March food pictures

I don’t know why I do this to myself *every* semester… The night class I’m taking is taking up a lot of my energy. I am hoping that I can do a real post this weekend – a special post too!

In the meantime, here is proof that I made corned beef from scratch this year. As much as I love Penzeys spices, I don’t recommend using their corned beef spice mix for brining. It’s good but it doesn’t taste the way corned beef should. It’s a little too busy? Too perfumed? The contents are listed as “brown and yellow mustard seeds, coriander, Jamaican allspice, cracked cassia, dill seed, Turkish bay leaves, Zanzibar cloves, China #1 ginger, Tellicherry peppercorns, star anise, juniper, mace, cardamom, red pepper.” That’s what I used last year.

This year, I went much simpler: mustard seeds, juniper berries, allspice berries, peppercorn, and ground ginger. I was so much happier for it too. This was the corned beef flavor I was looking for. It was not the corned beef flavor my brother-in-law was hoping for (he’s my sole companion when it comes to eating corned beef as the rest of my family doesn’t care for it).  His memories of corned beef are filled with the bright pink kind.  I refused to buy pre-seasoned corned beef unless under duress, and he’s ok with that, but he still wants what his parents used to make.

There were no fun experiments with my corned beef leftovers.  BIL and I got a smaller cut of brisket this year, and he kept half of the leftovers.  I barely had enough leftovers for two servings.

More recently, though, I was in NYC with some friends.  We had lunch at Miss Korea BBQ.  It was pretty fantastic.  We stuffed ourselves with banchan, kalbi, spicy pork, and veggies.

We learned something in our quest for delicious Korean BBQ.  We’ve always had bulgogi cooked and served to us on a plate.  At Miss Korea, it is served to your table raw.  They remove the normal grill top (like the one in the photo above) and replace it with a grill top that allows you to boil the beef and noodles in a marinade (see below).  We looked like uncultured fools when we tried to cook our bulgogi on the regular grill top.  Don’t be like us.  Do it right.

The scorch marks in the middle of the bulgogi grill?  Yeah, we originally thought that the noodles went in the marinade while the meat cooked over the flame.  And then we realized that this grill had not been oiled at all.  We tried to quickly move the beef into the marinade.  Not one, but two faux pas!  Forgive us, Miss Korea!

Now I want Korean BBQ.  lol!

I hope this tiny post tides you over until I can post my fun update!