In the northeast section of Miami called Little Haiti, just across the street from the railroad tracks, sits a truly charming, year-old market garden owned and run by Muriel Olivares called Little River Market Garden. This past season was her first year of running it, complete with CSA shares, and she's done a remarkable job. She recently posted on her blog that she's been able to expand the garden through the kind offer of a friend 5 miles away.
|One section of the garden.|
The difference between the garden when I first visited last October for the Market's first seedling sale and today is downright incredible. Muriel has clearly been working her tush off. The wood-burning oven her father had just started in October is now finished, functional, and fantastically beautiful. Do you sense the note of envy in my voice? Her compost pile makes me a little green, too. It's at least double the size it was since I last visited.
|Wood-burning oven Muriel's father built.|
Today I attended a Learn to Make Kimchi workshop held at Muriel's Market Garden and had a blast of an afternoon. About 25 of us sat in chairs set up in front of the wood-burning oven and were thankful that Muriel had been quite thoughtful about scheduling the workshop at 3 p.m.--we had lucious shade to sit in.
|Muriel Olivares speaking to Kimchi Workshop attendees.|
|Muriel demonstrating how to make chili paste at kimchi workshop.|
|Muriel slicing radishes and turnips for kimchi vegetables. Volunteer adding veggies to kimchi tub.|
|Muriel and volunteer mixing chili paste into kimchi vegetables. Note both are wearing gloves for protection.|
|Finished kimchi mixture.|
|Two beautiful speecy spicy jars of kimchi.|
|Happy Little River Market Garden Kimchi Workshop attendees.|
|We finally meet! Marian Wertalka, author of Redland Rambles blog.|
You want a recipe, do you? I know you do. Muriel just finished posting it on her blog, so here goes:
Little River Market Garden Kimchi
Makes about 2 quarts
Wash and coarsely chop 2 cabbages (the traditional type of cabbage is Napa and it’s my personal favorite, but any variety will do, including bok choy, savoy cabbage and regular green cabbage; they each give you a slightly different result in terms of flavor, color and texture).
Soak chopped cabbage in a salt brine either overnight or for a couple hours. Salt brine is made by adding 2 tablespoons of salt per quart of filtered or spring water.
After soaking, dump out brine and rinse cabbage 1 or 2 times with filtered or spring water. Drain cabbage.
Wash and cut off any bad parts of either 2 medium daikon radishes or any combination of radishes, turnips and or carrots. Chop into thin strips or rounds and add to drained cabbage.
Now make a chili paste!
Add to a food processor:
2 quartered onions (any type)
1 cup of peeled garlic
half cup of peeled ginger (I like a lot of ginger)
about 5 fresh hot peppers, such as cayenne (5 will give you a pretty spicy paste, use less if you like)
1 cup chili powder (Note from Ara: I don't think this is regular chili powder - I'm thinking this is more along the lines of cayenne pepper or Ancho pepper powder - and you could always grind up dried assorted chili peppers in a spice grinder.)
a couple teaspoons salt
a teaspoon of paprika
quarter cup of vinegar (my favorite is apple cider)
teaspoon of honey
tablespoon of olive oil
Blend until the consistency is smooth and everything is thoroughly mixed. Add about 2 cups of chili paste to the vegetables and store the rest in the fridge. It keeps indefinitely and can be used as a seasoning in many different meals.
Stir the vegetables to coat evenly with chili paste and it’s done!
Stuff the kimchi into glass jars and let it sit on your kitchen counter with the lid slightly unscrewed. Make sure to place a shallow bowl under each jar because the veggies continue to release liquid and it will likely spill over. It’s also likely to get bubbly, as well, which is a good sign of fermentation. It can be eaten fresh the day it is made and in fact, you should taste regularly to check for flavor development. After about 1 or 2 days, screw the lid on tightly and store in the fridge for up to a year. The kimchi continues to mature and evolve into a more sour flavor as it slowly ferments in the cold temperature. Everyone prefers their kimchi at different stages. I can personally eat a quart every couple of weeks and the flavor gets really good the second and third week.
Don't think twice about playing with the amounts of spices, types of vegetables (you could use broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, purple cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash), perhaps try toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil in the chili paste mixture or adding a dash of fish sauce or anchovy paste, varying types of peppers (habanero, Scotch bonnets, or Thai bird chilis for the spicy-minded folks; poblanos and jalapenos for those who prefer a milder spice). Use your imagination and have fun!