Saturday, April 28, 2012

German meets Hawaiian style Portuguese sausage and Kale Soup

Mr Wonderful loves "boiled dinner". It is basically boiling vegetable (potatoes, cabbage and carrot) will smoked sausage today. It is actually quite foreign to me. In the last year, he upgraded his recipe with Mrs Dash and onion!! That's a big step

At times I do feel bad that I made him eat all these vegetarian food. I do make meat for him and he appreciates that. One great thing about him is that he would try anything, however when it really boils down to it, he is a meat and potato guy with a strong Germany root.

Mr Wonderful has been fishing up North, I hope he will be coming back with some fish this afternoon. I woke up to a cold rainy day. It's perfect for some soup. It would be great to have something hearty to get the chill off, especially being out in the elements. I brought back a couple Hawaiian Portuguese sausage and I  still have 1 last sausage in the freezer. I decide to make some soup. My version of Portuguese Kale soup. It's boiled, it's potato, he should like this. You will notice I am keeping the pieces of vegetable and sausage pretty big. He like soup hearty. The sausage, potato and kale will "shrink" during cooking.

Hawaiian Portuguese sausage, kale and potato soup
1 large(12 oz) Hawaiian  Portuguese sausage, cut into 1/2" quarter pieces, or any smoked sausage with spice will make a great substitute.
1 large onion, skinned, cleaned and cubed
4 red skin potatoes, cleaned and cubed, I am leaving the skin on, if prefer, you can use peeled potatoes instead
3 gloves garlic, cleaned and chopped
1 bunch of kale, washed, stem removed and tear into small pieces
4 cup low sodium chicken stock
Pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven of pot, brown the sausage piece for 5-8 mins over med heat.
The sausage is quite oily, I didn't have to add anything at all. Remove some of the oil if you like. Leave about 2 tbsp in the pot.
Add garlic and onion, sauté with the sausage till caramelize and translucent
Add potato and cook for 4-5 min and lightly browned
Add kale in by the handful and fold into the meat mixture.
The kale will soften with heat. 
Once everything is combined. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock
Bring to a boil,  then lower heat to a simmer, cover and let the soup cook for about 35-40 mins till the kale and potatoes are soft and tender. 
Taste and season with pepper. The sausage is quite salty and highly spiced, I didn't have to add any salt at all. 
Ladle the soup in to a bowl, top with fried shallot and serve.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hawaiian style Mango bread

Everytime I make mango bread, it always brought back some fond memories of my college days at Chaminade  in Honolulu. I can still see that big mango tree behind the Chapel and how the "girls" would sneak mango off the trees and sweet smell of mango bread from our community kitchen... (Use your imagination what we did :P)

There were a big mango sales at Whole Foods. Good mango was hard to come by last year, I was excited to see something that resembled good produce. I bought a case. I picked one that was not quite ready since I was supposed to be cooking for a women retreat next week. 
Mango bar was one of the dessert I need to make the filling this week. I had more than enough mango since they all ripened at the same time. 

My hanai sister Kawailani was looking for my mango bread recipe. She thought it was posted here. Well, I forgot. With all these extra mangoes, making some bread would be a great idea. The only issue with my recipe it was very moist and the bread didn't freeze very well. I remember how mushy it got when we packed it for our cross country drive to CA. I did some research. I found a recipe by Sam Choy, my favorite local chef of all time. I did a little of modifying and here it is. It's still very moist. I finely chopped 1/2 the mango into small piece to make the bread more mangoie, while the other 1/2 were in big pieces to show off the fruit. I also changed the cake flour in the original recipe to regular flour, just to give the bread a firmer texture.

Hawaiian Mango Bread
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups diced mango - 1 cup finely chopped, the rest in bigger chunks. 
Heat oven to 350*F degrees. Grease or spray 2 9x5 loaf pans or 1 13X11 oblong pan with non stick baking spray or butter
In a small box, mix all the dry ingredients together: Flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar
In a large box, whisk together vegetable oil and eggs.
Whisk in melted butter
Add vanilla
Fold in the dry mixture.
Fold in mango, mix well
Pour batter in the 2 prepared loaf pans or the oblong pan. Take it stand for about 10 mins.
Bake for 1 hour, ready when toothpick insert in the center comes out clean or when you pressed the center, the bread spring back 
Remove from oven and cool for about 10 min. Invert the pan and ready to enjoy.
You can wrap up the extra loaf and freeze it.
Serve with whipped butter. 
If you bake this for brunch in a oblong pan, sprinkle with powder sugar  before serving. 

2 loaves or 12 generous serving.

PS: How I cut mango... I gave Mr Wonderful 2 mangoes last week, he called to find out how he is supposed to cut it. Here is my quickie way of cutting mango:
Slice the mango along the seed into 3 pieces: you will have the 2 "cheeks" and the seed
Score the meat to the skin, but not cutting through
Use a spoon and remove the cubes
Peel the skin around the seed and shave the meat off. Scrap the seed with the knife to get the rest of the puree.