Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chicken Adobo and an Update

My boyfriend's ex is doing miraculously well! She has pulled through and was taken off the vent and moved to the burn unit from ICU. All the thoughts and prayers sent her way have been working! The children are staying with us and it's kept everyone quite busy!

Okay, I didn't have too much time this week to blog and couldn't decide which recipe to write about next. I finally decided to share my Chicken Adobo recipe. Since moving to Maui I have been cooking a lot of Filipino dishes and "local" favorites. My boyfriend was born and raised here in Maui and says it's the best he's ever tasted. The addition of potatoes def takes it over the top. Don't be afraid of the amount of vinegar, it mellows during cooking.


8 pieces of bone in chicken
salt and pepper
5-6 garlic cloves
tsp whole peppercorns
1/2 small sweet onion
tsp grated ginger

3 potatoes
2 bay leaves
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 c water (optional)


Salt and pepper your chicken pieces.
Brown in a pot on both sides
Remove from the pot. Saute onion, garlic, and ginger.

Dice the potatoes according to your liking. (see pic below)
Return chicken to the pot
Add potatoes, liquids, bayleaf and peppercorns.
Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender.
Remove chicken and potatoes from the pot.
Combine cornstarch and water together and add to the pot
Bring the liquid to a boil until thicken.
The potatoes soak up the sauce as they cook. Serve with white rice. Yum!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm not sure how much I'll be able to blog these next couple weeks. My boyfriend's ex was in a terrible crash and is in critical condition. Keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

All I can say is.. oh my!

So Thursday I decided I was going to make short ribs braised and simmered in red wine and lots of vegetables and herbs. I was so excited since I've never made short ribs before. Well, my bf's daughter had an awards ceremony we were going to attend. I turned the ribs off and left them on the stove since we weren't going to be out for long. WRONG!
After the ceremony we went out to a Korean restaurant to eat and have some drinks, the ex, her sister in law, the kids and the bf's co-worker all came along. The food was delicious and in fact this weekend I am trying my hand at Korean style beef, homemade kimchi and mochiko chicken. I'll let you know how it all turns out!
The ex left and took the kids with her and so did the co-worker and his daughter. The trio was left together to share drinks... drinks... AND more! By the time we left the second bar I was far gone! We came home and I guess I decided to turn the ribs back on to feed the bf, since he did not eat while we were out. I took the mashed potatoes I made earlier in the day out of the fridge, started heating everything up and made my way to the bedroom where I PASSED OUT! When I woke I went to the kitchen and saw that I had left the ribs on and the bf woke up at 2 am and turned them off.
I just have to give myself SOME credit because I added the finishing touches to the pot which were cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, and rosemary! Even as completely obliterated as I was. The ribs WERE BURNED TO THE POT and I left the potatoes out, which is was not a great moment! Boy oh boy all that drinking really kicked my ass! Well, I just had to take a picture so here it is!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lemon Yogurt Cake

There are so many wonderful blogs out there, each with it's own unique style. Some try a new cookbook each month, some stick to the recipes they know and love. Others try their hand at baking. I think I want to do a little of each. I'm going to try each week to post:

1 recipe I know and love

1 recipe I have in my endless stack

1 recipe for a dessert

This week I the dog treats which I know Abby loves will have to do as my know and love recipe. I tried a new recipe for the Chicken I posted yesterday. Today I am going to post a Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe from Ina Garten. I had a bunch of lemons in my fridge and needed to do something with them. I flipped through Ina's cookbook and found the recipe. I immediately went to work with Food Network on in the living room. Just as I was pouring the batter into the loaf pan Barefoot Contessa came on... guess what she was making? Yep! You guessed it! Lemon Yogurt Cake with a blueberry sauce. Too funny!
Anyway, I substituted 3/4 of the yogurt for sour cream and added lemon yogurt instead of plain because that is what I had on hand. DELICIOUS! Moist, not too sweet and very fresh tasting!

Super simple. . . you don't even need a mixer! Just whip out that whisk!

1 1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

3/4 C sour cream
1/4 C lemon yogurt
1 1/3 C sugar
3 L eggs
2 t lemon zest
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 C vegetable Oil
1/3 C fresh lemon juice

1 C confectioner's sugar
2 T lemon juice

Sift dry ingredients:

Whisk sour cream, yogurt, 1 CUP sugar, eggs, zest and vanilla

Slowly whisk in flour mixture until incorporated

Add vegetable oil and use whisk or rubber spatula to fold into the batter.

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes while you make the syrup.

In a small saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Heat until sugar dissolves. Pour over the cake while still warm.

Once the cake cools mix confectioner's sugar and lemon juice together and pour over the cake for a nice glaze.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stress and a mess all for a chicken breast!

Many of us feel like we're ready to perform surgery once we finish scrubbing both our kitchens after working with chicken. Today, I was ready to perform right on my counter! Living in Maui means many of my beloved food items are WAY too expensive living on a budget, especially now a days. A couple weeks ago whole chickens were only 99 cents a pound, so I bought a few and put them in the freezer. I took one out last night and defrosted in the fridge so I could make two dishes this week from one chicken. Panko and Parmesan crusted chicken tonight and chicken adobo, a Filipino dish tomorrow. I think I did a pretty decent job, check it out:

I got two pieces out of each chicken breast and pounded each piece into a chicken cutlet.

Then I dusted each with a little cornstarch, dipped in the egg wash and then into the Panko/Parmesan mixture

Let the chicken sit a few minutes and then sauteed in olive oil and butter. Once I transferred to the oven to stay warm I added a few lemon slices and butter to the pan to drizzle on top.

I didn't put much thought into my side dishes until afterward. I roasted some potatoes in olive oil and crushed rosemary and sauteed some zucchini and mushrooms. The next time I make this dish, I will make garlic mashed potatoes and roasted zucchini! It was a delish dish!

Egg Wash:
2 whole eggs + one egg white
1 1/2 T dijon mustard

1 C panko crumbs
1/2 C parmesan
1/2 C pecorino
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper

For all our furry friends out there!

I have a 5 year old peek-a-poo. She is curled up on her little pink blanket right now. This morning I was playing with her and felt something on her chest.... IT WAS A TICK! GROSS! It didn't bite her so thankfully I got it off in time, not sure how it got there since she has her monthly treatment, nonetheless I felt compelled to share a recipe for super simple dog treats. Abby LOVES them!

Peanut Butter Cookies:

2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 T Baking Powder
2 T Honey
1/2 C Skim Milk
1/2 C Water
1 C Peanut Butter (sugar free!)

*I use Smart Balance chunky PB which is sweetened with Molasses
*Add chopped carob chips for something extra special :)

Mix the flour and BP together in one bowl. In a second bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Slowly stir into Flour mixture until combined. Turn out onto floured surface and roll to 1/8'' thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutter or just cut into bit size strips. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Remove from the oven and let dry until crisp (this will take a few hours). Store in an airtight container. These are adorable and would make a great gift!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just want to share

Last night I had a delicious dinner! My bf's friend caught a fish while spear diving late Sunday night. The fish he caught is a Parrot fish, but referred to as "Uhu" in Hawaiian by locals. The fish was so fresh it smelled of the ocean. I've heard people say to always buy fish that smells like the ocean, but since I don't buy much fish here, I've never experienced this. I ran to the store to grab some stuff while he gutted the fish, that is a sight I wish I could have seen! He stuffed the fish with butter and garlic, vegetables, shrimp and Hawaiian Sea Salt. I made some pasta tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and it was delicious together!
During the day yesterday I made some profiteroles and a mango cream. A recipe I found in a 2005 issue of Bon Appetit. I was not as impressed as others that reviewed the recipe, but you may enjoy it? Mango Filled Cream Puffs
Recipes to come: Parmesean and Panko crusted chicken, lemon pound cake, Chicken adobo and beef short ribs!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Taste of the Local Side

Today is the perfect day for blogging. I have cramps from hell and don't feel like doing a damn thing except sitting in this chair and drinking a big mug of hot Kona coffee! Until of course the clock turns to the right time and I can break out the TEQUILA! I've got my trusty assistant at my feet and I'm ready to roll.

The local side of Hawaii is VERY laid back. People here are very family oriented and love to relax. When families get together you can bet there will be a wide variety of local favorites like lau lau, lomi salmon, and poi. There is always ahi poke, which is one of my favorites, chunks of fresh ahi tuna tossed with Hawaiian salt and Maui onion among other flavors. The recipe I have for you today is for Kalua Pork. This is the pulled pork of Hawaii. Usually it is prepared by digging a hole in the ground, making a fire that dissipates and leaves the lava rocks BOILING hot! Add the pig and cover with banana leaves for hours and hours. This version is done in the slow cooker and is SUPER easy to do. Serve it up with any sides you want. This is great on a sandwich or turned into a weeknight quesadilla!

Slow Cooker. 6lb.Pork shoulder/butt. 1 1/2 T Liquid smoke. 1 3/4 T sea salt. fresh ginger/garlic optional

You can use a medium grain sea salt for this. You may add the following to it for more flavor, but not necessary: black pepper, chili pepper flakes, garlic powder, ground ginger

Place the pork in the slow cook with the fatty side up. Pour the liquid smoke and Hawaiian salt all over the top. Grate some fresh ginger and one clove of garlic over the top as well. Get in there with your hands and rub it all around. DO NOT ADD WATER. There is enough fat to baste the meat.

Put the cover on and set the crock pot to low. Leave the pork for 16 hours.

Once the time has passed, shred the meat, remove the bones, turn the cooker to warm and serve for dinner! This is really a delicious dish! Look at that tender meat!

Texas Style Chili

How many of us stick with the same old school ground beef chili we were raised on? Although I would take a bowl of this homemade chili from my mom's kitchen any day. Let's face it, no matter how good we are in the kitchen NOTHING compares to a dish that brings you back to your childhood.
This chili comes from Bon Appetit October 2008 issue and I'm providing the link for the full recipe. The recipe calls for Beef brisket, but I used beef stew meat. I did not cook it in the oven as directed in the original recipe, but simmered it on the stove for 2 1/2 hours before adding the butternut squash. I used Corona for the beer portion of the recipe because that's what I had in the house. I am sure something like Negra Modelo would add much more flavor!
Eat this over rice or simply by itself.... yum yum!

