Tag Archives: Cooking

Lilikoi Butter

 

First, you need to know that “lilikoi” is our Hawai`ian word for passionfruit, the fruit of the Passion Flower vine. Read the Wikipedia religious explanation of the word “passion.” But I’m passionate about the passionfruit (groan), which I know mostly as lilikoi.

In January, I wrote about trying to grown my own, but I haven’t had much luck so far. In that post, I also included a recipe for lilikoi butter, but I’ve refined it a bit. Also, this is for the benefit of those readers who are new to “Lava to Lilikoi.”

A friend in Na`alehu gave me a huge box of lilikoi fresh from the vine. I love to simply scoop out the insides with a spoon and eat, seeds and all. But this time, there were way too many to simply sit and eat myself sick. So I asked around for some recipes. My masseuse (Velvet) gave me this recipe.

The process I use for juicing is to cut them in half, scoop out the insides, and let that drain in a colander for about 24 hours to get rid of the seeds. My house smelled like lilikoi for days after I finished juicing them.

Lilikoi Butter

4 eggs
4 cups sugar (I used a little less and mixed it with Splenda)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 ¾ cup lilikoi juice

Mix juice, sugar, butter in a large pan. Heat until butter is melted. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and temper by drizzling a little of the hot liquid into the beaten eggs so they don’t scramble on you. Keep stirring and when the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the hot liquid, pour it into the pan with the juice, butter and sugar.

Bring to a rolling boil, then down to a slow rolling simmer for about half an hour. This will thicken as it cooks.

I don’t know how to improve on this simple recipe other than to use it whenever you can, over whatever you can find. I like it over ice cream, on toasted English muffins or scones, over plain cheesecake, or just right out of the jar with a spoon!

I made a double batch with all the lilikoi I had, and ended up with twelve jars. They look like jewels on my shelf!

I first published this in September 2009 and have had many requests for it since. If you are interested in seeing later posts I did on Lilikoi Butter, look for them under “Categories” on the left-hand side of this post.

A hui hou!

Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have loved cooking with sourdough ever since I lived in Alaska in the early 60s. The problem is that the starter keeps growing, just like Topsy! I give it away, I use it as often as possible, but I still end up with more than I can use. I’m open for any sourdough recipes you may have, so please send them to me!

This recipe starts out with 1/2 cup of starter, and since I had extra without having to prepare it the night before, this was a good recipe to use today.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup starter
1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar

NOTE: I used real sugar in this first mixture because I believe it is necessary to help the starter to “work.” Cover and let this mixture stand for 2 hours in a warm spot. I put mine in a sunny kitchen window.

In a separate bowl, cream together:
1 cup butter (I used Smart Balance 65% buttery)
1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)

When well mixed, add 1 tablespoon molasses (I used blackstrap). Then add one egg and continue to mix thoroughly.

Add:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or dried blueberries)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Into this, mix the starter mixture.

The batter will not be as stiff as most of us are accustomed to when we make plain oatmeal cookies. Using a teaspoon, drop the batter onto greased baking sheet about two inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 12 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take a couple minutes longer, but mine came out at 12 minutes. I got 4 dozen in this batch.

A hui hou!

Sourdough Cranberry Rolls

 

I love anything made with sourdough. When I lived in Alaska, I was given a starter that dated back to the 1800s (at least that’s what I was told, but Alaska is known for yarns as big as the state). At any rate, it had been going a long time, and was deliciously sour. I have made sourdough chocolate cake, sourdough fruitcake, sourdough pancakes and waffles, sourdough breads – any recipe I can get my hands on.

The sourdough starter or madre that I use now also came from Alaska, this time from my friend and colleague, Betsy, who used to live there, too. This recipe was adapted from The Tassahara Bread Book and I used dried cranberries instead of raisins. Their original recipe calls for fermenting the raisins, so I wasn’t sure if it would work to ferment the dried cranberries. I imagine you could use dried blueberries, as well.

The Tassahara bakers seem to keep a sourdough raisin roll starter on hand at all times, and this might add to the flavor each time it is used. I probably won’t make this recipe as often as they do, so I didn’t keep anything out for the next time, other than replenishing the regular madre as usual.

 

Sourdough Cranberry Rolls

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sourdough starter
1 3/4 cups water and fermented cranberries *
2/3 cup dry cranberries
Whole wheat flour as needed for kneading.

