Spicy Mango Salad

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I’m just a teeny bit mortified about this post. You know I’m all about local, seasonal, and organic. And this month, the produce here at the farms is ah-mazing! This week, I should be giving you a recipe for something with apples, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, zucchini, or eggplant! But no! I had such a craving for this incredible salad (I’ve been making it weekly all summer), I decided had simply had to share it. Now. So, please accept my apologies. And I will accept your gratitude. ‘Cause you’re gonna love it just as much as I do!

The original version of this Thai-inspired mango salad was one I created in June, when Bob and I were on Kauai for our 30th anniversary. I got the fruit at the farm market there, so it WAS local, organic, and seasonal!!! Ha! I think I made it three times that week. There’s something about the combination of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty that is addicting. And the textures are wonderful! And I’m telling you, this goes with just about everything!!!

In Hawaii, I paired it with a piece of seared ahi tuna, served “black and blue,” (almost raw) and later in the week, next to some crispy pork belly. Over the course of the summer, I’ve served it with salmon, chicken, and grilled pork tenderloin. Tonight, I made a turkey larb to go with this batch. If you’re going meatless, it is terrific with glazed tofu.

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Spicy Mango Salad

I’ve made this with very unripe mangoes, which is traditional. But occasionally, my mangoes have ripened a bit more than I planned, and that’s wonderful, too. I’ve also added peaches, and the combo is delicious!

1 large mango (preferably very firm), organic, if possible
1 medium cucumber (I like kirbys, but any cuke is fine)
1 tbs. mirin
1 tbs. honey (or more if the mango is really sour)
juice of ½ large lime
sriracha or minced hot chili, to taste
green part of one scallion, sliced thinly
minced cilantro, to taste
minced basil, to taste
salt
peanuts for garnish, optional
additional optional garnishes: mint, extra scallion, cilantro, basil, chilis, or hot sauce, lime.

The best way to peel unripe mango is with a vegetable peeler. Make sure you remove all the skin, then slice the mango flesh in long, thin strips with a very sharp knife. Place mango slices in a bowl.

Slice the cucumber lengthwise and remove the seeds. Use the peeler to make cucumber ribbons. Add to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, toss, taste, and adjust flavors to your liking. Sprinkle with peanuts, if you like. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a day.

Find this gorgeous, versatile, stoneware serving bowl on Etsy!

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Posted in easy, fruit, low carb, salad, side, side dish, side dishes, simple recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Yogurt Bark

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The hummingbirds arrive in here in our woods on Brian’s birthday, May 2; they leave on Megan’s birthday, September 18. I fill the feeder in this week before their departure knowing that my nectar will provide fuel for their long flight south; I wish them a safe journey.

The kids were home last weekend to celebrate Bob’s birthday, and we snuck in some Meg’s birthday festivities, too. Hard to believe that I’ve been a mother for 26 years! I bet you’ll be surprised to hear that I did lots of cooking while everyone was home! All four of us are currently focused on cutting back the carbs, so treats and desserts were a challenge. Brian is the only one without a sweet tooth, so he is happy with savory snacks. The rest of us like a little something desserty while we watch a movie in the evening.

My everyday bedtime treat usually involves some iteration of yogurt and fruit. I like frozen yogurt, but find that without additives or loads of sugar, it freezes too solid to scoop or to eat easily. Often, I solve this problem, as I did here, by freezing for a discreet amount of time, or by microwaving to thaw. But I wanted a solution that was super simple.

Enter yogurt bark. Because it is frozen in a sheet, rather than in a container, it is easy to break into pieces once frozen. It can be eaten out of hand when taken directly out of the freezer, or served on a plate or bowl and enjoyed with a fork or spoon. Perfect any time.

Like my previous post, this is more a technique than a recipe. The possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to hear your combinations!

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Yogurt bark

You will need a 9 x 13 pan, lined with parchment paper. And, you will need to create a level space in your freezer in which to place the pan. That is the most difficult part of this “recipe.”

2 cups yogurt, lowfat or whole milk, greek or regular*
sweetener of choice- honey, agave, maple syrup, or fruit juice, to taste
mix-ins and toppings: here’s a partial list:

vanilla extract or powder
coconut, maple, or almond extract
nuts
nut butter
seeds
granola
dried fruit
fresh fruit, diced
coconut
chocolate chips

*Vegans use your favorite coconut, soy, or almond yogurt.

