Dec 30, 2019


I have eaten fried calamari in many Italian restaurants. Calamari steaks on the other hand come from giant squid usually found in the cold waters around the world near continental and island slopes from the North Atlantic Ocean, especially Newfoundland, Norway, the northern British Isles, Spain and the oceanic islands of the Azores and Madeira, to the South Atlantic around southern Africa, the North Pacific around Japan, and the southwestern Pacific around New Zealand and Australia. Specimens are rare in tropical and polar latitudes.

I first had calamari steak "strips" on the Hawaiian Island of Maui while sitting at a golf club bar in Kahului. They were served as an appetizer with drinks, and are delicious served as a first course or a lite meal.  If you live on Molokai, you can usually find these steaks at Friendly Market (see photo below). 

Here's my recipe, I think you will like it:

Calamari Steaks Cut Into Strips And Pan Fried

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Ingredients for fried calamari steak cut into sticks:
4 calamari steaks that were already tenderized
Package of two frozen calamari steaks
from Friendly Market on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i

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1/3 cup of canola oil for frying in a large skillet
2 eggs beaten in a small bowl
3/4 cup of cornmeal
salt and pepper for seasoning

Ingredients for dipping sauce:
1 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 lime or lemon
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
hot sauce to taste

Place oil in a large skillet. Place each calamari steak on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips. You will get 5 strips per steak depending on the size of the calamari steaks. Season the sticks with a little salt and pepper to taste. Beat eggs in a medium size bowl and place the calamari steak sticks into the eggs to coat them. Now put the cornmeal on a large bowl and coat the calamari sticks with the cornmeal. Fry the coated sticks in the skillet over medium high heat until crisp, turning the sticks while cooking them. These cook fast – do not overcook as they will get tough!

I usually make a dipping sauce out of a 14 ounce can of tomato sauce that is seasoned with fresh lemon or lime juice, garlic powder and a little hot sauce to taste. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

For other octopus recipes on, click here.

Lemon Garlic Calamari
This dish makes a great appetizer. Serve over a bed of greens for a salad course, or over pasta for an entrée. Serve with the same wine you used for cooking. 

1/2 pound calamari
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Large squeeze fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add wine, reduce by half. Add calamari; toss to coat; and cook for about 2 minutes or until just translucent (be careful not to overcook).

Add butter and swirl to melt. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the lemon in, sprinkle with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Calamari Salad
This is a wonderful main-course salad using squid (calamari), that has been briefly cooked then marinated in a flavorful dressing.

1 1/2 pounds of cleaned squid
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Red Boat brand fish sauce
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
1 cup of red and 1 cup of yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Rinse squid under cold running water, then lightly pat dry between paper towels. Halve tentacles lengthwise and cut bodies (including flaps, if attached) crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide rings.
Cook squid in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just opaque, about 60 seconds of cooking is all it takes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. When squid is cool, drain and pat dry.

Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, oil, fish sauce, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl, then stir in onion and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine squid, olives, tomatoes, celery, and parsley in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and let stand at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator to allow flavors to develop.

Makes 4 servings.

Fried Calamari
The secret to tender yet crunchy calamari is to start with a soak in buttermilk. This slightly acidic liquid gently tenderizes the squid, and since the buttermilk is extra thick, it helps the breading adhere to the rings, eliminating the need for beaten egg. For added crunch, you can’t beat cornmeal; its fine, pebbly grains fry up crispy. Serve with your favorite marinara.

1 pound cleaned squid, tubes cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings and tentacles left whole (about 2 cups), rinsed
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 ounces)
3/4 cup corn flour (about 3 1/4 ounces)
6 Tbsp. fine yellow cornmeal (about 2 1/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Lemon wedges, for serving

Place cleaned squid pieces in a medium bowl. Pour buttermilk over squid, and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, pour canola oil to a depth of 1 3/4 inches into a Dutch oven; heat over high to 375°F.

Stir together all-purpose flour, corn flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a shallow dish.

Working in batches, remove squid pieces from buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge squid pieces in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Add to hot oil, and fry until lightly golden and crisp, about 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain. Let oil return to 375°F between batches. Transfer fried calamari to a large bowl, and toss with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a platter, and serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings

Dec 4, 2019

Christmas Dinner For Two

Happy Holidays everyone. What's for dinner? I love Cornish game hens because one is the perfect size for two people. Add a tasty side dish and a salad and you are ready for an easy but delicious Christmas Dinner.

Honey Glazed Roasted Cornish Game Hen
1 Cornish game hen, thawed then halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Season hen halves with salt and pepper. Place game hen halves with skin sides up into a 9x13-inch roasting pan. Roast hens in the preheated oven until partially cooked, 30 minutes.

Mix orange juice concentrate, honey, and ketchup in a saucepan; bring to a boil and cook until syrup consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Brush mixture over hens; continue roasting, basting every ten minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone reads 180˚F, 20 to 25 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving with wild rice. 

Makes 2 servings.

Wild Rice Casserole

I'm a big fan of wild rice. It's sometimes very pricy to purchase here in Hawaii, so I usually order several pounds of it on so I always have it handy. This mixture of wild rice, brown rice and mushrooms makes a wonderful earthy side dish with chicken, pork, venison, or fish dishes.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon each dried sage, thyme and rosemary
2 cups wild and brown rice, mixed
3 1/2 cups water or chicken/vegetable broth

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion until soft. Add mushrooms, garlic and celery and sauté until mushrooms are cooked. Add parsley and dried herbs and stir to blend. Add rice and water or chicken/vegetable broth and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, partially covered, and cook for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork before serving. 

