Sunday, February 28, 2010

city kitchen luau

i am a HUGE fan of the luau
the dancing, the music, the fire throwing
we can't forget about 
kalua pig
from the moment the warriors pulled it from the imu
and carried it to the buffet
i was distracted
how can i do this at home?
cluttered my mind

i asked around
at the luau
at the hotel
at restaurants
people who looked like they ate a pig or two in their lives
no one was safe
i got it
simple, stupid

here's the thing
we are only 2 people
so a whole pig is a bit much
even for us
ladies and gents
this is so easy, you will want to put it in your weekly rotation
it is
porcine paradise
3 lb pork butt
2 Tbs (about) alaea hawaiian sea salt (or kosher salt)
kitchen twine
banana leaves
Place pork in a shallow pan and let come to room temperature (about 1 hour).  Cut deep slits 1" apart across the top and bottom of the pork with a sharp knife.  
Rub the salt over the entire pork.  Wrap in banana leaves, one leaf at a 3 layers.  Tie with kitchen twine.
Wrap in foil in 2 layers.
Line the bottom of a heavy oven safe pot with a piece of banana leaf.  Place 2 1/2 cups of water in the bottom and then lay the foil package on top. Cover with lid and place in preheated 350 oven.  After 2 hours check and see if the water has evaporated..if so, add a bit more.  Do not immerse the package in should be working more like a steam than a boil.  This will take about 5 hours.  Ours was finished after about 4 1/2 hours.  Remove the foil package from the pan and place in a shallow pan. In the foil packet will be melted pork fat and juice.  Shred the pork and serve.  I suggest adding back in some of the pork juices/fat that will have accumulated in the will taste much more authentic.  However the meat is just as juicy without it..but will be lacking a bit of the buttery flavor.
Serve with rice, fruit, macaroni salad, poi...and you have yourself a citified luau.
after cooking

Friday, February 26, 2010


it's friday
and it's also lent
i know i should probably be fasting
but come on
let's not get ridiculous
i do
 abstain from meat
which isn't difficult for me
it is torture for hubster
tonight for dinner
we are indulging a bit
fried calamari
(printable recipe)
1 lb squid cut into rounds
1 cup flour
2 tsp favorite spice mix or a mixture of salt/pepper/cayenne
generous pinch sugar (this gives it a bit of color when frying)--purely optional
peanut or other oil for frying
marinara sauce
lemon wedges
place clamari in a bowl of lightly salted ice water. let sit for about 10 minutes. pour oil about 3" deep in a heavy pot and heat over medium fire. remove squid  from water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. in a shallow dish, mix together flour and spice of choice. drop in flour and lightly dust. shake off excess flour and drop in hot oil heated to 350.   
The key is to not overcook the calamari. If you do, it will get watch is carefully and take it out when it is lightly toasted and not let it get dark brown.  Drain on paper towel and dust with salt.  Serve with lemon wedges and sauce.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

F is for Fudge Ripple

6 weeks in 
and i finally get to say it
f is for fudge ripple
as in my blog
and its namesake
ice cream
growing up, there was always a carton of fudge ripple in the freezer
my mom would buy it
it was just about the only flavor
we all could agree on

i remember it tasting glorious
but i have a feeling
that given a pint today
i would probably turn up my nose
i'm thinking
 it might have been ice milk
not sure
and my mom would never
cop to buying ice milk
just like she would never admit
when we didn't finish our glass of milk
at breakfast
it reappeared
fully chilled
at dinner
and it might have been powdered
but i don't have evidence of that
only speculation

in honor of the letter F
and my blog
i present to you
a scoop
of fudge ripple ice cream
creamy and melty
fudge ripple ice cream
(printable recipe)
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup vanilla sugar *
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
place the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat.  Cook to a simmer. Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until they lighten in color a bit.  When the milk is at a simmer, slowly pour it into the yolks to temper.  Return all to the saucepan and slowly cook until it begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Stir in the cream and vanilla and refrigerate until cold.  Freeze in your ice cream freezer.  Once the ice cream is frozen, hand stir in the ganache. Make sure the ganache is cool, otherwise it will just make chocolate ice cream....which is also good.
*i use vanilla sugar which i make by grinding used vanilla beans with granulated sugar. It is not necessary for this recipe. If you use plain sugar, you might want to bump your vanilla up a bit (maybe an additional tsp)..if you like your ice cream really vanilla-y

I am participating in alphabe-thursday over at 
you should go check it out
and see what all the fun is about
this week
sponsored by the letter F

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday Night Supper Club--Making Reservations

it's my birthday
i am in hawaii
the only cooking I will be doing
cooking up falsehoods
about my age

we are eating out tonight
at a restaurant whose owner
grows all the produce on his 8 acre upcountry farm
and serves fish caught fresh daily

my expectations are endless

instead of a recipe
i thought i would leave you with this excerpt
from a book called A Meal Observed
by Andrew Todhunter
this is a quote from Philippe Legendre
previously the chef at Taillevent (3 michelin stars)

"People who have no love to share eat poorly, and they don't cook. If you love cooking, you will cook, at whatever level.  People who like to be around a table, who like to share--they'll try to cook, even if it's only an egg.  I would much prefer to eat an egg with friends than caviar with strangers.  That's important."
and a photo
of a sight
Tuesday Night Supper Club will resume next week
when I am no longer on vacation
and it's not my birthday
in the meanwhile

Friday, February 19, 2010

volcanic sunrise

i love it for the name of a drink
but it is not a beverage
and it comes with a 3am wake-up call

this morning
hubster and i
drove 2 hours in the pitch black
from sea level
to 10,000 feet
from 60 degrees to 40
to join with others
in search of 
what has been hailed as one of the most amazing sites in all of Maui
sleep deprived
in need of warmth
a steady hand
we were rewarded
with this
6 am
and then this
at 6:40
and this
at 6:44
and at 6:46
and then
at 9:00am
i don't know when i have appreciated 
a cup of coffee

Thursday, February 18, 2010

E is for Eclair

the french really know what they are doing
when it comes to pastry
when i was a kid
i would pretty much have sold my soul 
for a chocolate eclair
they were so yummy
with all that delicious creamy custard
and gooey chocolate coating
all wrapped in a crispy shell
and then all at once
 it seems
they started tasting weird
and i didn't like them anymore
and when i went to culinary school
i found out why
shops were no longer using creamy custard
they opted for the pre-made chemical concoction
passed off as vanilla pudding
with purchased shells 
that will ruin a taste memory in a heart beat
also happen to be one of hubster's favorites
and today i spent the early hours
whipping up a batch
they are not difficult
just a bit time consuming

1 recipe pate a choux
1recipe pastry cream
1/2 batch ganache

pate a choux
(printable recipe)
1 cup water
4 oz unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 extra large eggs (about)
Sift sugar, salt and flour together. Place water and butter into a saucepan Heat and bring to a simmer, you want the butter to incorporate into the water, not just float on top.  Remove from heat and add flour mixture all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, until it is all mixed together. Place back on heat and continue to stir until the mixture begins to come from the sides of the pan.  You do not want to dry out too much,  but you want to reduce the amount of moisture a bit. Stir over heat about a minute or two.  Place mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Turn mixer to medium speed to assist bringing the temperature down a bit, but not fully cooled.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. After adding the last egg check for consistency.  You want the mixture to be a bit firm, and sort of webby. When I say webby I mean it has a consistency where is stretches between the parts sticking to the sides of the bowl and what is on the paddle.  3 eggs should be enough. 
Place in pastry bag and pipe in 4" rods onto a lined pastry sheet. You can use this same batter for cream puffs, or deep fry for delicious donuts. The batter can be refrigerated for a max of three days before using.  
Bake in a preheated 425 oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 until the eclairs are browned and crispy.  The interior needs to be dry.  Let cool and fill with pastry cream and dip in ganache.

