Archive for October, 2014

Kobe and cabernet a perfect match

By
October 31st, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Beef Wellington was on the menu when Snake River Farms and Signorello Estate teamed up for a Kobe and Cabernet dinner at Outrigger Canoe Club.

It was a meat and wine lover's dream come true when Snake River Farms teamed up with Signorello Estate to present a dinner highlighting their respective premium beef and cabernet.

I was able to attend a dinner that took place Wednesday at the Outrigger Canoe Club for interested members. A second dinner took place Thursday at the Plaza Club. The meals provided an opportunity to learn more about the vineyard and the Signorello Hopes Cuvée chardonnay and Padrone created in honor of owner Ray Signorello's late parents, as well as learn more about the American-style Kobe beef from Snake River Farms.

Delicious wagyu filet mignon steak tartare with quail egg, white truffle oil, dijon aioli and Asian pear.

Delicious wagyu filet mignon steak tartare with quail egg, white truffle oil, dijon aioli and Asian pear.

Sous vide Kurobuta pork belly with frisee and orange-citrus vinaigrette.

Sous vide Kurobuta pork belly with frisee and orange-citrus vinaigrette.

Snake River Farms is a premium brand produced by Agri Beef Co., and marketing director Jay Theiler told of bringing the first wagyu cattle from Japan to the Northwest in 1988. The wagyu were bred with angus cattle to grow significantly larger than other breeds, averaging 1,500 pounds. It's the wagyu genetics that give the resulting beef its juicy, fatty quality, he said, dispelling rumors of massaging and indulging the cattle with beer to get the desired marbling.

PHOTO BY LEE ANNE WONG Chef Lee Anne Wong, who also attended the dinner, took a photo of the wagyu-angus hybrid when she visited Snake River Farms.

COURTESY LEE ANNE WONG

Chef Lee Anne Wong, who also attended the dinner, took a photo of the wagyu-angus hybrid— which appears to have some of the water buffalo physical characteristics of its ancestors — when she visited Snake River Farms.

The wagyu are believed to be descendants of water buffalo used in Japan for farming. They had gone unrecognized as a food source by the Japanese until Dutch traders, hungry for meat, decided to eat the animals, a eureka moment.

Also on the menu was Snake River Farms kurobuta pork, the black Berkshire hogs that are the highly touted pork equivalent to Kobe beef.

Flame-broiled wagyu New York steak with green peppercorn demi glace, wilted baby spinach and fingerling potatoes.

Flame-broiled wagyu New York steak with green peppercorn demi glace, wilted baby spinach and fingerling potatoes.

A stunning #nofilter sunset preceded dinner at the beautifully sited Outrigger Canoe Club.

A stunning #nofilter sunset preceded dinner at the beautifully sited Outrigger Canoe Club.

If you eat at restaurants like BLT Steak, Vintage Cave, Budnamujip, Stage and Michel's at the Colony Surf, you are already enjoying these premium meat products.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Cooking Healthy-licious

By
October 30th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comDavid Rasmussen and Christian Rae Wong came up with the winning dish of tofu chimichangas in whole wheat tortillas during the annual Kahala Nui Healthy Cooking Competition that took place Oct. 25 at Kapiolani Community College.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

David Rasmussen and Christian Rae Wong came up with the winning dish of tofu chimichangas in whole wheat tortillas during the annual Kahala Nui Healthy Cooking Competition that took place Saturday at Kapiolani Community College.

I love being able to participate in Kahala Nui's annual Healthy-licious healthy cooking competition because it provides the opportunity to sample some of the best of Kapiolani Community College culinary students' cooking, guilt-free.

Everything put on the table during the four-team competition is created with the magic combination of good flavor plus health benefits in mind.

This is the fourth year the senior retirement community has hosted the competition, presented at Kapiolani Community College Oct. 25, with the aim of creating unique healthy recipes for seniors, because as people age, dietary needs change, and the question for elders is how to satisfy cravings for tasty meals while ingesting less salt, sugar and fat.

The winning team of Christian Rae Wong and David Rasmussen with, from left, emcee Maleko McDonnell, chef/instructor Warren Uchida, and Pat Duarte, president and CEO of Kahala Nui senior living community.

The winning team of Christian Rae Wong and David Rasmussen with, from left, emcee Maleko McDonnell, chef/instructor Warren Uchida, and Pat Duarte, president and CEO of Kahala Nui senior living community.

The aim of the competition is to encourage the next generation of chefs to consider careers in health care, considering that seniors represent the fastest-growing demographic in this country. Kahala Nui also challenges the young chefs to come up with those elusive healthy + delicious meals.

