November 2020


Silken Tofu in Ginger Syrup

(Tau Hu Nuoc Duong)

November 24: Feast Day of the Vietnamese Martyrs

We have a few Vietnamese friends from church, some of whom are older and shared stories about their struggles when they came over as “boat people” to America. They had incredible tales, but they survived, worked hard to adapt to a new country and culture and flourished. And we admire that they never lost their faith through it all!

We cannot imagine what the faithful suffered more in their country of origin because they were Christians. Thousands were martyred between the mid-1700s until the mid-1800s. Read more about this sad history HERE and HERE.

There are several delicious Vietnamese recipes we could post for the Feast Day of the Vietnamese Martyrs, but we decided to keep it simple and solemn. This particular recipe for silken tofu in ginger syrup comes from one of our brides (we were her marriage sponsors at church) who brought it from her aunt’s café to a marriage preparation dinner session at our home. She said it can be served as a refreshing cool dessert or heartwarming soup. Either way, this is our sweet post to honor the Vietnamese martyrs on their feast day.

Recipe

(From Lina V.)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (12-14 ounces) silken tofu
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slivers

Directions

In a saucepan, place the water, brown sugar and ginger slivers. Bring to a boil, then let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from stovetop and let cool. Strain the liquid in a container, reserving the ginger slivers for optional garnish.

Drain the liquid from the tofu package. Slice the tofu into bite sized pieces. Place in serving bowls. Ladle some liquid over the tofu. Serve in dessert cups.

Notes

  • Silken tofu in ginger syrup, also known as dòuhuā, doufuhua or taho, is a popular street food in South Asia. Many people make the tofu fresh, but we are lazy and just buy it ready-made in packages.
  • We hope to add more Vietnamese recipes to our blog in the near future. So keep checking back under the Theme Menus tab.

Cranberry Vanilla Kefir Quick Bread

November 23: National Eat a Cranberry Day

Highlander enjoys eating cranberries when they are in season. The tart berries are featured in many fall, winter and holiday dishes. If the fresh fruit is not available, he will try to find frozen or dried cranberries to use in some recipes, especially in scones and salads. He used dried cranberries for a quick bread this time because there was leftover kefir in the refrigerator. The tart cranberries and sour kefir combination baked up into a slightly sweet and soft bread. Similar to a tea loaf or cake, we especially like the crusty crunchy top of this cranberry bread. Make a cranberry vanilla kefir quick bread and eat it during tea or snack time and on National Eat a Cranberry Day!

 Recipe

(Adapted from Lifeway)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup kefir, plain
  • 1 cup cranberries, dried unsweetened

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients: egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and kefir.

Toss the cranberries into the flour mixture. Pour in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until a shaggy and sticky dough comes together. Place the dough in a greased loaf pan (9×5 inches).

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.

Notes

  • Search our blog for other cranberry recipes.

Pernil

(Puerto Rican Slow-Roasted Pork)

November 19: Discovery of Puerto Rico Day

It is interesting that islanders from the Atlantic Ocean came over to live on another island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Ricans are a small but significant immigrant community in Hawaii. They first came over in the beginning of the 20th century to work in Hawaii’s sugar plantations after their island’s crops were destroyed by two hurricanes. Because of the similarities of tropical living and their experience in the sugar industry, Puerto Ricans were an asset to Hawaii. They shared their culture, music and, of course, food (like pasteles wrapped in banana leaves and arroz con gandules/rice and beans) and integrated with other immigrants and locals.

Another similarity is the tender roasted pork shoulder—kalua puaa in Hawaii and pernil in Puerto Rico. Both are cooked slow and on low heat. Although crockpot kalua pig is simpler with its ingredient list, for a change Islander sometimes admits that she likes the addition of a little Latin flavor in Puerto Rican pernil.

In honor of the Boricuas in Hawaii, we spiced up our kalua puaa recipe and prepared pernil. Discover this delicious dish from Puerto Rico and roast some pork on the Discovery of Puerto Rico Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds pork butt/shoulder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced (plus 1 more lime sliced as optional garnish)
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Wash the pork and pat dry with paper towels. Use a knife to cut slits throughout the meat so the marinade can penetrate beyond the surface. Make the marinade. In a small bowl, mix together the pepper, oregano, salt, vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and minced garlic.

Rub the marinade paste all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a slow cooker, place the pork and the marinade in the pot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Place pork without its juices into a large bowl. Cut and shred with fork. Add a few spoonfuls of the juice over the shredded pork. Season with additional salt to taste. Garnish with lime slices and cilantro (optional). Serve hot with rice and beans, or as a filling in tortillas, and a side of fried plantains.

Notes

  • Puerto Rico was discovered and claimed for Spain by the Italian Christopher Columbus on November 16, 1493. He landed on the island once called San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist). The Discovery of Puerto Rico Day is a national holiday and there is a parade to celebrate this date.
  • Hawaii-born pop singer Bruno Mars is part-Puerto Rican/Pinoy!

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