Li Hing Pineapple

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Next Step: Li Hing Pineapple! Talk to any adult who is native to Hawaii and you’ll discover a craze from their youth. It’s Li Hing Mui, a powdered flavoring that can be sprinkled on anything from fruit to candy to popcorn, and even rimming the glasses of adult cocktails. No kidding. So what exactly is this mysterious flavoring, you wonder. Li Hing is plum powder made from dried plums. It has a combination of sweet, salty, and tangy taste. Local children love it on sour gummy worms or shave ice. Anything goes. One taste and you’ll find yourself giggling like a kid.

LI HING PINEAPPLE

Ingredients:

Fresh pineapple

Li Hing powder

Instructions:

Peel and core fresh pineapple. Cut into chunks. Using a sifter, lightly dust the fresh pineapple chunks with Li Hing powder. Let rest for a minute. Serve.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter C

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Home Cooking: Crunchy Rosemary-Olive Oil Croutons! I often top my salads or garnish savory soups with homemade croutons, but these little buttery favorites give you the added crunch you desire anytime of day. And talk about easy! You already have your favorite herbs and spices in the kitchen pantry. I pick up a “day-old” baguette at the market bakery, for starters, but you can use whatever bread you choose. Now you know my secret to fabulous croutons!!!

CRUNCHY ROSEMARY-OLIVE OIL CROUTONS

Ingredients:

1 French baguette, day-old

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon rosemary snips*

*Any fresh or dried herb may be used.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Slice entire baguette. Take a kitchen sheers and cut each slice into strips and then cubes until entire loaf is used. Place bread cubes into a one gallon ziplock bag. Melt butter in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 30 seconds. When liquified, remove from microwave. Add olive oil and spices. Stir until blended. Pour over bread cubes. Seal bag and shake well to cover until all liquid is absorbed. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil. Empty contents of bag to form a single layer. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn over with metal spatula and then bake 10 minutes longer until crunchy. Do not burn. Let cool before storing in an airtight container.