Kimchi Risotto

A rainy start to the work week, I wanted to create some new food content as a lot of you have been making several requests as of late. Plus, I've been going through a lot personally, and cooking has always been therapeutic, for me, at least. Eating well never sucks and having others enjoy the food I make results in me being happy, which also never sucks :) So let's talk about this wonderful recipe I tried out - it's nutty, buttery, and tangy with just the right amount of heat, and perfect for a chillier day like today... kimchi risotto! What the heck did I just say?!

Kimchi Risotto

photos by ©  Suzanne Spiegoski

photos by © Suzanne Spiegoski

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2c Kimchi juice (squeezed from kimchi)

1/2 Kimchi (minced)

3c Vegetable stock

2Tbsp butter

2 Cloves garlic (minced)

1c Sushi rice

3-4Tbsp Gruyére cheese (grated with a microplane)

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the juice out of the kimchi using your hands to make 1/2 cup of juice and then weigh out 100 grams of squeezed kimchi. Mince the kimchi.

  2. Pour the vegetable stock into a pot and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn down to low to keep warm.

  3. In another pot, add the lard and garlic and saute until fragrant.

  4. Add the minced kimchi and continue sauteing until the kimchi is translucent.

  5. Add the rice and stir until the rice has evenly absorbed all the oil.

  6. Add the kimchi juice along with a ladleful of hot vegetable stock and stir the rice until most of the water has been absorbed.

  7. Continue adding vegetable stock a ladleful at a time and stirring until the rice is your desired consistency. You may not need all the stock.

  8. When the rice is done, add the grated Gruyère and stir into the risotto. Serve immediately.

I know, initially the idea sounded a bit peculiar. Swiss cheese with kimchi and sushi rice? But the combination of flavors go wonderfully within this dish, and though I've made risottos in the past, I've never tried a fusion recipe of this kind before. And the results were sublime, I'll tell you! One of my favorite dishes is risotto, which would make sense given I'm such a rice girl. But the creamy warm flavors delight my taste buds, as I'm sure they do yours. I love a mean, mushroom risotto, but this kimchi risotto certainly takes the cake! The flavors are really all there, you don't even need to add salt! 

I normally use arborio or baldo rice when it comes to making risotto, but I found sushi rice to be an interesting type of rice to use in this fusion recipe. Though this recipe is derived from here, I did a bit of my own tweaking in terms of measurements and the different use in rice. You could also try using a different form of kimchi, such as turnip/radish, which would still bring the acidity into the risotto. I'd love to give a zucchini kimchi a go, what do you guys think about the sounds of that? 

Here are a few tips to achieving the ultimate risotto: Number one - the broth you use to mix the risotto should be very heat, it better cooks down the rice giving it that smooth, creamy goodness that should be when making risotto. Number two - you can use lard instead of butter should you want a more rich flavor but I like to eat pretty healthy (not that butter is any healthier lol), should you not want to use butter at all, you can try making it with coconut oil! And lastly, when it comes to making your own risotto, try to live a little on the wild side. Mix up the flavors, try something you haven't tried before. Get creative. After all, that's part of the fun when it comes to cooking, am I right or am I right? :) 

LOVE & XX'S,

FOLLOW MAQ + SUZ

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Breakfast Taco Tuesday Recipe

Summer's coming to a close and I'm trying to use up all the 'fruits' of my friend's labor. He has one killer garden on the rooftop of our apartment building. We actually spent the 4th of July up there with a bunch of neighbors and friends and watched the fireworks. This past weekend he gifted us a gigantic bag of tomatoes and I'm trying to use as much as I can before they start to get old. I hate wasting food!

Ever since I was a little girl I despised breakfast. To be honest, for several years, my ideal 'breakfast of champions' was coffee & cigarettes. For a long time, the very thought of eating something in the morning revolted me. Now older, I'm trying to take better care of myself and have really gotten in the habit to eat 3-square meals a day. However, when I'm having a good writing day, I can't move, let alone bother to feed myself, and yes, still will sometimes skip a meal if it's going very well. I'll always stay hydrated though. Fun fact: I haven't had a soda in 2 months! Keeping it healthy with water and non-sugary drinks!

One of my favorite quick-and-easy, on-the-go breakfasts are tacos! Yes, I'm one of those New Yorkers who's running around while simultaneously shoving food into my mouth.

Check out the recipe and photos below.

Let's Eat!

Breakfast Tacos (Serves 4)

4  flour tortillas (8 inches) 

1  cup canned refried beans 

1  tablespoon butter 

8  eggs, beaten to mix 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

1  cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

12  cherry tomatoes, halved 

1. To heat the tortillas: Place a tortilla directly on a medium gas flame for a few seconds, or until it starts to puff and is slightly charred at the edges. Using tongs, turn it and let it heat for a few seconds on the other side. Or, heat the tortillas in a heavy, ungreased skillet over medium heat. On a plate lined with a cloth napkin, stack the tortillas and fold the napkin over them to keep them warm. Continue until all the tortillas are warm.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the refried beans, stirring often, until they are hot.

3. In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the eggs, salt, and pepper. With a large spoon, stir the eggs until they form small curds.

4. On each of 4 breakfast plates, set 1 tortilla. Spread with 2 tablespoons of beans, 1/4 of the eggs, 2 tablespoons of cheese, and 6 cherry tomato halves. Fold in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

* You can also add in salsa, onion, avocado, bacon/sausage etc. Use what you like! :)

Enjoy!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz