Ozuké in Boulder Lifestyles

Mara and Willow were invited to share their thoughts on what it takes to run a business in Boulder. Read more here.

 

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Sourdough 101

As a food lover and fermentation fan girl, I have tried my hand at lots of different funky experiments from nukazuke to mango chutney- all with varying outcomes, both good and not so good. Sourdough, however, was one that somehow seemed too involved or inaccessible and got set aside as my business started to grow.
When my dear friend, and publisher of the wonderful Roost Books, Sara Bercholz gave me a sourdough starter for my birthday, I took it as a sign that the time had come to try my hand at baking this mythical bread. I used a simple recipe from this gorgeous book, as well as some tips from Tartine Bread , as they have been bread heroes of mine since I lived in California years ago.
It turned out that the recipes can be quite simple and that the process simply requires patience (character reveal.) First feeding the starter, then making the leaven and giving it time to get nice and lively and then giving the dough plenty of room at every step to fully rest and rise. It takes days, but the result is so astonishingly satisfying that now I am totally hooked. My family gobbles up the loaves, the whole house smells of that heavenly mix of flour, water, warmth and a little magic.
While I  am starting to look at the more complex recipes and experimenting with different heirloom flours, I am mostly just happy to have begun down this ancient pleasure avenue of baking good bread and feeding it to the ones I love. I encourage anyone who has the hankering to try- it’s like having a new pet:)

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Ozuké Wild Dandelion or Nettles, Bee Pollen and Honey Kraut

To begin you will need a 1/2 gallon sized ball jar, 1 medium cabbage, Fresh Nettle or Dandelion leaves harvested from your neighborhood, local honey, bee pollen and sea salt.

Core and shred the cabbage, salt to taste then spread on a tray or large bowl. (It is so important to salt the cabbage to YOUR taste.  I never tell my students fixed amounts of salt, because everyone’s taste is different, you could even completely omit the salt and still have decent results). Pound the cabbage with a wooden hammer (or a rolling pin can work) until the juices start to release and the cabbage softens.  Mix with bee-pollen, drizzle honey and sprinkle in cleaned and de-stemmed greens.  Place in a wide mouth ball jar and press down with your fist (you can use a cabbage leaf as a top barrier and then press on that) until the veg is submerged in liquid. Cover and leave at room temp for about 5-10 days. Keep pressing your kraut below liquid and release the gas occasionally as it starts to ferment. Kraut should taste tart when it’s ready…  if you like it stronger you can leave it longer. When you are satisfied with the taste transfer to cold storage where it will last for up to 12 months.

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Earth Day Tree Planting with Ozuké

Our dear friend from Pangea Organics, Joshua Onysko has a penchant for rallying  people around good causes. His mission this year was to get a bunch of local businesses to assemble teams of tree planters and together, on Earth Day, we are were going replant an entire hillside that had been scorched by a fire several years before -with 10,000 trees. Yup, 10,000 trees.  Ozuké had a small but dedicated group and we were ready to dig.

My boys were Saturday sleepy so we arrived a bit late and there were already at least 200 people sprawled across the hillside bags full of saplings, shovels, kids and dogs in tow. The sky was moody and beautiful.

People working alone or in small groups but together, hands in the soil, giving a little something back to this great revolving planet that gives and gives and gives. As one of the planters said, “team work makes the dream work.” :0

Thank you Josh for organizing, thank you Boulder for showing up in droves, thank you planet Earth for your wondrous abundance.  Grow little saplings, grow.

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Ozuké style Colorado Cleanse

  Spring is a time when I often feel like I need to slough off winter and begin anew. Cleansing is a great, simple way to restart your digestion and immunity. There are tons of great options out there but two of my local favorites are Conscious Cleanse and the Colorado Cleanse. Both have been designed by people with enormous passion, experience and generosity. These cleanses can be challenging and these guys have considered not only the nutritional piece of this work but also the emotional and spiritual components. When I cleanse I sometimes feel groggy at first and long for a cup of tea with milk or a square of chocolate but slowly it begins to work its magic and I feel more energized, lighter and more self aware.
  This season I am doing the Colorado Cleanse. It is a comprehensive reset for you digestive system based on Ayurvedic principles. The mainstay of the cleanse is kitchari, a simple Indian porridge made of lentils and rice. In the first four
pre-cleanse days, Dr. Douillard recommends eating 1-2 raw beets a day. I love beets, I really do, but 2 raw beets can be a little overwhelming. I have taken to doing some juicing and also using our Ozuké beets, dulse and kale which adds some great flavor to salads or simple soups, has all the properties of plain raw beets plus probiotics.
  If you are interested in either of these cleanses I recommend doing the guided offering that Conscious offers or getting Dr. Douillard’s book and following all the recommendations as this will yield the best results but.. over the years I have added little things that keep the mission in tact but make it a little tastier, especially in those first few sluggish days.

