Curried Tuna Salad

Curried Tuna

Even though we’ve got pretty great weather year-round here in Honolulu, I’m certainly not immune to a little spring fever.  The longer, warmer days mean even more frequent trips to the beach and, more importantly, more frequent beach picnics.

While I’d love to be the kind of person who can put together a magazine shoot-worthy picnic set atop a chic table in a bag, more often than not, my picnics consist of  several friends huddling around a cooler, passing around Pyrex containers of food.  While I may fall short when it comes to providing ambiance, I’d like to think I can put together a mean assortment of food.  And this curried tuna salad?  I can assure you that it’ll probably be in just about every cooler I pack this summer.

Curried Tuna 1

In this quick and easy dish, canned tuna is combined with sauteed onions, garlic, ginger and a hefty dose of curry powder while some sliced Serrano chile pepper provide a bit of heat .  I’d happily eat this stuff plain with a fork, with crackers or in a sandwich.  Hot, warm or cold.  With mayo or without.   Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong here.

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Meatball Curry with Green Coconut Cilantro Sauce

Green Meatball Curry 1

They say that some folks are predisposed to dislike cilantro (even Julia Child hated it!).  I am so, so glad that I’m not afflicted.  It’s far too important an ingredient in so many of my favorite foods.   I mean, what other herb would I put in Pico de Gallo?  How would I garnish tacos? Would I have to pick out the cilantro from summer rolls?  A world without cilantro?  It sounds like a scary place.

While I most often use cilantro as a final pop of freshness , color and flavor to many dishes, here the cilantro is the primary flavor and star of the show.   Cilantro, one and a half cups of it to be exact, combines with Indian spices and coconut milk for a rich and creamy curry sauce with extra herb-y goodness.

Green Meatball Curry

It seems like I’m pretty much all about meatballs and/or sliders these days (see here, here and here) and I’m happy to continue the streak with this curry.  Consider this dish the meat equivalent to the Mexican green cilantro rice I made a couple years  back (has it really been that long?).

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South Indian Pineapple with Chile and Mustard Seeds

Indian Spiced Pineapple

Soon after I’d made the rash decision to move to Hawaii, I was looking through the Oahu job classifieds online.  Sandwiched somewhere between the ads for fire knife dancers and coconut tree climbers was an ad for field worker at a pineapple plantation.  Clearly the job market in Honolulu was going to be a little bit different than on the mainland.

Since my fire knife dancing and tree climbing skills were rusty at best, I figured if I couldn’t get a job that utilized my college education, I could always work on a farm picking pineapples for the summer.  Never mind the fact that at that point I thought pineapples were grown underground, with only their spiky tops reaching above the surface.  It  seriously blew my mind when I first visited Dole Plantation and saw pineapples growing on top of the plant, almost like somebody had just walked by and rested them on the foliage.

Pineapple

Thankfully I found a more suitable job within a couple weeks of arrival, because I’m pretty sure I would have only lasted a day or two doing manual labor.  It’s a toss-up as to whether it would have been heatstroke or lower back pain that would have done me in.

In any case, I’m lucky to have access to local pineapples that are grown just a few miles away.  But for too long I’ve been guilty of using pineapples exclusively for smoothies or mixed drinks- it never occurred to me to include them in a savory meal (no, Hawaiian pizza and Hawaiian chicken aren’t popular out here).  So I have India to thank for making me finally recognize pineapple’s versatility.

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White Marble Alternatives for Kitchen Counters: Part Two

Kitchen

David Piscuskas kitchen, Photographed by Nikolas Koenig for Architectural Digest

The night before  I had what was supposed to be my final counter measure for my quartz countertops (they need to come back one more time, argh!), I had what was hopefully my final freak out over my color/product decision.

While I didn’t end up swaying from my initial pick of Yukon Blanco, it certainly didn’t help that a bunch of folks had recently posted a bunch of lovely photos of projects using my runner-up choice, Silestone Lagoon.  And to compound things, two quartz manufacturers have come out with new marble-like products that look really, really promising.

Because I know a lot of you are just as obsessive about kitchen design as I am, I’m doing one more post of marble alternatives to include some photos from various projects around the World Wide Web as well as the new products.

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