Saturday, May 15, 2010
Korean-Hawaiian Grilled Chicken with Flambed Pineapples, Japanese-Style Macaroni Salad and Strawberry Salad
I was looking at a coupon magazine and saw an ad for this Hawaiian place in Corona. I went there years ago, but thought it was disgusting then and the pictures in this magazine reminded me of just how bad it was. Instant inspiration to have it, but have it good.
If you've been to Hawaii, you know how much Japanese culture has influenced local food. I love Japanese food, but I wouldn't say I love Hawaiian. Aside from Luau food, which I find as interesting as my Junior High cafeteria food, I guess I've never really had it. I mean, sure, I've had L&L and places like that, but the meat always taste like hotdogs to me.
Anyway, I knew I wanted pineapple, so I built the meal around that.
Korean-Hawaiian Grilled Chicken:
Get out 2 chicken tenderloins, or 1 breast per person. In a blender, blend 1/2 onion (preferably Maui Sweet, but brown/yellow will do), 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 sugar, 1/4 vegetable oil, splash of sesame oil, chopped green onions and about 5-7 garlic cloves, minced. Mash up some really ripe pineapple and lay it over the top of the chicken. Pour the mixture over the chicken, and let that marinade at least 30 minuets, but up to 1 hour is good.
Heat your grill and grill the chicken, basting it in the marinade twice on each side. If you lack common sense, please remember that your marinade had raw meat in it, so make sure the last time you baste it, it has time to cook through (and, of course, remember which utensils you're using to flip, baste, etc., for the same reason).
Those will be good to go, and you can top them with chopped green onion and sesame seeds if you like. Note: Why is this Korean-Hawaiian? The base is a marinade for Korean Galbi, with the addition of pineapple (the Hawaiian contribution).
I don't know how to do the little mark that goes above the "e", but this is flam-bay I'm talking about...flames!
Chop 2 cups of pineapple. Melt 2 tbs butter in steel skillet until foaming. Add pineapple and fry 1 minute or so. Sprinkle a small bit of sugar across the pineapple...this will help caramelize when the flames hit. Pour in rum (maybe 1/4 cup), and tilt to the side to catch a flame. This will become engulfed in flames, so watch the hair, clothes, people standing by, etc. The flame cooks off the alcohol, and once it's out, fry another minute.
Japanese-Style Macaroni Salad:
Cook elbow macaroni according to instructions but add 4 extra minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Drain again and place in a large bowl. Add sufficient mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip - don't ask), a Tbs of sugar, some minced green onions, and mix well. Put this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lots of people will add things like chopped celery, carrots, shallots, vinegar, etc., but I like it simple.
This is a really refreshing salad, and it takes 5 minutes to make. It's good with just about any meal that needs something cool and refreshing, so put it in your arsenal.
Slice 5-10 strawberries. Slice 1/2 red onion. Get bagged salad, or chop Romaine or Spinach or whatever you like...any of these will work. Place all this in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 balsamic vinegar, and mix well. Pour over your salad and mix everything up. Put this in the fridge for 15 minutes, mixing often. You can add feta chunks, sliced almonds, candied almonds, walnuts or pecans, or even toasted pine nuts. This is a really good palate for texture.
I served this meal with basic brown rice.