Dinner Parties & Exploring Koreatown

Warning: this is going to be a random post. It's been too long since I've written here, and I just had so many things going on in my brain that I wanted to put on here. Basically I decided a dinner party would be a perfect excuse to cook a bunch of new food and write a blog post. Also, there are very few things that make me happier than cooking for and with friends.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's some necessary lead up to this dinner party. First, Rachel and I recently bought a new house with a new kitchen and new gas stove. We're breaking the kitchen in the way you gotta break in a new kitchen (with delicious cooking duh). 

The other thing is I discovered this book Koreatown by Deuki Hong & Matt Rodbard. I'm about halfway through it and it's already one of my top 5 favorite books (not cookbooks, books in general). Does anyone else read cookbooks cover to cover like narrative books? Is that weird or totes norms? Anyway, it's amazing. The recipes are accessible to an amateur cook like me and the food is obviously delicious, but the illustrations and photography are also fantastic and the interviews are enlightening. 

In the book is a recipe for pineapple kimchi that I knew I had to make as soon as I saw it. I started talking to my friend Ben about it, and he immediately went all in on the idea of pineapple kimchi. We decided to use the dinner party as an excuse to hang out and make a bunch of Korean food. We made the pineapple kimchi, which is so sweet, tangy, and funky all at the same time that no description adequately describes it. Basically, you just have to check the recipe below and make it for yourself. I also made the Kongnamul Muchin (Crunchy Sesame Bean Sprouts) from Koreatown. Ben smoked pork and made a gochujang sauce (which I do not have recipes for because he's the one who made it so go ask him yourself anyway jeez). I also made guava ice cream for dessert and Rachel made guava gin fizzes to kick that dinner party off right!

Finally, I hate taking blog photos. We ran a bourbon blog for several years and that whole staging stuff before serving is tiring and tedious. (Kudos to all of you who manage to do it without tearing your hair out.) So instead I just left my camera out and let anyone grab it and take pics whenever. 

Kimchi Pineapple

Ingredients

  • Β½ cup peeled, cored and chopped Asian pear
  • Β½ cup coarsely ground gochugaru
  • ΒΌ cup fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tspn minced ginger
  • 1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Add pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlice, sugar, and ginger to a food processor and mix until smooth. In a large pickling jar or airtight container, add the pineapple and 1 cup of marinade and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.