Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Things I Am Loving This Week

Time for the "Things I Am Loving This Week", those (mostly) food-related things that I am enjoying and want to share. This week seems to have taken a departure from the mostly healthy food and recipes I normally have on the site and is a bit more indulgent. Oh well... balance in all things is important! 

I love the way my kitchen smells when I make a batch of lilikoi curd. Lilikoi (you may know them as passion fruit), are starting to show up again at the farmer's market and when they do, I grab them to make some curd. Delicious spread on an English muffin, bread or a scone, a cute little jar of it also makes a great gift. (As you can see, I ran out of my "cute little jars" and have one big jar and three little ones. Hmm... who should get that big jar?)

I find the process of making the curd soothing and meditative. There is something about standing over the double boiler, whisking the thin liquid and waiting for it to become custard that I find two parts relaxing to one part exciting, as I wait to see if it thickens up properly. You can find the recipe I use and pictures of the process on an earlier post here. Yes, it is a lot of butter, eggs and sugar but oh so good!

I love hanging out (and eating) on the North Shore of Oahu. It is beautiful and has a laid back vibe that makes it relaxing. I didn't manage to take a lot of pictures when we were up there last week but I did capture at least some of what we ate. 

There are tons of great places to eat on the North Shore, but sometimes you need to just pull over and enjoy a plate of garlic shrimp from one of the ubiquitous shrimp trucks parked along the road. Everyone has a favorite but arguably the most famous is Giovanni's.

Simply a big paper plate full of a dozen garlicky shrimp with two scoops of rice, topped by even more garlic so you can be sure you won't be attacked by vampires any time soon after consuming it. You eat at picnic tables under the trees and it is a good idea to get plenty of napkins and have some towelettes in the car. Finger-licking good! ;-)

Although I didn't take photos so you can't prove it, I'll admit to stopping at North Shore Chocolate and Espresso to grab a couple sweet treats made with local North Shore grown chocolate. Mom had the espresso truffle, I had a raspberry one and we split a mini "turtle" tart, with nuts, caramel and chocolate in a tiny crust. Yum! Having our "pre-dessert", we toured around a bit and then headed up to Ted's Bakery for a slice of their famous Chocolate Haupia Pie. A layer of chocolate pudding-like filling, a layer of haupia, (a coconut pudding-like filling) and then topped with whipped cream. Other places in Hawaii do it but Ted's Bakery does it best. 

More than a few calories were consumed that day--but we did enjoy it.

I love my childhood favorite, Chicken Fricassee. It's homey, comfort food and what I requested every year for my Birthday dinner, so since I have a too-rapidly approaching Birthday, my Mom offered to cook it for me while she was here. Since you should never turn down a home-cooked meal from your Mom, I said yes. ;-) My Mom is not sure of the exact origin of the recipe, but she adapted it slightly from her Mother's recipe. In any case, it is a family favorite. 

Chicken Fricassee
by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen's Mom & Grandma

1 whole chicken cut up or your favorite chicken parts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp chopped dried onion or fresh onion if you prefer
1 Tbsp of dried parsley
2 cans Campbell's low-salt / low-fat Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Campbell's low-salt / low-fat Cream of Mushroom Soup 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Wash chicken pieces and  pat dry. Put the flour, paprika, salt and pepper into a Ziploc bag, add chicken pieces (1/2 at a time) and shake until chicken is covered. Heat canola oil in a large skillet or pan and put chicken in pan, skin-side down, (do in batches if necessary), and lightly brown on both sides. Put browned chicken pieces in a single layer in prepared baking pan. Stir soups, 1&  1/2 cans water, minced onion and parsley flakes together and pour over chicken. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until chicken is done, removing foil for the last 15 minutes of baking time. Season to taste. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. 

Yep, not healthy at all but for a once a year treat, it makes me happy. (And notice I did have a small side of veggies with it!) ;-)

So these are the "Things I Am Loving" for this week. How about you? What's your favorite childhood comfort food or indulgence?


  1. Everyone enjoys some indulgence every once in a while. I think it staves off the desire to constantly indulge and makes it all the better when you do! That curd looks amazing - so vibrant. And there is nothing like a mom-cooked meal or a chocolate pie. Fun week you have had, my dear!

  2. That passion fruit curd sounds amazing, I would love to try it! The chicken fricassee looks very yummy!

  3. mmm everything looks so good, Happy Birthday :)

  4. Yay for indulgent weeks!
    The colour of the curd is amazing, like a sunrise.
    So nice that you guys had a chance to connect over such great food and wonderful scenery this week.

  5. Everything looks really yummy as usual, Deb. The curd looks really good, so vibrant.

  6. I love passionfruit, but they are so expensive here. That curd looks amazing! Maybe on Nigella's pavlovas?-Yum! Those shrimp look out of this world. But, the very best is the chicken your mom cooked you. It looks delicious and I bet you enjoyed every bite. My mom makes these chicken crepes that I love. I should post about them someday.

  7. I have to ask about the curd...is it tart like lemon? I'm glad you had such a good weekend. I love your Mom's fricassee. The recipe sounds great.

  8. The shrimp looks amazingly finger-licking good!

  9. Deb... When all is said and done, indulgence is a great way to uplift our souls. And at times we need a treat week!

    The chicken and chocolate pie look amazing; I can’t wait to try them.

  10. That curd! That shrimp! mmmmmm...I am loving these vicariously :D

  11. I think I'm loving your chicken fricassee....YUM

  12. Oh, please, can you send one of everything to us in Kuching? Make the lilikoi curd a double! Thank you so much.


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