Currently browsing

January 2011

Caldo Verde

Caldo verde is the national soup of mainland Portugal, made with kale or Portuguese cabbage and potatoes.

Why it’s so little known here in Hawai‘i is a mystery.  This recipe was contributed by Silvai da Silva to the fall 2003 edition of the newsletter of the Portuguese Genealogical Society here. Use kale if you can’t get Portuguese cabbage.

6 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
3 cups shredded or julienned Portuguese cabbage or kale
1 tablespoon of salt

Place cold water, olive oil, salt and potatoes in a large soup pot, bring to a boil and simmer gently until potatoes are tender. Remove potatoes, mash and return to the liquid. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the Portuguese cabbage and cook, simmering, uncovered, until cabbage is cooked but still bright green—10 minutes. If using kale, you’ll need to cook it longer—about 15 minutes—so that it’s tender.… Read More

Portuguese-style cabbage omelet

Portuguese omelets, like many Portuguese foods, are characterized by the presence of tomatoes, but also cabbage.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 large ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (no need to skin or seed)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6–8 leaves Portuguese cabbage, julienned or chopped into small squares
7 medium-sized eggs

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, not browned. Add tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook until tomatoes soften and liquid has cooked partly down. Add cabbage and cook until liquid has entirely evaporated, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, beat eggs well and stir into hot tomato mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, cooking slowly until eggs are partially firm, stirring frequently. Serve over thickly sliced toasted, buttered Portuguese white bread or toasted campagne (country style) French bread or a good-quality multi-grain bread.

Variations: Brown ½–1 cup finely chopped linguica sausage along with the garlic.… Read More


A great favorite in Portuguese households is milho, a loose cornmeal porridge, akin to Italian polenta, which stiffens as it cools. This is my grandmother’s recipe.  Whenever she made it, Grandma prepared a large batch to assure leftovers because, for most Portuguese, next-morning fried corn cakes are the real reason to make milho. In the old days, a generous dollop of shortening would be added to the porridge during cooking; you may wish to use two tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil.

2 cups water
½ cup cornmeal (white or yellow)
½ teaspoon salt
6–8 Portuguese cabbage leaves, shredded or julienned

Boil water; remove ½ cup hot water to a heatproof bowl; reduce heat to medium high. Slowly whisk cornmeal into hot water in the bowl, stirring well to assure there are not lumps. Stir or whisk this cornmeal mixture into hot water in pot (be careful, it might bubble and spit); add salt and cook 10 minutes.… Read More


The simplest way to use Portuguese cabbage is to stir-fry it with garlic, in a dish called grelos (GRAY-yohzh). Feel free to go crazy with garlic.

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
3–5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
10–15 leaves Portuguese cabbage, julienned
Salt and pepper to taste

In a deep, wide frying pan or a wok, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and fry briefly, just until golden; do not allow to brown. (If it browns, start over; burned garlic tastes nasty.) Add cabbage and stir-fry until limp but still bright green—this takes just a couple of minutes. Taste; add salt and pepper to taste; taste again. Serve immediately.  Variation: Slice ½ medium onion and break into crescents. Stir-fry in hot oil until limp and translucent. Proceed to add garlic and cabbage.

Read More


Homemade honey wine is easy and inexpensive to make. Not only that, but for those with food allergies or who avoid sulfites and other additives, making your own wine allows you to control all the ingredients.

  • Pick your recipe and gather equipment: To get started you simply need honey, water and yeast. Then have fun and play around with varying the ingredients including the type of yeast as well as flavor additions like blossoms or fruit juices. The Volcano Winery uses Champagne yeast in its honey wines since it is a more aggressive yeast and burns the sugars quicker, leading to a faster fermentation.  You will also need to get a fermentation vessel, corks, caps and a second container. All these items are available at home brewing stores. If you can’t fine one, it’s possible, with some adjustments, to use a large glass sake jug or other makeshift equipment.
  • Next steps: Besides the employees at your local home brewing store, The Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible by Leon W.  Kania is a wonderful resource for both home brewing and winemaking, offering numerous tips to help you get started.
Read More


Josh Valdez calls this a dessert that chefs, who visit the winery, always want to put on their menus.

• Take a wine glass and chill it.

• Melt dark chocolate and then rim the chilled glass with the melted dark chocolate

• Put the glass back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.

• After hardened, fill the glass with any fruit (raspberries and blueberries are suggested) and pour cold macadamia nut wine on top.

Read More

Andy’s love lives


On Kauai

The second of November was a gorgeous autumn day on Kaua‘i with light trade winds and a flawless blue sky streaked by a mosaic of thin white herringbone clouds. Kaua‘i’s craggy interior was crisp and clear, as if cut from deep green glass.

The day’s surf report announced the arrival of an early winter swell, bringing 25- to 30-foot waves that closed north shore beaches for swimmers—the kind of day a surfer lives for.

Such postcard-perfect conditions, however, were shattered by the news that Kaua‘i-born three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons had died in Texas while trying to return home from Puerto Rico after falling ill with dengue fever.

Against the backdrop of that beautiful day, the irony only sharpened the collective shock that spread around the world, from Hawai‘i to California to France to Bali to Tahiti and back, in minutes, the sad words hastened by high-tech communications.… Read More

Café Cacao

Serves 1

Brew up your favorite Hawaiian coffee and add:

1 teaspoon or more cacao powder (unsweetened dark chocolate)
½ teaspoon chile powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper (if you are really brave!)
Local honey (to taste)
Cream (optional)

Brew up this delicious drink for any time of the day. If you are caffeine sensitive, I suggest decaf! This drink is excellent when chilled and poured over ice, as well.

Note: The cacao may sink to the bottom of your cup, so you may have to stir it while sipping.

Read More

Ginger Pineapple Green Smoothie

Serves 4–6

2½ cups filtered water
1 cup sunflower sprouts
1 cup cilantro
1 cup parsley
1 cup pineapple
1 small cucumber
2 to 3 kale leaves
2 celery stalks
1 lemon (peeled and seeded)
1-inch piece ginger (peeled)

Blend all together to smooth consistency.  Every few days, I make enough Green Smoothie to last me several days. Surprisingly, it stays fresh and tasty for at least three days. If it thickens, just add some water.  Store in a glass jar/bottle and enjoy often.

Read More