Hawaiian Ono Poke’

nephew Grant holding our dinner

Ono, also known as wahoo or peto is a delicious saltwater sporting fish found in warm waters.  The flesh of the fish is mild and is easily adapted to various cooking (or non cooking) methods such as grilling, braising, sashimi,  and Hawaiian poke’.  There are as many poke’s as there are Texas chili’s, but this particular mixture went over very well in our group.

serves 4-6


I pound sashimi grade Ono, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons Maui onion, minced

1-2 tablespoons quality mayonnaise

1 tablespoon flying fish roe (tobiko)

Sriracha sauce to taste


Combine cut fish and mayonnaise.  Add onion and Sriracha tasting for heat.  Gently stir in roe until combined.  Chill for 1 hour.

Ono Poke'



Spicy Mango Wings & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A few bottled products are used for these dishes, not necessarily as shortcuts-although welcome, but because they add a truly unique flavor boost!


serves 4 as main or 6 as appetizer

For the Wings:

8 chicken wings

5 ounces of PickaPeppa Spicy Mango Sauce (not so spicy actually)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat (toaster) oven to 350°. Place wings in a sealable container, add sauce and salt and mix thouroughly.  Let marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with foil.  Spray the top of the foil with non-stick spray as well.  Place the wings on the sheet pan so they don’t touch.  Bake wings for about 3o minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare or preheat the BBQ for a 2 station area – one at about 300° and the other about 350°.  Your shrimp will cook over the 300° and your chicken will brown over the 350° area.


For the Shrimp:

8 extra large or jumbo shrimp (26/30 or 21/25)

8 strips of bacon, thick cut

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

salt and pepper

8 toothpicks, soaked in water


Preheat (toaster) oven to 400°.  Place a wire rack into a rimmed pan and lay the strips of bacon on the rack.  Bake the bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Add a grind or two of pepper.  Turn bacon over and brush with maple syrup, adding more pepper.  Bake for another 3 minutes. Place bacon maple side up on paper towels.  The bacon should be soft, pliable and just about cooked through.  Cool.

Remove the shells and de-vine shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap each shrimp with maple bacon and secure with a soaked toothpick.


When your BBQ is ready, place the wings over your hotter station and the shrimp on the cooler one.  Watch, and turn each piece so that it browns but doesn’t burn, moving if necessary.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Use Patak’s® Medium Mango Relish as a dip for both the wings and the shrimp.

far tastier than it appears! Patak's Mango

The Patak’s® Mango Relish medium is actually pretty darn spicy so a little can go a long way.  It’s intense and very unique flavor adds an amazing dimension to many dishes.

#mce_temp_url#

#mce_temp_url#

Fusion Roll

a mixedsoup creation

You can whip this appetizer up before you can say ‘Kanpai!’

makes 24 mini-rolls


8 ounces of cold smoked salmon lox

4 ounces quality cream cheese

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1/2 teaspoon lemongrass, peeled and finely grated

caviar, tobiko, wasabi paste, sriracha‘ for garnish

If necessary, cut the lox into smaller pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long or smaller if preferred.  In a bowl combine ginger, lemongrass and cream cheese until completely blended.  You may want the cream cheese to be closer to room temperature for easier blending.  Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of the filling on each lox piece, leaving a small border so the filling doesn’t ooze out when rolled.  Top with a garnish.

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Summer Splash Limoncello – the ‘Quick’ Version


So delightfully fresh, so deceptively strong - Salute!

‘Limoncello-ians’ all have their special spin on how to make the best concoction, but this particular version is comparatively quick and straight forward – still very buonissimo!

(this lemon liqueur takes time to ferment; you’ll need 2 weeks of down time)

Pour eight cups of good vodka into a 16 cup capacity container with tight fitting lid.  Peel the rind from approximately 6 lemons, taking care not to include the white ‘pithy’ part of the fruit (pith is very bitter) – a vegetable peeler may work best.  Once you have peeled 1 cup of rind, plop them into your container of vodka.  Give the container a swirl or two and place the lid on the top.  Keep this mixture out of direct light and in a cool place (basement like – not fridge like).  Do not open the lid during the 2 weeks so the fermentation is faster and more consistent.

