Dec 8, 2015

Introducing StarDust Island Seasoning

Ancient Hawaiians gathered sea salt from the ocean's edge to use as seasoning for their food. Today's Hawaii chefs have been influenced by the cuisine of the people who have settled here, creating a unique flavor that defines Hawaii's local cuisine.

StarDust Island Seasoning is the essence of that flavor, a unique umami blend of 
12 herbs and spices.

I like to think of this blend as a gateway to island cultures, naturally enhancing the flavor of so many foods like: grilled shrimp and lobster, fish, roast chicken, barbecued pork ribs, meat loaf and hamburgers, soups and stews, stir-fries, salads and salad dressings, roast potatoes, corn on the cob, even scrambled eggs, your seasoning possibilities are endless. For that reason, 
it's always a good idea to have StarDust Island Seasoning in your kitchen.

StarDust Island Seasoning
4 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Hawaiian Alaea sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon chili powder

Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup.

Keeping Spices: While these ingredients don't actually spoil, they do loose flavor over time.
StarDust Island Seasoning has both herbs and spices, so I would suggest using this blend no later than 9 months after purchasing the ingredients. Heat, light, and moisture speed up deterioration, so always keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dry, dark place, away from the stove. One way to know how old your herbs and spices are is to mark each bottle with the date of purchase.

I hope you enjoy my StarDust Island Seasoning, and that you let me know what you think of it. 
I would love to post testimonials on this website.

Chef James Temple

Here are a few recipes to try using StarDust:

Ahi-Olive Stuffed Avocado
"Poke" is a favorite pupu (appetizer) here in the Hawaiian islands. Putting fresh local diced ahi tuna into half of an avocado makes this a creamy first course:

2 ripe avocados, cut in half, pitted with skin left on
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound ahi tuna, sushi grade, diced into 1/4 inch dice
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon StarDust Island Seasoning
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Leave the skin on the avocado halves. Sprinkle the avocado flesh with lemon juice so they don't turn brown. Sprinkle each half with a little salt and pepper. Gently combine one egg yolk with the diced ahi, 1/2 teaspoon StarDust Island Seasoning  and chopped olives. Spoon mixture into the cavity of each avocado. Chill in the refrigerator before serving. Makes 4 servings.

The classic Hawaiian soul food is "Loco Moco". This is my take on making this classic mobile with Pita Pockets.


1 pound ground beef (hamburger)salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon 
StarDust Island Seasoning
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
dash of soy sauce
dash of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs (cooked sunny-side-up or over easy)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice, mixed with a slice of chopped spam and green onions

2 whole-wheat pita pockets, heated for a few seconds in the microwave, and then cut in half with a serrated knife.

Mix together ground beef with salt, pepper and 
StarDust Island Seasoning. Add canola oil to a large frying pan, cook beef until it is cooked to your liking, breaking it up into chunks, then remove and keep warm. Combine the flour and softened butter and put in the same frying pan over medium heat until the mixture turns pale brown, stirring all the time, then gradually add the beef stock. Stir until the gravy thickens and turns brown in about three minutes. add mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and season with a dash of soy sauce and Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper if needed. Put a strainer over a pot and pour the gravy into the strainer. Set gravy aside. Fry eggs (sunny-side up or over easy) in butter. Divide hot rice mixture onto four pita pocket halves, top with the fried hamburger chunks and hot gravy, top that off with the fried eggs. Makes 4 servings. Serve with a lot of napkins.

Optional condiments:
Shoyu, ketchup, tabasco

Baked Mahi-mahi with Creamy Herb Sauce
2 mahi-mahi steaks
1 tablespoon canola Oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon Juice
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh Kumu Farms dill for garnish

Dill Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon StarDust Island Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Combine sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir in StarDust Island Seasoning, 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 pepper. Place an inch apart in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake at 450˚F for approximately 15 minutes. Serve mahi-mahi steaks with the creamy herb sauce over steaks sprinkled with a dash of fresh dill atop each. Makes 2 servings.

Baked Salmon with Garlic & Dijon Mustard
1.5 pounds salmon
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon StarDust Island Seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
lemon or lime slices
1 tablespoon capers for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a rimmed baking dish with foil. In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, StarDust Island Seasoning,  Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Mix well. Cut salmon into even portions and lay them onto your lined baking dish skin side down. Generously brush all sides of your salmon with the sauce and top with fresh lemon slices. Bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through. Don't over-cook or your fish will be dry. Garnish with capers. Serve with rosemary parsley potatoes and lemon-dill green beans. Makes 4 servings if you are a light eater, 2 if you have an appetite.

