Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Another great Hawaii food experience - fruit and loco moco
Well, we're back from two weeks in Hawaii. The time when I always have fried rice on hand and a maitai in hand :) I think I love all the fresh fruit the best. I learned the joys of champagne mangos this trip. Intensely floral and oh, so sweet. I'm still having a little trouble differentiating rainbow papayas from strawberry papayas. So I just ate them. Best app is just a mixed fruit bowl with Maui pineapple, nice ripe papaya, and of course the champagne mangos. I like to make sure they are all cut to about the same size. And those apple bananas! Best to get a serving of the fruit salad and then slice a banana over it at the last minute. Oh, and for fun, a bit of dark rum. Yum yum. Back to the fried rice. I think I did an entry on loco moco a couple of years ago. If you've never heard of it, in its basic form it is a hamburger patty on white rice with a fried egg on top then covered with brown gravy. Of course I can't leave that combo alone. First, I want fried rice instead of white. Small dice of carrots, some diced Portuguese sausage, a minced clove of garlic, some grated fresh ginger. Some diced Maui sweet onion and some finely sliced green onion. Start the sausage in a non-stick skillet and cook until it starts to brown. Add some oil to the pan and add the garlic and ginger. When it is nicely fragrant but the garlic hasn't started to brown, add in the carrots and sweet onion. Saute for about two minutes until the carrots start to soften. Put in a few cups of cold cooked rice. I like to use medium-grain rice, the chewy consistency works great in fried rice and adds another texture. Pour in a tablespoon or so of soy sauce, preferably Aloha brand. Cook and stir until you've broken up all of the rice into grains. Move the rice to the sides of the pan and pout two eggs beaten with soy sauce into the center of the pan. Stir it around as it cooks to make small soft curds. Yes, some of it will spread into the rice and that's no big deal. When the eggs are barely set stir everything together. Mix in the sliced green onion and taste for seasoning, adding plenty more soy sauce to your taste. Next, instead of the burger patty, I like a thin patty of spicy breakfast sausage. So fry up a couple of those or some burgers. Or whatever breakfast meat you want, ham or bacon are also very very good. The egg needs to be over easy, or sunny-side up if you like it that way. The egg yolk is an important part because it is the sauce. I like to break two eggs into a small nonstick pan that I've rubbed with butter. Add a sprinkle of salt and a small splash of water and cover the pan for four minutes, over medium or medium-low heat (depends on the stove). When you remove the lid the thin coating of whites of the eggs of the yolks will have cooked and the whites will be cooked. Put on top of the meat and season to your taste. Now, where you go from here is up to you. The traditional sauce is brown gravy from a gravy mix. Sometimes I like that but usually for me the egg yolks are sauce enough. If you want gravy, make it while you are cooking the rice and meat (the microwave is a good tool for this). Then pouritovertheeggsontopofthemeatontopoftherice. (supercalifragilisticexpealidocious) Yes, it is a little time-consuming to make, which is why I make up a large batch of fried rice at the beginning of our week stay and also cook up the meat and gravy (my husband likes the gravy more than I do). Then it is a matter of heating up the components and frying the eggs.