Friday, November 29, 2013

That's Fermentation!

 Join Kimcheelicious for a lecture about the history and process of fermentation by Antonio Limuaco, founder of Kimcheelicious, a project that explores innovative ways of preparing traditional fermented Asian foods for the way Americans cook and eat. Followed by a free kimchee tasting!

That’s Fermentation
Saturday Nov. 30 at 2pm

The New York Public Library
Mulberry St. Branch
10 Jersey Street
New York, NY 10012

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Cheer!

A warm season’s greetings from my family to yours! Kimcheelicious wishes you a safe and happy holiday! Peace. Love. Good Eatin’.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Flaky Gluten-free Salvation

Sweet potato and kimchee vegan empandas in a gluten-free crust are a big hit! These are signature snacks I’m creating for Deb Goldstein of Levine’s General Store, a Brooklyn-based GF food purveyor. The filling is made with sweet potatoes, roasted corn and my Hanguk Saffron (dried kimchee seasoning). WOW! The kimchee flavor and aroma bloom with heat with notes of ginger, garlic and Korean chili.

Initially I didn’t give gluten-free recipes much space in my Kimcheelicious cookbook, it will now have a good share. Just last night my friend, Sarah Kelly, told me she was recently diagnosed with celiac disease—an autoimmune reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. The immune system attacks and damages the villi which lines the small intestine, preventing the absorption of nutrition. The result is malnutrition. Currently wisdom dictates to exclude gluten-based foods, which can prove to be difficult. But Sarah has changed her diet and the way she eats... and carries an EpiPen.

According to Austin-based nutritionist, Holly L’Italien (Merritt Wellness Center), epigenetics (external environment influencing our DNA) is a strong possibility for this growing problem. Ms. L'Italien has helped me greatly advising me on nutritious recipes. In 2010 Mayo Clinic research reported that one in a hundred Americans were diagnosed with celiac disease, but many more go undiagnosed. We are what we eat, and the food on our tables has changed so much—over processed, chemically treated to prolong storage. Over the coarse of 50 years our modern wheat has been genetically modified to yield more sugar than nutrition—speculation is that this may be a cause for gluten intolerance and celiac disease in North America.

I am not gluten-intolerant, but I find it disturbing how many people I’ve met are, especially children. These GF vegan hand-pies may not necessarily be the end-all answer, but boy-oh-boy are they good hot or cold!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Kimchee Chicken

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken brings back memories of gathering for a fancy occasion. On Guam it marked the advent of the annual office Christmas parties. My Dad’s company would order trays of Chinese banquet food from House of Wong. Four long fold-out tables were set up with white linen and covered chafing pans as Nat King Cole played in the background over the office intercom. Most of families (such as ours) donned the matching mumus and island print shirts; it made it easier to spot whose children were whose.

Mr. Paul Calvo, the company owner, would turn down the music leading everyone in thoughtful prayer of thanks... Dankalu yan si Yu'us ma'ase po' todos... maila fan, chumocho hamyu! The trays were uncovered as two lines formed flanking the long banquet tables... fat kids first (that meant me). My favorite dish was the sweet and sour pork—red, tart and tangy! I always think of it as Guam’s soul food. In recent light of Typhoon Haiyan’s massive path of destruction to the Philippines, I’m reminded me of how we survived super Typhoon Pamela in 1976. Trees and houses were toppled, jungle areas were stripped bare and concrete buildings and roadways collapsed into rubble. The island was left without power and pumping water, for some folks up to 8 months. Despite the tragedy of loss, I’m also reminded of the generosity of neighbors, outdoor cooking over hardwood fires, playing kickball in the dark and sharing dinner with family and friends around the kerosine lamp. That year I very much looked forward to the Calvo’s Insurance Christmas party. As we near the holidays, I have much to be thankful for. My heart goes out the people of Tacloban and Filipino friends and family who now live in a terrifying aftermath. My grandmother would always reminded us pray for the unfortunate ones and count our blessings.

As I finish the Kimcheelicious cookbook I saved the best for last: Sweet and Sour Kimchee Chicken made with my Napa cabbage kimchee (beachu) and crushed pineapple, right out of the can. This meal brings back fond memories of people and a quirky island childhood. I’m also including instructions for using seitan instead of meat.