Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet 16

January 12th was Elly's 16th birthday .... and my first attempt at Korean food.  When I began looking online for recipes and techniques, I began to get pretty excited.  (New foods do that to me!  Heck ..... Let's be honest here:  FOOD does that to me!)  But Korean food looks so darned interesting and tasty and fun to make.

So, please join me as I make 2 dishes.
1.  Jeyuk Bokkeum (Korean Spicy pork)

The ingredients you see at the top right left are what's in the jar at the top left:  Gochujang or spicy red pepper paste.  It's used in a lot of Korean food and you can add as little or as much as you like depending on how spicy you like your food.  I erred on the side of caution this time around and just used the minimum that the dish called for.  I mixed together Gochujang, soy sauce, minced garlic and a little sugar (lower right pic), then marinade thinly sliced  pork tenderloin and veggies for 24 hours.  Fry (and adjust the spice or sweetness level to your liking).

2.  Gung Jung Ddukbokki (Royal Palace Rice Cakes)

Ddukbokki are a little trickier to make, or at least to make them as delicious as the street vendors do.  Aren't they interesting!  These little tubes of compressed rice which get softened by immersing in boiling water (off the heat).  While this is happening, you stir fry veggies, make a sauce of soy sauce, honey, minced garlic and sesame oil, add ddukbokki and sauce, simmer for a few minutes; and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.     

It was delicious!  There were 7 of us round the table:  Canada, Korea, Brazil and Japan were represented; and we all enjoyed the meal.  Elly gave me top marks on the Jeyuk Bokkem and a fair mark for the ddukbokki.  I'll keep trying.

This was followed by Elly's favorite dessert -- New York cheesecake.  

I made the cheesecake the night before, so it had the required day to "cure".  It was a very decadent recipe -- 5 pkgs cr cheese, 5 eggs plus 2 egg yokes, 1/2 heavy cream.  But man!  What a divine cheesecake!  I can honestly say (especially as the other six round the table said it first), it was probably one of the best cheesecakes I've ever eaten.  It was lush and creamy with subtle hints of the orange and lemon zest.  I served it with a homemade blueberry sauce and whipped cream.

I got top marks from the Birthday Girl (and by the looks of it, the Whipped Cream Queen)!  What a fun night with family and friends.  I can't wait to try my next Korean recipe.

BTW - I'll post the cheesecake recipe in the next day or two.  Trust me:  it's so worth the 5 million calories!!!


DearHelenHartman said...

Yes cheesecake please! I can barely cook American food - that's opening cans, right? Congrats on the birthday and the cooking.

Nezzy said...

It sure looks like ya mastered the Korean dishes first go round. You meal looks fantastic and I bet it made the birthday girl feel so very special.

What a cutie she it!!!

Happy sweet sixteen beautiful Elly.

God bless and have a great weekend.

I'll be on the lookout for that cheesecake recipe. A girl has to have a 'real' cheat every now and again!

Pamela Gordon said...

The food looks delicious especially the cheesecake. Yum! said...

It all looks great! Have you tried the food at "Friends Cafe" in the old B'water hospital - really great Thai food - by a Thai Chef - reasonable prices too. Nancy LeB in Braeshore, NS

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

Looks like a great feast. I love trying to cook foods from different countries too. What a great birthday party you created.

wendy said...

YOU are courageous. I don't think I'd ever attempt those recipes. But they looked incredible.
looks like it was a great day for her.
ahhhh....I remember turning 16
soooooooo long ago (tee,hee)
my boyfriend at the time gave me a dozen pink roses.
I still have the picture

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Yes Nancy, I have tried Friends Cafe. The food is really good. And you've just reminded me to go again on Thai day!

Betsy said...

Everything looks so good! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Red said...

The names if these dishes make them sound really great.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You were very brave in even trying that meal. I'm thinking I've never had any Korean food. What a wonderful experience it must be having all those different nationalities there at your house. Glad you all had such a nice celebration!

Marie said...

Wow, you rock Sandy!! I would never even attempt Korean food! Kudos to you for trying and suceeding! Looks mighty fine to me. And Happy Birthday to the birthday girl!


My granddaughter, Jillian turned sweet 16 on Jan. 12th as well. Maybe she and Elly should be pen pals. How fun. Jillian is here in Ohio and the loveliest girl, and I'm not prejudiced.
The means sounds delicious. I rarely try anything new and I feel it's time. You've inspired me.
Many thanks! Barb

Sweet Tea said...

WOW! I'm so impressed. I would never be that adventurous with food. It all looks delicious. What a treat for your birthday girl!

My Little Home and Garden said...

I could have brought my own plate...