Mix in your sweetener and chosen ingredients, and spread the chunky yogurt in a half inch layer on the parchment. Sprinkle on toppings. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. Break into pieces, and store in a large, lidded container or zip-top bag.

The version you may have seen last week on Instagram contained: lowfat greek yogurt sweetened with agave, chocolate chips, date pieces, pepitas, and coconut chips

Pictured here: lowfat plain yogurt sweetened with honey, lightly sweetened tahini, chocolate chips, date pieces, pepitas, pistachios, black sesame seeds, and quartered fresh figs.

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I’d love it if you let me know your combinations here in comments or tag me on Instagram.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Etsy Shop to see all the terrific new pots!

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Posted in breakfast, brunch, chocolate, dessert, easy, gluten free, healthy, low carb, simple recipes, snack, treats, Uncategorized, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quichetatta

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img_1683We start out together, but after about 1/4 mile, I signal him to take the lead. He is a foot taller than me, and has an easy, lopey stride that will allow him to finish the five mile race in 44 to my 48 minutes. This puts me in the happy position of regarding my newly 60 year old husband from several paces back, allowing me to admire the human to whom I am most attached.

The man I follow moves through the world with ease and unselfconscious confidence. He is the smartest person I know, not just full of facts and concepts, but also wisdom and people sense. He is the kind of leader who is in high demand because he knows how to handle situations that baffle the rest of us. There is no better father, brother, or son-in-law. Or husband. He’s a gem. And cute, too!

I am not person of prayer, but as I run behind the man I love, I say a silent blessing. I wish him happiness, love, and good health. I hope that he will be able to be active and fit for many years; that we can run this race together after his 80th birthday! I repeat the vow I made 3 decades ago, to take good care of him, as he takes good care of me.

You, my blog readers, know that I feed my loved ones mostly healthy food interspersed with occasional treats. This “quichetatta,” is a little bit of both. It’s a perfect, mostly good-for-us, slight indulgence for a couple of not-so-young runners after a race!

I mean this recipe to be a springboard for your creativity. A cross between a frittata and a quiche, it has the decadence of pie, without the work of pastry. I’ve used the bounty that is late-summer harvest, but feel free to substitute what is fresh and seasonal whenever the whim strikes.

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Quichetatta

The flour in the custard, with the panko and parm in the “crust,” combine to form a crispy base for this hearty pie.

Serves 4-6 as a supper portion, 6-8 as an appetizer or brunch element.

For the custard:
8 large eggs, preferably free range
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs. flour
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar
1 tsp salt

For the “crust”:
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tbs. olive or walnut oil

For the filling:
2 small or 1 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
2 small or 1 large zucchini
kernels from 2 ears fresh corn
2 tbs walnut or olive oil
1 tbs butter
2 tbs. heavy cream
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Prepare the filling. Slice the zucchini into coins, 1/4 inch thick. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with 1 tbs oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 375°.

Melt butter in heavy, large skillet, add remaining 1 tbs oil, sauté leeks over med-high heat until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and add corn, salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, until veggies begin to brown. Add cream, deglaze pan, and remove from heat.

Make the “crust.” Brush a 10 inch springform pan with oil. Sprinkle bottom of pan with panko and then parm.

Make the custard: Whisk all ingredients except cheddar.

Assemble: Spread leek/ corn mixture carefully on top of “crust.” Sprinkle with half of cheddar. Arrange zucchini slices on top of corn mixture, and sprinkle on remaining cheese. Now, carefully add the custard, pouring it evenly over the filling.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is just set in the middle. Cool for 5 minutes, then use a pairing knife to loosen the sides and unmold the pie. You may use a large, serrated knife to separate the bottom and slide the quichetatta onto a platter. Serve warm or room temp. Reheats beautifully in oven or microwave.

Variations:
sautéed mushrooms, corn, and cheddar
spinach, sun-dried tomato, and brie
sautéed kale and crumbled, cooked, sausage

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Blog note: A huge thank you and hugs to all of you who have expressed concern and support about my parents’ health. It has been a very difficult summer for them both, but we are hopeful that fall will bring resolution to this round of cancer surgeries and treatments and that they will both enjoy a return to full activity and ease.