Any suggestions to another vegetable you think would be equally delicious?

Texas Style Beef Chili Recipe

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pierogi Patience

Okay, here I go, cutting into the first homemade pierogi I've ever made. . . .drum roll....Mmmmmm... that is some good stuff! Excuse me while I consume all five I put on my plate!

Those were delicious! The dough was tender and light. The filling was good, but not great. I have the remainder in the freezer and know just what to do with them!

A guy my boyfriend works with is getting divorced and eats ALL microwavable boxed junk! I think I'll send some his way, do you think he can handle "boil until they rise" and "melt butter?" I sure as hell hope so. Last week I made cinnamon rolls and told him to take some for his kids, he looked at me cross eyed and said "I don't cook!" Um, hello! I already did all the work, put them in the oven for 15 minutes! Of course you do need to know how to turn the oven on! Anyway, here is the recipe and some pictures of the process. Hope you guys enjoy!

Dough: 2 cups flour
1 t salt
1 egg,whisked
2 T sour cream
1/2 C water

The filling recipe is in the text to follow. Very simple!

Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add the egg and sour cream. With a wooden spoon OR your hand start stirring while gradually adding the water. Once the water is incorporated use your hands to gently knead the dough until it comes together and isn't sticky. Cover with a towel and let it rest 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting the potato filling can be prepared. Boil 5 medium potatoes in salted water. I usually add a garlic clove or two and a bay leaf for added flavor. Boil until fork tender, drain well. Transfer to a bowl and IF you have a potato ricer, this would be the time to use it. I used two forks to mash the potatoes. Add 6 oz. cheddar cheese and a little salt and pepper. Filling is done.

Roll the dough 1/8 inch thick and cut circles out with a cookie cutter or a cup. Place one teaspoon of potato in the center of each dough round. Holding in one hand, pull the sides of the dough together, starting in the middle. Pinch the dough closed making sure the filling does not come out. You may want to start with less filling until you get the hang of it. PLEASE flour your cookie sheet or plate before you put the pierogi down, it sure took lots of PATIENCE to peel the pierogi off the wax paper! I didn't realize they were stuck until I had all 22 on the sheet!

Put 5 or 6 pierogi in boiling water and boil until they float to the surface.

You can eat them boiled or you can do what I love to do and fry them in butter! Yum!

Serve with sour cream, sauteed onions and crumbled bacon, or a drizzle of melted butter! Hope you love em!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Family heritage

One of my newest "obsessions" has been tracing my family history. All four of my grandparents have passed away and so have many of their siblings. This leaves much left up to the bits and pieces I have to put together from my mom and dad and aunts and uncles who can't even agree on their mother's real name. The verdict- I am a European MUTT with a touch of the Caribbean! Polish, English, Irish, French, Austrian, Spanish, Puerto Rican, Taino Indian! Even though I am a mix of rich cultures I grew up predominately eating and experiences the culture of my dad's side, the Puerto Rican side. I can make rice and beans with my eyes shut! I am ready for a culinary challenge, both on the chopping board and in my mouth!

This morning I decided to make pierogi. After writing down dozens of dough recipes I finally decided on one. Super easy to put together and needs to rest only 30 minutes, long enough to peel and boil your potatoes and grate some cheese. I went to the fridge to grab some cheddar and found myself disappointed to find manchego, mozzarella, goat cheese, the processed crap my boyfriend loves and a few others, but no cheddar. I have about as much patience as a three year old and waiting until my COSTCO trip tomorrow is not an option. Living in Maui means the "local" grocery stores don't offer the same variety as the mainland.

Success or failure? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shortbread anyone?

From the time I was eleven my weekends would be filled with babysitting and baking, glamorous, I know! I'd fill cellophane bags with an assortment of baked goods and send my younger sisters around the neighborhood selling the treats for $2.00 each. Believe it or not, they'd come back empty handed! The past few years I've spent my time in the kitchen cooking treats of a different variety, the savory kind.
I'm now revisiting the world of baking and find it just as much fun as it use to be!

This recipe for shortbread comes from this month's Cooking Light magazine with a few slight modifications. The shortbread is light and has a much more flaky texture than your typical shortbread. I added a lemon drizzle once they were cut and cooled.

Vanilla shortbread with Lemon Drizzle

2 C Flour
1/4 C Cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 C softened butter
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease either a 9x13 baking pan, or a 9 inch round spring form.
Combine flour, cornstarch, salt in a bowl. Sift. Beat butter in a separate bowl for 2 minutes. Gradually add the oil and mix another 3 minutes. Add vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until JUST combined. Spoon dough into prepared pan and press to an even thickness. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into desired size pieces.

To bump up the lemon flavor add the finely grated zest of one lemon to the dough.

Lemon Drizzle

Powdered sugar
Fresh lemon juice

Mix just enough sugar and juice together to make a drizzle the consistency of heavy cream. Spoon over the cookies just before serving.