Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wonton Soup (makes 82 wontons)



It's the day after Hurricane Sandy.  We still did not have power in the morning.  We decided to drive to the ocean and check out the waves--they were impressive and there were a few surfers riding them.  I decided to make wonton soup using my grill when I got home.  By the time we got home the power was back up and I was able to use my stove again!  If you are looking to purchase a grill my advice to you would be to buy a good one and make sure it has a side burner so you can use it to cook.  About 3 winters ago I did not have power for several days.  I was comfortable in my home since I had water, a grill with a side burner, a fireplace with plenty of dry wood.  I was able to bath using boiled water, ate normal meals, and kept warm, while some of my neighbors left and stayed in hotels or with family/friends.

Wonton Soup (makes 82 wontons)


Ingredients:

16-oz (square) wonton wrappers (Hong Kong style)
1 egg yolk and 1 t water mixture (to seal wrappers)
1.4 lb lean ground pork
2 scallions, chopped
1 T minced cooked ginger (see Curt's Ginger Tea post) or 1 t fresh grated ginger
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 t Chinese 5-spice
2 t Chinese rice wine
1 t sesame oil
2 t fish sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t sugar
1 egg white


For Serving Wonton Soup:

1 pot of Chicken Stock
Shredded chicken
1 scallions, sliced thinly
Cilantro leaves, chopped
Fried shallots
Chili pepper, optional
Fish sauce or soy sauce (to your taste)
Cooked vegetable (such as sliced napa cabbage, Chinese broccoli, sliced bamboo shoots, sliced carrot, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and/or spinach)

Method:

1) In a medium bowl mix pork, scallions, ginger, shallots, garlic, Chinese 5-spice, wine, sesame oil, fish, salt, pepper, sugar, and egg white until well blended.  Cover with plastic and keep refrigerated.
2) Make the broth (please see Chicken Broth post).
3) While the broth is cooking start making the wontons.
4) Take about 1 tsp of meat mixture and add to the center of a wonton wrapper (see photo below).
5) Use the egg mixture to seal 2 sides of the wrapper (see photo below).
6) Fold the sides, remove excess air, form a triangular shape (see photo below).
7) Use the egg mixture and dab a small amount on the corner of the triangle (see photo below).
8) Pinch the corners together to make a tight seal.
9) Dust a plate with all-purpose flour and put the completed wontons on this.
10) Continue to wrap all the wontons until all the wrappers or meat is gone.
11) Take what you do not use right away, stack the wontons in single file and put it in the refrigerator.
12) When ready to eat, heat water in a small pot over high heat.
13) When water starts to boil add the amount of wontons per serving (7-10 would be a good amount) and turns heat down to medium.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.
14) Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon to a large serving bowl, top with shredded chicken and cooked vegetable if desired, ladle the broth until it covers almost to the top of the wontons, garnish with a sprinkle of scallions, cilantro, fried shallots, a dollop of chili pepper, and fish sauce or soy sauce to taste.

4) take 1 tsp of meat mixture and add to the
center of a wonton wrapper (see left of plate)
5) use egg mixture to seal 2 sides of the wrapper (see bottom of plate)
6) fold the sides to form a triangle (see right of plate)
7) seal the corners together (see top of plate)
wrap all the wontons 
 cook the wontons in water
make the broth
cook the vegetable for 5 minutes in the broth
(I bought this handy Asian spider strainer
with a hook in NYC Chinatown)
Hampton Beach, NH 2012
(normally this place has a very wide sandy beach,
after the storm the beach is on the road!)
*In this recipe I used up all the meat mixture and the wonton wrappers.  However, if you find that you have left over meat then you can form little meatballs to add to the broth.  If you have left over wrappers then you can cut them into strips, cook it in simmering water and add to your soup.
*You can also serve egg noodles in the wonton soup.  When my husband and I visit NYC we like to go to Chinatown for a quick meal.  We eat this type of wonton soup where the restaurant adds egg noodles, a few slices and/or leg of roasted duck and Chinese broccoli.  The soup is satisfying and keep us warm and full until we walk to our next meal!

Chicken Stock



I like to make my chicken broth or stock from scratch. This is a versatile recipe that can be used as a base for other recipes.  The shredded chicken can be used for other dishes such as salads.

Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

1 (about 4 lbs) whole chicken
1/2 to 1 large onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, cut in half
4 carrots, peeled, cut off ends and cut in half
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
10 dried shiitake mushrooms, hydrated in water, cleaned and squeezed out excess water (optional)
2 scallions, chopped
2 1/2 oz of the last 4 inches of the cilantro stem
10 whole cloves (optional)
3-inch cinnamon stick (optional)
2 t salt
1 T fish sauce
5 star anise (optional)
20 C cold water
15 slices of cooked ginger (please see Curt's Ginger Tea post) or 1 sliced and smashed 3/4 to 1 oz   fresh ginger

Method:

1) In a large pot (at least 8 quarts) over high heat add chicken and enough cold water to cover the chicken.
2) Once the water is about to boil, discard all the water, wash the chicken in water.
3) Rinse the pot, return the chicken back into the pot, add all ingredients including water.  Once the water boils turn heat down to medium low, skim and discard any scum that floats up, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
4) Turn heat to low, remove the chicken, use a slotted spoon to remove all the vegetable and herbs.
5) Shred the chicken, cut up the vegetable you want to keep and discard the rest.  Reserve the shredded chicken and cut vegetable.
6) Return the largest chicken bones back into the pot. Turn the heat to medium high.
7) Once the broth boils, turn heat down to medium low, skim and discard any scum that floats up, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
8) Remove and discard all the chicken bones and turn off heat.
9) Once the broth has cooled, keep broth refrigerated for 3-4 days.  May keep in a freezer if you are not using all of the stock.

Tropical Blend (serves 2 drinks)


Here is my tropical blend that is made from left over smoothie that turned into a sorbet.  If you do not have access to the guava nectar fruit drinks you can use pineapple juice instead.  

Tropical Blend (serves 2 drinks)

Ingredients:


1 C of Maui Breakfast Smoothie sorbet (please see Maui Breakfast Smoothie post)
1/8 of pineapple (please see How to Prepare a Pineapple post)
1 fresh fig
1/2 of a large avocado
1/2 medium ripe papaya
1 can (11.5 oz) of guava nectar (Hawaiian Sun fruit drink)
2-4 bougainvillea bracts and flowers, garnish (optional)

Method:

1) Puree all ingredients in a blender until well blended.
2) Garnish with bougainvillea flowers and serve immediately.

(Pa'ia, Maui, 2012)
(Maui, 2011)

Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée (makes 5 ramekins)


I made this crème brûlée in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.  Yesterday (10/29/12) by afternoon we had lost power.  I was working and I ended up closing the clinic 1 hour early and left for home.  On the way home everything was in complete darkness and I had to take a detour due to trees being down and blocking my normal commute.  When I got home my husband and I ate some pasta and crème brûlée by candlelight.  I used my handy blow torch to caramelize the sugar.  This morning we still have no power and the neighborhood is quiet.  Outside it feels tropical--60s F, cloudy with mild wind.  We ate our last crème brûlée and headed to McDonald's for coffee, sausage sandwiches and free WiFi.  Thank you McDonald's staff on 108 for your kindness, wonderful service and the free coffee refill!  

Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée (makes 5 ramekins)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 C heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp white sugar (according to your taste)
1 whole Tahitian vanilla bean
3 C water (for steaming)
4-5 tsp turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
5 fresh raspberries, garnish

Method:

1) In a small medal or glass bowl, whisk yolks and white sugar lightly together, set aside.
2) Slice the bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape out all the black seeds and pulp by gliding the blade of a knife along the bean.
3) Place the scraped beans, pulp and empty bean shell into a small pot with cream over medium high heat.
4) Once the cream is just boiling turn heat down to a simmer, stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
5) Temper the cream and vanilla mixture one ladle at a time to the bowl with the yolks and sugar while constantly whisking the contents.
6) Remove and reserve the empty bean shell on a plate.
7) Heat a wok with water over high heat and add the bamboo steamer.
8) Place the ramekins on the bamboo steamer.  Pour each ramekin with the mixture.  Once the water boils turn heat down to medium low and cover the wok.
9) Steam for 25-30 minutes, remove each ramekin and let them cool completely.
10) Wrap each ramekin in plastic and refrigerate for 2-4 hours or overnight.
11) When ready to eat, sprinkle the turbinado sugar into the ramekins (according to your taste) and blow torch the top to caramelize the sugar.
12) Serve with fresh fruit and hot coffee (if you have any).

