Aug 20, 2014

Forget TURKEY This Thanksgiving!

Honey Glazed Roast Duck
frozen duck from Misaki's (recipe below)
Click on photo to view larger
I know, it's still August and I'm planning for my Thanksgiving dinner already. This year I'm doing away with the turkey. Naturally you think everyone wants turkey for Thanksgiving, but those of you who either don't like turkey, or want to be a little more creative this year might be interested in a few fresh recipe ideas. 

Moloka'i is a special place, and as all of us know who live here, holiday ingredients are not always available when you want them... so lets plan ahead this year. I have put together a few special recipes for this Thanksgiving that are not in your usual repertoire of turkey and gravy. We all love living here, so this year let's make this Thanksgiving meal a feast to remember.

PS – If you must have turkey this Thanksgiving, here's a simple recipe from last year's post, Click Here.

This Thanksgiving's Menu Choices:

Oysters on the Half Shell 
with Passion Fruit Mignonette Sauce
Mignonette sauce is a condiment usually made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar. It is traditionally served with raw oysters, and is a perfect pupu for the Thanksgiving feast.

Ingredients:
1 lemon, juice only
1 lime, juice only
1/2 cup olive oil
2 passion fruit, cut in half, pulp scraped out with seeds
3 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
36 oysters on the half shell
crushed ice for presentation
2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve

Procedure:
Place all the ingredients, except the oysters, lime wedges and ice, into a small bowl and mix well, cover and refrigerate. Carefully open the oysters using an oyster shucker by loosening the muscle from bottom shell, removing top shell. Arrange oysters on a large, deep serving plate filled with crushed ice. To serve, spoon a teaspoon of the passion fruit mignonette sauce over each oyster and garnish with lime wedges. Makes 6 servings of 6 oysters.

Lomi Lomi Salmon Lettuce Wraps
Lomi lomi in Hawaiian means to rub, massage, or kneed. In this case raw salmon is cured with salt, then the rest of the ingredients are added along with lettuce leaves for serving as a delicious Thanksgiving island pupu.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
8 ounce salmon fillet
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 cup diced tomato
16 butter lettuce leaves

Procedure:
Place salt and fish in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake bag to coat fish evenly. Chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove fish from bag; rinse well. Soak fish in ice water 2 hours, changing water every 30 minutes. Drain well. Pat fish dry with paper towels. Dice fish; place in a large bowl. Set aside.

Soak white onion in ice water 15 minutes. Drain well. Add diced onion, green onions, and diced tomato to fish; toss gently to combine. Spoon about 3 tablespoons fish mixture into each lettuce leaf. Makes 4 servings.

Liliko'i Shrimp Salsa
Ingredients:
1 ripe liliko'i (passion fruit), halved
8 medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 large Roma tomato, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons finely diced scallion (including green parts)
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:
Scoop the seeds and pulp from the liliko'i with a spoon, and press it through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve the juice (about 1 tablespoon) and discard the seeds and pulp. Put the shrimp in a small bowl, and toss with the olive oil to coat. Set a dry stainless-steel sautée pan over high heat and, when hot, add the shrimp. Sear, turning often until evenly pink, about one minute. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl, and add the reserved passion fruit juice, onion, tomato, scallion, cilantro, Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

Serve salsa in two ripe avocado halves as an appetizer, or spoon over your favorite sauteed fish, letting the juices from the salsa run onto the plates. Makes 2 servings.

Honey Glazed Roast Duck
If you haven't cooked duck before, you will find that there isn't much meat on it except for the breast meat and drum bones. This recipe is quite simple, and the honey glaze marries really well with the rich dark meat of the duck (see photo above). Misaki's always carries whole frozen duck. Buy them now and keep them in your freezer for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:
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

Procedure:
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.

