The first dish that comes to mind when I think about Chamorro style dishes is Kelaguen, specifically Kelaguen Manok, the chicken version of the dish which is what you'll find in all the Chamorro/Guamanian restaurants in the greater San Diego area. After making the drive up to Guahan Grill a couple of times early last year with the Missus, She asked if I could just go ahead and try and make the stuff already.
So I did....after a couple of tries, I had it kind of dialed in. The Missus has a couple of coworkers who are from Guam and they make Kelaguen a lot....mostly using leftover rotisserie chicken and...ick, boiled chicken! After trying things a few different ways; I've settled on boneless, skin on chicken "legs", actually quarters, grilled over hard wood charcoal. Again, this is "kind of Kelaguen"...... I noticed that versions I've had here in San Diego lacked coconut. My solution was to use organic, non-sweetened coconut flakes and a tablespoon or so of coconut oil, which adds to the moisture, and provides for a nice fragrance. I use skin on chicken because it tends to preserve the moisture of the meat.
Even with all of this; I noticed that I could not get the lemon flavor dialed in; it just never came out the way I wanted. That's when one of the Missus's co-workers told Her that everybody "back home" uses "Yours Lemon Flavored Powder"! Which I wasn't able to find here, but you gotta love it; I actually found it on Amazon. I was a bit dubious about this stuff...looking at the label, "Ingredients: Citric Acid (Trehalose), Natural Lemon Flavor, L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Citrate. Made in Japan." Hmmm......
But in the end, this is what I needed to make the Kelaguen taste right.
At the same time, I was trying to put together the classic sauce/condiment for the kelaguen; Finadene (Fina'denne). After going thru a couple of iterations, I found that rather strangely, since I've said not to use said shoyu for sauces; Kikkoman actually worked the best for me. Along with Distilled White Vinegar and one other item to give it just a bit more umph; Spiced Sukang Maasim (cane vinegar). The slight spice and sour gave it a nice kick. As for the chilies....I've used everything from Chili de Arbol, Thai Chilies, Red Habaneros, Scorpion Peppers, to Ghost Peppers......it's all good! Actually the Missus is partial to white ghost peppers.
So now the Missus's Guamanian coworkers actually request that I make this; so I guess it's got their seal of approval.
The Missus really likes to saturate Her Kelaguen with Finadene. And I've actually used the Finadene in other dishes....even stir fried bean sprouts which come out like namul on jet fuel.
Kind of Kelaguen:
The Chicken 1 1/2 lbs of skin-on boneless chicken quarters salt black pepper granulated garlic one lemon sliced in half ghost pepper salt (optional)
- Season the meat side of the chicken with salts and black pepper - Season the skin side of the chicken with salts, black pepper, and granulated garlic - Grill over charcoal. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the chicken while grilling - Once the chicken is cooked, remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
1 Tb coconut oil 1-2 Tb shredded coconut 2-3 stalks scallions sliced 1 Tb Yours Lemon Flavored Powder diluted into 2 Tb water salt, black pepper, and sliced chilies to taste
-Remove the chicken from the bowl reserving the juices; the objective is to conserve all the flavor you can. - Remove the skin from the chicken and consume later....it tastes really good fried up. - Chop or mince the chicken to your desired texture and add back to the bowl with the juices from the chicken - Add coconut oil, coconut, scallions, and chilies and mix - Add the lemon flavoring mixing well. - Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
I'm going to give you what I started with when I decided on my final array of ingredients for the Finadene. Think of this as being a 1:1 ratio of soy sauce to vinegar. I think it's a good starting point. You can adjust to your taste from here. Actually, you might like to add some calamansi juice to replace some of the vinegar.
Fast Finadene: 1/2 cup of Kikkoman Soy Sauce 1/2 cup Distilled White Vinegar 2 Tb Spiced Sukang Maasim 2 stalks of scallions sliced 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced sliced chilies to taste
-Combine ingredients. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.
So what to do after pickled celery? Which the Missus loved so much....well, I had to actually go to the market and buy more celery....just to buy celery, something quite rare in our household. So now, the "hearts are for braising", the stalks are for pickling. Then the Missus said the magic words, "can you make some pickled eggs". It seems after all these years, it has come to fruition, I love pickled eggs, I mean, really enjoy them. The Missus, on the other hand hasn't been too keen on them. But now, I was all in. And this recipe turned out well. This time around, I went ahead and bought some pickling spice. The Missus really enjoyed the flavor that clove gave to the pickle....so I'll probably be revising my other pickle recipes soon. You can always add beet juice if you want those nicely colored pickled eggs.
