Dining Outside the Home: Oasis on the Beach in Kapaa, Kauai! No, the rooster isn’t the host…he just thinks he is. If he could speak, he would probably recommend the catch-of-the-day and lead you to a table outside where the view is simply mesmerizing. The staff at Oasis on the Beach focuses on quality of ingredients by using local growers and fishermen for diversity in cultures as well as flavor. For example, the Pork Wonton appetizer is complemented by a spicy ginger soy sauce for dipping. Pair it with the Okinawan Sweet Potato Wrap for something new and different. The roasted peppers and charred onions enhance the creamy texture of the Hawaiian sweet potato. You can’t get flavor like this on the mainland. Choose your next meal at a place that stays true to their mission statement of sustainability.
Dining Outside the Home: Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa, Kauai! If you’ve ever wondered how hula dancers keep that slim waistline, perhaps it has something to do with healthy choices. Hukilau Lanai offers farm-to-table fruit and local vegetables as well as fresh fish and seafood. They support local farmers and fishermen who are mindful of the environmental impact. A staff of gourmet chefs continue to be inventive in serving food that is as appealing on the plate as it is on the palate. Garnishes add beauty in addition to aromatic elements. It all adds up to outstanding flavor and top-notch quality.
Down a winding stretch around Kalaheo, you’ll stumble upon a few cars parked along the side of the road against a wall of giant tangled grasses. Park there and look both ways before crossing. The metal sheet work walls of an old warehouse enclose what is known to locals as Warehouse 3540. Step inside to a world of locally handmade crafts, creative art, products made on the island, jewelry designed for casual fashion statements, and uncommon home accents. And if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a day when the Farmers Market overflows with island fruit, leafy vegetables, and exotic choices gleaned from the land. Cultural food trucks park outside, with inspiring dishes to tempt the palate. No worries. Picnic areas are conveniently placed inviting rest, conversation, and taste sensations unique to each chef’s specialty. The second Saturday night of each month, check out the live music as an added attraction. This is one creative community marketplace you won’t want to miss.
Dining Outside the Home: Kickshaws Food Truck in Lawai, Kauai. Here’s something you don’t see everyday. It’s a gastronomic kitchen on wheels steered by owner, Seth Peterson. Like a mad scientist at home in a laboratory, Seth produces extraordinary food combinations paired with unusual techniques. The results are strangely delicious. The top-seller, hands down, speaks for itself. 100% Awesome Burger is made with 80% fresh ground chuck steak and 20% ground bacon. Then it’s topped with crispy bacon, a pineapple-black pepper-onion marmalade, cheddar cheese, fresh arugula, and garden tomato. Are you getting the picture? The finishing touch is a torta roll slathered with mayonnaise. Definitely a two-handed burger! One night recently, I ordered it while enjoying a high-quality craft brew at the Kauai Beer Company. Try not to stare.
Going to the Farmers Market has to be one of life’s Saturday morning pleasures. Grab your favorite tote, slip on those boyfriend jeans, wear comfy shoes, and let the adventure begin! Have a blessed day!
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Kosher Salt Dill Pickles! When I visited the Farmers Market this week, I was impressed by the cute little cucumbers in abundant supply. The fact that my dill was showcasing its yellow flowery blossoms in proud display earlier that morning nudged me to take advantage of both. Canning a jar of classic dill pickles was about to become the focus of the day. So….when choosing a variety of cucumber to pickle remember three things: 1.) Choose small cukes about the size of your thumb. 2.) Make sure they have a thicker skin in order to maintain a crunchy snap. 3.) And remember to ask for the ones that were just freshly picked. Time is of the essence. The crucial time to pickle is as soon as practical after picking. This recipe will make one jar, which is exactly what I wanted.
KOSHER SALT DILL PICKLES
1 pound pickling cucumbers; cut off tips of both ends and slice in half
2 fresh dill sprigs, with heads
1 cup filtered water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a medium saucepan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, Kosher salt, garlic, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Heat to boiling. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a clean quart jar, place one dill sprig and one garlic clove in bottom of jar. Arrange cucumber halves against the side of the jar working your way to the center. Do not crush. Add one more dill sprig. Pour cooled juice into the jar. Be sure to include the spices. Stop liquid within 1/4″ of top. Seal and store in refrigerator for 12 hours before opening. Keep refrigerated.