pastry cream
(printable recipe)
6 large egg yolks
5 Tbs cornstarch
2 1/2 cups milk ( i used 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs unsalted butter
for pastry cream:  Whisk the egg yolks and the cornstarch in a bowl. set aside.  In a saucepan, simmer milk, sugar and salt.  Once it is simmering, temper the eggs with the hot milk.  Return to the saucepan and whisk continuously until the custard begins to thicken.  Once you see large bubbles coming up through the middle of the pot, remove from heat. Pour into a clean bowl (use a sieve if you feel you have overcooked), and stir in butter and vanilla.  Place clingfilm over top and refrigerate until ready to use.  

1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate--chopped
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tbs corn syrup
2 Tbs butter
Heat cream with sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.  Once cream begins to simmer and sugar is dissolved, pour over chocolate and butter. Let chocolate melt and then whisk together until it is thick and shiny.

I am participating in alphabe-thursday over at 
you should go check it out
and see what all the fun is about
this week
sponsored by the letter E

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

tiny bubbles

who leaves 80 degree weather
in the dead of winter
for a balmy holiday 
in Hawaii?
i do
of course

we planned this trip
long before we knew that
summer would show up by
lest you think i am complaining

by the time you read this
I will be sipping a mai tai
on the beach
while hubster
gives don ho

a run for his money

(my hawaiian name which was printed on a grain of rice and purchased by me
in 1984
in celebration of my high school graduation
and boiled by me
sometime in the 90s
in false hope
that it would be funny)

Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Ingredients:

  •  1 ounce Dark Rum

  •  1 oz Light Rum

  •  1 oz Orange Curacao

  •  2 oz Orange Juice

  •  1/2 oz Lime Juice

  •  Dash Orgeat or Grenadine

  •  Dash Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar and 1 cup water boiled until the sugar dissolves) 

    Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Instructions: 
    Mix all ingredients and pour over crushed or shaved ice in a glass. Garnish with a cherry and a slice of pineapple

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Tuesday Night Supper Club--Frittata

    Today we have a guest host for TNSC.  Rose and I met at culinary school.  Given the chance she will tell you I was over prepared (she says I had way too many tools!) and I was focused (her side of the story is that I ignored her and had no idea she had been standing next to me all day). She may be partially right..but in my defense....
    never's not about me....
    Rose and I became fast friends and found a common bond at the stove. Although more than a decade my junior, I am continually inspired by her and her many talents.  She is a good friend and a great cook...
    here she is:
    Hi. My name is Rose and I am a busy mom of 2 boys; 3 if you count my husband.
    Christy and I met in culinary school.  All though we have very different lives, one thing we have in common is our love for food, craftiness, and laughter.
    I volunteered to guest host the "t-n-s-c", and I hope you all enjoy this recipe and be creative with it in your own kitchen. This is something I make about once every two weeks. It's super easy, kid friendly, and the possibilities are endless on what to throw in.

