Category Archives: General

Icelandic Yogurt — Oh, Yes!

Push aside the Greek. Make way for Icelandic yogurt. This one is full of shreds of coconut.

Push aside the Greek. Make way for Icelandic yogurt. This one is full of shreds of coconut.

 

Remember the first time you went gah-gah for Greek yogurt?

Then, prepare to go insane for the Icelandic style.

I admit I’d never had Icelandic yogurt (skyr) until recently when Petaluma’s Smari sent me samples to try.

In short, they blew my taste buds away.

Icelandic yogurt has been made for generations from nonfat milk that’s heated with a culture, then strained and strained again. Smari makes its from organic, grass-fed Jersey and Guernsey milk, which is thicker, richer and more nutrient-dense than most. While its original yogurts were made from skim milk, it recently introduced the first Icelandic-style yogurts made with whole milk.

What you notice with these yogurts is how exceedingly creamy and thick they are, especially the whole milk varieties. They’re the consistency of a decadent pudding.

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Yo, Yo, Yo — Fro-Yo at Home

Greek yogurt sorbet -- crazy easy to make.

Greek yogurt sorbet — crazy easy to make.

 

You may never trek outside to buy fro-yo again.

Not if you have an ice cream maker and this recipe for “Greek Yogurt Sorbet” from the new cookbook, “Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner” (Ten Speed Press) by award-winning, veteran cookbook writer Janet Fletcher, of which I received a review copy.

The slender book not only includes directions for making your own yogurt and yogurt cheese at home, but 50 recipes for incorporating yogurt in just about everything. Enjoy it in “Cherry Tomato Raita” to “Chilled Golden Beet & Yogurt Soup” to “Orzo with Spicy Lamb, Chickpeas & Yogurt” to “Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce.”

Transforming store-bought Greek yogurt into an ice cream-like treat is ridiculously easy. Get out a big bowl, dump in the yogurt (whole milk, please), sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt; stir. That’s the extent of the heavy lifting.

No eggs are involved. No cooking, either. Just chill down the mixture either in an ice bath or in the refrigerator overnight. Then, spin in an ice cream maker. And prepare to go to town on it.

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Join the Food Gal and the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile for A Macy’s Cooking Demo

MacysOaxacan

From the moment I tasted its lusty mole sauces and made-to-order, griddled corn tortillas, I fell in love with the Oaxacan Kitchen.

You will, too, when its founder Ron Kent joins me for a cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, 6 p.m. May 7.

You may think you know Mexican food. But Oaxacan Kitchen — which has its own food truck that makes the rounds of the Peninsula, as well as food stands at local farmers markets — sets itself apart from the run-of-the-mill with its richly authentic flavors.

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You Never Know What You’ll Turn Up in Hawaii

Atomic red hot dog musubi from Foodland market on Maui.

Atomic red hot dog musubi from Foodland market on Maui.

Like Neon-Red Hot Dogs

Yes, hot dogs the very unnatural color of atomic red are a thing in Hawaii.

Think of them as the red velvet cake of hot dogs.

You can find them in packages in the supermarkets, atop musubi or nestled into buns.

As one Hawaiian-born chef joked to me, “We do like our carcinogens.”

Even though he and his friends grew up on them, none could offer an explanation as to why they are the color that they are.

Even a Maui News article published a few years ago wasn’t able to shed much light on it.

I’ll take a wild guess and surmise they’re that hue to emulate char siu or Chinese barbecued pork. But who knows?

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Meet Chocolate Butter Mochi — Your New BFF

Sweet rice flour is the secret to this unusual -- and unusually good -- chocolate creation. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Sweet rice flour is the secret to this unusual — and unusually good — chocolate creation. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

Ever since discovering the joys of butter mochi on a trip to Honolulu a few years ago, I’ve become rather obsessed with it.

Made with copious amounts of butter, eggs, whole milk or condensed milk, what’s not to adore?

It bakes up so easily into buttery, bouncy brilliance, too.

In supermarkets and mom-and-pop grocery stores in Hawaii, you’ll find that basic version, plus loads more — coconut butter mochi, chocolate-chip butter mochi, even peanut-butter butter mochi.

And of course, the piece de resistance, chocolate butter mochi. Oh, yes!

After getting rather hooked on baking regular butter mochi at home, I couldn’t wait to turn my attention to the chocolate version, especially when I spied a recipe for it in the new “Flavors of Aloha: Cooking with Tommy Bahama” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The recipes are by veteran cookbook writer, Rick Rodgers.

(Photo courtesy of Tommy Bahama)

(Photo courtesy of Tommy Bahama)

I admit that I’ve always associated Tommy Bahama with its tropical print shirts. I didn’t even realize the company had restaurants, too.

Featured in this cookbook are more than 100 recipes with true island flair, from “Crispy Sriracha Shrimp” to “Kalua Pulled-Pork Sandwiches” to “Pina Colada Cake.”

But back to chocolate butter mochi, shall we?

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