Musings on food and travel and some recipes  By Kurt Winner

PIX PATISESRIE- Portland, Oregon

Our daylong  anniversary celebration in Portland Oregon ended at Pix Patisserie. Owner Cheryl Wakerhauser (PIX)  moved to Portland in 2001, after training in France under MOF Phillipe Urraca in the south of France. Starting at the Portland farmers market, and one year later opening her first shop, we reap the benefits. The offerings are not just beautiful to look at, but are truly delectable. I had a really hard time deciding on what to purchase. So with everything looking so good I decided to go with the “Amelie”, touted as the winner of the Paris France chocolate competition, this actually was a no brainer. The ingredients are all of my favorites, orange vanilla creme brulee, on a glazed chocolate mousse with carmelized hazelnuts, praline crisp and cointreau genoise, wow what else can I say. I would love to share it with all of you, but yet not really. You’ll have to get your own ! As a consolation Pix will ship their traditional French Macarons to your door. They are made with ground almonds and not coconut (the true recipe), and they come in every flavor combination that you can or can’t imagine. In fact, on my next visit I have to try the Cassis violet, filled with black currant and vioet butter cream. I did purchase one on the advice of another customer, this was a sea salted caramel macaron. This was soo good I’ve never tried one like this and it was superb.

Pix also offers Belgian beers, dessert wines and fine spirits.  You can see all of the offerings at http://www.pixpatisserie.com/. And do not forget to order those incredible macarons !  They will make an unforgettable gift for that special someone.  Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

SPICY SAIMIN

Having lived in Hawaii for more than ten years, I developed a taste for local style foods. But now living in Oregon, I have had to figure out how to make these delicious dishes at home. And one of my favorites is a spicy saimin, or noodle soup with all of the fixings. It even passes the taste test of my wife Michelle who is a fourth generation local, so she knows saimin. At home we call this Saimin Deluxe. So if you long for that local flavor give it a try, you won’t be dissapointed.  I also have to mention a couple of our favorite places to eat when visiting Oahu. For some of the best local plate lunches anywhere you have to visit  http://www.marujyumarket.com/index.html. All fo the food is made in house, and very affordable. Another favorite just a few doors down in the same strip mall is Waimalu Chop Suey. You have to order the crispy Gau Gee,  these deep fried dumplings are so good. Stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, green onions and oyster sauce wrapped in a wonton wrapper then fried, wow. Just be warned: they are addicting, and very big too. Usually just two will fill you up, and don’t forget to make your dipping sauce of chinese mustard and shoyu, a match made in heaven. Waimalu does not have a web site, but they are listed on facebook, search waimalu chop suey.

Let’s cook !

1 package per person of Shin Ramyun gourmet spicy noodle soup

2 cups of water per package

1/4 cup each chopped green onions, and cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced char siu or reduced fat and salt spam

1 Tbs dark sesame oil

6-8 raw cleaned shrimp-optional

1/2 cup chopped baby bok choi or regular bok choy

Optional: vegetable or pork dumplings,  boil with the noodles for the last 1 minute or they will fall apart

In a large pot pour the seasoning packets into the water  bring to a boil

In the mean time, heat a frying pan to medium low with the sesame oil in it add the meat and or shrimp, be careful not to burn the meat. If you prefer you can cook the shrimp with the noodles, instead of pan frying them.

Dipping sauce #1

1 Tbs of each

Catsup

Sriracha hot sauce

Oyster sauce

Mirin

Soy sauce

Dipping sauce #2

1 tsp chinese mustard prepared or if it’s a powder mix with water to form a paste

1 Tbs soy sauce

Place the bok choy in the large serving bowl(s)

Boil the noodles for 3 minutes

Pour the noodles and broth over the bok choy, garnish with the meat, shrimp or what have you, and finally with the green onions and cilantro, enjoy !

All of the above ingredients can be purchased at most Asian markets.

 

TROPICS BAR  & GRILL- Waikiki

Jeffrey Vigilla a Hilo Hawaii local, and executive Chef  at http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/, Oahu Hawaii, puts a local spin on an old favorite. So simple, yet incredibly moist and tender. This is a must try, and a definite crowd pleaser. Or better yet book your vacation now at http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/specials_and_packages/

 

TROPICS BAR & GRILL

Furikake & Beer-Battered Fish & Chips

3  Mahi Mahi (2 oz. Portions) *See note

1 Cup Tempura Flour Batter Mix for Fish

½ Cup Furikake-Sesame Nori Condiment (Shirokiku Komi Furikake)

1  Cup Tempura Flour

¾  Cup Water

½  Cup Fire Rock Pale Ale

 

Tartar Sauce

1 Cup Mayonnaise

1 Tbs Sweet Relish (drained)

1Tbs Minced Maui Onion

2Tbs Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Lightly coat the mahi in the tempura flour and then dip into the tempura batter mixture.
  2. Slowly place each piece of battered fish into the fryer basket (350 degrees). It will take about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes to cook.  Cook until golden brown or until when fish starts to float.
  3. Serve with 3 oz French fries, 2 oz of tartar sauce, Kona sea salt and malt vinegar.
  4. * You may substitute any mild white fish, such as halibut in place of Mahi.