    Fritatta with Ham and Caramelized Onions

    Here is what I used
    1 medium brown onion
    olive oil
    2 tsp sugar
    7 eggs
    3/4 c grated cheese- I used smoked fontina
    3 Tb 1/2 & 1/2 (milk, or cream works too)
    1/2 c red & yellow bell peppers, diced
    1/2 c steamed broccoli florets
    ham steak- cubed
    fresh parsley
    2 cloves minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    To make it easiest- you need a non-stick pan that is oven safe with a lid. I used a 10" sauté pan with straight sides.
    Heat about 1 Tb of olive oil over medium-high heat. Slice up the onion, and toss in the pan- coating well with olive oil. After about a minute, sprinkle sugar over the onions, stir well, and turn heat to low. Let cook for 28 minutes, or until they are nice and caramelized. Remove from pan (don't wash it yet!), and set aside. (I usually can't help but eat 1/2 the bowl-it's like candy)
    Preheat oven to 400. In medium bowl, scramble together the eggs and 1/2 & 1/2 until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in minced parsley and most of the cheese, reserving some for the top. In the same pan used for the onions, heat a little bit of olive oil over medium-high heat, and throw in the ham, veggies and garlic. Let sauté for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in caramelized onions, then pour in egg mixture. Gently stir around until it starts to resemble very, very runny scrambled eggs. Shake the pan to level out the eggs, put on lid, and place in the oven. After 11 minutes, remove lid and sprinkle rest of cheese on top, and cook until cheese is fully melted. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Or you can turn it out onto a pretty platter if you serve this to company.
    What do you think G?

    The great thing about fritattas is the versatility- it's great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go mexican with chorizo, scallions, green chiles, cheddar, and cilantro with avocado and salsa verde on top. Or veggies galore- bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, onions, parsley and a smoky gouda. Or Italian with Pancetta, asiago, spinach and Italian parsley with some fresh grape tomatoes on top. I hope that some of you play around with the ingredients. And please let us know if you do!
    Thanks Christy for letting me host!

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    sweetie pie

    hubster loves rhubarb
    and while digging through the freezer 
    i came across some of last year's bounty
    vacuumed sealed and ready to rumble
    so i cooked it up with 
    juice of a small lemon
    some sugar 
    (probably 3/4 cup for 1 1/2 cups of rhubarb)
    a dash of vanilla
    until it was simmering and soft
    then i added
    1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in cold water
    and cooked until it thickened
    it cooled
    and i spooned it onto a round of puff pastry
    which i also had in the freezer
    (folded the sides up a bit)
    sprinkled on some sugar
    and baked at 400 until golden
    i will serve it up
    with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
    and a smile
    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Saturday, February 13, 2010 last

    i typically am confident
    i was a girl scout 
    so i prepare
    for situations unknown
    i am the one who is most likely to
    do a dry run
    whether it is a speech
    a route to a new place
    i can handle off the cuff too
    i just prefer not to
    i am more comfortable with objective guidelines
    than subjective ones
    who isn't?
    recently i have become obsessed
    with this website called FoodGawker
    if you have a food blog
    you can submit photos 
    photos you think are gawkable
    that would make someone want to reach out and eat their screen
    photos that people who are not me take
    i am hopeless
    or should i say
    i was hopeless
    submitting photo after photo 
    and getting rejection after rejection
    i was beginning to get a bit jolted
    and forced to pull out my best groucho impersonation
    but not really meaning it
    because i kept trying
    like a fool
    the feedback was annoying
    too much saturation--underexposed
    and my favorite
    food composition
    what does that even mean?
    like a jilted lover
    i find myself scouring the site and saying things like
    it looks too composed, who would eat that, they only pick their friends
    can you imagine?
    but now
    i have changed my tune
    because i had a photo accepted
    and to be honest
    i have no idea why 
    i'm not sure it is any better than the others before it
    but i'm not going to bring that to "their" attention
    because today
    i feel like sally field
    "you like me, you really like me"
    thank you FoodGawker

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    D is for Ding Dong

    i just love that phrase
    yer such a ding dong
    ding dong the witch is dead
    nothin' like a box of ding dongs
    i never had a ding dong
    until i was in college that is
    when I was on my own
    and could eat whatever i wanted
    no matter how bad it was for me
    my mom didn't believe in processed foods
    she knew they existed
    but they didn't exist in our california rancher
    not when
    for half the cost
    you could have something
    homemade and delicious
    or an apple
    which was her favorite go-to snack
    outside of a piece of cheese

