So sorry I have neglected you again. My dear husband (is there an emoticon for "gag-me"?) took the kids down to his hometown to visit with relatives. We stayed at the home of his brother and his wife. His wife is a fantastic cook. She consistently makes delicious, original, gourmet (I actually hate that word) food from high quality, fresh ingredients. I wish I could find a way to insult her, but it is not possible. She introduced me to a fantastic new food from Argentina, arepitas. They were so good. A dough of corn masa is mixed with queso fresco (fresh cheese) and chorizo, then rolled out and fried until golden. Super, super yummy. I'm making them this Saturday to take to Priscilla's for wine night. Because i have to bring the best food to wine night. It is a matter of personal pride. Imagine if I, the Mendon Foodie, were outdone. Not acceptable to me. But luckily, I have a great recipe in hand with which to show off, thanks to Irina.
In addition to eating eating all of Irina's fantastic food, I went grocery shopping. Museums, you say? Monuments? Hell no, I went for the marvelous ethinic groceries and Trader Joe's stores that we don't have up here in the frigid north. I bought real chorizo, good tortillas, crema, and different quesos at the Dominican grocery. I stocked up on Grade B maple syrup and lentil crisps at Trader Joe's. But the best of all was H Mart. H Mart had aisles and aisles of every kind of asian ingredient possible. They had a man roasting nori (seaweed) right there. It was so fresh and tender, it melted in my mouth. Employees don't just offer samples of prepared food, they use featured ingredients to make incredible Korean foods. We tasted sea bass, four kinds of kimchee, dumplings, tofu, chicken, and probably at least three or four other dishes. One of my favorites was fish cake soup. If you can locate the ingredients at your local asian market, try this soup. You can make it in about 15 minutes and you will be so happy you did.
2 tsps Korean beef broth base (I suppose you are surprised I'm not berating you into making your own beef stock. Normally, I would, but this soup was so good, I'm afraid to mess with it. If you can't get Korean beef broth base, go ahead and use your homemade stock from the freezer.)
3 cups water
5 dried anchovies
1 jalapeno, diced
3 green onions
6-7 Korean fish cakes
Heat the water, beef broth base, and anchovies on the stove until simmering. Add the fish cakes and jalapenos. Cook until fish cake is heated through. Sprinkle on green onions right before serving.
So, I think I'll be taking you on an Asian cooking adventure for a while. I'm all stocked up on sesame oil and gyoza sauce, so I'll post some of the better recipes as I go along. Priscilla will no doubt have lots to say, but even though she lived in China for five years doesn't mean she knows everything about cooking. Neither do I, but whatever I so write about, I am sure about. So take my advice.