The students had 20 minutes to present their cooking demonstrations, and another of the challenges was to keep recipes simple enough for the average home cook to follow, using simple ingredients easy to find at any supermarket.

The event also presents the opportunity to learn more about ingredients most people never think of adding to their meals, and given some of the information from the day, I think I will probably try to find more ways to add hemp seeds to my diet.

Here's what the students came up with:

Regino Ojano and Richelle Herreria prepared a dish of Kona kampachi in a pouch, below, with green papaya and malungay.

Regino Ojano and Richelle Herreria prepared a dish of Kona kampachi in a pouch, below, with green papaya and malungay.


TEAM 1

Richelle Herreria and Regino Ojano 111 offered a soup of Kona kampachi in a pouch. Ojano explained that both their sets of grandparents love soup, and given that one of his grandfathers is 95 years old, he believes that drinking soup, incorporating omega 3-rich fish, contributes to longevity.

Most interesting was their use of malungay leaves, popular in Filipino food. I didn't realize the nutrition packed into these leaves. They are a significant source of vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese, and protein. They can be found at farmers markets. My only beef with this leaf is that it is very fibrous; the pair offered spinach as a substitute ingredient.

Visual appeal is important, so Ojano and Herreria considered color in choosing their ingredients.

Visual appeal is important, so Ojano and Herreria considered color in choosing their ingredients.

After making the soup, they created a parchment pouch, added the fish and soup, and baked it to completion for a wonderful introduction to the competition.

The soup was cooked and presented in parchment paper.

The soup was cooked and presented in parchment paper.

They had also considered aesthetics in coming up with the dish that offered the vibrant green of the malungay leaves, the light green of green papaya and red of Ho Farms tomatoes layered over the white fish.

Jason Park, left, and Ryan Aquino, offered a dish of kabocha and Korean purple rice as an antidote for diabetes.

Jason Park, left, and Ryan Aquino, offered a dish of kabocha and Korean purple rice as an antidote for diabetes.


TEAM 2

Jason Park and Ryan Aquino said both their fathers suffer from Type 2 diabetes so were motivated to come up with a dish that reduces blood sugar levels.

The result was a centerpiece of Kona kampachi encrusted with hemp seeds (the legal kind available at health-food stores), a superfood rich in easily digested proteins, essential fats (Omega 3 & 6), gamma linolenic acid, antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorus and enzymes.

The many benefits attributed to hemp seeds include controlling blood sugar levels, lowering blood LDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving cardiovasular circulation, organ function and immunity levels, reducing inflamation, and treating dry skin and hair conditions.

hpumpkin

Of even more interest to the seniors in the audience was the Korean purple rice used to stuff a kabocha. The rice is actaully a mixture of long grain rice, black rice and black beans that when cooked, melds to give the illusion of being purple. The rice they used came from Walmart.

The fish was seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and ginger powder. After cooking, it was layered on a sauce of roasted cherry tomatoes, puréed with salt, pepper and garlic.

TEAM 3

Competition winners David Rasmussen and Christian Wong, pictured at top, offered "fool the tastebuds" tofu chimichangas in Sinaloa whole-wheat tortillas.

Adding nutritional yeast flakes added a meatier, umami quality to the tofu, that Rasmussen said he fed to his younger brother, who later asked, "What kind of meat is that?"

The dish starts with draining a block of firm tofu of its liquid before breaking it up in a pan, flavoring with 3 tablespoons of the yeast flakes and sautéing it with garlic and a touch of cayenne. When heated through, add diced red onion, red bell pepper, black beans and grilled corn. Warm the tortilla, then place the tofu filling and roll.

The chimichangas were then baked for three minutes in an oven heated to between 385 and 400 degrees. They were accompanied by pico de gallo of lettuce, tomatoes, onion, lime, cilantro and a touch of agave; add minced jalapeño if you crave a little heat.

In place of fatty guacamole, they opted for reduced-fat avocado cream, made by splitting an avocado in half and spooning it out of its shell, adding juice of a half lime to prevent browning, then breaking it down and mixing with Greek yogurt.

After tasting the finished dish, I don't think anyone missed meat.

Ying Ye Luo and Adela Mearig offered fish tacos and pumpkin-rice soup.

Ying Ye Luo and Adela Mearig offered fish tacos and pumpkin-rice soup.


TEAM 4

Ying Ye Luo and Adela Mearig drew from their respective Chinese and Mexican cultures to come up with their dish of fish taco accompanied by a variation of jook, a rice soup with the additional nutrition benefits of kabocha.

