Jun 15, 2014


Honey Glazed Roast Duck
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Roasting is a simple way to prepare meat and vegetables. Originally, roasting meant putting a chunk of meat on a spit and setting it over an open fire, and turning it frequently so that the fire seared and cooked the entire cut of meat. Now, most of us do our roasting in a conventional or convection oven.

When you roast something, you are cooking it with dry heat. The heat surrounds the food, cooking it from the outside in. Roasting is different from steaming or braising where you add moisture to the food. For instance, a pot roast is actually a braised dish, because you add moisture and cover it to moisten and tenderize the food. Roast beef, on the other hand, is cooked without adding moisture.

Roasting is a good cooking method for large, tender cuts of beef, pork, lamb or venison. It’s also a great way to cook poultry and fish. You can roast vegetables, too, especially if you roast them alongside the meat. The best vegetables for roasting are starchy root vegetables. You can roast firm fruits, like pineapple, mango, apples, pears and tomatoes, too.

The first step in roasting is that you need an oven and you need to be able to regulate the oven’s temperature. That sounds pretty standard, but not all ovens deliver heat accurately. You should check your oven to make sure you are cooking at the right temperature. The way to do this is buy a oven thermometer. You can buy one on Amazon.com for $5.10. This Cooper-Atkins brand oven thermometer is one of the best.

You also need a roasting pan. The roasting pan should be shallow—2 - 3 inches deep—and plenty large enough for your food. The best roasting pans have heavy, flat bottoms so that you can put them on a burner to deglaze the drippings after you take the roast out. You can spend a lot of money on roasting pans, but for about $30 you can buy this one from Amazon.com, with a removable rack to hold the meat up out of the drippings.

Taylor Instant read meat thermometer
One of the most important things to have in your kitchen is an instant read meat thermometer, which is different than an oven thermometer in that it has a point that you stick into the meat to tell what it's internal temperature is. These little thermometers are a must have in your kitchen. Amazon.com carries the Taylor brand for just $6.58. Most cookbooks contain some kind of chart telling you how long to roast things, but if you use a meat thermometer, you can tell exactly what the internal temperature is. That way you will know that the meat is done through to the center and that it is safe to eat. If you use a meat thermometer, it’s nearly impossible not to turn out a perfect dinner. Roasting is a wonderful way to cook food. Here are a few recipes to try:

Honey Glazed Roast Duck
1 (5 to 6-pound*) duck (available at Misaki's grocery store here on Moloka'i)
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Ingredients for honey glaze:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce, or to your taste

Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 425˚F. Tuck wing tips under bird (see photo above). Remove excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck. Score skin with knife, in a criss-cross pattern, then prick skin all over with a sharp fork. Rub duck with salt, pepper and ground ginger. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13 x 9 x 3-inch roasting pan. Pour boiling water into pan. Roast duck, 40 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over using 2 wooden spoons, and roast 40 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine and simmer glaze, stirring until it gets thick and syrupy. Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Glaze duck all over (top and bottom) and continue to roast duck until it is a beautiful mahogany color, about 20 minutes more (total roasting time: about 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180˚F). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Discard liquid in roasting pan. Serve duck with a mixture of wild and brown rice, sautéed beet greens, and a nice red wine like pinot noir. Makes 4 servings.

*Note: Allow at least 1 pound of duck per person, as there is a rather large ratio of fat and bone to meat.

Roasted Pineapple-Watercress Salad
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
2 bunches of watercress
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons pistachio or toasted macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add pineapple; toss to coat. Let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Place pineapple, one flat side down, on prepared sheet; reserve marinade.

Roast pineapple for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized, 10-15 minutes, let cool. Divide watercress among salad plates and drizzle remaining marinade over watercress. Now sprinkle lime juice over the watercress and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place two pineapple wedges on top of each plate of watercress. Sprinkle with pistachio nuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Whole Roasted Opakapaka with Salsa Verde
Opakapaka is a white fish similar to red snapper or sea bass, found in Hawaiian waters.

2 bunches cilantro
2 bunches scallions
2 jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup drained capers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 limes
1/2 cup plus 8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
4 whole fish, like opakapaka, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each, cleaned, head on or off
3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt.

To make the salsa: Coarsely chop 2/3 cup of cilantro leaves and transfer to a bowl. Thinly slice 2/3 cup of the dark green scallion tops and add to the bowl, reserving the bottoms. Seed and finely chop one of the jalapeños and add it to the bowl. Stir in the capers and garlic. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lime and squeeze in its juice. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Season with black pepper. Cover and let stand until ready to use.