The eggs were delish; and a dozen doesn't go very far in this household.
1 dozen boiled eggs 4 cups distilled white vinegar 2 Tb Kosher Salt 2 Tb Pickling Spice 1/3 Cup White Sugar 1 Tsp Mustard Seed 1 Small Vidalia Onion - quartered - but not cut all the way through (optional) 2 Chilies (optional - I used some Chili de Arbol from the yard) 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
- Wash and sterilize 2 ball jars - Combine Vinegar, salt, and sugar is a pot bring to a boil and then remove from heat. - When cooled add Pickling Spice and mustard seed - Place 1/2 of optional items into each jar - Add 6 eggs into each jar - Top off with pickling liquid and spices - Seal, cover, and refrigerate . Leave for 2 days before eating.
For some reason, it really went nicely with that nice tomato/mozzarella salad with basil.....some Maldon Sea Salt and a drizzle of Arbequina Olive Oil and it made for a nice light dinner on one of the recent hot days we've had.
Here's something you might not know about the Missus...She hates celery. Now, I can get away with using the leaves in a stir-fry; but for some reason She just doesn't care for the flavor of celery. She does however, really enjoy pickled items. So last weekend, the Missus wanted some white beans and ham hock....now I use the "Cajun Holy Trinity" as the mirepoix for that dish. So what to do with the leftover celery? The Missus had just asked me why I hadn't made my easy pickled onions in a while (because I've been busy at work and basically lazy on the weekends). So, I just used that base recipe, added some sugar, more salt, and some mustard seed. Also had half a Vidalia onion and of course some chilies from the garden. I did peel and do a quick blanch of the celery.
Well, turns out the Missus loves these....and I like them as a nice addition to a salad.
Slight spicy, with a touch of sweetness and salt, this is pretty darn good.
Easy Pickled Celery:
1 cup distilled white vinegar 1 cup water 2 tb sugar 2 tb Kosher salt 1 tsp black peppercorns 1/2 tsp mustard seed 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
peeled celery stalks cut to size 2-3 chili peppers (optional - I used some Chili de Arbol from the yard) 2 cloves of garlic 1/2 small Vidalia Onion - quartered - but not cut all the way through (optional)
- Wash and sterilize a ball jar - Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, red pepper, and peppercorns in a pot, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. - Add peeled celery to pot to lightly blanch - Place celery (and whatever else) in jar, add celery seeds, top off with pickling liquid - Seal, cover, and refrigerate . Leave for 2 days before eating.
Great thing about living in San Diego, you can grill just about any month of the year. I've been told that there's been a dearth of cooking/recipe type posts over the last two years....I guess I've been kinda lax in posting these. Though I've posted on most of the dishes I make regularly over the last 10-11 years. Anyway, here's a wrinkle on the recipe I use for Teri Beef and my Local Kine Teriyaki Chicken.
When putting together these type of recipes, I think in terms of ratios.
Anyway, I've started buying a pound or so of sliced Berkshire pork shoulder from Nijiya on "Meat Day" along with a pound and a half of boned chicken legs. I then do a grill session and make Kelaguen with the chicken legs (I know, I know....recipe one of these days) and Teri-Pork with the sliced pork. I also grill whatever the heck I can find....even cabbage.
Yes....cabbage. Since I grill over hardwood charcoal, and even throw some soaked oak/hickory chips on the coals, everything tends to have a nice touch of smokiness. The Missus loves the pork and the tofu....and even the cabbage! I make little Bi Bim Bap type bowls for Her to take to work, topping the whole mess with a couple of fried eggs.
Anyway, back to the pork. While this is basically the same as my other "Local Kine Barbecue" recipes, there's a slight twist. I use sliced onions and gochujang.....I buy stuff made from soybeans.....don't buy the stuff that lists wheat as ingredient number 1. Another key point....this can get messy, removing the sliced onions before grilling and all. But you can use cheesecloth to bundle up the onions. I also found that pork can handle a bit more sweetness and that granulated garlic(good quality stuff) works better than minced/grated garlic with this recipe. Lastly, like grilling the teri beef, if you're not careful, stuff will fall between the grill grates. As I've mentioned many times before, I use Aloha, Yamasa, or Tamari for these type of recipes.
