Thursday, July 20, 2017

Poached Eggs with Portuguese Sausage Over Arepas

Last year my New Year’s food resolution was replicating on average a recipe a month based on a dish I had eaten out, with my 12th dish coming in right under the wire on New Year’s Eve.  The wonderful thing about keeping resolutions is it becomes part of your routine and therefore something you continue even after that year is over.  This year I am not as conscious about aiming for the goal of 12 dishes by year end, but I still find myself at times thinking I can make this myself. 

I travel down to San Luis Obispo at least once a year but always find myself at the same places since we have so many old faves like Firestone Grill, so when I was there for 2 nights recently, it opened up a chance to try some new places.  Luna Red or more like us was the lucky winner for a leisurely brunch and I immediately gravitated towards the chorizo eggs benedict over arepas.  It was genius!! 

We already had a small bag of Harina de Maiz pre-cooked white corn meal already intended for making arepas to split and stuff with pork so it was not so far fetched to make it for this English Muffin substitute.  Being Hawaiian at Heart, I could not help substituting the chorizo with Portuguese Sausage to put my own spin on Luna Red’s creation. 


1 Fully Cooked Portuguese Sausage
4 Eggs
1 cup Pre-cooked white corn meal (I used the P.A.N. brand)
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup water


Slice and pan fry the Portuguese Sausage in a tsp of olive oil until it is lightly brown and set aside.

Poached Eggs

1. Bring pot of water to a boil. 

2. After water has boiled, lower it to a simmer and add 1 tbsp of vinegar to water

    3.  Crack an egg in a separate bowl

4. Swirl the boiling water with a spoon

5. Gently slip the egg from the bowl into the swirling water.  The vinegar and the swirling water will help keep the egg whites closer to the yolk

6.  Cook to your desired consistency in the simmering water after it has floated

7.  If you want to hard poach a few for the next day, remove from heat and place a cover over it for about 6 minutes.

Prepare arepas per the package instructions

Notes:  I am always hesitant on making hollandaise sauce myself since it is normally with raw egg yolks so I just topped it with some crème fraiche and sprinkle of smoked paprika

Price:  $4 for 2 servings (2 eggs over 2 arepas) = $2 a serving

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Prosciutto, Egg, and Brie Torta with Apricot Jam

We were the lucky recipient of a jar of my friend Hazel’s freshly made apricot and cardamom jam.  Cardamom fans that we are, we could not wait to try it.  Perfect right out of the jar or over toast for a stronger cardamom flavor the first day, or with warm brie for a creamy appetizer the next, it is liquid gold for a foodie. 

After having it both ways and in the process of pairing it with brie again, I was inspired to take it to another level, reminiscent of a sandwich, the prosciutto and blue cheese with housemade fig marmalade, I had 5 years ago from popular San Francisco takeout lunch spot, Fleur de Sel.  Of course this queen of substitution was going to use brie instead of blue cheese and Hazel’s delicious apricot jam instead of the fig marmalade.  Add in egg to make it a satsifying enough as a BLD (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner), I started wishing I had my own apricot tree.  But then again, it would be best if I leave the jam making to the expert.  Sweet, savory, umami!!

Thanks again Hazel for the apricot and cardamom jam that we used three ways! 


3 Eggs
4 Slices of Prosciutto
2 Torta Breads
Apricot Jam


1.      Scramble egg in a bowl and add to a medium sized skillet to make an omelet (flip once the bottom sets and cook through)

2.      Slice and toast the torta bread with slices of brie on top half so it melts while toasting

3.      Spread the apricot jam on top of the melted brie

4.      Divide the omelet into 2 portions place on top of the bottom half of the torta bread

5.      Place 2 slices of prosciutto on top of the eggs

6.      Place the top half (with brie and apricot jam) on, cut and enjoy!

Price:  $2.50 for 2 servings = $1.25 a serving

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich

After a week of BBQ and salad overload, you would think I would be done with the grill.  You would be half right, we are done with the grill itself but not quite the flavors of BBQ as I still need to finish off my 5 lb container of Costco potato salad even after offloading more than half of it in other people’s doggy bag. 

A few months back, I picked up a can of jackfruit in brine from Trader Joe’s with no idea what I would even use it for.  I have had it before in ice cream and desserts but never as a savory item, so I hopped online and found that TJ’s had a great use for it, pulled jackfruit sandwich that mimics pulled pork.  With 2 brioche buns left from my Umami burger night, that was a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.  Served with a side of potato salad and I didn’t even miss the cole slaw it was recommend to be paired with. 

Price:  $4 for 2 servings = $2 a serving

Friday, July 7, 2017

Grilled Chicken Breast, Corn, Zucchini, Avocado Salad – Eat Well Challenge #15

I use to hate cooking chicken breast as it always came out too dry until I made it this way and it always came out moist and perfectly cooked - 

You heard of the saying when it rains, it pours.  I cannot say for sure if I consciously or subconsciously find myself on a specific food kick (salads lately) or maybe it is just because I try to use up all my leftover ingredients vs. letting it go to waste.  With leftover fresh corn and zucchini from the BBQ and arugula from my Sunny Side Burger, I thought I would turn the grilled chicken breast recipe upside down and make a salad with some avocado thrown in.  Quick, healthy, and tasty. 