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Sweet Ginger Dressing
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

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.

Nov 25, 2019

A Thanksgiving Star

This recipe makes a festive Thanksgiving side dish, served with roast turkey. Fresh starfruit is usually available in October and November here on Moloka'i. Make sure everyone gets a star with their cranberries when served.
Starfruit Cranberry Sauce
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Starfruit Cranberry Sauce
1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4-5 ripe starfruit, depending on size
1 orange, zest grated and juiced
1 lemon or lime, zest grated and juiced
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cook the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and ginger in a saucepan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Wash and wipe the starfruit dry. Remove the hard ridge on the fruit with a potato peeler, then cut into 3/8-inch star-shaped pieces. Remove the seeds, which are hard like apple seeds. Add the starfruit slices, zests, and juices and cook for about 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the raisins and nuts. Let cool, and serve chilled.

Makes 4 cups.

Note: You can double this recipe to make about 3 quarts. I like to put them up in canning jars and give them to friends over the Thanksgiving holidays.

Sep 3, 2019

My Favorite Guacamole Recipe

Fresh Hawaiian avocados from my back yard
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I usually make guacamole in the summer because I have 14 avocado trees and 2 Tahitian lime trees. My trees are usually full of fruit in August and September. That's when I pick them and sell them to Friendly Market or at our Saturday Farmers Market here on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. 

I have found that guacamole needs to be customized depending on individual tastes. For example some people don't like spicy foods, including children. Other people don't like cilantro because it has a strong flavor. So you have to edit my recipe based on your taste. One thing that is important, use the best avocados you can find, avoid bruised and mushy avocados. You will know when they are ripe when they are just a little soft to the touch.

Another way that avocados are eaten here in Hawaii, mostly by the Filipino community, is blended with ice and sweetened condensed milk. This results in a very creamy refreshing summer drink. 

Fiesta Guacamole
3 or 4 ripe Avocados depending on the size, seeded and scooped from peel
Zest of one lime
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 limes depending on how juicy they are)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (rinsed in water to remove the harsh bite)
1 large Roma tomato, seeded then diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 of 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large bag of triangular shaped corn chips

Add lime juice and zest to a large bowl, then add the avocados. Take a pastry cutter or fork and cut the avocados into the lime juice and zest until you've reached the lumpy texture you like.

Add the red onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste. Toss mixture then serve immediately with triangular corn chips.

Note: If you are making this ahead of time, cover your guacamole with plastic wrap, pushing the wrap down over the top of the guacamole so that it is airtight and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes 6 servings.

Jul 26, 2019

Grilled Skirt Steak... 'Hawaiian Style'

Grilled skirt steak... 'Hawaiian Style'
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Grilled skirt steak has become one of my favorite ways to serve beef.  Why you ask, because it's a cheaper cut of beef and if you follow this recipe you will love how it comes out. You want to look for the 'Outside' skirt steak cut rather than the 'Inside' skirt steak which is a tougher cut. 

To start, remove any silver skin. Silver skin is a butchery term referring to a type of connective tissue found in most animals. Its name is very descriptive: to find the silver skin you need only look for a thin membrane with a silvery sheen. It's very easy to remove with a sharp knife. If you don't the steak will be tough.

Now comes the tasty part of preparing your steak for the grill, the marinade. This marinade has lots of tropical flavors that give this steak great flavor. Read on, this is really not a difficult recipe, and your friends and family will love it.

If you live on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, you can sometimes find this cut at Friendly Market, if not, ask the meat department to special order it for you. Or you can call the Molokai Livestock Co-Op at (808) 567-6994 to check availability. They are located at 3367 Mauna Loa Hwy, Ho'olehua.

Marinated & Grilled Skirt Steak

This is a one pound 'outside' skirt steak,
sliced thin... plenty for 3 people.

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1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1-1/2 pound 'Outside' skirt steak, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons cilantro

Combine all together in a zip top bag, or Large shallow dish. Cut the skirt steak into two or three pieces, then marinate them for one hour, turning the beef in the marinade after 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-high. When ready to grill, drain the skirt steak and use paper towels to pat dry. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place skirt steaks on the hot grate and grill for 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare to medium, depending on your preference.

When ready transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered with foil. Slice the steak thinly against the grain, starting at one corner and cutting on the bias. Cutting the beef thinly against the grain is important. By doing this the steak will be more tender.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: This steak is great served with hot corn tortillas with thinly sliced avocado, tomato slices, and a dash of fresh lime juice and hot sauce if you desire.

Jul 25, 2019

Tasting Hawaiian Pineapple Recipes

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When people think of pineapple they think of Hawaii. By the early 1960s, Hawai’ì supplied over 80% of the world´s output of canned pineapple. This golden period did not last long though. Growing pineapples became cheaper in other countries and just 20 years later, in 1983, the last big Hawaiian cannery folded. Today, 75% of the world’s pineapples come from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The fact is that each pineapple takes over two years to grow. I know that because I have grown many of them here on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i. I picked this little pineapple yesterday. They are simple to grow, you just twist off the top, peel off a few of the lower leaves and stick it in the ground. Two years later you can taste a little bit of Hawaii.