Teriyaki (Barbecue) Pork: 1 - 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced pork (shoulder or loin - it should have a good fat content)
1 cup Aloha or Yamasa Soy Sauce 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/3 cup agave syrup 2/3 cup mirin 2 tb granulated garlic 1 tb ginger juice 1 tb Gochujang 1 tb Sake 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
Optional Stuffs: 1/4 c minced cilantro 1 tb good quality sesame oil Ground cayenne or sliced chilies to taste
- Combine marinade ingredients - Separate slices of pork and place in gallon ziploc bag - Pour marinade into the bag - Gently mix - Marinade 4-6 hours, no more than 10. - If grilling remove 1/2 cup of marinade and heat until boiling. Remove from heat. Use to baste meat. - Wipe off onions and cilantro if using. - Cook.......
Remember I mentioned that the Missus requested a restock of the duck confit and a cassoulet for New Year? So, well that actually happened.
The request kind of threw me at first.....after all duck confit is a two day process for me. But as usual, in the end the Missus got what She wanted. Not a traditional "cassoulet" by any means as I portioned things out and heated them in the a gratin pan.....but that just meant more crunchy toppings. And on the second day, I added some collard greens to the whole thing (photo above), I also posted a photo to Flickr. Which leads to this post. I'd kinda gotten distracted making this dish and hadn't taken a whole lot of photos, so was just going to wait until I did this again. But "Hao" who comments every once in a while saw a photo of this on my Flickr page and asked if I'd do a post. So here you go....not quite, but kind of cassoulet.
A couple of items to note, I had just completed making a batch of my duck confit, so I had duck fat at hand as well as confit duck legs. Second, I've seen recipes that call for clove, but since I cure my duck legs with Chinese 5 spice, I figured that there's be that light hint of clove-cinnamon flavor in the background. On New Year's eve, I went out looking for beans. I'd seen Flageolet beans at Whole Foods, but when I got there it was no Bueno. So I ended up with organic Navy Beans, which worked out well. New Year's day saw me running around looking for the rest of the ingredients and I just improvised when needed. Everything was done in between getting called into work.....
So while this might just set you over the edge....remember, it's "kind of cassoulet". After all, I tend to think of cassoulet as being a rustic, peasant dish, something that uses preserved meats and beans. And no, I didn't use a Cassole either.
You might look at the steps and think this is difficult, but it's not....in spite of all the steps, which are just simple strategies and techniques to get the most of what I had, this wasn't too hard. There's a good amount of idle time as well.
Kind of Cassoulet
1 - 1 1/4 pounds Flageolet or Navy Beans
1/2 pound pork belly 1/4 pound pancetta 4 confit duck legs 1 pound pork sausage - preferably Garlic sausage, but what the heck, I used mild Italian Sausage. If you've got an inside line on Toulouse style garlic sausage in San Diego - let me know!
2 medium onions 1 whole bulb of garlic 4 cloves of garlic 6 sprigs fresh thyme 6 bay leaves 1 Tb whole peppercorn
4-5 Tb duck fat 1 quart stock (the good stuff, preferable made at home - veal or chicken) 2 cups white wine - I like something with a nice acidity 2-3 Tb Concentrated Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Part 1 The beans - Soak the bean overnight in enough water to cover by at least 3-4 inches - Drain the beans - While the beans are draining chop the pork belly into cubes - Brown the pork belly over medium-low heat to render fat. Browning will help the pork belly keep it's shape during cooking. After all, we all love biting into a nice piece of pork belly, right? - Drain half the rendered fat from the pork belly, then add 2 Tb duck fat - Add well drained beans and cover with water and combine. - Create a bouquet garni (so fancy shmancy) of 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 bays leaves, and peppercorns. Add to the pot with 4 garlic cloves - Simmer for about an hour or so until tender, but still slightly firm - remember, you're going to be cooking this again.
