Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brussels Sprouts, Just in Time for the Holidays

Local Farmers Market in Castroville California

Brussels Sprouts, Fresh Picked and Still on the Stalk

It seem their is a love or hate relationship with Brussels sprouts, you either like them or not. With me, I like them and prepare them in a variety of ways. My favorite recipe is to shave them thin and sauté with a thick dice of pancetta and onions but also very good as a winter salad with nuts and dried cranberries. They are best if you find them still on the stalk where they will have a fresher flavor and will store for a longer time.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Hawaiian Classic, Poke

Shoyu Ahi Poke* 

A Variety of Poke a the Market

The State dish? could be and found in almost every market in the state of Hawaii, Poke. A cold salad of mostly raw or cooked seafood dressed in soy sauce, sesame oil, Maui sweet onion, seaweed and chili peppers. There are lots of variations of seafood used but Ahi (Yellowfin tuna) is the most typical. The history of Poke dates back many years but started gaining in popularity in the 1970s to the level its at today where its eaten almost daily as a snack or maybe in a rice bowl as a meal. Sold by weight in little plastic tubs starting at around $10 U.S. dollars a pound to maybe $16 or more for better grade fish.

* Note: Shoyu Ahi Poke is a basic salad seasoned with Sesame oil, Soy Sauce and Onions  

A great Hawaiian Food Find

Amazing Spread
A somewhat new product found in local Hawaiian markets is a new take on the classic tuna fish salad, Smoked Ahi Spread. A delicious flaky spread of lightly smoked Ahi tuna in a lemon mayonnaise with a hint of tamarind. Its best served by itself on a rice cracker or maybe in a sushi roll? How about little finger sandwiches with shaved cucumber on crust less Hawaiian sweet bread? If you live or visit the islands ask for it at your local market. 

Note: The price is roughly $8 U.S. dollars for a 8 oz tub

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Very Last of Summer Peas

Pea pods on the vine.

Just picked Peas

Fresh Pea Risotto with Spinach and Bacon

While eating the last of a friends late summer peas this year I decided to put a few in the ground to see what would happen, I was surprised that they soon sprouted and grew into mature bushes. Next came very fragrant flowers where the pea pods grew from. The strange result of all this is that I was harvesting peas during the first week of November! OK Fresh pea risotto it will be and I enjoyed this rare treat.