galbi // korean bbq beef short ribs // the secret formula recipe is still legit // let me see your grill

korean bbq galbi on grill

when people say they love korean food, this is what they’re talking about.

korean bbq.

galbi.

slabs of sliced beef short ribs marinated and grilled to perfection, with a healthy bit of char, typically served with rice and fixins and wrapped up in a lettuce leaf with a smear of korean hot sauce.

as as the summer winds down, and grilling season starts to make way for soup season, i wanted to share this recipe that brings so much joy to my life. such garlicky, sweet, salty, smoky joy.

even the most “ethnic”-averse tastebuds tend to love galbi. it’s that good.

it also happens to be pretty easy, with simple ingredients. the real challenge, however, is in the marinade ingredient proportions. too much soy sauce, and it’s too salty. too little sugar and it’s just missing a bit of somethingsomething. the trick here is the same as with the braised brother of this dish known as galbi jjim:

galbi secret formula

usually, 1 part = 1 cup for me, but if i find i need more marinade, i just increase all 3 ingredients accordingly.

now let me be clear. this secret formula is my aunt’s secret formula, and it is FOOL.FREAKING.PROOF. there have been so many times when i’ve been lured by the scent of grilling beef in a restaurant or in someone’s home, only to be let down by the flavor. but this recipe does not fail. ever.

in fact, while you could sub out sugar for honey, fruit, juice, or even sprite or jam, i don’t love the risk of messing up the ratio, so in 99.9% of cases, i just use plain jane white granulated sugar. (i used maple syrup in my galbi jjim recipe, i know, i know)

if you think it seems like a lot of sugar, too much sugar…. you’re wrong.

just give it a try.

korean bbq galbi

galbi aka korean bbq beef short ribs

makes enough for about 6-8 normal appetites, or 3-4 really hungry people who can eat a lot, i.e. me

ingredients you need:

  • approx. 3-4 lbs beef short ribs that are sliced against the grain & bone, if it’s not boneless (sometimes i see this in american grocery stores labeled as “korean style” or “korean cut” or “kalbi” or “galbi.” apparently they could also be called “flanken cut” although i’ve never seen that myself. i buy the big pack of boneless beef short ribs at costco that are thick-cut, and then just slice each thick cut into two thinner slices.)
  • 1 onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (you can usually find a small bottle of this in any grocery store’s ethnic food aisle)
  • a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds (also typically in the ethnic aisle)

additional ingredients/fixins you might want for serving:

  • red lettuce leaves or romaine leaves for wrapping
  • cooked white rice
  • chopped scallions
  • ssam jang, also known as a korean spicy bean paste/sauce, which adds a punch of flavor to korean lettuce-wrapped bites of bbq meat. i also like to use this as a dip for plain slices of cucumber, lettuce leaves, baby carrots… while this sounds like a really obscure thing to get a hold of, i’ve bought it from my local wegmans. it looks like this, unrefrigerated in the asian food section, and i store it in the fridge after opening.
  • kimchi (it’s ok, even if you don’t like kimchi, you will still like galbi, and i will forgive you.)
  • quick-pickled veggies like cucumbers or chayote squash or radishes

ingredients i sometimes see as galbi fixins in other people’s recipes that strike me as just plain wrong:

  • cilantro
  • wasabi

i mean, i’m all for creative freedom, so you do you… but i just can’t.

wpid-20140601_164627

what you do:

marinate your meat the night before. this way, you’ll get the maximum effect of flavor.

to start, rinse off your galbi meat or let it soak in water, just to let out some of the blood and get rid of any bone bits if you’re using bone-in slices.

place the meat, onion slices, minced garlic and chopped scallions in a big baking dish or other container/ziploc bag. (i find a big baking dish easiest). pour sugar over the meat slices, then add the soy sauce, water and sesame oil.

massage it all together to get the ingredients combined. (the main thing i try to do is to get the sugar on all sides of the meat)

sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

cover with plastic wrap and/or foil (or seal your ziploc bag) and place in the refrigerator overnight.

the next day, when the meat is good and marinated, fire up your grill and cook the slices for a few minutes on each side over medium high heat to get a good char on the outside, then turn the heat down, cover the grill and let it go a few minutes longer until it’s to your preferred level of doneness. if this seems imprecise, it’s because cooking galbi is a little like cooking steak. you might prefer it with a pink middle, or you might prefer it fully cooked. personally, i like my steak medium but my galbi well done with crispy edges.

grilling offers the best results, but if you can cook this on the stove or under a broiler. i highly recommend starting with high heat to get a good caramelized sear before cooking it through.

serve with lettuce leaves, rice, chopped scallions and ssam jang. or just eat it plain off the grill.