Part 2 Meanwhile, while the beans are simmering, the meat - Set oven at 325. - Dice the pancetta - Prick the pork sausage, this will allow the fat to render. - Chop the onions and the peeled cloves of the entire bulb of garlic. - In a large Dutch Oven, brown the whole sausage, then remove. - Add the remainder of the duck fat to the pot - Add the pancetta and brown. - Add tomato paste, onions, and garlic. Stir and let soften. - Meanwhile, slice browned sausage into slices - Once the onions and garlic are fragrant, add the sliced sausage back into the pot. - Add the two cups of white wine and bring to a simmer - Add the stock and bring to a simmer - Create another bouquet garni of 3 sprigs of thyme and 3 bays leaves and add to the pot - Give the whole mess a good stir, then add the duck confit. If you want the legs to stay whole....be gentle - Place in the oven and let braise for an hour or so, checking once or twice and giving a gentle stir
Part 3 Putting it together - Once beans are ready drain into a colander, reserving the bean liquid. Remove the bouquet garni. - Remove the braising meat pot from the oven and turn the temp up to 350 - Add beans and pork belly to the braised meats. - If more liquid is needed, top off with bean juice. - Give a gentle stir and return to oven for another 30 minutes. Remove the Dutch Oven, taste and adjust flavor with salt and pepper. - Return to oven until the beans reach the desired texture.
Part 4 So here's where I do something a bit different
2 slices uncured bacon cut into lardons 2 Tb duck fat 1 Tb finely minced garlic 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley 1 cup panko
-Add duck fat and bacon to a cold pan. - Over medium heat brown and render the fat from the bacon - When the bacon is almost browned, add garlic, then parsley - Add panko and stir letting the panko absorb all the oil
-Heat oven to 350 - Add the desired amount of cassoulet to a gratin pan - Place in the oven until the cassoulet is heated through and starting to bubble - Remove the pan from the oven and turn the temp up to 450 - Top the cassoulet with flavored panko and return to oven - Remove when the panko reaches a light brown color
The first day it was pretty much straight up. The second time I put it together and added come collards which the Missus enjoyed, so you might want to try that.
Man, it wasn't the heat, but the humidity that was pretty bad for a while there, eh? I'm from Hawaii and it still drove me crazy. And I just saw that we're in for a bit more the next couple of days.
One of my favorite dishes during our recent trip to Spain was Salmorejo, a thick puree/soup made up of tomatoes and thickened by bread. It's the bread that makes this look almost like a thick carrot soup.
It is served cold, like gazpacho, but is much richer and thicker. It was one of my favorite items in Spain. It's usually topped with finely chopped Serrano ham and coarsely chopped boiled egg. I really didn't feel staying the kitchen and boiling some eggs so I went with some finely chopped prosciutto ends; which you can buy at Bristol Farms. They sell it cheap. It's hard and waxy, but does well as salad topping when chopped finely. I added some cucumber and red onion and a few small, thin slices of Serrano peppers from the yard.
Here's a photo of my favorite version from Madrid (I'll get to the post one of these days):
It was much more refined than what I made. I based this on a recipe from the late Penelope Casas' fine cookbook; 1,000 Spanish Recipes. It's an easy recipe. And a refreshing dish....of course, the more ripe the tomatoes, the better the flavor.
1 1/2 (approx) Cups Country Bread (I used a leftover baguette) crust removed, cubed
1 1/2 pounds very ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Arbequina extra virgin olive oil or something that you enjoy
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped Serrano Ham Hard Boiled Eggs Coarsely Chopped
1 - Soak the bread in water for about 3-4 minutes, then squeeze dry
2 - Place tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, and half the bread in a blender/food processor.
3 - Start the blender and add in the olive oil until smooth
4 - Slowly add in the rest of the bread until the desired texture is reached
5 - Season with salt and pepper to taste
6 - Refrigerate at least an hour - I've found that this does taste better the next day.
To serve, ladle into a shallow bowl, top with ham and eggs, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
It took us 21 hours to get back to San Diego. The next morning it was time to restock. Among the stops was Nijiya. I was shocked to see truffles in the produce case. I probably shouldn't be surprised as over the years Nijiya has had seasonal items like fresh chanterelles.
So no, that's not a turd. It's not super fragrant, not like what we came across in France. It was 8 bucks for something that works grated on the microplane over eggs.
Which gave me the idea of doing a locomoco....but it couldn't be just any loco....
Sooooo.....long story short, ground wagyu from Bristol Farms, I have frozen veal stock in the freezer, dried porcini in the cabinet, shallots on the counter.
And all those basic skills everyone who cooks should have; how to cook an egg, how to make a burger, and how to make a simple pan sauce. Shave truffle on egg and...say no more.....
So it was time to "go loco, or go home"! Or maybe....go take a nap?
It'll take longer to read this post than to actually make this. But first, a word from our legal department:
Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
Now that we got that out of the way....yes, I use raw eggs...well, egg actually, for this.