This image was a photograph that was put through a digital watercolor program. To purchase my art,  visit my website at:

Pineapple Recipes:

Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice with Shrimp
1 ripe pineapple
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped, veins and seeds removed
2 spring onions, the green tops only, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups shrimp, shells removed and deveined
3 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce or light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups cold, steamed Thai jasmine rice
cilantro leaves for garnish

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise with green top. Scoop out the fruit, saving the two pineapple halves to use as bowls to serve the rice in. Chop the pineapple fruit into bite sized chunks, removing the tough core. Put the fruit in a bowl and add the shallots, jalapeno, ginger, green onion and cilantro. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the juice. mix and set aside. In a wok, over high heat, add oil, and stir fry the shrimp for 2 minutes or until just pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside. Stir fry the garlic a minute or so until golden brown, but not burned. Add the cooked jasmine rice, and stir thoroughly until slightly toasted. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and continue stirring. When the rice is heated through, add the pineapple mixture and cooked shrimp, and stir until thoroughly heated through. Pour the mixture into the pineapple shells, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve as a side dish. 

Makes 6 servings.

Pineapple Slaw
Ingredients for slaw:
4 cups cabbage (shredded)
4 slices fresh pineapple (diced)
1 cup carrots (shredded)
1/2 cup apple (chopped)
2 tablespoons green bell pepper (chopped)
2 tablespoons red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine vegetables in a bowl. In smaller bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in the vinegar, then pour over slaw mix. Sprinkle with black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Watermelon-Mango-Pineapple Slushy
sweet red watermelon (about 5 cups mashed, seeds removed)
1 cup of ripe mango, diced (preferably the Haden variety)
1 cup of fresh or canned, crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon of honey
13.5 ounces of canned coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
crushed ice
shredded coconut and a wedge of watermelon, for garnish
1 shot of light rum into the bottom of each chilled glass (optional)

Add mango, pineapple, and honey to a blender, pulsing several times, then add seedless watermelon flesh, pulse again once or twice, leaving the solution with some texture and body from the fruit.

When you get the texture to where you like it, stir in the coconut milk, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Pour into glasses over crushed ice (if you’d like) and top with shredded coconut. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and or lime. 

Makes 8 servings.

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

Click on photo to enlarge

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

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

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.  

Makes 9 servings.

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.

Liliko'i-Pineapple Ice
2 cups fresh liliko'i juice (about 28 liliko'i)
1/4 cup fresh liliko'i seeds left whole (about 4 liliko'i)
2 cups pineapple pulp
3/4 cups sugar
2 egg whites

To juice the liliko'i remove all pulp from all the fruit. Place in blender and pulse for 5 to 10 seconds. Pour in a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl and with the back of a spoon push the pulp around until you are left with just the seeds in the strainer. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Pour the mixture into a metal or plastic bowl and freeze. When frozen, break up the ice and place a small amount at a time into the food processor. When whipped and frothy, return to the bowl and freeze again. This mixture will not freeze hard and solid, so it will be easy to scoop out to serve. Sprinkle a few of the reserved seeds over the top of the ice when it is served or they may be added when the ice is returned to the freezer for the second time. 

Makes about 5 cups.
Note: Liliko'i juice can be made in advance and frozen in ice trays then transferred to freezer bags for future use.

Jul 9, 2019

Making Zucchini The Star

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Zucchini Ribbons
This is a delicious vegetable dish to have as a main course or as a side dish. It only takes about 20 minutes to put this together. It's a winner!

4 whole roma tomatoes, diced
2 whole zucchini
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 whole basil leaves (cut into thin ribbons "chiffonade")
salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the roma tomatoes into 1/4" dice, then set aside.

Give the fresh zucchini a rinse, then cut the ends off and discard them. Leaving the green skin on the zucchini, run a vegetable peeler down the length of each zucchini creating long thin ribbons of zucchini. It is important to buy thin zucchini so that they are not too fat, otherwise you will have a hard time getting them through the peeler. Another alternative is to run them through a mandoline.

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and cook for just 1 minute. 

Add the cut zucchini and gently toss around in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 

Add the diced fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese, then toss to heat everything up. The key is just to cook it all very quickly so the zucchini does not get soggy and the tomatoes and Parmesan just get heated.

Top the plated Zucchini ribbons with the thinly sliced basil leaves. Serve within a few minutes, before the zucchini get too soft!

Makes 4 servings

Jun 29, 2019

Delicious Summertime Eats

Fresh Corn Off-The-Cob with 
Red Bell Pepper & Bratwurst

1 tablespoon butter
2 Johnsonville brand bratwurst (Brats}, peeled and crumbled into small pieces
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 ears of fresh corn on the cob
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
a pinch salt, or to taste
a pinch ground cumin
a pinch of chili powder
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas

Get yourself a large bowl. Place a multi-purpose rubber jar gripper pad under the bowl to keep it from slipping while your cut the corn off the cob (these are great to have in your kitchen, I mostly use them under cutting boards, available on line at Amazon). Then I use a serrated steak knife to cut the corn off the cob. First remove the outside leaves and silk from the corn and discard. Place the flat end of the corn in the center of the bowl. Holding the pointed tip of the corn, run the knife down the corn removing the kernels. Repeat this process until all of the corn kernels are removed. 

Now cut the red bell pepper into small pieces, see photo above.

