Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oven Baked Kalua Pork

I totally had forgotten that my husband and I made some party food over two weeks ago.  I took the pictures and everything but forgot to make some postings about them.  We were in charge of making three dishes and this one in particular was Oven Baked Kalua Pork.

Traditionally the Hawaiian Kalua Pork is a whole pig cooked in an imu or underground oven.  Since I'm not about to dig up a big hole in my backyard to make kalua pork, the hole in my wall where my oven resides will do.

Funny story about the first time my husband made kalua pork in the oven years ago when we first moved to Oregon.  I had the bright idea of copying down recipes from local Hawaii cookbooks before I moved and one of the recipes was kalua pork.  So while I was at work my husband used that recipe I copied and let's just say it was the WORSE kalua pig ever!  I was SO salty that putting on ketchup (hubby thought that would cancel the saltiness ???) didn't work nor did rinsing it under water.  I asked him how much hawaiian salt did you use and he said 1/2 cup and that's what the recipe said!  Oops! That was MY fault, a little typo there on my part.  Needless to say that recipe was thrown into the trash along with that batch of kalua pork LOL. 

So after that little fiasco my husband created his own recipe and I give him total credit since he makes the ONO'EST oven baked kalua pork.  Heres' the recipe below.

5 lbs. pork butt or boneless pork shoulder (if you find pork shoulder w/bone in that's fine)
Liquid smoke
Hawaiian salt

Slice pork into about 1 1/2 inch slices (when done baking it'll make for easier shredding) and arrange into at 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tbsp Hawaiian salt.  Drizzle some shoyu over pork.  Drizzle some liquid smoke over pork.  Add 1/4 cup water.  Bake at 400 degrees for 2 hours.  Check for doneness, if easily shreds with fork then it's all done.  Let cool and shred all pork pieces.

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 2010 Meal #10: Teri Glazed Salmon

I wanted to try something new when preparing salmon.  You'd think with me living in the Great Northwest of Oregon I'd have plenty of salmon recipes, but I actually don't.  I think in the 10 years that I've lived here, I've only prepare salmon two different baked variations.  One style is always with onions, mushrooms, seasoning, and mayonaise and the only one time I tried something different was adding the Costco seafood dip spread as a topping and baked it.

So I looked through my many local Hawaii cookbooks and came across a very easy salmon recipe.  While I was preparing my July meal plan I for some reason put it down as "Miso Salmon" when in fact it was supposed to be "Teri Glazed Salmon".  So I made a little edit in the July 2010 Meal Plan post.  This turned out really good, but my husband wasn't too fond of the wasabi/mayo drizzle that the recipe called for.  It could just be that I added a bit too much wasabi to the mixture that turned his taste buds away.  Overall, we both liked it and I just may have to omit the wasabit mayo in the future.

2-3 lb. salmon filet, skin removed
1 jar nori furikake
1/2 cup Yoshida Sauce
Wasabi paste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a baking dish lay salmon.   Pour Yoshida sauce evenly over salmon.  Sprinkle furikake liberally over salmon.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  While salmon is baking, mix wasabi paste and mayo to your taste.  Wasabi taste should be mild (this is the part where I went a little overboard).  When salmon is done baking, drizzle wasabi/mayo over salmon.

I used a piping bag and tip to make it look a little fancy since my manual drizzling skills weren't really cutting it.

July 2010 Meal #9: Easy Party Lasagna

Since our kitchen faucet is semi out of commission I have to postpone Meal #8: Garlic Chicken for another time or at least until our faucet gets fixed.  That particular meal requires me to constantly wash my hands and I can't stand it if the chicken I prepare isn't cleaned thoroughly either.  I'm using frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs, so I HAVE to trim the fat and rip out the veins stuck in there....yah I'm OCD like that.

Anyway I just skipped over to Meal #9 that required less mess which was Easy Party Lasagna.  Got this recipe from my mom years ago who got it from some friend of hers.  Believe it or not, you don't even have to boil the noodles beforehand before you layer and bake it.  The meat sauce is what helps cook the noodles and when done, the noodles are nice and tender.  Here's the recipe below!

