Jan 25, 2019

Quick & Easy Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato & Black Beans
I am happy to say that these sweet potatoes grow right here on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i at L&R Farm. These potatoes help to make a very different and delicious stew that is easy to prepare and good for you. It is great for leftover chicken, or you can precook the chicken if you have no leftovers. The sweet potatoes give this stew a natural sweetness that is wonderful.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 14-oz. can cream of chicken soup with 1 1/2 cans of water
1 14-oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large clove of fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" squares (about 2 cups total)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken, skin and bones removed
fresh parsley for garnish

Saute the onion in olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat until soft (2-3 minutes)

Add the chicken soup and water, tomatoes, black beans, minced garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and add the cut sweet potatoes. Simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes (depending on how small you cut them).

Use a potato masher to mash the soup a few times to thicken it up a bit.

Turn the heat off and add the cooked chicken. Stir and allow to sit for a minute or so to make sure the chicken gets warmed through.

Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Jan 11, 2019

Pork and Plums!

Plums grow in a wide variety of climates with a species for nearly every zone in the U.S. Different varieties of fresh plums are usually available here in Hawaii, but most are not grown here. Plums, believe it or not, actually do grow in Hawaii. 
Methley Plums
Click on image to enlarge

The problem with growing plums in Hawaii is the lack of cold temperatures and inadequate chilling periods. Therefore production is limited to the higher elevations of the islands, above 2,700 feet. The most successful plums grown in Hawaii are known as Japanese plums or Methley Plums. It is indigenous to China but came into the United States via Japan in 1926.  It has proven to be the best variety to grow here. The tree is exceptionally vigorous and hardy. It is a heavy producer. The fruit is usually small, anywhere from 10 to 14 making up a pound. The flesh is red and the skin is purplish crimson. They are sweet on the inside with a slightly tart skin that is a perfect balance of sweet and sour. 

These trees are available at Lowe's here in Hawaii according to their website. Please call Kahului Lowe's to check availability: (808) 872-1920.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce
The marriage of roast pork tenderloin with a sweet and sour Hawaiian plum sauce 
is really special, and isn't that difficult to make.

Ingredients for pork tenderloin:
2 pork tenderloin (usually available at Friendly Market here on Molokai).
Non-stick cooking oil (I use PAM)

Ingredients for pork marinade:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Procedure for pork tenderloin:
Trim pork tenderloin of any fat or silver skin that may be attached, then place them in a ziplock freezer bag. Whisk together marinade ingredients in a bowl, and pour over pork in the bag. Place sealed bag in refrigerator and marinate at least 8 hours, but 24 is better. Turn the bag at least twice during this time.

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Remove pork, placing them in a clean shallow baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. Save the marinade! Bake tenderloin about 35 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 155˚F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes and then slice thinly. Keep pork slices warm until plum sauce is ready.

Ingredients for plum sauce:
3/4 pound fresh plums
1/4 of the pork marinade (strained)
Honey to taste

Procedure for plum sauce:
Quarter and pit plums, discarding pits. Cut plum quarters into small pieces.

Add 1/4 of the pork marinade to a large skillet with the plum pieces, cover, and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat 20 to 30 minutes, or until plums are tender. Taste the plum sauce for sweetness. If needed, stir in honey and taste again until the sauce is to your liking. If necessary, simmer sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly.

To serve, pour some of the warm sauce onto plates and place sliced tenderloin in the middle of the sauce. Serve with wild or brown rice and Asparagus Gremolata (recipe below).

Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you wish, you can blend the cooked sauce to make it smooth. 

Asparagus with Gremolata Butter
Locally grown asparagus
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool quickly, and drain again. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Pat dry; wrap in paper towels, then plastic, and refrigerate. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemon peel and garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add asparagus and toss to coat. Sprinkle lemon juice over. Sauté until asparagus is heated through and coated with butter sauce, about 3 minutes. Season asparagus with salt and pepper. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings.