Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Thanksgiving in June

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Definitely going to be a learning curve on this jam-making so first a quick record of what I did.
1. Pick, halve and pit 7 generous cups of plums.
2. Realize I didn’t buy sugar and just moved. Scrounge up about 4 generous cups of brown sugar and organic cane sugar crystals. dump into pot with plums, juice of two lemons, chopped up crystallized ginger and 2 cinnamon sticks.
3. Med Heat. Boil and stir boil and stir. Took a while, almost 35 minutes. started checking consistency with the frozen plate method around 25 minutes.
Results: great consistency for refrigerator jam, but the cinnamon and ginger….made it taste like something that will be delicious at thanksgiving, over a pork loin on a cold night, with goat cheese on crostini and hot toddies…in otherwords, like the holidays. I sort of knew going in that the cinnamon would do that, but i think 2 sticks was a wee bit overpowering. Into the freezer they go, to emerge and delight in November!


Easy as (Kimchi) Pie

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

One memory I want to hold onto and remember to remember from this summer is the day I walked into my local korean grocery and stumbled upon the chaos that is a sale on gigantic napa cabbage during prime kimchi making season. the madness, oh the madness, it was wonderful. of course I walked out with 23 pounds of cabbage and a lifetime supply of gochugorang (korean chili powder) and a few tubs of house-made kimchi as a backup. the house made kimchi has been quicl=kly dwindling due to many meals of laziness/delicious sodium like this. kimchi fried rice with tofu and a fried egg. all i can say is that at least the fried tofu isn’t the fried pork belly we usually use for this dish?

Kale, Leek and Potato Frittata

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I make frittatas all the time, but i usually hope that dumping a lot of gruyere in will makeup for my tenency to overcoook and muddle the flavors of the fillings. this time, i took the time to cook each filling seperately and pull out of the oven while still runny. it made a world of difference. so did pairing with collectively owned yuppy beer; mothership organic wit.

Macerated Strawberry Pancakes

In Home Cookin' on June 23, 2011 at 3:47 am

Note to self. Next time you go crazy at the BevMo five-cent sale and accidentally buy a bottle of a notsoawesome portugese white, here’s how to use it up.

1. Wake Up, slice fresh strawberries into a bowl.

2. Splash in some of the delightful wine, and a sprinkle of sugar.

3. Go walk the dog.

4. Make pancakes and while you’re at the stove, dump strawberry wine concoction into a little pot and let simmer on super low.

5. When the pancakes are done, top with contents of the little pot and some more fresh fruit.

6. Marvel at how good life can be.

Feeling Plummy

In Home Cookin' on June 23, 2011 at 3:43 am

Just moved into a new house with thousands of these sweet little plums totally ripe in the backyard and a santa rosa plum tree with branches we can reach from our bed. WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM ALL? too small to pit, but maybe i should treat them like cherries? just eat them out of hand all day and night?

Maui, Highlights.

In Hawaii on June 23, 2011 at 3:39 am

It was an amazing luxury to spend ten days on Maui a couple of days ago, but I realized that my stomach quickly outstayed my wallet. Basically, by three days in, we realized we couldn’t afford to eat out at all in the touristy areas around Lahaina. While Maui famously has about a half dozen $250 dinner spots that are argued over on chowhound but generally good, there is not the same access to cheap and delicious food as on Oahu, or in my opinion, even Kauai. Regardless, we did find a few amazing gems, and wanted to keep track of them for next time and for anyone else not looking to spend $25 per person every meal and/or sit next to a large, obnoxious tourist family from _______ three times a day.

Lahaina Produce: Best find of the week. For $20, you get sort of a CSA type box full of amazing fruits. Ours lasted all week and included three pineapples, half dozen mangoes, 4 or 5 papayas, avocados, limes. Groceries are notoriously expensive on Maui, and trying to buy lettuce in lahaina is like asking for a heart attack. this is the best deal and delicious, locally grown from very nice people. On the 30 in Kaanapali.


Sam Sato’s: the word is out about this place, and it’s for real. nicest wait service, and best meal of the trip. dry mein noodles have incredible texture. the side of fries makes no sense and tastes like they’re from a bowling alley, and yet, totally works.

Smoked Pork Chow Fun: I did a lot of  chow fun investigating at the festivals we went to (see below), it’s definitely the fundraiser food of maui alongside more traditional filipino and chinese treats, and plate lunches. In Wailuku town, there was a family selling smoked pork by the pound and smoked pork chow fun. holy incredible, never tasted that before, hope to find them at a farmer’s market again.

Four Sisters Bakery: Run by a filipino family, hands down best enseymada i’ve had outside of the philippines. why? because they make it like corner bakeries in the philippines do, instead of trying to imitate the red-ribbon/goldilocks model of a huge hunk of bread covered in butter. this was light, delicate bread that was so inherently buttery, the butter and sugar on top were minimal and perfect. also super nice people who hooked me up with bogoong for my green manga.

