Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Early Summer Dinner

Dinner last night - well, we should begin with LUNCH yesterday. I had the very rare Monday off, so we went to Whole Ox Deli for lunch. Always great fun to see Bob & Erica McGee, and the food is great! Ted had the chicken fried chicken sandwich, I had the porchetta.

I also got a piece of pork terrine - with cherries and hazelnuts - to go, and that was dinner! Along with cornichons from Ho Farms, a sliced heirloom tomato from Wow Farms, and Herb 'n Farmer cheese from Naked Cow Dairy at the Honolulu Farmers Market. There were also crisp slices of apple, rustic bread from La Tour Bakery. And there was wine. We ate all of this on the lanai as the sun went down.

Note that I didn't actually cook anything. Life is good.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When life gives you long beans

And you have eggplant and kabocha pumpkin, what do you make?

The custodians - specifically Rich - make a wonderful pinakbet. This is lots of healthy vegetables with a bit of  pork or shrimp which is more condiment than focus of the dish. The key ingredient is bagoong, a thick fish sauce. Instead, I used patis, a liquid fish sauce.

I had leftover Chinese roast pork from a foray into Chinatown, so I started with a little over one cup of those chopped pieces of pork. After they took on some color, I took them out of the pan and set them aside. I added a bit of oil to the pan and sauteed 2 long eggplants sliced on the diagonal until they had some color and were softened a bit. Removed those from the pan, added a little more oil and sauteed 1/2 an onion until they started softening, added 2 cloves of garlic, sliced.

I had about 1-1/2 cups kabocha from the freezer that I put in the microwave on the defrost-then-micro-one-minute each cycle, then added to the pan with 1/2 cup water. Place pork and eggplant back into the pan, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then add about a cup of long beans cut to 2-3 inch lengths along with a tablespoon of patis and black pepper to taste. Turn vegetables gently, add 1/2 cup tomatoes cut in 1-in. pieces, then serve with hot rice.

Notes: because roast pork was used, this was richer and saltier than if you had used uncooked pork to begin with. The traditional recipe calls for okra, which I didn't have, and bitter melon, which I don't care for. There are enough leftovers for one very hungry person, or two with a side dish.

Naimas, masarap!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Salad Weather

It's just the start of June, and it's already hot. The golden shower trees are blooming beautifully.

When the produce is so fantastically ripe and perfect, doing very little to it is a marvelous idea. It's the right thing!

I've been craving this salad, and even made a version with roast pork and cracklings previously, but the fruit for this is now optimum: sweet, juicy and ripe.

Combine about 2 cups of seedless watermelon cut into one-inch cubes with the same size cubes and amount of ripe tomatoes. I used a combination of beefsteak and Roma tomatoes from WOW Farms. (We picked out a premium beefsteak that cost $2.50. I know. BUT it weighed TWENTY ounces! And YUM!)

Add a cup of mint leaves - large leaves torn - and 2 tablespoonsful of diced red onion. Gently toss all with dressing made with juice of one large lime, 2 tablespoonsful extra virgin olive oil, about 1/2 teaspoonful honey and coarsely ground sea salt to taste. Our coworker shared his Sudachi limes with us! Top individual servings with a sprinkle of Naked Cow Dairy queso. If you're not so fortunate to have access to this delicious local cheese, use a moist feta instead.

This salad was the perfect contrast to The Pig & The Lady Viet Loco Moco we brought home from yesterday's farmers' market at Blaisdell Center. This was jasmine rice topped with a local beef patty, poached egg, curry leaves and curry gravy. So delicious!

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's better with cheese from Naked Cow Dairy

There are no photos here. You'll just have to imagine how good these salads were, and how much they elevated the leftovers we ate with them last week.

The first was a whole bunch of purslane snipped from their stems, tossed with chunks of WOW Farms tomatoes and bites of Naked Cow Dairy Herb 'n' Farmer cheese, all in a simple red wine vinaigrette. This was happily and greedily gobbled up by both of us.

The second consisted of road kill avocado. Just kidding! This was foraged from the neighborhood. No, we did not steal! It was SOOO windy last week - we were on our evening constitutional, when we heard a big THONK. We were on our way home, and in the vicinity, we found a nice-sized avocado in the grass next to the sidewalk. After a couple of days, one spot was brown, but the rest buttery and delicious! This was served with slivers of sweet red onion, shreds of mint, more chunks of WOW Farms tomatoes, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, and generously sprinkled with Naked Queso.

Which Naked Cow Dairy cheese do I like best? This is like asking a mother which child is her favorite! Fuggedaboudit! But I can't wait to get my Big Cream Little Rind brie!

Here's my first post on the return of Naked Cow Dairy to the Honolulu Farmers Market at Neal Blaisdell Center.