Sep 3, 2019

My Favorite Guacamole Recipe

Fresh Hawaiian avocados from my back yard
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I usually make guacamole in the summer because I have 14 avocado trees and 2 Tahitian lime trees. My trees are usually full of fruit in August and September. That's when I pick them and sell them to Friendly Market or at our Saturday Farmers Market here on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. 

I have found that guacamole needs to be customized depending on individual tastes. For example some people don't like spicy foods, including children. Other people don't like cilantro because it has a strong flavor. So you have to edit my recipe based on your taste. One thing that is important, use the best avocados you can find, avoid bruised and mushy avocados. You will know when they are ripe when they are just a little soft to the touch.

Another way that avocados are eaten here in Hawaii, mostly by the Filipino community, is blended with ice and sweetened condensed milk. This results in a very creamy refreshing summer drink. 

Fiesta Guacamole
3 or 4 ripe Avocados depending on the size, seeded and scooped from peel
Zest of one lime
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 limes depending on how juicy they are)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (rinsed in water to remove the harsh bite)
1 large Roma tomato, seeded then diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 of 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large bag of triangular shaped corn chips

Add lime juice and zest to a large bowl, then add the avocados. Take a pastry cutter or fork and cut the avocados into the lime juice and zest until you've reached the lumpy texture you like.

Add the red onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Toss mixture then serve immediately with triangular corn chips.

Note: If you are making this ahead of time, cover your guacamole with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap down over the top of the guacamole so that it is airtight and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes 6 servings.

Jul 26, 2019

Grilled Skirt Steak... 'Hawaiian Style'

Grilled skirt steak... 'Hawaiian Style'
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Grilled skirt steak has become one of my favorite ways to serve beef.  Why you ask, because it's a cheaper cut of beef and if you follow this recipe you will love how it comes out. You want to look for the 'Outside' skirt steak cut rather than the 'Inside' skirt steak which is a tougher cut. 

To start, remove any silver skin. Silver skin is a butchery term referring to a type of connective tissue found in most animals. Its name is very descriptive: to find the silver skin you need only look for a thin membrane with a silvery sheen. It's very easy to remove with a sharp knife. If you don't the steak will be tough.

Now comes the tasty part of preparing your steak for the grill, the marinade. This marinade has lots of tropical flavors that give this steak great flavor. Read on, this is really not a difficult recipe, and your friends and family will love it.

If you live on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, you can sometimes find this cut at Friendly Market, if not, ask the meat department to special order it for you. Or you can call the Molokai Livestock Co-Op at (808) 567-6994 to check availability. They are located at 3367 Mauna Loa Hwy, Ho'olehua.

Marinated & Grilled Skirt Steak

This is a one pound 'outside' skirt steak,
sliced thin... plenty for 3 people.

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1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1-1/2 pound 'Outside' skirt steak, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cilantro

Combine all together in a zip top bag, or Large shallow dish. Cut the skirt steak into two or three pieces, then marinate them for one hour, turning the beef in the marinade after 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high. When ready to grill, drain the skirt steak and use paper towels to pat dry. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place skirt steaks on the hot grate and grill for 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare to medium, depending on your preference.

When ready transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered with foil. Slice the steak thinly against the grain, starting at one corner and cutting on the bias. Cutting the beef thinly against the grain is important. By doing this the steak will be more tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: This steak is great served with hot corn tortillas with thinly sliced avocado, tomato slices, and a dash of fresh lime juice and hot sauce if you desire.

Jul 25, 2019

Tasting Hawaiian Pineapple Recipes

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When people think of pineapple they think of Hawaii. By the early 1960s, Hawai’ì supplied over 80% of the world´s output of canned pineapple. This golden period did not last long though. Growing pineapples became cheaper in other countries and just 20 years later, in 1983, the last big Hawaiian cannery folded. Today, 75% of the world’s pineapples come from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The fact is that each pineapple takes over two years to grow. I know that because I have grown many of them here on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i. I picked this little pineapple yesterday. They are simple to grow, you just twist off the top, peel off a few of the lower leaves and stick it in the ground. Two years later you can taste a little bit of Hawaii.