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat with the crumbled bratwurst. Cook the sausage pieces until almost done, about 7 minutes, then add the garlic, corn kernels, red bell pepper, peas, and lime juice; cook and stir until tender, 3-5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in lime juice, salt, cumin and chili powder. Cook until heated through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with my Iron Skillet Corn Bread.

Makes 2 servings.

Note: The bratwurst has salt in it so you don't want this dish too salty.

Jun 5, 2019

The Hawaiian Unicornfish Known As Kala

Most people know that a unicorn is a mythical, usually white animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead. However there is a distinctive Hawaiian reef fish that has a horn on its forehead that inspired its common name, the Unicornfish. Known as Kala in Hawaiian.

Kala travel in small schools and are seen in channels and seaward reefs with strong surges. They feed on coarse leafy brown algae. Unicornfish are herbivores that live in tropical waters around coral reefs and are part of the surgeonfish family, Acanthuridae. They range from the Indian to Pacific Ocean. Kala is grey to bluish green. They are characterized by their horn projecting from between the eyes. 
Unicornfish can live for more than fifty years.

When cleaning this fish, the first thing you will notice is that it has no scales. Instead it has an extremely tough skin. The 18 inch fish shown above only had 1/2 pound of firm, moist pink flesh. Kala is most commonly served raw as sushi, grilled, baked, steamed or pan fried.

Pan Fried Kala with Garlic, Ginger, Scallions, and Soy Sauce
I think pan frying Kala makes a better presentation and tastes great. The fish is topped with a hot soy sauce, scallion, garlic, ginger, and oil sauce, which releases the flavor of the aromatics into its flesh.

8 ounces of firm white Kala cut into 2 fillet servings
pinch of salt
pinch of ground pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
corn starch, to dust the fish
3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon sugar

Pat dry the fish, scatter a pinch of salt and ground pepper on the fish, then sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Dust with corn starch to coat the fish so it won't stick when fried in the pan, set aside.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat and stir fry garlic, ginger, and scallion until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, fry the fish for 5 minutes each side on medium high heat. Only flip the fish once at the end of 5 minutes, otherwise, the fish will stick to the pan. Set the fish on a serving plate.

Turn the heat to medium and pour the sauce into the pan. Wait until it bubbles a bit, then return the garlic, ginger, and scallions into the sauce. Cook for a minutes. Pour the sauce onto the fish. Serve immediately with steamed white rice and snow peas.

Makes 2 servings.

Apr 22, 2019

A Lite Summer Lunch

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It's not an exaggeration to say that for much of the year, fresh tomatoes aren't even worth buying. Out of season, almost all fresh tomatoes are bland, mealy, and watery. But come summer, it's a completely different story. You can find beautiful ripe, flavorful tomatoes at farmers markets everywhere you go, even here on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i. Here's a lite summer lunch for you to try:

Baked Tomato Bagel Pizzas
1 large whole tomato, sliced into four 1/4 inch slices
fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste
2 large bagels or English muffins, sliced in half (available at Friendly Market here on Moloka'i)
olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup grated Parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese, or to taste
a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (available at Kumu Farms)

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place four bagel halves on the foil lined baking sheet. Top each bagel half with a drizzle of olive oil, and a 1/4 inch thick slice of tomato. Season the tomatoes with a little garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Top each tomato with grated cheese, and fresh chopped basil. Bake until tomato slices are tender and cheese is melted, about 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with a little more fresh basil and serve immediately with iced tea or lemonade.

Makes 2 servings

Apr 21, 2019

Herb Crusted Tri-Tip Roast Beef

I have cooked this delicious tri-tip roast many times, and it turns out great every time. I have tried other cuts of beef but keep coming back to Tri-Tip because of its rich beef flavor, tender texture, as well as the cheaper price tag than similar steak cuts.

Tri-tip roast from Friendly Market on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i.
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1 tri-tip roast, about 2 1/2 pounds, 
trimmed of all fat

Ingredients for marinade:
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground 
   black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup beef stock, heated

The first step is to trim off all of the fat from the meat. You will probably notice a large slab of fat on the bottom of the trip-tip. Take a small sharp knife and slowly remove and discard all of the fat. I weighed the fat that I removed from the meat pictured above and it weighed 3/4 of a pound.

The key to creating a perfectly tender and flavorful try-tip roast is to give the meat time to marinate, allowing the muscle to soften and the flavors to seep in. Start by rubbing the Italian seasoning and garlic powder mixture into the meat. Then coat the meat with olive oil. Place the meat into a Ziplock bag. Allow the spiced meat to marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of a few hours, or better yet, overnight, turning the bag a couple of times. The longer you give the roast to soak up the spices and oil, the deeper the final flavor will be. 

When ready to cook, sprinkle the roast with the sea salt, leaving all of the herbs on to the meat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy ovenproof skillet, I use my large iron skillet. When hot, add the meat and brown over high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Now transfer the skillet to a preheated 425˚F oven and cook the roast for 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare, until the internal temperature has reached 140˚F for medium rare. Add the heated stock to the skillet and let rest, covered with foil on your stovetop for 10 minutes before carving. I like to cut Tri-Tip fairly thin across the grain because sometimes it can be a little tough. After carving the roast, add any of its juices to the hot stock. Serve with the natural meat cooking juices and mashed potatoes with tuscan kale and a nice bottle of red wine.

Makes 4 servings.

Apr 15, 2019

Fresh Local Asparagus Wrapped In Phyllo Dough

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Phyllo Asparagus Blankets
Simply wrap asparagus in a little blanket of phyllo dough, brush with butter, sprinkle with cheese and bake. The thin phyllo dough gets crisp around the asparagus, and the flavor combination is fantastic. Also they make a wonderful presentation.

