Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes with Three Cheeses

Bon App├ętit | November 1999 | by Rick Rodgers

Yield: Makes 12 servings

Total time can take up to 2 hours (includes 2 rounds of baking for 45 minutes)

This is so good and much easier to cut all those potatoes if you have a mandoline...

3/4 cup (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled Danish blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/4 ounces)

4 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

2-1/2 cups whole milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix cheddar cheese, blue cheese and Parmesan in small bowl.

Arrange half of potatoes in prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle onion over, then flour. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle half of cheese mixture over. Top with remaining potatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons butter. Reserve remaining cheese.

Bring milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Pour milk over potatoes (milk will not cover potatoes completely). Cover baking dish tightly with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Uncover dish (liquids in dish may look curdled); sprinkle potatoes with reserved cheese mixture. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and cheese is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Cover and rewarm in 375°F oven about 20 minutes.) Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hot and spicy rice cake (ddukbokkie)

I followed my favorite Korean cook, Maangchi's recipe but made a combination of her spicy and not so spicy versions, including some lean beef stew meat and substituting dried shiitake for fresh white mushrooms, since that was what I had.

1 cup tube shaped rice cake for ddukbokkie
1/2 lb stew beef
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbs of sliced onion
3-4 sliced white mushrooms or 3 dried shiitake - your preference
2-3 tablespoons red pepper paste (kochujang) or more, depending on your taste
1 tbs of hot pepper flakes (optional)
2 stalks green onion chopped into 2 inch lengths
4 cups water
dried anchovies


Separate the tubes of rice cake into individual pieces, rinse.

In a pan, pour 4 cups of water and add 7 large dried anchovies after removing their heads and intestines inside of a metal strainer and throw in the dried shiitake if you are using those. Boil the water for about 20 minutes over medium heat. After about 10 minutes, I pulled the shiitake out and cut them into smaller pieces and threw them back into the stock to fully reconstitute.

In a separate saucepan, saute stew beef with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sliced onion.

Remove the anchovies and add liquid to the saucepan with the beef. Simmer until meat is tender (this can take a while especially if you are using stew meat - it took over an hour, so I added water to the pot as it cooked down. Once your meat is ready, stir in the fresh mushrooms if you're using those, along with 2 green onions chopped to 2 inch lengths. Add the rice cakes, hot pepper paste and 1 tbs of hot pepper flakes (optional), stirring constantly.

Keep stirring until the sauce has thickened and the rice cake is shiny and softened. Transfer it to a plate and serve! It's delicious and I want to try making it with noodles and fishcakes as in this recipe at Peter's Home Cooking Diary next time!

p.s. I had some leftover and put it in a tupperware, which I don't recommend. The rice sticks had absorbed a lot of the liquid and were squishy and loose - very unappetising.