Once your 2 weeks are up, remove all the rind and loose bits from the container using a long fork or pigtail (or strain through a cheesecloth).  Make a simple syrup using a 1:1 ratio for a sweet mix or a 1:2 mix for less sweet (our preference).  For a 1:2 mix, pour 3 cups of white granulated sugar into a pot and and add 6 cups of water.  On medium heat dissolve the sugar completely.  Let cool and add the sugar water to your vodka mix.  Stir to combine and chill in the freezer for about an hour.  Serve in small chilled glasses.  Delizioso!

A friendly word of caution: You can quickly go from sipping judiciously while chatting politely to singing ‘That’s Amore’ at the top of your lungs while your hosts drag you to the door.

Fast & Feisty ‘South of the Border’ Pie

from Pamela Karleskint

Grab your most obnoxious matching shirts, your mp3 playlist of kooky retro party music AND this timeless potluck winner.

The great twist on this dish is the surprisingly moist and rich topping verses the more traditional cornbread style, which can get dry and unappetizing.

serves 4-6

1 pound of hamburger or turkey

1 envelope of taco seasonings

4 ounce can of diced green chilies

1 cup of jack cheese, grated

1 cup of canned (drained) or frozen corn

1¼ cup of milk

¾ cup of Bisquick, or similar mix

3 eggs

⅛ teaspoon red pepper sauce


Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook hamburger and drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix. Put seasoned meat in a greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with green chilies and cheese. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth and pour over top of meat mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

from Pamela Karleskint

Asian Inspired Flank Steak with Mandarin, Almond Salad


from Kit and Gary Maestretti


This simple dish hits on just about every flavor point, sweet and sour from the mandarin oranges and dressing, salt and savory from the flank steak, crunch from the almonds and squishy-juicy from both the fruit and the meat.


serves 4

For the Flank Steak:

1   two pound flank steak

2   garlic cloves

1    one inch chunk of fresh ginger

1    cup soy

1 1/2  cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon agave nectar


For the Mandarin, Almond Salad:

1 head of butter lettuce

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1  four inch piece of cucumber

1 fifteen ounce can of mandarin oranges, liquid reserved

1/4 cup of light oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon reserved mandarin juice from the can

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons light vinegar, such as rice or white balsamic

pinch of sugar, salt and pepper


1. For the Flank Steak: Peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and slice into approximately 4 pieces.  Peel and smash the garlic into slightly broken cloves.  Place both ginger and garlic into a re-sealable bag.  Pour wine, soy and agave nectar into the bag.  Shake vigorously, then add the flank steak.  Marinate for about an hour.

2. Build your fire or pre-heat your gas grill.  If using  coal let the heat reduce to a 3 second hand fire (about 375°). This is a hot and fast cooking method as the flank steak has little fat and is normally fairly thin.  Grill about 3 minutes a side.  When steak has reached  145° internal temperature, slice thinly across the grain.

3. For the Salad:  Chop, rinse and dry the lettuce.  In a small pan, toast the almonds to a light brown and let cool.  Peel the cucumber and slice thinly.  Place 1 tablespoon of the reserved mandarin orange juice into a cruet or bowl.  Add the oil, vinegar, soy, sugar, salt and pepper and shake or whisk vigorously until fully incorporated.  Toss the lettuce, cucumber and mandarin oranges with the dressing and place in four bowls.  Garnish with toasted almonds.

A helpful BBQ link #mce_temp_url#


Camerons Stove Top Smoked Baby Back Ribs

This dish is more easily accomplished with a manufactured stove top smoker, although you could probably assemble something similar using cookware and foil.  The essential item for the success of the stove top smoking are the wood chips.  For both the smoker and the chips, we highly recommend Camerons #mce_temp_url#.