Posted in baked goods, baking, breakfast, brunch, eggs, entertaining, entree, family, kid friendly, lunch, main, main course, main courses, main dish, supper, supper, main courses, Uncategorized, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Naan

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It’s been at least a year since Ashley asked me for the recipe for naan, the traditional Indian flatbread I make regularly. It was on my list of future posts and last week I realized that my dear young friend is moving to Ithaca for grad school this month. Since I had so much fun with both Adam and Megan  starring in the previous two posts, I decided invite Ash to join me for a naan blogfest. So this afternoon, while the clouds gathered and thunder began rumbling in the swampiest of skies, we got out the flour and the rolling pin.

I met Ashley through Brian when they were friends in high school. She shares my love of cooking and pottery and we forged a connection. When Sadie came to live with us as a tiny, feral rescue kitten, Ashley was smitten and offered to become her caregiver. So, for five years, this wonderful young woman has stayed here when we travel, taking care of our house, and loving Sadie as much as we do. And since cats know when people have hearts of pure gold, Sadie can never get enough of her dear friend, Ash.

Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, which is a wood-burning clay oven. I was reminded of this last weekend, when I “cooked” my pots in the wood fired kiln at Canton Clayworks. So, in celebration of that firing, all the pots you see in this blog post were fired there. AND, Ashley helped me to photograph the one I have chosen for my very first Instagram giveaway this week!! Check it out!

In spite of this fun reminder, I do not have a tandoor. Or a wood kiln. Yet. But I recently acquired a stylish, new, cast iron, ridged grill pan from Victoria! I think it works just as well, and have tweaked the recipe for this delicious flatbread so that you can make it using a grill pan or skillet, since I assume you don’t have a bread kiln either.

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These beautiful flatbreads are chewy, stretchy, tender, and crisp, like a good pizza crust. They are delicious in both sweet and savory applications. I served them last week with the Butterless Butter Chicken. They do, in fact, make a terrific base for a pizza. I like them dipped in good olive oil with sprinkle of salt; a slice of ripe tomato doesn’t hurt. Make a lovely cinnamon toast with butter and cinnamon sugar. Or enjoy as Ash did today, with tahini and honey. Naan can be frozen; thaw and recrisp in a hot oven or directly over a flame.

Naan

Makes 8 naan, roughly 6 inches long and 3 inches wide.

2 cups organic bread flour
½ cup organic whole wheat flour
2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
2 tbs. cane sugar
1 tsp. fine sea salt
¼ cup yogurt
2 tbs. olive oil, plus a bit more for oiling the bowl
1 cup warm (not hot) water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (you may use a stand mixer and dough hook). Make a well and add wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Transfer to floured board and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Oil the bowl, and place the dough in the bowl; cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Working on a floured board, use a scraper or knife to divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and form these into smooth balls. Let stand for 5 minutes while you preheat a cast iron grill pan or skillet.

Using just enough flour to prevent sticking, roll the dough balls out into oblongs roughly 6 x 3 inches. Place carefully into preheated grill pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until you can see dark brown marks and the underside is dry. Turn bread 90 degrees to create crosshatches and cook for another minute or so. Flip and cook for 2 minutes. You should be able to develop a pleasant rhythm of rolling and cooking. If this seems too complicated, invite a wonderful, young partner to assist you like I did!

Serve hot, warm, or cool.

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Don’t forget to hop on over to Insta to enter the GIVEAWAY!
AND check out all the gorgeous new pots in the Etsy Shop!

 

Posted in baked, baked goods, bread, breakfast, lunch, side, side dish, side dishes, snacks, Uncategorized, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Wood Roasted Chicken with Bread Salad

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Sometimes the things we love horrify our children. As a new, make-it-from-scratch mama living in a town full of apple orchards, I made my babies homemade applesauce as their first foods. They spit it out then, are still equally mystified at its appeal today. Fruit puree notwithstanding, at 25 and 23, they are discerning foodies, great cooks, and sophisticated restaurant critics. Most of the time, they love what I love!

While both of them share my interest in food and cooking, Megan is the one who inherited my interest in food writing. I don’t remember who gave me my dog-eared copy of Judy Rodger’s Zuni Café Cookbook, but for many years it lived on my daughter’s bedside table. When Meg got her first apartment, I gifted her a copy.

Judy Rodgers changed the way I thought about food. She taught me about pre-seasoning meat, and encouraged me to try new combinations of flavors that have become part of my every day kitchen experience. A trip to Zuni has been on my bucket list for more than a decade, and I’m still sad that I didn’t get there while Judy was alive.

