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Coal Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sake Braised Kale
Seared Big Island Sirloin
Yield: 8 tasting portions
Coal Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 pound sweet potatoes, about 2 medium sweet potatoes
Bake the sweet potatoes until soft enough to eat, but firm to touch. Place sweet potatoes in the coals to char the outside all over. Wipe off the coal ash. Split the sweet potatoes in half, then cut each half into chunks.
Sake Braised Kale
In a heavy pan over medium heat, combine sesame and vegetable oils. Add the shallot and sauté until softened. Add the kale and sake, lower the heat and braise until tender (adding more sake or water as needed). Add the butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
For the steak
8 ounces Big Island Sirloin
Fire up the grill. Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill to medium rare.
Place sweet potato chunk on plate, cut side up. Drizzle with the honey thyme butter. Add a mound of braised kale next to the sweet potato and a slice of grilled steak.
Berbere Spice Roasted Vegetables with Injera,
Tomato Chile Fried Egg, and Charred Pineapple Yogurt
Yields: 8 tasting portions
Preheat convection oven to 450°F
Peel and trim the root vegetables and cut into small chunks about ¾ to 1 – inch thick. Add chickpeas.
In a shallow roasting pan, toss vegetables, Berbere Spice, and oil.
Roast vegetables in a 450°F convection oven, mixing several times until tender and browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt.
On a hot grill, or using a cast iron grill pan coated with a teaspoon of oil, char the pineapple slices on both sides. Remove from the heat and trim the pineapple away from the cores (discard cores); chop the pineapple. Mix pineapple, olive oil, sweet onion, jalapeno pepper, and lemon zest. Add 1 cup of yogurt, mixing to combine.
Chile Fried Egg
Serve with Injera (Ethiopian flat bread)
In a heavy pan or skillet, heat butter and olive oil. Add tomato paste and chile paste, mixing to combine. Allow mixture to sear for a few minutes before frying eggs.
Pile berbere vegetables on serving plate and top with chile fried egg. Finish with a dollop of charred pineapple yogurt. Add a wedge of injera on the side to be used as a scoop for eating.
Charred Corn Hush Puppies with Pickled Green Tomatoes
and Duck Liver Mousse (with thanks to Donald Link)
Yield: 18 to 20 hush puppies
Heat a griddle or cast iron pan until hot, then char the ear of corn on all sides. Allow to cool, then use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the cob. You’ll need about ¾ to 1 cup of corn kernels. Set corn kernels aside.
In a food processor or blender, combine the onion, jalapeno, green onions, and parsley and pulse to a rough puree.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and egg, adding in the green puree and corn kernels.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. For best results, refrigerate this batter for at least 30 minutes before frying.
In a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot, heat 3-inches of oil over high heat until the temperature is 350°F.
Prepare a paper towel lined tray. Working in batches, carefully add the batter to the hot fat one heaping tablespoon at a time. (Use a second spoon to scrape batter off the first spoon), keeping the batter in a ball shape. Fry, turning until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon or spider to lined tray to drain briefly. (If you need to keep puppies warm while you are frying, you can place on a sheet pan in a 200°F oven).
Pickled Green Tomatoes
(yield: about 200 slices)
For the pickling liquid:
About 40 green tomatoes, cored and sliced horizontally about 1/3 inch thick (use as many slices of tomatoes as will be completely submerged by the pickling liquid).
Put all the ingredients (except the tomatoes) in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring to melt the sugar. Remove from the heat and allow the pickling liquid to cool.
Layer the tomato slices in a deep hotel pan. Pour the cool pickling liquid over the tomatoes. Lay something on top of the tomatoes to be sure they stay submerged in the liquid. Refrigerate at least one day before serving. (Can be refrigerated at least a month).
To use the pickled tomatoes on the hush puppies, remove the liquid and chop them to make a relish.
Duck Liver Mousse
Yields 1 cup
Heat a small nonstick sauté pan with the olive oil until it is very hot. Add the livers, being careful because they will sputter when they hit the fat. Sear the livers on both sides and cook them to medium rare (cut one open to check), about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the livers from the pan and set aside.
Add the shallot to the same pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dissolve any caramelized bits. Allow the sherry to boil until it is reduced by ½, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool. It is important that the livers, shallots, and sherry are cool or they will break the butter in the following step.
Puree the livers, shallots, and sherry in a blender or food processor. While the blender is running, gradually add bits of the butter. Add the thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove to a small container, cover, and chill.
Remove pickled tomatoes from the liquid and chop to make a relish. Place one hush puppy on a plate, add a dollop of duck liver mousse and garnish with pickled tomatoes.