Nov 1, 2014

Getting Ready For Winter In Hawaii

Believe it or not we do have winter here in Hawaii. It comes right after hurricane season. The coldest it gets here is 60 degrees or so, and the winds and rain pick up. This is a good time to look for warm comfort food recipes like soups and chowders, or bake some crusty bread to warm up the house.

Braised Cabbage and Linguica with Apples
Linguica is a Portuguese sausage. They were brought to Hawaii during the late 19th century by Portuguese immigrants. This recipe is simple to make, a wonderful blend of sweet, and savory.

small head of cabbage (1 1/2 pounds)
1 onion, halved and sliced
4 slices of bacon
1 package (19 ounces) linguica sausages, casing removed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Braised Cabbage and Linguica with Apples
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1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup apple juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Cut cabbage in half and remove the core. then cut into 1/4-inch slices; set aside. Cut onion in half and cut into 1/4-inch slices; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, fry bacon until crispy, remove to paper towel to drain, then break bacon up into 1/4-inch bits. In one tablespoon of the fat from the bacon, cook and stir linguica over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Remove sausage pieces; set aside.

Remove all but 1 tablespoons of the remaining fat and add cabbage, onion, and caraway seeds to the same skillet with tomatoes and apple juice; cook and stir for 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir for 4 minutes longer. Now add the linguica back to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the apple slices. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to allow everything to meld. Serve immediately garnished with bacon bits, and cornbread on the side (recipe below). Makes 4 servings.

Portuguese Bean Soup
This is a delicious hearty rustic soup/stew, the way the Portuguese would have made it.

2 ham hocks
1 10-ounce mild Portuguese sausage, thickly sliced
1 chorizo sausage, peeled and broken into pieces
1 medium onion, minced
2 quarts water (8 cups)
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 celery rib, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can whole stewed tomatoes, broken with your hands
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 to 4 cups cabbage, roughly cut
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place ham hock, sausages, onion, and water into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, covered. Take ham hocks out and remove the meat, roughly chop, and return to soup, discard bones. Stir in potatoes, celery, carrots, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and vinegar. Cover, and continue simmering for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in cabbage and kidney beans, cook until the cabbage has softened, about 10 minutes. Taste, then add salt and pepper and more water if needed. Serve with a garden salad and fried bread (recipes below). Makes about 10 servings.

Maui French Onion Soup
This is one of my favorite classic soups, a rich addition to start your next dinner party whether you live on Maui or the French Riviera.

2 teaspoons olive oil
8 cups thinly vertically sliced Maui Kula onions
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups less-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 (1-ounce) slices Swiss cheese (Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental)
Special equipment: 8 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Preheat broiler. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Makes 8 servings.

Mustard Greens & Ham Hocks
Mustard greens show up in our farmer's market here on Moloka'i occasionally during the winter months because our Filipino community enjoy them either pickled or wrapped around pork adobo. I grew up in southern part of the U.S., and enjoy my greens cooked southern-style with ham hocks. My favorite greens are collard greens, but you don't see any of that here in Hawaii unless you grow them yourself... which I have done in the past out of desperation.

3 large bunches mustard greens, or collard greens, washed, and chopped
1 large ham hock
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

First, wash your greens well, at least 3 or 4 times in fresh water, draining them each time. Now strip the leafy part from the stems and discard them. Chop the greens into large pieces and set aside.

In a large pot, cover the ham hock with water and salt. Simmer, covered, for about 3 hours or until it is fork tender. Remove the ham hock, cool, then remove the meat with two forks. Put the meat and bone back into the pot with the cooking juices. Now add the greens. Stir over medium heat until greens start to wilt and are tender. Add more water if necessary. Some people cook mustard greens, collard greens and turnip greens all together in one pot. You can add a teaspoon of sugar in the water to sweeten the greens a little. These go well with Hawaiian chili pepper water, or hot sauce or vinegar of your choice, and sweet skillet cornbread (recipe below), or hush puppies (see recipe index). Makes 2 servings.

Iron Skillet Corn Bread
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Iron Skillet Corn Bread
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (you can add up to 1/2 cup if you like it sweet)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening or butter, melted

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, milk, and 1/4 cup shortening and beat with a wooden spoon or spatula until smooth, about 1 minute. Grease an 8 or 9-inch iron skillet (or a heavy 8-inch baking pan) with the shortening, pour in the batter, and bake in a preheated 425˚F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown on top. Bring the skillet to the table and cut into wedges to serve. Great with chili or black bean soup. Makes 6 servings.

Note: For a moist interior and a nice crisp crust, put an iron skillet two thirds filled with water on the floor of your oven before you begin to preheat it. If you prefer corn muffins, grease just the bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or place paper baking cups in muffin cups. Fill about 3/4 full with batter.

Hot Spiced Raspberry Rum Cider
12 ounces (2 2/3 cups) frozen raspberries
4 cups apple cider
4 dashes ground cinnamon
1/2 cup spiced rum (optional)
lemon twists for garnish

Set aside 8 to 12 raspberries for garnish. Place apple cider, remaining raspberries and ground cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Heat until boiling, then let cool. Strain. Stir in spiced rum, if using.

Pour Raspberry Cider into coffee mugs. Drop in a lemon twist and garnish with 2 to 4 raspberries per mug. Makes 4 to 5 servings.

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