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Making Impromptu Stew

Labor day weekend at the poconos was relaxing, nature-filled, and full of good home-cooked meals. How can you not relax seeing ducks cruising around a lake?
Since M is an awesome cook, she made us a stew where she basically threw things together. To start, take your stew meat and cut it into cubes. Dredge it in flour and then brown in your pot.
Browned stew meat. Nom.
Then in a big old pot throw in the meat, some broth (there was one can of chicken so we used that), onions, celery, sweet potatoes (because we didn’t have regular potatoes), carrots, tomatoes, crushed garlic, dried chives, sage, bay leaf, a couple of yuenglings, and maybe a little cooking wine. Then we just let it cook for hours. It does not get any easier.
Once we got back from kicking it at the lake and beach and doing pretend gymnastics, there was a giant pot of delicious stew awaiting us. The meat was super tender. There was a thick and delicious broth. The sweet potatoes were amazing. It was perfect! I never realized how easy it was.

Yukgaejang – Who Cares Cooking With My Mom

One of my favorite korean dishes is yukgaejang, which is a spicy soup/stew with beef. It’s something that my grandmother used to make really well. I really miss hers. So when were in Columbus, my mom made some. So my mom is a lady who doesn’t know recipes and who doesn’t measure anything. So I can’t really help you there either. But you can get a general idea from this post. For actual recipes, google it!
In a large pot, combine a whole lot of blanched bean sprouts, some packaged fernbrake (that’s the brown stuff), and a lb of beef brisket that’s also been blanched a bit in hot water and cut into big hunks.
Cut up a handful of stalks of green onion into one inch pieces and blanch those. Add to the previous large pot.
Add in a handful of chopped garlic cloves.
Next up, slice an onion into thin slices and add. Then add some sesame oil. I’m not sure how much… maybe just a good dash?
Next up, add some korean hot pepper flakes, kochukaru. I think how much depends on how hot the flakes are and how hot you want the yukgaejang. I would guess it was like a heaping wooden spoonful.
Start mixing!
Add water to cover everything and start heating.
Add a bunch of chicken broth.

Add a dash of fish sauce,  a little bit of salt, and then heat this sucker on low heat for a long time. I’m talking hours. The meat will become really tender and you can shred it anytime along the cooking process.
Once ready to serve, you can heat up some clear noodles and then put a little bit of that in the bowl along with the yukgaejang. Then eat away along with some rice!

Another Trip To Gaya

We went to Gaya to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. Man, are we boring, or what? We always go here! They got fancy new menus. Unless they’ve always been like this. But I swear these are fairly new.
As you know, they really do have an excellent variety and high quality banchan.
And they had my favorite spicy and sweet marinated raw blue crab banchan that day. Best. Banchan. Ever.
For any of you who complain about the fact that you have to cook korean bbq yourself, go here! You can cook it yourself if you want, but they are more than willing to help you out and do pretty much all the cooking for you. So you can kick back and just watch them do it. It’s totally good meat too.
I’ve eaten here several times and everything has been good. It truly is one of the better korean restaurants in the Philadelphia area. But, I have discovered that it is definitely not without its flaws. Take this yukgaejang here. This thing wasn’t that good. It was pretty darn bland and the meat was super blah. This is so not the dish to get here. So now you know!
Some tofu stew. This is good. I would venture a guess that most of their stews are good.
But the thing that was absolutely beyond amazing was the grilled spanish mackerel. And of course my picture is going to be crap and blurry. Oops. But it is amazing. It’s a beyond huge piece of fish and it’s perfectly grilled and it’s slightly crunchy on the outside and just freakin delicious. Damn I can’t stop thinking about it. It was a particularly slow night there so service was extra attentive. You need to get this fish dish!

Gaya on Urbanspoon

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