Nov 26, 2016

Golfer's Potluck Lunch

Ironwood Hills Golf Course, Moloka'i Hawaii
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Playing golf is a passion of mine. I've been playing since I was seven years old. When I moved to Hawaii in 2002 I found out that the locals also love to play golf, and always serve a potluck lunch after a competitive game of golf. 

Some of my Kukui Club golfing buddies.
Left to right, Rick, Dave, Scotty, Billy and me.

Most of the golfers I play with up at Ironwood Hills Golf Course (see photo to the right), are Hawaiian, with a few "Haoles" (white visitors) thrown in for good measure. These people love to play golf, eat local food, drink beer, gamble, and "talk story" at the same time. You never know what you'll be eating from one game to the next, but there's usually lots of good food to go-round. 

I was a little nervous at first, not knowing what to bring, or if they would eat it. After a few years I have learned a few things, like bring food that can be chilled with frozen gel packs, in a cooler with my beer. The last thing I want to do is to have these guys get food poisoning from food that's been sitting in my truck for hours. Some of the golfers bring small portable gas stoves to heat up their food, but to me, thats too much trouble. So most of the food I bring is cold, like pupus, salads and dessert.

Once a year the club caters a lunch. Golf is a lot more "ono" in Hawaii! 

I thought I would share some of my recipes with you:

Ginger & Spice Cookies
Ginger bread and ginger snaps all wrapped up in these spice cookies. They are one of my favorite cookies, and my golfer friends really seem to like them.

Ginger & Spice Cookies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Combine the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and molassas. Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt together onto a piece of parchment paper. Add the butter mixture, beating just until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a pie plate. Shape the dough into walnut-size balls and roll in the sugar. to coat. Arrange 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake until cracked and dry but still soft, about 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cool on wire racks. Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.

Potato-Mac Salad with Surimi and Green Peas
There are many variations to Hawaiian potato-mac salad, but this is my favorite.

1 pound package elbow macaroni pasta
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound surimi (imitation crab), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (defrosted, no need to cook them)
1 cup celery (finely chopped)
1 cup shredded carrots
6 large hard boiled eggs (chopped)
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
3/4 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
3 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
1 chopped green onion (white and green parts) for garnish

Boil macaroni and potatoes in separate pots, 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked to your taste, drain & cool 30 minutes. Add all other ingredients to cooled macaroni and potatoes, in a large bowl. Gently stir to mix everything together. Keep cold in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The macaroni and potatoes will absorb the mayo, so you may want to make your salad a day ahead to let the flavors combine. You might also want to add more mayonnaise just before serving. Garnish with more chopped green onion. Makes 16 generous servings.

Limu Salad
Limu is the Hawaiian word for seaweed. Limu salad is easy to make but you will have to find the ingredients. It is a combination of flavors and textures creating a delicious mixed Asian main course or side dish, and is a very common and well-liked potluck salad here in Hawaii.

Ingredients for salad:
Limu Salad
1 (16 ounce) package of linguini, break in half and cook according to package directions

6 ounces seasoned taegu (Korean spicy codfish found in Asian markets)

2 Japanese cucumbers, sliced lengthwise, then sliced into thin half circles

16 ounces imitation crab (surimi), pulled apart into strings

8 ounces seasoned Ocean Salad (Ocean Salad is a seaweed salad that is flavored with sesame oil, it can be found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores or in Asian markets) Here on Moloka'i, Kualapu'u market has most of these ingredients.

Ingredients for dressing:
You won't need all of this sweet and savory dressing, but it is great to keep in your refrigerator for other salads.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted, crushed

thinly sliced green onions at an angle
1 (1.9 ounce) bottle nori furikake (a sesame/nori seasoning found in Asian markets)

In a mixing bowl or jar, mix dressing ingredients, and refrigerate. In another bowl; combine linguine with taegu, cucumbers, crabmeat and ocean salad, refrigerate until ready to serve. when ready to serve, toss salad with dressing, as needed. Garnish with green onion and furikake. Serves 8-10.

Yesterday I played golf with my friends at Ironwood Gold Club. Every month we have a golf tournament. After a round of golf everybody enjoys a huge potluck lunch that everybody contributes to. My contribution was this salad. The lady golfers seemed to especially like it, and wanted the recipe, so here it is, enjoy!

Coleslaw with Lemon Dressing
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Ingredients for Coleslaw:
2 cups finely sliced purple cabbage
2 cups finely sliced green cabbage
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Ingredients for Lemon Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon rind zest
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium serving bowl, combine the prepared purple and green cabbage, carrots and parsley. Set aside.

Toast your seeds in a small skillet, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the they are fragrant but not burnt.

To make the Lemon Dressing:
In a small bowl, combine everything, then whisk until thoroughly blended.

Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and toss until all of the ingredients are lightly coated. Taste and add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice if needed. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 4 to 6 side servings.

