Tag Archives: south korea

Sweet Potato Gratin

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A nice warmer for the recently wet and brisk weather. Sweet potatoes are great when baked, while I was in Korea they sold them whole and boiled as a snack from connivence stores and street stalls.

This is a great dish to accompany a meal or to have on it’s own. It is also pretty simple to make!

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What You Need:

5 Sweet Potatoes, Sliced & Peeled, 1/2 an Onion, 100g of Butter, 100g of Plain Flour, 400ml of Milk,  100g of Cheddar Cheese, One slice of bread (bread crumbs), 1tsp Cinnamon, 2tsp Sugar, 2tsp Apple Sauce. Parmesan & Black Pepper to season.

Preheat the oven to 200c

First wash, peel and slice the sweet potatoes and admire their golden orange colour. Then make the Béchamel sauce by making a roux with butter and flour in a saucepan, as it turns into a yellow paste gentle keep adding the milk on a low/med heat until you form a thick white sauce. When its a nice thick consistency add the grated cheddar cheese and season with black pepper. Set aside.

Now caramelise the onions in oil on a low heat for 15mins or until soft and brown, add the sugar, cinnamon and apple sauce to the onions and gently heat. Now it’s time to layer, start with a layer of sweet potato, then onions, then cheese, and keep layering until about 1 inch from the top. Sprinkle parmesan (optional) and black pepper on the top. Now prepare the bread-crumbs with a little melted butter and scatter liberally over the gratin. Cover the dish with foil and place in the over for 40mins, then the foil off and bake for a further 30mins.

There you have it a nice seasonal warming dish !

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Pumpkin Pie (Gretchen Inspired)

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While I was living in South Korea I made many American friends who were living there. One of them was Gretchen, I remember around American Thanksgiving time she told me how amazing Pumpkin Pie was and it was a shame she could not make any because people in Korea rarely have ovens. So Gretchen and I hopped on a train for two hours in search for the mythic pie, but atlas we never found. So now I am back in England and that time of year has come around again so I have decided in honour of my friend to have a go at making Pumpkin Pie…. here goes lol

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First I decided to use a real pumpkin and not the canned kind. Unfortunately I could only get the Halloween kind, which is o.k just make sure you get as much water out of the pumpkin as possible (I will explain later). First I chopped the pumpkin in half and took out all the seeds and stringy bits. Then chop up into smaller slices and steam, it probably will take around 10-20 mins but you know when it is done because the pumpkin with be bright orange and the skin will just slid off the flesh.. yum! Now when that was all nice and soft, to take out all the water I took the flesh and put it in a cloth and made a bundle and squeezed all the excess water out. Finally put in a blender and blitz until smooth, then refrigerator-ate.

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Now I prepared the pie base, a nice simple recipe of short-crust pastry which I then baked blind  in the oven for 20 min and left to cool.

Once the pumpkin mixture was cool I transferred it to a sieve over a pan and left for 1 hour to just to eliminate anymore pesky water, because you don’t want a soggy bottom for your pie!

The filling:

5 eggs, 1tsp ground ginger, 1tsp Ground Allspice, 1.5tsp Cinnamon Power, 3 drops of Vanilla Essences, 300ml of Evaporated milk, 1 cup of golden caster sugar and 3 cups of Pumpkin.

Mix these all up well and pour into you prepared pastry case and pop in a preheated oven at 210C for 15mins and then 175C for 40-60mins.

Cool and then eat ! Yum! Thanks Gretchen for inspiring me to make an unusual dish for an English Guy.

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