No, we don’t have stock in the company… but it is an idea

specially made wood chips







This recipe is essentially from the pamphlet that comes with the smoker.

serves 2-4

3  to 4 pound rack of baby back ribs

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup barbeque sauce

2 tablespoons smoking chips, such as pecan, hickory, oak, or any combination

non-stick spray

foil



1. Cut the rack of ribs in half so that the two halves fit in your pan or smoker.  Season both sides of each rack with salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Position the base of the smoker over a burner.  Place the wood chips in the center of the smoker.

pecan and oak chips in the base









2. Wrap a sheet of foil on the drip pan (optional – for easy clean up) and slowly lower the drip pan into the base taking care not to smash the wood chips.  Put the wire rack on top of the drip pan and spray smoker interior with non-stick spray.

3. Position the ribs on the wire rack that will allow for good airflow.  Slide the lid over the ribs or seal tightly with foil.  Turn the heat to medium or medium low, depending on your stovetop.  This is another ‘low and slow’ cooking method.  High heat will over cook the meat and make it tough.  Just as the first puffs of smoke are visible (about 3 minutes), start your timer. Camerons suggests 45 minutes a pound – we opt for about 30 minutes a pound, regardless 160° internal temperature is suggested.

ready for smoking!

sneaky smoke


4. Preheat your (toaster) oven to 450°. Line a sheet pan with foil (optional) that will accommodate the ribs as well as fit in the oven. Once your ribs have smoked, place the racks on the foil lined sheet pan and baste both sides of each rack lightly with barbeque sauce.  Bake the ribs for about 12-15 minutes, just enough to get a bit of crispiness.


We served this with a fantastic Savoy Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw straight from Food Network magazine Jul/Aug 2010 – the best coleslaw I’ve eaten.  Not traditional, but very tasty! See recipe below.

Pigs have been used as livestock as far back as 5000 B.C. and are one of the most commonly consumed meats around the world.  Unlike many other livestock, the pig is omnivorous, making it easier in countries with less grazing land to farm.

According to Ann Johnson, contributor of eHow: Pork became popular around 4000 B.C., when the emperor of ancient China made a royal edict, commanding his people to breed hogs. Hernando de Soto introduced pork to North America when he brought 13 hogs to Florida in 1525 A.D. In the 1760s George Washington imported hogs for special breeding. According to historians, pork was a regular on the menu of early American Revolutionists.

Read more: About Baby-Back Ribs | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4565099_babyback-ribs.html#ixzz0tnd0maZ3


Food Network’s Tyler Florence Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw

serves 4-6


1 head Savoy cabbage                      1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 scallions                                         1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn        2 limes

1/2 cup sour cream                           Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Shave cabbage with a sharp knife or mandoline so you have thin ribbons.  Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar to the cabbage.  Toss the cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.

2. Make dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest of the limes in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.

Hail Caesar Salad!

This is not your purist’s approach to this dish, and it is heavy on the anchovy – perhaps not a ‘First Date’ salad… unless of course you both revel in the beautiful stinkyness of tiny, salty fish.  I don’t recall how I came to start making Caesar salad this way, but it has stuck.  Hope it’s sticks in your repertoire as well.


serves 4-6

FOR THE CROUTONS:

2 cups sourdough bread or any style bread, cubed

1 teaspoon herbs de provence

1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably coarse

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

olive oil for drizzling


FOR THE DRESSING:

1 3.5 ounce jar or can of anchovy fillets in oil, drained

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup or more extra virgin olive oil (amount explained below)

1/2 cup or more lemon juice, about 1 to 2 big, juicy lemons

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 to 2 heads of Romaine lettuce

4 ounces plus Parmesan


1. Preheat your (toaster) oven to 350°.  Place the cubed bread into a bowl and drizzle the olive oil while gently stirring.  Add spices and stir again.  Spread the seasoned bread crumbs in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Taste

2. Drain the oil from the jar or can of anchovies (preferably not down the sink – or add to your pet’s food for a tasty treat).  Place the anchovies in a small pot and pour in olive oil just enough to cover.  I like to use a more robust oil to match the intenseness of the fish.