Mix the salt and cinnamon with the flour. Put the sourdough starter on top of the flour and stir in the water from the cranberries, a little at a time to form a soft dough.

When the mixture is too thick to stir, work with your hands and knead for several minutes. Add the fermented cranberries, and knead a bit more. Add the dry cranberries, and knead them in, too.

Keep the dough on the moist side as much as possible, but add more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky to work with. Let the dough sit for 20 minutes or so.

Divide the dough into twelve pieces for large scones. Shape into balls and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let them sit overnight, at least 15 hours or more.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until well browned.

* Fermenting the Dried Cranberries: Place 1/2 cup of dried cranberries in 2 cups of water. Cover and let sit for 3-4 days, unrefrigerated. Stir daily. Don’t change the water because it will be used in the recipe.

NOTES:
1) This may seem like a long drawn-out process, but it’s like making the pink grapefruit marmalade. It only takes a few minutes each day, rather than taking up a whole day of preparation. I tried this recipe for Sourdough Cranberry Rolls with great trepidation, but it was so easy! I’d like to try another dried fruit. I mentioned blueberries above, but wonder about chopping up something like dried mango or ginger. Oh my!

2) The damp towel part didn’t work well for me. It seemed to weigh down the rolls too much, so I took it off and it worked better. I think my tea towel was too thick, not thin like the old flour sack towels my grandmother used.

3) I got twenty large rolls/scones instead of twelve. Also, their recipe calls them “rolls,” but I think they are more like scones, so that’s what I call them. Whatever you want to call them, they were delicious!

4) After they were cool, I wrapped each one in waxed paper and froze them. They are warm and ready to eat after about 20-25 seconds in the microwave. Slather with butter and enjoy!

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Homemade Individual Pizza (9″)

A funny story about pizza comes from my high school years in Belleville, Illinois, just across from St. Louis and the Mississippi River. There was a new Italian family in the neighborhood who had opened up a new “pizza parlor,” which is what they were called then. I was with my parents and some of their friends one evening when we went in to see what all the excitement was about.

The group asked the waitress to describe a pizza. After she finished, my mother looked around and said, “I think we’ll each take one.”

The waitress tried to convince her they only needed one, but Mother insisted. Finally the waitress said, “Uh, let me bring just one to start with and you can decide if you want more later.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on everyone’s face when it was brought out. Without a doubt, that huge pizza was enough to serve everyone around the table.

I suppose there are people who don’t like pizza, but I have no idea what planet they come from. It’s basically like an Italian open-faced sandwich, and you can put anything you want on it, or leave anything out you don’t want.

I’ve made bread a lot in the past, but never pizza. I couldn’t imagine myself trying to learn how to toss a huge circle of dough above my head without a major disaster.

Then I found a little hidden-away article in a magazine. I don’t even remember which magazine it was in. All I know is that I clipped it for further evaluation. Was I ever surprised when I read it! And it’s super delicious! I think I could even categorize it as an “artisan pizza,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’m eating it right now as I type up this post!

Homemade Individual Pizza

Crust

1/2 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar

Add the yeast to the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. It will begin to look slightly foamy.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in another bowl. Then add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.

Stir until it’s well-mixed. The dough should be thick, requiring a little effort to mix it. Cover the bowl with a clean kithen towel and let rise at warm- or room-termperature for about two hours.

After the dough has risen, place it on a floured board to knead until smoother and no longer sticky. I pushed the dough into a greased 9-inch iron skillet with my fingers, making sure the edges came up a little on the side of the skillet to form a rim.

Add the toppings, starting with the tomato paste, and ending with the shredded cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles up and the crust just starts to brown.

My toppings

tomato paste right out of the can
sliced mushrooms
thin salami slices, cut in half
thin slices bell pepper
minced garlic
freshly picked oregano leaves
freshly picked marjoram leaves
sliced fresh basil leaves
shredded Romano Pecarino
shredded pepper Jack cheese

Other toppings I like (but didn’t add this time)

loose sausage
chopped onion
sliced black olives
sliced tomatoes
any other sliced veggie
jalapeño peppers
pineapple
sauerkraut
any kind of cheese

You can put whatever you love on pizza, or whatever you have on hand. Have fun with it!

This was super simple and easy – with no fancy tossing! The only wait was for the dough to rise, but I can usually find lots of other things to do around here.

This could be served to two people along with salad and dessert, but I ate the whole thing by myself (blush)!! Even the rim was tasty! But don’t even ask how many calories are in it. Of course, other than the crust, the veggies would all be “legit.”