This image was a photograph that was put through a digital watercolor program. To purchase my art,  visit my website at:

Pineapple Recipes:

Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice with Shrimp
1 ripe pineapple
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped, veins and seeds removed
2 spring onions, the green tops only, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups shrimp, shells removed and deveined
3 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce or light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups cold, steamed Thai jasmine rice
cilantro leaves for garnish

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise with green top. Scoop out the fruit, saving the two pineapple halves to use as bowls to serve the rice in. Chop the pineapple fruit into bite sized chunks, removing the tough core. Put the fruit in a bowl and add the shallots, jalapeno, ginger, green onion and cilantro. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the juice. mix and set aside. In a wok, over high heat, add oil, and stir fry the shrimp for 2 minutes or until just pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir fry the garlic a minute or so until golden brown, but not burned. Add the cooked jasmine rice, and stir thoroughly until slightly toasted. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and continue stirring. When the rice is heated through, add the pineapple mixture and cooked shrimp, and stir until thoroughly heated through. Pour the mixture into the pineapple shells, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve as a side dish. 

Makes 6 servings.

Pineapple Slaw
Ingredients for slaw:
4 cups cabbage (shredded)
4 slices fresh pineapple (diced)
1 cup carrots (shredded)
1/2 cup apple (chopped)
2 tablespoons green bell pepper (chopped)
2 tablespoons red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine vegetables in a bowl. In smaller bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in the vinegar, then pour over slaw mix. Sprinkle with black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Watermelon-Mango-Pineapple Slushy
sweet red watermelon (about 5 cups mashed, seeds removed)
1 cup of ripe mango, diced (preferably the Haden variety)
1 cup of fresh or canned, crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon of honey
13.5 ounces of canned coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
crushed ice
shredded coconut and a wedge of watermelon, for garnish
1 shot of light rum into the bottom of each chilled glass (optional)

Add mango, pineapple, and honey to a blender, pulsing several times, then add seedless watermelon flesh, pulse again once or twice, leaving the solution with some texture and body from the fruit.

When you get the texture to where you like it, stir in the coconut milk, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Pour into glasses over crushed ice (if you’d like) and top with shredded coconut. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and or lime. 

Makes 8 servings.

Pineapple Perfection Cake
Perfection is an understatement, you have to try this recipe!

Click on photo to enlarge

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained or 
    1/2 cup fresh, chopped fine

1/2 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the sour cream mixture. Stir in pineapple. Transfer to a greased 9 inch square baking dish. Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.  

Makes 9 servings.

Note: Cover cake lightly with a sheet of foil during the last few minutes of cooking to keep the coconut from getting too brown. Also if you like nuts in your cake, add 1/2 cup of chopped and toasted Macadamia nuts to the batter.

Liliko'i-Pineapple Ice
2 cups fresh liliko'i juice (about 28 liliko'i)
1/4 cup fresh liliko'i seeds left whole (about 4 liliko'i)
2 cups pineapple pulp
3/4 cups sugar
2 egg whites

To juice the liliko'i remove all pulp from all the fruit. Place in blender and pulse for 5 to 10 seconds. Pour in a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl and with the back of a spoon push the pulp around until you are left with just the seeds in the strainer. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into a metal or plastic bowl and freeze. When frozen, break up the ice and place a small amount at a time into the food processor. When whipped and frothy, return to the bowl and freeze again. This mixture will not freeze hard and solid, so it will be easy to scoop out to serve. Sprinkle a few of the reserved seeds over the top of the ice when it is served or they may be added when the ice is returned to the freezer for the second time. 

Makes about 5 cups.
Note: Liliko'i juice can be made in advance and frozen in ice trays then transferred to freezer bags for future use.