Fresh local asparagus from the Molokai Farmers Market
8 asparagus spears
8 phyllo dough sheets, thawed
   (available at Friendly Market)
1/2 cup butter, melted (or use olive oil)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment
basting brush
parchment paper
baking sheet

Pre-heat oven to 350˚F. Snap off the tough end of one of the asparagus spears, then cut the rest of the asparagus the same length. Heat a large sauté pan filled with 1/2 inch of water to boiling. Add a generous pinch of salt. Boil for a couple of minutes until the asparagus is almost tender but not cooked all the way. Drain and pat dry. Cool.

Unwrap the phyllo and cut the stack in half if the sheets are big. What you want is for one side of the phyllo sheet to be the same length as the asparagus spears.
Sheets of thin Phyllo Dough from Friendly Market

Take 1 sheet of phyllo and brush lightly with some melted butter (or olive oil). Sprinkle lightly with grated Parmesan cheese, a tiny bit of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Fold the buttered sheet of phyllo corner to corner in half making a triangle. Place one asparagus spear on the straight edge across from the point. The dough should be the same length as the asparagus. Simply roll the asparagus up towards the point of the phyllo dough. It sort of shows you the distinct layers of the phyllo dough.

Place each piece, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Brush with more melted butter (or olive oil). Repeat until all the asparagus spears are used up. Place the phyllo wrapped asparagus spears on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Do check on them, as you don't want them to burn. Sprinkle with a bit more Parmesan cheese when they come out of the oven.

Makes 2 servings.

Apr 10, 2019

Rosemary Pork Ribs

Click on photo to enlarge

My favorite way to cook St. Louis cut pork ribs is to cover them with chopped FRESH rosemary. Rosemary is a popular herb here on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, mostly used for cooking venison, which is abundant here. Not being a hunter, I find that rosemary really works well with pork.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the ribs apart with a sharp knife, then line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place ribs, bone side down; meat side up on the foil, so the fat melts over the meat and the flavor of the rosemary enters the meat. Sprinkle the ribs with powdered garlic, salt and pepper, and chopped rosemary. Bake ribs for 1 hour.

I like to serve the ribs with baked sweet potatoes (skin on), that have been baked in the same oven, at the same temperature, for one hour. I also like to make a nice Asian Coleslaw. Enjoy!

Jan 25, 2019

Quick & Easy Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato & Black Beans
I am happy to say that these sweet potatoes grow right here on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i at L&R Farm. These potatoes help to make a very different and delicious stew that is easy to prepare and good for you. It is great for leftover chicken, or you can precook the chicken if you have no leftovers. The sweet potatoes give this stew a natural sweetness that is wonderful.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 14-oz. can cream of chicken soup with 1 1/2 cans of water
1 14-oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large clove of fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" squares (about 2 cups total)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken, skin and bones removed
fresh parsley for garnish

Saute the onion in olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat until soft (2-3 minutes)

Add the chicken soup and water, tomatoes, black beans, minced garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and add the cut sweet potatoes. Simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes (depending on how small you cut them).

Use a potato masher to mash the soup a few times to thicken it up a bit.

Turn the heat off and add the cooked chicken. Stir and allow to sit for a minute or so to make sure the chicken gets warmed through.

Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Jan 11, 2019

Pork and Plums!

Plums grow in a wide variety of climates with a species for nearly every zone in the U.S. Different varieties of fresh plums are usually available here in Hawaii, but most are not grown here. Plums, believe it or not, actually do grow in Hawaii. 

Methley Plums
Click on image to enlarge
The problem with growing plums in Hawaii is the lack of cold temperatures and inadequate chilling periods. Therefore production is limited to the higher elevations of the islands, above 2,700 feet. The most successful plums grown in Hawaii are known as Japanese plums or Methley Plums. It is indigenous to China but came into the United States via Japan in 1926.  It has proven to be the best variety to grow here. The tree is exceptionally vigorous and hardy. It is a heavy producer. The fruit is usually small, anywhere from 10 to 14 making up a pound. The flesh is reddish yellow and the skin is purplish crimson. They are sweet on the inside with a slightly tart skin that is a perfect balance of sweet and sour. 

These trees are available at Lowe's here in Hawaii according to their website. Please call Kahului Lowe's to check availability: (808) 872-1920.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce
The marriage of roast pork tenderloin with a sweet and sour Hawaiian plum sauce 
is really special, and isn't that difficult to make.

Ingredients for pork tenderloin:
2 pork tenderloin (usually available at Friendly Market here on Molokai).
Non-stick cooking oil (I use PAM)

Ingredients for pork marinade:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Procedure for pork tenderloin:
Trim pork tenderloin of any fat or silver skin that may be attached, then place them in a ziplock freezer bag. Whisk together marinade ingredients in a bowl, and pour over pork in the bag. Place sealed bag in refrigerator and marinate at least 8 hours, but 24 is better. Turn the bag at least twice during this time.

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Remove pork, placing them in a clean shallow baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. Save the marinade! Bake tenderloin about 35 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 155˚F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes and then slice thinly. Keep pork slices warm until plum sauce is ready.

Ingredients for plum sauce:
3/4 pound fresh plums
1/4 of the pork marinade (strained)
Honey to taste

Procedure for plum sauce:
Quarter and pit plums, discarding pits. Cut plum quarters into small pieces.

