in there, whether or not it’s authentic.   Pour over meat, and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Heat a large cast-iron grill pan or griddle over high heat. Working in batches, spread beef and onion mixture in one layer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and cook, turning as needed, until charred and just cooked through.  It took about 8 minutes I think?

The marinade kind of cooked down into a glaze, which was nice.

Eat bulgogi atop lettuce leaves with gochujang on the side.  Now, I didn’t have any gochujang, nor do I really know what it is or where to get it, so I just used some chili garlic paste.  As you can see, I got myself a stack of lettuce leaves, some carrots, the chili paste, and some scallions in a separate bowl.  But really, I think the Bulgogi/onions and lettuce by themselves are the best combination.

And the final result was…good!  You may ask, was it as good as the bulgogi in a restaurant?  No!  Was it close?  No!  But that’s ok.  Not only was the meat edible (priority #1), but it actually tasted quite good.  I tried to make little lettuce wraps with the bulgogi, but those were kind of unwieldy, as lettuce wraps can be.  Maybe in the future they will be able to grow lettuce leaves that are very large and perfectly circular and don’t tear easily.  In fact I usually don’t like eating things with my hands at all, but then I guess doing it this way was more primal.

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