3. Give each garlic clove a gentle bash with the side of your chef knife.  Peel and plop the garlic into the pot.  You may choose to mince the garlic and then add it, for a more garlicy taste.   Gently simmer the oil for about 6 minutes on low.  Please do not allow the oil to boil as it will turn the anchovies into jerky. Let cool. Discard garlic cloves.

4. While the oil is simmering, chop, wash and spin your lettuce.  In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon.  Slowly pour in oil mixture into the lemon bowl while whisking vigorously.  Add more lemon juice to taste.  Salt and pepper.  Taste with crouton or piece of lettuce for seasoning.

5.  Plate the lettuce into bowls.  Using a peeler grate the Parmesan over the lettuce, add a handful of croutons and spoon enough dressing to coat making sure you scoop up anchovies with your drizzle.

The history and origin of Caesar salad is cloudy; some have even suggested it’s creation was directly related to Julius Caesar, the controversial Roman leader.  Slightly less well known, and more likely the creator of this dish was Caesar Cardini originally from Italy.  The confusion of THE real inventor doesn’t stop there.  Cardini and his business partner had a restaurant in Tijuana, MX (choosing Mexico over the U.S. to avoid the then prohibition laws).  It was at this restaurant that Cardini was said to have ‘thrown’ the salad together with great flair and with the only ingredients he had left in the kitchen when a particular group of patrons had wondered in.  The dish, and Cardini’s performance caught on rapidly.  It was then that Cardini’s business partner said that it was he who(m) invented the salad.  A few other individuals wanted their names associated with the dish, but ultimately most people are settling with Caesar Cardini as the father of Caesar salad.

for your listening pleasure (not for the faint of heart):

#mce_temp_url#

Funky Blue Mac & Cheese

grab a fork and dive in

Who doesn’t like Mac n Cheese!  This recipe is a slightly modified Cook’s Illustrated version.  This particular mac n cheese has the distinct blue cheese flavor, so if you aren’t into blue, you may want to try something more traditional.

The history and origin of macaroni and cheese is convoluted, as are many foods we eat today.  From the varied resources I looked into, I suppose it would be safe to say the the dish was popularized in the U.S. by Thomas Jefferson during his presidency.  Jefferson had a keen interest in foods and the gadgets that helped make them, such as a pasta machine.  Jefferson came back from a trip to Italy with a pasta machine, which he then improved upon leading to plenty of mac n cheese making in his household.  Personally, I’m very glad he popularized this dish verses something like Gypsy moth soup…

CRUMB TOPPING:

4 slices white or ‘light’ wheat sandwich bread, torn in to small pieces

1/2  cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

PASTA AND CHEESE:

1 pound fusilli  pasta

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup grated Fontina or mixed bag Italian cheeses

4 ounces of blue cheese, crumbled

1 cup  grated Parmesan cheese

1 4.5 ounce can  fire roasted tomatoes, chopped and drained

4 ounces prosciutto, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

1.  FOR THE TOPPING:  In a food processor, pulse the bread slices and place in a bowl.  Stir in the Parmesan, salt and pepper.

2. FOR THE PASTA: Preheat oven to 500 degrees with the rack in the middle (more nearer the top) of the oven.

3. In a pot add enough water to cook the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt.  At a boil add pasta and stir to separate.  In a large bowl, mix all the remaining cheeses and chopped prosciutto.

4. While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a small pot over low heat.  Stir in the flour and cook gently to remove floury taste, about 1 minute.  Do not let flour brown.  Slowly add heavy cream, fully incorporating it as you pour.  Increase heat slightly to bring the cream mixture to a very gentle simmer.  Gently add tomatoes and remove from heat.

5. Once pasta is al dente, drain quickly, then pour noodles into the cheese bowl. Immediately add the cream mixture over the top of the noodles and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Let rest for 3 minutes.  A good time to rinse out sticky cheesy bowls, etc.  Remove foil and stir making sure the cheeses and noodels are fully incorporated.  Pour into a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and pop it into the oven for about 7 minutes, making sure the topping is browned.  Serve on warmed plates.