Add 1/4 of the pork marinade to a large skillet with the plum pieces, cover, and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat 20 to 30 minutes, or until plums are tender. Taste the plum sauce for sweetness. If needed, stir in honey and taste again until the sauce is to your liking. If necessary, simmer sauce, uncovered, until thickened slightly.

To serve, pour some of the warm sauce onto plates and place sliced tenderloin in the middle of the sauce. Serve with wild or brown rice and Asparagus Gremolata (recipe below).

Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you wish, you can blend the cooked sauce to make it smooth. 

Asparagus with Gremolata Butter
Locally grown asparagus
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool quickly, and drain again. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Pat dry; wrap in paper towels, then plastic, and refrigerate. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemon peel and garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add asparagus and toss to coat. Sprinkle lemon juice over. Sauté until asparagus is heated through and coated with butter sauce, about 3 minutes. Season asparagus with salt and pepper. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Jan 1, 2019

Brunch Time In Hawaii

Smoked Salmon Maki Rolls
Recipe below

Celebrate the new year with a special Hawaiian brunch for you and a meaningful other...

Smoked Salmon Maki Rolls
2 cups Japanese sushi rice
6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
6 sheets "toasted" nori (dry seaweed), available in the Asian section of most grocery stores
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and sliced
8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into long strips
2 tablespoons wasabi paste
roasted white sesame seeds (optional)
sushi ginger (pickled ginger found in the Asian section of most grocery stores

bamboo sushi mat, available in the Asian section of most grocery stores

Boil rice with 4 cups of water, and no salt. When rice comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until all liquid has gone away.

Immediately after rice is cooked, mix rice vinegar with brown sugar and salt. Heat mixture in microwave for 30 seconds. Now mix heated vinegar mixture into the hot rice. Spread rice in a shallow bowl or casserole dish until completely cool, about 1 hour. Cover bowl of rice with a clean dish towel while cooling.

Place 1 sheet of nori on bamboo sushi mat, shiny-side down. Press a thin layer of cool rice on the seaweed. Leave at least 1/2 inch top and bottom edge of the seaweed uncovered. This is for easier sealing later. Dot some wasabi on the rice. Arrange smoked salmon and avocado in a line on top of the rice in the center, then sprinkle the salmon and avocado with roasted white sesame seeds. Position them about 1 inch away from the bottom edge of the seaweed.

Slightly wet the top edge of the seaweed. Roll from bottom to the top edge with the help of the bamboo mat, rolling tightly. With a sharp knife that has been dipped in water, cut the maki roll into 8 equal pieces. Repeat this process with the rest of the maki rolls, cleaning the sticky rice from the knife blade with cold water. Serve with a soy sauce based dipping sauce mixed with a little wasabi.

— Toasted nori seaweed sheets are thin, dried seaweed wrappers used for maki rolls. Be sure to choose nori that is labeled “toasted” when making rolls—un-toasted nori is too chewy. 
— It's a good idea to have a bowl of water next to you when you are making maki as it is important to keep your fingers wet so that the rice doesn’t stick to them. It is also a good idea to keep the knife wet when you cut it to guarantee that you get a clean cut.
—You can make what’s called an Uramaki roll, or an inside out roll. This is made with the nori on the inside and the rice on the outside of the roll. Uramaki is great sprinkled with roasted white sesame seeds.
— I usually smoke 2 pounds of fresh salmon at a time and use it for a variety of recipes found on this site.

Makes 6 servings.

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
Click on photos to view larger
This salad is all about texture and the flavors of Southeast Asia where it is hugely popular. Green papaya salad is usually eaten with barbecue or grilled chicken and a portion of sticky rice. The dish is made from unripe green papaya, which has a firm white flesh and white seeds, and can sometime be hard to find. If you are going to make it, look for rock-hard dark green papaya without a trace of pink or yellow blush on the outside. Normally this salad is made with a lot of hot chilies, but I prefer it with just one chili in the dressing.

Ingredients for dressing:
2 large garlic cloves, forced through a
   garlic press
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably nuoc mam)
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small thin fresh red or green Asian chili (1 to 2 inches long) or serrano chili, or to taste, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)

Ingredients for salad:
1/2 pound small shrimp, shelled
3/4 pound green papaya, peeled, seeded, and shredded, or julienned into 2-3 inch strips 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor (about 3 cups)
1 carrot, julienned the same size as the green papaya
1/2 cup cut long beans - 1 1/2-inch-long segments (or substitute with regular green beans)
1 tomato, cut into bite-size wedges; or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, no stems, washed well and spun dry
4 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
mint or Thai basil sprigs for garnish

In a large bowl whisk together dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved, set aside.

In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook shrimp 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until cooked through. In a colander drain shrimp and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Halve shrimp horizontally. Add shrimp, papaya, carrot, beans, tomatoes, and cilantro to dressing, tossing well. Salad may be made 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Serve salad sprinkled with chopped peanuts, garnish with a sprig of mint and Thai basil.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Note: It is important to julienne the papaya, carrots and long beans as thin as possible, otherwise this salad can be a challenge on your jaws.

Papaya on the half shell
1 ripe papaya (seeded and halved, slice a thin piece off the back of each papaya half so it sits flat.)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup low fat natural yogurt
powdered sugar for garnish

Combine the lime juice and honey. Pour in the yogurt and stir in slowly until it has a thick and creamy consistency. Now, place your papaya halves on a plate and pour the liquid in. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Makes 2 servings.