If this is your recipe, please let me know and I’ll give you full credit, along with my deepest gratitude for having put it where I could find it!

Buon appetito!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Lilikoi Butter Revisited

 

I am fascinated by the fact that my website statistics show “lilikoi butter” as tops in the list of the search words that bring people to my site. It’s been a year since I wrote about making lilikoi butter and I still get requests for more information.

After my first post on that topic, I received an offer from Alexis and Chris of Coastview Aquaponics to come get the last of their wild lilikoi. I wrote about that visit here. I juiced it all up and froze it to save for a later date.

This past week, I finally got around to thawing it out and making lilikoi butter again. I doubled the recipe shown here and ended up with 15 half-pint jars of lilikoi butter. In reading over the original recipe I posted, I realized that I left out the final process. I’ve added it below.

 

Lilikoi Butter

4 eggs
4 cups sugar (I used a little less and mixed it with Splenda)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 ¾ cup lilikoi juice

Mix juice, sugar, butter in a large pan. Heat until butter is melted. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and temper by drizzling a little of the hot liquid into the beaten eggs so they don’t scramble on you. Keep stirring and when the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the hot liquid, pour it into the pan with the juice, butter and sugar.

Bring to a rolling boil, then down to a slow rolling simmer for about half an hour. This will thicken as it cooks. (See picture above.)

Using a large-mouthed funnel, pour into sterilized jars, covering with sterilized lids and rings. I turn the jars upside down to let them cool until I hear the top pop, indicating a good seal.

NOTE: I have often complained that something keeps eating my scraggly lilikoi vines, until I read about (and tried) sprinkling crushed egg shells around the edge of the plant. Whatever it is that was eating them doesn’t like to crawl over the egg shells. I suddenly have new growth on my vines that nothing is eating away! Maybe I’ll get a few of my own lilikoi next summer. Hooray!

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

 

This is a three-day process, but the flavors are absorbed so much better than a marmalade made too quickly. I tend to like my marmalades to have a slight bitterness, more like a true Scottish marmalade. This recipe ensures I’ll get that.

Choose 3 smallish pink grapefruit (or 4 larger ones) and 2 lemons. Have 2 oranges on hand. These are not added to the marmalade, but you’ll use their juice later on.

On the first day, cut off thin slabs of grapefruit and lemon rind and cut into tiny slivers. Take care not to include pith at this point. Add 2 cups water for each cup of fruit. Let it stand.

 

On the second day, boil this mixture for 30 minutes. It helps the gelling process if you add large hunks of grapefruit pith to the soaking mixture. Also, cut out the grapefruit segments and add these to the mixture.

 

On the third day, remove all the pith sections and any stray pips (seeds). Add juice of 2 oranges to supplement the liquid. This helps you to know it won’t burn dry. Also add 1 pat of butter to keep down any froth that forms. Cook using 3 cups of the fruit and liquid mixture to 1 1/2 cup sugar. Simmer about 2 hours (or less). Keep an eye on it and watch for gel to start forming. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal with sterilized rings and lids. Turn upside down until you hear the “pop” of the lid. This lets you know you have a good seal.

Perfect on hot buttered biscuits!

A hui hou!

Spicy Apricot-Orange Marmalade

 

Have you ever wondered about the precise difference between jelly, jam, preserves and marmalade? I checked with Google.

An answer came up with the following:
• Jelly is made from fruit juice
• Jam is made from pureed fruit
• Preserves are made from whole fruit
• Spreads are made from whole fruit and/or pureed fruit
• Marmalade uses the zest and pulp, and the juice, however not the whole fruit.

I honestly don’t know which one this is, but because I used slivers of orange peel, and because it looks like marmalade, that’s what I call it. Actually, it’s more a combination of preserves and a marmalade, which probably makes it a spread, according to Wiki. It’s definitely not jelly, but whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious!

Spicy Apricot-Orange Marmalade

4 ½ cups apricots, pitted and sliced (leave the peel on)
2 navel oranges
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup Splenda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated is best
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (I added mine as soon as I took it off the heat)

Cut the oranges to remove the segments (try not to get any of the membrane). Thinly slice the orange peel (like what you normally see in orange marmalade). Combine everything in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Maintain a slow rolling boil for 15 minutes while mashing up the apricots against the side and stirring constantly.

