Thursday, September 15, 2011

I love Kimbap and Kimchi!

I am a Docent at the Fine Art Museum in Budapest.  A few times each month I lead a tour of Baroque Art to visitors of the museum . These are mostly tourists but there are still many Hungarians who have some time and join the tour. The tours are approximately 1 hour in length though sometimes I do longer , it all depends on the group.
Through the  Museum program I have met many wonderful women and men who share my love of Art. In a few weeks we start a new "session" that being lectures on Gothic Art. The lectures are extremely interesting and are based on the  Art we have in the museum so that if you would like to become certified to lead a tour  in Gothic art ( as an example)  you know where the paintings are, who the artists were and why they painted in this style, the political situation and of course the religion at the time. Every session is a different period in Art History and ends in an exam. To become Certified you must of course pass an exam on your knowledge of the art period being studied. BUT the important thing is that you can come just for the lectures to increase your knowledge no exam !
Anyway the today I was invited to a Docent's home, along with another Docent for a luncheon. The interesting part is that the Hostess Docent was Korean and she would be showing us how to make KIMBAP.
The other Docent was from the United Kingdom and would show and bake Scottish shortbread cookies and then there was me , Hungarian via Canada and I would be making Korozott (recipe in a previous blog).

Of course I did not know what Kimbap was, had never heard of it .Just to make sure I knew what was being served I Googled  it surprises then ! Ok so  Kimbap was the joining of two word, Kim which is a type of Korean  seaweed sheets and Bap which is rice. Since this is mostly Kim and Bap it was called Kimbap! Inside you usually find vegetables and some slivers of meat. it is rolled and then cut into mouth sized servings. It is a very traditional Korean 'fast food'...but healthy , eaten with chopsticks.  You do not need soy sauce, wasabi or pickled ginger with it . Sounds amazing! Will this take over sushi? Of  the many people polled actually they preferred this!

So lets see how it is made....
First you need the sticky rice.
It consists of cooked rice, sesame oil, salt, and sesame seeds, to which small amounts of vinegar and sugar are often added as seasonings.
shredded carrots with sesame seeds and oil ,
Surimi made from Pollack fish.
Plus...( from right to left) .marinated radish, squeezed cucumber, flattened fried eggs plain, fried egg with some pulverized fish  and for the meat julienned ham. We have our meal .
We start by placing the riced on the seaweed wrap which is on top of a bamboo mat.
we start the adding of the ingredients,
we keep adding the ingredients on top of each other.
Once everything has been added we start to roll.
and roll...
and roll ...
Once the rolling is done we squeeze and squeeze HARD. Without the squeeze the roll will fall apart when we cut !
So we have one KIMBAP ready , we have a few more to do .
Next comes the cutting , you need a very sharp knife. There are pieces sticking out on the ends but that is a TREAT for the younger children.

The inside of a KIMBAP looks amazing , the amount and type of each ingredient gives a different color and it is almost like a Kaleidoscope.
So cool!

I have to show you an end piece.... this was my 'treat' ...seems almost like a piece of art!
While we were having fun rolling  the kimbap, the dumplings were frying .

I stuffed the Korozott ( previous blog ) into cherry tomatoes and celery sticks . A salad was prepared , dumpling sauce was made and we set the table.
There was something extra on the table , our hostess added Kimchi.

Kimchi (play /ˈkɪmi/; Korean: 김치 [kimtɕʰi]), also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings.[1][2][3] There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, green onions or cucumber.[4] It is the most common banchan, or side dish, in Korean cuisine.
Our hostess used the cabbage. I loved this dish but it is not something you can just decide to make for a weekend dinner party, many months of fermenting goes into this dish. This dish was HOT , HOT, HOT and that is why I loved it, it was so perfect for our afternoon luncheon!

 So after we finished of our meal  the buzzer rang ....our shortbread cookies were ready!
Thank heavens for buzzers we would have just talked while the cookies would have burned.

Scottish shortbread cookies. This I Googled just for fun. Everyone knows what shortbreads are but as always you can learn a little more.
Shortbread is a type of unleavened biscuit (cookie) which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts oatmeal flour.
Despite the fact that shortbread was prepared during much of the 12th century, the refinement of shortbread was actually accredited to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. The name of one of the most famous and most traditional forms of shortbread, petticoat tails, were named by Queen Mary. This type of shortbread was baked, cut into triangular wedges, and flavored with caraway seeds.Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture (from an old meaning of the word short). The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter. The short or crumbly texture is a result of the fact that the fat inhibits the formation of long protein (gluten) strands. The related word "shortening" refers to any fat that may be added to produce a short (crumbly) texture ( wikipedia)

6 oz of flour
4 oz of butter
2 oz of sugar
 Oven set at 300F ( 150C). The oven is set at a very low temperature as these cookies must be baked slowly.

Beat the butter, add the sugar and then sift  and add the flour! Roll this out on a board dusted with sugar, cut the cookie shapes  and the bake for 30 minutes, let cool and you are done . How easy was this!
So after our lunch we had  fresh baked cookies and fresh blueberries which are in season. Such an easy relaxing lunch.  Again as the day was hot the stove was set very low so the rooms were not heated up.

The cookies decided to come out a bit flat, not something that usually happens, it was the heat we decided.
Cookie dough should always be cold before it is placed in the oven especially dough with so much butter. However, the taste is the same. Unbelievably delicious and all this great taste coming only from sugar, butter and flour!  I wondered why do we go to such great lengths to get  a great cookie recipe adding all kinds of ingredients when all you need are sugar, butter and flour.

 So it was a wonderful afternoon with great food and great company. 

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