Tahitian Poisson Cru
When you get that craving for poisson cru, you don't have to go all the way to Tahiti, try this recipe, it's easy, authentic, and delicious.

1 1/4 pounds sashimi-grade 'ahi tuna, cut into small squares
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Japanese cucumber, cut into strips or cubes or shaved
1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1 tiny hot red pepper, seeded and minced, or a good splash of chili pepper water
pinch of fresh-ground pepper
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (canned is OK but fresh is best)
3-4 sprigs green onion, thinly slivered

Place cut tuna in a large, non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the tuna. Pour over the lime juice, give it a gentle stir, and allow it to marinate 5-10 minutes. Add vegetables and chilies, season with pepper and pour over coconut milk. Gently fold mixture. Taste and correct seasonings, then cover and chill. Garnish with green onion and serve. Variations: Add grated or shaved carrots, diced or shaved red onion or sweet onion, a little minced garlic and/or a pinch of sugar.

Makes 6 servings.

Hawaiian Saimin with Edamame and Fish Cake
Click on photo to view larger

Hawaiian Saimin 
with Edamame and 
Fish Cake
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package dried Japanese soba noodles*
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Toppings (see suggestions below)

* Soba noodles can be found in the Asian food section of most grocery stores or in Japanese food specialty stores.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 4 quarts of water and salt; bring to a boil. Add soba noodles and boil 4 to 6 minutes until al dente. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse under warm, running water. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add chicken broth and ginger; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, and your favorite toppings; simmer for 5 minutes longer or until toppings are cooked. Remove from heat. Place cooked soba noodles in a large soup bowl; spoon broth mixture (with toppings) over the top and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Topping Suggestions:
Edamame (cooked soy beans)
Kamaboko (fish cakes)
Sliced Spam
Cha siu or baked ham slices
Roast Pork slices
Sliced carrots
Shredded napa cabbage
Chopped bok choy
Sliced hard cooked egg
Sliced mushrooms
Scrambled or fried egg
Sliced green onions or scallions
Chinese parsley (Cilantro)
Cooked small shrimp

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. This is the Hawaiian version. 

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

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, or 36 appetizers.

Lobster with Soft-Scrambled Eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (7 oz.) baguette, sliced into 1/4” thick pieces on a bias
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2, 1/2 lb. each. lobster tails, steamed 8 to 10 minutes, shell removed and roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons fresh chives or parsley, chopped
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeds removed and sliced thin

Heat oven to 400°F. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place baguette slices in a single layer; brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Rub lightly with garlic clove.

Meanwhile whisk together eggs, cream and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Heat non-stick skillet over low heat; add butter and lobster pieces. When butter is melted add eggs. Allow to cook slowly, occasionally scraping the cooked eggs from the bottom of the pan with a spatula until eggs are set but still look moist.

Serve lobster and eggs over toasted bread; garnished with chives or parsley and cold cantaloupe slices on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Luau Bloody Mary
Luau Bloody Mary
Click on photos to view larger

1/4 cup Nori Komi Furikake*
Ice cubes
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon fresh Tahitian lime juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce,
   or Momoya Kimchee Spicy Chili Sauce*
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 bamboo swizzle sticks
2 ounces vodka, chilled in the freezer (optional)

2 celery ribs from the heart, including leaves
2 slices of sushi grade Ahi tuna, speared on two bamboo swizzle sticks
4 slices of pickled ginger
2 large cooked and peeled Hawaii shrimp, speared on the same bamboo swizzle sticks
Dried dill

Rub a fresh lime wedge around the rim of 2 tall glasses. Sprinkle the Furikake on a small plate. Turn the glasses over and rub the rim of the glasses into the Furikake to coat the rim. Carefully fill the glasses with ice cubes. Combine remaining ingredients in a large jar or pitcher, stir, or shake, and pour over the ice. Garnish with the celery ribs, tuna, pickled ginger slices, and shrimp. Sprinkle with dill. Serve at once.

Spicy Kimchee Sauce

Makes 2 servings. 

Note: Add a splash of your favorite vodka if you must, but it's really not necessary!

*Nori Komi Furikake is made up mostly of roasted sesame seeds, dried nori seaweed, and other seasonings, found locally on Moloka'i at Friendly Market, in the Asian section.

*Tabasco sauce is traditional, but try a splash of Momoya Kimchee Spicy Chili Sauce instead. Available at Friendly Market on Moloka'i or in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

Roasted Fish with Cilantro and 
Cherry Tomatoes
In Portugal you would use a sea bream for this recipe, but in Hawaii, I would suggest moi. Moi is a delicious, delicate Hawaiian fish that was once reserved only for royalty, it is now farm raised on the Big Island, and available in many stores here.

2 pounds whole moi, cleaned and scaled, or other white fish
suitable for roasting in the oven: Onaga, Ono, or Opakapaka
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges
16 cherry tomatoes
sprigs of cilantro
2 stalks of rosemary
olive oil
salt and peppercorns to taste

Stuff garlic, rosemary and lemon wedges in the belly of the fish. To prepare the wrapper, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of an aluminum foil sheet. Place the parchment paper and foil on a cookie sheet. On top of the parchment paper sheet, place a sprigs of cilantro and then on top of that place the fish after being seasoned with salt. Sprinkle the fish with chopped garlic and sprigs of cilantro. Place the cherry tomatoes around the fish. Sprinkle with peppercorns. Sprinkle with olive oil and close the wrapper tightly. Put the cookie sheet with the fish into a preheated 400˚F oven for 40 minutes.

