June 17, 2010

Thursday 6/17: Argentina v Korea, Greece v Nigeria and a break from dessert

Since I am, to say the least, unfamiliar with Korean cooking, we've taken today's dish from an awesome and cleverly named blog: MyEpikorean. Epikorean! How can you not love that? Even better, their recipe for Korean short ribs goes smashingly well with the deep, intense flavors of Argentina's national wine.
You may also notice today's menu is a bit short. You can thank Spain for that. Upset about the loss, we drank away our sorrows yesterday.
We've opted to skip out on the sweets today and finish our dinner with something healthy. Our kitchen is already filled beyond capacity with desserts, which I've begin to actually ship off to friends at this point (want some pie, pavlova, povitca, tres leches? come on over!)
Argentina vs. Korea: Korean Short Ribs and Argentinean Malbec 
Kalbi Jim (Korean Short Ribs)
3 lbs short beef ribs, thickly cut
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 T soy sauce
1 C Pineapple juice
1 C rice wine
1/4 C Maesli Ju, Green Plum Wine or Grand Marnier
1/2 C water
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T sesame seeds
2 Korean sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
10 ginko nuts, shelled
2 T sil kochu red pepper pieces
Score and butterfly the ribs. Toss all ingredients into a large pot, clay if you have one. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the nuts and simmer for another 20 min. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to high, cooking for another 20 min. while stirring frequently, until meat is shiny and liquids reduced. If you prepare this overnight, you can scrape the congealed fat off the top once it cools.
Recipe adapted from original by MyEpikorean.com.

Greece v Nigeria: The Real Greek Salad and a Nigerian Zobo drink
Nigerian Zobo is a tea or soda made from roselle, an old world species of Hibiscus native to Africa. The dried flowers for Zobo can be found at every market as can the sugary tea, but those of us outside Africa will make do with the Western version of dried hibiscus, commonly found at Mexican markets and labeled as "para Jamaica" - the Mexican version of Zobo. Luckily, I have some authentic roselle tea flowers that my friend brought me back on a recent trip to Thailand.
a few sprigs of fresh mint
1 C of sugar
1 C fresh squeezed orange juice
5 C water
Bring water to boil in a large pot. As soon as it reaches a boil, take the pot off of the heat, add the dried hibiscus and mint sprigs and cover. Let steep for at least one hour, then strain, pressing liquid out of the flowers. Stir in the sugar and juice.
Stir in 4 C cold water to drink as a tea or top with a splash of ginger ale to serve as a soda.
If you prefer salad in the more American style, before your meal, then go ahead and have this first. However, by no means are you allowed to put lettuce in it. It's not the "Greek-American" team that is playing today, it's the Greek national team, so do them the honor of making their amazing national dish the right way - not lettuce, no weird sweet creamy dressings.
The Real Greek Salad 
4 large, ripe tomatoes (in season now!)
1 red onion
1 cucumber
1/4 lb fresh Greek feta
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
Greek oregano
Greek olive oil
Greek olives
Simply chop the tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Whisk the a couple of tablespoons olive oil together with the garlic, a splash of lemon juice and oregano together. Then toss with the salad, adding more oil and lemon to taste. Top with feta and olives.

Prefer to eat out instead? Our Houston Dining Guide tells you where and why.

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