Last month, I participated in a potluck night that brought together many loves - soup, community, and Thomas Keller. My contribution? Potato-leek soup, inspired by the abundance of leeks at the Farmer’s Market in the fall. The recipe? The Bouchon cookbook that doesn’t get enough love in this graduate student’s home.
Now, I love the way that potlucks bring people together around food, and I love to cook for people. But I also have to admit that my anxious-neurotic tendencies make it a somewhat stressful endeavor - so much so that I ended up making this potato-leek soup not once or twice, but three times! First time was a test run met with much success (pictured below). The second time was supposed to be for the main event, but then I left the soup unattended and scorched the cream in the soup. I just couldn’t deal with the brown tinged product (and let’s face it, I have a food blog…people are going to have expectations). So, I prepped a third batch (including a whole new batch the vegetable stock) that I cooked right before the event. Really, it’s not a difficult soup to make, but even with proper planning and prep, it is a multi-step process. Boy, did I learn from the experience.
Food To Do List: Soondubu Jjigae
Friends know that I have a mild obsession with Korean food. One late night in college, my friend Christine introduced me to Korean food, soondubu to be exact, and I was hooked. It became my go-to at every Korean restaurant I went to. I was ecstatic to see entire restaurants devoted to soondubu in California! Why the obsession over this tofu stew? In addition to my love of all things soup, this stew hits all the right spots. At once aggressive in its bubbling spiciness, yet comforting with the silky texture of the tofu and the creamy layer added by a raw egg. I love a good thick soondubu eaten with plump short grain rice. You’d think with my obsession, I would have tried to make this from scratch. But I have always found Korean home cooking to be intimidating, so I use a lot of cheats and instants. When I saw this recipe on Serious Eats for making soondubu jjigae from scratch, I had blog it to remind me to make this at some point in the cold, Minnesota days ahead.