Saturday, April 13, 2013

Classic Cucumber Sandwiches

There's absolutely nothing ground breaking or original about these cucumber cream cheese sandwiches.
There was a funeral today that I couldn't make it to, but I offered to make some food for the reception. When I asked what was needed I was told that they had so many sweets coming it would be really helpful if i could make some healthy finger food. For a hundred people.
 I was a little disappointed. I was hoping to make brownies. Because let's face it, when you're sad what do you want to eat? Brownies! So i couldn't think of anything to make. I knew that whatever plate of healthy food I made, what everyone really wanted to eat was the goodies. I went down the path of unusual ideas, then the path of vegetarian ideas, then the path of miniature everything. Nothing doing. Then I tried to picture what I would expect to find on a table at a funeral reception. For some reason these were a centerpiece in my imagination. I rolled with it.
 And you know, they were delicious(I swiped a couple, I was making them at 12:15pm, solidly lunchtime). They're cool and dignified, subtle and clean. And if you cut them into tiny little triangles you can have a healthy token finger food and then dive shamelessly into that brownie. I've served my purpose today. I have given a hundred people a cucumber peace of mind.
White bread, crust cleanly removed
cream cheese with fresh dill whipped into it
peeled and thinly sliced cucumber
salt and pepper (I'm generous with the pepper)
I think you can figure this one out...

Kimchi Revisited

Non-fishy fished kimchi
 I will now review my various flavors of kimchi from last week. If you're interested in making some of this korean sauerkraut you can find the template of a recipe in a previous post untitled "What happens during during naptime - KIMCHI".

So as a quick review kimchi in mostly cabbage or napa cabbage, carrots, garlic, ginger and salt. Other things are added or subtracted depending on the locale and family traditions so I tried jazzing it up last week. It's now been sitting at room temperature loosely covered 7 days.
 To one jar I added extra chili flakes and a tablespoon of fish sauce, a very traditional korean way of spicing it up. To another I added two layers of preserved lemons and some cilantro leaves.
Fishy: it was surprisingly mild. The sauce was very fragrant at first, i was even worried that I might have added too much. But it seems to have mellowed into a hint of something else, more an umami effect than a slap with a herring. It was delicious stirred into a shrimp pad thai that I made from this recipe 
Lemon Cilantro: This one was much more overt. The lemon went very nicely with the fresh ginger and it pulled everything together to make it much fresher tasting. It almost tastes colder. I think I will try it with fresh lemon slices sometime to get an even brighter taste. Preserved lemons lose a little of that as they take on the salt that they're soaked in. If you get around to it before I do let me know how it goes.
I think with a lemon chicken recipe or maybe some roasted garlic/preserved lemon smashed potatoes you would be able to identify the citrus notes better than straight out of the jar. But it could also be used to brighten up some salmon, or maybe a sweet and sour asian noodle dish. It would be wonderful in a hot and sour soup. Will have to try.
barely awake, at her supervising counter post

the gourmet saturday breakfast: egg burrito with bbq, mustard, and kimchi/scambled eggys kechup top peanujelly tos