Wailuku Coffee Company: awesome iced coffee. not sure why it was so good, but it was just rich, no wateriness. went back three times!

Stock up on jams and honey: best prices on local jams was def TJ’s Warehouse in Kahului, which also has a great value and tasty okazuya/bento thing going on (incl breakfast bentos). for honey, i had to bite the bullet and go to whole foods, who also carried local macadamia nut butter!.

Festivals, good spots for trying homestyle/homemade food: KCC swap meet in Kahului on Saturdays, Wailuku town first friday (feels like half of maui is there eating, talking story and giving off happy vibes), Upcountry Maui Fair in Makawao.

There were others that were ok, others that were meh, and others that felt like i was robbed. no need to document.

Festivala, etc for findin

Kimchi Spring Rolls and Bulgogi

In Home Cookin' on June 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

Had been meaning to try this recipe from the Kitchn for a while, and the hubs was suddenly very interested in learning to roll spring rolls. big hit, red shiso has such a strong flavor, and was a good reminder to head to the nursery for my own shiso plants (which I finally did). next time, more kimchi and more tofu would be better, but overall, awesome with a bottle of torrontes. definitely want to explore full range of spring roll possibilities, including experimenting with tsukemono, other herbs like negi and fruity varieties of mint.

Kimchi Tofu Summer Rolls
Makes 8 large or 12 small rolls

2 ounces dried rice sticks or vermicelli
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

8 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 cup cabbage kimchi
1 medium carrot
4 lettuce leaves
8-12 Korean perilla leaves (optional)
1 bunch chives

6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons sesame oil
4 teaspoons Korean chile powder (gochugaru) or another chile powder
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

8 (8-inch) or 12 (6-inch) round rice paper wrappers

For the noodles
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add rice sticks. Stir and cook until noodles are white and tender but still firm, about 3-5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water.

Place noodles in a bowl and use scissors to cut them into fourths. Toss with the sesame oil and red pepper flakes.

For the tofu
Cut tofu into strips and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water.

Heat sesame oil in a skillet and fry tofu, turning once, until golden. Drain excess oil.

For the vegetables
Julienne the carrots.

Using your hands, squeeze the liquid out of the kimchi into a small bowl. Add carrots and toss.

Remove the ribs from the lettuce and tear the leaves into 8-12 pieces.

Cut the chives in half.

For the sauce
In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for sauce. Set aside.

To assemble
Fill a cake or pie pan with hot water. Submerge one wrapper for 30 seconds, then remove, letting excess water drip off. Lay it on your work surface.

Place a piece of lettuce (and a perilla leaf, if using) just below the center of the wrapper. Top with 1/8 or 1/12 (depending on number and size of wrappers) of the kimchi, noodles, tofu, and carrots, and a few sprigs of chives.

Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper up over the filling, then fold in the sides. Roll up to the top edge to close.

Place each finished roll seam-side down on a large plate or tray and cover with a lightly dampened towel until ready to serve.

Related: Recipe: Vegetable and Mint Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

(Images: Emily Ho)

Blog not even a mother would read

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 at 3:14 am

Given that this blog mostly has an audience of one, just a quick note to self that I’m back to it. After a two year hiatus in the land of desperately little culinary joy, i’ll have more time for cooking and eating this summer and want to keep track of meals that work for future reference. Entries will hopefully be less florid, more terse and to the point. we’ll see how that goes. And last go round, even my mother didn’t follow the blog. We’ll see what happens this time.

Roast Duck Chow Fun (for cheaters)

In Home Cookin' on June 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

Whenever my mom visits, it’s highly likely we’ll head to chinatown and get a roasted duck and custard cups. I used to like both of these dishes as a youngster, but lately haven’t been so keen on their richness. However, my mom proffered half of the duck she bought this sunday at just the right time: I had just picked up a hefty bag of freshly made rice noodles, ready to be sliced up for some chow fun that’s been on my mind since Maui. I figured it was the perfect moment to try to cheat a great dish, and spread out some of that ducky richness.

1. obtain 1 bag (6 pieces) rice noodles, 1/4 peking duck (chopped bite size), container of sauce that comes with the duck, and chives.

2. Heat a little canola oil in the wok on med, add duck pieces and render the fat, turning once so skin sides are crisped. Slice noodles into ribbons, carefully separate.

3. Remove Duck (leave fat in the pan), turn up the heat, stir fry noodles till light brown. Add chopped up chives, stir fry all together

4. drizzle duck sauce, stir fry some more. finally, add duck back in.

5. Serve island style, shoyu on the side for extra drizzles.