kruizing with kikukat

Monday, October 3, 2016

Under Pressure: Almost Cafe 100 Beef Stew

Last Friday, I got a frantic call from D1.  She wanted my salsa recipe.  I chuckled silently to myself.  She goes to college in the land of salsa, good, real salsa, and she wants to make the salsa I make.  But being the good mommy that I am, I pointed her in the direction where she could get the recipe any time.

I know I haven't been too good about blogging recently.  I just haven't been able to do it weekly like I used to (a few years ago, I had the gumption to do it twice per week).  Blame other hobbies and having a shitload of other things to do, as well as poor time management on my part.  But D1's call reminded me that being able to provide her with recipes of "home food" (or at least a place where she can go to get them without relying on her own organizational skills) is a good reason to try to post regularly.

Back in 2013, I posted a recipe for beef stew made in a crock pot.  I went on at length about my history with beef stew.  It's been about three years since that post, and a lot has changed.  I will never get to have my mother's "natural" stew again.  I'm not saying that I would want to eat it, but I would love to have her offer some to me.  That won't happen, and I have very little confidence that my father would actually know how to make it.  And if he offered me some, I'd refuse it anyway.

I still don't like beef stew very much, but I cook it more now than I used to.  But after D1's call, I thought I'd be remiss in not posting a beef stew recipe she could easily make.  According to The Help and UJames, this version tastes very much like the one served at Cafe 100, an iconic Hilo drive-in.  Many Hilo ex-pats make it a point to stop there when they come home for a visit.  And if, like D1, you don't own a pressure cooker, you can make this the traditional way. The pressure cooker advantage is being able to cook and serve a pot of beef stew for dinner in the short time between the end of the standard work day and dinner.

So after D1 had a chance to go to the website and check out the salsa recipe, I received another call from her.  This time, she asked, "Mom, do you really put in onions, bell peppers and olives, in the salsa?  Did you really put stewed tomatoes in the salsa I ate at home?  I don't think I eat any of those things."  I told her she did indeed eat all of those things.  Now I'm hoping she won't call and ask about the stewed tomatoes in this recipe!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 lbs boneless beef stew meat
     1 c water
     1 onion, cut in chunks
     1 stalk celery, sliced
     3 carrots, cut in chunks
     2 russet potatoes, cut in chunks
     1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes (broken up with hand blender or kitchen shears)
     1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
     1 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp pepper
     1 tsp sugar

Pressure Cooker instructions:  Dust meat in flour and brown in heated oil.  Drain excess fat.  Add water, bring to a boil and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (may go up to 30 minutes if meat chunks are large).  Use natural release method to lower pressure.  Add vegetables and other ingredients and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.  Use cold water release method to lower pressure.  Thicken gravy by mixing 1 tbsp flour with some water and add to stew.  Return to a boil, then simmer until ready to serve.

Traditional instructions:  Dust meat in flour and brown in heated oil.  Drain excess fat.  Add water, bring to a boil and simmer about 1 hour.  Add vegetables and other ingredients and continue cooking until vegetables are cooked.  Thicken gravy by mixing 1 tbsp flour with some water and add to stew.  Return to a boil, then simmer until ready to serve.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Help's Moscow Mule

It's Labor Day!!!

Nice to have a holiday, and a Monday holiday beats a Friday holiday.

I know I've been slacking here, but I was just overwhelmed with other duties to keep up with the blogging.  I hope I can be more reliable with the posts. . .not sure if I'm ready for the weekly schedule yet.  Blogging has been a way for me to keep in contact with my far away cousins and friends.

I was supposed to host a get together with my work friends, but we cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Lester knocking at the gate.  This was unfortunate because Lester turned out to be nothing, and I know we would've had a nice time.

One monumental thing about this past weekend was trying Indian food.  Members of the Panda Club go to one of the local Indian restaurants, Kamana Kitchen, for lunch, and they keep going back for more.  Not being too adventurous when food is concerned, I never had the desire to try it.  The Help, on the other hand, has been itching to go.  The Panda Club had graciously offered to take him, but the last time they offered, the timing wasn't right.

