Huli Huli Chicken

Every week I try and catch Wiki Wiki Wednesday on KZSC; it’s broadcast from 6 to 9 am Pacific time, which sometimes interferes with either sleep or Morning Edition. It’s worth it to hear a gem like this. . . here is “Huli Huli Chicken” from the Barefoot Natives: Huli huli chicken and huli hull-style chicken has a big following in Hawaii . . . story goes, it was first made by a man named Ernie Morgado from Pacific Poultry who was cooking at a company event. This version of his teriyaki barbecued chicken, made with a now-patented sauce, was so delicious it became part of the Hawaiian food culture. It got its name because the chicken was cooked between two grills and flipped over, and “huli” is the Hawaiian word for “turn.” I love it when a dish is so culturally ingrained it gets its own song. Peaches, anyone?...
Barbecued chicken and gouda pizza

Barbecued chicken and gouda pizza

Tangy barbecue sauce, rich gouda, crunchy tart red onion, and savory chicken . . . one of my favorite combos for Friday pizza night. For any pizza night, really. Here is the lightly topped thin crust in the pizza oven: And the finished pie ready to slice: Delicious! Ingredients: Best Barbecue Sauce Pizza crust Cooked chicken (I toss the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper before grilling it) Thinly sliced red onion Shredded gouda cheese...
Great Goan Meals

Great Goan Meals

If you were building a list of great places in the world for food, then Goa would have to make it into your top 10. Situated on the west coast of India, and famed for its palm-lined beaches, Goa has been a crossroads for many different cultures dating back for millennia. The Sumerians, Dravidians and Portuguese have all come to Goa over the centuries, with the result that its cuisine is an eclectic mixture of Asian and European influences. One of the things that Goa is most famed for is its seafood, which is both tasty and economical. As with most Goan dishes, seafood is usually served hotly spiced, making it a perfect combination of delicate flesh and fiery extravagance. The fish curry is particularly delicious, made with the local pomfret, which is similar in texture to haddock or turbot. The curry is traditionally hot and sour, with the heat mellowed by the addition of copious coconut. As well as fish, these curries are often made with the local shrimp, which are large and juicy. Another common way of preparing fish in Goa is frying it – the fish is first coated in a deep layer of hot spices and then cooked in sizzling oil. Pork is also a staple Goan food, and gained popularity during the time the Portuguese ruled from the 1600s until as recently as 1961. Perhaps the best-known pork dish from Goa is vindaloo, the name of which actually comes from the Portuguese “carne de vinha d’alhos,” which means meat with wine and garlic. In Goa, the wine was replaced with palm vinegar, and additional...
Homemade provel cheese

Homemade provel cheese

  True story: St. Louis-born in a decidedly un-foodie time, I did not know that provel and provolone were two different cheeses until after I had moved to California and was married with a baby. Really. I had a sudden taste for one of those delicious house salads we used to get from Talayna’s back when there was only one enormous and dirty location in DeBaliviere, before it got all prettied up and moved. The salad was an enormous mound of iceberg lettuce with a few Greek olives, cherry tomatoes, croutons, and delicious gooey tubes of provel cheese, all tossed together with the house dressing, a garlicky creamy Italian that my BFF assured me her mother said was very close to Marie’s. I can’t find a picture of it, but here’s a similar salad from Leo’s Pizza in Kansas City that will give you the idea: I made the salad that night with provolone and was disappointed. Where was that soft, gooey cheese I craved? I confessed to LL being confused that the provolone in California was so – different from my midwestern cheese. “But we called it provel,” I reasoned. “Maybe there’s some difference.” And that’s when I learned they’re two completely different cheeses. “Provel is like Velveeta,” he informed me. It’s processed. It’s not even cheese. I’ve never seen it around here.” To this day, I have no idea how my native California-husband knew about provel 22 years ago when just 2 years ago even Anthony Bourdain hadn’t. He just knows things, it’s his superpower. So I moved on and found other cheeses, and for all these years provel was just...
Monster mutsu apples, homegrown

