Thursday, April 10, 2014

Early Spring Thursday Cooking Practice
 vaguely korean carne, sesame kale,
 and mashed potatoes

vaguely korean slow carne, sesame kale, and mashed potatoes

Thursday's cooking practice is just the same as it was in late winter, which is boring for providing new blog content, but brilliant for being able to make your week's worth of dinners with your eyes closed.

But also you start freestyling, as I said last month, and sometimes you come up with new variations that are really darn good. I got a little tired of my slow carne being soo spiced, so I changed it up with more Korean seasonings:

an onion
a red bell pepper
a jalapeno pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 lb chuck steak

Roughly chop the onion and peppers and mix together. Mince the garlic and mix with the red pepper flakes, sesame, oil, soy sauce, and molasses. Brush the sauce all over the steaks. My new cooker is bigger than the old cooker so I just throw in the whole steaks, layered with the chopped onions and peppers. If you have any sauce left, just dump it in there. Cook on low for whatever, six or eight hours.

When the meat is very tender, you can remove it and turn the cooker up to high and let the vegetables reduce to a thick sauce. Or not. Rip the meat into bite-sized pieces. Put the meat into a container, pour the sauce over, and put it in the fridge.

For the kale:

a bag of kale
two onions
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Bring water to boil in a stock pot over high heat. Empty the bag of kale into the boiling water, squish it down with a wooden spoon, and let it come back to a boil. When you can smell the kale, pour it out and drain in a colander.

Meanwhile thinly slice the onions and heat the sesame oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, add the onions and let them cook down until pretty well caramelized. Add the drained kale and the sesame seeds and continue to cook it all down over low heat for another twenty minutes or so. Then put it into a container and put it in the fridge.

Last but not least, the mashed potatoes and beans. Here it is again for your one-stop shopping needs:

four russet potatoes
two cans of white, pink, or red beans—whatever beans you want, it's America

Generously salt water and bring to a boil in a large saucepan.

Scrub and quarter potatoes in the stock pot. Boil until fork tender, about fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile rinse and drain the beans, and put them in the large saute pan.

When the potatoes are done, ladle out a pint of cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and then drain the potatoes.

Mash the beans with a potato masher in the saute pan, adding in some cooking liquid to make them easier to mash. Add the potatoes back to the pan and mash them on top of the beans, adding more cooking liquid to make the consistency you want. I like fairly soft mashed potatoes and add back almost the whole pint of liquid.

Put the mashed potatoes into a container for your week's spacefood needs.

To serve, scoop out a bit from each container into a bowl and heat in the microwave.

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