korean bbq galbi beef  korean bbq galbi

Advertisements

simple summer recipe: blueberry crostata // galette // freeform tart // lazy girl’s pie

blueberry crostata

 

last summer, i posted a quick visual ode to my blueberry crostata. it’s fairly straightforward, super seasonal, and so yummerz.

now, finally, i present to you the recipe!

blueberry crostata. or galette. or freeform tart.

part I: the crust

this recipe yields two discs of pie dough for two crusts. if you don’t feel like using the second, freeze it for later. this dough also works amazingly for a flaky buttery apple pie. (adapted from america’s test kitchen)

what you need: 

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening scooped or cut into smallish 1/2-inch pieces, and chilled if you happen to remember to refrigerate it (gasp – that’s right. this recipe uses crisco! trust the american test kitchen. it works. also, i never remember to chill it.)
  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) cold unsalted butter cut up into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water (literally just stick some ice in a cup of water & measure it out of there)

what you do, food processor method:
(alternatively, you can grate your cold butter like cheese, or you can use a pastry cutter, but a food processor makes this pretty foolproof)

process the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor until combined. scatter the shortening pieces and process about 10 seconds until it looks like coarse damp sand. do the same with the butter pieces until you have coarse crumbs, again looking a little like damp crumbly sand (but with chunks–chunks are good).

transfer it all to a big bowl.

sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture and using a stiff rubber/silicone spatula, stir and press the dough together until it sticks together into a big clump. if it doesn’t stick together, add more ice water just a little bit (one tablespoon) at a time until it does. it should stick to itself but not be wet.

disc of pie crust doughdivide the dough into two even pieces and using your hands but working quickly, flatten each piece into a disc, like a big flat hockey puck, about the size of a hand (5 inches or so). if it looks like it’s dotted with pebbles of butter, you’re good.

using plastic wrap, tightly wrap each disc and refrigerate for 1 hour (or more, but you shouldn’t let it sit in the fridge forever, obviously). when you’re ready to use it, let it sit at room temp for a little bit so it becomes easily rollable. but don’t let it sit longer than 30 minutes or anywhere close to heat because it will only hurt your ability to roll it without sticking or coming apart. (that said, this last time, i totally left it out too long and i still used it anyway… it was just messier to handle and not as nice and flaky in the end.)

blueberries

part II: the blueberry filling

what you need:

  • 3 cups of blueberries (or any berries, really)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp flour

what you do:

toss the berries, sugar, lemon juice and flour in a bowl. that’s it.

blueberries

uncooked tart

part III: make the delicious berry tart magic happen!

heat the oven to 400 degrees.

roll out your slightly softened pie crust until it is about 13 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. i like to roll it out directly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and leave it on the parchment for baking.

spoon your berry filling into a big pile in the center of the dough, leaving about 2 inches of space around the edges as a border so you can fold up the edges.

fold up the edges and pleat it together around the pile of fruit. (note: the picture above shows the tart just after folding up the edges. it was messy because i let the crust dough sit out too long and it got super soft and mushy. still, i am lazy and went ahead with it and it turned out ok, just not ideal.)

optional: brush the top crust with an egg wash (1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 40 minutes.

let the tart cool before you try to cut it, and if possible, slide it off of the baking sheet and cool on a rack.

serve as-is or pair it with vanilla ice cream!

 

beer bread recipe // tastefully simple or party lite two sisters gourmet knockoff // this copycat recipe is legit

beer bread recipe

there are very few things i will bake from a mix. beer bread used to be one of those things, until yesterday. this copycat recipe is so ridonkulously easy, i have no idea why i ever spent $5-6 per mix from pyramid-schemey hostage party companies without checking the googles for recipes first.

the bread is sweet, really chewy, with sort of fat crumbs, and in my opinion, best eaten unadulterated or only with a bit of extra butter.

beer bread

what you need (only four ingredients. WHAT!!):
  • 3 cups self-rising flour*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 oz. bottle or can of beer (i used sam adams winter lager only because it was the least favored beer we currently have in stock)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

*note: if you don’t have self-rising flour, you can try a substitution like this made of a mix of all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

what you do:

preheat oven to 350° and grease a loaf pan (i used spray oil).

mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl. stir in the beer. it will be lumpy. that’s ok.

pour the batter (or is it dough?) into the loaf pan and spread it out evenly. pour the melted butter over the top. it will pool in spots. that’s ok.

bake for 50-60 minutes and enjoy the magical earthy aromas emanating from your oven.

