Wine on the plate
By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor
By Wanda A. Adams
Whether or not you like to drink wine, it's a very useful ingredient in the kitchen, balancing sauces with hints of fruit or sharp accents of acid, depending on the wine you choose, and the food with which you pair it.
At The Kahala Hotel & Resort this month, chef Wayne Hirabayashi is focusing on wine as both an ingredient and an accompaniment. It's part of a new promotion he's created in which he focuses on a particular idea or ingredient each month, with special menus designed to entice local regulars to return for something different and visitors to enjoy the Islands' agricultural bounty. (And, he says, with all the new restaurants opening, he wants to be sure to continue to challenge and stimulate his staff, lest they move on somewhere else.)
This month, he has partnered with winemaker Steve Clifton of Palmina wines, who will host a June 14 wine-matching dinner at the restaurant; the menu for that dinner will be available at Hoku's from June 13 to 16.
Chef Hirabayashi offered these ideas for cooking with wine and demonstrated the most classic of wine recipes, a beurre blanc ("booor blahnk"), or "white butter" sauce.
Chef Wayne Hirabayashi, of Hoku's at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, shared two very different ideas for cooking with wine: a classic beurre blanc ("white butter") sauce and a healthful, high-protein raw seed "pate" flavored with curry spices, served with flatbread for a light lunch or appetizer.
As is typical of chef recipes, these recipes have lots of moving parts. Don't be intimidated. You can pick which parts to replicate and greatly simplify the preparation if you don't happen to have an assistant in the kitchen to do all the chopping and prep.
For example, in the following recipe, grill mahimahi (or monchong or other white-fleshed fish you enjoy) and serve with the white butter sauce and skip the vegetable garnish. Make the beurre blanc without the peaches if you can't find good, ripe ones.
GRILLED MAHI WITH PEACH BEURRE BLANC
• 5 ounces jicama, peeled and cut into thin strips
• 5 ounces fennel, cut into thin strips
• 2 ounces orange juice
• 2 ounces olive oil
• 10 ounces Chinese long beans
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 ounce olive oil
• Peach tarragon beurre blanc (recipe follows)
• 5 (6-ounce) fillets of mahimahi
• Thinly sliced peaches for garnish
Marinate jicama and fennel in orange juice and 2 ounces olive oil.
Meanwhile, blanch the long beans by plunging into briskly boiling salted water; drain and stop cooking with cold water, drain well. In a saute pan, heat 1 ounce olive oil, add garlic and briefly saute long beans just until tender crisp and still bright green. Set aside.
Make the beurre blanc; keep warm, careful not to over-heat (see recipe below).
Grill or broil mahimahi fillets to desired doneness.
Attractively place the long beans and drained jicama and fennel in a bunch in the center of the plate and place mahimahi on top. Drizzle beurre blanc over and around the plate. Garnish with peaches.
Makes 5 servings.
• Per serving: 425 calories, 24 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 180 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 35 g protein
In this recipe, a fundamental one in French cuisine, you can add or subtract ingredients as your creativity dictates. The only essentials are the reduced white wine and the chilled butter. The small bit of cream helps to stabilize the sauce, which otherwise has a tendency to "break" (divide into solids and liquids). Key to a successful beurre blanc is reducing the wine to a syrupy texture, using well-chilled butter and, as you whisk in the butter, maintaining a warm but not hot temperature. Use a wine you like to drink: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling. Vary the herbs and aromatics as desired.
PEACH-TARRAGON BEURRE BLANC
• 1 ounce extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 ounces roughly chopped shallots
• 5 ounces roughly chopped garlic
• A large pinch of fresh tarragon leaves
• A couple of whole black peppercorns, crushed
• 10 ounces finely chopped, unpeeled ripe peaches
• 5 ounces dry white wine
• 1 ounce heavy cream
• 8 ounces chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• Kosher salt and finely ground pepper to taste
Using a medium saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sweat the shallots, garlic, tarragon, black peppercorns and peaches. Be careful not to brown; heat just until aromas develop, ingredients are limp and shallots are translucent. Add white wine and bring to a boil; reduce heat and reduce the liquid until it is almost dry and of a syrupy consistency.
Whisk in heavy cream, reduce by half and slowly whisk in the cold butter, once piece at a time. It's important to do this slowly and to keep the sauce at a low, warm temperature; pull it off the heat as needed. Strain sauce through fine sieve, stirring with whisk to extract juices. Taste and correct seasonings, adding salt and pepper as desired; if the sauce is too rich, a little lemon juice may be added. Keep warm until needed. (One way to do this is to place the pan in another pan of warm water.)
Many visitors to Hawai'i don't want to abandon their healthful eating habits even when they're on vacation. And chef Hirabayashi himself has pared away pounds by turning to more positive eating habits, raising his interest in placing such recipes on the menu at Hoku's. This innovative nut spread is an example and it's easy to make. Just be aware what you have to start a day ahead, because the nuts are tenderized by being marinated in advance.
Again, feel free to use or eliminate elements of this recipe. You can serve pate alone with crackers (i.e., low-fat whole-wheat Ak-mak). And you can use the delicious tomato-cucumber-mint salsa with grilled fish or chicken or in tacos or burritos.
RAW CURRIED PATE
• 2 1/2 ounces raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
• 2 1/2 ounces raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
• 4 ounces green zucchini, roughly chopped
• 4 ounces lemon juice, or more, to taste
• 2 ounces dry white wine, reduced by half until syrupy
• 1 ounce curry powder, or to taste
For the curry paste:
• 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon madras curry powder
• 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
• Splash of cider vinegar
• Salt to taste
• Tomato cucumber mint salsa (recipe follows)
• Mixed greens salad (recipe follows)
• Naan or other flatbread, or lavosh or crackers
Marinate sunflower and pumpkin seeds in room temperature water for 8 hours. Drain well.
Make the curry paste: Combine all ingredients and blend well. Taste and adjust seasonings; you may prefer more or less of some flavorings.
Place well-drained seeds and zucchini in food processor along with lemon juice, reduced wine and curry powder. Pulse on and off to form a rough paste (take care not to process too long; a little rough texture is desirable). Add curry paste; taste and correct seasonings, as desired.
Serve a mound of the pate garnished with tomato-cucumber mint salsa, mixed green salad and flatbread.
(Pate can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days; best served chilled.)
Makes 10 servings as a light lunch or appetizer course.
Portion size: 2 ounces pate, 2 ounces salsa.
• Per serving (pate and salsa without salad or bread): 190 calories, 16 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein
This is a very versatile recipe you can use in many ways.
TOMATO CUCUMBER MINT SALSA
• 8 ounces Japanese cucumber, peeled, diced and seeded
• 8 ounces peeled and finely chopped tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped
• Italian parsley
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
• 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
• 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
• Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix vegetables, herbs and garlic. Toss with olive oil and lemons and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and store, covered, in refrigerator.
• Per A-cup serving without salt to taste: 60 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein
MIXED GREENS SALAD
• 10 ounces assorted greens
• 4 ounces watercress leaves
• 4 ounces Belgian endive
• 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
• Kosher salt and freshly ground
• white pepper to taste
Place greens, watercress and endive in bowl; dress with olive oil and lemon juice; flavor with salt and pepper as desired.
• Per 1-cup serving: 120 calories, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1.5 g protein
Reach Wanda A. Adams at email@example.com.