StarDust Roasted Chicken
Click on photo to view larger
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
(I like to use a free-range organic chicken from Kualapuu Market)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons StarDust Island Seasoning,
or to taste
1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
cooking spray (Pam)

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Spray the inside of a roasting pan, with a rack, with cooking spray (much easier cleanup). Place chicken on the rack in the the roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt, pepper, and StarDust Island Seasoning. Place 3 tablespoons of butter in the chicken's cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining butter around the chicken's exterior.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. After 45 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and bast it with the melted butter and drippings in the roasting pan. Now loosely place an aluminum foil tent over the chicken, being careful not to burn your hands. Return the chicken to the oven and continue cooking to a minimum internal temperature of 180˚F. (for about 30 minutes more). Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest 20 minutes, with the aluminum foil on it. Move roasted chicken to a cutting board and cut into serving-size pieces. Place the pieces directly on each plate or in a large serving bowl. Serve with mashed potatoes, corn bread, and a nice salad on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Note: To make chicken stock after you have carved the chicken, break the carcass into pieces, put it in a large pot with the giblets. Cover with water, add a cut up carrot and celery stick and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Great for soup stock.

Oven Roasted StarDust Rosemary Pork Ribs
2 racks pork spareribs (about 6 to 8 pounds total)
1/2 cup StarDust Island Seasoning
3/4 cup fresh rosemary needles, chopped fine

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Remove the thin, papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs by pulling it off in a sheet with your fingers, using the corner of a kitchen towel to gain a secure grip, or with pliers.

Combine the StarDust Island Seasoning with the fresh rosemary. Cut the ribs into individual pieces. Place the rib pieces on a large sheet pan, lined with heavy-duty foil, fat side up. Sprinkle each rib with the spice mixture. Place the ribs into the heated oven to cook for one hour, no need to turn the ribs, but check on them after 45 minutes of cooking. They should look well done and crispy. Taste one of the ribs to make sure it has enough salt, if not, sprinkle a little salt on the ribs before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Grilled Moloka'i Venison Tenderloin
There are basically two ways to grill venison, a little for tender cuts like tenderloin, and a lot for working cuts. Tender cuts of venison should be cooked quickly to a rare or medium-rare level of doneness. If it is prepared past medium-rare too much moisture will be cooked out causing the meat to become dry and tough.

2, 1 pound venison tenderloins, or beef tenderloin if you can't get venison

Marinade Ingredients:
1 head (not clove) of garlic
1/2 cup rosemary needles (Kumu Farms)
4 tablespoons StarDust Island Seasoning
2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt,  to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:
A grill and charcoal
Meat thermometer

The day before your dinner, trim the tenderloins, removing all visible fat and most of the silver skin (translucent membrane). If the loins have a long tapered end, curl the thin end back and toothpick it in place so it doesn't overcook. Now make a paste out of the marinade ingredients in a mortar, blender, or food processor. Put the venison tenderloins in a large zipper-top plastic freezer bag and pour the marinade paste over them. Let rest for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Turn the bag once or twice during this time to distribute the marinade. Bring the tenderloins to room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes before cooking.

Prepare your charcoal grill. Oil grill grates with vegetable oil to prevent the tenderloin from sticking. I prefer not to use lighter fluid as it is toxic and nasty. There is a Weber coal starter which costs about $15 and starts about the right amount of charcoal with a few pieces of newspaper. It is a sort of metal chimney with a basket in it, and is very easy to use. When the coal is red hot, put it in the grill and spread it out. Close the grill top to get everything hot inside.

Once the coals have cooked down a little to medium high, and have a nice grey dust on them, put the tenderloins, directly over the coals, and grill for about 6-8 minutes of cooking per inch of thickness for the tenderloins. Keep turning the tenderloins, then check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 125˚F for rare, 130˚F for medium rare, any higher and the venison will get tough. If you don't have a meat thermometer, you should, they are cheap and everyone should have on in their kitchen. If you don't have one, you will have to make a small cut into the meat to check for doneness. Personally I like my red meat medium rare.

Remove the tenderloins to a warm platter and cover with foil for a few minutes. This allows the juices to stay in the meat, not on your cutting board. Keep everything warm in a 200˚F oven, covered with foil, until ready to serve, then cut the tenderloins into 1 inch rounds, or cut them on an angle. Makes 4 servings.

