Wednesday, September 21, 2005

bouffe à l'italienne

Let's let the pics speak for themselves first:

Backstory: Lotte Mart is a strange place. Some of its products are bizarrely expensive, but in the midst of the exorbitant prices are some sweet deals.

Take sausage.

Lotte Mart offers a W9800 (almost $10, US) package of various sausages-- not a bad deal considering the alternative is to go to Hannam Market, where a third of that amount would cost almost twice as much. True, by buying Korean-made sausages, one sacrifices a bit of quality (Wo ist mein Gott verdammte Landjaeger, bordel de merde!?), but I can tell you that the above sausages tasted just fine once cooked, and would have gone nicely with sauerkraut or cheese or mustard.

I'll be going back for those sausages, too. My French buddy's wife, Véronique, made a fantastic Alsatian dish once: a baked mass consisting of piles of sausage, peeled potatoes, bacon, and sauerkraut. There might've been some other vegetables hidden in there, and cheese might have made an appearance at table; I don't think I noticed. I remember greedily scooping up sausages and potato and kraut by the gob, squishing a mess of mustard next to the meat, and digging in with near-obscene enthusiasm. Fantastic meal.

I aim to replicate it. It'll be the perfect winter dish. There is, of course, only one winter dish superior to it.

Cheese fondue.

But that, friends, is a post for a different day.



Maven said...

I hear ya on the fondue front. Nothing finer!!

However, I must share with you, that if you enjoy fondue, you might enjoy this thing called "rarebit." It's a creamy cheesey sauce (with some aspects of a good beschemel), and rather than use wine, you use a good beer/ale in it. It is then poured over some toast points and then put under the broiler to get all bubbly and browned, similar to an open face grilled cheese.

I must confess this is one of my favorite things. Perhaps I'll post a recipe of it.

Anonymous said...

Funny, over here in the states I find myself pining for dolsot bibimbap.

One of my favorite Korean places here in SoCal serves yook-soo (beef "tea") along with the meal.

It's really quite good.

Anonymous said...

Au contraire, mon frère!

During the winter months, I'll take ddeok-mandu soup any day.

Anonymous said...

Re: NuggetMaven's comment...

Ah, so that's where the name comes from. I've always heard it called "rabbit" (as in "Welsh rabbit"). I always wondered what rabbits had to do with beer and melted cheese. Of course, I have no idea why it's called rarebit, but it makes more sense than rabbit. I think.

But it sure is some good stuff. I'd take it over fondue any day.

Maven said...

Believe it or not, Wikipedia has this to say about Welsh Rarebit (although, I beg to differ that a good rarebit is not "toast and cheese", toast and cheese is an open faced grilled cheese, IMHO):

"The OED establishes that the original name of the food was "Welsh rabbit", and mentions "Welsh rarebit" only as an "etymologizing alteration of [the preceding]. There is no evidence of the independent use of rarebit". The source is not exactly known, but most likely was originally a slur. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was common to use the adjective "Welsh" to mean inferior quality, even implying counterfeit. In a society where most people could snare a rabbit for the pot, a Welshman was considered by some people so hopelessly feckless that cheese melted with beer would have to substitute. The first record of the word was in 1725. The alternative form "rarebit" only occurs from 1785. In the Victorian-era and later, however, recipe books began to refer to this dish as "Welsh rarebit". This was a euphemism based on folk etymology (that is, this was a new word made up by people who didn't understand why the dish was called "rabbit"). There is little doubt that "rabbit" was the original form. Perhaps because the disparaging origin is recognised, the form "rarebit" is reported now to be common is Wales; elsewhere the original form is preserved (and everywhere the pronunciation is "rabbit").

In parts of the United Kingdom today, there is a tendency for the traditional name to be replaced by the more prosaic "cheese on toast" (more typically applied to a slice of dry cheese, placed on toast, then grilled) or "toasted cheese", or a jocular reference to "Welsh rabbit". A slice of bread topped with cheese, however, is not a real Welsh rabbit."

I hope this helps!