it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

beer bread recipe

christmas cookies!!!!!!!! // cocoa snowflakes recipe // brownie clouds

cocoa snowflakes christmas cookies

these cookies are beautiful, yummy and simple to make. if brownies were clouds, they would be these “cocoa snowflakes”, which are chewy and soft with all the chocolatey flavor of brownies without the hour-long baking time. you don’t need any special equipment, special ingredients, or special artistic skills to decorate or cut fancy shapes. just need a little patience as they chill, but then they bake up real quickly.

at first i was concerned about the exact baking time indicated in the original recipe, from penzeys (the greatest spice & herb store evar), but it turns out it was pretty spot on.

don’t be deceived by thinking that 30-40 cookies sound like a lot. these are bite-size addictive goodies and they WILL go quickly.

i’ve started filling my blue mason jars with the cooled cookies to give to an exclusive group of very special family and friends who don’t require shipping, and i plan to make some more… with hipster twine and labels onto the lids. (watch out pinterest, i got you on lock.)

cookies in mason jars

cocoa snowflakes // brownie clouds, adapted from penzeys spices

makes about 30-40 bite size cookies

what you need:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
what you do:
part I: prepare the cookie dough

sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. one of the easiest ways to “sift” is by stirring the stuff through a metal sieve.

in a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. add the cocoa powder and mix together with a fork until smooth. take the pan off the heat and stir in the granulated sugar.

transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and add the vanilla extract. using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. add flour mixture and mix well.

put the bowl with the dough in the refrigerator until chilled (about 1-2 hours, or leave it overnight).

part ii: bake dem cookies

when the dough is chilled enough to roll into balls, heat the oven to 400°. line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

pinch and roll chunks of dough into balls approximately 3/4-inch wide. roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

bake for 8 minutes. (place remaining dough back in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake more.)

let the cookies cool on the pan for a minute before removing to cool completely. they should lift off the pan easily. store in an airtight container to help the cookies retain their delicious chewiness.

fancy, yet easy, cream biscuits with pecorino romano cheese and fresh herbs // a recipe that will lead you to never buy pillsbury dough in a can ever again // don’t you feel like a biscuit

cream biscuits with pecorino and fresh herbs

cream biscuits are ridiculously easy aaaaand i love them. whenever i have leftover heavy cream sitting around, i’ll make some version of these… they work well even without any mix-ins, but today i decided to mess with adding shredded pecorino romano and fresh minced herbs, since i had both laying in the fridge, waiting to be used for some higher post-thanksgiving calling. the herbs kept their color, adding a pretty green flecks, and the cheese added a hint of extra flavor and moisture.

so delicious.

warm out of the oven, they taste like mini savory clouds.

the best part about making these biscuits is that you don’t need to bust out any fancy equipment or create a billion dishes. i hate when a cooking project produces 2323509 dishes and am always looking for ways to minimize the number of bowls/spoons/tools required in a recipe. this is one of the simplest things you could ever make from scratch. plus, they are done pretty quickly.

cream biscuits with pecorino and fresh herbs
(adapted from the america’s test kitchen family cookbook)

makes 8 delicious and beautiful biscuits

what you need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese (or whatever cheese you feel like using)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh thyme and parsley (or whatever fresh herbs you feel like using)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
what you do:

preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the upper-middle position. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cheese, and herbs together in a large bowl.

using a wooden spoon, stir in the cream until the dough forms itself into one large clump (about 30-60 seconds).

take the large clump of dough out of the bowl and knead by hand until it unifies into one cohesive blob and holds together nicely with a smooth surface. (i just fold it into itself and pat it a few times in my hands, without using the counter — less mess this way.)

on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough into a rough rectangle-ish shape, somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

at this point, you can use a 2-and-1/2-inch circle cutter to make them beautifully restaurant-perfect round. or you can do my preferred bootleg method and use a steak knife to cut the dough in half, then cut those halves in half, and cut those quarters in half again (refer to photos below)… then pat the sides of each one individually until they all look somewhat rounded. in the end, you should have 8 biscuit pieces.

space out the biscuits on the parchment-lined pan (they don’t have to be too far apart, and it also doesn’t matter if there are little “scars” of biscuit dough on the paper–they won’t affect the end product). place the baking sheet on that middle-top rack and bake for about 15 minutes.

they’ll come out golden brown, and frankly, taste the awesomest straight out of the oven.

tangy, sweet, creamy broccoli salad recipe

raw broccoli. not the stuff that food dreams are made of… yet so yummy when combined with a winning mix of flavors and textures. sweet, sour, creamy, crunchy, chewy, nutty.

this is inspired by the broccoli slaw in amish markets, adapted from smitten kitchen’s recipe, and amped up in sweetness and tanginess because that’s how i prefer my salads.

note to my husband: stop reading now. don’t say i didn’t warn you.