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As a traitor to my heritage, nothing drives me crazier than the thought of eating rice gruel for breakfast every morning. I knew intuitively, even as a child, that white rice has zero health benefits, but I would make allowances for the added vitamin content of kabocha.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Hopping from 'Table to Farm'

By
October 8th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comChef Colin Hazama joined Ho Farms' Shin Ho in welcoming diners for a two-part, two-day culinary adventure that took them from the Sheraton Waikiki to the North Shore farm.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Chef Colin Hazama joined Ho Farms' Shin Ho in welcoming diners for a two-part, two-day culinary adventure that took them from the Sheraton Waikiki to the North Shore farm.

Sheraton Waikiki launched its ambitious new Table to Farm wine dinner and farm tour series last weekend, an event that started Friday night with a dinner crafted by Sheraton Waikiki executive sous chef Colin Hazama, followed by an optional excursion to Ho Farms the following day to see where and how the meal was sourced.

For a memorable culinary and mini travel experience, it is well worth the $170 to $200 (with wine pairings) cost and two-day commitment.

"There's nothing that connects you more to the people and a culture than food," said Food and Beverage Director Brian Hunnings, noting the Sheraton's obligation as a visitor-oriented company. "Supporting local and doing the right thing is so important to us, and to do that we have to do things that are not necessarily easy."

p align="left">The oceanview setting at the Sheraton's Edge of Waikiki infinity pool.

The oceanview setting at the Sheraton's Edge of Waikiki infinity pool.

There were many details involved in bringing the event out of the dining room and into the outdoors at the Sheraton's Edge of Waikiki, where a pink-purple sunset was the backdrop for an elegant, veggie-filled meal. There were vans to rent for the tour the following day, and a clearing was made on Ho Farms for setting up the tent and tables for a picnic lunch set in a field where long beans grow.

For Hazama, it was important to show the work farmers do because most people are so far removed from the land. Bringing them to the farm might help everyone become better stewards of the land.

Just 100 years ago, most people were living off the land, whether by fishing, farming or maintaining an ample backyard garden. Modernization changed everything, but slowly, people are waking up to the idea that some of the old ways are better for our health and well-being, as well as the planet.

Hazama has worked with Ho Farms since 2008, requesting items apart from the tomatoes, cucumbers and Japanese eggplant that are its staple crops. Some of the specialty items he requests for the Sheraton Waikiki are spring onions, cilantro flowers and rainbow chard.

Here's a look at both farm and table:

Friday night's meal started with vodka-cured kampachi with white soy dashi gelee, finger lime caviar, shaved watermelon radish,Ho Farms pickled baby carrots, and lemon basil pesto, accompanied by NV Canella Prosecco, Veneto.

Friday night's meal started with vodka-cured kampachi with white soy dashi gelee, finger lime caviar, shaved watermelon radish, Ho Farms pickled baby carrots, and lemon basil pesto, accompanied by NV Canella Prosecco, Veneto.

A “Taste of Ho Farms Salad” showcased Ho Farms pearl onions, golden Kahuku and currant tomato gelee, butternut squash, deep-fried heirloom okra, long beans, and preserved Meyer lemon mustard vinaigrette. I love the intense tomato flavor of the gelee! This was served with 2012 Fantini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo.

A “Taste of Ho Farms Salad” showcased Ho Farms pearl onions, golden Kahuku and currant tomato gelee, butternut squash, deep-fried heirloom okra, long beans, and preserved Meyer lemon mustard vinaigrette. I love the intense tomato flavor of the gelee! This was served with 2012 Fantini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo.

Next, cassava-crusted Kauai shrimp was served with spiced butternut squash gnocchi, applewood smoked Ho Farms swiss chard, Wailea hearts of palm and Ho Farms baby cucumber pickled mustarda, and garlic yuzu crema. This was accompanied by 2013 Santadi Villa Solais Vermentino, Sardegna.

Next, cassava-crusted Kauai shrimp was served with spiced butternut squash gnocchi, applewood smoked Ho Farms swiss chard, Wailea hearts of palm and Ho Farms baby cucumber pickled mustarda, and garlic yuzu crema. This was accompanied by 2013 Santadi Villa Solais Vermentino, Sardegna.

Fish ’n’ Chips got healthier with the Kona Brewing beer-battered onaga accompanied by Ho Farms Chinese long bean "fries," along with housemade pickles, calamansi lime pickle vinegar and Ho Farms pomegranate beet ketchup. It was paired with 2012 Jermann Pinot Grigio, Collio.

Fish ’n’ Chips got healthier with the Kona Brewing beer-battered onaga accompanied by Ho Farms Chinese long bean "fries," along with housemade pickles, calamansi lime pickle vinegar and Ho Farms pomegranate beet ketchup. It was paired with 2012 Jermann Pinot Grigio, Collio.