Lasagna noodles
Hamburger or ground Italian Sausage
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can condense cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk

Brown meat in garlic til brown. Drain fat and add onions till cooked.  Add spagetti sauce and mix thoroughly.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl mix 2 cups of cheese, can of soup, and milk.  Set aside.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 13x9 baking dish layer half of spaghetti mixture, noodles, all of the milk/cheese/soup mixture, noodles, and the rest of the meat sauce.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and remove foil.  Layer with the remaining cheese and bake uncoverd for another 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Who said making lasagna had to be a long tedious process?  Hope you try this really easy lasagna!

July 2010 Meal #7: Pork Chop w/Cream of Mushroom Gravy

So sorry for falling behind on blogging my meals, we've encountered a mild emergency with our kitchen faucet breaking which has caused us to eat more this month than we did last month. 

With Meal #7 which was Pork Chop w/Cream of Mushroom Gravy I know there are different variations on how many people prepare this whether it is baked, browned and then crocked pot, frying, using canned condensed soup, or even making a gravy from scratch. 

My version is just simply browning the pork chop til cooked through and letting it simmer in canned condensed soup to make the meat a little more tender.  Doesn't take too long for me to cook this, it all just depends on the thickness of the meat. Below is my very simple recipe.

6-8 pork chops
3 small cans of condensed cream of mushroom  soup
garlic salt

Season pork chops with garlic salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat oil in pan (I use a 3-qt saute pan since i reuse it to simmer the meat with the soup afterwards).  Brown meat on both sides till cooked through.  Place cooked chops on paper towels and set aside.  Drain oil.  Add the 3 small cans of condensed soup plus 1 can of water.  Whisk mixture to get rid of clumps on medium high heat.   Add cooked chops and cover in gravy.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.

I sometimes add one more can of soup since I personally like to smother my pork chop with lots of gravy over a bed of hot rice and we usually run out of gravy when it's time to eat the leftovers too. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 2010 Meal #6: Teri Patties

I had gone grocery shopping the day I planned to make Meal #6: Teri Patties dinner so this was going to be something really easy to make or so I thought.  I had planned on using the NOH brand Hawaiian Teri Mix only to realize I only had one packet of it which looks like this.

One packet wasn't enough for the 3 lb. batch of hamburger I had bought so I figured I'd use some Yoshida sauce.  Of course I had forgotten I had used up the rest of it the week before for the Kal Bi I made for a 4th of July bbq. 

So what to do?  I have a plethora of cookbooks from Hawaii so one of them was bound to have a teriyaki sauce recipe.  All I needed to do was find a sauce and tweek it with some eggs and bread crumbs so the patties would become nice and moist.  So below is the recipe I used with a few tweeks.  I'm not adding a picture since after "grilling" it in my George Foreman grill it looks the same as the turkey patties I made a few weeks ago.

3 lbs. ground hamburger
3/4 cups shoyu
3 tbsp. water
3 tsp. sugar
3 clove garlic, minced
3 tsp ginger, grated
4 eggs
3/4 cups bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients and let marinate for 1 hour.  Form into patties and grill or fry in skillet.

Easy Char Siu Bao...In Other Words Mini Char Siu Manapua

This is something I made off the July menu plan.  I have always wanted to make my own manapua but been too lazy to even try and I don't want to wait for the dough to rise.  I had been thinking of ways to give my son something new to eat for lunch and snacks that I could easily freeze and re-heat later. 

My BFF told me a bit ago that her mom used to make mini manapuas out of Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and baked them.  I kept that idea in mind but forgot about it for a while until I started going through my cookbooks to plan July's menu.  Lo and behold I found the mini manapua recipe in one of my books!  Who would have thought after all these years I had this recipe this whole time.  I bought the used cookbook "Garden of Flavors: Playmate School's 50th Anniversary" from Powells Bookstore maybe five years ago and was surprised to find a cookbook originating from Hawaii in there.