In a weak moment this weekend, I allowed The Help to pick up food from the restaurant of his choice, and he chose Kamana Kitchen.  Luckily I had a message thread on my phone and piped in, "someone says chicken saag is good".  I had no idea what chicken saag could be.

To my great surprise, the food turned out to be delicious.  Of course, I didn't eat any lamb.  The mixed kebab was tasty (I ate the shrimp and chicken), and the chicken saag was also good.  There was absolutely nothing in the seasoning which I found offensive.  And no sign of the devil's condiment in any of the dishes The Help chose.

But there was something missing, and I realized it during my conversation with The Keeper.  The meal needed some kind of alcohol.  The Keeper suggested beer, but I don't drink beer (or any malt-based beverage).  I have a fine bottle of sake, but that wouldn't match.  Earlier today, I realized I missed the opportunity to have a Moscow mule. 

You can read all about the Moscow mule here, and I'm sure Otee's friend Rick, bartender extraordinaire at MW Restaurant can make a mean one.  At home, The Help is in charge of bartending, and had I been thinking straight on Saturday, I would've definitely put in my request.  The Help adds something a little special to his version.  The picture to the left showcases the special ingredient.

I think I will have one of these tonight. . .with a teriyaki steak!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 1/2 oz vodka
     1 oz Domaine de Canton
     1 oz lime juice
     ginger beer (or ale)
     lime slices

Shake vodka, Domaine de Canton and lime juice.  Pour over ice into copper mug and fill with ginger beer (or ale).  Garnish with a  lime slice.

Monday, July 18, 2016

BBQ Country Ribs

BBQ Country Ribs

     4 lbs country style spare ribs
     3/4 c sugar
     3/4 c catsup
     1/2 c shoyu
     1/2 c oyster sauce
     thumb-size ginger, divided
     1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
     1 tbsp orange marmalade
     sesame seeds

Boil ribs for 25 minutes with half of ginger (smashed).  Meanwhile, grate remaining ginger and combine with remaining ingredients.  Drain ribs well and place in shallow baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour sauce over ribs and bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning every 30 minutes.  Remove from pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Li Hing Cucumbers

I'm baaaaack!

I took an extended vacation to attend to my ailing mother.  Unfortunately, KikukatMom had some insurmountable health issues.  She passed away peacefully.  I'm glad she did not suffer long.

Since then, KikukatDad has been having dinner here.  I don't mind; I know he is lonely, and I know how difficult it can be to cook for one person.

Li Hing Cucumbers

     1 lb seedless cucumbers
     1 tbsp salt
     1/4 c sugar
     2 li hing mui

Slice cucumbers into spears.  Pack in jar with remaining ingredients.  Chill overnight before eating.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ice Cream Cookies

This is going back...way back...old school.

Ice Cream Cookies

     1 lb butter, softened
     2 c sugar
     1 tbsp vanilla
     1 egg
     5 c flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add vanilla and egg.  Add flour, one cup at a time, until all incorporated.  Using a #60 disher (a little less than a tablespoon), scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet (a flat cookie sheet can accommodate 20-23 cookies).  Flatten to 1/4" thickness with the bottom of a drinking glass (use parchment paper between dough and glass).  Bake for 13 minutes, rotating cookie sheet once.  Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  For slightly larger cookies, use a #50 disher and bake for 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheet once.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Auntie's Chinese Salad Sauce

Memorial Day. . . a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. 

Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of the picnic/outdoor eating/beach-going season.  Treat yourself to a refreshing salad to kick off summer. 

Many years ago, my auntie gave me this recipe, and we've been using it in our salad dressing rotation.  This dressing is strong, so my recommendation is to dress greens lightly.  Feel free to add won ton chips for additional crunch or throw in leftover chicken pieces for a chicken salad variation.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Auntie's Chinese Salad Sauce

     1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
     1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
     1/2 tsp peanut butter
     2 tbsp plum sauce
     1 tbsp sugar
     3 tbsp rice vinegar
     1 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and blend well.  Serve with mixed greens.