our back yard the morning after Hurricane Sandy
(lots of leaves and small branches on the ground
--no visible damage)
*These Tahitian vanilla beans have an amazing aroma.  According to the Tahitian Vanilla Company the perfume scents is said to be an aphrodisiac!  These are the best vanilla beans I have purchased to date.  I bought 10 whole cured beans from a lovely woman named Heigita at First Friday Wailuku (Maui) and I am very happy with them.  If you are interested in purchasing or learning more about Tahitian vanilla beans you may visit:  www.tahitianvanillaco.com.  They ship to all 50 States and Canada.
*If you are interested in baking the ramekins in the oven please see Durian Crème Brûlée post for instructions. 
*If you steam the crème brûlée on the stove top the creme will set soon after you have completed the steaming process.  I like to eat the creme warm.  They taste like custard.  If you are decreasing your sugar intake this is a great way to eat these.  
*If you have a steamer then you can use this instead of a wok and a bamboo steamer.
*Save the egg whites to make omelet(s) the next day.
*Rinse the empty vanilla bean shell in water and let it dry completely.  Once dry you can put this in your sugar container.  Your sugar will smell like vanilla!
*I normally use mint leaves to garish.  However, I did not have any but I had plenty of key lime leaves from my key lime shrubs that I grew from seeds.
          

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sea Asparagus-Papaya-Banana Blossom Salad (serves 2)



There are many combinations of salads you can make using just a few ingredients.  When I discovered the sea asparagus I wanted to add it to my shredded papaya and banana blossom.  The saltiness and the crunchy texture from the sea asparagus made this dish tasty and refreshing.  If you are not interested in adding roasted peanuts you can add sesame seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds or other nuts/seeds instead.

Sea Asparagus-Papaya-Banana Blossom Salad (serves 2)

Ingredients:

2 C packed shredded green papaya (please see How to Shred a Green Papaya post)
3 C packed shredded banana blossom (please see How to Prepare a Banana Blossom post)
1/4 C sea asparagus*
2 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts (please see Roasted Peanuts post)
Kaffir lime sauce to taste (please see Kaffir Lime Sauce post)

Method:

1) Arrange the green papaya, banana blossom, and sea asparagus in a dish.
2) When ready to eat sprinkle peanuts and drizzle kaffir lime sauce to taste.

surfboard fence
(Maui, 2012)
*The sea asparagus needs to be blanched for about 10 seconds in boiling water then placed in a ice cold bath to stop the cooking process.  It then needs to be soaked for at least an hour.  I soaked mine all day. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Shred a Green Papaya

When you are looking to make green papaya salad you need to pick a firm and preferably green fruit. It is best to pick them off the tree if you can.  However, this is not possible for many of us living in a non-tropical place.  Some of the fruit that you buy may be firm on the outside and soft on the inside. Just shred  the firm part and save the softer part to make a smoothie or eat it later.  The green papaya has a lot of sap especially after peeling the skin.  You can see the white sap coming out.  That is the reason that I like to soak my shredded papaya before I eat it.




(photos of the papaya fruit on a tree)
most of the trees are usually straight without branches
although I have seen a few odd trees with branches

1) wash and peel the outer green skin
(use a peeler and a shredder--pictured)
2) shred the papaya until you hit the soft center or seeds
OR

wash, cut the papaya in half,
remove seeds, peel the green skin
and then shred the papaya
3) soak the shredded papaya and
give it a quick massage with your hands
4) strain the shredded papaya,
squeeze out excess water
with both hands
prior to using it in a salad
sometimes I like to add shredded carrots for color
*After you have strained the shredded papaya, squeeze out excess water and put it in a zip lock bag or container and keep refrigerated.  You can keep it for 2-3 days.  When you take it out to use squeeze the shredded papaya again to rid excess water.
*Papaya is easy to grow.  You can use the black seeds from a matured papaya.  Spread the seeds out on a dish and let them dry completely before planting.  The female trees will bear fruit in about 2 years if given plenty of sun and water.

there are many shredders available,
here are two types of hand shredders:
the top one gives you are crunchier texture
the bottom one gives a finer texture
(you can buy the bottom on in an Asian market)
*If you do not have a shredder then you can use a knife instead.  Gently take your knife and cut into the peeled fruit about 3-4 mm deep multiple times (making sure all the cuts are in one direction). After cutting into the fruit as much as you can, take your knife and slice the top layer off.  You will get shredded pieces from this process. Repeat the process until you are done.  Once you get the hang of this you will find that it gets easier and and you will be much faster.  

Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger (serves 1-2)


What to do with the cooked ginger from Curt's Ginger Tea?  Instead of discarding it I dried some of it overnight on baking sheets and refrigerated it in a container.  I took it out today and used it in a stir fry.  The result is tasty!

Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger (serves 1-2)

Ingredients:

15 large napa cabbage leaves, cut into 1/2 inch width pieces
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 shallot, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1/4 C chopped ginger (please see Curt's Ginger Tea post) 
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil

1) Heat a large pan with oil over medium high heat.
2) Add garlic, shallot, and ginger, saute for 1 minute.
3) Add carrot, cook for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
4) Add cabbage, cook for 6-8 minutes, stir occasionally.
5) Add oyster sauce and fish sauce, cook for 1 more minute.
6) Remove and serve.

*If you do not have left over ginger from making Curt's Ginger Tea then you can use fresh, just use less (julienne about a thumb size amount of fresh ginger).  The cooked ginger from the tea had less flavor so you can use more of it.

Hot Mulled Ginger-Cider (serves 1-2)


This is a great drink to help you warm up on a cool Fall night.  For me the aroma and taste is soothing especially after working a very long and busy day!  

Hot Mulled Ginger-Cider (serves 1-2)

Ingredients:


3 C apple cider
1/4 C ginger tea (please see Curt's Ginger Tea post)
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice
3 whole anise
One 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken up into pieces
One 2 or 3-inch piece of dried orange peel
A small pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
A slice of ginger, garnish (optional)

Method:

1) Add all ingredients in a small pot over high heat.
2) Once the liquid is just boiling, turn heat to low and let it steep for 15-20 minutes.
3) Strain and serve hot.

fall colors I
fall colors II
fall colors III
*When you eat an orange or a tangerine you can save the peel and let it dry naturally in your kitchen.  Once dried you can use the peel for this recipe.
*You can use store-bought apple cider or make your own.  If you want to make your own cider you can juice your apples and then store it in a container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and then use it.  
*One of the many pleasures of living in New England are the four distinct seasons.  Fall is always so colorful.  The three photos above of Fall colors (I, II, III) were taken last week at a spot where I fished for trout this past Spring and Summer.  It's a tranquil place where I can relax and clear my mind after a long work day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spicy Baby Octopus (serves 2)


I came across these baby octopus and I just had to buy them.  I harvested the last of my jalapeno peppers and Thai basil leaves and incorporated them in this dish.  You can serve this with toasted French bread slices and soak up the sauce after.  This is tasty and will make your lips tingle! 

Spicy Baby Octopus (serves 2)


Ingredients:

1-lb baby octopus, cleaned
2 red jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp garlic chives
1/4 C of Thai basil leaves
1 tsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1 tsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
A pinch of sugar

Method:

1) Heat oil in a medium size pan over medium high heat.
2) Add peppers, garlic, ginger, chives, and basil leaves, saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3) Add octopus, fish sauce and sugar, cook for 6-8 minutes
4) Cover lid and cook for 1-2 minutes (or until the octopus are cooked).
5) Remove octopus and reduce the sauce by cooking for 5-6 more minutes.
6) Pour sauce over octopus and serve.

*Addendum:
The cooking time for the octopus to become tender may take up to 25-30 minutes. If the octopus is not tender enough for you (Step 5 above) then keep the octopus in the pot while reducing the sauce. Bite into one to check for tenderness.

"home sweet home"
(Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012)
peace
(Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012)
"mud hen too"
(Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012)
row boat and oars
(Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012)
*I had red jalapeno peppers, garlic chives and Thai basil growing in my garden.  The green jalapeno peppers turned red later and they are more colorful to add to this dish.  I did not find that one is more spicy than the other.
*I bought the already cleaned baby octopus from an Asian store called H-Mart in Burlington, MA.  The store has a huge inventory of Asian food supplies.
*"Home Sweet Home" photo was accepted in a juried exhibition at Main Street Art in Newfield, NH, in 2012.  This historic home is currently occupied by a local resident.  

Stir-Fried Chayote-Shrimp-Dulse (serves 4 as part of a shared meal)


This is a simple stir fry that is sweet and delicious, great on rice.  The sweetness comes from the cooked chayote and shrimp.  If you have never eaten chayote you should give it a try.  It's crunchy and sweet.  