Add your lime juice (lemon would work, too) and stir in. Put into sterilized jars, then cover with sterilized lids and rings. Turn upside down until you hear them pop, which means you have a good seal.

I got a little more than six 6-ounce jars out of this batch. If I’d filled them a bit more, it would have been an even six jars.

I love this sort of thing over ice cream, with homemade biscuits, or on a thick slice of toasted hearty whole wheat bread (homemade if possible)!

A hui hou!

Old Recipes

 

From time to time, for as long as my emotional stamina can handle it, I go through boxes of stuff left over from my parents, primarily my mother. Such was the case this morning.

I found an old Sunset cookbook I’d given her years ago when I first moved to California. She had transformed a hardback book one-inch thick to an eight-inch thick scrapbook of old recipes from people from churches where my dad had been the pastor, from other relatives and especially from my grandmother, who had also gleaned recipes from parishioners in my grandfather’s churches. They were scribbled on the back of old bulletins, on the side of business cards, on napkins, on whatever was at hand.

In this cook/scrapbook I found love notes from my father to her, handmade cards to them from my brother and me when we were children, clippings from newspapers telling about all of our accomplishments, and so much more.

I was surprised at the number of recipes for making your own sweetened condensed milk, for example, or making your own sour cream to stretch dollars at the store. On reflection, I realize these ideas came from World War II and before that, the Great Depression. She also kept labels from products that she used regularly, but that may no longer be in existence today.

Mother and Daddy were in the process of trying to put together a cookbook, using many of these recipes. I started thinking what fun they would have had writing a blog if they’d had access to something like the internet.

I may try a few of these recipes and let you know how they turn out.

A hui hou!

Baked Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayo

 

I remember sitting on a dock with a crab net dangling over the side, waiting for the Blue crabs of Mississippi to climb in. After picking out the good crab meat, we would make up a concoction much like the following recipe for crab cakes. This would be stuffed in the cleaned out shell. A little corn meal was sprinkled over the top, then baked until golden brownish, producing a “deviled crab” that was good enough to make your mama say “howdy.”

And I remember driving down a road covered in potholes when I lived on Kodiak Island in Alaska, the back of my station wagon loaded with twenty-five live King Crabs. The (now) amusing story of my lesson on how to pick up a live King crab is too long to tell here.

I also remember eating many Blue crab cakes when I lived in New England, and cups of Dungeness crab walking along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. You might say I love eating crab. So when I saw a 16-ounce pot of crab at Costco this past week, I couldn’t resist. Below is my version of crab cakes.

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

 

1 pound crab meat
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 large clove garlic, minced
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and form into patties. Roll these in a combination of fine dry bread crumbs and corneal. Place on pan covered with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. This recipe makes 12 delicious cakes. I served three of these cakes to a friend with two poached eggs, coffee and juice, and a healthy dollop of chipotle mayonnaise (see NOTE below).

 

NOTE: Mine took longer than 10-15 minutes, but I think I needed to put them higher in the oven, or under a broiler for the last few minutes. I also would make the cakes a little flatter next time. These crab cakes can also be pan fried. The chipotle mayo is made with a cup of mayonnaise mixed with 2 canned chipotle peppers that have been finely chopped. This can be kept in the fridge for a week and adds wonderfully serious heat to the crab cakes.

A hui hou!

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

 

Chicken Mole (moh-lay) may be an acquired taste for some, but I have loved it from the moment I first tasted it eons ago. Making the sauce from scratch can be quite a process, starting off by boiling a chicken (preserving the broth), then getting the meat off the bones.

After that, you mix the broth with a combination of peanut butter, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and other ingredients, depending on the recipe you find.

My friend Evie who runs El Pachuco gave me a faster recipe that uses a jar of Mole base (like Doña Maria). She boils her chicken and strains the broth. According to her recipe, she slowly adds the broth to the Mole base in a pan, creating a smooth sauce.

She says that at this point, you can add chocolate, chilis, peanut butter, almond paste, wherever your taste takes you. Let this simmer until a thicker gravy develops. Add the chicken and serve with Spanish rice, and tortillas (either corn or flour).

This still seemed like too much trouble for me. I wanted something I could allow to cook while I went off to teach for the day.

In a blender, I combined 2 cans fat-free chicken broth with a jar of Mole base. I poured the whole lot over about six large chicken tenders in a slow cooker, added 2 cloves of slivered garlic, about 2 tablespoons of wild rice, a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and some crunchy peanut butter. I let this combination cook on slow all day.