broccoli salad

broccoli salad

makes one large bowlful which you may or may not devour solo in one sitting.

what you need:
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 of a small red onion or 1/4 of a large red onion, chopped to small fine pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • salt & pepper as needed
what you do:

make the dressing by vigorously fork-whisking the buttermilk, mayo, cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. add your chopped onions to this mixture and let it sit a few minutes while you cut up your broccoli and toast your nuts.

broccoli and red onion

toasting is optional, but i think it adds an extra dimension of nutty flavor that is well worth the 5 minutes it takes to toast. to do this, place a regular frying pan on medium/lowish heat and spread your almond slices in the pan in as thin a layer as possible so there’s minimal overlap. (do not grease or add oil to the pan. keep it dry.) let it heat up for 2-3 minutes then give the pan a good shake (or stir) to try to make the slices flip over and let it sit another 1-2 minutes. when you start to smell the nutty fragrance of toasting, keep your eye on it closely and either keep flipping for another minute or cut off the heat, because you don’t want them to burn. take the pan off the heat when most of the nuts have a nice golden tan but DON’T LET THEM BURN. almond slices = nasty bitter, while toasted almonds = tastefully nutty. (since i’ve distractedly let too many batches of almond slices burn in the past, i’ve started taking them off the heat a little early.)

cut up your broccoli into bite-size pieces. some people like julienned strips, some people like wide slices. personally, i like to aim for mini trees and oddly bubbly shaped chunks of stem. don’t sleep on the stem. the crunch is great.

throw your cut-up broccoli, dried cranberries, and toasted nuts into a large bowl. grind a generous amount of pepper on top. pour half your dressing over the mixture and toss it all together. if it looks dry, add more dressing and toss again. just try not to over-drown the broccoli florets like i did the last time i made this.

broccoli salad

fall favorite recipe: pumpkin whoopie pies (with cream cheese frosting filling!)

pumpkin whoopie pie

i don’t recall exactly where i picked up this recipe originally (maybe it was from the washington post? or maybe just a recipe site online? i forget) but it’s been a go-to fall favorite for a few years now with some minor tweaks i’ve made along the way.

they smell glorious coming out of the oven and they’ve also proven very effective in winning over annoying coworkers.

pumpkin whoopie pies

pumpkin whoopie pies

depending on how large you make your dollops of dough, this could make anywhere from 12 big whoopie pies to 20-24 small ones. (the original recipe said it could make 40 small ones and i have no idea where they got that from, unless they were making miniscule pies.)

part I…  the cookie/whoopie/cakeypie portion
what you need:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground cloves (i’ve used allspice when i was out of cloves)
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar (light works too)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chilled pumpkin purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
what you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together and set aside.

3. In a larger bowl, whisk the brown sugar and oil together until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a regular table spoon (not a measuring tablespoon) to scoop heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the lined baking sheets and make small dollops about one inch apart. Aim to make them about the same size so you have an easier time matching up pairs when it comes time to assemble. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until the cookies are starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. (If you’ve made large cookies, they will take longer to cook through.) Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan. You don’t want your cookies to be hot or even warm when you’re assembling them, because they will make the frosting all melty and gross.

part II… cream cheese frosting filling

what you need:

  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar (in an ideal world, you should sift the sugar. but i never do. ain’t nobody got time for that.)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (you can nuke in the microwave on medium heat for 10-20 seconds at a time, but don’t let it melt!)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
what you do:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter until it’s completely smooth, with no visible lumps. (If there are lumps, that means your butter is too cold, but sometimes you can beat the lumps into submission.) Add the cream cheese and beat until combined. (Same as the butter)

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. (The filling can be made one day ahead. Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator. Let the filling soften at room temperature before using.) If it’s too melty, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden a bit. But don’t let the frosting sit out by itself too long without being in an airtight container or else it will crust over and get crumbly on the edges.

part III… assemble your beautiful whoopie pies

Flip all your cooled pumpkin cakeycookies upside down. This way you can touch the flat sides to make sure they’re cool and easily fill and assemble the whoopie pies. Scoop a dollop of cream cheese frosting filling onto the flat side of a cookie, then gently press another similarly sized cookie’s flat side into the filling. It really doesn’t take a lot of filling before it starts squishing out of the edges (and I personally don’t like to overwhelm the pumpkin with cream cheese) so err on the side of less filling until you get the hang of what works. If you want to get fancy, you can use a piping bag and tip to make swirls, as seen in the first photo above.

Refrigerate for a half hour before serving, or just eat them right there, or store on a parchment-lined dish/pan and saran wrapped in the fridge. The cookies tend to get a little bit gooey if you leave them out, but you’ll probably end up eating them all immediately anyway.