Saturday night I got started, cooking up perhaps three or four dishes. By 11 I was ready for bed, so settled in to relax and read The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Leguin. Of course, I also had to put in a few pages on The School of Essential Ingredients and thus ended one long day.

Early that morning I had been off to Koreana Plaza for my grocery shopping, worked a full day, and cooked most of the evening, so I deserved a break. Moreover, as the following day proved to me, the lithotripsy I had undergone earlier that week might have wasted me more than I thought. My back was strained and I was a achy, despite some simple painkillers, but here’s the thing–despite my wife’s admonitions to take it easy…once you start making bibimbap dishes…

It’s hard to stop.

By 3pm I had prepared something like 9 dishes, not including the one prepared item I had bought at the grocery store, not to mention cooking the ribeye steaks for the bulgogi. Our ever friendly and reliable guests, Astrid and Bruno, brought the rice, Macapuno ice cream, and plenty of very good German beer to go along with the dishes.

I did a (fairly) thorough kitchen cleaning, wifey did the house, hid the larger messes behind closed doors, and we were ready. I was fortunate to have gotten good feedback from my first bibimbap meal a couple of weeks earlier and nixed one or two dishes that didn’t send either of us, and changed the end seaweed dish recipe to another which proved much more palatable. Again, the tastes for all were unique–the dish that Angela thought too salty seemed fine to Bruno, and Angela was floored at how much Gochujang date sauce Astrid plopped onto her plate.

The table…

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And the dishes on the counter (meat still uncooked at this point)

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Included here:
-daikon kim chee
-kim chee
-seaweed
-potato with honey
-zucchini
-bean sprouts
-soy-glazed shiitake mushrooms
-garlicky spinach
-spicy shrimp (store bought)
-spring onion pancakes with dipping sauce
-Gochujang date peppery sauce
-bulgogi (marinated ribeye steaks)

For dessert I prepared little ginger-based mango-filled fondants…for the first time, ever. They were reasonably successful and resembled little cupcakes–though with a gooey, drippy interior surprise. No picture this time, but these are so easy and take so little time, you will see their images here before long.

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