Monday, March 28, 2011

pizza & superbowl

Okay... Who are we kidding.  I didn't even watch the game this year.  I don't even know who played, but the pizza we made was delicious and memorable!!!

My dear friend Kenny made us mini pizza's a while back and told us, he is trying to perfect the pizza dough recipe.  This inspired me to try making he's mini pizza's which were very fun and such a clever idea.   I made mini pizza's for a month trying different doughs and adding wheat flour in everything I could.  But for the Superbowl, my husband wanted a regular size pizza with more common toppings and no wheat flour.  We decided this an hour before the game, so I was looking for a quick dough that I didn't have to knead.  I don't knead bread.

To my delight, my husband use to work in a pizza restaurant in high school and surprised me with he's hidden talents.
 He knows how to knead, toss and make pizza.  Who knew?!?
We made a half meaty pizza and the other has pineapples and no sausage.  I have the weirdest cravings sometimes.
Pizza Dough III - This is the pizza recipe we used for the Superbowl pizza above.  It turned out well, but my husband said it could be better.  He added a butter garlic sauce on the crust which was yummy.

No Knead Pizza Dough - I made this with apples and brie, since that was in my fridge.  I used half white and half wheat flour.  It turn out to be really flat like flat bread.  Not sure if it was from the wheat flour or that my yeast had expired.  (I didn't realize that yeast had an expiration date.)

Whole Wheat No Knead Pizza Crust - Again this dough turned out flat, but I think it was from my expired yeast that I didn't know about.  Oh, we used the "Red Pizza Sauce" recipe recommended on this blog, for the Superbowl pizza above and it turned out well.

No Knead Pizza Dough by Jim Lahey - This was another recipe I tried and instead of using white flour, I substituted wheat flour and used my expired yeast.  This was not as flat as the other two above, but thicker.  I'd like to try this again with good yeast.

FYI - it was after making five pizza's and trying to bake a bread in my crockpot that failed, did I finally google, "why my crockpot bread didn't rise".  Apparently yeast that has expired doesn't rise well or at all.  So now I know.  Not sure if I'm going to try my crockpot bread again though...  I just like the smell and texture of baked bread. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Korean Steamed Buns in fifteen minutes

When home for Christmas this Winter, I came downstairs to my husband eating these steam buns filled with red bean, called Jimmbbang (찜빵) which literally translates to steam bun in Korean.  He said that my mom made it.  I assumed he meant she bought the frozen ones and steamed them, but my husband was adamant that she made them from scratch.  My mom is a great cook and she bakes now and then, but steamed buns from scratch seemed a little far fetched.  Sure enough she did make these from scratch. 

It turns out that my mom met a lady who recently moved here from Korea and learned how to make Jimmbbang from her, but decided all the effort wasn't worth the end result.  So my dad who ended up being the guinea pig in this experiment, told me that my mom went to the store and purchased a lot of bizarre items to try, like cake mix, bisquick to frozen dough and achieved her goal of recreating the steamed bun that was fast, easy and tasted right. 

So here is my mom's Steamed Bun Recipe.  It's not quite an authentic Korean recipe, but she is Korean and invented it, so maybe it's more of a modernized Korean recipe.

Yep, that's Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits.  Apparently after many attempts, the buttermilk biscuit is the closest to tasting like the real thing.  One canister makes five buns and uses half a can of the red bean.  The red bean keeps in the fridge for a week after you've opened them.  Enjoy and have fun!
You can use any brand as long as it's buttermilk biscuits.  The second item you will need is a can of red bean that you can find in any Asian supermarket.  I prefer the Japanese Red Bean, but the Korean one was less expensive here, which is the opposite in Portland.  Similar to chunky and smooth peanut butter, the Japanese one is smooth and the Korean one is chunky.  So all you need are these two items to make the buns.  
My mom has an actual steamer pot contraption, but I use this collapsible steamer for veggies.
With your hands, flatten out and make into a disc shape.
Scoop a large heaping amount of the red bean filling in the center.
Take another flatten piece of dough and sandwich together.
Pinch all around until the edges are together.
I usually let them steam for 15 minutes, but steam them until the dough is cooked.
Mmmmm... they are ready.

***I will post my Mom's Korean pancake recipe next time. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hello DC!!!

We've been here since November, but haven't explored The District until the last couple of weeks.  I know... tragic.  But we have been making up for lost time by going out every weekend to explore, walk around and check out all the fabulous galleries. I really can't get enough of the galleries and love these "date weekends" with my hubby.

I want to devote a whole afternoon to the National Gallery of Art one of these weekends, but as we were running through we stumbled across one of my favorite Picasso paintings.  I heart the Saltimbanques paintings!  It was such a treat to see more of Picasso's work, especially since I had the chance to see the Picasso exhibit in Seattle this winter with my friend Cat, which was excellent.

My friend from "Bonjour Poupette" recommended this exhibit to me before I left Korea.  Thus why we ran through the National Gallery of Art to make it here before they closed for the day.

Photographs don't do this exhibit justice.  It's such an amazing exhibit to walk through and see in person.  The details and hand crochet is AMAZING!!!

This exhibit is temporary and will be gone at the end of April.  I think they will move to New York next?

This is outside the Hirshhorn in there sculpture garden.  I am not the biggest fan of sculpture, but so far love the sculpture gardens we have visited here in DC.  The whimsical and ironic sculptures are always my favortie and there are plentiful here.