This was actually easy to make but a little messy, nothing but a little practice can't fix.  For the char siu I had to use store bought packaged "mainland Chinese BBQ Pork" which is REALLY dry, makes me want to just make my own but that will be for an experiment for another time.  Overall it turned out really well and I got the toddler approval since he's eaten so many of them.

1 cup char siu, diced
2-3 tbsp. Hoisin Sauce (enough to moisten)
1 stalk green onion, chopped (optional)
1 can Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits

Combine first 3 ingredients and place about 1 tbsp. on each biscuit slice.  Fold into a half moon and pinch edges to seal.  Lay each piece onto a 3x3-inch square of wax paper.  Steam for 10-15 minutes.

Here are what they look like.  I need to practice a bit more to make them look a little neater but in any case my 2 year old didn't care ;o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 2010 Meal #5: Chicken Adobo

Meal #5 which was chicken adobo is another simple dish to make.  A few weeks ago I had made pork adobo for dinner and posted the recipe then as well.  Below is the same recipe and a picture provided to show what the final outcome looks like.  This is always a winner in our house!


3 lbs. belly pork or chicken pieces
3/4 cup shoyu
2 cups water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
1/2 tbsp. peppercorn
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients and cook on medium heat until meat is tender.

July 2010 Meal #4: Pork & Squash

Meal #4 is a Filipino dish that I don't get to make too often since it requires me to find the main vegetable at an Asian market.  This was a pork and tabungao (white opo squash) dish that is really easy to make and tastes so good over hot rice.  Sometimes I just slice the the squash or run it through a shredder, it all depends on how I want to eat the squash.  If you are wondering what the squash looks like here is a picture of it below:

2 lbs. pork, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 small or 1 medium squash, sliced & seeds removed
patis (fish sauce)

Brown pork and garlic in about 1 tbsp. oil.  Add onions till tender.  Add sliced squash, tomatoes, and patis (this you will add  to your taste).  Mix well and let simmer until squash is tender.  Add pepper to taste and more patis to your taste.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4th of July 2010 BBQ: Kal Bi

It's the 4th of July and what's better than making some delicious BBQ!  One of my favorites for bbq'g is Korean Kal Bi.  While living in Hawaii it was easily accessible for purchasing at any grocery store and I had my favorites from Azeka's in Kihei and Takamiya's in Wailuku.  I grew up eating the kal bi from Takamiya only because my dad was one of the butchers there for many years. I grew accustomed to the sweeter taste of kal bi and that's how I prefer it. 

After moving to the mainland finding kal bi wasn't easy, in fact we couldn't find it anywhere and had to resort to making our own.  For awhile my husband was the one in charge of marinating the kal bi meat and he likes it on the shoyu/spicy side.  I couldn't ever figure out how to duplicate the taste of the kal bi that I'm so used to eating.  Even after asking my dad for the Takamiya recipe which you'd figure he would know right off the bat, but I was wrong.  So I was set on trying to make my own version of a kal bi sauce that was cheaper and in bigger quantities than the ones that came in small jars at the Asian stores. 

I had always bought a big jar of Yoshida sauce from Costco and mainly used it for cooking stir fry but for some reason never really thought of using it as a marinade.  It already has a sweet flavor, so I figured if I added some of the basic components of a kal bi marinade it just might work.  Going by smell  and adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, marinating the kal bi meat for a few hours, and grilling.  EUREKA!! I have found my kal bi marinade! 

So for this past 4th of July bbq at a friend's home I made a batch of kal bi and got some good reviews on it.  Also...shhhh....I was told it was preferred over my husband's version hehe.