    i can still hear her voice
    when we would come home from school
    and complain of hunger
    have an apple or piece of cheese
    can you imagine the neglect? 
    (insert sarcasm here)
    so you can understand when
    an 18 year old
    with a pocketful of change
    would immediately buy
    a box of ding dongs
    and then wallow in the disappointment

    unbelievably, what i was missing
    was nothing
    compared to 
    peanut butter cookies
    ding dongs pretty much suck
    (my opinion)
    but homemade ding dongs
    pretty much rule
    Amazing Devil's Food Cake
    (printable recipe)
    3 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
    1 1/2 cups hot coffee or hot water or mixture of the two (i use espresso with water)
    3 cups granulated sugar
    1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
    2 1/2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    3 extra large eggs
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup milk or 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
    1 tsp vanilla
    melt bittersweet chocolate in hot water/coffee.  Sift dry ingredients together (including sugar). Mix together the chocolate/coffee mixture, milk, sour cream and vanilla. In a mixer beat the eggs with the oil until thickened and doubled in volume (about 3-5 minutes).  Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.
    Bake in 2-9" rounds that have been prepared with cooking spray and lined with baking paper. 
    *note...for ding dongs, i make in a sheet pan and use a cookie cutter to cut the rounds.
    Oven temp should be 350 and bake until tester comes out clean. For the sheet pan, it will go fast...about 20 minutes. For the cake rounds allow about 50 minutes, but check on it after 30 minutes.

    Creamy Fluffy Filling
    (printable recipe)
    i recommend this for filling...but not for frosting. It is lightly sweet and very sturdy
    1 cup milk
    5 Tbs flour
    11/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/2 cup shortening--room temperature
    1/2 cup unsalted butter--room temperature
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    pinch salt
    Over low heat, cook milk and flour in a saucepan until it makes a thick paste. Use a whisk to break up lumps. Let cool.  In mixer using whisk attachment, beat shortening, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add in cooled flour paste and whip until light and fluffy.  Add more sugar if you want a sweeter taste.
    1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate--chopped
    1/2 cup cream
    1 Tbs granulated sugar
    1 Tbs corn syrup
    2 Tbs butter
    Heat cream with sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.  Once cream begins to simmer and sugar is dissolved, pour over chocolate and butter. Let chocolate melt and then whisk together until it is thick and shiny..

    To assemble: cut rounds of the chocolate cake. Spread a layer of filling on top of one round and top with a second round.  Fill in nooks and large gaps with a bit more filling.  Place in fridge to harden.  Meanwhile make ganache.  Set cakes on a cooling rack over a lined sheet pan.  Pour ganache over cooled cakes and gently tap the rack to move the ganache over the cake. Use a small spatula warmed over a flame to nudge and smooth out the ganache. 
    Let cool at room temp or in the fridge if you are in a rush.  You may loose some of the gloss if you refrigerate.  Serve as is, or wrap in foil for authenticity!

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    weekend away

    i am sure my mother won't be angry
    when i tell you 
    she turned 70 this weekend
    or as my nephew described it
    even par
    (a golf term for those of you scratching your heads)
    my mom is a very young 70
    which means
    she not only looks great
    wrinkle free and fit
    she enjoys life
    is positive and strong
    her birthday wish
    was a weekend away
    so i went about
    organizing for our party of 11
    a trip to san francisco
    we had a blast
    while the weekend was filled with lots of little events...
    a great lunch at the slanted door
    wine tasting in napa 
    the weekend was culminated with
    a dinner party
     at an amazing restaurant called
    i wanted to put a theme to the event
    so my hubster created a logo
    and i made things to put it on
    and then silkscreened well into the night
    and I would like to share with you
    what we did
    because i think we did a good job
    and i am pretty proud
    linen gift bags with old-time candy
    linen napkins with silk-screened logo
    cd with 1940s big band music
    and how it all looked at the restaurant

    where are pictures of the birthday girl you ask?
    she is shy
    and won't be making an appearance here 
    you will have to take my word 
    regarding all her attributes


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