Friday, December 26, 2008

Ginger Spice Cookies

Bon App├ętit | March 2000 | Yield: Makes about 30

These cookies are beautiful and easy to make.

2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

Sugar (I used raw sugar crystals, which are coarser and almost like bits of candy - a bit sweet but added a nice crunch)

This is the candied ginger I used, it was pretty fresh which is probably a good thing, but made it harder to chop because it was very sticky and gummed up on my knife. It took a lot of pulse action in the food processor but that is definitely the way to go.


Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Spoon sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 minute. Carefully transfer to racks and cool. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Spicy Tofu Soup (Soondubu)

Hot bubbling spicy tofu soup is the perfect way to warm yourself when the weather gets chilly. This is a must have recipe from Maangchi's Korean Kitchen, she has the most amazing collection of home cooking recipes that are easy to follow and includes lots of information about the ingredients used.

Serves 2
Ingredients for the stock:
12 dried anchovies
1/3 cup of kelp
half onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
3 dried shiitake mushrooms

Ingredients for the stew:
1 cup of mixed seafood (I used 4 prawns and 4 pieces of cuttlefish fillets)
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch segments
1 jalapeno pepper
2-5 tbs of hot pepper flakes
olive oil
sesame oil,
1 tube of soft tofu
fish sauce to taste
1 egg

Prepare stock:

Pour 5 cups of water into a pot and add 12 dried anchovies after removing the intestine area. Add chopped onion, dried kelp, dried shiitake mushrooms, garlic cloves and boil it over high heat. Approximately 10 minutes later, lower the heat to low medium heat and boil it for another 20 minutes. Maangchi recommends putting all of the dried anchovy pieces into a big mesh tea infuser.

Take the mushrooms from the stock, let them cool and then chop them into small pieces. Chop up any other mushrooms you are using. Strain and set aside the stock

Heat the earthen ware (or ceramic pot) on the stove if you have one. I personally don't have one, so I used a regular 2 qt saucepan over a high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stir in the chopped mushroom. Add 2 tbs – 5 tbs (1/4 cup) of hot pepper flakes and keep stirring for 1 minute.
  • 2 tbs—mild
  • 3 tbs—medium
  • 4 tbs—hot
  • 5 tbs (1/4 cup)—suicidal hot ! : )
Pour 2 cups of the stock in. Add seafood, cook until flesh turns opaque. Add fish sauce to taste. Cut the tube of Soon du bu (soft Tofu) in half and squeeze it out into the pot and break the tofu with a spoon several times in the pot. When it boils, add chopped green onions and jalapeno pepper.

Crack egg into pot and drizzle with sesame oil before serving.