Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lomi Lomi

lomi lomi on a triscut. we were eating everything on a triscut for a while.

The Hawaiian gravlax.

LomiLomi Salmon
1 1/2 lb salmon fillets
Rock salt
3 tomatoes
1 small onion 3/4 lime juice
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Lay salmon on bed of salt in glass dish, cover with more salt. Put in refrigerator overnight. Wash off salt & dice the salmon.

Peel & dice tomatoes & onion. Mix with salmon & add other ingredients. Toss lightly.

very good on cracker

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spam, kimchi and Egg Sandwich

surprisingly good sandwich

recipe # I don't know

So I got off the flight from the mainland to Kaua'i in an ativan haze and the first thing I did was head to the grocery store to load up on supplies. I had done some researching of hawaiian recipes, but for the most part I put things in my cart that I had not seen before or had 'produced in Hawaii' on the label. One thing I did get that was neither, was spam. As far as I've seen spam comes in the following varieties: low fat, low salt, garlic, spam and cheese, spicy spam, turkey spam, hickory smoked spam and regular spam.

All I knew was that Hawaii is the number one consumer of spam of all states in the U.S..
mmmm. . . .

So this is what I made my first morning:

Spam, Egg and Kimchi Breakfast Sandwich spam, any kind you like, but original is what I used--sliced thin and fried in a bit of oil. spicy kimchi, any brand you might have eggs--I used only egg white as I felt guilty about the spam. flat bread, pita, wrap - toasted or warmed. Assemble as you would any sandwich.

It is actually quite good and I feel secure also putting it into the hangover cures category. I think it wouldn't suffer if a bit of cheese was added. Maybe cream cheese. . . but that might be pushing it too far.


It isn't like there isn't anything to do in Hawaii, but you do find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. That combined with a lot of free fruit and rum rum rum things like pomelo soaked in rum for breakfast seems like a terrific idea.

Friday, December 29, 2006


whishing well shaved ice in hanalei. photo by malcome.

I am currently in Kaua'i taking a vacation from my vacation. I'm not sure what I can say about Kaua'i that would do it justice other than it is really really really nice here. I think it might just be the nicest place that I have ever been.

It has been a while since I have cooked, or really even have had the oppertunity to cook. In the past month we have packed everything, moved across country, driven across country, found a new place to live, xmas shopped (the worst), waded thru the holidays and now are here.

So I will commence with the cooking. . .

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

xmas breakfast

tastes so much better than this photo makes it look

recipe # I totally have no idea

excuse the terrible photo.
I made a top chef winner from this seasons cooking-for-surfers-on-the-beach-challenge.
We are staying on the beach and it looked tasty so it seemed appropriate.
It was from one of my current favorite contenders, Elia Aboumrad. Taken directly from the top chef website.

"Organic Breakfast Lunch and Dinner" Waffle with Ham, Cheese, & Fried Eggs
Serves 1
1 frozen waffle
1/2 cup refried beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 slice Munster cheese
2 slices coppa ham
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Maple syrup for drizzling
1. Heat broiler in oven.
2. In a small bowl, combine refried beans and olive oil. Mix well and season to taste.
3. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Crack egg into skillet and fry to desired firmness.
4. Toast the waffle to desired doneness. Spread with butter and then with refried bean mixture.
5. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with cheese.
6. Put waffle on a baking sheet and broil until cheese melts, watching carefully so it does not burn.
7. Remove from oven, top with coppa ham, fried egg and top with chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve immediately.

It was tasty. Quite tasty. It took no time to make. Pretty hard to muss up. Easy to make for a bunch of people. Munster is really the cheese to use, but cheddar would be good too. I love it. Happy xmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Venice, California

Our new home.
We found a house.
The second one we looked at. . . .why be picky. The most amazing thing about it is the stove.

my new 60 year old stove

it looks like a cadilac. the landlord assures me it works.
The least amazing thing is the lack of a dishwasher.
We move in in mid-January.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Road Food

You know you have crossed the mason-dixon line when your breakfast sandwich has 3 + varieties of meat.

We drove across the country. We got thru the mid-Atlantic states fast and then just swung thru Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and so on on 40 until Arizona when we detoured thru Sedona, Jerome and what is called the Arizona outback. It took us 8 days, which is longer than we needed to take, but at the end we decided to stretch it out a bit and spend an extra night in the California desert near Joshua Tree. We pulled into LA. . . Malibu actually. . . evacuated the van and put our toes directly into the Pacific.

Foodwise the trip wasn't amazing. We had terrible food and we had a great burger. The thing that impressed me most was the gigantic calorie haul you get eating on the road. If one was to eat at Denny's for breakfast, Waffle House for Lunch and Red Lobster for dinner, you could have a 5000 calorie day without even trying.

Mainly we ate snacks out of the cooler. Scads of PB&J, pesto, sundried tomato and either goat or cream cheese on triscuts. String cheese, apples, lollipops, beef jerky and around Oklahoma I started buying chips. Many, many variety of chips. Much of which now makes up 50% of the van carpeting.
I'll flip this photo once I can get to a broadband connection

My daughter wins the prize for most creative new thing made on the trip with her Breakfast Cocktail. She named it herself. It was no doubt inspired by the breakfast buffets at hotels and the variety of breakfast stuff she came across. It was also facilitated by the fact that I had simply given up on getting her to listen to me when I said 'no' that morning.

Lola enjoying her delicious breakfast cocktail

Breakfast Cocktail
plastic cup
fruit loops
cranberry juice

mix together in a plastic cup and enjoy. Go crazy with substitutions depending on what is available.

