The latest haul was chicken for barbecue and potatoes for the sweet, syrupy potato cubes that I adore when they turn up among the banchan at Korean restaurants. It was a very good dinner, I must say.
Cathlyn, whom I've known for some time, is Cathlyn Choi of San Diego. The book is named for her PBS cooking show, which ran for four seasons and still appears in some locations. She's a popular host for Korean events in Southern California, which is where I often see her. And she does much more, including hosting a Southern California television show called Asian Voices, preparing yet another TV series and planning another cookbook.
If Korean food supplies this sort of energy, I'm determined to eat more of it. Choi's book will make this easy. Its 55 recipes include dishes that I love at Koreatown restaurants, plus interesting background on Korean cuisine and eating customs.
"Healthy, delicious and easy to make" is her style, she said, when we talked about the book over lunch at Yong Su San in Koreatown. The "easy" part really appeals. Choi told me that she cooks at home every day and can get a meal together in less than 30 minutes. What better selling point is there than that?
Launched at the end of November after three years in the making, the book is self-published. This shows the drive she has to get things done. It's beautifully put together, with design and photos of each dish by her husband, Eric Michelson (above). And the type is large enough to see easily while you're working on a recipe. You can get the book either on Amazon or on Choi's site.
Here is Choi's version of galbi, Korean style short ribs. I cheated, using chicken instead of short ribs, and this worked out well. However, the book includes a really interesting recipe for chicken barbecue with vegetables. This may be my next project.
Short Rib Barbecue
From "Cathlyn's Korean Kitchen"
1/3 cup lite soy sauce
1/2 cup pear puree or brown sugar
2 tablespoons cooking wine
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 pound thinly sliced galbi style short ribs (from a Korean market)
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Combine the soy sauce, pear puree, wine, garlic, green onion, sesame oil, pepper and toasted sesame oil in a deep bowl or plate.
Working one at a time, place a rib onto the plate and, using a spoon, drizzle the marinade over each rib until used up.
Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Heat a grill pan or skillet and drizzle with the cooking oil. Grill the ribs for about 2 minutes or less on each side. Do not overcook.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.