Bob and I finally got to San Francisco en route to Kauai in June. I checked the menu weeks earlier and selected: “Chicken for two roasted in the wood-fired brick oven; warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, mustard greens, dried currants, and pine nuts”. It’s a simple dish, and I worried it couldn’t possible live up to the hype. I shouldn’t have been concerned. It was one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had. And it was super fun texting the kids to tell them about it afterwards.

So after we got home, I started doing my research. I reread Judy’s original recipe, Deb Perelman’s (Smitten Kitchen) version, the New York Time’s rendition, and adaptations from Food and Wine, Saveur Magazine, The Kitchen, and Serious Eats. And then I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I’d had things pretty well figured out by the time Meg came home to cook with me.

OK, so what distinguishes my recipe? Well, everybody else seems to ignore the fact that Zuni has a wood burning oven. And that the chicken is perfumed by the smoke. I get it, it’s not easy to get that flavor in a regular oven. And this dish is decidedly roasted, not grilled or barbecued. But, since I’ve been “roasting” chicken in my gas grill for years, it was not a stretch for me to figure out how to add a little smoke and create a wood roasted chicken that way. This chicken is moist and tender inside, with well-seasoned, slightly smoky meat, and a shatteringly crisp skin. The bread salad is a symphony of textures and flavors: crisp and soft, salty, nutty, and sweet, a bite of greens, a hint of chickeny goodness.

It was so fun to make and eat this dish with my daughter. I hope you will follow our lead, grab someone you love, and make it, too. And if you have a sip of delicious wine, drink a toast to Judy Rodgers.

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Zuni Inspired Wood Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad

Serves 2-4

It is important to read through this recipe at least 4 days before you plan to make this dish. You will need time for the chicken to season and to make sure you have a few special (inexpensive) items on hand.

For the Chicken:

1 3-4 lb. organic, free range chicken
2 tablespoons sea salt

2-3 days before you are going to serve the chicken, prep and season the bird. Using a poultry shear, cut the bird up the middle of the backbone. Some people cut out the spine, but I like it so I leave it in; up to you. Lay the chicken on your cutting board and, using a sharp pairing knife, make a small cut at the top of the breast (keel) bone. Now, bend the chicken, use your thumbs to separate the meat, and and pop out the bone, pulling to remove it. Here is a video.

Turn the chicken skin side up and, starting at the neck end, use your fingers carefully to separate the meat from the skin; make sure not to poke through the skin. You should be able to create space all the way across each side from the breast into the leg. Now, use your hands to rub sea salt all over the bird, both over and under the skin and on the bone side, too.

Place the chicken on a rack set over a sheet pan and place it in the fridge, uncovered, for 2-3 days until you are ready to cook. The idea is to dry out the skin (which will help it to crisp) and for the salt to season and tenderize the meat.

For this recipe, I am describing the technique using a gas grill with three burners, front to back. If you are using charcoal, or a different burner configuration, send me a comment, I’ll help you figure out how to adapt my method.

You’ll need a green piece of wood from a maple, apple, or oak tree, or a handful of wood chips soaked for an hour and wrapped in foil.

You’ll need a disposable aluminum lasagna pan. Place it under the grate of the grill over the front burner. Pour about ½ inch of water into the pan. Place the wood or packet of chips over the back burner and light the grill.

When the grill is hot and the wood is smoking, clean and oil the grates and place the chicken over the aluminum pan, legs toward the back. Now, turn off the front two burners and close the grill. Remove the wood after ½ hours. Cook for another ½ to 1 hour or until the chicken is well browned and you can see the juices bubbling under the skin. Remove to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Carefully retrieve the alum pan, and pour the drippings into a bowl. Degrease if needed.

Carve into serving pieces, making sure to save any additional juices and add them to the drippings.

Serve with bread salad.

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For the Bread Salad:

You may toast the bread up to 24 hours in advance of serving unless it’s super humid out, in which case, you’ll want to recrisp.

1 small loaf rustic bread (sourdough is terrific), day old is fine
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup dried currants
big handful mustard greens, lettuces, arugula, and/or baby kale
3 tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tbs. good extra virgin olive oil
Chicken drippings
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: fresh herbs

Preheat oven to 325°. Tear bread into bit sized pieces, place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bread is toasty and crisp, but not totally dry.

