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Huli Huli Chicken, from Hawaii

huli huli chicken

Huli huli chicken? It’s one of those special dishes that somehow manage to come straight from Hawaii, even though they don’t really require any special ingredients or exotic know-how. But done right, huli huli chicken is quite a treat. Apparently, if you know something about trademarks and the literal translation that huli huli means turn, turn, you’ve got the whole idea about the chicken dish underway.

The trademark notion came from Ernie Morgado, the early 50s chef who is thought to have made the first huli huli and a few years later, decided to trademark the name. That meant that every chef or would-be chef in the area had to call his chicken dish something else, even though it was in fact huli huli. As far as I know, that still holds true there. And the key to huli huli, it’s literally to turn the chicken often, to cook it evenly and to even out the browning all around.

The marinade for the chicken is basically pretty simple, and then there’s the little extras that make’s each cook’s recipe a delight, and a great way to tool around the islands, try one huli huli here and another somewhere else. You could almost spend several days trying them all out.

In any case, here’s my huli huli.


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Red Snapper with Creamy Grapefruit Mojo

red snapper with grapefruit mojo

I truly don’t know what, exactly, a mojo or Mojo, sauce is exactly, but I’ll venture that this Grapefruit Mojo brings out the very best in this red snapper. The sauce gives the fish just the right amount of tanginess (is that a word?) to really bring it to the next level. Of course, having a good fresh red snapper is important, and my local fish monger happened to be cutting the fish the day I was there, so the fish wasn’t laying around in the fish case all day. Was it better for that? Probably so, but who really knows. I’ll take fresh fish if I can get it, however.

As for the “mojo/Mojo,” good old Wikipaedia says the sauce originally was from the Canary Islands, but this sauce looks nothing like anything I saw in the descriptions I saw in that article. The original sauce most likely has little or nothing to do with that, but the original sauce came from Bobby Flay, who is one of those guys I trust a lot for good recipes, even if I can’t understand why the “mojo” applies to this versus any other sauce. In any case, it uses grapefruit sauce, a little orange, lots of garlic, a little thyme and a few other things. What comes out of the blender is amazing. I’m already thinking how to adapt it for other recipes. More to come on that.


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Ham and Chicken Succotash, Easy Slow Cook Recipe

Chicken and Ham Succotash

Succotash is a pretty ordinary side dish, but this chicken and ham succotash makes it into a nice main dish and with just a little tweaking, turns it into something to rave about. And if you’re lucky enough to have some fresh or canned corn and baby Lima beans, the amazing flavors are truly something to dream about. And it actually works best in a slow cooker.

So what makes it different? Start with some great ham and nice chunked chicken breasts (you can do them sous vide if you like), add some fresh cream of chicken soup (I make my own, which I have to condense a bit, but you can certainly find store-bought or better yet, something made fresh from some other source), a little red pepper and a little scallion. Add a little (or maybe more) red pepper to spice it up a beat and you’ve got a good, fresh meal.

Oh, and to be sure, get some (or make some) biscuits. They’re essential.


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Pancetta, Brussels Sprouts and Bucatini

Pancetta, Brussels Sprouts and Broccolini

There are plenty of good reasons to use Brussels sprouts, even this late in the season. And this idea of using them with a little Pancetta, Brussels Sprouts and Bucatini is maybe one of the best I can think of. It’s plenty of a main course, but it’s also a great side dish if that’s what you’re looking for. Either way, the taste is fantastic and the “filling” quotient is pretty good too. It does depend on some great sprouts, but that’s actually rather easy.

What’s best, for a quick dinner or a nice side, the dish comes together very quickly — more or less about the time it takes to make the pasta — which will definitely get you on the table in under thirty minutes. In other words, it’s great.

I’m pretty sure I saw something like this on another recipe site and took some notes, but I don’t remember well, except the main ingredients. Apologies to whomever I may have picked this up from.


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Special Lamb Tagine

lamb tagine

A lamb tagine is always a special treat around our house, but this time around, I’m happy to say that I now have a new Instant Pot and so we have a new dish and a new pot and, well, here goes…

So let’s start with the Instant Pot. I’ve had my eyes on a pressure cooker of some kind for quite a while now, and then a friend showed me this pot and I was hooked. First, it does the pressure cooking very well and that’s really the reason for having one. On the other hand, you can use it to saute meat, make rice and I’m just learning how to do a whole bunch of other things, too. It’s going to be fun.

This first time out, I wanted to do something I could challenge the machine to do well and to have something I’ve done in a traditional way, just so I could compare the two and compare the two dishes. That’s where the lamb tagine comes in. It’s a traditional kind of simple lamb dish with onions, prunes and a whole lot more and, I’m happy to say, the dish comes out about as perfectly as I could imagine. The big difference? Instead of taking a whole afternoon to make the recipe, it turned out in under thirty minutes or so.

Instant pot wins this one, for sure!


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Fantastic Chicken Chili

chicken chili

We like to call this our fantastic chicken chili, not because it’s easy or prepares so well, but simply if you’re watching the local sports team or just need a nice “fill you up” dinner, this is a great way to go.

If you’re a “chili” purist, you might want to look aside as we talk about this. Honestly, aside from the term chili and a nice dab of chili powder, it’s a pretty good stew, with lot’s of good stuff inside, but it’s not really a chili as such. But it comes together so very easily and makes a great kind of “warm you up” dinner, who cares? Right?

(FYI, the recipe was having some difficulty working with the recipe card, I went back temporarily to the old version. I’ll fix it up shortly).


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A Great Pizza Crust Recipe

pizza crust

Ah. There is nothing better than a great pizza on a nice Sunday afternoon with a great bottle of wine. And this pizza crust is easy to make and ready to go.

For those who care, this pizza is one of my favorites, with onions, garlic, sausage, a little green pepper and some mushrooms, with way bunches of cheese (Provalone and mozzarella and some pepperoni and basil on the top. You can, of course, make your own.

Just so you’ll understand, I made this after a rather unpleasant and (I hope) providential visit to the hospital late last week, so pardon me if this is a bit short today. We’ll try making up for things as we go along here.


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