Monster mutsu apples, homegrown

I bought my apple tree in a 5-gallon pot near the end of summer 2011. It was a skinny 5-footer with three marble-sized apples growing on the branches. Kid Two dug a big-enough hole in the only available spot in our small front yard, right next to the front walk where it’s shaded most mornings by an enormous Ponderosa lemon tree we planted 21 years ago after buying this house. If Novella Carpenter could grow fruit trees close together up in Oakland, I thought, with enough compost and loving care I could, too. The existing apples dropped off soon after the transplant, and within a couple of weeks the leaves began to curl and brown. I pulled out the digital microscope and discovered our baby tree was a host for happy aphids and this tiny insect that I later found out is a white apple leafhopper: Aargh. I’m a laissez-faire kind of gardener, so I really wanted to give the tree all the tools it needed to help itself. No pesticides. After some research and with high hopes, I set two bags of ladybugs free to feast on the aphids, planted several bunches of chives around the trunk. and worked a cupful of fruit tree fertilizer into the soil every month. Winter set in and I crossed my fingers. Spring brought pale pink and white blossoms along with fresh green leaves. I set another bag of ladybugs free and enjoyed the apple tree chives. By May tiny apples were growing, and the leaves looked green and healthy. By mid-summer the tree had filled out nicely, shielding the growing apples. I stopped paying...
Ice cream bread is a real thing

Ice cream bread is a real thing

I thought the email that Downtown Tom forwarded me from a distant cousin was a joke – the one that said “ICE CREAM BREAD TWO INGREDIENT (no joke!)” in the subject line. It had to be a joke, right? The only two ingredients were 2 cups of softened ice cream and 1-1/2 cups self-rising flour. But it made sense that it would work. Ice cream is milk and eggs and sugar; self-rising flour has baking soda and salt, so all the components are technically there. So in the interest of science, we made it. The Kids brought home Dryer’s low-fat cookie dough ice cream and regular flour for the project*,  so I added the baking soda and salt myself to make it self-rising. I didn’t have the required 8×4 inch bread pan, so I used a larger 9×5 inch. And it was bread, to be sure, but not a particular interesting or flavorful one. The dog like it, though: So I made it again. The problem had to be the low-fat ice cream, we thought, so the second time around we used Marianne’s 1020 ice cream, a rich, luscious creamy caramel ice cream with fudge swirls and chunks of Oreo cookies that’s made locally in Santa Cruz. Oh, and I bought actual self-rising flour and an 8×4 inch loaf pan, just in case that made a difference. I didn’t, really. It was still a lovely small loaf, dense and moist, perfectly passable but still disappointingly bland. There is something lost in translation, I suppose. We were expecting sweet ice cream flavor and all we got was, well, bread. Bread...

Which Tea Should You Drink With Your Meal?

If you are a true tea aficionado, you know that all teas aren’t created equal. There are as many different teas as there are hours in the day, and each one has its own special character. Choosing the right tea to go with your meal can truly enhance your dining experience, in much the same way that choosing the right wine does. Image source: http://www.kombuchakamp.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Black-Tea-is-Red-When-Brewed.jpg The tea we are all most familiar with is black tea. This is a strong, heavily oxidized tea – which is why it is black – and the powerful taste needs to be coupled with flavorful foods so that it doesn’t overwhelm the meal. There are actually a number of types of black tea, and each goes best with different types of food. For example, a lot of teas from China and Africa have a stronger earthy flavor, and they go well with red meats and savory foods. Other teas, especially those from Sri Lanka and India, have a fruitier flavor, and are the perfect complement for sweet desserts. China also produces teas that have a smoky flavor, which are a bit more of an acquired taste and go well with things like full flavored meats blackened over charcoal. Green tea, on the other hand, has a much lighter flavor and is a staple of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Japanese green tea has a light, slightly grassy flavor and some people think it tastes slightly of seaweed. Because of this, it goes well with a wide range of seafood dishes. Chinese green tea has a slightly stronger, more smoky flavor that can overpower the...
Sweet on sauerkraut