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Kimchi Latkes!

Every year I choose a different culinary tradition to model our Holiday dinner around.  We’ve done Victorian England, with Roast Goose and Christmas pudding, we’ve done Shanghainese Soup Dumplings, once visiting my Sister and Brother in Law we did Puerto Rican Christmas. Bringing in these varied traditions helps to educate me as a cook and to educate my children with the many flavors of our abundant human experience. I can’t remember which year we chose to cook traditional Hanukkah treats but now Latkes always make an appearance in our home around this time of year.  So simple and so good.  And I love how the story of Hanukkah resonates especially around the time of the Winter Solstice.  As the nights get longer and the days get shorter the story of Hanukkah meditates on finding a miracle of light in the darkness and finding freedom in the midst of oppression. And of course the tradition of eating fried foods to celebrate the miraculous oil that lit a single lamp for 8 days…  a holiday that celebrates with fried food!!!!  That is a wonder for sure!

This year I can’t believe that I’ve never thought to replace the onion in the Latke recipe with kimchi before.  It is simply amazing!  You can add more spiciness, more chiles or gochugaru to the mix if you like.  I doubt you can make these and not fall in love.

Wishing you all a great miracle this Hanukkah.

 

Kimchi Latkes

2 cups shredded potatoes (I like em with skin on but either peeled or not is fine)

½ cup of kimchi that has already had all the juice squeezed out of it.

3 eggs

3 heaped Tablespoons flour

Salt and Pepper

More chiles/gochugaru (optional)

Oil for frying (we used peanut oil but your choice of high heat oil)

 

Put shredded potatoes in cheesecloth or nut bag and squeeze as dry as possible.

Cut the squeeze dried kimchi into small dice or tiny strips.

Beat eggs.

Combine potatoes, egg, kimchi, flour, (gochugaru if you want), salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy skillet with a ¼ inch of oil on the base to medium high heat.

Press heaping spoonfuls of potato mixture onto the hot skillet squashing the pancakes down to ¼ – ½ inch thickness.  Cook until brown on both sides…  approximately 3 minutes each side.

Serve hot with apple sauce and sour cream – YUM.

A visit with Sandor

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A few weeks back we had the pleasure of hanging with our friend and fermentation hero, Sandor Katz.

We had some lovely meals together and met lots of great folks who are interested in the lore, health benefits, gustatory profile and funk of fermentation. The culminating event was a farm gathering with classes, talk, book signing, marketplace, food, beer and friends at Frog Belly Farm in Longmont. It was a perfect fall afternoon, the barn was cozy, the cabbages fat in the field, the piglets happily nursing. Good all around.

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Booze, Bubbles, and Boshi’s. Two new Ozuké umeboshi cocktails for you to enjoy!

ozuke_ozuke_boshi

In honor of Willow and Mara’s Ume Success, here are two recipes for cocktails with their fermented fruit. The first cocktail is sweeter, and if you have the CheriBoshi, use those. If not, Umeboshi plums are fabulous.

Ozuke Boulder (as in this is not a Manhattan)

1 tsp agave or honey

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

ice

1 3/4 oz Ume Japanese Plum Sake liquor

1/4 oz Colorado bourbon whisky

1 CheriBoshi or Umeboshi

In a rocks glass, add agave, bitters and some ice.
Pour Ume Sake and whisky over ice in glass.
Drop the Umeboshi in the glass and let it absorb the booze. Eat it last.

Ozuke Royale

¾ oz Plum Wine called Ume Shu (if you can’t find it try sake)

¼  oz Luxardo

Champagne or Prosecco

In a champagne flute, pour in the plum wine and the Luxardo. Tilt and fill with Champagne. Add your ume plum or cheriboshi on top and watch it bubble.