Venison Kabobs
There's plenty of venison on Moloka'i but it can be hard to come by unless you are a hunter, or know one. If you are or do, put away a couple of tenderloins for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves
8 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons salt
1 pound venison kabob meat (tenderloin, shoulder, whatever you have, but the more tender the cut the better.)

Procedure:
Place the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a jar and shake until well mixed. Cut the venison into 2-inch cubes and marinate in the sauce for 1/2 hour. Thread meat onto skewers. Lightly coat a grill with nonstick cooking spray, heat, and grill the venison until done, about 6 minutes total. Makes 4 servings.

Whole Roasted Opakapaka with Salsa Verde
If you are a fisherman, or know one who catches our wonderful opakapaka off of Moloka'i, then you should try this delicious recipe for Thanksgiving. If you aren't or don't, then order one from PJ at Friendly Market.

Ingredients:
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.

Procedure:
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.

To make the fish: 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.

Baked Mahi-mahi with Dill Sauce
Ingredients:
2 mahi-mahi steaks
1 tablespoon canola Oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon Juice
salt
white pepper

Dill Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper; to taste

Procedure:
Combine sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir in dill then add salt and pepper to taste. Blend well. Allow to stand at least 1/2 hour to blend flavors. Pat mahi-mahi steaks dry with paper towels. Combine oil and lemon juice and brush on both sides of steaks. Season lightly with salt and white pepper. Place an inch apart in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake at 450˚F for approximately 15 minutes. Serve mahi-mahi steaks with dill sauce over steaks sprinkled with a dash of fresh dill atop each. Makes 2 servings.

Salmon with Roasted Asparagus 
and Lemon-Caper Sauce
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2-pound skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure:
Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut three 1/2-inch-deep slits crosswise in top of salmon (as if dividing into 4 equal pieces but do not cut through). Arrange asparagus in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place salmon atop asparagus; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 20 minutes. Transfer asparagus and salmon to platter. Spoon sauce over salmon. Cut into 4 pieces along slits and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Portuguese Sausage Stuffing
This stuffing is great with turkey, chicken, duck, whatever.

Ingredients:
1/4 pound thick-sliced slab bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound chourico, linguica, or dry-cured smoked Spanish chorizo, roughly chopped
Olive oil, if needed

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2/3 cup dry white wine (a friend of mine prefers a red port, Sandeman Founders Reserve)

3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 cups 3/4-inch cubes of day-old rustic bread

About 3 cups chicken stock
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Turkey giblets (see note below)

Procedure:
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat has rendered and the meaty bits are crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the pot into a cup and reserve. Turn heat to medium-high, add the sausage, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat, adding it to the bacon fat. If the pan is dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil.

Lower the heat to medium, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more. Splash in the wine, add the paprika and tomato paste, scrape up any stuck-on bits, then simmer for a few minutes.

Turn the heat to low, add the bread and the reserved bacon and sausage fats, then gradually pour in just enough of the chicken stock to make the mixture moist. If you use all the liquid and the pot is still dry, add a little juice from the olive jar as necessary. Fold in the bacon, and sausage. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Scoop the dressing into a bowl and sprinkle with the eggs, olives and parsley. Makes 8 servings.

Note: If you have, and like turkey giblets, cook them with the chicken stock, chop them up, and add them to the stuffing. Personally I love giblets, but my wife doesn't, so one year we will make it with and the next without. Enjoy!

Garlic Ginger Rice
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ounce fresh root ginger, finely chopped
1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed 3 times in water and drained
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh basil and mint, finely chopped 
(Note: Kumu Farms almost always has these fresh herbs)

Procedure:
Heat the oil in a wok or heavy pan. Stir in the garlic and ginger and fry until golden. Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb the flavors for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the stock and stir to make sure the rice doesn't stick. Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat. Sprinkle the cilantro over the surface of the stock with the finely chopped basil and mint. Cover the pan, and leave to cook gently for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Turn off the heat and gently fluff up the rice to mix in the herbs. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Quinoa Hawaiian
If you have never tried quinoa, pronounced (keen-wa), it’s a wonderful whole grain that has a delicate nutty flavor and is easy to prepare. Quinoa is widely versatile and goes well with chicken, pork and fish.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped and roasted
2 green onions, chopped

