Boszorkanyhab- Witches’ Froth- Baked Apple Mousse

Even if this recipe hadn’t looked very good, I might have made it anyways just because of its name.  Luckily for me it was a winner: baked apples are pureed and combined with vanilla sugar, egg whites, rum and lemon juice and then whipped until light and frothy.

Hungarian food tends to be pretty heavy: lots of pork, veal, sour cream, etc., etc.  This is a nice and light dessert that shouldn’t contribute too much to any post-meal food coma.

One final note: a lot of Hungarian dessert recipes use vanilla sugar.  I was too lazy to make some so I cheated by using regular sugar but I substituted homemade rum vanilla extract, which had plenty of vanilla bean seeds, in place of the regular rum. It worked out very well, so feel free to go this route if you have homemade vanilla extract at home.

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Witches' Froth

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

* 4 baking apples
* 1 cup vanilla sugar
* 2 egg whites
* 2 Tablespoons rum
* 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
* whipped cream, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and bake the apples for 50-60 minutes, until softened. Let them cool, peel and core them, and puree the pulp in a blender or food processor.

Stir in the egg whites and sugar and beat 10 minutes with an electric mixer, until fluffy and thick. Add the rum and lemon juice and continue beating for another 5 minutes.

Spoon into individual serving glasses or bowls and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Note: This dessert uses raw egg whites, so please be aware that there is a small risk of salmonella contamination.

Sziasztok Hungary!

Photo via Maxted Travels with Modestine 4

Really excited to learn more about Hungarian cuisine.  Let’s just hope that I’m able to focus my attention on something other than Austro-Hungarian cakes and pastries.  Two weeks of tortes, strudels, crepes and roulades would be amazing, but I’d probably need to purchase some pants with elastic waistbands. 

Annyonghi Kyeshipshiyo South Korea!

Photo via Holiday Check

My apologies for once again butchering the Korean language.  I have no idea whether annyonghi kyeshipshiyo is the correct way to say goodbye.  Korean seems like a really complicated language; I think I’m better off sticking to the romance languages.  Korea’s food, however, I’m all over. 

As excited as I am for my next country, I feel like Korea has so much more food I need to try- like spicy squid and Doenjang pork.  And I haven’t even gotten to Korean barbeque!  But move on I shall.  With reluctance.  Rather than dwell on sadness, I’ll remember the good times.  Like this awesome kimchi fried rice,  these seafood and green onion pancakes, and this iced matcha green tea latte

Thankfully, there was only one major flop- this daikon kimchi.  I should have known that the recipe was a stinker when it called for 2 cups of salt and didn’t mention anything about rinsing it afterwards.  Even with a thorough rinse, it was totally inedible.  Live and learn I guess.

Although it’s time to move on, Korea, I’ll always remember our time together.  I sneak in some kimchi and tofu over the next couple of weeks so that the break doesn’t feel quite so jarring.

I hope my next country is forgiving of my cheating ways…

p.s. If you’d like more Korean food inspiration, check out the Korean Food Gallery for a foodgawker-like site with just Korean recipes.  Thanks again Jenny for the head’s up on that site!

Napa Cabbage Kimchi

I suppose it would have made the most sense for me to post this at the beginning of my time in Korea, especially since I used cabbage kimchi for the kimchi fried rice.  Unfortunately, it took me a long time to create a recipe I thought was blog-worthy.  I tried a bunch that were either too salty, too boring, or too fermented.  I can find better kimchi than that around here in the refrigerator section of the drug store.

I’m hardly a kimchi expert- I’d never had even tried the stuff until a couple years ago.  But I like my kimchi to taste fresh while still having the requisite funk.  I finally found one that fit the bill- and it doesn’t require much fermentation time.  You just soak some chopped cabbage in salt water for a couple hours, drain, mix in a kimchi paste and let sit for another couple hours.  That’s it.  Easy.

The fish sauce and oyster sauce help give this kimchi it’s depth of flavor.  Many kimchi recipes don’t use them, but I found they made the kimchi so much more interesting than the recipes that relied on salt only.  Most fish sauces are gluten-free, but finding gluten-free oyster sauce can be more challenging.  Below is the kind that I’ve used for the past couple years in case you’d like a visual to help look at your grocery store.

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Napa Cabbage Kimchi

Ingredients:

* 1 medium to large Napa Cabbage, halved, cored and cut into 1-2-inch strips
* 1 cup water
* 3 Tablespoons kosher or sea salt
* 1/4 cup Korean coarse red pepper flakes
* 2 Tablespoons water
* 1 Tablespoon garlic paste
* 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 2 teaspoons gluten-free oyster sauce
* 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
* 4 green onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions:

Dissolve the salt into 1 cup of water. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or container and pour the salt water over it. Toss quickly and then let sit, without any additional stirring, for 2 hours.

While the cabbage is soaking, make the kimchi paste by combining the red pepper flakes, 2 Tablespoons of water, garlic paste, ginger, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and green onions.

Drain the cabbage in a colander or in a piece of cheesecloth and give the cabbage a quick rinse under cold water. Gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or jar and stir the kimchi paste into the cabbage. Mix thoroughly to ensure that each piece of cabbage is coated. Let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Cover and refrigerate.