Note: This cooking method works with larger cuts of venison (working cuts) as well, but can take up to 2 hours to cook indirectly off the coals. Remove the larger cuts from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 120˚F. This will rise to about 130˚ as the meat "rests".

Grilled Pork Belly & Mango Salad
This Filipino grilled pork belly is perfect with a mango salad on the side.

Pork Belly and Marinade Ingredients:
2 pounds pork belly without skin - sliced about 1/2 inches
1/3 cup palm vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon StarDust Island Seasoning

Mango Salad Ingredients:
2 large ripe mango - peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato - sliced
1 small red onion - sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced red radish

Mango Salad Dressing:
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
black pepper to taste

Marinade Procedure:
Combine all marinade ingredients in a big bowl. Add sliced pork belly. Mix until all slices of meat is fully coated. Transfer in a large Ziploc bag with the marinade. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (longer is better). Turn marinade bag every hour. Heat the barbeque grill to about 400˚F. Place sliced pork bellies on the grill and barbecue until each sides are medium brown.

Mango Salad Procedure:
Combine the mango salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl, mix until fully combined then set aside in the refrigerator. In another bowl, toss sliced mango, tomatoes, onions, radish, and cilantro. Add salad dressing to taste. Serve pork belly over cooked jasmine rice with mango salad on the side. Makes 4 servings.

Filipino Oven Roasted Pork  (Lechon sa Hurno)
1 (3 to 5 pounds.) boneless shoulder picnic roast
2 to 3 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt, or to taste

Marinade Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons StarDust Island Seasoning
3 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Gravy Ingredients:
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon of flour
some olive oil and salt

Marinate pork for several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove pork from marinade and rub generously with sea salt. Transfer to a roasting pan and bake 40 minutes per pound. Brush skin with fat drippings from the pan every 10 minutes during the last hour, making the skin crisp. Increase oven heat to 450˚F. Roast pork for about 20 to 30 minutes more or until golden brown. The skin should be crispy. Internal temperature reading should be 170˚F. Remove from the oven. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. During this time prepare the gravy; put all the juices and marinade in a pot, add some water to the flour, stir to dissolve. Heat the juices in the pan. Stir in the flour mixture. As soon as it starts to thicken add the butter, and salt to taste, stir. Slice pork and pour gravy over and serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Ground Pork with Long Beans & Squash
(Ginisang Kalabasa)

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon StarDust Island Seasoning
3 tablespoons fish sauce (Patis), or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 roma or plum tomatoes, diced and seeded (if desired)
3 tablespoons soy sauce or to taste
1/2 cup water
1 whole bunch of Asian long beans, cut or broken into 2 inch pieces, about 2 cups
1 medium sized kalabasa, or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into inch-long chunks

Heat oil in a deep sauté pan, or wok. Sauté the garlic and onions for about a 1-2 minutes. Add the ground pork, crumble the meat with a fork to prevent clumping, and StarDust Island Seasoning.  Brown the ground pork on medium-high heat. Season with fish sauce and black pepper, to taste. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Cover then simmer on low heat for at least half an hour to allow the meat to absorb the flavor of the liquid. Immediately add the long beans and squash, stir and cover. Simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the beans fully cooked yet still retain some crunch. Correct the seasoning if necessary. Serve with white long grain rice (see photo above). Makes 4-6 servings.

Portuguese Chili
2 pound ground beef
1 pound Portuguese sausage, sliced
1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
1 29-ounce can kidney beans, with liquid
1 29-ounce can pinto beans, with liquid
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green chili
1/4 cup diced celery
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon StarDust Island Seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cup water

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain off the fat. Using a fork, crumble the cooked beef into pea-size pieces. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours. Note: Top with some chopped green onions and cheddar cheese, serve with white rice. Makes 8 servings.

Goat Meat Sausage
While it's great for breakfast, it is also good served in tacos. This recipe also works well with ground venison.

4 pounds boned and ground goat meat or ground venison
1 pound ground pork fat
4 tablespoons StarDust Island Seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together all of the ingredients. Form into breakfast patties and fry. Serve with eggs, toast, and a cup of hot coffee. Use as much as you like, then individually wrap sausage patties in plastic wrap and then put them in a zip-loc freezer bag. Makes 5 pounds of sausage.

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