My Seventies Kitchen Episode 5: Kimchi Stew

When it comes to food, I don’t love the word “authentic.” Not only

do I find it condescending, but it also implies a rigidity to cooking

that is entirely unnecessary. This stew takes elements from different

Korean dishes with the goal of creating something delicious. There

are endless adaptations, which I will discuss in the notes, but as long

as you end up with a pleasing, umami-laden combination of spicy,

pungent, and salty, you’re on the right track.

We will begin by addressing the significant elements of the stew.

The Broth

While I have opted chicken stock here, there is really no broth that

will not work— vegetable stock would be equally delicious, and even

just water would get the job done. The amount of broth added can

also help adjust the heat if it ends up being a bit much.

The Tofu

I often utilize silken tofu for this stew—the texture is a delightful

contrast to the kimchi. In this case, I used the firm variety to

highlight Heiwa tofu, an excellent product made locally in Camden.

Anytime someone tells me that they do not care for tofu, this is what

I serve them to change their mind, as it actually has its own great

flavor rather than just the flavors of whatever it is cooked in.

The Kimchi

Again, any kimchi will work here, but I have opted for Gracie’s

Garden, which is made in Standish. I personally think it’s so good

that I often find myself just eating it straight out of the jar as a

snack—and it goes exceptionally well with a ton of cold beer and

karaoke.

Variations

This stew can easily be made vegan by adjusting the broth and

omitting the eggs and can just as easily go the other direction with

shredded beef and veal stock. You can add rice, star-shaped pasta,

or a tube of crushed Ritz crackers. There is no wrong way to do it.

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My Seventies Kitchen Episode 4: Les Huevos Ricchios

In this dish, the black beans are the sun that all of the other elements orbit around. They are a dish I originally stole from a good friend back in 2004, though, in my defense, she also makes my red sauce and meatballs and has claimed that recipe as her own. I will say that these beans’ current incarnation bears little resemblance to the original. Still, I have to give credit where credit is due.

This dish is meant to be tailored to your personal preferences in terms of heat and flavor combinations. You can use any amount of peppers, as mild or hot as you like, and while I have recommended the spice blend that I use, feel free to tinker away.

It’s not traditional Huevos Rancheros, but it does have quite a few of the formal elements. If you do not have access to a Latin market in your town, there are easy substitutions. Sour cream for the crema and any melty cheese for the queso fresco will do. Be advised that this is not a breakfast to be consumed if you have a big morning ahead of you.

Serve with an expensive bottle of grower Champagne, such as Aubry or Gimmonet.

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