hella folks, sorry for the delay. i'm in the land of la, lost angeles, lozenges, for an undetermined amount of time, so i'll be blogging from here for a little while. since it's hardly tropical at the moment (a foot and a half of snow in big bear! the first ski season before halloween in 40 years!), you can find my posts at third and fairfax, my local neighbourhood haunt. hope to see you there!
ps--thanks to everyone for blogging for me, there were some great comments. for the record:
1. thanks claudine for the recipe!
2. the green thingies are camias
4. hangover drops, made by the fine folks who brought you garlic candy. you be the judge!
5. guyuria, pronounced goo-joo-rée-a, made like lili said. coconut milk, water, and sugar. hard as rocks, weird and bland but addictive.
7. dan is a butcher and a teppan-yaki chef who is into to rockabilly and lives on guam. send him treats and dates for he is a good guy.
8. smoo thanks you heartily for all the yummy treats.
okay, last of the bfmps.
smoo's spacing out. create a cocktail or dessert with this theme.
this is dan. he's got mad skillz in the kitchen and actually has a job in the food service industry. what do you his specialty is? give me a mini-bio of dan the man.
guyuria, a guam confection. how would you pronounce this word, and what do you think it's made of?
hangover drops: cure or cause? when was the last time you really needed these?
A LOT of people come to this blog because they google this fruit. what is it?
this is a popular filipino soup known as sinigang, which is boiled veggies and meat in a broth soured with either guavas, tamarind, or camias. if you have a recipe, post it or a link to it below!
i gotta step outta the kitchen, but i'll be back. in the meantime, i was wondering if anyone would be interested in blogging for me pleeeeeease! it's v. simple--i provide the photos, you provide the appropriate comments/recipes/instructions/insults. c'mon, it'll be fun. at least more fun than checking an un-updated blog for awhile....
oh, commenters, might be wise to space out your replies. don't know when the viking will let me return.
got this from a magazine--donna hay or olive or good food? i don't know, but now i can't find the recipe, the page, those magazines. man, i am losing my paper and my mind.
ukoy, patties made from finely grated camote (sweet potato), papaya, and onions, topped with shrimp, and fried with a tempura-like mix of flour, cornstarch, and water. one of my favourite filipino dishes, mainly for the texture--you bite into the crispy, caramelized shell, and inside the veggies are meltingly soft and sweet.
bill granger, again. kind of like those schmantzy lava cakes, but lighter, not so sweet, with a lovely, cocoa-ey ooze when you dig in. mmmm. recipe here.
when i made the asian-style gravlax, i also cured a bit with peppercorns and lots and lots of dill. even though it's cured, it has to be eaten soon, and i keep forgetting to pass by the store to get some brown bread and capers to eat it in a traditional manner. so last night, i made a simple pizza dough base (3 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, glug of olive oil, salt, and a packet of yeast) in the bread maker, got a mani-pedi (aah), then slapped that dough on the grill with some olive oil, turned it over once, then added fontina cheese. once it got all grilly crisp on the bottom and gooey cheesy on top, i topped it with thinly sliced gravlax, sour cream mixed with dill, and some chives.
this sort of deconstructed pavlova is on the other end of the dessert spectrum from the ladyfinger sammich: matcha green tea meringue, with sliced mango, ginger-lime thingy, and a bit of mint. the matcha meringue was made with the four egg whites left from the custard i made for the frozen cream, 2/3rds of a cup of sugar, and a tablespoon of powdered green tea, beaten until stiff peaks form, then baked in a low heat oven until dry.
i am seriously bad at baking meringues, they always go brown on me, but it doesn't matter for this as the lovely celadon colour comes through anyway. i usually start with an oven preheated to 250˚f, and bake them for an hour, then drop the temp to 200˚f and bake them for another hour, then leave them in the oven overnight until they are dry. doesn't always do the trick, depending on the humidity, so i'll turn on the oven and try again. tricky things.
it's not that i don't like tiramisu, it's just that everytime i buy the savoiardo/ladyfinger biscuits for it, i end up eating them all. so very, very, good in a weird old-lady cookie sort of way--dry, not so sweet, not so rich.
since the ginger-lime cream i made was excessively rich, i decided to pair it with these biccies by sandwiching a couple spoonfuls in between them, then wrapping them up and bunging them in the freezer for lovely little frozen treats, ready at any time. mmm. there's that purple clingfilm again.
last week's impulse purchase had been taunting me prettily on the counter all weekend, so i finally decided to do something with it. of course, deciding to do something is often the biggest effort i'm willing to expend in a project. it would have been lovely to see this in a ginger-lime cheesecake, a slice, or a glaze for a roasted chicken, but that would require expending more energy than i was willing to in the kitchen. there was a beach/a bar/a friend/"shaun of the dead" beckoning.
since we're in the middle (beginning/end) of an endless summer, i went for the coolest option: freezing. i mixed one cup of milk, with one cup of heavy cream, and one cup of ginger-lime marmalade (any marmalade/jam/preserve would work) in a saucepan, and heated it on low heat until the marmalade melted and the mixture just came to the boil. i whisked four egg yolks in a separate bowl, took the cream-marmalade off the heat, and slowly added it to the yolks until well incorporated. i returned it to the heat, and cooked it on medium-low until a custard was formed. i waited for it to cool, threw it in a container, and into the freezer. every half hour for a couple of hours, i'd stir the mixture up, breaking down the ice crystals, so a smooth frozen cream would form. it did. yay.
