We thought we were getting together with dear friends for dinner since Dave is on leave this week and has time to cook for a gathering. So when our friends and their teenage boys arrived with looks of mischief in their eyes, we started to wonder! After dinner the clues began – Angel and April had collaborated to hide all the fixins for a birthday (cake, frosting, decorations for cake, candles, matches, everything!) all over the house and even out into the garden. Their clues were so imaginative that they really had me going a few times! Eventually I found everything and Sam enjoyed frosting the cake April had made. Then came the fiah fiah – we put 39 candles on and got a nice little bonfire going! Here we are lit by the candlelight 🙂 Thank you, dear friends, for the surprise!
Menu (since Mom asked 🙂 ):
Salmon, steak, Caesar salad with papaya and grilled red peppers, asparagus and potato salad. And here’s the recipe for Dave’s homemade potato salad which was just amazing (all amounts approx. and ingredients may be tweaked to suit your taste):
Dave really does the tastiest salmon on the planet. Here is his response to my mom’s email asking us how he does it. Figured I’d save it for the day I actually try to cook him some salmon dinner 🙂 I should first preface this by our favored marinade – huli huli sauce. See if any of you mainlanders can find it. It’s like a soy/ginger sauce. Very good. Might be in your “ethnic” section? I don’t know. I’d be curious if it’s available so when we move back I will know if I need to set up an import liaison in advance…
If she’s trying to do it “my” way, I make a “boat” out of foil and put the salmon in with all the excess marinade. The salmon basically gets poached in the marinade and retains alot of moisture, with the added bonus that the skin peels right off.Grilling directly probably gives you a bit more flavor, but you have to skin the filet (no easy feat) and use a well oiled grill. You would put the filet on, turn (90 deg), flip, and turn again (for the nice cross hatched grill marks). In my experience, you have to really know your grill to not overdo the fish this way. With a charcoal grill, the addition of some cedar chips (or kiawe!) would add to the flavor nicely.
Mom called to look for this recipe today, so I figured I should post it in our “recipe box”…
Because we come up with something creative so rarely, it’s worth noting in our digital recipe box…so we can recreate it sometime.Â Last night we made opah with tofu sauteed with pears and shallotsÂ in a vanilla lilikoi dressing. Tonight we made a riff on that with an herb salad topped with Korean pear, shallots, dates and the vanilla lilikoi dressing. Good.
1/3 cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
1/3 cup mirinÂ (Sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 cup granulated sugar (or sugar to taste)
1 cup white misoÂ (soybean paste)
grated ginger (optional)
Bring sake and mirin to a boil for 10-15 min to burn off alcohol. Stir in sugar and miso on low heat until it forms a paste. Marinade any rich fish (salmon, butterfish, etc.) for 24-72 hrs then grill. Serve with ocean salad or some other tasty side 🙂
I actually made a tasty dinner last night, which is remarkable on two counts: 1) I made it (AND it was ready in time for dinner with no help from Dave); 2) it was tasty! So here it is for my future reference:
Throw chicken in crock pot and stab it all over. Throw salsa in on top. Add half can of each beans. Chop up a little green onion and cilantro. Cook on high 4 hrs or low 8 hrs. Shred chicken into large pieces. Put in rest of beans and chopped red onion/red pepper. Serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and chopped green onions and cilantro as garnish. You can add chipotle chiles if you want for more pop.
I improvised a marinade for our salmon tonight. It was really pretty good: fresh dill (from our garden!), tsp garlic salt, 1 clove garlic crushed, mac nut oil, lemon juice. We served it over arugula (also from our garden) with papaya seed dressing.
We enjoyed welcoming Dana’s husband, Jay, home from a 3 month deployment last night. He got home a week ago and immediately went to shift work, so we hadn’t seen him yet. They came over for an impromptu dinner last night – I’d harvested herbs in the morning and had a bunch of thyme on my hands 😉 so we crafted a new grilled pizza and had lots of food to share. Thankfully it turned out well (recipe below). Our good friends Mike and Angel (whom we first met in Groton with NR-1) came over with mangoes from their yard – we made some mango margaritas and hung out with them on the deck. It was so great to catch up and spend time with good friends.
