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Mar 31, 2008 10:51 AM

What to make with a mortar and pestle

I got this lovely new kitchen device from the boyfriend yesterday, and I'd like to make something tonight that showcases my new ability to fresh grind spices. Any suggestions?

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  1. traditional pesto sauce is made with a mortar and pestle

    1. Bulgogi wa Sanjeog Gui (Korean sesame beef)

      1lb thinly sliced beef (rump, flank steak, whatever you'd prefer)
      2 T sugar
      4 T soy sauce
      4 T minced green onions
      2 t minced garlic
      1 t minced ginger
      dash pepper
      1 t sesame seeds
      1 T toasted and ground sesame seeds
      1 T sake or sherry
      2 T sesame oil (I often only use 1 T)

      Toasting and grinding your own sesame seeds really makes all the difference in this dish. Take plain sesame seeds, put them in a small saucepan on the stove. Medium high heat, and stir quickly and constantly while the seeds toast. Pull off heat when they're golden brown, before they go black. You'll *just* start to hear a few pop like popcorn when it's time to take the seeds off the heat.

      Grind the toasted sesame seeds in your mortar and pestle. The aroma is amazing.

      Combine beef and marinade just before cooking. It can be grilled on skewers, but I typically just cook it up in a big skillet. High heat, and cook it to death. This is going to be some well-done beef--no other way to get the right flavor. As you cook, liquids will be released. Keep cooking until all the released liquid is cooked off, and you get a dark, thick glaze on the meat. You'll see a little iridescence on the beef, too.

        1. Its great for making wet rubs for meats, especially for meats you are going to grill. Just throw some fresh garlic in there with some corse salt, fresh ground pepper, a little olive oil and some fresh herbs like rosemary and you have a great rub for pork, lamb,chicken or whatever you like.

          1. Homemade Thai curry paste. Really superior to the canned ones like Mae Ploy.