Heat the oven to 450˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat each fish dry and coat with 2 teaspoons oil. Generously season the outside and cavity of each fish with the salt and black pepper. Transfer fish to the prepared baking sheet. Thinly slice the remaining 2 limes and seed and slice the other jalapeño pepper. Divide the lime slices, jalapeño slices, remaining cilantro sprigs and scallion bottoms among each fish cavity. Bake until fish is just opaque and flakes when pressed gently with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve fish with salsa verde on top or alongside. Makes 4 servings.

Hawaii Roasted Mahi Mahi-Shrimp Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juice of
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 pound mahi-mahi, cut into large chunks
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine oil, tamari, salt and lemon juice in a small bowl to make a marinade.

In a large baking dish, combine onions, red bell peppers, green bell peppers and garlic with half of the marinade. Set aside to let marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine mahi-mahi and shrimp with remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Bake vegetables until just tender, about 20 minutes, then remove from oven. Add mahi-mahi and shrimp to baking dish with vegetables and toss gently to combine. Return to oven and cook until shrimp are curled and mahi-mahi is opaque, about 10 minutes more. Serve immediately with brown rice and snow peas. Makes 4 servings.

Honey Glazed Roasted Cornish Game Hens
1 cornish game hen, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Season hen halves with salt and pepper. Place game hen halves with skin sides up into a 9x13-inch roasting pan. Roast hens in the preheated oven until partially cooked, 30 minutes.

Mix orange juice concentrate, honey, and ketchup in a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook until syrup consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Brush mixture over hens; continue roasting, basting every ten minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone reads 180˚F, 20 to 25 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving with wild rice. Makes 2 servings.

Fresh Green Beans Roasted with
Mushrooms and Sweet Red Bell Pepper
1 pound fresh green beans or Asian long beans cut 3" long
6 cloves garlic, rough cut
1 cup oyster mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet red bell pepper
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Toss green beans with garlic, mushrooms, red bell pepper, 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Put on a baking sheet, making sure to spread everything out in a single layer). Roast at 450˚F until the beans are tender and slightly charred, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Note: Use any mushroom you like.

Purple Sweet Potatoes Roasted 
with Garlic and Rosemary
The Hawaiian island of Moloka'i is famous for their purple sweet potatoes (sometimes called blue Peruvian potatoes). The color of these potatoes makes this a unique side dish, and it's a delicious combination of flavors. Serve the roasted potatoes with grilled or broiled meat, chicken, or fish.

1 pound purple potatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves minced garlic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Wash/lightly scrub purple potatoes and pat dry. Slice each potato into quarters and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Arrange the wedges facing up on the cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp and fork tender. Do not over bake or leave the potatoes in the oven longer than the baking time or they'll shrink. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Makes 2 servings. Note: line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and a spray of nonstick cooking spray for easier cleanup later.

Roasted Mango with Honey and Lime
2 large ripe mango
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
4 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove the skin from the mango and slice it in half. Remove the pit. Place the mango, hollow side up, in a baking dish. Drizzle the mango halves, 1 tablespoon each, with lime juice and then honey. Bake the mango 10 minutes, or until the mango is lightly caramelized. Transfer the roasted mango halves into 4 dessert bowls while they are still warm, and top with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 4 servings.

Jun 13, 2014

Some Like It HOT!!!

As far as I am concerned, hot sauces have to taste good and add flavor to whatever you put it on, not just be hot. Some people however just can't get their food hot enough. I think that the most flavorful hot sauces will be the most enduring. 
Dried Hawaiian Chili Peppers 
from Piihonua Springs, 
on the Big Island of Hawaii
Click on image to see larger.

Hot sauces are popular around the world, and Hawaii is no exception. Vegetable gardens in Hawaii have been growing little red and yellow peppers for a local condiment called Hawaiian chili pepper water. You'll find it in farmers markets, in grocery stores, and the peppers can be purchased dried online, click here, so you can make your own Hawaiian chili pepper water (see recipe below). These little peppers, 1 inch in length, will blow your head off if eaten alone, so instead it is tempered with garlic, ginger, vinegar, water, and salt to make Hawaii's version of Tabasco sauce.

The difference between one hot sauce and another has to do with ingredients, and culture. The Asian and Spanish communities in Hawaii love their food spicy. Here are a few spicy sauces that I keep in my kitchen not only to add a little heat, but also flavor:

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
Click on image to see larger
Chili pepper water is splashed around like soy sauce and ketchup here in the islands. It's used on plate lunches, entrees, vegetables, salads, everything but dessert.

