Driving the road to Hana on the island of Maui to the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala is a popular destination but not for the faint of heart. With all those hairpin turns and one lane bridges the drive can be a challenge but a challenge well met because along the way there are spots were the island gods have left their mark and you are taken back in time with places and ancient stories that shape the Hawaiian islands.
Like Italy the historic atmosphere of the Islands is reflected in their food so when I was food surfing and noticed a Hawaiian chopped salad inspired by Hana Bay made with balsamic vinegar from Italy I took the opportunity to combine ingredients from two of my favorite travel sites for a Hawaiian-Italian inspired late summer lunch. Let’s eat!: E pā’ina kākou! – Mangiamo!
Hana Bay Chopped Salad with Mango Balsamic Dressing
Mango Balsamic Dressing
1 mango peeled, pitted and chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 piece (1/2 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup aceto balsamico*
1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
2 T packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil from Liguria ( such as San Damiano Extra Virgin Olive Oil)*
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour oil through feed hole with motor running to blend. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Combine with 1 bag of mixed baby salad greens, 1 tomato seeded and chopped, 1 green onion and 1/2 cup diced red cabbage. Makes 6 servings.
(adapted from a recipe by Mako Segawa-Gonzales, chef of Maui Beach Cafe in Los Angeles).
*ingredients can be found at CosituttiMarketPlace.com
Black and Decker was the inventor of the first pistol grip, trigger-switch portable electric drill, the first motion activated screwdriver and in 1916 changed the world by obtaining the first patent for a portable power tool. Their impressive wealth of industry expertise has probably helped you build and repair your home or car, manufacture the office building where you work and tidied up your yard. But I’m thinking more about hardware power in the kitchen specifically a kitchen appliance used to make the classic Italian granita.
The Italian granita is a semi-frozen crunchy mound of flavored ice brought to America by Italian immigrants. Common and traditional flavoring ingredients include lemon juice, mandarin oranges, jasmine, coffee, almonds, mint, strawberries and chocolate. Originally born in Sicily this refined version of the snowcone spread all over Italy, found at street fairs and Italian pasticceria. Today granitas are not only served as a dessert but between courses to refresh the palate or as condiments for savory dishes. New flavor combinations infuse ice with everything from lemon verbena to beet root and are likely to be found not only as an after dinner sweet but as an accompaniment from sushi to soups.
Black and Decker’s PartyMate Portable Drink Maker isn’t the only method for creating a delicious granita. You can make a granita with 3-inch x 9-inch baking dish and your home freezer. Granita will definitely be on my “things to make” list this summer. I’ve got a great bottle of balsamic and my tarragon and rosemary are looking for a new flavor partner.
I’m always looking for new and exciting ways of interpreting espresso so when I came across this post on a web site called Wizard Recipes for Roasted Espresso Balsamic Paint I took note. First of all who are these people that come up with this weird wild stuff. The only explanation is that they are culinary geniuses, groundbreaking recipe rogues. They are food artists and here is their recipe painted on blanched asparagus.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small pot and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the coffee and simmer for another 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus in a shallow baking dish, cover with half the espresso balsamic paint, and bake for 5 minutes.
Use the remaining paint as a dip when serving.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup espresso or instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- small bunch of blanched asparagus
Un caffe’ espresso con l’aceto balsamico. That’s a mouth full – of flavor that is. I had to look and taste twice before I could wrap my taste buds around this cup of coffee. It’s called a cocchino, an espresso topped with whip cream flavoured with balsamic vinegar and strawberry syrup. All the ingredients must be top shelf to make this drink all it was meant to be and it was meant to be different and exotic.