Stir-Fried Chayote-Shrimp-Dulse (serves 4 as part of a shared meal)

Ingredients:


3 chayote, peeled, seeded and cut into match stick size
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
2 scallions, chopped
5 oz enoki mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t grated ginger
1/4 C water
2 T olive oil
1 T sesame oil
2 T oyster sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 T mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 handful of dried dulse* (sea vegetable)

Method:

1) Heat 1 T olive oil and sesame oil in a large pan over high heat.
2) Add garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3) Stir in shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, remove and reserve.
4) Add 1 T olive oil and chayote, stir for 1 minute and add water, cover pan for 2 minutes.
5) Add scallions, mushrooms, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and mirin, cook for 4-5 minutes.

my friend Donna is growing
a chayote by letting the fruit sit
in water until the roots start to grow,
then she will plant it
chayote on vine
*If you do not eat seafood then you can leave the shrimp out of this recipe.  You may substitute the shrimp with a firm tofu if interested.  If you use tofu you can fry the pieces lightly with a small amount of oil prior to adding to this dish.  Some Asian grocers carry fried tofu but they generally contain lots of oil.  If you are using non-fried tofu you should add them at the end of cooking and stir gently so the tofu pieces do not break apart.
*You can substitute the chayote with kohlrabi.
*Dried dulse is a sea vegetable that has a slight salty taste and a hint of the sea.  I came across it when my husband and I were traveling in Nova Scotia.  The fishermen who harvested the dulse told me that people eat it as a snack.  I like to use it in my cooking.
*To purchase dulse and other sea vegetables you may contact Mr. Larch Hanson at
http://www.theseaweedman.com

Island Dose Vitamin C (serves 2-3)


Some people claim that traveling on a plane makes them sick.  Here is a drink to try before take off to keep you healthy.  By the way, if you are prone to catching a cold after flying, bring along some hand sanitizer wipes and give your surroundings a good scrub before you take a seat.  Don't forget the tray table in front of you and the seat belt (I highly recommend this procedure)!!  Remember to hydrate yourself with plenty of non-alcoholic beverages during the flight.  My friend and neighbor Cindy, who is an excellent flight attendant reminded me that one alcoholic beverage in the air is equivalent to three drinks on the ground.  This may be the reason you get a bit tipsy after a few drinks!

Island Dose Vitamin C (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1/2 of a grapefruit, peel and remove seeds
3 tangerines, peel and remove seeds
1 orange, peel and remove seeds
1/4 of a pineapple
1/2 of a can of Pass-O-Guava juice (Aloha Maid Natural fruit drink)
4 ice cubes
Bougainvillea bract (s), garnish (optional)

Method:

Give it a good spin in a blender, drink and say Aloha to Maui!  :--(

aloha Maui
*This whole recipe will make the blender pretty full.  I used a 5-C blender and it filled 5 cups.  You can blend half of the ingredients at a time to make it easier.

Spicy Ginger and Lemongrass Tea (serves 1)



This is one spicy tea and most likely will clear your sinuses (and then some, adds my husband)!  If you like spices, ginger and lemongrass you may like to give this a try.  I think it's great for a cool Fall day.

Spicy Ginger and Lemongrass Tea (serves 1)

Ingredients:


1 1/2 C ginger tea (please see Curt's Ginger Tea post)
Five 1-inch pieces of lemongrass, smashed with the flat part of a knife
1 tsp sugar (or honey)
One 6-inch lemongrass tip, garnish (optional)
2 slices of ginger, garnish (optional)

Method:

1) Heat a small pot with tea, lemongrass, and sugar over medium high heat.
2) Once water comes close to a boil, turn heat off, let the tea steep for 5 minutes.
3) Serve hot.

Curt's Ginger Tea


My friend Curt made this drink that I dubbed Curt's ginger tea.  He gave me some in an empty whiskey bottle with a label "Curt's Drink"!  I drink this tea straight with ice, mix in fruit juices, green tea, water, club soda, apple cider or blend in a smoothie.  Ginger has many health benefits.  One benefit is to help with nausea.  Curt does not measure his ingredients when he cooks, he basically gave me vague verbal instructions on how to make this drink.  He explained that he sliced some ginger and cooked it in water until it has dark yellow color.  He made a second batch using the same ginger slices.  Mahalo Curt for sharing this drink with me!!