1 cup fresh red Hawaiian chili peppers, stems removed and halved
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger, bruised
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut into thin strips (or you can leave it whole)
1 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cups hot water (not boiling)

Combine the ingredients in a clean and sterilized pint bottle or jar. Pour in about 2 cups of hot water and let the mixture steep at room temperature overnight, then refrigerate. It keeps indefinitely. Makes 1 pint.

Spicy Hot Chili-Garlic Sauce
A little bit of this homemade Vietnamese condiment will go a long way unless you like your food really hot. This sauce is used in a variety of ways, from stir-fry, stews, soup, and even as a dipping sauce if you can handle the heat.

6 ounces hot chiles (e.g., cayenne, Fresnos, habanero, jalapeno, long, serrano, Thai, or a combination of them), stemmed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Put all the ingredients in an electric mini-chopper or food processor. Process to a coarse texture. Take a whiff and it should make you sweat a bit. Taste and adjust the flavor with add extra salt or sugar. Transfer to a small saucepan, bring to a vigorous simmer over medium heat, lower the heat to gently simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it no longer smells raw. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. Makes a scant 2/3 cup.

Thai Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
3 dried red chili peppers (or you can use fresh ones)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut in chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Thai red chili paste
1 tablespoon honey
a dash Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
Put all the rest of the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blend until pureed. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture (slurry), stir and let simmer for another minute. The sauce will thicken and turn glossy. Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup.

Chili Black Bean Sauce
8 ounces fresh red bird's eye chillis, stemmed and finely minced
1/3 cup fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (Pagoda brand)
2 teaspoons dark rice vinegar (Marukan brand)
1 tablespoon sugar

Cook the chillis and black beans in the oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the rice wine and vinegar and simmer for another 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool before transferring to a storage container. The sauce can stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Makes about a cup.

Chili Oil
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup dried red chili flakes

Heat the canola oil and sesame oil in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pot until your instant-read oil thermometer registers between 225°F and 250°F. Stir in the chili flakes (they should be foaming a little). Remove the pot from the heat and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight for the chili flavors to infuse.

Strain the oil through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the red pepper flakes. Store the chili oil in a clean bottle. The oil will keep for a few months if you store it in a cool, dark spot. Makes 1 cup.

Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa
4 firm-ripe tomatoes (8 oz. each), rinsed
2 unpeeled white onions (6 oz. each), cut in half horizontally
20 unpeeled garlic cloves
10 canned chipotles, stemmed and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice

Cover bottom of a 10- to 12-inch grill pan or heavy frying pan with foil and set over high heat. When hot, set tomatoes, onions, and garlic on foil. Turn occasionally until browned in spots all over, 5 to 6 minutes for garlic, 9 to 12 minutes for onions and tomatoes; remove each as done. Let cool. 

Stem chiles; slit open and remove seeds. Wearing rubber gloves, break or cut chiles into small pieces; drop into a blender. Core tomatoes and cut into chunks; add to blender. Peel onions and garlic; coarsely chop and add to blender. Whirl mixture until smooth, pushing it down into blades as needed.

Pour olive oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add tomato mixture and stir often until it simmers rapidly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lime juice and stir occasionally until salsa is fairly thick, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Add salt to taste. Makes about 4 cups.

Simple Spicy Mexican Salsa
Simple Spicy Mexican Salsa
(Recipe below)
Click on photo to view larger
This simple and delicious salsa is partially made with Ro-tel, a delicious canned product that is available at Molokai's Friendly Market, end of isle, across from the fresh eggs. They also carry everything else in this recipe. Don't forget the corn chips!

1- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1- 10 ounce can Ro-tel original diced tomatoes & green chilies
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small to medium size handful of fresh cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with corn chips or over tacos. Makes about 3 cups.

Jun 8, 2014

Hawaii-Style Chicken Wings

Hawaii is a special place and its residents have special culinary needs. Most people who live in Hawaii enjoy sweet savory food with a little spice, and with a price that will feed the family or be prepared for a potluck party, luau, or beach food. The lowly chicken wing fits right into the Hawaiian lifestyle. 

Chicken wings became popular back in 1964. That's when the 'Buffalo Wing' was created at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Basically it was bar food, given away free along with peanuts and pretzels, until the customer demand for wings forced the owner to offer them on the menu. Ever since then, wings have been a popular appetizer in the United States and Canada. Today there are literally thousands of recipes for these little morsels of goodness, and many of them have been influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Caribbean, and Indian sauces. Here are a few recipes that you might enjoy serving at your next luau.

PS – Check out the beautiful chicken wing photography and recipes on this site!

Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Chicken Wings
Summer is here and what could be better than "Hawaii-Style" chicken wings. This is a very simple recipe, sweet with a little spiciness that you can whip up in no time.

Ingredients for sauce:
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) Smucker's brand apricot-pineapple preserves (Misaki's Market)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 teaspoons Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce

5 pounds ("Georges" brand) "disjointed" jumbo chicken wings (Friendly Market)
sesame seeds for garnish

Click on photo to view larger
In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the sauce/marinade, set aside (this can be done the day before). Rinse chicken wings under running water and pat dry with a paper towel (if you buy chicken wings not disjointed, then cut them apart, discarding the tip section of the wings). Put wing pieces into a large zip-loc freezer bag and add 2/3 cup of the prepared sauce to the wings. Close bag and massage sauce into the wings. Put the bag of wings in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Save the rest of the sauce in the refrigerator for cooking the wings.

When ready to cook the wings, place the marinated wings on a greased, foil-lined baking pan, and discard any sauce that is in the zip-loc bag. Lightly salt the wings, then bake them at 400˚F for 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove the wings into a bowl and discard any juice in the pan. Return the wings to the pan and baste with half of the remaining sauce. Move the shelf in the oven so that it is 6 or 7 inches from the broiler. Place the pan on the shelf and turn the broiler on to high. Keeping an eye on the wings, in about 5 minutes, after the wings have a nice little burn on them, turn them over and baste with remaining sauce. Sprinkle cooked wings with toasted sesame seeds and serve with corn on the cob and "Pineapple Cabbage Salad" on the side (see recipe). Makes about 30, one piece servings, enough for 6 to 8 people eating 3 to 5 each.

Note: If you want to grill the wings, first bake them in the oven for 25 minutes and then finish them off on the grill for another 10 minutes over medium heat basting with the remaining sauce.

Filipino Fried Chicken Wings
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornstrach
2 tablespoons salt

4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Aloha shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, optional

5 pounds chicken wings

Combine the first 4 ingredients together, then add remaining. Rinse chicken wings and pat dry before adding to the batter. Marinate overnight. Deep fry until golden brown. Makes 10-12 servings.

Japanese Broiled Chicken Wings
Ingredients for the marinade:
3 pounds chicken wings
1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon nam pla or other Asian fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for the glaze:
1 cup mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon nam pla or other Asian fish sauce
2 teaspoons red yuzu kosho (see note)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (optional)

Ingredients for serving:
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped scallions

In a large bowl, mix together all marinade ingredients except chicken wings. Add the wings and toss to coat. Cover and let chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until glaze reduces to a saucy consistency, about 20 minutes. Transfer to large mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat a broiler to high. Set a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Arrange wings on rack. Broil for 12 minutes, flipping wings halfway through, until they are crisp and golden.

Transfer wings to the bowl with the glaze and toss to coat. Transfer wings to a serving platter and garnish with sesame seeds, pepper and scallions. Serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: If you can’t find red yuzu kosho (available at Japanese specialty markets), you can substitute 1 teaspoon of hot sauce or chile powder mixed with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.

Chicken Wings Baked with Honey & Spice
Ingredients for wings:
2 pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
sesame seeds, for garnish

Ingredients for glaze:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Sriracha
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil.

To make the glaze, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in honey, Sriracha, soy sauce and lime juice. Bring to a boil; simmer until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine wings, butter, vegetable oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.

Place wings onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, using metal tongs to turn at halftime. Brush wings with Sriracha glaze and broil for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and crusted.

Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings
Ingredients for marinade:
2 pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Ingredients for glaze:
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (recipe above)
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups white jasmine rice cooked as directed on package
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions or cilantro

Cut each chicken wing in half at joint. Mix soy sauce, 2 tablespoons garlic, ginger and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a large bowl or large zip-lock bag. Add chicken wings and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 500°F. Using tongs, transfer chicken wings to large foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on lower oven rack 20-25 minutes until crispy, turning once. Set aside while making the glaze.

To make the glaze, combine vinegar, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, 1/2 tablespoon garlic and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in medium saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until glaze mixture thickens to syrup consistency, about 40 minutes. Note: The glaze will thicken slightly as it cools.

Transfer baked chicken wings to large bowl. Pour glaze over; toss to coat. To serve, place chicken wings atop steamed jasmine rice. Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro. Makes 4 first-course or 2 main-course serving. Note: These wings are great served at room temperature.

Jun 4, 2014

Cooking with GRAPES

Seedless White Grapes
Grapes are one of those fruits we’ve gotten used to seeing in grocery stores all year long, even here in Hawaii. Actually Hawaii has been growing grapes for the production of wine and brandy since 1815, under the watchful eye of King Kamehameha 1. In 1856, King Kamehameha IV licensed the growing of wine grapes under the condition that the wine or brandy produced from the grapes not be sold to any native of his kingdom.  

