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Alohas and Po kak!

So we headed down to Chinatown here in Honolulu to Legends (apparently considered the standard for classic Chinese food). Sheeesh, and here I thought places like King’s Garden in Kaimuki, Sea Fortune in Chinatown, and Dynasty in Ward Center was the standard (Note: apparently all the three listed places are closed now-dammit).

And of course, there were a few crazy tourists that had to get in our picture.

Legends in Chinatown

Now this is a classic Chinese restaurant! There is a table-cloth on the table covered by a clear plastic covering. There is a weird chandelier in the center of the room. And most importantly, there are a TON of FOB Chinese eating…sure sign of great Chinese food.

Inside Legends

Course #1: Shark fin soup

Shark fin soup

One of my childhood favorites, this soup is fast disappearing because of the ban on shark fin before January 2011. I would suggest, if you can, get some. Hawt!

Course #2: Oxtail stew.

Oxtail Stew

This tail braised for hours in a stew – my Father’s favorite.

Oxtail!

Course #3: Black bean dungeness crab

Black bean dungeness crab

My favorite dish of the evening. First off, the dungeness crab has a ton of crab meat inside. Unlike the small blue crab which yields barely one bite per crab, the dungeness crab will produce at least a plateful. I got me some crabs!

Of course a finger washing bowl too.

Finger washing bowl for the crab

Course #3a: Rice

Rice

Now ordinarily, rice comes at the very end as not to fill you up on starches during the meal…Clearly I couldn’t wait.

Course #3b: Rice with black bean sauce

Black bean sauce on rice

OK–so I just wanted to cover my rice with the black bean sauce.

Course #4: Stuffed duck with barley, chestnut, and leupchong.

Stuffed duck

Savory ingredients and gravy in the duck mixed with the barley-delicious. I only wished the duck skin was crispy.

Course #5: Steamed Uhu (aka parrot fish).

Classic Chinese style steamed Uhu

Classic preparation of steamed fish which includes garlic, ginger, green onions, salt, pepper, shoyu, and sesame oil. The steamed fish we have on our menu is prepared the same way.

Wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka wocka

Check out those chompers!

Course #6: Black bean clams

Clams...Giggity giggity

Growing up in Hawaii, this was another one of my childhood favorites. I kinda wanted to eat hundreds of them. Again, utilize the sauce for the rice.

Course #7: Chinese style BBQ pork chops

Pork!

These large thin sliced pieces were deep fried crispy then tossed with a sweet spicy chili sauce. Reminds us of our shrimp inspired by EK and Yang Chow in LA, these pork morsels are awesome!

Course #8: Tofu seafood stew

Tofu stew

Small fried tofu  had pieces of beef and squid in the gravy. Gotta love me some veggies.

Course #9: Dried scallops and broccoli.

Dried scallop and broccoli

The dried scallops are broken up in pieces and soaked in water for hours. Broccoli is stir fried with the pieces of scallop and tossed lightly with the classic brown gravy. Pour some in my pants!

At this point, I thought we were done…but I was informed that there was more.

Course #10: E-min

E-min...for good luck

Whole long noodles served toward the end of the meal to symbolize long health and life…these noodles were delicious and tasty. Slurp slurp mofo.

Course #11: Peach filled bun with lotus bean.

Gigantor bun

This dessert was a ginormous bun and inside were mini buns filled with a red bean paste. Bud Light bottle strategically placed for size comparison. Whoa Nellie!

At this point, I might have slipped into a food coma in the corner with my food baby.

Snoring Reporting from Chinatown in beautiful Hawaii…

Came across these pictures just now from The Greenhouse Tavern…Damn those frites!

Like reminiscing about Disneyland family trips and Clampette’s travel vacations of past…apparently I like my trips down memory lane – with food.

Devils on horseback: w/ dee-jay’s bacon wrapped dates, almonds, bitter chocolate and roasted fresno peppers –  $6.

 

 

Devils on horseback

 

Despite its mini size, this has been a perennial favorite of mine for quite a while. Though I acknowledge this is a common dish throughout England, the work that is put in just this little morsel of love is amazeballs.

Foie gras steamed clams: w/ butter, red onion brulee, late harvest viognier vinegar and grilled bread – $13.

 

 

Foie Gras Clams

 

Now THIS dish is just fun cause after you devour all the clams, you have those lonely pieces of crisp grilled bread that just begs to be dipped in the foie gras jus. Do me a favor and ask for more grilled bread now. Oh yeah, I won’t judge if you asked for a straw.

Animal style frities: w/ fried bacon, two fried eggs, whole grain mustard, mozzarella cheese curd and brown gravy – $11.

 

 

Animal style frites

 

Apparently this is a favorite of Iron Chef Michael Symon as indicated on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” show. Plate hit the table and the forks were in. Didn’t even have a chance to snap a good picture. Besides-how can you go wrong with bacon, fries, eggs, mustard, cheese and gravy? Yes you have chest pains-but just take a moment…cause I know you just wet yourself.

Odds are, you’d see Chef Sawyer there. Can’t miss him. And he’d prob hug you too – he’s just like a teddy bear.

It’s the holiday season so continue dreaming of the good stuff.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

As promised, here’s our step-by-step process on how to make our paella. Now in the past, we have made this before, but we decided to try a few things different on this one. 

Paella (QuarryLaneFarms) 

In a dutch oven, heat with medium heat and heat up a little veg oil.  (pssst, I said “dutch oven” again)

Sausage from a local meat company, cut into chunks, and brown evenly (Thank you West Side market). About 12 minutes. 

Brown your sausage

Don’t forget to turn them so they brown evenly. 

Post browning, remove them – but leave the stuff in the pan. Place a few chicken thighs meat side down. brown for 5 minutes w/ lid on. 

Chicken in

Flip chicken (skin side down now) and add rough chop onions to the party. Lid and brown for 5 minutes. 

Onions reporting in

Remove chicken and place with resting sausage.Add rough chop parsley (like you cut it with a dull knife-dammit) and 4 cloves of garlic (also chopped w/ that same dull knife-dammit). Deglaze dutch oven of all the bits from the sausage and chicken. Use white wine, bourbon, water, chicken broth, whatever. Just make sure you add the alcohol off heat. Don’t want your kitchen to burn down. “Not good eats”. Mix 8 minutes so that the onions carmelize or become transparent. This is called the sofritto part of the paella.

Mixa mixa

Add the rice and mix with the stuff in the pan. Mix for 3 minutes as the rice gets coated by all the oils, bits, and goodness in the dutch oven. 

Its getting better...

Add the saffron. I added a pinch thanks to my fat fingers. Remember, this stuff is more expensive than crack burbon. Use sparingly…the saffron sparingly. Add some water to cover rice and all the stuff in there. This liquid will basically make the rice and the saffron will make it turn a yellowish color. Simmer x 12 minutes. 

water works reporting in

Entre muscles and clams. Stick the mussels into a nice concentric circle around the outside of the dutch oven. Then place clams on the inner ring. (Note, I screwed up in this picture and the clams should be mouth up not down. It came back to bite me in the ass-you’ll see later.) 

Bivalves reporting in

As you can see, the rice isn’t quite done yet, but when the bivalves open up, they will release their seafood juices and that will further hydrate the rice. Add the sausage and chicken to the party. As you can see, I only noticed that the clams were the wrong way at this point. Call me Mr. Dumb-ass. Simmer 15 minutes. 

Chicken and sausage covering

Add the shrimp and lobsters tails to the party. I split the lobsters tails in half so they would be easier to pull the meat from the tails. Add the peas, and tomato mix (fresh tomatoes, simmered in olive oil and herbs-basically homemade Italian stewed tomatoes). Attempt to put the lid on the dutch oven (clearly I have no concept of portion control). Simmer for another 12 minutes. 

Everyone's arrived at the party now

As you can see, the liquids from our buxom bivalves and crafty crustaceans have yielded their liquid love and the rice just sucks up all the flavors. 

Pot of love

Plate as you see fit. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley (chopped with that bad knife again). 

Now a few Paella purists will get their gray granny panties all in a bunch because they *MUST* have the browned crusty rice on the bottom of the paella pan. Well Cortez-I say, “Screw that!” I personally feel that the rice has to be cooked and retain all those wonderful flavors from the lobster, clams, mussels, etc….to me, those are the most important things.

Yes, if I wanted crunchy rice, I could eat rice cakes. Hell I could just chew on dry wall.

Hmmmm, so lets ponder this for a moment: Crusty rice or great seafood. I think you know the right answer Iron Chef.

And I refuse to purchase a special $150 Sur la Sonoma Paella Pan. WTF? Are suburbia mothers constantly making Paella for their Spanish pool boys?

Ahem-As you know, my only “uni-tasker” is our fire extinguisher.

 Bon appetite you rice cake eating fairy.

Commence drooling now!

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms

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