I also use an immersion blender and a Ball Jar.
The eggs are either pasteurized or the best we can find - pasture raised and all that. I also use whole eggs, which makes this much lighter than just egg yolks. As for the science; if you love that kind of stuff, get Harold McGee's classic - On Food and Cooking.
I've read where having all ingredients at room temperature, but I've done this with cold eggs and mustard and the results has been fine.
If you've been reading my posts on Portland, you should know that it would only be a matter of time before I made this. The Missus loved the Radicchio Salad at Tasty N Alder so much, we went twice. The Missus wanted to go on our last morning as well, but they opened a bit too late so we ended up somewhere else. I knew that Chef John Gorham, has a cookbook out named after his Spanish inspired restaurant; Toro Bravo. Taking a quick look at the Amazon page for the book; I quickly saw "Radicchio Salad" in the index....so guess what? I bought the book. The recipe for the salad at Toro Bravo is different from what is served at Tasty N Alder. The book version is dressed with a vinaigrette....though I like the idea of macerating onion in the vinegar for added punch. I'll surely use that idea later on. It also uses a tapenade and is served with baguette. The version at TNA is dressed with mayo with slices of bacon; they call it lardons, but it's a pretty wide slice of bacon. All was not lost however, as there were two take-aways from the recipe in the book; using a microplane to grate the manchego cheese, which makes it light as air and which allows the cheese to incorporate itself into the dressing adding another layer of flavor. The second, soaking the radicchio in ice water to remove some of the bitterness. This was key. The Missus had never taken to radicchio because of its bitterness. In addition, I decided to make my own mayonnaise, a light, whole egg version.....which I call my "three minute mayo".....like it says, it takes about three minutes to make and is very light and creamy. I also mixed in 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for that extra kick. I'm thinking you can add some anchovy, or some extra acid component if desired. The Missus enjoys this version.
So here's what I made......four times in ten days!
This is what we had twice at Tasty N Alder.
Radicchio Salad (Inspired by Tasy N Alder):
3 slices thick cut bacon
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (I make my own very light version with whole eggs)
3-4 Tb Rendered Bacon Fat
1 tsp Agave Syrup Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Radicchio (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup Manchego Cheese grated with a microplane
2 boiled eggs crumbled (optional)
- Cut radicchio into four and remove core portion. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Separate leaves and soak in ice water for 30 minutes
- Slice bacon into 1/2" wide slices. Cook slowly to render off bacon fat and let bacon crisp. Let bacon fat cool but not harden
- Combine mayonnaise, bacon fat, agave syrup. Taste and add salt a pepper as necessary. Chill.
- Drain radicchio and spin dry in a salad spinner. It's important to get the radicchio faily dry. This will let the dressing coat it evenly.
I recently mentioned being able to take time for a proper lunch on weekends again. Some of this means doing "component cooking", which is creating parts of dishes that can be put together in different combinations.......stuff that I used to do in a previous life a zillion years ago. Anyway, this is based on another recipe, used to create a sauce that keeps for a week or so and can be used in different ways. The one thing I've learned is to start this in a cold pan, versus dumping all the stuff with butter into a hotel pan over a couple of burners, which is what used to take place way back then. Maitake....or Hen of the woods mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms keep their shape and earthy flavor throughout the process, so this is a good sauce for composing dishes....like say....a Pan seared monchong, smoked potato-brussel sprout saute, maitake - porcini sauce, kinda thing....
Like I learned in my "hannabudda days" of cooking....it's all about prep, though I didn't realize it at the time.
Maitake - Porcini Sauce:
1 head of Maitake (Hen of the Woods) Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1 head of Shimeji Mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and separated 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushroom 2 cups warm water 2-3 tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tb minced shallot 1 tb grated garlic 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried thyme salt(truffle salt?) and pepper to taste 3 tb Creme Fraiche
- Steep porcini in the warm water for 20 minutes - Place maitake and shimeji mushrooms into a cold pan - Turn heat to medium high - Allow the mushrooms to carmelize for 3-4 minutes mixing occasionally - Remove porcini mushrooms from soaking liquid - Strain porcini liquid - Add Olive Oil and shallots to pan - As mushrooms soften, add porcini, garlic, oregano, thyme - Once fragrant, add 1 1/2 cup of the porcini soaking liquid - Lower the heat and reduce by at least one-third - Taste and add salt and pepper - Remove from heat and thicken with creme fraiche