While I don’t have the stats to back it up, it would be safe to say Ken has once again taken The Tasty Island 2016 “Podagee of the Year” award, as he’s won that honor back in 2015 and 2014 as well. “Podagee of the Year”, meaning he made the most comments. Thus, for earning that coveted title, we’ll let him have the spotlight for the first foodie post of the year here, with a 2017 premiere segment of “Ken’s Kitchen”. Yay!
So what we have in the first photo is Ken’s late wife’s Frosted Ham Ball, sprinkled generously with dried Pakalolo leaves. Nah, just kidding, that’s Parsley. Ha ha, you wish! Actually, as with several other “unusual” dishes Ken has introduced me to, brought here from his former life in Rhode Island, I NEVER heard of a “Frosted Ham Ball” before. Ever.
Whatever the case, based on what this “Frosted Ham Ball” is made of and how it’s served as a type of cracker spread “pupu” (recipe follows), it sounds really ono! I especially love the idea of raisins in it!
My wife would make this every Christmas as an appetizer served with Ritz Crackers on the side. Take a small cheese knife spreader and take a bit of ham ball on knife, spread it on cracker and devour.
You’ll need two size bowls; one to mix in and one to mold the ham ball (a 3 cup; 750 ml works very well as a mold), cling wrap and a meat grinder or food processor (pulse to chop ham) or sharp knife to chop up the ham, electric hand mixer to make cream cheese frosting and a box grater to grate onion or finely dice plus cutting board.
My wife would use leftover ham from Thanksgiving and add canned pressed ham to bulk up the recipe so there were two textures to the ham. You can also double the ingredients to make a larger ball.
- 1/2 lb. cooked ham, ground or finely chopped
- 1/3 c. raisins
- 1 tbsp. grated onion
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise (Hellman’s or Best Foods)
- 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese soften or brought to room temp and halved
- 1 tbsp. milk
- Fresh chopped parsley or dried
- Mix ham, raisins, onions, curry powder, ½ cream cheese and mayonnaise in large bowl.
- Line small bowl with cling wrap allowing some to fold over edge and fill bowl with ham mixture; bring extra cling wrap over to fill center of bowl so you can press down to form half a ball; chill overnight.
- Mix other ½ cream cheese with milk until smooth.
- Take out your serving plate and unmold your ham ball so flat side is on plate.
- Spread cream cheese frosting on ham ball to cover, sprinkle with parsley and chill until serving time.
- Surround frosted ham ball with Ritz Crackers; provide a spreader knife and serve.
Makes about 2 cups.
Next up we have Stone Crab, that Ken found pre-cooked in the display case at Tamura Market out in Waianae, his regular grocery stop out there on the “West Side”, or where I like to call, “Land of the Lawless” lol.
Dude, I swear, whenever I used to drive out “Waianae side” for business servicing one of our stores (former job), never fails, I’d see guys either pop-wheelie’ing on dirt bikes, riding quad racers or driving cars with either no windshield, headlamps or busted tail lamps right on Farrington Highway. And the cops just drive right by! lol
Anyway, back to the Stone Crab, Ken says this was Santa’s gift for him this past Christmas. According to him, Stone Crab is more California or Florida, while Jonah is more New England. Ken goes on to say, “Jonah is a sweeter meat than Stone due to colder waters. You normally purchase these live and take to boil or steam. You don’t want to get caught by a claw because they will break a pencil. They are cousins to Dungeness crabs but have crusher claws, whereas Dungeness has ripper claws. Dungeness are about 5 lbs. where stone and Jonah crabs are around 1.25 lbs.”
He said these particular Stone Crab from Tamura’s were super-duper sweet; enough where he didn’t even need butter or ketchup for dippin’; just throw ’em down straight outta’ the shell.
I’m personally not really a crab person, save for say, crab cakes. In fact, whenever I hit a good buffet, I rarely get the Alaskan or Snow Crab Legs, whereas I’ve seen folks who take JUST that.
One time we were having lunch at the Oceanarium (Pacific Beach Hotel; currently under renovation), and these two guys sitting right next to us ATE NOTHING BUT SNOW CRAB LEGS FOR OVER AN HOUR. No sushi, no Poke, no prime rib, no dessert, just that. I swear, the waiter came by and took away at least 4 plates full of cleaned-out snow crab leg shells. It was quite the spectacle, where even the fish swimming in the tank were in awe. Like, “Dang dudes, even I never ate that much crab in my life, and I live in the sea!” lol
Finally, another Holiday treat from Santa in Ken’s Kitchen is a thick prime-grade Filet Mignon (pronounced “FILL-LET MIGG-NON” lol) served with buttered ‘n baked Maine Lobster. Nice crust he’s crust he’s got there on that “Fill-let Migg-non” lol thanks to the mega-watt induction stove top he’s got, which he swears by, even over gas. All he’s missing in that spread is a glass o’ Cab!
Of course to get that thick prime cut steak to perfect medium-rare doneness, Ken employs the use of this fancy THERMAPEN digital probe thermometer, where you see it’s so accurate, it includes a certificate of calibration with it. Wow! I sure could have used that this past Christmas when I (under) roasted my Prime Rib. I’ll probably get one right before Easter when I plan to cook another Prime Rib.
Not stopping there, ideally for roasts, Ken also has the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm (the one pictured above is his), which you may have seen Alton Brown often use on his show “Good Eats”. Unlike the THERMAPEN, the ChefAlarm probe can be left in the oven poked into the roast as it cooks, where you simply “set it and forget it”; as advertised, it will alarm you when the meat reaches the desired internal temperature, while it also stores and displays the starting and finishing temperature, along with total cooking time. Gotta’ love them high tech cooking gadgets!
While we’re on cooking thermometers, here’s some of the “Prime Rib” standing rib roasts I came across while shopping for one for our family dinner this past Christmas….
Well that wraps up today’s episode of “Ken’s Kitchen”.***queues in “Let’s Go Fishing” style ukulele music***
A hui hou!
Ken and Pomai at the Ward Village Winter Ice Rink – 12.2015