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Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Not Hot Dogs

In korean on December 22, 2010 at 12:49 am

The last time I was in Korea, it was late December.  I had just spent the past few years living in West Africa, and was woefully underdressed for a real winter chill.  Enter 호떡… the world’s most perfect street food.  OK… I’m biased.  When other families used to eat poptarts, we would put frozen hoddoeks in the toaster and have a warm, sweet and gooey korean treat for breakfast or a snack.  So there is nothing better than buying steaming hot hoddeok from street vendors while walking around Seoul.  It’s the snack of my childhood and what got me through a frigid winter wearing only jeans and a t-shirt.


Yesterday, after a weekend of being snowed in in the mountains, it felt like a perfect time to make hoddeok.  Of course when I asked my husband if he wanted any, he heard “do you want a hot dog?” and said “no.”  Until he saw what I was making, and proceeded to eat the hoddeok I made for myself, and then then next two that came out of the pan. So I would say that you don’t have to just be nostalgic for a childhood treat to enjoy a hot hoddeok.

Some of the recipes I’ve found use just plain old wheat flour.  I like to substitute in some sweet rice flour; I think it makes them a bit more chewy.  If you can’t find sweet rice flour, you can just use all AP flour instead.

Hoddeok

For Pancake:

1 c warm water

2 tbs sugar (I used turbinado)

2 tsp active dry yeast (if you use rapid rise, just skip the proofing step)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 c AP flour

1 c sweet rice flour

Filling:

1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs chopped walnuts

Make the dough:

  1. Mix warm water, yeast, salt, sugar, and oil in bowl; stir to dissolve
  2. Add both AP and sweet rice flour, mix well (the dough will be very wet)
  3. Let rise until dough has doubled in size
  4. Punch down and allow to rise for another 30 min

Make Filling

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl
  2. That was easy!

Assembly

  1. Knead dough gently
  2. Place dough onto generously floured surface and divide into 8 equal parts
  3. Roll out or flatten one dough portion and fill with 1 tsp of filling.  Gather dough at top and pinch closed
  4. Heat a pan with vegetable oil and place filled hoddeoks seam side down
  5. After the first side is golden brown, flip hoddeok and flatten with spatula
  6. Continue cooking second side until golden brown
  7. Flip hoddeok over again and turn heat down to low.  Cook gently over low heat for a few minutes to allow filling to melt and turn syrupy.  Serve immediately.

There is nothing like warm hoddeok on a cold day.  You have to eat these right off the griddle, while the filling is still warm and gooey.  I think nutella would make a great, non-traditional hoddeok filling.  You can also fill hoddeok with red beans, cheese, or anything else crazy.  It’s really just a stuffed pancake, after all.


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Thanksgiving tarts

In Thanksgiving on December 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Even though this isn’t one of the traditional squash varieties that I grew up eating, nothing says autumn and winter like butternut squash.  I actually remember the first time I ate a butternut squash — in a risotto at some restaurant in New Haven while I was in college.  

And then once I had one, I couldn’t get enough!  When I saw this butternut squash and onion galette recipe, I thought it would make a fantastic Thanksgiving appetizer.  I found the pastry recipe to be a bit futzy, so I cut out a few steps, and saved some time by making it in the food processor.  Any time savings during the days leading up to Thanksgiving is a good idea in my book.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Tarts (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the Pastry

1 1/4 c AP Flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I store my butter in the freezer, so it stays really cold)

2 tsp lemon juice (I used half a lemon)

1/4 c ice cold water

1/4 c sour cream

  1. combine flour, salt, and butter.  Process in food processor or use pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal
  2. whisk in lemon juice, sour cream, water.  Work slowly into flour/butter mixture.  Be careful not to over mix.
  3. Chill in fridge while prepping the filling

Squash and Onion Filling

1 small butternut squash

2 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin (a mandolin works great for this)

1 tsp salt

3/4 c gruyere or asiago cheese

1 1/2 tsp sage leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Peel and dice squash into 1/2 inch cubes
  3. Toss with olive oil and salt, spread on sheet pan
  4. Roast for 30 min
  5. While squash is roasting, caramelize onion with butter, 1/2 tsp salt.  A pinch of sugar sometimes helps with the caramelization process
  6. In a large bowl, mix onions, squash, cheese, and sage.

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Remove pastry from fridge and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Cut pastry into rounds (I used a Progresso soup can), and place rounds into buttered muffin tin.
  4. Fill pastry lined muffin tins with squash and onion filling
  5. Bake at 400F for 30-40 min, until pastry is golden brown

The tart shells were wonderfully flaky, and the butternut squash and caramelized onions play off each other and give a hint of sweet along with the savory cheese.  I actually forgot to add the cheese into the filling, and just shaved some asiago right on top of each of the tartlettes.  I  made these the day before; they got  a little soggy, but I reheated them for about 10 minutes in a 400F oven, and they crisped right up.  Delicious.