supah-rich, this stuff is. nicely gingery and limey (next time i'll add lime zest and grated ginger before freezing), and like buttah, baby.
i used this as a component to a couple of different confections which i shall post about...next!
a couple of months ago, reid at ono kine grindz posted a photo of the very fabulous limited edition hawaiian SPAM can. hawaii has the greatest SPAM consumption of the states (6 cans per person), but scarily, guam beats that by 45% more per person.
in honour of such a dubious distinction, not only does guam have its own limited edition can, but it also has it's own flavour, the hot and spicy SPAM. yeah, i know, there's hot and spicy in other places, but as shawn radford, museum curator (!) for the official SPAM museum puts it:
"We actually make (a) particular can just for Guam, that's called hot and spicy. We do have a hot and spicy can that's sold in the U.S. However, hot and spicy made for Guam is really hot and really spicy," says Radford.
oh yeah, shawn, work that description there (btw, guam also has the highest per capita consumption of tabasco, roughly 4oz of sauce for every man, woman, child, baby, dog and turtle). i honestly can't tell you how spicy it is, but dang, it is enough to be inedible to some. i am guessing that it would be the equivalent amount of heat in a 2 oz. bottle of the stuff. haaaaaaht.
on the back of the can is a recipe for fried rice from a popular local diner, shirley's. this incensed some of the other dining establishments so much, they refused to serve the processed meat loaf altogether (didn't last long, although they still don't serve the spicy version).
i bought this rather fetching SPAM purse during my recent shopping spree at the abc store. it contains one can of spicy, one of garlic, a commemorative one, and a bumper sticker to boot. i don't know if it's a popular gift with tourists, but locals love it. claire, who is back on holiday, is bringing one back for a mainland guammie who specifically asked for guam SPAM. is there a difference? maybe with the meat, but definitely with the can.
this limited edition can commemorates SPAM's role in guam's liberation from japanese forces during world war 2. hm. perhaps as...ammo? as you can see, not as cute as the hawaiian one, but there's a cute carabao on the can. *on*, not in.
i had a fresh, hefty salmon fillet i didn't feel like eating right away, but i was afraid a couple days in the fridge would do it harm, so i decided make gravlax, or cured salmon. gravlax is a swedish word, coming from grava, which means "to bury" (from the original method of burying the cured fish in the ground) and lax, or "salmon". i wasn't planning on burying it, although if i had that kim chee refrigerator, i'd be stylin'.
i decided to change my normal method for curing, which is traditional and uses a lot of dill for flavour. i took my cues from chef roy yamaguchi, who has several restaurants around the pacific rim that specialize in what he calls hawaiian fusion cuisine. one of the appetizers i've tried in his restaurant on island is an oriental-style cured salmon, which was wonderfully scented with lemongrass and ginger.
to make gravlax, you must cut the salmon fillet into two equal portions, leaving the skin on, but making several slashes in the skin. rub a couple tablespoons of vodka or sake all over the fish, then follow with a little white miso paste. in a bowl, combine equal parts of kosher salt, white sugar, and brown sugar (a quarter cup of each should be enough if your fillet is less than a pound). massage this mixture well into the exposed salmon flesh. prepare a mix of the following:
spread this onto the exposed sides of the fish, then lay sliced ginger and a good handful of cilantro onto one fillet (and star anise if you like the flavour) then place the second fillet on top of it with the exposed sides facing each other, like a sandwich. wrap this bundle tightly in foil or clingfilm, then in a resealable bag. keep in refrigerator, weighted down--a storage box of leftovers, a six pack of beer, a wheel of cheese, whatever. resist the urge to peek for 24 hours.
the next day, open up the packet. the salmon should start to get a little translucent and compact. flip the fillets so the skin sides are pressed together (keep the ginger, cilantro and star anise in the middle as well), rewrap, refrigerate and weight. and wait. for another 24 hours.
when it is done, the salmon should be sort of a cross between sashimi and lox, almost candied. slice thinly to serve.
i decided to serve mine on shiso (perilla) leaves. another hawaiian chef, alan wong, has an appetizer in his cookbook, new wave luau, of sizzled salmon belly and smoked salmon in chiso (shiso) leaves, which is where i got the idea.
mince the gravlax finely, with chopped cilantro, onion sprouts, and a squeeze of lemon and place on heaping mound on an individual shiso leaf. top with a mixture of sour cream, wasabi paste, and lemon.
simple, elegant, different.
truthfully, i am not sure what these little discs of mashed taro and coconut are called. i've been told they are baye-baye(báhyeh báhyeh), a particular delicacy from the negros oriental province in the philippines, but i thought those were made with coconut and pinipig, a sort of pounded rice flake. strangely addictive greyish discs of carb and coconut, these are. any ideas?
mussels, cooked in a broth of coconut milk, seasoned liberally with lemongrass, cilantro, ginger, garlic, lime zest, and green jalapeño chile pepper. as i was
eating inhaling it, i thought it could be taken to another level if i had run all the herbies through a food processor or finely minced them so that the coconut broth would be a gorgeous shade of green and more intensely flavoured.
hm. next time.