Travel Eats

Entries in appetizer (2)


Sardine Rillettes

I had vowed not to buy anymore print cookbooks.  Jennifer Reese's ringing endorsement of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan on The Tipsy Baker and the fact that I found this last copy at Borders (50% off, squee!) made it seem karmically necessary.

Stopped at HEB on the way home, and I am nearly certain I was the only person in the store with this in her cart:

I'll admit, I was a little disappointed they didn't open with a little key anymore...

 And happy that my cats were both outside when I opened them.

Dorie recommends buying sardines with skin and bones, but I will admit to a certain amount of laziness and reluctance to smell of sardines for the evening.  These worked out just fine.  The recipe is super quick and easy, no food processor required, just a sturdy spatula and some elbow grease.

 I know. It looks more than a little bit like tunafish.

Don't let that deter you.  It is delicious and as addictive as chips and dip.  She recommends letting it sit at least 2 hours in the fridge...but if you can't wait you won't be in the minority.  I had it for dinner and lunch with crackers and snap peas.

Sardine Rillettes, modified slightly from Ms. Greenspan's recipe

2 3.75 oz. cans of sardines in oil

2.5 oz cream cheese (I used 3 oz. of light cream cheese)

2 shallots, minced

2 scallions, light green and white parts, sliced thinly

2 TBS minced herbs (I used parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil)

Juice of one lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Using a spatula, work cream cheese until smooth, add all ingredients except sardines and mix well.  Using a fork mash sardines into the mixture.  Adjust seasonings.  Chill x 2 hours.




Buchujeon-Korean chive pancake

One of my favorite Korean street foods is pajeon--basically "pancake" with various fillings, i.e. kimchi, scallion, squid, vegetable.  You could get these at most of the pojangma (food tents) that would crop up on weekends and evenings on certain side streets.  Staffed by ajumma (Korean women of a certain age), they provided filling snacks for drunken businessmen and waygookin (foreigners) alike.  If I had realized how easy they are to prepare I would have made them long ago.  Thank goodness for Maangchi and her awesome website.  

Pictured above are Korean garlic chives.  I purchased mine at a Korean grocery.  They were a bit sandy and needed a thorough rinse and spin cycle.  I combined with chopped scallions

but you could also use green peppers or zucchini.  If you use zucchini I would grate it and squeeze most of the water out.  You want about 3 cups of vegetables for the recipe.

Combine veggies with a simple batter of 1/2 cup flour, 2/3 cup water and 1 tsp. salt.

 I figured you didn't need a visual on mixing up a batter but I thought you would like to see my beautiful wooden spoon I got in Korea.

Heat oil to generously coat the bottom of a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Spread pancake batter in a thin layer and reduce heat to medium.  Cook until it looks dry on top.

Prior to flipping, spread one beaten egg over the top of the pancake.  Flip and cook until lightly browned.

Flip onto cutting board and cut into squares.  Traditionally served with soy sauce mixed with a splash of vinegar (I use balsamic). 

If you use raw squid or shrimp you will need to cook the pancake a little longer.  Don't be afraid to use plenty of oil.  The only thing healthy about this dish is the veggies--it's basically Korean bar food. 

You can serve with American or Mexican beer if you want to.  Kimchi is good too.

Masshisoyo! Delicious!