When I got home, the Mole was ready and the consistency was just right. I served it with corn tortillas and black beans. A dollop of sour cream goes well with this. Add a few sprinkles of fresh cilantro out of your garden.

 

These shots of Chicken Mole were made a couple days after the original batch was made. I added the leftover black beans to the sauce, cooked up two more chicken tenders in a pan and added the sauce to it. I froze the rest of the sauce for another time. Easy!

Hasta luego!

Pork Tenderloin

 

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Slow roasting is the way to go.

To help with clean-up, line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and lightly coast with pan spray. Using whatever fresh veggies you have available, prepare a bed for your tenderloin. Here, I used bell peppers, celery, fingerling potatoes, and carrots.

Place the tenderloin on this comfy bed, surround it with large onion slices or halves. Sprinkle the top with rosemary sprigs, chopped basil, and whatever other herbs you have. Salt and pepper to taste. I like to tuck in a few slices of garlic clove.

Roast until internal temperature is 150-155 F. If you can, let it rest about 5-10 minutes before slicing.

It’s simple! It’s delicious! It’s elegant!

A hui hou!

Chipotle Shrimp Chowder

 

I suspect I’m like most cooks. When I see a recipe that looks good, I copy it to try later with my own substitutions or additions. I subscribe to many (too many) cooking blogs where I drool and gather ideas.

One blog that I particularly enjoy includes recipes from everyone in the family. When I saw this on their blog recently, I knew I had to make it. Here is my rendition of their recipe.

Chipotle Shrimp Chowder

 

In a large heavy pan, I sautéed ½ rasher of thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Once lightly browned, I added 1 cup of diced onion and 3 diced cloves of garlic.

After this had browned 1-2 minutes, I added 2 tablespoons flour.

Their recipe called for ¼ cup sherry to deglaze the pan, but I rarely cook with any kind of alcohol and don’t keep any on hand. I used ½ cup cranberry juice, which I always do have handy.

I added:
2 cans fat free chicken broth
2 cans of whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups diced potatoes – I used a mix of fingerlings and reds
2 cups milk – I used nonfat that I always have on hand
2 canned chipotle peppers, diced, plus a bit of the adobo sauce to taste

I let this simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes, then added 1 pound of shrimp and ½ cup half & half cream.

Note: The shrimp I used were Kirkland brand (Costco), 31-40 per pound, peeled and deveined. The tails were still on, so I thawed the shrimp just enough to slip off the tails before adding to the chowder. Also, be sure to chop the chipotle peppers into very small pieces, unless you don’t mind getting a big chunk of hot pepper in your mouth. I imagine this would be delicious using a variety of fish, clams, shrimp, and other seafoods.

Thanks to the folks at Food o’ del Mundo for this recipe. It’s one I’ll make often!

A hui hou!

Shrimp Creole

 

My accumulation of cookbooks started early, and I’m sure that is true of most cooks. One of my favorite cookbooks dates back to when I was a girl traveling in New Orleans with my parents. One that I didn’t mention in my post about my cookbook addiction is New Orleans Creole Recipes, by Mary Moore Bremer. It was first published in 1932. If you are interested in a copy, you can click on the picture above and order one.

I’ve used her recipe for Shrimp Creole with variations ever since I was a new young wife living in Mississippi. I like the way she gives her recipes in narrative form and I’ve always tended to do that, as well. What follows is my own version that I’ve developed over the years.

First, you make a good, rich roux, using one large tablespoon of lard and one of flour. Lard is actually less toxic than margarine or shortening.

Then you chop up two onions, two cloves of garlic, one large bell pepper, two teaspoons of parsley. Add all of that to the roux and stir until the onion browns slightly, then add a large can of tomatoes. I add a small can of tomato paste and an equal can of water.

Season with ½ teaspoon red pepper, salt, bay leaves, 1/3 teaspoon celery seeds and ¼ teaspoon powdered thyme.

You can either add two pounds of raw, shelled shrimp, or several cans of shrimp if fresh is not available to you.

Cover and let it cook slowly for an hour in an old-fashioned iron heavy Dutch oven. Any heavy pot will do. If you are using canned shrimp, you don’t have to cook it as long, and you would add the shrimp at the end, just long enough to get them hot.

Half an hour before serving, add two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce. Serve over brown rice for a healthy meal.

I usually make a big loaf of sour dough bread to share. Add a salad and it makes a total meal, fit for any company.

A hui hou!