Place croutons in a shallow serving bowl and season with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss well. Add remaining ingredients. Toss again. Taste for seasoning. Top with chicken and serve.

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Blog note: I unloaded my kiln, Big Bertha, last week. Last weekend’s wood firing at Canton Clayworks was a great success, and we’ll be unloading this weekend. So, there will be lots of new pots in the Etsy Shop soon!!

Posted in chicken, dinner, entertaining, family, main course, main courses, main dish, poultry, roasted, salad, supper, supper, main courses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Butterless Butter Chicken

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Butter chicken was Brian’s idea in the first place. I’d never even heard of it. When he was a sophomore at GWU, he described a new Indian dish he’d tried at one of his favorite takeout places. At the time, he was looking for anything quick and low-carb to grab between classes.

The following semester, he had an apartment with a kitchen and asked me to help him figure out how to make his own rendition. He knows his mama, and was confident that setting me this task would not only be successful, but also make me happy. So, I did some research and some cooking. And when Brian came home for break, we tweaked. And I put Butter Chicken on my list of dishes to make for future blog posts.

The opportunity to do just that came up this week when I was texting with Adam about dinner plans. Adam is the son of our dear, cherished friends, Tina and Andy, and the brother of Meg’s BFF, Miriam. They are friends that are in the category of “chosen family.” Adam recently graduated from Cornell and got into medical school at the University of Rochester. Yay, Adam!! We were so proud of him, we wanted to have a meal together and celebrate his accomplishments and our love for him.

It was Adam’s idea to cook together and to make a blog post that he could have to consult when he and his beloved, Linda, are cooking together this fall in their new home upstate. We were texting about all the options and Butter Chicken seemed like the perfect choice. It is savory, filling, easy to prepare, inexpensive, keeps well, and is fairly healthy for busy medical students who are sleep deprived and hungry.

So, Adam came over, and we made Butterless Butter Chicken. As we ate together, we shared news and pictures of recent travels and events. We served Adam’s chicken in the faceted bowl I’d chosen to give him as a graduation gift. And then we all went into the village to join his parents for an outdoor music event starring his talented and beautiful mama, Tina Ross. What a perfect evening!

I bet you’re wondering why this dish is butterless. Traditionally, Butter Chicken is made with both cream and butter. And I’ve made it the traditional way. To my taste, the butter made it a little greasy. The flavor of the spices, tomato, and cream predominate…so I don’t think the butter version tastes especially buttery, anyway. When I use a small amount of oil to sauté the ingredients, I feel that the finished dish tastes rich and creamy, but not overly oily. You have my blessing to use butter if you prefer, but I like it better butterless.

My other modification involves the spices. I don’t like curry blends like garam masala, which include “sweet” spices like cloves and cinnamon. So, I choose the ones I enjoy, which are ginger, turmeric, and cumin. If you like others, by all means, add them!

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Butterless Butter Chicken

Serves 6-ish

2 packages boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs.)
2 medium or 1 large onion, large dice
2 tbs. neutral oil like peanut or almond
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs. minced candied ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric
1 cup canned crushed tomato
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes: chopped toasted almonds, sliced scallion

Heat the oil in a big pot or saute’ pan over high heat. Add the onion and cook for a minute or so. Add the garlic and ginger and the spices and toss everything around for a few seconds. Add the chicken and a good pinch of salt. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes, moving it around so that some parts can brown a little. Now, clear a spot on the bottom of the pan and add the tomato paste right to the cleared spot. Kind of mash it around with a wooden spoon so it cooks a little and then mix everything so the chicken gets coated with the spices and the paste.

Cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so that the liquid is simmering very slowly and put a lid on the pot. Cook for a half hour or so, until the chicken is completely cooked. Turn off the heat. Shred the chicken. The best way to do this is to take it out of the pot and let it cool and use two forks (this was Adam’s job). But if you’re lazy, you can break it up pretty well while it’s still in the pot. Just be careful! Don’t burn yourself!!!

Now, turn it back up to high and add the cream. Cook for a few minutes to thicken. Taste and correct seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with garnishes. If you eat carbs, rice makes a nice bed for all the flavorful sauce. If not, any green vegetable (like broccoli or brussels sprouts, steamed or roasted) is great! And I love some homemade naan. Stay tuned for a recipe soon!

