Insomnia, Cooking and Russia

Sometimes, I just can’t sleep. That doesn’t happen as much these days–when I was still in the USAF, I used to keep a notebook by my bed and write down what was worrying me so I could go back to sleep. Now, I’m just older and it’s harder to sleep. So, you get a blog post about what I cooked last night, in an extremely rambling, roundabout way.

The Amazing Sleeping Man (ASM) is a big WWII history fan and lately, we’ve been watching a Russian TV Series called The Attackers. It’s a drama about WWII Russian fighter pilots. It’s fairly well-written for a basic TV show, and they pay attention to details, like the fact that Russians didn’t wear socks–they wore cloths wrapped around their feet. I had no idea. For someone who started her military career during the Cold War, I know very little about Russia or its history as part of the Soviet Union.

BTW, the part of the show that isn’t well done? The subtitles–the translations are hilarious! What I’m assuming is the command “Dismissed!” is translated as “You may be free!” I’m guessing someone ran the script through Google Translate and called it good. It’s still a surprisingly addictive show.

Back in January, The ASM was already worrying about COVID, because he’s a world news junkie. So, he bought us half a cow, which is a lot of meat, especially for two people. In the summer, it’s hard to cook sometimes, because it’s just too hot. But with COVID, we’ve stopped going out, so if I want something other than sandwiches or cereal, I’m cooking. Therefore, I’m always looking for new recipes.

I’m a big fan of Ilona Andrews–the Innkeeper Series, which they originally posted on their blog as a serial, inspired me to post Quinn of Cygnus: Lift Off on my blog. Anyway, Ilona, who is from Russia, posted a recipe the other day for Bulgogi, a Korean beef dish and Morcovcha, a Korean/Russian carrot salad. Until I read the post, I didn’t realize Koreans had emigrated to Russia in large enough numbers to bring their cuisine along. See the comment above about my ignorance!

I’m happy to report the Bulgogi is delicious, and tastes just like the Bulgogi I ate in Korea when I was there for a military exercise way back in the late ’90s. In addition, it uses chuck roast, something I have a lot of in my freezer right now. I’m not as happy, but not surprised to report The ASM still doesn’t like carrots! I do, and I like the Morcovcha a lot, although I think next time, I’ll try the dressing on cabbage. I will also leave the onions out of the Morcovcha and instead, fry those up after I finish cooking the beef, then add the onions to the beef so the ASM gets some veggies with his meat.

If you want to try Bulgogi, a few cooking notes for you. In an attempt to keep our house cool, I tried to cook this outside on my gas grill. Unfortunately, the burners on the grill just don’t get hot enough to do a decent stir-fry.  I tried pulling the cooking grates off one section and putting my wok directly over the grill burner, but that didn’t work either. What did work? Burning one of the sections on my gas grill on low to cook the quinoa (rather than rice as called for,) and keep the beef warm as I cooked it in small batches. That worked like a charm. So, make sure you’ve got a hot burner and a good stir-fry pan. I might try this with cast iron next time instead of my non-stick wok. Also, I didn’t have any mirin, so I used sake in the marinade instead, and it still tasted authentic to my uneducated palate.

So, to wrap up this rambling post, we ate Russian-style Bulgogi and Morcovcha while watching a Russian docu-drama about fighter pilots and it was delicious!

Something else I did yesterday? Finally put Quinn of Cygnus: Lift Off, Book 1 of Quantum Fold, up for preorder. I don’t have all the links yet, but here’s the ones I do:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EMKxkU

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162727729

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/quinn-of-cygnus-lift-off

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1036750

Universal Link for all other stores:  https://books2read.com/u/3nWyvB

Have a great day and give Bulgogi and Morcovcha a try!

 

(The Amazon and Google links are affiliate links–I get a few extra $ that way.)

 

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