Curt's Ginger Tea


Ingredients:

1 lb ginger, cut into thin slices
24 C water

Method:

1) Heat a large pot with 12 cups of water and ginger over high heat.
2) Once the water boils turn the heat down to medium low and cook the ginger for 25 minutes.
3) Turn heat off and cover the pot and let the ginger steep for another 20 minutes (or until the color is dark yellow).
4) Remove the tea to a large glass or metal container, let the liquid cool.
5) Add the other 12 cups of water to the pot and repeat the steps for the second batch.
6) Once complete, mix the two batches together, store in a glass container and refrigerate.

sliced ginger in a pot
*A mandolin slicer would make the job much quicker.  However, any sharp knife will work.
*You can discard the ginger slices once your tea is made or you can save them for cooking later. I added some sugar to the tender pieces and make candies out of them.  I also chopped some of the sliced ginger and used them in stir fry dishes.
*If you have access to fresh galangal (also known as galanga or blue ginger) then you can make galangal tea using the same recipe.  You may find Don for fresh galangal at the Upcountry Farmer's Market (Maui) on Saturday.  Go early because this is a very popular item!! 

Red and Green Papaya Salad (serves 2)


I am not a vegetarian but sometimes I enjoy my salad without meat or seafood.  The red hibiscus flowers are edible and have a mild taste. They will certainly brighten your dish.  If you celebrate Christmas this would be one festive dish to serve your family and friends during the holiday season.  It is simple, healthy and delicious!! 

Red and Green Papaya Salad

Ingredients:

2 C shredded papaya (please see How to Shred a Green Papaya post)
3 Thai or sweet basil leaves, chiffonade
3 red hibiscus flowers, chiffonade
Coarsely crushed Roasted Peanuts
Kaffir lime sauce (recipe to follow)

Method:

1) Arrange the papaya on a platter or dish.
2) Garnish with basil leaves, hibiscus flowers, and peanuts.
3) When ready to eat scoop out a portion onto a plate and drizzle with kaffir lime sauce to taste.


Kaffir Lime Sauce (makes approximately 3/4 cups)

Ingredients:

4 T freshly squeezed lime juice
4 T sugar
2 1/2 T fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
T sugar
2 t thinly sliced young kaffir lime leaves
1/8 t grated ginger
Hot chili (optional)

Method:

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well blended.

*Instead of peanuts you can certainly add other nuts or seeds such as roasted kukui nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, toasted sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds.
*If you prefer to substitute with another edible red flowers that would be fine.  Nasturtium  flowers would be a great substitute.  You can certainly grow hibiscus in New Hampshire or Maine in pots (as house plants).  If you are planning on eating the flowers be sure to avoid spraying pesticides.

Lilikoi and Coconut Crème San Brûlée (makes 4 ramekins)

I discovered that I could steam the crème san brûlée over the stove top when I was on Maui since I did not have direct access to an oven.  They turned out better than expected.  My first attempt was using an old electric wok with a flat bottom.  I put the heat proof ramekins in the wok and poured water in the pan, covering up to 3/4 of the ramekins. For the regular wok I put my ramekins on a bamboo steamer, added water almost touching the bottom of my bamboo steamer and steamed over medium heat for 30 minutes. Once done if the top of the creme looks lumpy, then take the back of a spoon and gently smooth it out. After the ramekins have cooled wrap each ramekin with plastic and chill them in the refrigerator.  

Lilikoi and Coconut Crème San Brûlée (makes 4 ramekins)


Ingredients:

1 C heavy cream or whipping cream
1/2 C coconut milk
3 Tbsp Lilikoi Syrup
3 Tbsp white sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp coconut milk*, garnish (please see note on bottom)
2 tsp sugar and 2 tsp lilikoi syrup mixture, garnish

Method:

1) In a medium size bowl, whisk egg yolks, white sugar and lilikoi syrup until just mixed, set (egg-lilikoi-sugar) aside.
2) Heat a small pan over medium high heat, add cream and coconut milk, turn heat down to a low simmer, stir frequently for 4-5 minutes.
3) Temper the cooked cream into the egg-lilikoi-sugar bowl, one ladle at a time.
4) Set the bamboo steamer in a wok, add 3 cups of water in the wok almost touching the bamboo steamer, place the ramekins on top of the bamboo steamer, and turn heat to high.
5) Pour the tempered mixture into the ramekins.
6) Once the water boils turn heat down to medium, cover and steam the ramekins for 30 minutes.
7) Uncover the wok and let cool completely.
8) Wrap each ramekin with plastic and chill in refrigerator at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
9) Once chilled you can drizzle the coconut milk and sweetened lilikoi syrup on top as a garnish.

