Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's from the Ikedas

May 2010 bring you brighter skies, calm waters, good food, good friends, good health, good hearts. Thanks for joining us on this journey. And now to pop more fireworks, to bathe fresh, sleep well and eat ozoni on new year's day for luck.

Resolution for 2010:
Paddle more, walk more so we can cook more and enjoy the company of family and friends, tap into the talents of others and say no with aloha.

Sunday Dinner Week #21: Sunday Dinner in Honolulu

1113 Smith Street
Honolulu, HI (Chinatown)

In 1974, the owners of Little Village Noodle House, Kenneth and Jennifer Chan arrived from China with a suitcase and $100 to their name. Theirs is the typical immigrant story of hard work and determination leading to success. The interesting thing about their story is that their hard work led to a small restaurant, then a larger one, then an even larger restaurant, until Mrs. Chan decided to go smaller and open an upscale restaurant in the middle of Chinatown. In 2001, they opened Little Village Noodle house to rave reviews.

My friend Rod introduced me to this quaint little restaurant when we were in Honolulu on business, so  I couldn't wait to bring my family. This place is right up our culinary alley, so when my middle son had a cheerleading competition in Honolulu. . .Sunday is Chinese!

Atmosphere: It's Chinatown, but much cleaner, and with parking on the side. Once inside, it's cozy and always on the brink of being crowded. Look around and see what other people are eating.

Service: Excellent

Food: We tried the duck with taro (pictured above) - It's crispy, not oily on the outside and the duck is cushioned by Chinese taro mash. The house fried rice is tasty, and we are very familiar with good and bad fried rice. This one is chock full of flavor bursts, and again, it's not greasy or over seasoned. We also had the green onion pancakes for appetizer and Chinese spinach with oyster sauce.

We overate, as usual, but if we had it to do over again, I want to order the taro basket. We also need to order two orders of fried rice.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Aloha Kalikimaka

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 

Christmas breakfast is a simple affair at our house, especially since no one gets to open presents until breakfast is cooked, eaten and cleaned up. Our 'ohana tradition: Belgian waffles, some kind of fruit topping and some kind of meat. Milk, cocoa, coffee.

What's your traditional Christmas breakfast?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

from Ginger Ridge Farms, Mountain View, HI

I'm catching up on my rss feeds and found an article on ma'ona about CSAs (community supported agriculture). Basically, you pre-pay for a box of goodies from the farm(s) and every week you get a box. The money is used for supporting the farm and in return you get a surprise box of usually organic veggies and fruits.  The idea is intriguing, although considering we have the best farmer's markets in the state, I'm wondering if it's not cheaper to just get my butt up on Saturday morning and fight the parking space hoarders for my fresh veggies. That way I can get exactly what I want and I won't waste on things I don't know how to use or my boys won't eat. Still, like teaching, I think farming is a noble and underappreciated kuleana that needs to be supported by the community.

I googled CSA and found several resources if you are interested in checking out CSAs in your area.
The US government provides information on what it is and how to find farms near you. I went to the Local Harvest site and finding farms is as easy as putting in your zip code. I also narrowed it down to CSAs in Hawaii and found one  farm in Mountain View which is about 20 minutes away from Hilo - Ginger Ridge Farms. Their weekly box is above. They charge $25/week, with a one month, $100 minimum. Pick up is in Mountain View on Sundays, but if they expand their membership,  they may deliver in Hilo, Keaau, Pahoa and Kapoho.

The other CSA farms on the Big Island are:
Kanalani Ohana Farm in Honaunau, south Kona ($432/year for a full share; $240/year for a half share)
Lions Gate Farm (Kona coffee) in Honaunau, south Kona ($18.25/lb. of coffee picked up weekly or monthly)
Adaptations, Inc. in Kealakekua south Kona ($19/week with a 12-wk min. for "basic"; $27/week with 12-wk min. for "gourmet")

I did notice that none of these farms had any ratings, so I'm curious as to what people's experiences are with CSAs.

New Year's resolution: go to more farmer's markets

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Dinner Week #20: Hawaiian Style Fast Food

November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend started our two weekend holiday craft fair run. My middle boy has a company, 808 ID, and he sells custom shoes, t-shirts, stickers, and trucker hats. Basically, he still continues to do all the other things, like cheerleading, baseball, school, and I work the fairs with my parents (Rockin H Ranch Wear). By Sunday, we're so brain dead and tired that Sunday dinner is whatever is pre-soaked in the meat department. Lucky we live Hawaii. We have our own version of ready-made or easy to cook food in Hawaii that suits our need for shoyu sugar.

From our local supermarket, KTA, try the soaked Korean style pork, shoyu sugar bonless chicken or teriyaki meat. A Foreman grill or a hibachi is the best way to cook these. While there, check out their poke selections. I like the Hawaiian style ahi because it's full of fresh ogo and inamona, but my husband likes the king crab with butter and my sons like the ahi shoyu. Their tofu furikake poke is the best in the islands. Eat it as is, or use it on your mixed greens salad in place of dressing. If you're ono for spicy ahi poke, Safeway has the best spicy ahi. From Sack n Save, try the wasabi ahi or the shoyu ahi (Ken's favorite shoyu ahi poke is from Sack n Save). I am not a fan of shoyu poke, only because I feel like the shoyu kills the taste of the fish, but poke it comes down to personal preference.

I physically can't stomach marlin, so unfortunately, I'm not a cheap date. What ready-to-eat or easy-to-cook local food do you buy from your local grocery store?

Sunday Dinner Week #19: Steamed Fish, 2 Ways

November 22, 2009

Ok, so I'm one month late in posting this, but the thing about dinner is that everyone expects to eat, whether we feel like cooking or not, so we've still been cooking and taking pictures, even if the blog has been quiet.

I went to Philadelphia to do some presentations on technology and writing, as well as to talk about young adult literature and try to meet some authors. Yes, I'm a reading groupie. But after five days on the continent, the best welcome home dinner is something home grown.

Ken, the in-house fisherman and cook, made steamed fish, two ways using a weke ula and a "Joe Louis" or munu. Both of these are different types of goat fish. The weke ula was caught off Ken's kayak at Honomalino and the Joe Louis was caught at Kahuku Ranch (day time spear fishing). Goat fish are pretty versatile. They can be grilled and deep fried, but most people steam these fish because they have nice white, flakey meat.

Black Bean style steamed fish

Coat the fish with black bean/garlic sauce. Ken uses the Lee Kum Kee brand that comes in a short glass bottle. If you are a camper/fisherperson too, this is the sauce to put in your camping gear. Wrap in foil and steam. Some people put ti leaf between the fish and the foil, but the ti leaf will add cooking time.

Chinese style steamed fish

Put a few slices of ginger in the cavity and on top of the fish. Wrap in foil and steam. While it's steaming, fry bacon until crispy. Crumble bacon and save bacon oil. When fish is done steaming, pour shoyu on fish, top with minced ginger, green onion and crumbled bacon. Heat the bacon oil until smoking (if you want to be more healthy, use peanut oil). We have a 4" cast iron pan that is strictly for heating oil for steamed fish. Once the oil starts smoking, pour it over the fish. The magic is in the sizzle. Your guests will be impressed with your iron chef skills.