Monday, May 11, 2015

Seaweed, Mac, Mango Salads Star at Mother's Day Luau

This time of year, I get Hawaii on the brain and am always sad when we can't spend an anniversary the same place we got married. Of course, that would be unrealistic, as well as a bit unadventurous, so I do what I can to bring a taste of Hawaii to where ever we may be.

This year, we had the honor of dual Mom visits for Mother's Day, so I planned a big Hawaiian feast that left us all a little nostaligic for the islands.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be brave enough to do a whole pig roast, but Kalua Pig in a slow-cooker whets the craving in a big way and has the added benefit of being about 100 times less difficult than a whole pig roast. Instead of using liquid smoke in this recipe, I now line the bottom of the slow-cooker with three strips of thick-cut bacon.

You can't have Hawaiian food without Macaroni Salad (pictured at right), and I like to make Lomi Lomi, too. OK, I admit this Lomi Lomi is perhaps not the most authentic recipe, but it's much easier to buy smoked salmon in advance than to find and buy fresh tuna for Tuna Poke, which I would much rather have!

And even though most people probably prefer King's Hawaiian Rolls to go with their wannabe luau, I of course choose to make my own bread using this fabulous Hawaiian Bread recipe that always turns out perfectly moist and delicious.

A couple of new additions to the table this time included Arugula Salad with Mango, Bell Peppers, Carrots and Toasted Almonds (pictured below). Check out this fabulous dressing I made to go with the salad:

Mango-Ginger-Mint Vinaigrette
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled and cut in chunks
1/4-1/2 cup fresh mint
1 inch ginger, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add half the mango to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until creamy, then toss with the remaining diced mango and serve.

The only other recipe I can truly take credit for is the below Seaweed Salad, which I first created in one of my culinary classes at Bastyr where I learned about the amazing nutritional value of sea vegetables. All this time, I've had the recipe scribbled on a piece of paper, so I figure now is probably a good time to officially transcribe it into foreverdom.

Seaweed Salad
1/4 c. arame
1/4 c. hizike
3 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. white miso
2 T. toasted sesame oil
1 T. natural sugar (i.e. Florida Crystals, Sucanat, etc.)
1 T. ginger, grated
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. carrot, grated
1 T. sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Soak arame and hiziki in warm water for 15 minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar, miso, toasted sesame seed oil, sugar, ginger and garlic.

Drain sea vegetables and mix in carrot, then add in dressing. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.