Sweet on sauerkraut

Every couple of Saturday mornings we go to the Cabrillo Farmer’s Market, where the Kids breakfast on loaded baked potatoes and sample the offerings from local cheesemongers and I make a beeline for a shot of Farmhouse Culture’s kraut juice. More often than not come home with a bottle. This is the real thing, the original superfood, boldly flavored and so loaded with goodness you can actually feel you blood cells dancing for hours afterward. Especially the kimchi juice – cabbagegingergarlicradish all condensed in a tiny cup. My notion of sauerkraut used to be clear mushy sweetly tangy ribbons of precooked cabbage that came packaged in plastic bags. The ones my mom used to buy and heat up with Polish sausage and boiled potatoes. You too? Then toss that idea out the window. It’s so . . .  last century. Or at least mid-last century. Real sauerkraut is the stuff of tradition, of home preservation, of real foods – crunchy and aromatic, and, because it’s fermented, not boiled it’s a raw food, loaded with healthy microbes and micronutrients. Plus, and most importantly, it tastes great. I was awakened to this new-old wave of sauerkraut after reading Burkhard Bilger’s profile of “fermentation fetishist” and raw food activist Sandor Katz, AKA Sandorkraut. He’s quite a passionate and fascinating guy, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, The Art of Fermentation, and Wild Fermentation. He argues that we’re killing ourselves with cleanliness: pasteurization, processing, packaged prepared consumables. He’s onto something; quite a bit of recent research points to our gut microbes acting as an 11th organ system. So fermented sauerkraut is something I’d want to...

What’s The Best Program To Help You Lose Weight?

Everyone wants to know the best way to lose weight, but few people realize that the problem has already been well and truly solved. While many people anxiously wait for the next crackpot diet involving baked beans or baby formula, there are others who are walking, talking examples of what we already know. Look around you and you probably know many people who have been overweight and got back in shape. You probably also know a lot of people who have managed to stay at a healthy weight their whole lives. It’s unlikely that those people explored The Blood-Type Diet or The Alkaline Diet, which seem to be much more based on marketability than fact. The medical profession has brought us cures for some of the most horrific diseases, including polio, diphtheria and other diseases that once plagued millions of lives. This same medical community has already brought us a cure to being overweight, and it doesn’t involve chomping on asparagus or nibbling on fish bones. The answer lies in calorie-controlled diets, just as diet plans by Weight Watchers and the medical profession has been telling us for an eternity. For most of us, the problem is rarely not knowing what food and diet will help us lose weight. It all comes down to the emotional pull we find ourselves under as we lead busier and busier lives. Humans also have hedonistic hunger. This is when we want to eat not because we’re hungry, but because of the pleasure we derive from it. “Subjective feelings of hunger are more likely to reflect our hedonic hunger level than our body’s...

Peaches – nature’s candy in my hand or can or pie

“Peaches come from a can / They were put there by a man / in a factory downtown.” This is one of our family-inside-joke sort of songs, one of those ludicrous and vaguely hilarious things I found before a summer Big Sur road trip. It went on the Big Sur Road Trip playlist, along with Cows With Guns and Bongo Bong and a bunch of other songs that probably go a long way in explaining why we are the way we are, and we listened to it while driving from our Julia Pfeiffer Burns environmental campsite to a civilized dinner at the Big Sur Bakery and back. Enjoy “Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States. embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt...
Easy scallion cakes (green onion cakes)

Easy scallion cakes (green onion cakes)

Scallions (also known as green onions, spring onions, salad onions, table onions, green shallots, onion sticks, long onions, baby onions, precious onions, yard onions, gibbons, or syboes) are the edible plants of various Allium species, all of which are “onion-like”, having hollow green leaves and lacking a fully developed root bulb. -Wikipedia Smitten Kitchen got me hooked on scallion cakes. It’s all because her recipe for Japanese vegetable pancakes, or okonomiyaki, that caught my eye one afternoon. Sliced cabbage, carrots, scallions, and kale mixed with eggs and a little flour to bind it all together. It sounded fresh and fast and a different sort of way to get some veggie love in with dinner. I gave it a shot. It was fresh, only too fresh, like an iceberg salad without the dressing. Perfectly acceptable, but with no depth of flavor – nothing I’d crave, or even think to make again. It was a good starting point, though. I liked the idea of the recipe, but I kind of wanted some punch. Everyone seemed to agree. After his first bite, LL said, “These would be really good if they had lots of onion, like scallion cakes.” Scallion cakes? That is not a dish I knew about, ever saw on a menu or tasted. Now, after doing the tiniest but of research, I’m just not sure how I missed them all my life. A.K.A. Cong you bing, 葱油饼; scallion pancakes, green onion pancakes . . .  this dish is one of Asia’s great street foods, as ubiquitous to Chinese cultures as muffins are to your corner Starbucks. I had to make it, yes. I love green onions. But you do know it’s tricky – even dangerous – to attempt...

