For the last recipe of my Hawaiian coverage, I wanted to share with you my California-fied twist on a classic Hawaiian recipe.
Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is one of those classic Hawaiian dishes I can’t get enough of and I eat my share when I’m on island. If you haven’t had it before, it’s like a Hawaiian-style ceviche where, at the most basic, sushi-grade seafood is mixed with classic Hawaiian flavors of soy sauce and onions. From there, the options are limitless and you’ll find all sorts of poke flavors made with everything from octopus to squid, all over the state.
The problem is that a lot of poke is seriously high in sodium and just does’t have a balance of freshness and flavor that I like. I’ve spent a fair amount of time, money, and meals comparing and contrasting poke throughout the state and finally realized I should be making it myself and have become a self-proclaimed poke master. (Bold words I know seeing as I’m not born-and-bred in Hawaii.)
Speaking of which, my favorite way of serving poke has been super untraditional as a sort of Mexican tostada with Hawaiian flavors. Anytime I spend more than a few weeks away from California, I start craving Mexican food, so, to get the best of both worlds, I decided to make my own poke and throw it atop a crunchy tostada base.
Continue Reading: Poke, My Way →
Have you ever had a Bramble? No, I’m not talking about the thorny bush, but about a cocktail. If you haven’t tried it, consider this an intervention — you must have at least one before the summer is through.
I can’t remember where or when I first tried the Bramble, but I do recall that I fell for it instantly. That’s saying a lot because it’s gin-based and I’ve never been big on the often overpowering flavors of gin. But, the Bramble’s a different story. It’s a balanced mix of sweet, sour, fruity, and botanical (from the gin), so no one element overwhelms the other.
There’s something about the drink — perhaps the name or the traditional method — that has an air of an old school cocktail, but, by cocktail standards, it’s a spring chicken. The London-based bartender, Dick Bradsell, came up with the Bramble in 1984 when he added berry liqueur to a Gin Sour. Since then it has since become so popular in England some have coined it the Cosmopolitan of the UK. (Though, it must be said, that I think the Cosmo pales in comparison to the Bramble.)
And, as you can see above, this drink has as much going for it in looks as it does taste thanks to the berry liqueur that stains it an intense purple hue. But, my favorite part? The whole thing gets strained over crushed ice and looks like a snow cone, be it a very adult, boozy take on a snow cone.
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Berry Crush →
I’m, like, totally a child of the 80s.
For proof, look no futher than my first shoe purchase — a pair of pink jellies – and my first concert — the Los Angeles stop of the Bad world tour. Oh, the fact I was all but addicted to Jello-O pudding pops. My parents actually wouldn’t keep them in the house so I would save up allowance to buy them on the hush-hush down at the local cornerstore. But, I grew out of that habit and hadn’t thought of them for years until Kristen of Dine & Dish mentioned this book a few weeks ago. And then I had a craving. I mean, one of those cravings that won’t quit. No amount of chocolate ice cream, gelato, or yogurt could quell it — it had to be a pudding pop.
But the pudding pop is all but extinct and, even if it were around, I’d shy away from it because it was likely made with scary stabilizers and fake sweeteners. And no amount of cajoling from Bill Crosby could convince me otherwise. So, I came up with a healthier, more adult take, my Grown-Up Pudding Pops. They’re fudge-y and chocolatey like the classic, but I made them more refined by adding espresso, cocoa nibs, toasted coconut for a more darker chocolate flavor and some crunchy texture. But don’t think that means I’m giving up the jellies and my OG Bad jacket. No, it may be 2011, but I’m still an 80s baby through and through.
Continue Reading: Grown-Up Pudding Pops →
It’s time to celebrate! As if the holiday weren’t enough of an excuse, today is also the the unofficial start of summer and, as I’ve made you well aware, the launch of the new Cooking Channel. That’s reason enough for me to concoct not one but two seasonal cocktails. So, whether your bbq-ing with your buds, partying poolside, or chilaxing indoors, toast the good times with these fruit cocktails.
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Toasting the Times →