Aug 30, 2016

Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki Mushrooms
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These elegant, long, thin mushrooms with tiny caps are commonly found in Asian dishes, particularly Japanese dishes here in Hawaii. They are traditionally used in soups and stir-frys, but are sometimes used in salads.

Enoki Mushroom Salad with Thai Salad Dressing
Enoki mushrooms have a crisp texture with a mild, almost fruity flavor. They are so beautiful I had to buy a package of them today from Misaki's Market here on Moloka'i for $2.39. They only weighed 3.5 ounces, enough for 2 servings.

3.5 ounce package of Enoki Mushrooms from Misaki's Market here on Moloka'i
1 small carrot
1 small Japanese cucumber
one head of hearts of romaine or watercress
black sesame seeds for garnish
Thai Salad Dressing (see recipe below)

Remove and discard the ends of the Enoki mushrooms, give them a quick rinse and gently dry them off. Next, shred some carrots and Japanese cucumber into long threads, and gently mix everything together in a large bowl with my Thai Salad Dressing. Place the mixture on a bed of hearts of romaine or watercress and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Makes enough for 2 servings.

Thai Salad Dressing
Juice of 4 limes
2 teaspoon fish sauce
4 cloves of garlic finely minced
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon sriracha hot chili sauce (or more to taste)

Use a fork to whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Spoon over Enoki Mushroom Salad. 
Makes 2 servings.

Enoki Beef Sirloin Roll-ups
Another one of my favorite ways to use Enoki mushrooms is to simply roll them up in thinly sliced beef sirloin from Friendly Market here on Moloka'i. This is similar to my German recipe for "Beef Rouladen with Pan Gravy".

Ingredients for marinade:
8 ounces (1/2 pound) of thinly sliced beef sirloin from Friendly Market here on Moloka'i
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of canola oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for sauce:
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of rice wine or white wine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup beef broth

Ingredients for the roll-up filling:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 carrot, cut into 3 inch matchsticks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 3 inch matchsticks
2 ribs celery, sliced thin on diagonal
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 small green onion tops, cut thinly lengthwise, then into 3 inches long
3.5 ounces Enoki mushrooms, cleaned and cut 3 inches long (discard the ends)
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 3 teaspoons of water to use as a sauce thickener
sesame seeds for garnish

You will also need 8 toothpicks

Remove the thinly sliced beef from its package and cut it so you have 8 rectangular pieces. In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients, then gently mix in the beef and let marinate for about 20 minutes.

Now heat a large skillet over medium-high heat to cook the vegetables. When hot add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add minced garlic and ginger, frying for about 20 seconds. Now add carrots, red bell pepper, celery and stir fry for just 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and stir, and cook 1 minute more. Pour vegetables into a bowl to cool. Keep the sauce.

To construct the beef roll-ups, lay beef slices out with the short side facing you. Equally divide uncooked green onions, enoki mushrooms and cooked vegetable mixture in the middle of the pieces of meat. Leave some of the vegetable filling hanging out of the meat at either end. Roll the beef up, over the filling and secure with a toothpick.

Again place the large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and butter, swirling to coat bottom. When hot, add beef rolls, seam side down, not touching and pan fry for 1 minute, turn roll. Add sauce and juices from the vegetables to the pan as well as the cornstarch water mixture. Cover and simmer over medium heat until beef is just cooked through, 1-2 minutes, and sauce thickens. Remove toothpick, sprinkle with sesame seeds on top. Serve with brown rice on the side. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Enoki Mushrooms are best kept refrigerated in a paper bag, not in plastic wrap. Like most mushrooms, they will only last a few days.

Aug 23, 2016


I'm always looking for ways to enjoy creamy Hawaiian avocados, especially because it's still avocado season here, and I happen to have a small avocado grove in my backyard. 

This morning I was making lilikoi ice-cream with honey which called for 6 egg yolks, leaving me with 6 egg whites. Normally people make angel food cake or meringue cookies out of egg whites, but I'm looking for something a little easier to make for my breakfast. So I just put two and two together and came up with this protein packed, delicious morning meal using ingredients I had on hand.

Avocado Scramble
Scrambled egg whites with creamy Hawaiian avocado and tomatoes are a great way to get in 
a little protein in a healthier way.

Avocado Scramble
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1/2 avocado, smashed into small chunks with a fork
6 egg whites
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste
2/3 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

In a small bowl, add the smashed avocado, egg whites and salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat add a little drizzle of olive oil. Then add the red pepper flakes and sliced tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are tender, add a little more oil if needed so the eggs don't stick. Add the egg whites and cook, stirring occasionally until set, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Remove to a plate and serve with fresh fruit, like sliced papaya or mango, and chopped toasted macadamia nuts on the side. If you like, add a slice of toasted English muffin with surinam cherry-ginger jam and a cold glass of Ocean Spray cranberry pomegranate juice. That's what I call a healthy, delicious breakfast.