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Posted in braise, chicken, dinner, easy, entertaining, entree, family, gluten free, low carb, main, main course, main courses, main dish, one pot meals, poultry, simple recipes, supper, main courses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Poke Bowl: The Hawaii Post

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I am such a homebody, my mother thinks I’m agoraphobic! My idea of a perfect day is to go for a long run in the woods, come home and dunk in the pool, putter in the kitchen and studio, go for a walk, have a leisurely supper with my sweetie, and then watch a movie in bed.

When I travel, it’s no surprise that I like to do the same things, with a rented space as my base. It is much more fun for me to be away from home if I have a kitchen, however rudimentary. I like the enforced creativity that arises from exploring different tools and ingredients than the ones I have here in my Warwick kitchen.

Last month, Bob and I flew (via San Francisco) to Kauai to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (our actual anniversary is July 20). This was our 4th time in the archipelago 50th state, second time on Kauai. And if you have never been…yes, it IS paradise!

We stayed at the Hanalei Colony Resort, which I cannot recommend highly enough. It is simple and non-pretentious in a way that allows the natural beauty of the island to predominate. Located on the ocean, it is near the best snorkeling, diving, and swimming beaches on the North Shore, two miles from the famous Napali Coast.

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Every morning, we each took a long run, followed by an ocean or pool swim, and a soak in the hot tub. Then, trips to farmer’s market, or hiking, or snorkeling…a walk in the afternoon, more swimming, and a beautiful supper on our lanai overlooking the Pacific.

If you do make the trip to Kauai, I hope you will follow my lead and check out the farm markets; here’s a partial list of some of the amazing produce we bought from local farmers: lychees, mangoes, pineapple, okra, long beans, lima beans, gorgeous lettuces, and goat cheese. The Dolphin Fish Market in Hanalei carries the freshest, most delicious local seafood; we shopped there twice. And the local supermarkets carry incredibly fresh ahi tuna for poke.

Poke is a Hawaiian raw fish salad, typically served as an appetizer. The recipe developed from fisherman, who would season cuts of freshly caught fish and munch on them as a snack. It is sort of a charming, ever-evolving, island cross between salad and sashimi. We love to serve my version with a green salad for a light supper with some crackers or bread. Here, you see (back in Warwick), a salad of local lettuces, pepitas, and goat cheese. The homemade crackers are gluten-free, made with chickpea and corn flours.

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Poke Bowl

So…this recipe contains raw fish. From what I read, raw tuna is safer to eat than raw salmon. But, eat this at your own risk. There. Now you can’t sue me! Needless to say, it is delicious; the texture of raw tuna prepared this way, is like silk. I think it’s a risk worth taking, but certainly if you are pregnant or immune compromised, be advised.

Serves 2-4 (4 as an app, 2 generously, as a meal)

1 lb. sushi grade tuna, ahi is traditional, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 small cucumber (I like kirby here), small dice
1 small jalepeno, seeded, small dice
1 small shallot, small dice
½ tsp. sugar (optional)
juice of half a lime
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
drizzle sesame oil
1 ripe avocado, medium dice
coarse sea salt, to taste

In a small bowl, mix the shallot with the vinegar, a pinch of salt, and the sugar (if you like; I like). Let stand for 5 minutes to mellow the shallot. Then drain and save the shallot-infused vinegar for another use.

Mix all the ingredients except the avocado; taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and up to 8 hours to let all the flavors merge and to season and lightly cure the fish.

Add the avocado and toss very gently just before serving.

Serve with extra lime.

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Serious Blog Note: It has been said that blogging and social media create the illusion of a perfect life. Those who follow me know that I have fun creating that pretty deception and don’t worry over much about the fact that it is not accurate. But I also know that many of you keep track of me and my life and I have no interest in concealing reality. So, I will pull back the veil for just a minute. Life has its difficult moments, and this is one of them. Both of my parents have been diagnosed with cancer this summer and are undergoing surgery and subsequent treatment. They have good doctors and a wonderful support system of friends and family. I know you join me in wishing them the best.

I am currently battling Lyme disease; will finish my medication later this week and anticipate a full recovery. My beloved tech angel, Mary, is recovering from pneumonia. It has been tricky to maintain a positive focus; continuing to engage in creative endeavors helps me to stay balanced. I am grateful for your kind encouragement!

pokk

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