There's something so satisfying and comforting about going back to the place that's familiar. And for me that place is in the kitchen. However corny this may sound, it is in the kitchen where I feel most secure and content.
Throughout my travel all over the world the past few weeks, as much as I love eating out, playing guest and letting someone else does the cooking (and cleaning), I do miss being in kitchen. So, when I was staying with friends at their home, with a working kitchen, I was so happy. I couldn't help myself to visit the farmer's market, get some ingredients, cook, open up a bottle of wine or two and having a night-in.
I've been back on the island for a week now and it's been really busy in the kitchen at work, with all the preparation for the high season and the holidays just around the corner. Crazy but at the same time, very exciting. I've been baking new recipes and continuously learning.
Yes, I've been back to the kitchen but not until today on my first day off that I'm finally back in my own kitchen at home. I plugged the stove back in just few hours ago and I made this Korean beef and rice pot from my current favourite book, Simply Nigella by the none other Nigella Lawson. And this is just the sort of food I really need right now. It is a grey kind of day here in the Caribbean and this bowl of beef and rice is just so comforting. The rice pot is a little spicy from the Korean chilli paste often known as gochujang, but not too fiery; just enough to keep you wanting more.
I will admit that it is not the prettiest of food. Perhaps I could present it better, but I was starving. And the idea of faffing about trying to get a nice picture is just... not now, oh please...
The original recipe is actually called slow-cooker Korean beef and rice pot, but I do not own a slow cooker. Luckily the book comes with a method for 'conversion to oven' which is very handy. Here's what you need to do: mix 500 gr of minced beef with 200 gr short grain brown rice, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 4 tablespoons of gochujang paste, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and 125 ml of water in a heavy-based pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook in a preheated 180C oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Prepare the beansprouts by submerging them in boiling water for a minute before draining and mixing then to the pot.
Even though I'm only cooking for myself I was happy to make the full recipe which supposed to serves 6 and judging by my leftovers, I have just enough for another two people (don't judge me). I plan to have this again for supper tomorrow night and perhaps with a fried egg too. x