Sunday, September 28, 2014

The next best thing

to jump on a non-stop flight to Hawaii for a plate of laulau, is be to test out a recipe for crockpot laulau. Found a recipe from a shared post on FB that took me to 3sister3kitchen blog that looked good. 

Of course, being here in NJ means no luau leaves aka taro leaves. After some research for a substitute, I decide on collard greens. The 3sister3kitchen recipe suggest spinach but it has such strong flavor I was looking to try something else.

I found this video from Sunny Anderson from the Food Network talking about her version of laulau and using collard greens. How it was good substitute because the greens are usually cooked with pork. When I looked at the green, I kind of thought they even looked a little bit of taro leaf. So that's why I decided to used it for this test. I also read that kale may work well with this. Maybe I'll try it for another test. I'll keep the kale for my chopped salad that I've been loving.

Here's the start of my crockpot laulau test. 

Crockpot Laulau with collard greens, pork butt and salmon
Filling up the pot with the goodies
Following the recipe, I lined the crockpot with the blanched greens, add pork then layered the salmon on top. I seasoned with hawaiian salt. Wish I could find butterfish here, but it's not too easy. Been craving butterfish misoyaki. I guess I have to test out misoyaki on salmon or chilean sea bass.

Top layer of collard greens
ready to start cooking
Then I layered the rest of the greens on top. Now to wait all day for it to be done. 

After all of the laulau prepping, I decided to give my kitchen a good scrub before I start something new. I already finished up a batch of apple butter this morning. 
Add vanilla bean to this recipe. Smell so good
[Oh, my, oh, my only 3 1/2 hours into cooking and it already seems so good. 6 1/2 hours to go. I hope I can hold out till then for a taste. This will be my lunch for tomorrow. I can't wait. I better cook a pot of rice.]

Meanwhile after the good scrub, I decide to try again with the macarons. I know from Hawaii to France. Who would have thought. But I've wanting make both of these for a while. I was just in the mood today.

Made up this batch using the recipe from I have batch of vanilla bean swiss buttercream in the frig and some lilikoi curd plus a bunch of other jams to fill with 

2 pans of macarons.
waiting to set up
First sheet in and out. Cracked. :(
Cracked! :(
Cracked and no feet but still taste good.
Could be not rested enough or under beaten meringue. May need another minute. I got this troubleshooting macarons from Not So Humble Pie blog. Let's see if second sheet comes out better.

Second sheet. Better.
Second sheet, better.
These have little feet.
Well, not too bad, I'll still fill and eat them. And try again soon, maybe at the end of the week. I hope they come out better. 

And now for what I've waited all day for. Tah Dah! Crockpot Laulau. Smells so good. 
Almost done.
Right before it was done.
Tah Dah! My Crockpot Laulau.
first scoop
Crockpot Laulau with collard greens and salmon. Waited all day for this. Can't wait.
my dinner!
This is so delicious and worth the wait. Not the exact flavor of the laulau and the collard has a different texture but the pork is so soft and greens has a great flavor from the pork and salmon. I think by adding the salmon gave it that umami flavor that food from Hawaii have. Like adding the the sea to it. 

If you don't live in Hawaii, craving some laulau and can wait 10 hours, this is most definitely a dish to make. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Raspberry and Lilikoi! Yum!

Wow! Sampling the raspberry lilikoi bars before breakfast. My bowl of oatmeal looking pretty sad now.
So good!
Can't believe how great these are--Raspberry and Lilikoi Bars. Used Dorie Greenspan's Raspberry Lemon Bars recipe, I substituted my lilikoi curd instead of lemon curd. I went a little crazy with the raspberry but wanted to use up what I had left. 

For lilikoi curd, I used Ina Garten's Lemon curd recipe [I posted about it here.] substituted lilikoi pulp [I got it frozen, can't grow it here in NJ--:(], I used 3/4 c of pulp and added 1/8 c more of sugar. It's such beautiful yellow color. Smells and taste great. Definitely worth making for a gift. 

I used about a cup and half of curd which is pretty much a whole recipe of curd. This is why they are so delicious. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

My walk home . . .

from my day off in the city.
The river at the bottom of my hill
I stopped by the river to get a quick picture. The light in the late afternoon was really beautiful. The river looks a little low. Been a little dry for a couple of days. I usually see some interesting birds hanging out on that tree on the left. No birds today.

I was coming back from the city after meeting up with my old roommate from Pratt. We had afternoon tea at Bergdorf Goodman. We hadn't seen each out in close to 30 years. She introduced me to WG. We had a nice time talking and catching up with what we were up to. She's quite the busy lady. 
Ms. M and all of goodies for our afternoon tea
The restaurant was quite beautiful and with a lots of fancy people lunching [I probably was underdress with my gap/target ensemble]. From our seat, we had view was of Central Park South. Our afternoon tea consisted of tea sandwiches (egg, chicken, tuna, turkey, cheese, smoke salmon and prosciutto/cheese), scones with jam and honey and sweets (macarons, petit fours and mini tarts). I had a pot of Earl Grey and she had Yellow Lemon [I think]. Overalll, BG was a nice place to lunch, talk and catch up with things. Not too loud and noisy. Food could have been better, especially the sweets--too sweet for both of us. But we were there to see each other so the food was secondary. 

Weather turned pretty nice--the sun came out as we left the restaurant. Weather reports said hot, humid and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Expected my walk home to be miserable. But it turned out to be pretty nice. 

On my way up my hill, I stopped to take picture of my favorite street sign. They may need to add snakes to the sign as there was squished snake right by the sign.
Check out the blue skies for my walk home