The Huge Popovers at BLT Steak

Gruyere Popovers

This one is a bit of an oldie but goodie – and it appears on the blog today merely because my visit to BLT Steak is very belated. If you want to get a taste of the place without going for a full-blown dinner (which promises a perfectly-cooked steak, mind you), a good step to take would be to try out their Happy Hour, 5 at 5. It precisely means 5 available wine options plus 5 bar or lounge bites options at 5 PM. All of them are pretty solid.

You can handle that.

And even though popovers aren’t a part of the package, I recommend you get them, anyway. You won’t come across these big bad babies made nearly as well anywhere else in town. They’re crispy on the outside, soft and steamy (not too moist) with a touch of a gruyere on the inside. And the recipe below isn’t so sacred; each order comes with the recipe card. Could it be because they know it’s really that hard to replicate?

If you’re so enticed to try out Executive Chef Brian Moyers’ full menu as a result, all the better. After all, this is one of the few valid reasons to venture towards this end of Sunset Blvd. (Tip: The steak tartar is pretty awesome, too.)

BLT’s Popovers (Makes 12)

Ingredients:
4 cups milk, warmed
8 eggs
4 cups flour
1 1/2 heaping tbsp salt
2 1/4 cups grated gruyere cheese
Popover Pan

Preparation:
Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 350º
Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside.
Whisk the eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs).

Set the mixture aside. Sift the flour with the salt.

Slowly add this dry mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.

Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stock vegetable spray. While the batter in still slightly warm or room temperature (definitely not cool), fill each popover cup 3/4 full. Top each popover with approximately 2 1/2 tbsp of the grated gruyere.

Bake at 350º for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking.
Remove from pan and serve immediately.

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BLT Steak
8720 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.360.1950

Go Pack Go: Same-Day Bratwurst from Grindhaus LA

Beer-Marinated, Grilled Bratwurst

Hollywood is a long way from Green Bay. And when beating the cross-stateline rivals, Chicago Bears, was essential to, first, making it into the 2010-2011 playoffs and, second, making it to Super Bowl XLV, I knew I needed a good luck ritual to help my team win the NFC Championships last week. I needed a good luck food.

My lack of planning meant that I forgot to mail-order the Sheboygan brats ahead of time. Instead of going to the supermarket for Johnsonville, I decided to channel my fandom through locally-made sausages, instead. I figured my Wisconsin meat-packing counterparts would understand, since I’d be saving shipping fuel and time. After all, freshness is key, and always has been the priority – even as a matter of spoilage thanks to high fat content in bratwurst, with the earliest recipes dating back to the 1400s.

Marinating Bratwursts

I stopped in the brand new, brick and mortar sausage shop known as Grindhaus on Hollywood Blvd. to see what was ready in their case. Italian sausage, bockwurst, pickled vegetables were all available, but of course, the bratwurst were sold out. I was lucky in that they were working on another batch. When I asked about their sauerkraut, they were also working on it then – but said it’d be ready and done fermenting in 8 days. I returned 2.5 hours later to get the first of the new batch of brats. They cost a reasonable $6/lb, which yielded 6 sausages for about $10.50. If my experience taught a lesson, phone in if you have specific tastes to see what they have in stock. They are allegedly rolling out their food truck very soon and will be roaming the eastside, so I can’t wait to taste their prepared food on-the-go.

Since my brats were completed literally a few minutes beforehand, one of the three friendly Grindhaus guys present advised to leave them in my fridge, uncovered, for a few hours so that the meat would settle and harden a bit inside the fresh casing. Done. And then it was time to start the ritual of marinating them overnight. Below is the marinade recipe I used, which I’m in no way touting as the best out there, nor is the method I used. I have a lot more experimentation to do before I cross that bridge. But these fresh brats from Grindhaus turned out so tasty, I was extremely proud of my somewhat haphazard method. Maybe this method will work for you, too.

(Recipe after the jump.)

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Persimmon Kimchi at Kimchi 101

Persimmon Kimchi

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the headquarters of CHAM Korean Bistro (Pasadena) and iT! Jeans for a kimchi pickling workshop. We were treated to CHAM cocktails made with sparkling wine, yuzu, Korean Makgeolli as well as tofu rice pockets filled with everything from kimchi (and candied anchovies) to seaweed salad, pepper-encrusted ahi tuna and salted and roasted kale chips. It was a dinner filled with Korean fusion delight.

Chef EJ Jeong during her Kimchi 101 demo

For the learning portion, we got a demonstration on how CHAM makes their kimchi, with recipes and instruction straight from Chef EJ Jeong (formerly of A.O.C. and BOA). Check Cathy of Gastronomyblog‘s great write-up of the Napa Cabbage kimchi we were all taught to make.

After our appetizers, kimchi lesson and delicious main course (pork shoulder, cabbage kimchi, salted shrimp and sesame leaves) – we got a taste of a different kind of kimchi, which ended up being my favorite of the night: Persimmon kimchi! The recipe for this is actually the same as the traditional cabbage kimchi, save for the elimination of salted shrimp. It became intuitive that fishy, salty persimmons are not appetizing. But the subtle and firm sweetness of the persimmon is paired so perfectly with the chili flavoring I’ve learned to love in Korean kimchi. It was like a live, Korean version of the Trader Joe’s dried chili red mangos that are so popular. An interesting tip with this recipe is to use unripe persimmons, because they will actually ripen as they are fermenting in their container and in your refrigerator!

Chef EJ Jeong’s Persimmon Kimchi Recipe

Ingredients:
2 lb peeled persimmons
12 oz kimchi marinade

Kimchi mixture

Kimchi marinade ingredients:1 cup sweet rice powder
5 cups purified water
2 lb radish
4 oz minari
4 oz kat (red mustard)
4 oz Korean chives (thinner than Chinese chives)
5 oz garlic
10 oz Asian pear (peeled)
9 oz onion (peeled)
1 oz ginger (peeled)
1 cup Taeyangcho rd chili pepper powder (coarse)
1/4 cup anchovy fish sauce (Korean)
3/4 cup salted shrimp sauce (Korean)
4 oz fresno
4 oz green onion

Preparation & Procedure: How to make porridge
Mix puried water with sweet rice powder, dissolving the power until there are no lumps. Heat the water and rice powder mixture over the stovetop, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts to form bubbles, reduce heat and stir continuously. Once the mixture becomes thicker and is translucent, turn the heat off. The process from once the mixture is heated to when it becomes the correct consistency and color takes approximately ten minutes. Cool down completely.

Preparation & Procedure
Mix together.
Enjoy!

 
I’m no hotshot in the kitchen, but I plan on giving persimmon kimchi a try. And if you feel so inclined to get your own kimchi education, CHAM is luckily going to be hosting another workshop on Saturday. You’ll get to take home your own jar of cabbage kimchi so you can leave it in your refrigerator to ferment for at least 20 days before eating. It’s the workshop that keeps on giving!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

11:30 AM to 2:30 PM

$40 per person – includes Korean tapas, a cocktail, and kimchi to take home.

Making Kimchi with Chef EJ Jeong
Cham Bistro R&D Kitchen
5251 S. Santa Fe Avenue
Vernon, CA 90058

Email [email protected] Class is capped at 20 people