We got a lot, but still not enough heat putting the grill basket on the grate above the hot coals. So instead, we put the grill basket directly on the coals and got the heat we wanted. (Photo credit @MichaelERea)
Thin-sliced beef marinaded overnight in garlic, ginger, onion, pear puree, soy and sesame oil
Ssam sauce, a mixture of fermented soy paste (like miso), Korean hot chili paste, sesame seeds, onion, green onion, and sesame oil
Lettuce leaves for wrapping meat and ssam.
My home-fermented kimchi. SO GOOD!
Carrots quick-pickled in rice vinegar, sugar, and salt with black pepper and cardamom
The banchan – the sides that go with the meat. I made quick pickled carrots, my home-fermented kimchi, and ssam, a dipping sauce.
We ended up having eight total for dinner. My guests brought Georgean (the country, not the state) walnut and chard balls, caprese salad, homemade fruit and chili salsa. And, of course, lots of beer. In cans.
Apologies for not taking more pictures and many thanks to my guests who did take pictures!
Even given my kvetching, Sandor Katz fermenting workshop had a strong influence on me. I guess I may be developing my skills as an amature fermento. I have now fermented:
The Kimchi is clearly my biggest fermentation success. Yummy yum. I think I got the balance of spice and saltiness, and since we had the space to let the stink dissipate, I was able to let it ferment for a month and get very sour. Next time – more ginger, for sure. I have enjoyed eating my kimchi on pizza. The flavors of kimchi are very similar to the flavors of pepperoni and pepperoncini: hot, tangy, and salty. In fact, some pepperoni are actually fermented by being inoculated with flavor-enhancing molds!
Mixed vegetable kraut we made at the Katz workshop. It’s shredded carrots, radishes, white turnips and onions. I have let it sit for a few weeks and flavors have mellowed and gotten more sour. The onion smell was initially very strong – I was slightly worried I would get a charge on my hotel bill for cleaning out the stank. But over a few weeks the onion smell has become milder and richer with more umami. We have been eating it all along the fermenting time and I think it gets better every time I eat some.
Blueberry Soda was demoed at the workshop, so after picking blueberries, I used some to make my own soda. I used about 1/2 cup of sugar, a pint of blueberries and about a quart of water. I mixed it together without crushing the berries and kept stirring over 4 days. The final product went into a growler and has been hanging in the fridge. It’s a light pink color with a mild effervescence, kind of like kombucha. It’s OK, but I wouldn’t want to drink a lot. I’m not a big fan of sweet drinks, but it would be a good mixer.
I found an accidental glut of cucumbers in the garden last week and decided to try to make half-sour pickles. The cukes were too big for whole pickles, so I cut them into spears. Whole cucumbers will ferment for weeks or months and still stay slightly crisp, but fermenting cucumber spears will inevitably lead to mushy pickles after a week or so. I decided to make half-sour pickles, which are in a stronger brine and fermented for a short period. Into big quart jars I added two crushed garlic cloves, a big sprig of fresh dill, and a 3% salt brine – about two tablespoons of salt for a quart of water. They hung out on the kitchen counter for 4 days. They came out crisp, yet salty and a little tangy. Sam seems to be a big fan of them.