Price:  $6 for 4 servings = $1.50 a serving (for chicken breast and avocado since all else are repurposed leftovers)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Tri-Tip and Avocado Salad

With BBQ season in full swing, there is bound to be leftover meats from this great summer pastime.  While I have learned to have well balanced BBQs that covers all food groups, I also have that Asian mentality of always having more than enough food to ensure everyone leaves satisfied and often with leftovers for the next day.  However, that is not to mean that you need to be the glutton for the rest of the week.  Still inspired by those $9 salads I saw at Buckhorn Grill, I broke out my romaine lettuce, sliced a creamy avocado, and my leftover tri-tip doused with just some lemon juice for a carb free but satisfying salad for just $2 a serving.    


Tri-Tip previously cooked medium rare (reheated and sliced)
Romaine Lettuce cut into bite sized pieces
Avocado sliced

Price:  $8 for 4 servings = $2 a serving

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sunny Side Burger Umami Style

It has been awhile since we had a BBQ without burgers but since we already had so much food and my dad preferred steaks over hamburger (who can blame him), we skipped it this time.  However, with a bag of chips left behind, it screamed for a burger to accompany it.  So a day late but definitely not a dollar short, I decided to try my hand at replicating a burger that you can find at Umami Burger but at a fraction of the price. 

I picked up a 4 pack of brioche buns from Trader Joe’s, recently made parm frico eggs for another recipe - so made them the same way, and tossed some arugula with a little sea salt and Olivier truffle oil.  Since aioli is often made with raw egg yolks, I took a pass on that and just added a little mayo mixed with ketchup for a slight creaminess.   

Although it was the chips that screamed for a burger, it just seemed too gourmet to not serve with some truffle fries on the side. 

2/3 lb ground beef
2 Brioche Buns
2 Eggs
½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Handful of arugula
Truffle oil


1.      For the parm frico and eggs, heat a small nonstick skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat.  Cover the bottom of the pan with ¼ cup parmesan.  When it begins to melt, top with an egg and cover pan.  Cook until cheese is golden brown and crispy on edges and egg yolks are desired doneness.

2.      Tossed arugula with some a few grinds of sea salt and a drizzle of truffle oil

3.      Grill burger to desired doneness

4.      Assemble burger with mayo/ketchup on bottom bun, burger, arugula, parm frico with egg and brioche top

5.      Serve with some oven roasted French Fries tossed with truffle oil -

Price:  $6.50 for 2 servings = $3.25 cents a serving

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July, Stars and Stripes Forever

The 4th of July this year is anticipated to be interesting with many Americans having mixed feelings with the direction the country is headed.  I will be the first to admit that I do not agree with many decisions and outcomes but the extreme divisiveness has gotten to the point where many forget that each of us has a right to our own opinion and freedom of expression.  However, in no way does that freedom of expression gives anyone permission to forget common decency on either side in the name of standing up for what they believe is right.  It is never right to destroy property of someone’s parents, grandparents, or children who have worked so hard to build.  It is never right to lose empathy for others who are victims of terrorism just because you have different viewpoints. 

Unless you are a Native American, we all are children or descendents of immigrants or immigrants ourselves.  Neither life nor the country was perfect when my father as a young 11 year old came to the USA 70 years ago with an uncle, leaving behind his mother and sisters in hopes of building a better life and future for all of them. 

This country is not defined by one person or even 10 people in power.  It is defined by the hard work and standards that were set for us by our parents, grandparents, and generations that came before them.  Let’s not lose our appreciation for the sacrifices that were made by them.  In my mind and heart, it is Stars and Stripes Forever and worthy of a celebration with the people who gave me the privilege to have an opinion. 



Chips and Guacamole - Cut avocados in half, remove pit, and remove flesh into a bowl.  Smash the avocados with a potato masher to desire consistency.  Mix in some sea salt and lemon or lime juice.  Place saran wrap right on top of the guac and place in fridge for 15 min to set. 


Grill Items

BBQ Drumsticks – premarinade the night before with soy sauce and green onions, flipping once the next morning – grill for 35 min until no longer pink inside adding BBQ sauce the last 5 min


Vegetable Kebobs – mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers – if you use wood skewers, soak for an hour before use.  Since mushrooms cook much faster, skewer mushrooms separately on its own so you can remove earlier.  Grill mushrooms for about 8 minutes flipping once, the others for about 10-12 minutes flipping once. 


Boneless NY Steaks – premarinade the night before with lime juice, garlic, and cumin, flipping once the next morning – grill, cooking to desired doneness

Ribs - Lloyds Baby Back ribs can be done on the grill on oven per package directions



Roasted Potatoes- cut baby red or Yukon potatoes in half and toss with crushed garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, and macadamia nut oil (can substitute olive oil) and put in baking pan.  Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven cut side down for 20 minutes, flip potatoes to cut side up and roast for another 10-15 minutes.  They are done when you can pierce with toothpick. 


Corn – Schuck and remove silk from corn, place in pot of salted cold water with corn completely covered, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and lightly boil for 10-15 minutes


Roasted Brussel Sprouts – Preheat oven to 425 degrees, trim and halve lengthwise the Brussels sprout.  Toss with some olive oil so it is lightly coated and if you would like, lightly spray baking sheet with olive oil.  Place Brussels sprout on baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (if you have time, I usually like to arrange them cut side down first and then flip them halfway through the cooking to make sure they are evenly cooked, otherwise, just make sure it is evenly spread on the baking sheet).  Roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and browned – since it would depend on the size, check on it 20 min into it and taste test one – should be soft on the inside and not too chewy


Potato Salad from Costco



Mitchell’s Cantaloupe Ice Cream