We were having a dinner party last weekend – strictly grownups only. The plan was simple: spend more time with friends and less time in the kitchen by ordering take out from our local Korean restaurant (the only one in town it's worth pointing out).
Imagine my horror then when, having invited 12 people around to dinner, I discovered that said restaurant was gone. I mean, really gone, closed down and building up for sale.
Saner folk might have changed the theme of the menu but Jowa and I made a hasty decision to attempt a full Korean meal from scratch. It was a risk but we had two things going in our favor. First, there's a very good Korean/Japanese grocery store in our city where we could get all the ingredients we needed. Second we had a family-style cookbook published by Dok Suni, a funky Korean restaurant in New York that we used to frequent.
So we had the ingredients and a guide how to use them. Next we crafted a menu to feed 12 (see photo below). All we had to do was prep and get the cooking right.
I won't dwell on the details of all the dishes we put together but let's just say that, while the food turned out delicious and the evening was a lot of fun, both Jowa and I spent a long, long time in the kitchen both during the afternoon prepping and marinating. Then, in the evening, while our guests were drinking cocktails and nibbling on mandu/mandoo (dumplings), kimchi and seafood pancakes we worked like short-order cooks getting the Japchae, Bibim Bap, roasted fish, and stewed chicken and potato on the table in a sort of seamless fashion.
Frankly it was exhausting. Where was a good Korean restaurant when you needed it?
So what's this got to do with feeding the kids? Well, while some of the dishes were too spicy for little palattes, the Japchae and stewed chicken and potatoes made perfect leftovers for all the family the next evening.
Recipes to come in the next couple of posts…..