Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Korean Potatoes and Molasses Cookies

I don't have a clue what these two recipes have in common, except that they have both been eaten in our house over the last week -- and we liked them both a lot.

Korean Soy Sauce Potatoes:

This recipe is based off of the one I found here, as well as the version JM's mom makes. If I might say so, it was very yummy. In Korean it is called 감자조림/"gam-ja jo-reem." This just means 'potatoes cooked in soy sauce'.

3 potatoes, preferably baking-type potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 or 2 bell peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 or 5 Tbs Asian soy sauce (the closest in American grocery stores is Kikkoman)
6 Tbs brown sugar, or other sweetener
3 Tbs water
1 1/2 tsp salt (or less, if your soy sauce is too salty)
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp Korean red pepper powder (고추가루/go-chu ga-ru), or more to taste -- if you can't find it, try substituting a mixture of cayenne pepper and paprika
vegetable oil

In a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, stir fry the onions in a bit of vegetable oil and the sesame oil until they are just starting to brown. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper; cook another couple of minutes. Add the garlic. After about 30 seconds to a minute (when it has begun to be fragrant), add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce to low. Cook until the potatoes are soft. The potatoes come out sweet and salty, with just a bit of heat (not too much though!). The sugar/soy sauce/water turns kind of into a watery glaze. It is one of JM's favorite foods. It's also a very American-friendly recipe, so be sure to try it.

Molasses Cookies:

Today we decided we just had to have molasses cookies. JunkMale told me that he had never eaten molasses before -- I was unaware of this, and decided that it was time to fix the problem. :) As is my custom, I took someone else's recipe and made some changes to it so that it worked better for us. We had no eggs around the house and no desire to go to the store. Therefore, we used a very effective egg substitute, which is listed in the ingredients below. I like this recipe because it uses oil instead of butter, and because it is nice and spicy. I do like my cookies soft, though, so I also shortened the baking time to 10 minutes. Next time I might see if the recipe can hold up to whole wheat flour. We didn't want to change more than one factor (egg substitute and whole wheat flour) at one time, because that's bad science.

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar, or other sweetener
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg OR 2 Tbs flaxmeal (just grind up some flax seeds) + 3 Tbs water + 1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour

Add the ingredients in the order listed, beating to combine at each addition. Using a regular table spoon, shape the dough roughly into balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, with enough room for them to expand, and bake for 10 minutes in a 350F oven.
Optional: if you want more sugar in the recipe, roll each dough ball in sugar before placing on baking sheet.

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