September10

Gochuchang Paste

Gochuchang Paste

Seasoned red pepper paste. Sauce for bibimbap and fried eggs.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs gochuchang (found at most asian markets).
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients.

November19

Just in Thyme gravy

Gravy is always the last item made in preparation for the Thanksgiving feast at my home, perhaps out of procrastination or in anticipation for one of the key ingredients, turkey drippings.

 I usually bag my turkey, which typically porvides plenty of drippings.  I’ve tried the other methods (read how to cook a turkey), but again bagging seems to produce the most drippings/turkey juice, and at my house, it's all about the gravy.  You can't have delicious gravy without the juice.

Consider the herbs. When trying to remember which herbs are used to season this delicious gravy, you may recall the Simon and Garfunkl song "Scarborough Fair."  You know:

 “Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

 Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.”

***Quick trivia note, the song is more or less, about two lovers asking the impossible of each other, and the meaning of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme may come from a pagan belief that the herbs were ingredients of a love potion, parsley for lust, sage for wisdom, rosemary for remembrance and thyme to make one irresistible. 

Which I guess makes my gravy a love potion.  Hmmm, they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  Love potion gravy explains that little saying.

Well enough of that, let’s get back to the gravy. I’ll briefly sum up the ingredients list. Don’t put too much thought in the measurements, gravy is more about finesse than exactness, so taste along the way.

Just in Thyme gravy

Ingredients

2  c Turkey drippings

1 c Chicken stock

1 c cold water

2 T All purpose flour

1/4 tsp Parsley, dried

1/4 tsp Sage, dried

1/4 Rosemary, dried

1/4 Thyme, dried

1/4 Garlic powder

1/8 Onion salt

Salt

Pepper

Directions

  1. Once you have pulled your turkey out of the oven, give it about 4 minutes of rest. Cut a ¼ inch hole in the corner of your bag. You will want to do this near the kitchen sink just in case the juices get out of hand. Lift the bag up directing the juices into a gravy separator. You may drain off has much as you like. I like to get about 2 cups, which will make enough gravy for a family of 12-14. Allow the oil to rise to the top. Then pour into a sauce pan leaving the oil behind. 
  2. Add the herbs. For 2 cups of turkey juice, I’ll do ¼ crushed teaspoon of each Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. Grind them between your fingers a bit to release more flavor. 
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. 
  4. 2 pinches of onion salt and a dash of pepper.  
  5. Add 1 cup of chicken stock.  You'll want a total of 3 cups of broth at this point, so if you only got 1 1/2 c of turkey broth, add 1 1/2 c of chicken broth.  This is used to augment the amount of broth as well as enhance the flavor of the gravy. You could also substitute 1 chicken bouillon cube per cup of water if stock isn’t available. 
  6. Mix in a separate container 2 Tablespoons of flour into 1 cup cold water. I use the Magic Bullet, or a blender to mix.  Another method would be putting the flour and water into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously. The idea is to get the flour water mixture smooth, so make sure you use cold water.  The flour doesn't mix well with hot water.
  7. Turn the heat up on your sauce pan, and slowly pour the flour water into the pan while stirring continuously until all of the mixture is in the pan
  8. Bring your gravy to a rolling boil, and remember to stir continuously. Once a rolling boil is achieved turn the heat down to a simmer. The more you stir the less likely the gravy will stick to the bottom of your pan. I simmer and stir until some moisture boils off and the gravy appears smooth and thickened slightly.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste, you may want to leave this up to your guests.  I like my foods saltier than my family, so always undersalt so it can be added later as needed.

Variations

For richer yet more time consuming gravy you can make gravy starting with a roux.  A roux is started by cooking flour in some of your turkey drippings, fat included.  This cooking the flour is said to diminish the flour taste. I haven't noticed a flour taste personally and my family doesn’t seem to care so I'm taking the easy way out. Once your roux is made, add your drippings, chicken stock and herbs. For more on how to make roux follow the link.