Archive for April, 2010

22nd April
written by Cleone

Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms

I like different kinds of mushrooms, from white button to shiitake to portobello to porcini.  I like them on pizza, in barley soup, on top of a burger, in a risotto, in an omelette, or even stuffed.  There is something about the deep woodsy flavor that tastes so good.  I grew up eating shiitake mushrooms, specifically the Chinese stewed version.  It definitely influenced my taste for the meatier kind of mushroom.

I have never cooked portobellos before, but have had them in Italian restaurants.  Some places serve portobello mushroom burgers where they substitute the meat patty with a large portobello.  Portobellos are giant mushrooms with enough substance to be front and center in a main course.  They are also really good at soaking up sauce without going limp on you.  A lot of times, it is cooked in a nice balsamic mixture.  Costco (our favorite store, if you can’t tell…) had some really fresh portobellos over the weekend.  I decided to get them and try something new.  I kind of winged it after ready a few recipes and it came out amazing!  AM loved it!

Fresh portobellos


(My own recipe)

Serving size: 2 as a main course, 4 as pupu

3 or 4 portobello mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons pepper

1. In a large bowl, place the portobello mushrooms stemside up.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour balsamic vinegar mixture over the mushrooms and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Baste the mushrooms with the mixture every 10 minutes or so.
4. Place mushrooms in a saute pan on medium high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon some of the mixture over the mushrooms while they are cooking.
5. Flip the mushrooms a a few times to ensure the entire mushroom is cooked through. Cook for another 10 minutes until the portobellos soften and turn darker.

20th April
written by Cleone

Garlic edamame

Edamame, or soy beans, are a healthy food that makes for a good snack or appetizer.  Usually, I see edamame on menus at Japanese restaurants on the mainland and usually they are served steamed, plain, and dry.  In Hawaii, they toss it in different sauces and you can find it in restaurants that do not specifically serve Japanese cuisine.  The sauces consist of shoyu (or soy sauce) or sesame oil or chili oil.  There are lots of interesting and tasty foods here in Hawaii that you don’t really find anywhere else.

The last time we went to Side Street Inn, we had this really tasty edamame pupu tossed in chunks of garlic.  I wanted to recreate this dish at home.  Costco here in Hawaii sells a box of 12 pack easy cook edamame.  The 12 packs are perfect pupu size.  I grabbed a few ingredients and threw it together in less than 10 minutes.  It came out really good!

(Note: Pupu means appetizer in Hawaiian.  The “pupu platter” can be found in Chinese restaurants on the mainland but its origins is from Hawaii.  Also, it doesn’t just pertain to egg rolls and whatever else is in a pupu platter, but it encompasses all appetizers here in Hawaii.)

(My own recipe)

Serving size: 2 – 4, pupu-style

3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or you can use other types of fragrant oils like walnut or olive or spice it up with chili oil)
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 package of edamame

1. Heat edamame in microwave for 3 minutes.
2. Place edamame in a medium size bowl and add garlic, oil, salt, and garlic powder. Toss with a spoon and make sure edamame is completely covered.

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19th April
written by Cleone

The magical ribs

Our lovely friend, Pam, invited us over to her beautiful home in Makakilo over the weekend for a barbecue.  The house is on top of a hill and has an amazing view.  AM made some incredible ribs for the party.  I acted as his runner and sous chef.  Everyone at the party LOVED his ribs.

He decided to try something different this time.  He cooked the ribs in a dry rub and then a wet sauce.  The two layers really worked well together and the sauce did not over power the dry rub.

Our trusty chopper

Dry rubbed

The sauce

I really like this barbecue sauce.  It is not as tangy and somewhat on the sweet side but not too sweet.  The last barbecue ribs we tried had a lot more Worcestershire sauce than this version.  I think this version is better.  These ribs also fell off the bone, which I think is a requirement for good ribs.

(Recipe by AM)

Serving size: 10-12 servings, pupu-style

2 racks of pork ribs
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 head of garlic, minced
3 cups of ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 cups of brown sugar

1. Place ribs in a large pot and fill enough water to cover the ribs.
2. Bring water to boil on high heat and lower to medium heat and simmer for 1 hour.
3. For sauce, in a medium size bowl, mix the onions, garlic, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and brown sugar together. Set aside.
4. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet covered in foil.
5. Cover the meaty side of ribs generously with paprika and rosemary.
6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and cook ribs for 10 minutes.
7. Remove ribs from oven and cover both sides with sauce.
8. Place back in oven and cook for another 10 minutes.

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