Procedure:
In a small skillet, toast chopped macadamia nuts on low heat for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn them, then set them aside. Next, heat olive oil and sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in quinoa and allow to toast for 2 to 3 minutes, then add vegetable broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Add dried pineapple and fluff quinoa with fork, cover and let sit 5 minutes. Serve hot, topped with green onions and toasted macadamia nuts. Makes 6 servings.

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese
This is one of my favorite potato recipes, and yes it uses canned cream of chicken soup... but it's GOOD, and EASY!

Ingredients:
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup undiluted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup Ritz crackers (about 18 crackers)

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, stir together the soup and cheese. With a large spoon, fold in the potatoes and onions until thoroughly coated. Scrape into the prepared baking dish, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the potatoes are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil. Sprinkle the top with the cracker crumbs. Bake until the top is golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Sweet Potato Fries 
with Teriyaki Mayonnaise
Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick French fry sticks
canola oil for frying
salt
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, store bought or make your own (see post "Talking Teriyaki")
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Procedure:
Peel sweet potatoes, cut into French fry sticks. Fry in oil until crispy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt. Mix 1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce with 1/2 cup mayonnaise for a dipping sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Swiss Chard with Pumpkin Seeds 
and Golden Raisins
Ingredients:
2 pounds swiss chard, stem ends trimmed
1/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Procedure:
Place the chard on your cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut out the colorful stems from the leaves. Slice the stems crosswise into ¼-inch pieces and place them in a bowl. Working in batches, stack the greens, roll them into a thick cigar shape and slice them crosswise into ¼-inch-wide ribbons.

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until fragrant, toasty-brown, and plump, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small plate to cool and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chard stems and cook until they're starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the greens and cook, stirring often, until they begin to wilt, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in the raisins and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and turn the greens out onto a serving platter. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Fresh Green Beans Roasted with
Mushrooms and Sweet Red Bell Pepper

Ingredients:
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

Procedure:
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: Sometimes you can find oyster mushrooms at our Moloka'i Farmers Market, if you can't use regular button mushrooms.

Snow Peas & Tomatoes
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups snow peas, trimmed, strings removed
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon sugar
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Procedure:
Cook first four ingredients over medium high heat for 2 minutes in a skillet or until liquid evaporates. Then add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are heated thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately as a side dish. Makes 2 servings.

Spinach Gratin
Ingredients:
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 pounds spinach, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 375˚F and butter a gratin dish. Sauté the onion in the olive oil for five minutes in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and continue sautéing the mixture for 30 seconds. Add the salt, pepper, dried thyme, and spinach to the pan and stir until the ingredients are combined. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low. Allow the spinach to wilt for 3 minutes. Stir the milk and heavy cream into the spinach mixture and turn it out into the buttered gratin dish. Stir together the melted butter, bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the gratin. Bake the spinach gratin in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly, and the bread crumbs have turned golden brown. Makes 4 servings.

Fresh Fruit Salad
with Sweet Ginger Dressing

Fruit salad is a good way to refresh your palette while eating a big Thanksgiving meal. Moloka'i has lots of fresh fruit to choose from.

Ingredients for salad:
a mixture of sliced fresh fruit (mango, papaya, orange slices, bananas, pears, etc., whatever is in season) on a bed of watercress, or other salad greens that you like.

Ingredients for dressing:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger root
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Procedure:
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, vinegar, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Serve over your favorite salad greens with fresh fruit. Makes 2 1/3 cups of dressing, enough for 6-8 salads.

Mixed Green Salad with
Lemon Avocado Mustard Salad Dressing

Ingredients:
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
Salad greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and sweet red and yellow pepper strips

Procedure:
In a blender, combine the first ten ingredients; cover and process until blended. Serve with salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Tahitian Sweet Bread
Ingredients:
6 ounces all purpose flour
4 ounces whole wheat flour
6 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 fluid ounces plain yogurt
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teasp crystallized ginger, minced fine
the juice and zest of 2 oranges
4 ounces dried mango
4 ounces dried pineapple

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together yogurt, egg whites, oil, orange juice, vanilla and ginger. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix or beat batter until smooth. Stir in orange zest, mango and pineapple until just blended then pour into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing bread. Continue cooling bread on a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

Starfruit & Cranberry Chutney
This is a delicious chutney recipe that I put together last year when fresh starfruit are in season and is definitely a keeper! There are many varieties of chutney, they may be either wet or dry, and can be made from almost any combination of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices. Chutneys are usually grouped into sweet or hot forms; both forms usually contain spices, including chili, but differ by their main flavors. This recipe uses fruit that can be purchased here in Hawaii, and is usually served during the Thanksgiving holidays, however I find that it is a delicious condiment to have on hand all year to serve with roast chicken, venison, pork, or wild game.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup golden raisins
3 1/2 cups diced starfruit, (if you can't get starfruit, use diced pears or apples (do not peel)
zest from one orange
2 bags (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries, or 12 ounces (total) dried cranberries (I like to use dried)

Procedure:
In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine all ingredients except the pecans, raisins, starfruit, orange zest and cranberries. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the pecans, raisins, and star fruit, cook until soft but not disintegrated, 5-8 minutes, depending on the firmness of the starfruit. Then add the orange zest and cranberries, cook, stirring frequently, over low-medium heat until the mixture has the consistency of thick jam (at least another 30-35 minutes). At this point you should taste the chutney and adjust, if needed, to your taste.

Let cool to room temperature, pack into jars with close-fitting caps, and refrigerate. This chutney will keep for three months or more in the refrigerator. Makes three quarts.

Red Grape Upside Down Cake
This cake is a real show stopper because instead of pineapple, we use sweet red grapes for this one layer 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

Procedure:
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.

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

Ingredients:
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

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

Procedure:
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.

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. Makes 9 servings.

Honey & Spice Oranges
This recipe makes a simply delicious, and elegant light dessert after a heavy Thanksgiving meal. The crystallized ginger adds a hot tropical flavor mixed with the honey and vanilla.

Ingredients:
6 large Navel oranges, peeled and sliced into sections
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons crystallized ginger, minced very fine (see recipe below)
6 mint sprigs for garnish

Procedure:
Peel the oranges and slice sections into a bowl. Combine the honey with the vanilla and drizzle over the orange sections. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Serve in martini glasses, sprinkled with crystallized ginger, then garnish with mint sprigs and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Crystallized Ginger
Have you ever wondered why the Chinese and Japanese frequently add ginger to their food? It helps digestion, facilitates absorption, helps with flatulence, and helps prevent nausea. A delicious way to enjoy ginger is to crystallize it. You can buy ginger already crystallized at Friendly Market... if they have it in stock, but it is sometimes expensive. I like to make my own, it's very easy to do, here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra sugar for coating
1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

Procedure:
Combine water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add ginger, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer ginger to a wire rack, set over a pan, and dehydrate in a very low 170˚F convection oven for 1 hour, or dehydrator until dry, and then cut into smaller 1/4 inch pieces. Roll the small pieces of ginger in additional sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to three months. Use in recipes, or just pop a couple of pieces in your mouth every day.

Honey Ice Cream
I have made this recipe many times, and it reeks of honey flavor. Great to serve with Burnt Sugar Cookies (recipe below). You will need an ice-cream maker to make this recipe.

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup honey
3 large egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Procedure:
In a large saucepan, add all ingredients. Stir to dissolve the honey. Heat over moderate heat, stirring from time to time, just until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes to cook the egg yolks. Remove from the heat and let steep, covered, for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Stir the mixture again to blend. transfer it to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions, or about 1/2 hour. Remove from ice cream maker into plastic containers and freeze at least 3 hours. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before serving to soften. Makes 6 servings.

Burnt Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar (either light or dark)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 burnt sugar syrup (see recipe below)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Procedure:
To make the burnt-sugar syrup:
Place about 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a saute/frying pan, over medium-low heat. Sugar will start to melt and turn brown. Stir occasionally. When melted, add 3/4 cup hot or boiling water. Stir gently and carefully as the mixture will bubble like a cauldron. Though I'd been warned, I was still gleefully impressed. Simmer over low-ish, for 5-10 minutes, letting some of the water boil off. Then, let cool to room temperature.

For the cookies:
Sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, coriander, and salt. In mixer bowl, cream together (on HIGH) butter, brown sugar, and lemon zest til light and fluffy. Reduce speed to MEDIUM. Beat in egg and burnt-sugar syrup, till blended. Reduce speed to LOW; add dry ingredients in two additions, till just blended. Cover, refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Pour 1/4 cup of granulated sugar into a small bowl. Roll 1" dough-balls in sugar before placing on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until crinkly on top like gingersnaps. Makes about 16 cookies.

Chocolate Macadamia Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped

Procedure:
Cream the butter until smooth and beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. When the butter and sugar are combined, slowly add flour and beat until incorporated. Mix in the 1 cup of coarsely chopped macadamia nuts. Roll the dough into a log and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Heat oven to 300°F and remove dough from refrigerator. Slice the log into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Place the slices on an ungreased baking sheet an inch apart and bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies turn golden around the edges. Remove from oven, and place cookies on a cooling rack. While cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate with the shortening, then dip each cookie halfway into the melted chocolate. Immediately sprinkle the top of the chocolate coated half of the cookie with the finely chopped macadamia nuts. Set cookies on parchment or wax paper, and let cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

Coconut Pumpkin Pie
This is a delicious tropical coconut pumpkin pie recipe, almost like a creamy pumpkin cheesecake with coconut. Oh my!

Ingredients for the graham cracker crust:
1 1/3 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, or melted butter

Ingredients for the filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (2 cups)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
whipped cream
1/2 cup toasted, sweetened coconut flakes for garnish

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

To prepare the graham cracker crust, lightly grease a 9" pie plate and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut flakes, and sugar until well mixed. Add in the coconut oil, or butter, and rub in until the mixture begins to clump together. (It will be pretty crumbly at this point.) Press into the prepared pie plate and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool while preparing the filling.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, coconut cream, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is set (about halfway through cooking, you will need to loosely tent the crust with a ring of foil to prevent the crust from burning.) Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream. Garnish the whipped cream and pie slices with toasted coconut flakes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Note: If you can't find coconut oil, you can use butter. If you are able to find coconut oil, however, I urge you to do so; it really adds a wonderful flavor and melt-in-your mouth quality to the crust! I was able to find it at Friendly Market, but they don't always have it in stock.

Apple-Gingerbread Cake 
with Cream Cheese Icing
Ingredients for the cake pan:
Butter for greasing the pan
Flour for dusting the pan

Ingredients for cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 apples

Ingredients for icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoon water, plus extra, as needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Procedure:
For the cake: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Liberally butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube or Bundt pan. Set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat butter with sugar in large mixing bowl with electric mixer, scraping sides occasionally, until smooth. Add egg and beat until combined. Stir in molasses. Dissolve baking soda in milk, then add to sugar mixture.

Stir in flour mixture on low speed just until combined. Gently fold in apples. Spoon into prepared bundt pan.

Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely for about 1 hour before putting the icing on.

For the icing: In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is pourable. Spoon the icing over the cake and allow to set for 20 minutes before slicing.
Makes 8 servings.
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