3-4 lbs. kal bi meat (on the mainland it's called FLANKEN SHORT RIBS)
4-6 cups Yoshida Sauce
1 big bunch green onions, chopped
3-4 tbsp. garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp. garlic chili sauce
1/2 cup sesame seed oil
3-4 tbsp. sesame seeds

In a big bowl or container that you'll be using for marinating add all ingredients except the meat.  Mix well.  Add the meat and coat well.  Cover and let marinate for 2-3 hours. Cook over grill till meat is done, medium well and well done works best. 

**The measurements are just general amounts. You are more than welcome to add as much or as little as you want especially for the chili garlic sauce.**

Here are the pics of the meat marinating and the final outcome.


July 2010 Meal #3: Hamburger Stroganoff w/Gnocchi

I've made Meal #3 which is Hamburger Stroganoff so many times that I don't follow the recipe anymore.  The recipe is actually from the Betty Crocker cookbook and I used to follow it from my mom's 70's cookbook version. 

The recipe calls for the stroganoff to be served on a bed of egg noodles but my husband wanted me to try it with the leftover frozen gnocchi I had from when I made the ragout a few weeks ago.  By doing this it reminded me of one of our dinners while we were in Switzerland for our honeymoon.  It was something similar to stroganoff but with beef strips, a little creamier, and served with something that was kind of like hash browns.  So I figured making the stroganoff and using the gnocchi would be a little similar and I was up for an experiment anyway.

1 lb. hamburger

1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tray fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream or unflavored yogurt
2-3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Cook and stir margarine, hamburger, garlic, and onion in 10-inch skillet until brown.  Stir in flour, salt, and pepper.  Stir in sour crem, soup, and mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are tender. Serve over hot noodles.

Here's the stroganoff with the gnocchi and it tasted just as good if it were topped over noodles.

July 2010 Meal #2: Chicken Katsu

Sorry for the delay with updating the meals. Had a busy weekend and with the sun finally making it's appearance in the Great Northwest I've been taking advantage of it with my little one. 

Meal #2 for the month is something I've made numerous times from the time I was allowed to cook with hot oil.  This particular dish is called Chicken Katsu which is coated Japanese breadcrumbs and deep fried.  Other kinds of meat like beef or pork can be prepare the same way with the Japanese breadcrumbs.  For this as well I don't have an exact recipe but will provide the general idea on how to prepare this along with the accompanying dipping sauce.

3 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken thighs
3 cups flour
4 eggs, scrambled
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
garlic salt or regular salt, whichever you prefer
oil for deep frying

Heat oil in pan.  Mix salt and pepper into flour. Evenly coat chicken into flour mixture.  Evenly coat flour coated chicken in scrambled eggs.  Then evenly coat chicken into panko.  Fry chicken in hot oil till golden brown on both sides, cooking about 10 minutes on each side.  Drain on paper towels. Slice and serve.

Worcestershire Sauce
Brown sugar

In a small saucepan pour as much ketchup you will need/want for the katsu as this is the base of the sauce.  Add  as much Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar to your preference/taste.  Heat saucepan and stir until sugar has melted.  The taste of the sauce will be entirely to your preference so add Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar accordingly.

Here's the final yummy outcome.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2010 Meal #1: Pork & Eggplant w/Black Bean Garlic Sauce

For meal #1 I had originally planned on making pork and squash only to realize that I had forgotten to buy the right cut of pork.  So I just ended up making a substitute before the vegetable got bad which was ground pork and eggplant with garlic black bean sauce.  I learned this from my husband and started cooking it every so often.  It's really easy to make and tastes really good over a bed of hot rice.  My husband gave me a break from cooking dinner last night and it turned out just as good when I make it.  I don't have an actual recipe for this so everything is all by "guesstimate" and I'll try to provide the general amount of ingredients to use.

3 lbs. ground pork
2 medium sized round eggplants, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
Black bean garlic paste
Garlic chili sauce (think the brand name is called Sambal)

Break down ground pork and brown with garlic.  Drain fat. Add onions and cook til tender.  Add the black bean garlic paste and garlic chili sauce (I just add about 2 heaping spoonfuls of both.  You can add more of the chili sauce to your preference).  Add about a cup of water and eggplant.  Stir and cover.  Cook until eggplant is tender.  You can add more black bean paste if the taste is still a little to bland for you.