Pizza: home made dough, grilled, then topped with sweet Italian sausage, ricotta, thyme, shallots and salt and pepper. (YUM! We will make this one again 🙂 )
We have enjoyed grilling pizzas since about 2003, when I first started baking fresh bread leavened with natural airborne yeast. We were living in Pensacola for a month, I’d just quit my job to move across the country with Dave, and was without a car since we’d sold one before moving. Only I could be restless without a job or a car and living right ON the beach. So I learned how to mix flour and water and cultivate starter on the windowsill. We started experimenting with grilled pizza and never looked back! It is so fun to throw dough on the grill and watch it rise, then flip and top. It’s ready in minutes. Here are all the ones we’ve tried. I think our favorites are the pancetta, the balsamic, and the asian fusion. Enjoy!
Red pepper pesto
Pesto made with red peppers, basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil spread over dough with chopped, grilled sweet Italian sausage, topped with parmesan andÂ mozzarella.
Pancetta and mushroom
Porcini mushrooms, pancetta and shallots (sautÃ©ed in butter) topped with asiago, parmesan, romano and mozzarella.
Finely-chopped salad with basil, chick peas, light ranch dressing and chicken. Use Greek salad dressing and ricotta for base under salad. Top with cheese and cracked pepper to taste.
Pear and gorgonzola
Caramelized pears, gorgonzola cream sauce, toasted walnuts and thin sliced fontina, topped with spring mix greens tossed in a little of the gorgonzola cream. Cracked pepper to taste. (Best with honey wheat dough).
Portobello mushroom slices and sun-dried tomatoes (sautÃ©ed in oil, garlic and a little red wine) with ricotta, shredded fontina and asiago. Top with fresh garlic and fresh ground pepper.
Chicken in Southwest marinade, sweet corn, red peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and Mexican cheeses. Top with salsa to taste.
What do we do with this eggplant?
Eggplant roasted on the grill, and layered on the dough. Top with smoked Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions.
Spicy Italian sausage, red and yellow bell peppers. pineapple, and mozzarella cheese all layered on a rosemary dough.
Basil and balsamic
Rosemary and olive oil dough topped with a balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil emulsion, ricotta, mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes all topped with parmesan and Romano sprinkles.
Kalamata olives, tomatoes and goat cheese seasoned with Mediterranean herbs on an olive oil dough, topped with fresh basil.
Pumpkin, sweet Italian sausage, thyme and oregano, shallots, garlic, white wine and mild Jack cheese.
Tomato sauce (no chunks, please!) and mozzarella. That’s right, that’s it!
Grilled char-siu pork with stir-fried chop suey mix, garlic, Chinese 5-spice, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms all topped with creme fraiche and tofu.
Dave made a fabulous new pizza for Mother’s Day dinner. Great bend of sweet, salty and sour! The only problem we ran into was the watery veggies, even after straining and drying. Try adding the veggies last after you take the pizza off the grill.
marinate pork in char siu then grill
chop suey mix (bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage)
grill pizza dough 3 min on med, flip and top with tofu, pork and creme fraiche, adding the veggies after you pull it off the grill
Dave grilled us some opah tonight, accompanied by asparagus/mushrooms/sesame seeds, salad and soba noodles. It was so ono (delicious) that I had to copy the recipe below in case you find any opah in your freezer 🙂 (We use the categories to find our recipes again – so this is as much for you as for us!)
Hawaiian sea salt – amazing – add to fish with lemon and grill (we did a Pacific blue marlin the other night, with sticky rice and salad and pineapple dressing – very tasty!); last night we had Kalua pig made with hickory smoke flavor and sea salt, cooked on low in the slow cooker for 16 hours, also very good. You remember my misoyaki butterfish? Also quite tasty – I’m going to see if I can add it to the recipe list.
deoderant with alpine lichen in it – hmmm…bought this yesterday because it seemed interesting. will let you know how it works! smells good.
[photopress:misoyaki_butterfish.jpg,thumb,thumb] [photopress:IMGP7603.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:IMGP7606.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:IMGP7607.JPG,thumb,thumb] [photopress:IMGP7608.JPG,thumb,thumb]
well – he is saying something that sounds like those words, and at the appropriate times. we ask him yes/no questions and then ask him to use his words to answer, hence the “yes” (and the vigorous head-shaking motion for “no” you saw in a video last week!). we ask him if he wants to shower or have a bath at night – he usually picks a bath (in the kitchen sink) but sometimes he opts for the shower and takes us there. cute 🙂