Makes 4 serving.

Baked Salmon with Watercress
2 pounds of salmon fillets cut into four, 4 ounce portions
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup of button mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of watercress, coarsely chopped
2 lemons, juice only
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Scatter onions, mushrooms and watercress on the bottom of a heavy, non-reactive baking dish. Place fish on top and add lemon juice and wine. Sprinkle with herbs and arrange tomatoes around perimeter of dish. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending upon the thickness of the salmon fillets. Serve with white rice or boiled potatoes with fresh parsley and melted butter. Makes 4 servings.

Frisee Salad with Bacon & Eggs
Frisee is a feathery salad green with a slightly bitter flavor. It is a favorite spring time treat for me. In France this salad is often called "Salade aux Lardons", combining tasty morsels of bacon with frisee, and then coated with a warm bacon vinaigrette dressing and topped with a poached egg.

Frisee Salad with Bacon & Eggs
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
12 ounces frisee, torn into pieces, or watercress
salt and ground pepper
4 poached eggs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium, tossing occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Set bacon aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from skillet; return skillet to heat. Add mustard and vinegar; stir, scraping up browned bits until dressing is combined. In a large bowl, toss frisee with warm dressing. Add bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with a poached egg garnished with a pinch of cayenne pepper and minced chives.

Makes 4 servings.

Mango Spinach Salad 
with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
4 thick bacon slices, diced
1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 (9-oz.) package fresh spinach
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/3 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.

Sauté onion in hot drippings 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add vinegar, lime juice, and honey; cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.

Place spinach in a serving bowl. Add warm vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Top with mango, crumbled cheese, and bacon; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Coconut Flan
We have flan all the time in our house, it is a dessert that is enjoyed worldwide. This version adds coconut and rum to the mix for a delicious tropical island taste.

Equipment12 (4-ounce) ramekins

Ingredients for caramel:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Ingredients for flan:
3 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 tablespoons dark rum

Procedure to make caramel:
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber. Immediately pour into ramekins and swirl so caramel coats bottom of each, then put ramekins in a large roasting pan.

Procedure to make flan:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Blend 2 cups milk with remaining flan ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, then divide among ramekins. Bake flan in a water bath until just set but still wobbly in center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove ramekins from water bath and cool slightly on a rack, at least 15 minutes (flan will continue to set as it cools). Just before serving, run a thin knife around each flan, then invert onto plates.

Makes 12 servings.

What better way to celebrate summer than a refreshing drink called ‘Otai, from the southernmost group of islands of central Polynesia called Tonga. The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian sovereign state consisting of 52 inhabited islands with about 103,000 citizens. 

Tongans came up with this cold slushy summer drink because it's very hot their, just like in Hawaii. They grow a lot of watermelons, mango, pineapple, banana, and coconut, so this drink blends one, if not all of these fruits, depending on who's making it. The end result is incredibly tropical, and the perfect summer drink.

About 50 years ago, when commercial farming was more of a way of life here, Moloka'i was considered to be the watermelon capitol of Hawaii. Watermelons were grown in large quantities and sold to other islands. Today farmers grow what is considered to be the sweetest (12% sugar content), reddest, 20 lb. watermelons in Hawaii, a variety known as "crimson sweet". Fortunately their are a few small growers here that sell this luscious red fruit to the public. 

I decided to share my recipe with my neighbors here on Moloka'i, and with whoever wants to celebrate summer with us. So instead of saying cheers in Hawaiian, "Å’kålè ma’luna", or "Kanpai" in Japanese... say ‘Otai! in Tonganese.

The trick with ‘otai is removing the seeds and mashing the watermelon without completely juicing it: the fruit needs to have a bit of structure left to give the drink body, kind of like a tropical slushCheck out this website for step-by-step photos on how to make Watermelon 'Otai. Naturally you can adjust this recipe to your own taste.

sweet red watermelon (about 5 cups mashed, seeds removed)
1 cup of ripe mango, diced (preferably the Haden variety)
1 cup of fresh or canned, crushed pineapple
1 tablespoon of honey
13.5 ounces of canned coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
crushed ice
shredded coconut and a wedge of watermelon, for garnish
1 shot of light rum into the bottom of each chilled glass (optional)

Add mango, pineapple, and honey to a blender, pulsing several times, then add seedless watermelon flesh, pulse again once or twice, leaving the solution with some texture and body from the fruit.

When you get the texture to where you like it, stir in the coconut milk, and fresh squeezed lime juice. Pour into glasses over crushed ice (if you’d like) and top with shredded coconut. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and or lime.

Makes 8 servings.

Mango Tango Ice Cream
I make this delicious ice cream whenever mango are in season here on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

1 1/2 cups pureed fresh mango
2 whole eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 of a 15 fl. oz. can of coconut cream (shake can just before opening)
1, 14 fluid ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

In a food processor puree fresh mango. Add the rest of the ingredients except the coconut. Blend together. Pour into your ice cream maker and add the coconut. Process until frozen to a soft consistency which should take about 1/2 hour. Freeze for several hours until solid.

Makes just over 2 pints.

To find hundreds of other brunch ideas browse the "Recipes Index" at the top of the home page. 

Enjoy! Chef James Temple