 I took a picture of it last night but I loaded it into a different computer.  I will have to update this post with the picture at a later time.

July Menu Plan 2010

July has started and taking a look at June's menu plan I have noticed that I only got through half of the meals.  Now is that a good thing or a bad thing?  I'd like to say that it's a VERY good thing since it took off half of the stress of trying to think of meals for the week.  During the month I think we only ate out once and majority of the meals I had planned lasted at least 2-3 days like I had planned.  So going through 15 meals sounds about right for a 30 day month. 

I have decided with whatever meals that I didn't get to prepare in June, I will carry them over to the July menu and add new dishes from there.  I was looking forward to making those dishes, so transferring them over to July's menu made more sense and I would just have to think of fewer new dishes to make.  So here's the menu plan for the month of July.

  1. Pork and Eggplant w/Black Bean Garlic Sauce
  2. Chicken Katsu
  3. Hamburger Stroganoff w/Gnocchi
  4. Pork and Squash
  5. Chicken Adobo
  6. Teri Patties
  7. Pork Chop w/Cream of Mushroom Gravy
  8. Garlic Chicken
  9. Lasagna
  10. Miso Salmon Teri Glaze Salmon
  11. Pork Stir Fry w/Won Ton Noodles
  12. Chicken Papaya
  13. Corned Beef Brisket & Cabbage
  14. Kalua Pig
  15. Chicken, Mushrooms, & Zucchini
  16. Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  17. Chili
  18. Sweet n' Sour Spareribs
  19. Hawaiian Roast Chicken
  20. Meat Jun
  21. Baked Teri Salmon
  22. Shoyu Pork
  23. Chicken Alfredo w/Gnocchi
  24. Chop Chae
  25. Szechwan Ribs w/Mongolian Marinade
  26. Thai Coconut Shrimp
  27. Baked Chicken w/Gravy
  28. Beef Wellington
  29. Mushroom Risotto w/Italian Sausage
  30. Chicken Masala w/Roti Chapati
  31. Baby Back BBQ Ribs

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June 2010 Meal #15: Crockpot Stew

Meal #15 which is a crockpot stew is one the the only things I make regularly in the crockpot.  I used to make this particular dish in the oven and didn't have an actual name for it.  This is something I learned from my mom and dad, when I made it for the first time for my husband years ago he ended up really liking it.  I normally used kal bi meat (flanken steak) because of it's fattiness making the meat real tender when baking.  However as of lately the meat price has fluctuated and I've been buying similar cuts of boneless meat. 

I was given a crockpot for Christmas a few years ago and maybe had only used it twice, then for some reason one day I had an epiphany to make this baked dish in the crockpot.  Now why hadn't I thought of that before? I have no idea! Haha!  So by making this in the crockpot it turned out be more of a stew than a baked dish.  Nonetheless, a really good outcome and has become a popular go to crockpot dinner.

I didn't realize until just recently that Lipton's Onion Soup mix and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom is a staple in my kitchen and I always need them on stock in my pantry.  Thank goodness for Costco to help keep me well stocked.

2-3 lbs. flanken cut meat, sliced
1 large potato or 2 medium sized potatoes, diced
2 carrots,sliced
2 cups white mushroom, sliced
3 small cans or 1 large can Campbells Cream of mushroom soup
2 pkgs. Lipton Onion dry soup mix

Mix cream of mushroom soup with Lipton Onion soup mix.  Layer in crockpot the meat, some of soup mixture over meat, then all the veggies, and the remaining of the soup mixture.  Cover and set crockpot on low and cook for 8 hours.

**This can also be done in the oven. Layer the same into a 13x9 baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  After one hour check if meat is cooked and if veggies are soft to your liking.  If it isn't then continue to bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.**