It's a dirty secret. A great recipe isn't just all about great food. It's also about a good read -- the kind of read that has you drooling from the first ingredient to "serves 6 to 10." Such was the good read a month ago in the New York Times Magazine, when they featured the recipe for Chef David Chang's Momofuku Bo Ssam.
Wandering through the shelves at Kalustyan's, searching for various Korean ingredients on Chang's list, I could see that I wasn't alone in appreciating the recipe's finer points. As I purchased the store's last container of Kochujang chili paste, the cashier remarked that they couldn't keep the stuff in stock over the last few weeks. "Why is this chili paste so popular all of a sudden?"
All I can say, is I hope other Kalustyan's patrons had as much success with the recipe as I did, evidenced by the photo above of mind-blowing slow-cooked pork butt.
Below, you'll see equally over-the-top accompaniments including Kimchi, the requisite Ginger-Scallion and Ssam sauces, as well as a batch of homemade Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon.
Paired with series of rich, chocolatey Imperial Stouts, the meal was an undeniable winner. And, to cap off the porky, stouty goodness, my guests and I indulged in a Belgian-style Biscotti lager as a malty companion to one heck of a dessert...
...a warm Banana Tart Tartine that oozed caramel and almost garnered as many oohs and aahs as the Bo Ssam itself.
So that's what a good read can get you. A great meal.
And to that I say, if you can't read, hoping you're enjoying the photos on this blog.
However, if you can, get to it and find me my next go-to recipe.