Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 30 - Fermentation

Looking ahead at the next 2 cooking challenges - fermentation and drink pairings - my ideas for them seemed to work well together, so we ended up doing them on the same night with very similar and/or complementary ingredients. Either dish really could have worked for either challenge, since they both involved kimchi, but first up, for fermentation, I made a kimchi potato salad based on a recipe from the New York Times cooking site for spicy kimchi potato salad.

The ingredients for our version of the potato salad were:

- about 2 lbs of small yellow potatoes ($2.79)
- 1 cup of kimchi, chopped ($1)
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise ($1.23)
- about 4 large scallions, whites and greens separated ($0.60)
- about 1.5 tbsp ketchup ($0.08)
- a couple tsp lime juice ($0.15)
- a couple tsp sriracha ($0.15)
- salt ($0.05)

The potato salad came out to about $6.05, not too bad for a very filling salad, but a little high for a side dish. I prefer to think of it as just half of dinner as opposed to a side dish, which makes it seem not quite so bad.

To put together the dressing for the salad, you combine the kimchi, mayo, scallion whites, ketchup, lime juice, sriracha, and salt and mix well. I didn't really measure anything but the mayo and kimchi, and adjusted the other ingredients to taste. I used more kimchi than the original recipe said to because what they had just seemed like too little kimchi for a kimchi potato salad. I really wanted the flavor of the kimchi to come through to differentiate this from any other "regular" potato salad. That said, even with this much more kimchi, it still wasn't really that spicy. You could do this step while potatoes are boiling, but I was taking a shower after going for a run and doing other stuff, so I ended up making it later after finishing with the potatoes. Not ideal, but that's how it went.

As for the potatoes, you just have to scrub them, boil them until fork tender, and then chop into smaller pieces. Since the salad was supposed to be served room temperature or cool, and the potatoes were still very hot, I stuck the chopped potatoes in the fridge until I finished making the dressing.

Once the dressing was done, I followed the instructions and added about 2/3 of the dressing and then put the bowl of dressed potatoes back in the fridge. I ended up leaving them in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes while prepping the other part of dinner (the next challenge). When we were ready to eat, I added the rest of the dressing (at least whatever I didn't eat when passing by the bowl in the meantime) and the scallion greens and mixed well. At that point, we planned to adjust the flavor some more, but we liked as it was.

This was a really good potato salad, very creamy and full of flavor. The recipe said it was a take on pink potato salad made with Russian dressing, and the mixed together dressing really was a bit reminiscent of Russian dressing. We wouldn't say the recipe was actually spicy but it was quite tasty. We're always on the lookout for good, easy sides and this fit the bill. We would definitely make this again.

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