using a wok to steam the creme
drizzle sweetened lilikoi syrup
and coconut milk for garnish
*I find that these can be eaten immediately after steaming while they are still warm.  They are good served either cold or warm.  When they are warm without the burnt sugar on top they tasted similar to a custard.  If you are not interested in eating a lot of sweets then this is a perfect dessert.  Adjust the sugar in the ingredients to your preference.
*For the coconut drizzle you can mix 3 T of coconut milk with a small pinch of cornstarch, and heat it to thicken the sauce.

Chicken and Vegetable Curry (serves 2-3)


I bought a breadfruit at the Makawao Farmer's Market (Maui) to try.  They are open every Wednesday.  It tastes similar to a sweet potato but better.  Both my husband and I had never eaten it before and we both enjoyed it.  I bought the breadfruit from Don.  He can be found at the Upcountry Farmer's Market in Pukalani every Saturday.  He also sells fresh galangal.  Don mentioned that they are popular items at the market and do not last long.  Go early if you want some!  Mahalo Don, for the beautiful and tasty breadfruit!!

Chicken and Vegetable Curry (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:


1 lb chicken thigh
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped soft part
2 T fish sauce
1 T Madras curry powder
1/8 t salt
1/2 Maui onion, cut into wedges
1 t annatto seeds
2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 lb long beans, cut into 2 inch lengths, parboiled
1/2 bread fruit, cook the whole fruit until fork tender, cut out center seed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 C shredded banana blossom (please see How to Prepare Banana Blossom post)
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch lengths, parboiled
1-2 C of chopped white part of a napa cabbage, parboiled
25 fresh bell pepper leaves
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh chives or scallions
10 fresh large basil leaves
8-10 cherry or small roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 C coconut milk
1 chicken bouillon or 1 C of chicken stock or 1 C water
2-3 T canola oil

Method:

1) Marinade the chicken in lemongrass, fish sauce, curry powder and salt for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
2) Heat 1-2 T oil in a large pan over medium high heat, add marinated chicken, cook 6-8 minutes on each side or until chicken meat is just cooked, removed chicken from the pan and reserve.
3) Add 1 T oil to the pan, stir in sprigs of curry leaves and annatto seeds, fry for 2-3 minutes, discard leaves* and seeds.
4) Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
5) Stir in beans, bread fruit, banana blossom, carrot, tomatoes, and napa cabbage, cook 5 minutes.
6) Stir in pepper leaves, parsley, chives, and basil leaves, cook for 2-3 minutes.
7) Add chicken back into the pan.
8) Add coconut milk and chicken bouillon, partially cover the pan and cook for 10 more minutes.
9) May add more fish sauce to taste if desired.
10) Serve with rice.

annatto (also known as achiote)
inside the red pod are tiny red seeds that are used for
food coloring and flavor
annatto flower
curry leaves and a seed
(the fresh curry leaves have a strong fragrance
and I was able to smell it 100 feet away!)
breadfruit
cooked and cut breadfruit
breadfruit
breadfruit and leaf 
breadfruit and leaves
breadfruit tree
*You can cut the chicken to bite size or leave in larger pieces.  I left my chicken in large fillet pieces for this dish so that they will stay moist.  
*If you have left overs the curry tastes even better the next 1-2 days!
*The banana blossom and breadfruit are very good in this curry dish.  They add a nice flavor and texture.
*The long beans are about a foot long.  They need to be parboiled before you add them to this dish.  They are tougher than other beans and will hold their shape during the cooking process and after reheating.
*When you fry the annatto seeds in oil you are rendering the red color for the cooking.  
*After I fried the sprigs of curry leaves in oil I saved a few leaves to garnish my finished dish later.
*If you don't eat meat then you can leave out the chicken.  You can use a firm fish in this dish such as ahi (tuna).  Just remember not to over cook it.  If you are not using chicken or fish then you can use the whole breadfruit in this dish.