Thursday, September 27, 2007

Local Curry Dish

My son and husband love Japanese curry. It is made using a prepared curry called S & B Gold Curry Sauce Mix: Medium Hot. We get it here in Hawaii in all our local grocery stores and even at Long's Drugs!

Today's variation was made with ground turkey, celery, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes and broccoli.

I serve with with white rice, fried okra (recipe below) and freshly sliced pineapple.

Fried Okra:

Slice a handful of freshly washed and dried okra width wise, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, add tbsp. flour and cornmeal. Heat skillet. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry the okra until golden brown around the edges.

Pineapple Tip:

After washing slicing the pineapple, I keep the peel and core. I add all these pieces to a small pot of water (approx. 4 cups of water) and cook on medium low for approximately 1 hour. You can add lemon juice, sugar to make a refreshing drink or add the liquid to prepared or freshly brewed tea.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Variation on a Variation - Rachael Ray Recipe - Sorta Soba Noodles

On yesterday's show, I watched Rachael Ray make a soba noodle bowl recipe but she substituted wheat pasta for what she says is the hard-to-get in NY Soba noodles. Well, the recipe looked really tasty and I decided to make it for dinner tonight. Except for a couple of things, 1) I don't like soba or wheat pasta and 2) I defrosted chicken breasts for dinner. That was my substituted items.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Buy Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Organic foods may be healthier for you, but they can have a sickening effect on your wallet.

Produced without pesticides and other chemicals, organic produce, meat and dairy products can cost 50% to 100% more than their conventional counterparts, says Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst with Consumer Reports' Greener Choices1. Despite those mark-ups, studies touting the health and environmental benefits of organic foods have made them more popular than ever before. More than 70% of consumers have at least one organic product on their shopping list, according to market research firm Hartman Group.
Here are five tips for going organic for less:

Yahoo Finance Article

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Iranian Meat and Eggplant Recipe - Koresht Badenjan

When I was in college, one of my best friends was an girl from Iran. She and her brothers attended school with me. They also had their own apartment and they cooked the best exotic dishes I can remember. One such dish was a stew made from meat, eggplant, tomatoes and onions. It was somewhat sour with the addition of lemon juice and very tasty.

I regret never asking my friend Mahvash for her recipe but with my sisters help we came up with a recipe that is very close to what I remember. I also found a recipe on the internet that is similar. Koresht Badejan Recipe

The difference with my recipe is that I use whole fresh tomatoes sliced thickly instead of the tomato paste.

This dish goes very well with white or rice or Iranian style rice (with the crunchy bottom and the cucumber and yogurt side dish Mast o Khiar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mahi Mahi with Tomato Mushroom Sauce

Mahi mahi is also known as the common dolphin fish. No relation to the dolphin in mammal species.

I found fresh mahi mahi fillets in my neighborhood supermarket. It was wild and caught in Hawaiian waters. So you know, I could not pass that fish up.

4 fresh Mahi mahi fillets
1/4 shoyu (soy sauce)
Juice of 1 small lime or lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 fresh tomato seeded and minced finely
2 large mushrooms of your choosing, cleaned and finely minced
2 fresh green onions, finely minced

Marinate the fish fillets with the shoyu, lime juice and a sprinkling of salt and pepper for approximately one hour. Make sure to keep the marinate after removing the fish.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or non-stick. Add two tbsp. olive oil. Place your fillets side to side and fry until golden brown. Turn over and cook for a few minutes more; making sure not to overcook. When the fish flesh turns opaque, it is done.

Remove to a serving plate.

In the hot skillet, add the marinate and your vegetables. Stir with a wooden spoon for approximately 2 or 3 minutes.

Serve fish with a dollop of the sauce along with white rice and boiled sweet potatoes.

Can't get any healthier than that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dampfnoodla - A German Russian Recipe

My dear father-in-law's family were German immigrants who migrated to the Karlsruhe section of Russia. They then moved to North Dakota. Thanks to their rich heritage, my family was fortunate to receive a few of the older recipes. One such recipe is that of dampfnoodla. It is a half steamed/half fried bread and served with fresh or canned fruit. It goes very well with soup. I usually serve this with my father-in-law's German Borscht but tonight it is split green pea soup.

Although, I do used my father-in-law's recipe, I found one on the internet that is quite similar (I would omit the onions though) and so that is the one I am sharing with you:


When I first ate this delicious bread, my father-in-law served it with canned plums. Since are still able to get fresh plums at the market, I am serving it with sliced plums to which a sprinkling of white sugar has been added.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bitter Melon Stir fry

bitter melonOur local market had bitter melon on sale for .99/lb. the other day and I bought two. Tonight I made a stir fry for dinner.

Bitter melon looks like a wrinkled cucumber. The taste is one that you must get used to as it is like the name implies, very bitter. My family loves the unusual sensation in your mouth of cool and bitter. To learn more of this tasty little gourd, Click Here

The following recipe is from my Mom:

2 bitter melons, sliced down the middle with the pithy part and seeds removed, then sliced each half into slices
1/2 lb. of sliced beef steak
1 medium onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves minced
Soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the beef into small slices and marinate in a bowl with 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cornstarch, pinch of sugar, pinch of pepper. Set aside

Brown Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp sugar
ground pepper to taste

Heat a wok until very hot (you can substitute a heavy large frying pan). Add a tsp. of vegetable oil and the sliced bitter melon. Stir fry a minute and add a tbsp of water. Stir fry another minute or two and remove to a large bowl.

