09 September


Corned Beef Hash Patties

Corned Beef Hash Patties

September 27:
National Corned Beef Hash Day

Hawaii locals love their canned meats! Besides Spam, corned beef is another favorite food. Whenever we get together with fellow “expatriates” for a Hawaii homestyle get-together on the mainland, our friends Patrick and Phyllis S. often cook corned beef hash patties because they are a popular pupu. They are so ono (delicious) that they are eaten quickly. Add some aloha to an appetizer tray and cook corned beef hash patties on National Corned Beef Hash Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Patrick and Phyllis S.)

Version I

  • 3-4 jumbo potatoes (Russet)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) corned beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (if mixture is too wet)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • oil for frying

Directions

Boil the potatoes in salted water until a fork easily goes into the middle of the potatoes.  Peel the potatoes then coarsely mash them. Dice the onions. Crumble the corned beef.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Add these to the mashed potatoes. Beat in the egg. Mix in the bread crumbs a little at a time (if mixture is too wet). Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Refrigerate the soft mixture for 2-3 hours to firm up. Shape mixture into 2-inch round patties. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes. Heat a little oil in a skillet. Place a few patties (do not overcrowd) and fry over medium high heat until the bottom is browned and crisp. Carefully flip the patties over and continue frying. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Version II

  • 1 can (12 ounces) corned beef
  • 3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed (or grated potatoes)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • oil for frying

Directions

Place thawed hash browns or grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped onions and corned beef. Mix well. Stir in the egg and combine well.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Roll into a small ball then flatten into 2-inch round patties. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Coat in panko. Fry like above. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Notes 

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

September 25: National Eggplant Day

We blogged about a Filipino-style eggplant omelet (tortang talong) before. This recipe post is about a Chinese-style side dish—eggplants in a spicy garlic sauce. Our Hawaii friends, Patrick and Phyllis S., introduced us to this appetizer when we all went to a Chinese restaurant in town. It tasted rich, spicy, garlicky and so very delicious!

We know that Patrick loves eggplants, so when we go to their house for a potluck meal, we bring tortang talong or this spicy garlic eggplant dish to make our host happy!

Celebrate National Eggplant Day with a simple Szechuan side dish and cook spicy garlic eggplant.

Recipe

(Adapted from AllRecipes.com) 

Ingredients

  • 2 Asian eggplants
  • 2+ tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, granulated white or brown
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
  • sliced green onions or chopped cilantro (optional garnish)

Directions

Wash and dry the eggplant. Trim off the top. Dice into 1-inch pieces and cut in half (moon-shape). Heat the oil in a skillet or wok. Add the eggplant pieces and cook until soft, gently stirring occasionally. Add more oil a little at a time, if needed, to cook the eggplant.  Pour in the water and red pepper flakes. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed.

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

Stir in the minced garlic. In a measuring cup, combine the sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Mix until smooth. Pour over the eggplant and mix well. When the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with green onions or cilantro. Serve hot with plain rice.

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

Notes

  • Other versions of this recipe include ground pork and minced ginger.
  • Asian eggplants are of the long variety, although the fatter, rounder eggplants may be used. Cut the latter into bite-sized pieces and cook until soft but not mushy. Cooking time may vary, depending on the thickness of the eggplant.

 

 

Linguine with Shrimp

and Garlic Cream Sauce

Linguine Shrimp

September 15: National Linguine Day

Islander’s co-worker, Luigi M., invited us to dinner with his wife and daughter to celebrate Islander’s promotion from a part-timer to a rare full-timer position in their department back when we lived in Illinois. The hospitable family from Sardinia prepared a delicious dinner of bruschetta (Luigi insists on pronouncing it “broos-ketta”), salad (made with fresh vegetables and herbs from their garden), linguine with shrimp and garlic cream sauce and tiramisu!

We remember Luigi and his family every time we cook linguine (his nickname in Islander’s department was “Luigi Linguine, ” although he always brought his beloved bruschetta to potlucks and probably reserved his pasta dish for special dinners at his place).

