Eat Local Challenge

Well, it's that time to challenge ourselves to eating 100% local again! I don't know about you, but I found the 2010 Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge to be fun and really enlightening. As you may recall, last year I wrote recipes that were mostly local, but this year, I thought that some of you may want to step it up a notch and decide to go 100% local.

As I looked at the bounty that is available, I realized that possibly the hardest part of the challenge will be the pantry of staples you would need for cooking, and for those that are not vegetarians, the meat product.

Essentially, the non plant proteins you will be able to work with are Island Beef, eggs, some shellfish like shrimp, and the deep sea and reef fish. (Unless of course you have your own access to a farm :))

In order to help plan your pantry, I have a few suggestions. Of course we have plenty of really good salt, but for pepper, I would substitute local chili peppers. For cooking fat, you can use Naked Cow Dairy butter available at R. Fields. You can also use macadamia nut oil. Instead of vinegar, you can use lemon juice. We sell local meyer lemons and variegated lemons.

Instead of rice, think about making potato dishes with Twin Bridge Farms Potatoes, using local sweet potatoes, or working with taro and bread fruit.

For all of us locals, I think that the hardest part of the challenge will be the fact that we can't use shoyu. I have not found anyone that makes shoyu with local ingredients.

One thing I think would be a really interesting result if you do eat 100% local... By default you are going to be surprised at how healthy you will be eating. Your fat intake will go down, your salt and preservative intake will go down and your vegetable intake will go up.

When coming up with your menus, mix and match different veggies and get the sweetness and excitement in flavor from using fruits, citrus juices, and herbs.

Below are a few recipes that I wrote using 100% local ingredients. Use them as is, or as inspiration for your own culinary exploration!

Wailua Asparagus and Hamakua Ali’i Mushroom Frittata

2 tablespoons unsalted Naked Cow Dairy Butter
1 cup chopped green onions
1 12-ounce bunch Wailua asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sliced Hamakua Ali’i Mushrooms
8 large local Ka Lei 3 eggs
1 cup Naked Cow Dairy Feta
1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian salt
Preheat broiler. Melt butter in heavy broilerproof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and ali’i mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup feta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set, 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup feta cheese over.
Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Carefully invert onto a platter. Cut into wedges and serve. This dish can be made ahead and served chilled or room temperature.

Hawaii Ranchers Meatloaf

1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped maui onion
2 large Ka Lei eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Salt, freshly chopped chilipepper
2 pound twice-ground Hawaii Ranchers ground beef
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, egg, thyme, and the cooked onion. Form 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into a small patty, add it to a small oiled skillet, and cook until no longer pink. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Transfer meat mixture to an oiled loaf pan. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes. Internal temperature of loaf should be 160 degrees F.
Note: If you want glaze, you can make some from pureed cooked pineapple, or even cooked down local tomatoes. Since that takes a good amount of time, you can cheat using a Non local glaze, or make some local avocado salsa, or top the slices with a healthy dollop of Naked Cow Dairy flavored butter.

Wailua Twin Bridge Farms Mashed Potatoes

2 lb Wailua Farms potatoes
1/4 cup Naked Cow Dairy butter
1 teaspoon Hawaiian salt
Cut potatoes into chunks. Simmer in salted water until the potatoes are tender. Drain and mash. Season with salt and butter.
Note: you can make different flavors using different fresh herbs

Local Fruit Salad with Mint and Honey

1 papaya, peeled, seeded diced
1 Ka’u orange, peeled, seeded diced
1 apple banana, peeled, diced
1 small Sweet Gold pineapple, cored, peeled, diced
½ Meyer lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoons mint, chopped
Combine ingredients and chill. Serve alone or with desired accompaniments. Makes 4 servings

MA`O Farms Roasted Beet & Ka’u Orange Salad

1/2 pound medium beets, stems trimmed to 1 inch
1 tablespoon minced Maui onion
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh Ka`u orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest from the Ka`u oranges
2 tablespoons macadamia nut oil
Hawaiian salt as needed
Chili pepper as needed
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rinse beets. Wrap in foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets and halve lengthwise. If using medium beets, cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Whisk together shallot, juices, and zest. Whisk in oil until emulsified and season with Hawaiian salt and chili pepper. Drizzle lettuce with three fourths of dressing. Sprinkle with beets and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Whole Local Snapper Baked in a Salt Crust Gourmet

2 pounds coarse Hawaiian salt
1 cup water
One 2-pound whole snapper ( opakapaka or onaga), cleaned, leaving head and tail intact
1 Meyer lemon
Macadamia nut oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a bowl stir together salt and water until combined well. On a large baking sheet spread half of salt mixture in a rectangle just larger than the snapper and set fish on top. Take half of the lemon and cut into slices. Stuff the cavity with the lemon. Pat remaining salt mixture over fish to cover completely and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes.
Wrap all around edge of salt crust with the back of a large spoon to loosen and lift top off. Squeeze juice from reserved lemon half over fish and drizzle with oil.

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Comments (1)

I love it when you have Meyer lemons---they are so juicy! Last visit no more, I'll keep looking. Great summary for good substitutions for pantry staples. Big help.

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