Add two tablespoons of oil into the wok. Add the garlic and onions and stir fry quickly until garlic browns. Add the beef slices and stir fry until meat is no longer red. Return the bitter melon back to the wok and add the brown sauce. Stir fry until sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove into the large bowl.

Serve with white rice.

Serves 4

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Raspberry Syrup

raspberriesPicture source: All Posters

When I was in New Jersey, I ate the sweetest raspberries from my sister and b-i-l's bushes. I didn't even bother to wash them. They were better than candy!

Safeway was having a BOGO free offer for raspberries or $4.95 for two half pint containers...or $4.95 for a pint. I fell for the ad and brought home two containers.

Alas! The berries, although, plumb and large, were very bland. I tossed some in fruit smoothies but I still had a container left and I didn't want to eat them.

When my husband requested French Toast for breakfast one morning, I was about to make the usual brown sugar syrup, (This is the only syrup my son and I like on our waffles, pancakes or French Toast.) but I added the container of berries to boil along with the brown sugar and water. When the mixture thickened to the consistency of syrup, it was ready. The syrup was very tasty. Even my son who does not like raspberries, even the hand picked ones, thought it was good.

I almost forgot to mention that the syrup freezes very well.

Tasty BBQ Spare Ribs

On Labor day I finally prepared the spare ribs I bought on sale a couple of weeks ago and had frozen.

I had two large slabs of ribs and when they had eaten the ribs, my family proclaimed it to be the best ribs I had ever made. Wasn't that nice?

What I did was to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using the broiler pan, I placed the thawed ribs top side down on the rack. I seasoned both sides of the ribs liberally with McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning. I placed the broiler pan in the oven and let the ribs cook undisturbed for approximately one hour at a low temperature of 300 degrees. I turned the ribs over and let that cook for an additional hour. I then turned off the oven.

Afterwards, I liberally brushed on Kraft's Hickory Honey barbecue sauce (any sweet BBQ sauce will do), returned the pan to the oven. After approximately 15 to 20 minutes, the ribs were ready.

The meat fell apart from the bone and it was still juicy. The smaller ends of the ribs were crispy brown, the way I like it.

I served it with tossed salad, grilled corn on the cob and steamed white rice.

Note: The corn was originally supposed to be boiled/steamed corn on the cob but I forgot to watch it carefully and it burned a bit on one side. Joey said they were so tasty!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Peach Cobbler Recipe - Updated

Today I watched a video of Wolfgang Puck make his cobbler. The recipe is as follows:
Cherry and Berry Cobbler. I was in awe of the way he did it because he didn't cook the filling beforehand. I had a bag of full of fresh nectarines that a friend had shared with me. I decided to try my usual recipe below using Wolfgang Puck's technique for both the crust and the filling.

I have to tell you, it was so delicious! I will be making my cobblers this way from now on.

Well you know it's summer time when we have more fruit than we can eat, sitting in our refrigerator. Actually, I have a very nice friend who likes to share plums, apples, nectarines and peaches with us. So today I thought I'd better use up some of the peaches and nectarines before they went bad.

This is an easy and tasty version of a cobbler. Enjoy.

Recipe for cobbler topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp butter
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp. milk

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring until moisten.

Peach filling recipe:
In a saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Add 1/4 cup water. Stir in 4 cups fresh peach slices (I used a combination peach and white nectarine slices). Add a few drops of lemon juice for a little tang. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbling.

Transfer filling to a baking dish and drop topping into 6 mounds on top of hot filling. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.

Serves 6.

Chili Peppers Are Good for You!

red chili peppersBeing from Peru, chili peppers or specifically ajis are a way of life. How providential that a recent study in England has found that an ingredient in chili peppers may kill cancer cells.

Article - How spicy foods can kill cancers

They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeño peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria - the cells' energy-generating boiler rooms.
Now, in other articles, it isn't necessarily just the jalapeño that has the ingredient capsaicin.

The other day, I did buy a Hawaiian chili plant. Some have already turned red, so what to do with them? I think I will turn them into a fresh chili sauce that will go well with boiled potatoes or boiled meats.

Approximately 5 or 6 large chilis (removed the seeds and veins; be sure to use disposable gloves when doing this)
Juice of 1 fresh lime or lemon
1 cup, tightly packed fresh basil leaves (washed and dried)
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/4 tsp Salt (my preference is Hawaiian sea salt)
3 green onions stalks, coarsely chopped.

In a small chopper, food processor or even a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. It may be watery. You can add more basil leaves if you'd like.

Variation, add queso blanco (a fresh Puerto Rican cheese) or cottage cheese to some of the mixture for a cheese-y sauce.

Serve with boiled potatoes, boiled yuca or even boiled meats.

New Blog Added to the Sidebar - Local Kine Grindz

H/T to Adrian

Local Restaurant Review blog

Farmer's Markets

Chef Marcus and Farmer's Markets

We have open markets in Hawaii. We also have our HMO offering fresh produce from local farms every Friday near us. Other than growing certain produce yourself, you can't beat the fresh grape tomatoes, watercress, green onions and ginger, that these markets offer.