In honor of her co-worker and in observance of National Linguine Day, we made linguine with shrimp and garlic cream sauce. Buon appetito!

Recipe

(Adapted from Luigi M.)

  • ½ pound linguine pasta noodles
  • 1 dozen jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook the linguine pasta noodles al dente, according to the package. Drain the water and keep the linguine warm. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil in medium heat. Sauté the garlic cloves until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Linguine Shrimp

Add the shrimp and cook until pink. Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Stir in the sour cream constantly so it does not separate from the butter and oil. When the sauce has a smooth and creamy consistency, season with salt and pepper. Put the shrimp back into the skillet and mix with the sauce. Put the linguine on plates and pour the sauce and shrimp over the noodles. Garnish with additional parsley (optional) and serve immediately.

Linguine Shrimp

Notes

  • The garlic cloves may be minced instead of kept whole for this recipe.
  • National Pasta Day is October 17. Search our blog for more recipe posts on pasta.

Side Street Inn-Style Fried Rice

Side Street Inn Fried Rice

September: National Rice Month

When we are back home in Hawaii, we eat comfort food for cheap at L&L Drive-Inn or Loco Moco. But our best friends wanted to treat us to something a little more “gourmet” and took us to Side Street Inn on Kapahulu Avenue near Waikiki. That restaurant is always packed with people for good reason. The food is filling and tastes so ‘ono! We all ordered different dishes to share but had to double-up on the fried rice because our group can consume it quickly!

Rice is a staple in Hawaii where the food is influenced from Asia and the Pacific Rim. Like Hawaii’s cuisine, fried rice is a mixture of many cultures. Side Street Inn’s fried rice features Portuguese sausage, Chinese barbecued pork (char siu) and Japanese seasoning.

Rice is usually served as a side dish but when fried with a variety of vegetables and meat, it becomes a main entrée. For National Rice Month, cook some comfort food like the locals do and make Side Street Inn fried rice.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup Portuguese sausage, diced
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup char siu (Chinese barbecued pork), chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce (not oyster-flavored sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons hon dashi (ramen/saimin noodle soup flavoring)

Directions

Refrigerate the cooked rice overnight to remove moisture. When ready to fry it, remove from the refrigerator and loosen up the kernels. Dice the Portuguese sausage.

Side Street Inn Fried Rice

Chop the bacon, green onions and char siu. In a large pot/pan/skillet, saute the Portuguese sausage and bacon until cooked through. Add rice and mix well.

Side Street Inn Fried Rice

Stir in the green onions. Add the char siu and peas and carrots. Season with oyster sauce, salt and hon dashi. Mix well. Transfer to a platter. Garnish with extra chopped green onions.

Side Street Inn Fried Rice

Notes

  • Day-old rice that has been refrigerated is best for fried rice dishes.
  • Although the Side Street Inn chef says that hon dashi is what adds flavor to the recipe, we eliminated the salt and lessened the oyster sauce so that the seasonings would not taste too overpowering. Hon dashi is available at most Asian grocery stores and markets.
  • Search our blog for more rice recipes.

Butter Mochi (Sweet Rice Flour Cake)

Butter Mochi

September: National Rice Month

Islander’s Daddy brings butter mochi and bibingka to church meetings and Islander has continued the custom on the mainland. When a few friends get together for a prayer social, the “local expatriates” often request a Hawaii-style dessert. Islander obliges and makes a mochiko (sweetened rice flour) cake because it can feed a crowd. Our haole friends refer to butter mochi as Hawaiian cornbread because it looks like it. Some cultures consider corn as king, but to others rice is royalty! For National Rice Month, make something ‘ono with sweetened rice flour and bake butter mochi.

Recipe

(Adapted from Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts)

Ingredients

  • 1 box (16 ounces/1 pound) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 3 cups sugar (we used 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter (plus more for greasing the pan and shining the top)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can (12 ounces) coconut milk

Directions

Generously grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter. In a microwave safe bowl, place the stick of butter and microwave until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix the mochiko and sugar.