Top Chef Masters Season 5

Summer of Top Chef love starts tonight with the first episode of Top Chef Masters  – woot! Not sure how much love the chefs will be feeling once they find out their first challenge is . . . skydiving? Really, Bravo? I was ready to go find a tranquilizer just WATCHING this preview. Not sure I would have made it on the plane; I certainly wouldn’t have made it off like this: I enjoy Top Chef Masters, in part because they compete for charity – a $100,000 prize! – and seem much more . . . collaborative. No claws. Bryan Voltaggio makes the jump from Top Chef finalist (Season 6) to Top Chef Masters contestant, the first chef ever to make that jump. And in this season’s Top Chef twist, each chef is represented online by sous chef – well-deserved exposure for an equally talented group. Here is tonight’s clip: I’m going to try my hand at live tweeting tonight’s episode. You can follow me on Twitter...

Should You Choose Glass or Plastic Bottles In The Kitchen?

The debate over which type of bottles to use for your kitchen needs has long raged. Should you choose glass bottles for keeping your condiments, preserves and grains, or should you choose plastic bottles for a lighter-weight alternative? In reality, both types of bottle can be used in the home for kitchen storage, and both have their particular advantages over the other. Much of the decision whether to use glass or plastic bottles for your kitchen purposes will swing on what you are looking to store, and the duration of storage you envisage. Image source: http://www.astylishdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/GreenGlassBottles.jpg Glass bottles can be used for storing a variety of liquids and powders. Glass bottles tend to be more robust than plastic bottles, and they tend to be much heavier pieces of home ware. This means that glass bottles invariably last longer than their plastic counterparts. If you are storing preserves, for example, glass is the best type of container in which to house these contents. This ensures your jar or bottle can be stored in a cupboard for as long as necessary, with no concern about the contents going off. However, glass bottles do have a few obvious drawbacks. Firstly, glass bottles can and do smash from time to time, which can be dangerous (not to mention fatal for the contents). The fact that glass bottles are weighty in the first instance makes them heavier to lift, and move, and more bulky to store. In these circumstances, it is also an option to choose plastic bottles, which offer similar storage properties in a softer, smash-resistant container. Any storage container or utensil that...
Midnight in Juneau

Midnight in Juneau

Downtown Tom and Grandma Juju, and my sister’s family just got home from an Alaskan cruise, what sounds like a fabulous, relaxing time during which they waved at grizzly bears on the beach, watched whale flukes on Glacier Bay, hunted for John Brown’s grave, and saw Victoria in a horse-drawn carriage. The ship off from Seattle – a town they all agreed seemed fabulous and worth it’s own trip. They have wanted to revisit their old homes in Sitka and Juneau for as long as I can remember, and my sister’s college graduation along with a couple of significant birthdays was the catalyst to carpe diem. Sitka is where my sister and I went to kindergarten and first grade way before there was tourism or wifi or even much fresh fruit, where we learned to ride bikes while careening down Mt. Edgecumbe, where we picked blueberries while looking fearfully for bears, and where we screamed with delight as we slid around on glaciers and solidified our love for the out-of-doors. So the trip was bittersweet for my parents – their old government homes had been razed, there were coffee shops and that cruise ship port – their memories flowed but the glacier had ebbed. Their daughters are grown and it was all good but  just . . . different. Except for the sunset. Here’s a photo Grandpa Tom took . . sunset doesn’t last all evening, unless you’re in Alaska in the summer:   To end, George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass.”   embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube...