Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Canadian Potine

We started asking around among our Canadian friends this week and hands down everyone said we needed to feature Potine.  Potine is a common Canadian classic, originally from Quebec, made with french fries, topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and white cheese curds. A very simple recipe that has grown to become a staple among all greasy spoon style restaurants around Canada and the northern States in the US.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"ATW80DS": Shrimp & Citrus Salad

One thing we really enjoyed while visiting in San Francisco back in 2009 was the open air street markets loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables and fish. This is one of the salads the we made while we were staying there. 

(Makes 4 main course Salads)

2 large pink grapefruits (peeled and sectioned)
1 large Mango (peeled and cubed)
1 large can of Mandarin Oranges (well drained)
2 medium Tomatoes (washed and sliced into wedges)
6oz Spring Mix / Salad Mix
2 avocados
1/2 lb cooked peeled shrimps (about 6 to 8 per salad)
3-4 sprigs dill
1 cup candied Pecans (optional)

For the Dressing:
Juice from grapefruit and 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 sweet red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
A pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of poppy seeds

1. To remove sections from the grapefruits: Slice off the top and base of the fruits. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the skin, zest, and pith so only the segments and central membranes are left. Slide the knife down each side of a section to cut it free of the membranes, letting the section fall into the bowl. Continue cutting, turning the membranes back like the pages of a book until you’ve removed all of the sections. Chill them and reserve the juice.

2. Wash and dry the salad mix. Halve each avocado lengthwise, cutting down to the pit. Twist the halves and pull them from the pit. Tap the blade of a knife sharply onto the pit, twist, and pull out the pit. Peel away the skin and cut the avocado flesh into lengthwise slices. Brush some of the grapefruit or lemon juice over the slices so they do not discolor.

3. For the dressing: Whisk the reserved grapefruit juice with the lemon juice, onion, garlic, mustard, poppy seeds, salt and pepper until mixed. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking constantly so the dressing emulsifies and thickens slightly. Taste, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

4. Shortly before serving: Toss the salad mix with about a third of the dressing and taste for seasoning. Spread a bed of salad mix on 4 plates. Arrange the avocado slices and fruit and tomato sections like the spokes of a wheel on top and spoon over more dressing. Chop the dill and toss with the shrimps and remaining dressing. Taste, adjust seasoning, and spoon the shrimps into the center of the wheel. Sprinkle with candied pecans. Serve the salad as soon as you can so the greens do not wilt.

If anyone would like to join us in our Challenge "Around the World in 80 Days"... Monday, we will be in Mexico.

Friday, April 18, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Kalua Pork from the Islands

When we lived in Provo, Utah we had a Samoan Family that lived down the street from us. One of the dishes that they taught us how to make was Kalua Pork. It has become my all time favorite way to fix pork.

 Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method using an imu which is a type of underground oven. A traditional Imu is known to be a large sand pit that is usually 6 feet long x 4 feet wide x 3 feet deep. Large Rocks are placed in the pit to retain the heat after the Koa wood fire has turned to hot coals. Once the rocks have reached an extremely hot temperature, the pit is lined with Banana or Ti leaves, which creates the hot and steamy air that help to cook and keep the meat moist. The meat is usually rubbed with Hawaiian sea salt, garlic and herbs and stuffed with more hot rocks then wrapped in more banana or ti leaves. To maintain even heating and trap in the steamy moisture, the meat is covered with wet burlap bags and then covered with a layer of sand and dirt. The meat is then left to cook in the pit for 6 to 8 hours. During cooking, the meat absorbs the flavors from the smoke of the koa wood and steam of the banana or ti leaves. When the meat is fully cooked, it’s removed from the Imu and shredded to allow the melted fat to mix in with the meat for a uniform flavor and texture.

This meal is usually served at festivals and large family gathering such as LUAUS.

Even if you don't have an imu, you can still make Hawaiian kalua pig at home from pork butt purchased at your local supermarket.


  • 4-5 pound pork butt
  • 2½ tablespoons Hawaiian salt (substitute kosher salt)
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 banana leaf (substitute 6-8 whole green banana peelings )
  • 4-6 ti leaves


Trim about half the excess fat from the roast. Make several shallow long cuts along the roast. This allows the salt and liquid smoke to meld into the meat. Rub with salt and liquid smoke. Wrap the roast with banana leaf or place the whole green bananas peels on top of meat . Cut the ribs from the ti leaves and wrap over the banana leaf. Substitute aluminum foil, if ti leaves are not available. (Side Note: Ti leaves can sometimes be obtained from your local florist).
Roast for 6-8 hours in an imu or in a 325-350 degree oven for about 45 minutes per pound. When meat is done, remove ti leaves, banana leaf (or bananas) and shred pork.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"ATW80DS": SHOYU RAMEN - (totally homemade / totally umami)

  • Japanese Shōyu ("soy sauce") Ramen is typically based on a chicken and vegetable stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is very pleasing to the palate. It usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones and is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots, green onions, nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts and chili oil. We, on the other hand, love to add all kinds of fresh vegetables and tofu to ours.
   This is not a soup that can be made on the spur of the moment, unless you already have chicken or vegetable stock in your pantry. To make your stock, place the following ingredients in a large stock pot and cover. Simmer on low for 4 hours, and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve stock, discard leftover bones and vegetables. This can be made up to two days ahead. 
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 pounds chicken bones 
  • 1 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped leeks, white parts only
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • ½ cup soy sauce, sake and teriyaki sauce
  • On the Day of...
    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add eggs one at a time and boil gently for 7 minutes. Drain eggs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking; let cool. Peel; set aside. Egg yolks should be shiny yellow and almost jammy; egg white should be just set.
    When ready to serve, bring stock to a simmer; it should be very hot. Add noodles to the stock and according to package directions.
    Just before serving
    Divide noodles among 4 deep bowls. Top with sliced chicken, grated carrots, thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, green onions, water chestnuts and a few small cubes of tofu. Peel and slice egg, placing it off to one side. Serve ramen with chili oil, sesame oil, and/or shichimi togarashi.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"ATW80DS": Chinese Chicken Stir-Fry Salad

Since we are trying really hard to behave here at the pantry and your menu is filled with lots of salads for dinner, We thought this one would make a great treat from our stop in China.

1 cup cooked chicken (cube)
1/8 tsp.  salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Dressing, divided
4 cups spring mix salad greens
1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained) 
1/2 cup  diagonally cut snow peas
2Tbsp. Slivered Almonds 
1 small  carrots, (sliced thin)

HEAT nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; warm 3 minutes or  until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover with half of the dressing, salt and pepper.Cook for 2 more minutes.
ARRANGE lettuce, oranges, peas, Turkey, almonds and carrots on two serving plates. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

*One of the reasons this salad is so "Fruitful" and "thrifty" is because everything in it is either left-over or considered a staple in the Pantry.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"ATW80DS" - Chicken & Pineapple Curry

Chicken Curry is a favorite in Culcutta, India

Serves: 4
halves of skinned chicken breasts (cut into 1/3s)
1 egg
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 can pineapple chunks in juice water
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup coconut dessert mix
1/4 cup brown sugar
2  tablespoon chicken soup base
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 to 6 cups cooked rice

Dip chicken breasts in beaten egg; coat with mixture of flour, curry powder and chicken seasoning. Place in shallow baking pan. Mix together melted butter and juice from pineapple chunks; drizzle over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 350*F for 30 mins. Remove foil and continue to bake 30 mins more.
Combine pineapple chunks, water, coconut
dessert mix sugar, chicken soup mix, the
1/2 tsp curry powder and black pepper, in a saucepan. Cook over med heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Serve chicken over rice, top with pineapple coconut mixture.

If anyone would like to join us in our Challenge "Around the World in Eighty Days" next we will be at the HONG KONG.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"ATW80DS": Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

After Craving something sweet and savory, we settled on this yummy snack... a favorite in Turkey
1 (8 ounce) package pitted dates
Assorted Cubes of Medium Cheddar, Colby Jack, Ricotta, Crumbled Blue and Cream Cheese
1 pound sliced bacon, quartered


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Slice open dates, and stuff each with a single type cube of cheese of choice, (do not mix cheeses into cubes, different cheeses are suggested only to add variety to the dish.)
  3. Wrap each date with a quarter of a bacon slice, and secure bacon with toothpicks.
  4. Arrange wrapped dates on a medium baking sheet, and broil 15 minutes in the preheated oven, turning once, until bacon is evenly browned and crispy.  
  5. Drain on paper towel and serve warm. They can be served with or without toothpicks...