By Gina Marinelli, Goumet Cook & Contributing Writer
I'm sitting in "the kitchen." And the view from inside my head is scanning over the past week and all of the events surrounding being in "the kitchen."
Opening scene: Monday January 10, 2011 4 o'clock in the afternoon Michael: "I want to have a nutrition party at your place Saturday. Are you up for it"?
Me: "Please fill in the details for the event you have in mind!" Michael: "Juicing, baby, I just got the GreenStar 1000!"
By the way, have you had a chance to view our juicing videos? If not, please check them out. You will understand why an instant smile comes to my face. I love making those videos. Every Sunday afternoon Michael comes over to the house and we juice!
Spontaneous,educational and fun! Of course, I said yes, to the potluck! How many are you inviting? Everyone! Everyone!!? And what are we going to juice? Everything! His invitation,"Look forward to Saturday! I've got a new Greenstar 1000 Juicer and we are going to be going nuts all night, with food and juices that will, blow your mind."
I went to the farmer's market early Saturday morning with an extra lift in my step and a bigger than usual smile on my face. I was on a mission to get the definitive everything that "will blow your mind!". The market was a Winter Fair. Cabbages of every shape and hue of green. I'll take 3 of the Dutch, and 3 of the absolutely gorgeous Savoy and oh, yes, 2 of the red! And cauliflower,broccoli,beets with greens on, bitter greens and celery! What else? Handfuls of fresh picked spinach, lettuce and carrots. Beautiful aromatic Italian parsley, cilantro and mint!!! Apples! Five pounds of the not so pretty, please. Blood oranges, satsuma tangerines and Meyer lemons! Mustn't forget the sweet potatoes. My bags were overflowing. I was in heaven. And not nearly finished. I need avocados and limes for the avocado lime pie. I finished market and went to the local health food store to pick up raw cream,pineapples, coconuts for the delectable coconut cream, fresh ginger root and papayas. I think that should do.
The evening was bountiful. A colorful palette of vegetables dressed the juicing table! We set everything up, showcasing the Green Star 1000. Michael was in top form! He juiced and talked about the benefits of the vegetables and raffled off 2 free thirty minute consultations. A fun filled evening of information and gastronomy at its best. ( Nothing too mind blowing; well, maybe, the raw marinated chicken and raw buffalo!) The "everyone" ended up being about 25 people. Many lingered until midnight, drinking juice and being given wonderful information about the power of food as the truest source of health. Needless to say, I bought too much of everything! What to do with it all?
Sunday: Juicing video and still left with quantities to spare.
Monday: I started ravaging my bookshelf of cookbooks. Wild Fermentation, The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of LIVE-CULTURE FOODS by Sandor Ellix Katz. Yes, I had found salvation. I would make my first, ever, batch of Kimchi.
Kimchi also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional Korean dish, prepared by fermenting Chinese cabbage, radishes, turnips,scallions, other vegetables and often seafood, with ginger, hot red chili pepper, garlic, onions and often fish sauce. It is the most common side dish in Korean cuisine, in fact, Katz refers to it as a "national passion" in North and South Korea. I definitely was willing to put that statement to the test. I started chopping!
Here Is the Basic Recipe for Making Kimchi
with my adaptations to follow:
It takes about 1 week for the kimchi to reach maturity. You will be sampling it everyday to taste for ripeness.
Ingredients for 1 Quart:
In a large mixing bowl
1 pound Chinese cabbage ( Napa or Bok choi)
I used a combination of dutch, savoy and napa
1 daikon radish or bunch of red radishes
1-2 onions, and or leeks, scallions or shallots (no need to skimp on any of these additions)
3-4 cloves of garlic (or more, highly recommended)
3-4 hot red chilies, again or more! this is a matter of stamina for hotness
any form of hot pepper,fresh, dried, (I used red pepper flakes)
3 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger root.
I also included 1 chopped small cauliflower and a handful of cut broccoli to the mix
1. Mix a brine of about 4 cups of pure water and 4 tablespoons of salt. Stir to thoroughly dissolve the salt. Taste for saltiness. It should be salty.
2. Coarsely chop the cabbage,slice the radishes and carrots and any other vegetables that you choose to soak. Put all of the vegetables into the brine bath. They should be submerged in the brine. Place a plate over the top of the bowl and weigh it down with a heavy jug, I used an old cider bottle filled with water. The vegetables should stay submerged until they are soft, about 4 hours or overnight. (I had them in the brine for roughly 5 hours)
3. Prepare the spices. You will need a blender or food processor.
Grate the ginger, chop the garlic and onions. if using fresh chilies remove the seeds and chop or crush or simply throw them in whole!
Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. We are advised to experiment with quantities and "not to worry too much about them."
Blend all of the spices into a paste.
You'll need quart sized mason jars at this point.
4. Drain brine off vegetables, reserving the brine. Taste for saltiness. You want the vegetables to taste "decidedly" salty, but not in extreme. If they are too salty, rinse them. If you cannot taste the salt you can add and mix it in.
5. Mix the vegetables together with the chili paste. When combined stuff the mixture into the mason jar. Pack it in tightly until the brine rises. If necessary add a little of the reserved brine to top off and keep vegetables completely submerged.
Cover the jar with a smaller jar. This keeps the vegetables submerged.
6. Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. taste the kimchi everyday. After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, cover and move your homemade kimchi to the refrigerator.
Tuesday: Sitting in the kitchen writing weekly article for Radiant Health Newsletter
Recapping past week events.
A big smile comes over my face! Potluck! Juicing! Kimchi!!!
Michael, Michael, Michael. I am fortunate beyond words to have you in my life.
To be continued.....Kimchi is ripe!
reference for the benefits of fermented foods:http://www.herbcompanion.com/cooking/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Fermented-Foods.aspx