Welcome to the third episode of the Last 7 Days of Cooking series! This time the theme is vegetarian. Would you like to see what I cooked? There are some new dishes that I’ve never tried before! :-)
Pasta with zucchini! How does it sound to you? It used to be a weird combination to me, as I’ve never thought zucchini could be an ingredient for pasta. But not any more after I discovered pasta with shrimps and zucchini. I recommend to cook zucchini and shrimps separately, and the sprinkle some fresh lemon juice on the shrimps. Can you feel how fresh this pasta was? By the way, I’ve been trying to get such a steaming shot so many times, but it’s not easy ;-)
A few months ago, my mom sent me a package with a lot of ingredients I can’t find in Finland. I wanted to have some Korean sweet rice flour, which I could use to make the sweet rice balls. Unfortunately, there was no such flour in the package. However, there was a package of Korean sweet rice. So I made the sweet rice flour myself, and I mixed it with hot water at a time. Then, I shaped the dough into small balls, which I boiled for about 10 minutes. The sweet rice balls can have different toppings. For one of them, I used julienned Korean dried jujubes, which I also got from the package – I actually used to call them Korean dried dates, but then I realized that they come from a totally different plant. For another one, I used chopped pistachios. Finally, for the last one, I made some sweet kidney bean paste – actually I replaced azuki beans (which I didn’t have) with kidney beans, but it turned out pretty good.
I do love any kind of mushrooms, especially porcini. They a distinctive mushroomy aroma and flavor. I usually use dried ones, so every time it creates a flavorful mushroom water. This water can replace vegetable broth for risotto, pasta sauce, and even Korean dishes such as the Korean soy bean paste soup (된장찌개)! The mushroom water can also be added to boiling water for added flavor. That’s what I did for these spinach tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.
I am now convinced that I have a perfect recipe for pizza dough! Hopefully, I will post it soon :-) This time, I had three different toppings: chanterelle mushrooms (it’s season in Finland) with tomato sauce; caramelized onion with fresh mozzarella; and cheese trio (smoked cheese, provolone, and parmesan).
Frittata in Italian literally means fried (from the verb friggere). It is made with beaten eggs which are pan-fried together with vegetables, meats and (or) cheeses, similar to pancakes. My frittata had chopped potatoes, carrots, black sesame seeds, grated parmesan, and some milk. Frittata is very convenient, as you can cooked in many different ways, depending on what you have in your refrigerator :-D
I am not ashamed to confess that it was the first time I made Kimchi myself. When I was in Korea, my mom always made it for me, so I did not have to know. But I wanted to try myself, and even have my own Kimchi recipe! Honestly, my mom, grandmom, and many other people of the same generation in Korea don’t have detailed recipes. They use the traditional cooking style of “just put some more or less until it looks right” :-D So I had to look up a few recipes and, even though it was fun, the result was not as expected… I don’t know what I did wrong, but at the end it was too salty. My mom told me that it could be related to the soaking of cabbage. I fear that it will take a long time to figure out how to make it properly!
Are you familiar with chickpeas or garbanzo beans? Recently I started using dried chickpeas instead of a canned ones. It’s quite different. Dried chickpeas have more flavor and nutritional value, even though they need to be soaked in advance (around 8 hours). This time I wanted to make hummus. So, I started looking for Tahini (the sesame paste) in the local grocery stores, but I could not find it. Well, then I just made it without Tahini! It’s very different from the original taste, but the taste of chickpeas and cumin is much more distinct and the texture is also very light.
I think I’m getting into it. I hope you also have the same feeling!