Butter Mochi

Add baking powder and the melted butter to the mixture. Mix in the beaten eggs, vanilla and coconut milk. Stir well until smooth.

Butter Mochi

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick (should come out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Rub about two tablespoons of butter on top of the butter mochi until it shines. This prevents the dessert from drying and cracking too much. Cool completely. Slice into squares and serve.

Butter Mochi

Notes

  • Squares of butter mochi may be garnished with shredded coconut (optional).
  • Islander’s Daddy serves the sliced squares in cute cupcake papers for a pretty presentation.
  • Search our blog for more rice recipes.

Hot Mulled Cider

 Hot Mulled Cider

September 30: National Hot Mulled Cider Day

We looked forward to the fall season when we lived in Illinois (2002-2007). Temperatures were cooler, the colors of the leaves were glorious and the local farms showcased their harvest of fruits and vegetables.

As soon as the seasons changed, we would visit Kuiper’s Family Farm and apple orchard in Maple Park, about a 45-minute drive from where we lived. Besides playing around in their pumpkin patch and buying organic produce in their shop, we sipped on some cider during their fall festivities. The hot drink kept us warm when it was cold!

Whenever we make hot mulled cider at home now, we remember the fun fall festivities we experienced in Illinois. Brew this heartwarming beverage to celebrate the arrival of autumn and to observe National Hot Mulled Cider Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Southern Food via About.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • ¼ – ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • cinnamon sticks (1 for simmering and extra for garnish)

Directions

In a large saucepan, pour the apple cider. Dissolve the brown sugar and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat.

Hot Mulled Cider

Prepare the spices in a tea bag or ball by combining the allspice, cloves and nutmeg. Immerse the bag or ball into the cider mixture. Add a stick of cinnamon. Simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the spices and strain, if necessary. Serve hot in a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Yield: 8 1-cup servings.

Hot Mulled Cider

Notes

White Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake

September 23:
National White Chocolate Day

We prefer dark chocolate over milk and white. But once in a while, we would indulge in white chocolate when chips are baked into cookies or melted and made into decadent desserts.

White chocolate is derived from chocolate but is mostly cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and salt. The color is actually ivory or pale (butter) yellow. Most are made into candy bars and often used in recipes as a sweetening ingredient, coating or decoration.

We added white chocolate to a basic batter for cheesecake and it was a delicious, rich and creamy confection! White chocolate cheesecake is an appropriate sweet treat for celebrating National White Chocolate Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

For the base crust

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour and blend well until smooth.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

In a 10-inch round springform pan, press the dough onto the bottom, using wax paper to even it out, if necessary. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven. While the base crust is cooling, prepare the filling.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

For the white chocolate cheesecake filling

  • 12 ounces white chocolate, melted (we used 2 boxes of Baker’s brand white chocolate squares)
  • 4 blocks (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Directions

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate squares. Remove from the microwave and set aside to cool slightly. In another larger bowl, mix the cream cheese with the sugar. Avoid overbeating. Stir in the vanilla.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Mix in the melted white chocolate and blend until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour over the base crust. Spread evenly with a spatula.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for an hour or until the center of the cheesecake is almost set. The cheesecake will inflate when baking in the oven but will eventually deflate when cooling. Remove from the oven. Loosen the edges of the cheesecake with a knife or spatula. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the rim of the springform pan. Transfer to a cake plate or board. Brush off any crumbs and trim any uneven edges. Moisten fingers with a little water and press on the cracks to smooth the surface and sides, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate to set for at least four hours. Slice the cheesecake while it is still cold and firm, wiping clean the blade of the knife for each cut. Serve with a garnish of fresh raspberries and mint leaves (optional).

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Notes

  • Learn more about white chocolate from The Nibble.
  • Check out other chocolate recipes by searching our blog.

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