If you’ve been to this blog prior then you know that I have been somewhat fascinated with the art of fermentation for sometime (click here), so this recipe should not come as a surprise. I initially got the idea when I came across a recipe for brussels sprouts kimchi at the website of Bon Appetite. Intrigued, I tried it but changed it up a bit to fit my tastes. Anyhow, it is really good (and really spicy) and easy to make. If you like fermented foods I hop you try this recipe (which is below).
I’ve posted this recipe in the past but not in quite a while. Today I tasted a new batch of kim-chee that has been fermenting for a couple weeks and it is–I have to say–on of my better batches. Anyhow, the recipe is below, but if you’d like to learn more about kim-chee, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods (how to make them and why they are good for you), read this post.
I’ve posted a few variations of this recipe in the past, but what it comes down to is that kim-chi is a spicy fermented cabbage recipe not unlike sauerkraut (but did I mention spicy). The above image may be a bit misleading because it is not the finished recipe, it is the ingredients that have just been mixed together prior to fermentation (beautiful isn’t it). In this heat it should be fully fermented in a few days, or at least by week’s end. The basic recipe is listed below, but really the ingredients are really up to you. If you’d like to learn more about fermented foods–via articles I wrote (yes, shameless self-promotion)–click here or here. I also recommend this book.
Yup…it’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about the victory garden. That’s a savoy cabbage plant pictured above. Future food for my son and I. In a few months I plan on eating it. No, let me rephrase that. In a few month months, after I harvest the cabbage and some cayenne peppers from my front yard garden, I’ll make kim chi–or rather, combine the ingredients and it will make itself–and then I will eat it.
100% Whole Wheat Bread:
I’ve been playing around with a variation (simplification) of Peter Reinhart’s whole grain bread recipe. I find the idea of home made bread being made without too much fuss and it not occupying your time and thoughts very interesting. I much rather incorporate it into the rhythm of my day. Many of my breads, for example, I’ll start the sponge before bed or before I go to work, and then mix the dough hours later, either retarding it in the refrigerator or baking it straight away. With this cold snap we’re experiencing in the northeast a refrigerator isn’t necessary…the rear of my house (where my kitchen is located) 9is like a refrigerator. I had to bring the bread to my living room and warm it next to the wood stove to speed the fermentation process. Anyhow, here’s my method, and it came out pretty good.
If I recall correctly Peter Reinhart uses milk or butter or yogurt in his dough (I may be wrong…I haven’t looked at the book for a while), at any rate, I used a straight-dough recipe, or one without fat (ok, I used a little olive oil). The thing that is key I think, and this is something that I picked up from Peter’s book, is that when making bread with 100% whole wheat flour it is essential to soak the flour before mixing the dough.
In the bowl on the left is a sponge with 2 cups of w.w. flour, a little yeast, and 2/3 cups of water; the mixing bowl on the right contains 4 cups of w.w. flour, 1 1/3 cups water, a little salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil (no yeast). I let these sit overnight. In the morning I dissolved a little more yeast in about a quarter cup water (the small container with the spoon in it).
Realizing the coldness in my kitchen (something like 45F), and not having the time to allow for a 12-hour rise, I sped up the process by warming the dough on a stool next to my wood burning stove. I had it covered (of course), but the real challenge was keeping my two dogs away from it.
Then I found myself in a quandary…here I had these 3 beautiful loaves of bread, and I knew that I’d never eat them before they went stale. I gave one away, sliced into one, but still didn’t have enough room in my teeny freezer for the remaining loaf. In order to fit the loaf in the freezer I had to take some stuff out. And if I were to take some stuff out I knew that I had to cook it…so I made dinner. Actually, I only had to remove a container of broccoli and butternut squash, both of which I grew on my tiny city plot this past summer.
I basically cooked the vegetables aglio e olio style (with garlic and olive oil) and tossed it with pasta. It’s a method for which I can cook almost any food, and a flavor I never get tired of. Besides the pasta and chicken broth, here’s the basic ingredients I used: squash, broccoli, garlic, and hot peppers.
Really? What is up? Two years ago we were at the very same price for gas per gallon as we are today (in Buffalo). Then we went on a roller coaster ride and we’re back where we started. Check out this chart I found at buffalogasprices.com:
Lastly, I had to include a few pictures of my latest batch of kim chi (cabbage and peppers grown in the back yard this past summer). It is by far the best batch I have ever made, and it is literally alive with flavor and probiotics. It has an effervescence the almost sizzles on your tongue. Check out the book and/or website, Wild Fermentation, if you want to learn to make it.