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Sesame diversion

April 28, 2011

I have a profusion of sesame seeds. Naturally, I thought what I really need to do to use some of them is make bagels. I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, but it seemed so time- and labor-intensive, that I went with this one instead. Despite the much less complicated process, they came out pretty well. Fresh, homemade bread is the most delicious, soul comforting thing in the world. Except maybe soup. Soup still tops my list of favorite foods.

The interesting thing about bagels is that they are both boiled and baked. This recipe uses an egg wash, which I found was very sensible, as it helps the toppings stick on. The portions are just right at nine per batch. One commenter suggested they should be bigger, but one thing I don’t like about the delicious bagels you can buy in this city is how big most of them are. Enormous. They are a whole meal by themselves, no schmear required.

I made six sesame and three “almost everything” (I didn’t have any poppies in my cupboard). Next time, I would perhaps put the sesame seeds in a shallow dish and dip the bagel in to cover it after using the egg wash, though you do have to be a little gentle with the freshly boiled, but not really cooked dough. They came out golden and lightly crisp on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. We had them with lox this morning. There was something so satisfying about the mingling of homemade and naturemade. I know I am in the city of famous bagels, but I would definitely make these again.

I have been doing a bit more Korean cooking, too, but have neglected to take photos. I made sauteed zucchini, which was delightful. Very fresh and light. Garlicky. I also successfully made sauteed seaweed, which was so delicious that the reason I don’t have a picture is that you are supposed to eat it warm, and it was so good that I ate it all before I could document it. Seaweed is a strange and wonderful food. The sell it in great quantities at the Korean grocery store. I’m not sure what the different kinds are, or why you would use one type over another. There are the nori sheets used for sushi rolls, but they also sell smaller flat pieces, as well as bits that look like dried herbs. I love the way it smells and tastes.

Our rice cooker has been busy. What a fantastic invention! (But then, Roger Ebert has even written a book about them.) The mingling of grains is such a good idea, and one that I never would have thought to do. I am a color-within-the-lines kind of gal, and when I make rice, I make one kind of rice. Or barley. Or beans. I made a wonderful batch of mixed grains that contains brown rice, sweet rice, barley, red beans, and black beans. It has so much more depth than plain rice does, and you use the soaking water from the beans to color the rice, so it comes out kind of dark and earthy looking. It is the perfect base for almost anything. I have been eating it with my Korean veggie-filled lunches, but we also had some in our fish tacos last night.

I am almost done with banchan. I hesitate because the next big recipes are kimchi and mandu. Two of my favorites, but I anticipate a challenge on both fronts!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    April 28, 2011 4:23 pm

    The bagels look great. I guess I need to try making some.

    I suggest you look at the website for Korean cooking and watch the video before making mandu. Her technique is to fry the mandu in just a bit of oil, then add some water and cover the pan. I think that will work better than just trying to fry them (and use less oil too). I also enjoyed watching her assemble the mandu. She got more filling into them than I do and sealed them more effectively. She gave suggestions for alternative fillings, including vegetarian. Worth watching.

  2. Julia Bates permalink
    April 29, 2011 1:20 pm

    I really wish I were eating wheat!!! These shots are beautiful!

  3. May 4, 2011 4:58 pm

    FEAR NOT! Kimchi is not difficult to make and so so so sooooo rewarding! You get to eat both fresh kimchi before it ferments as well as the sour stuff! SO GOOD!

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