Those of you regular Tasty Island readers should be well aware of Ken, officially the “Most Podagee” here, racking-up the most comments on this blog to date.
A USAF Vietnam Vet and Fed retiree, after living in Rhode Island most of his life, he now calls Hawaii home, and with that, he really enjoys the culture and food here, which he often shares with me through instant messages and emails.
With that, and his blessings, I decided to create a whole new segment titled “Ken’s Kitchen”. I personally find many of his culinary adventures from his new home here in Hawaii informative and sometimes fascinating, and think you’d enjoy them too, as it’s a perfect cross-section of his former life on the Northeast coast of New England, with here in the center of the Pacific Ocean.
So in the first photo is Ken’s Cajun Crawfish from Da’ Crawfish & Crab Shack in Kapolei (there’s also a location in Waianae). He paid $13.99 for that massive 1 pound serving, boiled and served with a generous helping of Cajun-spiced butter and garlic. This, along with $1 beers to accompany it, and he was a happy camper, giving it a solid 4 SPAM Musubi.
I’ve personally never eaten Crawfish, a.k.a. Crayfish, a.k.a. “Mud Bugs”, only remembering as a kid catching them in a river behind an adjacent subdivision near my home in Kaneohe. Eventually I’ll try “biting the head and sucking the tail” of some crawfish. Wait, that didn’t sound right. lol
Next up, another of Ken’s faves at Da’ Crawfish and Crab Shack is the Sunset Pupu Steak, served with Onions and Poi, along with a side order of Sauteed Mushrooms, sauteed in garlic butter and melted cheese. Dang, that would totally hit da’ spot right about now! And yes, even as “haole” as he is, or should we say “was”, Ken loves Poi! Respect brah, respect. The Steak, Onions and Poi was $14.99, while the Sauteed Mushroms was another $7, which he also gave this entire spread a solid 4 SPAM Musubi.
Dang Ken, you’re relentless on this place! That good, huh? Well, yup, yet again on a return visit, above is Da Crawfish & Crab Shack’s Spicy Korean Chicken, yet again garnering 4 SPAM Musubi from da” man.
Again, 4 SPAM Musubi for the Shrimp Tempura from this place. In fact, heck with it, might as well check out da’ whole pupu menu…
Ken, next time you hit this place, try the Kamaboko Dip and Sardines with Tomato and Onions. I’m really curious how those are, especially from your New England palate’s perspective.
As you can tell, he likes Kapolei eats, where we’re now at the Kapolei Foodland at their Kim Chee Bar. Which must be noted is only available at certain Foodland locations, space permitting. For my location, I’ll stick with the Kimchi Bar at Palama Market on Makaloa St. and Kalakaua. This, after a major “binge” on homemade Kimchi Pineapple, that got him hooked, then after me making it myself, got me hooked as well on “Kimchi-fied stuffs”.
Next up in light of Foodland Kapolei’s Kim Chee Bar, while I went the Kimchi Pineapple Tacos route with a unique recipe from Koreatown: A Cookbook that he shared with me, Ken went “T-Rex”, serving his homemade Kimchi Pineapple with center-cut Pork Chops sauteed in Olive Oil, served also with Won Bok Kimchi and Maui Onions. In his words, this meal was “Bomb Dot Com”. Hey Ken, you’re stealing my line! lol
Ken is REALLY into cooking gadgets and other “stuffs” for the kitchen, as he recently picked up a set of 6 Escargot Baking Dishes and Fork Set. Which is kind of a bummer, as I told him, had I known he was looking for it, I would have given him my set, which was EXACTLY the same as the he got shown above, that I recently gave away to anyone who wanted it in my building (we have an area where residents leave things they’re getting rid of for others).
That said, I LOVE Escargot, and will always order it if it’s on the menu in a fine dining restaurant. I only got rid of my set, as I hardly ever make it at home.
Next up, Ken mail ordered this container of Prague Powder, which is self-explanatory on the label, containing 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 92% Sodium Chloride. This “salt” not only extends the shelf life of meats smoked or made into sausages, but also helps preserve its natural color so that it doesn’t turn dark brown or grey. Ken uses this particularly for making Leberkäse, a German style meatloaf. Sheesh. Talk about “Unitasker”!
Speaking of “Unitasker”, next up we have Ken’s Wolfgang Puck 1800 Watt Electric Grill, which he uses primarily for indoor grilling for large parties he hosts at home. Most notably for his unique use, it has lots of surface area, particularly in his case for grilling Kalbi, noting how it makes great sear marks, and also gives it a genuine grilled flavor “As good as a gas grill”, so he says. I honestly won’t believe that until I try it myself.
He does have a brand new induction stove top that could do the same with a cast iron grill pan, however he noted the grill pan doesn’t have the surface area he needs for indoor grilling in volume.
Another cool feature about this electric grill top, is that the cooking grate flips over into a flattop grill for cooking say, bacon, eggs and pancakes. Top that, “Lean, Mean, Grillin’ Machine”! Speaking of which, I never did try using one of those, but I heard burgers turn out pretty good from it.
Finally, while mentioning breakfast, not from Ken’s Kitchen, but from the shelf at Don Quijote, Tulip Luncheon Meat out of Denmark is back, after having been absent in the stores locally for quite some time. While I haven’t tried it yet, I got a can and will review it soon to see if this “Jamonilla” version has what it takes to take on SPAM.
Until next time, a hui hou! ;-)
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