Sunday, September 10, 2017

this week: a culinary quest

My boss is talking about our upcoming Mexican-themed luncheon this Friday the 16th. I had made enchiladas before, at his insistence, as you'll see here. That batch was made with red sauce, but for whatever reason, the boss is now saying he'd like enchiladas with green sauce, which is a much harder request to fulfill because green sauce requires tomatillos, i.e., green tomatoes with husks (you remove the husks before cooking and eating... unless you love heavy-duty fiber in your meals). I have no clue where I might find either green tomatoes or true tomatillos. Perhaps Garak Market will have some; I have a couple days to find out.

This luncheon won't be just my show: we've got a couple other volunteer cooks bringing dishes, potluck-style. One will be doing fajitas; another will be contributing flautas. Both of these cooks are concerned about the need to reheat their food before serving it, so they'll likely be using my gas range and frying pan.

The R&D department is also acquiring a new staffer this week, and I believe we'll be taking on yet another staffer the following week. The boss has said that he plans to group us into teams, with three of us older guys as the team leaders, after which he'll be assigning us textbook-related projects that will likely occupy us through the end of this year and beyond. Parties, from here on out, will be interesting, and all of us cooks will be cooking for two more mouths.


John from Daejeon said...

Does you boss not know that he lives in South Korea and not Mexico? Over the years, I've had to search high and low for the likes of sweet corn, okra, green beans, asparagus, blackberries, etc. in Daejeon and Seoul. And the times I did find a few of these items, they were either in tin cans or frozen which sort of defeats the purpose of fresh produce.

Kevin Kim said...

Some of the items you list are now easier to find. E.g., sweet corn (canned, at least) and asparagus are now readily available in my building's grocery. I've never seen okra, which makes Cajun/Creole hard to make. Blackberries are, as you say, available frozen, and I have to go all the way to Itaewon for green beans, although I suspect that Garak Market might have them. I really need to explore Garak Market in depth.

The boss is a thirty-plus-year veteran of living in Korea, but he doesn't know much about food.

John from Daejeon said...

There's a small world foods market across from the main train station in Daejeon that occasionally stocks okra, asparagus/yard long green beans, and assorted produce unique to some Southeast Asian countries for the local immigrant community, but expect to pay a premium for just a few pods of okra and anything else in the store. I have also seen vacuum-sealed corn on the cob from New Zealand at times in Costco, but it does not taste like fresh corn on the cob from the stalk.

And as many Koreans plant food plots in their front yards and around their apartments, one restaurant owner on the banks of Daecheongho Lake (대청호) has some of the best blackberry bushes I've ever seen anywhere.