The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Monday, June 12, 2006


Market Feast: French Breakfast Radish

Here is a Breakfast Radish from the Ma`O Organic Farm tent at the KCC Farmers Market, served alongside Baked Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Fontina Cheese.

The recipe is originally from Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties by Peggy Knickerbocker. It was in the Weeknight Kitchen newsletter one can subscribe to from the Splendid Table website, or you can find it here, where it is reproduced probably without permission.

Get your free-range chicken eggs from Blue Lotus Farms. The Twin Bridge Farms asparagus is from PacifiKool. Might as well serve it with some artisan bread from Ba-Le Bakery. All from the KCC Saturday Farmers Market.

We like to eat radish greens if they are fresh (as these are), though most people would probably find them too pungent. Of course, they can be used cooked or pickled.


Faster than Fast Food

I can't be seen in a McDonald's. It would not only ruin my reputation as a foodie, but I'd have to resign from my local Slow Food convivium in shame. Not that I get a craving for that stuff. At home I am terribly spoiled, and when we go out we have a choice of so many fine restaurants that McDonald's isn't on the radar screen (unless one needs an urgent trip to the loo...).

I know fast food is really bad, but I just discovered something really, really bad. Twinkies recipies are apparently a bit of a fad on the Mainland.

Think of it--something more deadly than fast food and even more convenient. The ingredients are a chemical mix of stuff I'm sure even McDonalds wouldn't dare to use. Twinkies are reported to keep forever, past the expiration date, in the refrigerator or in the glove compartment. Now, with the publication of their own cookbook, Twinkies have their place (?) on the dining table.

Things like Pigs in a Twinkie are said to be all the rage in some sets. Or Twinkie Burritos.

There's even fusion cuisine such as Twinkie Sushi.

With the 4th of July coming up, you won't want to miss the Patriotic Twinkie Pie. For conscientious objectors and others who have to make do with what ingredients they have on hand, there's a Peace Corps recipe for Chicken-Raspberry Twinkie Salad.

You can google for Twinkie recipies also. What brought all this to my attention was an google search that accidentally came up with this great article.

So skip the fast food joints. If you're that anxious to do yourself in, it would probably be faster and lots more fun to go on a Twinkie diet with recipes from The Twinkies Cookbook.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Welcome to new Hawaii food blog: The Tasty Island

Thanks to Reid (of `ono kine grindz) who mentioned a new food blog on the scene, The Tasty Island, by Pomai. Go check it out.

Hawaii has some great food blogs. I've included links to some over on the right side of this page. Clicking the name of the blog gets you to the main page, clicking on an article will generally bring up only the one article.

I noticed that `ono kine grindz continues its partnership with the Downtown Planet, carrying a high-quality pdf of their weekly restaurant review. This is an excellent example of a cross-media partnership. The Downtown Planet is gaining on the Weekly by offering quality images and posting its full issue on the web. Check it out--from their Mac to your computer, nothing withheld. You get the complete issue at home, all the features, including a restaurant review and food calendar.

The Planet seems to have embraced the web. As the traditional dailies continue to suffer declines in readership, blogs and internet-aware weekly papers are likely to pick up much of the slack, especially among younger readers. The weeklies are also more nimble. Who knows, perhaps one day a weekly paper will include material from the food blogs.

If you're here, you know that food blogs are where the action really is.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Market Find: Vanilla Cream Soda made with genuine Hawaiian vanilla

Some time ago, Nanette suggested that Hawaiian vanilla has a perfect flavor for cream soda. This Saturday, she was presented with a bottle of the stuff by Jeanne Vana at the North Shore Farms booth. No heirloom tomatoes yet (they're expected in July), but Jeanne is carrying other things until her vines recover from April's heavy rains. Meanwhile, Wailua Soda Works has a new made-in-Hawaii product with a distinctive flavor.

We found the soda to be sweet and with a pronounced vanilla flavor. No trouble recommending this one. Be on the lookout for it. We found Wailua Soda Works sodas in various flavors today at R. Fields inside Foodland Beretania, but not yet the Vanilla Cream.

The story of Hawaiian vanilla has been featured on TV. The Hawaiian Vanilla Company website is well worth a visit to learn more about its production and distinct flavor. The best way to learn about it is, of course, to buy a bottle of vanilla extract or some vanilla beans at the KCC market and use it in your own cooking.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Market Find: Tasty giant radishes

We've been enjoying these huge radishes Nanette found at the KCC Farmers Market from SKA Tropicals. Last week, one tipped the scales (radish only, without greens) at 120 gms, which is just more than 1/4 pound.

If there are radishes this size at the supermarket, the inside might be pithy and the flavor strong. Not so these. Both the radish and the greens are fresh, the radish is solid all the way through, and guess what--it has a distinct piquant radish flavor all the way through.

Ma`O Farms has beautiful finger-shaped "French Breakfast" radishes which have a mild flavor.

Either is good chomped as is, or try them with sweet butter and sea salt.


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Market News

Official web pages and Tip Sheets for Saturday morning KCC Farmers' Market, Wednesday night Honolulu Market, Sunday morning Mililani Market, and Thursday Night Kailua Market


Slow Food

You've read about the world-wide slow food movement. Hawaii has an active Slow Food group. Learn about or join Slow Food USA at the Slow Food USA website.

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