This week's menu goes around the world in 6 days--tofu, Alfredo and jambalaya. We are meatless x2 during the week with a bonus Meatless Sunday.
Be vegetarian, at least for a day.
Meatless Bonus SundayTofu Steaks
, edamame and rice. Can you say "soy"?MondayBasil Chicken
. With tofu steaks last night, there is lots of extra basil.Meatless TuesdayAlmost Alfredo Pasta
, with broccoli instead of spinach.
, to use the last of the feta cheese from Grapefruit and Manoa lettuce salad
. Besides tofu steaks, we had Japanese Chicken Curry
over the weekend and there is some leftover celery.Meatless FridayOn the Fly Orzo Salad
. Reasonably sure the husband will tolerate the third meatless day in a week.ExtrasHaupia from scratch
. In this context, 'from scratch' not using the 'just add water' packet, but using coconut milk and cornstarch. It does not mean pounding coconut and arrowroot. I'm hoping for a smoother texture than the packets version. I may even make this tonight!Li Hing Kettle Korn. My cousin told me I took Kettle Korn and made it even more addicting. If you see my relatives or me with the tell-tale red fingertips, you'll know why.
What are your favorite snacks?
Improved Coconut Cake #2
Two coconut cakes, both alike is dignity
In my not-so-fair kitchen where I lay out the baking ingredients.
From last year's oven fire breaks to a new attempt,
Where coconut water and coconut flour makes coconut cake anew...
First Attempt "Coconut" Cake
Coconut flakes are very flammable.
I tried to make a coconut cake last September. I
t was a tragedy.
While simply not having an oven fire would be a major accomplishment, the family agreed that the cake was much improved and actually tasted like coconut.
Here is what I learned from the most recent coconut cake adventure:
1) Coconut water, which, undiluted, tastes like laundry water, is very useful for flavoring cake and whipped cream frosting.
2) Not over-beating is VERY important in cake making. Mixing until just barely combined is key.
3) A metal mixing bowl and a big whisk are my preferred way to beat egg whites. It is very therapeutic.
4) Measuring cups come in 1/3 increments. Measuring spoons do not, but should.
5) Coconut flour is gluten-free and available at Whole Foods.
6) Making fresh fruit filling is amazingly easy and cornstarch is a secret weapon. What works for Chinese stir-fry sauces works for cake filling.
7) If your mixing pans are 1" larger than the recipe specifies, you'll get more pancake than cake (See right). Hence the half-circle cake (Pictured above) so I could get appropriate cake height.
However, all things considered, coconut cake with raspberry lime filling and coconut-flavored whipped cream worked out much better. And if I can make it unassisted, anyone can. I even brought it into work and my brutally honest co-workers and boss approved.
Just a few changes
More pancake than cake
Much Improved Coconut Cake
Hapa is the Hawaiian word for ‘part’ or ‘half’ and usually refers to someone of mixed ethnicity. Unlike the ugly derogatory “half-breed” or “Mudblood” for Harry Potter fans, hapa is a positive moniker. Hapa kids, especially in Hawaii, are typically perceived as having the best of both worlds—particularly their good looks or names that honor their combined heritage--Tyler Kainalu, Melody Haruka or Kawika Johnson (really!).
And it is a growing demographic. Check out Everything Hapa
for more information. Keanu Reeves, Tia Carrere, Apolo Ohno, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Kariya, Sean Lennon, Cheryl Burke, Devin Setoguchi, Bruno Mars, Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park), Kelly Hu, Tiger Woods and some guy named Barack Obama are all hapa.
This makes for diverse families, and by extension, diverse food. Amazing combos that are squarely cross-cultural. We should thank our lucky hapa stars for this goodness. In honor of Hapa Day
, here are some of my favorites.
Rice, nori (dried seaweed) and Spam. Nothing remotely Japanese about Spam. And there is no way you can make musubi using Uncle Ben’s. But spam musubi is marvy--a beloved go-to item at potlucks, graduation parties and beach trips.Mochi Ice Cream
Sheer genius to the family who figured to swap out the traditional azuki or kuri in the mochi with ice cream. Not exactly good for the many lactose-intolerant Asians, but delicious anyhow.
Peanut Butter Beer Miso Chicken
Thank you Sam Choy for this odd yet ono combo.Coconut Butter Mochi
Coconut, butter and mochiko (sweet rice flour) come together and play nicely in this sticky chewy goodness of a dessert. Sushi Variations
I'm certain that avocado, cream cheese, and lox are not traditional sushi ingredients. To be fair, these are named California and Philadelphia rolls, but still, you get the idea. Unlikely mixing improves the original concept
Furikake Chex Mix
& Hurricane Popcorn
Best. Snacks. Possibly Ever.Teri-beef Sandwiches
Sweet/salty/juicy teriyaki meat on a hamburger bun slathered with with mayonnaise, plus lettuce, sweet onion and tomatoes. Drippy goodness.Li-hing Anything
Shave ice, apples, barbecue sauce, high-concept Alan Wong's vinaigrette salad dressing. It’s all awesome.Celebrate your inner-hapa! Eat Well. Be Well.
Ginger Cilantro'd Fish, Trial 1
Part 2 from New Food on Monday
. Started off with Sam Choy recipe "Ginger Pesto Crusted Opakakpaka with Coconut Cream" from the "Aloha Cuisine" one of my go-to books (see earlier blog). What I love about Sam Choy is that ingredients are always found at the grocery store. "Normal" mixed in unusual ways.
In English, Opakapaka is Hawaiian pink snapper and one of those fishes that are in the "good" category to eat, both in terms of how it is caught and its nutritional value (see Hawaii Seafood
In the Bay Area, you can find opaka at Whole Foods, but it tends to be hit or miss. I used equal amounts of cilantro and green onions, a little less fresh ginger, a little shoyu and oil for the fish marinade. Sauce from coconut milk, onions, heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Oh yeah and a large cod fillet.
Sam Choy's beautifully plated dish
The taste and texture were quite good, but it definitely did not turn out like the cookbook picture (See right). My kids said, "Whoa, are you sure that's the same thing?!" Another friend thought it was chicken, and I think it would actually work really well as a grilled or baked chicken. Not an epic fail, but I definitely need to work on presentation...Click here
for more details and what I'll do next time.