Ozuké style Kimchi Grilled Cheese

thumb_600Visiting Santa Fe recently I was introduced to these sandwiches and could not wait to get back and reverse engineer it so that I could make it with Ozuke kimchi. It is both hearty and satisfying and yet feels good on the belly because of the kimchi.

For two people

4 slices of good sourdough bread
a lot of unsalted organic butter
4 oz of cheese – I used a combination of swiss and gruyere but goat cheddar would work really well, too
4 oz Ozuke kimchi

Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat and melt some butter in it. The secret to great grilled cheese is butter so be generous. Then butter one side of all four slices of bread. Put them in the skillet butter side up and let them get warmed up. When you flip them put cheese on two slices of bread and let the cheese melt. Turn the heat down so that the bread does not over cook. When the cheese is melty divide the kimchi onto the two cheesy breads and then put the cooked sides of the other bread on top so that when you flip the buttered side goes in the skillet. Keep cooking till the kimchi warms up and everything is gooey.

Serve with an Ozuke pickle on the side.

Where to get the best Ramen and the not so secret Ozuké ingredient

As you know, ramen is all the rage. It has been for a while now. Ask anyone where to get the best ramen and they will likely have a very passionate response. In fact, finding the best ramen has almost become an urban sport, the winner gaining social status, emphatic pride, and maybe even a few dates.

Unfortunately, when something becomes insanely popular, it can also become insanely expensive. Not all ramen spots are pricey, but there are certainly a lot of pricey options out there. What if you are just as obsessed with ramen as everybody else, but are shackled by your budget?

We are here to tell you that making ramen does not require alchemy—especially with the super power of delicious kimchi. So why not make your own?

Like an embedded reporter, I photographed as a friend made ramen for dinner. I pretended to be experimenting with a new camera as I lined up the ingredients and snapped away. Herein these photos lies the secret to making delicious, easy and inexpensive ramen that doesn’t come in a microwavable cup.

When I walked in the house I noticed two things immediately: An amazing aroma and my growling stomach. The broth had been simmering for some time before my arrival.

This particular cook was rather secretive about his broth, I think because his strategy was to add a little of this, and add a little of that, until the flavor reached its zenith. He did however excitedly use some juice from Ozuke’s Kale & Collards Kim Chi. He poured it right into the broth, right in front of my camera.

Ozuke in Broth

Not pictured: How incredible the house smelled as the broth was simmering.

As I arranged the ingredients that were set out for the meal to “try out my new camera,” there were hints of what the broth contained. Beside the kimchi you’ll notice Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Sriracha, natural rice vinegar, white pepper, turmeric, black sesame oil, and even Jamaican Jerk seasoning.

Ingredients

We can also see almost everything else that the ramen will include once it is plated: ramen noodles, ginger root, garlic cloves, shallots, carrots, radishes, a lime, a jalapeno, green opinions, cilantro, and shitake mushrooms. Not pictured: four eggs and one cucumber.

Radishes

Isn’t there something so dangerously fun about jalapenos?

Mushroom Close

I confess I didn’t see what role the ginger played in the meal, but I suspect it was used in the amazing broth.

Ginger

While the broth continued to simmer, our chef of the evening grabbed a knife. He cut up the green onions, the carrots, the radishes, the mushrooms, the cucumber, the jalapeno, the shallots, and pulled the leaves from the cilantro.

Green Onion Carrots

After that, there was some cooking to do. Four eggs were cracked and scrambled with black pepper.

Eggs

After that, there was some cooking to do. Four eggs were cracked and scrambled with black pepper.

RamenCooked Shrooms Egg Onion

After all the prep was done, the stage was set like this. Everything is fresh and simple, the signature of a good, healthy meal.

Prepped Ingredients

As our chef for the evening began to plate the food, it was confirmed that he was an artist. He took his time laying each ingredient on each plate at a time so that the patterns matched from plate to plate.

Close up Plated No Broth

And after everything was arranged just so, he poured in the broth we’d been salivating over, making each dish almost complete. The cherry-on-top to this ramen dish was our Kale & Collards Kim Chi—a grand finale indeed.

Plated Above

Yes, it was delicious.

Now let’s review. Making a delicious ramen meal at home is something all of us can do. There is very little cooking involved, there is ample room for creativity, the ingredients are simple and few, and as long as kimchi is involved, you’re going to love it