|Classic Ahi Poke at Hookipa Beach, Maui|
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
In this lush rain forest like Island of Maui are just about every kind of tropical and non tropical fruits and vegetables that you can think of, a lot of times it grows wild. I went out this morning and picked guava fruit from the trees to go with my breakfast and now I have discovered local pumelo which is a form of grapefruit but the size of a honeydew melon, Normally these that are found on the mainland are quite sour with a very large layer of bitter white pith between the gold skin and the massive fruit segments, these local tree ripened fruits are sweet with a low amount of acid. They are now giving me the idea of making them into a salad with sliced avocado that is also growing here on our North Shore property..
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
It's hard right now not to go to your local market without tripping on the huge displays of fall squash; it's that time of the year and that turned out to be my inspiration for tonight's dinner. One of the best ways to cook squash is roasting at a high temperature, which intensifies the flavor and produces a smooth texture. I also had the thought of using it into a Indian style curry along with sliced onions, chick peas and a good quality curry paste.
To start I cut a medium butternut squash in half leaving the skin on, next scoop out the seeds and place flat side down on a parchment covered sheet pan, then into a preheated 400F oven for about 45 minutes. Cook until the outside side starts to brown. While the squash is cooking, peel and thinly slice a yellow onion and put into a heavy pan with a dash of olive oil to slowly cook and soften, then add a spoon of curry paste. The paste will have to cook slowly for a few minutes to bring out the flavors, then add precooked chick peas and a splash of vegetable stock or water to make a thick stew. By this time the squash is cooked and somewhat cool to touch, peel off the skin and cut into medium dice, add to stew, carefully stir then check for seasoning. I added a pinch of chopped cilantro. This would good served with a scoop of steamed brown rice for a very healthy and delicious meal.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
|The Custom Firepit|
|Just Getting Started|
|Distant Valley View|
Thursday, October 13, 2011
|Soft Polenta with Stewed Tomatoes|
Comfort food is any kind of food that you are familiar with, maybe its a dish that your mom used to make for you as a child, it can be foods from your home Country if you have relocated. For me one of the first foods I cooked was creamy soft polenta with sausage and peppers, this is a variation of that using just tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. When it gets cold outside a hot bowl of this is what gets me going and takes me back to when I first started cooking.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
|Ouick and Easy Pasta|
Leftovers?? Not really, but ingredients from another night's dinner are born into a new dish. Last night's roast chicken becomes a ingredient with rigatoni pasta, roast peppers, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. While the pasta boils in salted water, the other ingredients are quickly sauteed in lots of extra virgin olive oil. Ten or so minutes later, it all comes together in a preheated bowl. Good stuff and minimal work.
|Food Stall Falafel Sandwich|
One of my favorite snacks is Falafel, Middle Eastern fried chick pea fritters. These were put into warm pita bread and topped with a spicy yogurt sauce, pickled vegetables and peppers. There are lots of food choices at the farmers market now but I keep going back for it, delicious.
|Roast Chicken and Heirloom Tomato|
|Pressed and ready to eat|
The Panini is an old-style sandwich with new interest and it's found everywhere these days. It's simply a sandwich that is pressed between two hot grill plates, warm and toasted on the outside. I made one tonight using roast chicken, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil on crusty Acme bread from Berkeley, California. Lots of great flavors and textures.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
|Blackened Red Snapper|
Serve with slow-simmered red beans and Southern style rice. A cooling mayonnaise based remoulade sauce would go good, but tonight it's just lemon. Good stuff.
Monday, October 10, 2011
With a few rainy days happening now it's really last call for Summer vegetables. I found this assortment of baby zucchini, eggplant and peppers at the Sunday farmer's market. Simply grilled and seasoned, then add a very generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and some torn basil. Looking at this pile of vegetables gives me the idea of putting them on pizza.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
|My Plate Lunch|
As a tourist in Hawaii you probably won't see it on restaurant menus, but as a local it is the common lunch sold just about everywhere: the Hawaiian plate lunch. This inexpensive meal will always include two scoops of steamed rice, macaroni salad and some kind of protein such as pork, chicken or fish. At work this week we hosted a Polynesian day featuring music, dancing and my plate lunch. I served marinated pork wrapped and slow roasted in banana leafs and kim chee with the other traditional ingredients. It went over well. The origins of this dish go back many years to the days of plantation workers needing a cheap and filling meal while harvesting sugar cane. I will be in the Islands soon and report on it with a few posts and any recommendations.
The growing town of Napa in the world famous valley of the same name is home to a new market complex of specialty shops and restaurants. The Oxbow Public Market is the same group that gave San Francisco the Ferry Building Marketplace, foodie ground zero. The Oxbow Market has a wide range of small restaurants that are perfect for a quick bite or gathering supplies for a vineyard picnic. There are a few retail stores inside with antiques, food and wine. I tryed Pica Pica restaurant which serves small tapas style Venezuelan food; it's concept is to serve food in a fresh corn type of bun. It was OK, not great. Next time I will try C CASA Taqueria which looked really good. Definitely visit the market next time you are in the area, it's easy to find located right across the bridge from downtown Napa.
Oxbow Public Market, 610 First Street, Napa, California 94559
|The Oxbow Public Market|
|Pica Pica Restaurant|
|Pica Pica Pork Sandwich|
Oxbow Public Market, 610 First Street, Napa, California 94559