One significant problem with growing grapes in a tropical climate is that there are few areas where it will get cold enough for the vines to have a true dormant phase, so bud break can be unpredictable and difficult to manage. Today there are only two commercial wineries in the Hawaiian islands. 

Nearly all American-grown fresh grapes are grown in California and are picked by hand. Grapes are generally categorized by color and all colors have seedless varieties available. Most people just eat table grapes just as they are, but because of their sweetness, they work very well in many recipes. Here are a few to try:

Salmon with Shrimp & White Grapes
A perfect blend of flavors using salmon and grapes. The sour cream sauce, and sweet grapes play nicely against the richness of the salmon and shrimp. Oh so French, enjoyed here in Hawaii.

4 salmon fillets (or steaks)
20 large shrimps, with head and shells, deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups seedless white grapes, peeled
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup concentrated shrimp shell stock
1 tablespoon sour cream
salt and pepper
fresh dill for garnish

Peel the shrimp and take off the heads and shells. Put them in a medium sized pot and barely cover with water. Add one teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer without the lid on. Reduce the liquid to 1/3 cup. Strain and discard the shells. Save the liquid.

Peel the grapes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and add chopped shallots. Cook slowly until soft. Add deveined shrimps, let them cook for 1 minute on each side until pink, then add grapes, wine and 1/3 cup of shrimp stock. Let the sauce reduce to half. Add sour cream, salt and pepper to taste.

At the same time, in a large non stick pan, cook the salmon in 1 tablespoon of olive oil about 2 minutes on each side, or longer if you like the salmon well done.

Place salmon on plates, arrange shrimp and grapes, all around, then pour the sauce on top. Garnish with dill. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken-Spinach Salad with Greek Yogurt 
and Red Grapes
This delicious chicken fruit salad makes use of Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. The sweet taste of grapes and apple take this chicken salad over the top.

4 bone-in chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Voskos brand)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup red or black seedless grapes, cut in half
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 large bag of baby spinach, stems removed and chilled
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons black sesame seeds for garnish

Preheat you oven to 350˚F. Drizzle each chicken breast with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes until fully cooked. Set aside to cool until room temperature.

Once the chicken has cooled pick all the meat off the bone and add it to a bowl of an electric mixer. Add in yogurt and celery. Mix the chicken on medium/low speed until shredded and mixed. Stir in the grapes, and apple. Add more yogurt if needed and season with salt and pepper. To serve, lay out a bed of chilled baby spinach leaves onto each chilled salad plate and top each plate with equal amounts of chicken salad. Garnish with chopped toasted pecans and black sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings.

Pork Tenderloin with Grape Sauce
I love pork tenderloin because it's easy to cook and there are so many ways to serve it, plus it's always lean, tender and juicy. 

2 cups red grapes
1-1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup Madeira wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Position racks in the middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
Place grapes on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on the lower rack, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the grapes, until they are shriveled, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, rub pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the pork over and transfer the pan to the top oven rack. Roast the pork until just barely pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board to rest before slicing.

Place the pan over medium heat (use caution, the handle will be hot), add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Madeira and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth, thyme and mustard; bring to a simmer. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir into the pan sauce. Cook until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the grapes. Serve the sliced pork with the grape sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Grape Chutney
A beautiful chutney to serve with roast pork, chicken or turkey.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 cups halved seedless purple or red grapes
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add grapes, sherry, vinegar, mustard seeds and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grapes have broken down, 10 to 20 minutes. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Red Grape Upside Down Cake
Want something different to serve at your next dinner party, try this delicious and beautiful red grape cake!

Ingredients for the topping:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 3/4 cup or about 2 pounds red seedless grapes
1/4 cup orange juice

Ingredients for the batter:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Use a 9-inch round or an 8-inch square cake pan with 3-inch sides. To make the topping, place the butter and brown sugar in the cake pan. Place the pan on a stovetop burner over low heat and melt, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the sugar has melted, after a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Scatter the grapes evenly in the bottom of the pan and drizzle in the orange juice. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

To make the cake batter, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Add the egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one to make sure it is thoroughly incorporated. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the milk in stages: mix in about a third of the flour mixture, followed by about half the milk; mix in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk; finally, add the last third of the dry ingredients.

In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites and the cream of tartar. Beat the whites until they form firm peaks. Fold the whites into the batter in two batches. Pour the batter over the topping in the prepared pan and bake until the top is slightly brown and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with a little orange liqueur, if you like. Makes one 9-inch round cake or one 8-inch square cake; serves 8