Fiery, fermented kimchi makes an easy weeknight meal when made into Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew), a Korean standby. Photograph by Andre Baranowski.
I had never tasted Korean food until I moved to New York City six years ago. But now, I often crave a good tofu soup or bibimbap, served with spicy banchan, the small bowls of pickled veggies served with every Korean meal. The spices and flavors of Korean food are absolutely addictive, and now, with The Kimchi Chronicles by Marja Vongerichten, completely demystified and attainable at home.
Marja Vongerichten was born in Korea, the daughter of an American serviceman and a Korean woman, and adopted by American parents. At 20 she reconnected with her birth mother who by then lived in New York City, and Marja has been rediscovering and embracing her Korean heritage through food. In The Kimchi Chronicles, her PBS series, she and her husband, none other than chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, travel through Korea for inspiration and then cook up modern takes on Korean foods. This cookbook is a collection of their culinary creations: traditional favorites (like Bulgogi, a Korean barbecue classic) and fascinating fusions (like Korean Baeckeoffe, Jean-Georges’ Korean twist on an Alsatian casserole).
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Color, texture and spice come together beautifully in these Crunchy Red Swiss Chard Falafel.
British chef, restaurateur, writer and food personality Silvena Rowe brings seductive elegance to Eastern Mediterranean cooking in Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean. Silvena grew up in Bulgaria and her father is Turkish; she credits the vast 500-year rule of the Ottomans for creating a “melting pot of cuisines” in the Eastern Mediterranean region, from Athens to Budapest, Cairo to Beirut and beyond. Through her stories, Silvena takes us on a food journey and delivers simple recipes for lush, spiced Mediterranean home cooking.
What about the cookbook’s intriguing title? In an interview on The Splendid Table, Silvena says that “purple citrus” is sumac, a purple spice with a citrusy flavor, while “sweet perfume” is for the flowers commonly used in Eastern Mediterranean cooking.
Start your exploration of Silvena’s Mediterranean cooking with a few recipes for simple mezze. These are foods for socializing, and she describes them as a “glittering array of dishes” of different colors and textures. So round up a friend or two and give these a try: Crunchy Red Swiss Chard Falafel and Baba Ghanoush.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume