During my girls' weekend, I had the opportunity to meet someone who calls herself my #1 fan. She is a friend of one of the girls who was here for the weekend and happens to live in Marin. It all worked out and I had the chance to meet her and spend some time with her. (She even brought me a present. WHEE!) She told her friend that she was incredibly nervous and I was flattered and bemused at the same time. (Who is that excited to meet me? Hard to imagine still.)
I sat at Wayfare Tavern, in a private room, surrounded by all my girlfriends and my #1 fan, and laughed with good friends over excellent food. We giggled and had side conversations and enjoyed the sweetness of many years of friendship between us. GT, the #1 fan, at one point in the conversation, in a segue about cats, said in passing, "But I know you're allergic to them." I was floored. Another one of the girls at the table overheard, and said incredulously, "Joanne? You're allergic to cats?" (Yes. Very much so.) GT, someone who had only really met me through my words on the blog knew this fact when the 6 other women in the room had no idea. I had to laugh.
Suddenly JEL decided to give GT a quiz about me. She wanted to see if truly, this woman was a real fan. Quick. Can you answer the following questions about me WITHOUT going back on the blog? (GT answered all correctly.)
1. What foods is Joanne allergic to?
2. Name at least 6 things to which Son is allergic.
3. How did Joanne and Husband meet?
4. For which cause did Joanne collect money for?
5. What was this year's 2011 VBS theme?
6. Which state did Joanne visit earlier this year?
7. What did Joanne used to do in her former life?
And bonus...(which was not asked to GT)
8. What is one of Joanne's favorite cuisines to cook?
Lest anyone think that all this adulation and adoration from a fan is going to my head, fear not. Son, Daughters, and Husband keep me well grounded and remind me over and over again that yes, I'm only a human being with many faults. However, it was really wonderful basking in the moment of being someone's "idol" (maybe I go too far with that term) and feeling a teeny, tiny bit like a star. (But please. No pics of me on the TMZ.)
The answer to #8 - I love cooking FUSION. I love mixing what is traditionally Korean and messing with it and turning it into something new. This kimchi porkbelly cheese sandwich is just that - a mix of all that is wonderful about Korean food with an American classic - grilled cheese. I can't tell you how good it is because words don't do it justice. I can tell you that it's totally worth making and if you do make it, make it for a crowd of people so you can hear them ooh and ahh, and for a moment, you too will feel like a star!
Grilled Kimchi Pork Belly Cheese Sandwich
Makes 3 to 4 sandwiches
1 1/2 cups of chopped kimchee, with the liquid
4 slices of bacon or samgyupsahl (pork belly) cut into fourths
1 cloves of garlic pressed
1 tablespoons ginger grated
1 tablespoons sesame oil or vegetable oil, more if needed (if you like sesame flavor add sesame oil, and if you find it too strong, add vegetable oil - or a mix of both)
1 tablespoon of sesame seed
6 to 8 slices of bread (I used wheat for “health” reasons)
3 to 4 slices of cheddar cheese (I used sharp)
1 to 3 tablespoons of oil for grilling (or butter if you prefer)
2 scallions, chopped
Place bacon or samgyupsahl (pork belly) in pan with garlic and ginger over medium high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to render some of the fat. Add kimchee and the kimchee liquid into the fry pan. (The more liquid you add the spicier and saltier it will be.) Stir and cook over medium high heat, reducing liquids, and adding oil if necessary. (if it starts looking dry add a tablespoon of oil.) Dish is completed when the thicker pieces of kimchee take on a slightly translucent quality. The riper the kimchee the faster this happens.
Sprinkle with scallions as a garnish. Enjoy!