Makes 2 servings.

Note: If you are visiting Moloka'i, or live here, you can sometimes find my avocados at Friendly Market, or my wife sells them at our Saturday Farmer's Market while in season in July and August. Her booth is directly across the street from the Moloka'i Library. She sells out early, so get there around 8:30 am.

Aug 10, 2016

A Cheaper Cut of Roast Beef...

Rump Roast – with all the trimmings
Rump roast is an inexpensive cut of beef because it's on the tough side. Our grocery stores here on Moloka'i seems to have it available quite often, so I decided to develop this recipe for me, you and my neighbors. Because this cut of beef is tough, you have to oven roast it at a high temperature, then lower the heat, cooking it low and slow, breaking down the toughness and creating a wonderful roast with all the trimmings. I would have added more photos, but I was hungry... maybe later!

Ingredients for the rump roast:
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of boneless rump roast
   (the meat should have a layer of fat on the bottom. The stores usually want
   you to see the meat, not the fat) pick an end cut with a layer of fat if you can)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
8-10 slivers of garlic (3 to 4 cloves, sliced in half or into thirds)
salt and pepper (use about a tablespoon of each)

Ingredients for the gravy:
1 1/2 cups of beef stock and about 1/2 cup of red burgundy wine
2 tablespoon corn starch in 2 tablespoon of water
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme or Italian seasoning

Take the thawed roast out of the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Make small cuts around the roast and insert the garlic slivers in the cuts. Dry the roast with paper towels and rub with the olive oil plus salt and pepper. Bring your oven to 375˚F. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Put the roast on the center rack of your oven. Remember to place the roast fat-side up so that it is bathed in the fat as it melts. Roast the beef for 1/2 hour at this temperature. Then lower the heat to 225˚F and continue cooking the roast for about 2 hours, checking its temperature every 20 minutes or so. You don't want to overcook the beef.

Meat Thermometer
You will need a meat thermometer to check its temperature. The internal temperature of the roast should be 135˚F to 140˚F for medium rare. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting board and cover with foil for about 20 minutes, then cut the roast into thin slices with a sharp knife, and keep it warm in a 200˚F oven.

To make the gravy, drain the juices from the beef into the roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner on your stovetop over medium heat. Stir in the beef stock and red wines to deglaze the pan. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and add it to the drip pan, stirring it as it thickens to avoid lumping. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of thyme or Italian seasoning. Serve with Pesto Carrots, Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, and Classic Biscuits. My Hawaiian friends will probably serve this roast with sweet white bread from Kanemitsu Bakery, sticky rice to soak up the gravy, and maybe a vegetable like Baby Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce, or Papaya Salad with Watercress and Toasted Macadamia Nuts with Sweet Papaya Dressing. Makes 4-6 servings.

Note: If you are using a smaller cut of rump roast, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly by checking the meat temperature until it reaches an internal temperature of 135˚F. I usually buy a 2 pound roast for my wife and I, so if you do the same, still bring the oven to 375˚F and roast the meat for 1/2 hour, but then lower the temperature to 225˚F for only about 20 or 30 minutes to bring the internal temperature up to 135˚F, which is medium rare, the way we like it, and the meat is tender. My wife complains about the garlic slivers turning bitter, but it does add a nice flavor to the beef, and who says she had to eat the garlic in the first place?

If you have leftovers, try this recipe for "Steak Pita Pockets with Dill Yogurt Sauce". Simply substitute the steak with the slices of leftover rump roast, cut into thin strips. We have this all the time and it is really delicious. Sometimes it's worth getting a larger cut of meat just to make leftovers out of it. If you are a meat eater, this recipe is a keeper!

Aug 8, 2016

A Beautiful Salad

Imagine the colors of a Hawaiian fresh vegetable garden in a salad. This beautiful antipasto salad is made up of sweet red bell peppers, white cauliflower, brined capers, anchovies, Kalamata olives, sweet Maui onions with a touch of minced garlic. Then it is tossed together with olive oil, fresh lime juice, a little red wine vinegar or Hawaiian chili pepper water, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Great served with grilled crusty bread.

Hawaiian Antipasto Salad
1 small head white cauliflower
2 tablespoons brined capers
4 flat anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, core and seeds removed, cut into thin bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup chopped Maui or red onion
10 Kalamata olives, halved
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill, or fresh if you've got it
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Discard the large outer leaves of the cauliflower, along with stem and core. Cut cauliflower into large, bite-sized pieces. Blanch the cauliflower pieces in a pot of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.

Add cooled cauliflower to a serving bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Toss well, correct seasoning, and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Note: The addition of fresh local tuna and hard cooked eggs makes this simple salad even better.