We finished with a slice of Big Island Meyer kemon goat cheesecake with dark chocolate aubergine truffle, Kula strawberry, and Ho Farms ice cream banana confiture. No one could have guessed that there was creamy eggplant inside the chocolate! This was paired with NV Canella Bellini, Veneto.

We finished with a slice of Big Island Meyer kemon goat cheesecake with dark chocolate aubergine truffle, Kula strawberry, and Ho Farms ice cream banana confiture. No one could have guessed that there was creamy eggplant inside the chocolate! This was paired with NV Canella Bellini, Veneto.

On the farm:

p align="left">We were allowed to taste the fresh produce out in the Ho Farms fields, including flavorful cilantro flowers, that most of us had left on the plate during the previous evening's dinner, when we thought of it as an inedible garnish. Now, those of us who love cilantro love it!

We were allowed to taste the fresh produce out in the Ho Farms fields, including flavorful cilantro flowers, that most of us had left on the plate during the previous evening's dinner, when we thought of it as an inedible garnish. Now, those of us who love cilantro love it!

p align="left">Photographing tomatoes before they are packed for supermarkets.

Photographing tomatoes before they are packed for supermarkets.

p align="left">Third-generation farmer Shin Ho shows the cucumber seedlings.

Third-generation farmer Shin Ho shows the cucumber seedlings.

p align="left">During a cooking demonstration, Colin showed the one-year, house-cured prosciutto lardons that he later sautéed with kale and shimeji mushrooms to top the chilled Ho Farms butternut squash soup we enjoyed for lunch.

During a cooking demonstration, Colin showed the one-year, house-cured prosciutto lardons that he later sautéed with kale and shimeji mushrooms to top the chilled Ho Farms butternut squash soup we enjoyed for lunch.

p align="left">Everyone wanted seconds of the delicious soup, also finished with a swirl of Ho Farms coriander crema.

Everyone wanted seconds of the delicious soup, also finished with a swirl of Ho Farms coriander crema.

p align="left">The rest of our picnic lunch came packed in metal lunch boxes. Tour-goers Ethan, Kailee and Tammie Chang show their lunch boxes.

The rest of our picnic lunch came packed in metal lunch boxes. Tour-goers Ethan, Kailee and Tammie Chang show their lunch boxes.

p align="left">Tucked inside the lunch box was a three-pepper Muscovy duck prosciutto sandwich, with small jars of Ho Farms pickles and pomegranate-beet ketchup we could enjoy on the spot or later at home. There was also a container of shichimi-dusted tapioca puffs that I had taken out.

Tucked inside the lunch box was a three-pepper Muscovy duck prosciutto sandwich, with small jars of Ho Farms pickles and pomegranate-beet ketchup we could enjoy on the spot or later at home. There was also a container of shichimi-dusted tapioca puffs that I had taken out.

p align="left">After leaving the farm, we made a detour to Kahuku Superette, where chef Hazama had to introduce us to one of his favorite guilty pleasures, crisp, garlicky shell-on opae poke. Yums! No garans this pitstop will be part of future tours.

After leaving the farm, we made a detour to Kahuku Superette, where chef Hazama had to introduce us to one of his favorite guilty pleasures, crisp, garlicky shell-on opae poke. Yums! No garans this pitstop will be part of future tours.

The Table to Farm Series will continue into 2015; each event will be held in partnership with a different farm, including a trek to the Big Island. Reservations are being taken for the next event, when Hazama will partner with Naked Cow Dairy.

Dinner is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at Edge of Waikiki, followed by a 10 a.m. meeting time on Dec. 6 at Aloha Landing for a farm tour. Guests will return from Naked Cow Dairy at approximately 3 p.m.

The Dec. 5 collaboration dinner will feature chefs Hazama and Brett Villarmia executing a menu that will feature brown butter-seared Naked Cow Dairy halloumi, black cardamom-spiced scallops with lavender Naked Cow Dairy buttermilk, garlic- and herb-roasted Colorado lamb Loin with micro-mint Naked Cow labne and pomegranate-pink peppercorn Naked Cow honey butter, an artisanal cheese tasting, and dessert of cookies and milk, including spiced toasted Naked Cow coconut butter shortbread and smoked Hawaiian sea salt caramel leche.

Dinner only is $103 per person ($133 with wine pairings); dinner and the farm tour is $170 per person ($200 with wine pairings). Prices include transportation to Naked Cow Dairy, tax and gratuity. Call (808) 921-4600 or visit flavorsofhawaii.com for reservations.

The hotel also offers a special room rate for Table to Farm guests. Call (808) 921-4610 and request the “FarmTour” rate.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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