Note: This recipe makes a beautiful presentation as you can tell from the photo above. It can be served with a number of things, like pan seared salmon, as a side salad with hamburgers or hot dogs, with bbq pork ribs or chicken, or with pork belly... yumm!

Asian Coleslaw
This is a simple Asian cole slaw recipe that is so good as a side dish for so many Asian recipes, like with ribs or chicken. It's also wonderful in a grilled mahi-mahi fish sandwich or fish tacos.

Ingredients for the Asian coleslaw:
5 cups Chinese or napa cabbage (1 1/4 pounds), thinly sliced with ribs removed
3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup red bell pepper, small dice

Ingredients for the dressing:
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
red pepper flakes, to your taste (optional)

3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds for garnish (black sesame seeds make a nice contrast)

Combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and red bell pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds just before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Classic Caesar
While this recipe is not Hawaiian, I have served this salad to many of my friends here on Moloka’i and they always ask for more. I believe this to be the original recipe created by Caesar in Tijuana, Mexico. For a variation, try sprinkling cooked chicken breast or shrimp over the top, then top with Parmesan cheese. 

8 (1/2-inch thick) slices French bread
3 large cloves garlic
8 anchovies, rinsed to remove oil and salt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons blue cheese*
16 cups 1-inch pieces romaine lettuce (2 large heads)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 soft-cooked 'coddled' egg, boiled only 1 1/4 minutes

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place bread on sheet pan; bake 6 minutes to dry. Halve one garlic clove; rub on one side of bread slices. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; return to pan. Bake 8 minutes more to toast. Or use already made croutons. In food processor, mince whole garlic cloves; add anchovies. Finely chop. Add mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, pepper, grated Parmesan, blue cheese and egg; process until smooth and thick. This dressing will keep in refrigerator for days. In a bowl, toss lettuce and about 1/2 of the dressing. Top with croutons and remaining Parmesan cheese. Taste before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

*Note: I use the best blue cheese I can find for this recipe (Point Reyes Original Blue, available at Moloka'i Wines & Spirits), also this is a very strong dressing, so use sparingly to your taste, I sometimes add mayonnaise to smooth and stretch this recipe.

Ironwood Whiskey Brownies with Bacon
Ironwood is the name of the golf club on Moloka'i. Brownies are a favorite dessert with these golfers, but these are just a little different, bacon mixed with chocolate and bourbon, how can you loose!

Ingredients for the Brownies:
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 ounces bourbon (Maker's Mark is my preferred brand)

Ingredients for the topping:
12 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chopped pecans
1 ounce bourbon (Maker's Mark is my preferred brand)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Blend the melted butter and cocoa powder to a mixing bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Next add in the sugar and flour and mix just until they're combined. Now stir in the bourbon and crumbled bacon.

Pour into a 9 x 13" baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes.
While the brownies are baking, make the topping:

To a medium saucepan add the evaporated milk, brown sugar and egg yolks. Whisk and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

Take off the heat and stir in the whiskey, bacon and chopped pecans and then set aside to cool.
After the brownies have cooled completely, spread the topping over the top and cut into squares to serve. Makes 25 brownies.

Spicy Mexican Pickled Carrots
I've had these spicy pickled carrots many times in Mexican restaurants. They are very easy to make and go well as a side dish with sandwiches, turkey, chicken, pork, even great chopped in poke.

1 1/2 pounds of large carrots
1 large yellow or white onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 fresh green and/or red jalapeno peppers
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/8 cup of olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 pint canning jars and lids, sanitized*

Peel the carrots and slice into 1/4 inch pieces either straight across or diagonally. Peel and cut the onion into 1/4 inch slices, peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Slice the chili peppers into thin rounds with the seed intact.

In a pot mix the water and vinegar and bring to a soft boil under low medium heat. Let sit covered.

In a a large frying pan heat the oil, add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the chili, onion, garlic, and bay leaves then cook for another 5 minutes. Add the salt, oregano and peppercorns and cook for about 3 minutes more, stirring to combine the spices and vegetables well. Don't overcook, the carrots should be crispy.

Carefully take the 3 jars out of the hot water and put them in the kitchen sink. With a large spoon, place enough carrot mixture in each jar until it is about 1/2 inch from the rim, then pour in water/vinegar mixture to about 1/4 inch from the rim. Seal tightly with sanitized lids and set aside to cool, make sure they are tightly sealed. Once they are at room temperature you can put them in the refrigerator. Let them sit in there at least overnight or longer if you want, the longer the more the flavors will mix. The carrots will keep up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.

*To sanitize the jars and lids place them inside a large and deep pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Leave the jars and lids inside the boiling water until the carrots are ready to be poured in. Another way to sanitize the jars by washing them in a dish washer with very hot water temperature. Makes 3 pints, or about 4 1/2 cups.

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