Friday, April 18, 2014

Kimchi, meet your Dumplings!

Jyang-Lee's 'Very Veggie' vegan dumplings are very tasty!
Year's ago when we lived in Hampton, neighbors of ours, the wife of whom was from Thailand and used to turn me onto to Thai cuisine secrets, were friendly with a woman who went into the prepared food business.  Angela was that friend's taken name, Jyang-Lee her native name.  Jyang-Lee makes delicious dumplings.  

The perfect potsticker: soft and chewy with a crusty, golden bottom.  You may salivate now.
Dumplings, or potstickers, as they are commonly referred, are sometimes filled with pork, but these little morsels contain vegan goodness: cabbage, tofu, mushroom, green onion and garlic, all sauteed in a little oil and seasoned with sea salt.  This stuffing gets expertly folded into a whole wheat wrapper (just like a wonton wrapper but round), pinched with fingertips at the top, and flash frozen up in Coopers Mill, ME (a bit north of Lewiston, but no matter, you can easily find these at health food stores and specialty markets).

In no mind to create a complicated sauce, but wanting something--naturally--flavorful, I grabbed three items: a jar of Son-Mat's kimchi, a bottle of their hot sauce, and a bottle of tamari.  I love Son-Mat's anjou hot sauce; it has the perfect tang and piquant flavor for my palate.  So, I dumped half the bottle into a bowl with the rest of the kimchi I had on hand, and added a healthy splash of tamari.  ...Whisked it up and we had 美味的食物 in no time!

A sprinkling of scallion and a sprig of cilantro might've been in order.... 
In the time it takes to cook dumplings, I had my sauce made and the kitchen sink cleaned up.  They are so easy: heat a non-stick pan over medium-high, add a glug og veg oil.  When shimmering, place the frozen dumplings in one by one on their bottoms.  Let fry and sizzle for several minutes, then add water per the package instructions.  Cover, let steam until the water has been absorbed.  Use a proper spatula to plate them. 

Most definitely need to get more kimchi!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kimchi, Kimchi, Kimchi on a WTFJTI frittata

There's been so much talk about kimchi through the 'vine, lately, that I now find myself staring at an almost-empty jar.  If you've come across some of this stuff and thought anything but, "yum!", you need to have your head examined.  That was fresh.  I jest.  You need to seriously reconsider.  Don't think of it as something that you only eat straight out of a jar (leave that to the rest of us).  Think of it as a condiment with a punch of tangy flavor that works with just about anything.  You know, the way hot sauce does.  Or ketchup.

Yes, that's a lava flow of cheese....
For this stovetop frittata, I laid thin slices of tiny russet potatoes (Riverside Farm has the cutest little russets) down in a swirl of hot sunflower oil in my omelette pan.  Once they were flipped and golden around the edges, I sprinkled a bit of coarse salt and some leftover (Baer's) black turtle beans over them, followed by a massive mound of Meadow's Mirth spinach, and a couple slices of muenster (I have such a weakness for that orange rind...and all it is is beta carotene coloring).

After a minute or so for allowing the muenster a chance to relax, I added little knobs of Flying Goat Farm's 'scapegoat' goat cheese (has a garlic scape vein that I want three times more of).  This is the crème de la crème of goat cheese, my friends. So light and airy, smooth and's enough to convert the haterest of goat cheese haters. 
Flying Goat Farm goat cheese "Scapegoat'

Right before serving it all up, I added that layer of Son-Mat's kimchi that you see on top.  Man, this stuff is yummy.  Handmade (Kittery, ME restaurant), fermented cabbage and peppers.  Haha.... Yup, seriously.

And then dove in.  I call this my WTFJTI fritatta. (Hint: "..Just Throw it In."  Really tasty stuff, this whole shebang.  Make sure every BITE has a bit of kimchi on it.

Where to find it?  Your last chance until you go to a store here on the Seacoast is at the Exeter Farmers' Market tomorrow!  Get those bags ready!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

100% Maine-made Tempeh!

When we had a locavore party for the spring equinox, we featured broiled Lalibela Farm's tempeh kebabs for our vegetarian guests.  What a beautiful product!  Lalibela Farm grows their own legumes, strictly organically, and manages all their tempeh production on site.  I found ample quantities at the Portsmouth Health Food store.

Lalibela Farm's handmade, organic tempeh
Tempeh originated in Indonesian parts of the world.  It's known for many health benefits, namely calcium absorption by the human body (as much as cow's milk in menopausal women, according to one study).  Indeed, it is touted as having many other benefits by many sources.  Check out this interesting site where you can decide for yourself.  There's a fairly respectable list of names under 'who we are', and the press releases alone are extensive, although not exactly journalistic.

Black turtle bean tempeh