The Best
Bouse, Arizona Country Kitchen EAT HERE or something like that. You can't miss it.
They serve a burger called a Dagwood that has bacon, ham, sweet onion, lettuce, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, cheese and other stuff that I am sure I'm forgetting. Patty melt was amazing too. Great home cut never frozen french fries. Avoid the apple juice here unless you want a good cheap buzz.

The Worst
Hands down was Our House too in Van Buren Arkansas. Puke. Terrible. Nothing we ordered was good and when I say that I mean it had all gone bad. Turned. Was past its prime. Was rotten. It ruined the rest of our day.

Honorable mention
Waffle House. Yum. I wish there was one in a blue state.

For more photos from the trip click on the flikr badge on the left of this page.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Moving Day

We moved today and it only cost about 30% more than we thought it would. Weehoo! *said with huge sarcasm*

After a day like today I needed a drink (or 5). There is nothing left in the fridge. No juice, soda, seltzer. We have vodka and condiments.

So I made a desperate drink. Here is recipe for a What Is Left in the Fridge Martini. It is not nearly as bad as it sounds:
1 shot vodka
1 capful dry vermouth

pickle juice

pickled jalapeno pepper juice

bit of salt

mix to the strenght and flavor you like.

It is basically a dirty martini with something other than olive brine. Caper brine, preserved lemon, pickled beets and really anything pickled (besides maybe fish) might be good.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Salt Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free Dinner

quite possibly the most healthy meal I have ever made

recipe #148

An interesting challenge.

My Father has been on this diet since the end of September. I told him that I would like to make him a nice dinner before I left to the left coast. What do you make someone who is eating none of the above mentioned things. To make it even more of a challenge vinegars are for the most part out--at least in any quantity.

I found 2 recipes that I thought would work nicely and then modified them to work for my Dad:
1/3 cup plain soy yogurt
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or to taste)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon liquid amino (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/3 cups quinoa
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 fresh jalapeño chile, seeded (if desired for less heat) and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced shallots or white onion
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts crushed
Whisk together yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.

Rinse quinoa in a bowl using 5 changes of water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large sieve after each rinsing).

Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water 10 minutes. Drain in a large sieve and rinse under cold running water.

Set sieve with quinoa over a saucepan containing 1 1/2 inches boiling water (sieve should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Toss quinoa with curried yogurt and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.

The original recipe is here.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup tamarind pulp (from a pliable block)
1/2 cup boiling-hot water
4 drops stevia
1.5 tablespoon liquid amino
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 firm-ripe California avocados
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic clove, minced
2 (1 1/2- to 2-inch-long) fresh Thai chilies or 1 serrano, stemmed and minced (including seeds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb), peeled, leaving tail and first segment of shell intact, and deveined
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Fry shallot and make tamarind sauce:
Heat oil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then fry shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain (shallots will crisp as they cool). Reserve oil.

Soak tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl until softened, about 5 minutes. Force pulp through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Add stevia, liquid amino, fish sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice and stir.

Cut avocados and cook shrimp:
Halve, pit, and peel avocados. Cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks and toss with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice in a bowl.

Transfer reserved oil to a 12-inch heavy skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté ginger, garlic, chilies, and salt, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté, turning over once, 2 minutes total. Stir in tamarind mixture and simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

Spoon shrimp and avocado over rice, then sprinkle with peanuts and fried shallot.

Makes 4 servings.

The original recipe is here.

I know that I sport of cheated on the shrimp recipe. Fish sauce does have a huge amount of sodium, but it is more or less an irreplaceable ingredient.

We also had steamed artichokes (I would have preferred grilled but we didn't have a grill) with garlic ghee. For some reason my Dad thinks that ghee is an acceptable form of dairy. They would also have been terrific with a homemade garlic mayonnaise that replaced liquid amino with salt.

I found some nice white asparagus that I thought would go nicely. We had that steamed with just a bit of lemon juice.

All and all it was a nice meal. Quinoa is an incredibly picky little grain. You have to rinse rinse then drain on a towel then massage its feet and tell it that it is pretty. It is too high maintenance for me and I think I am through with it.

The shrimp and avocado dish was great. I made it before with soy sauce and sugar and it was wonderful. The low sodium no sugar version translated very nicely.

Friday, December 01, 2006


More soon:
MOROCCAN SANDWICHES WITH GREEN OLIVE TAPENADE For carrots 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1 1/2 lb medium carrots (8) For tapenade 1 1/4 cups green olives (6 to 7 oz) such as Cerignola or picholine, pitted 3 tablespoons drained bottled capers, rinsed 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 flat anchovy fillet, chopped 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil For sandwiches 12 slices good-quality pumpernickel sandwich bread 6 oz soft mild goat cheese (3/4 cup) at room temperature Special equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer Prepare carrots: Whisk together sugar, lemon juice, spices, salt, and oil in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Halve carrots crosswise on a long diagonal, then, starting from diagonal ends, cut into 1/16-inch-thick slices using slicer. Cook carrots in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 45 seconds. Drain well in a colander and immediately toss with dressing. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours. Make tapenade and assemble sandwiches: Pulse olives with capers, parsley, anchovy, zest, lemon juice, and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then scrape down side of bowl with a rubber spatula. Pulsing motor, add oil in a slow stream and continue to pulse until mixture is finely chopped (do not pulse to a paste). Spread tapenade on 6 slices of bread and goat cheese on remaining 6 slices, then make sandwiches with carrots. Makes 6 sandwiches.

Packing the Kitchen


Since I started this project I have accumulated 11 kinds of oils, 8 kinds of vinegar, 6 kinds of spicy sauces, 60-something different spices, 5 kinds of flour, 6 kinds of sugar, 7 forms of chocolate and 30 or so pounds of kitchen equipment that I didn't have before.

Starting today I've got to pack it all up and ruthlessly decide what I have room for and what I simply cannot justify shipping 2800 miles.