Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon Teriyaki sauce is a staple ingredient in Island cuisine and most families have their own favorite version. My own favorite is my Granny’s teriyaki sauce.  You might wonder why I think this teriyaki sauce deserves so much attention.  As my mother noted years ago, “it’s the best!” The secret ingredient, folks, is the Sherry.  You’ll need some decent Sherry, not the stuff you find on the grocery shelf labeled cooking sherry.  Stay away from that!  I prefer Hartley & Gibson’s Amontillado Sherry but you can use any medium-dry Sherry.  Once you add it to the rest of the ingredients and stir everything together and take a whiff of the sauce, you’ll understand what I mean. I use the sauce for grilled tofu, chicken and meat sticks.  It’s marvelous with salmon.

Granny's Teriyaki Sauce This is beautiful sauce.  Sweet and salty with lots of green onions and a little kick of garlic.  Most importantly, Sherry.

Granny's Teriyaki Sauce

Marinating Salmon Grilled teriyaki salmon is uncomplicated but it will impress your guests.  A quick soak in the sauce (in the same tray it came in) then off to the grill until it’s perfectly cooked, with some really nice grill marks to boot!  Extra sauce drizzled over the salmon is a requirement.  I can’t get enough of this sauce.

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

Serves 6


3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman recommended)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Sherry (Hartley & Gibson’s Amontillado Sherry recommended)

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil

4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup (or more) chopped green onions + extra for sprinkling over grilled fish

roasted sesame seeds (optional)

2 pounds salmon filet (left whole or cut into 6 equal sized filets)


Combine the sugar, soy sauce and Sherry in a bowl or large measuring cup.  Stir to dissolve the sugar completely.  Stir in oil, garlic and green onions.

Pour a small amount of the sauce under and over the fish.  Refrigerated for 1 hour, turning fish after 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently simmer the remaining sauce in a small saucepan  over medium low heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 – 15 minutes.  Watch closely and adjust the heat if the sauce starts to boil as it may burn. Set aside.

Prepare gas or charcoal grill for medium high heat.  Be sure to clean the hot grill grates and oil them well. Place fish directly over heat source and cover.  For a moist, slightly pink interior, cook on each side 3 – 4 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 125 – 130°.  If you prefer fully cooked salmon, leave it on the grill until it registers 140°. For professional grill marks, give the fish a quarter turn after 2 minutes.

Remove fish to a platter and drizzle with some of the reserved teriyaki sauce.  Scatter sliced green onions over the fish and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds if using.  Serve extra sauce on the side.






Posted in Dinner, Fish, Japanese, Recipes | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Best Glazed Mixed Berry Scones

Glazed Mixed Berry Scones I’m delighted that there are more lactose free products available these days.  The markets where I shop now carry lactose free milk, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese and half & half.  All these items are good to have on hand for that day when one feels like baking.  This scone recipe from Averie Cooks is one of the best  I found. Averie uses sour cream to moisten the dough.  It works beautifully.  Thanks to Green Valley Organics, I was able to make these treats using their lactose free sour cream.

Mixed Berries These frozen berries are perfect for this recipe.  Keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to mix them in the dough otherwise they will start to defrost very quickly.

Mixed Berry Scones Bursting with lots of juicy berries, these scones are delectable with a little pat of butter on top  (Earth Balance Buttery Spread in my case).  Sometimes I split and toast them if I’m in the mood for a warm and crispy scone.

Glazed Mixed Berry Scones

Mixed Berry Scones with Sparkling Sugar Scones are easy and quick to make and they freeze well.  Choose your favorite shape.  Wedges, squares, rounds. Drizzle the tops with a light lemon glaze or sparkling sugar, or nothing at all.  Either way, you will be rewarded.  Thanks Averie, for the wonderful recipe.

Mixed Berry Scones with Sparkling Sugar

The Best Glazed Mixed Berry Scones

Adapted from Avery Cooks blog

Makes 8 large or 12 medium scones


2 cups all-purpose flour + more for your work surface

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (Or unsalted butter + pinch of salt.  Buttery Sticks or butter should be very cold)

1 large egg

1/2 cup sour cream (I used Green Valley Organics lactose free sour cream)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 heaping cup frozen mixed berries (keep frozen until the last minute so berries do not get soft)


1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice


Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, add 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder.  Whisk to combine.  Slice butter into small cubes and add to flour mixture.  Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Some larger pea-sized clumps are OK.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, add the egg, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to until smooth.

Pour wet mixture over dry, and fold until just combined with a spatula.  Don’t over mix or the scones will be tough.  The dough will be wet and shaggy.  Fold in the berries.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour over a clean work surface and lightly coat hands.  Turn dough onto surface and knead into an 8-inch round (approximately).  Sprinkle a little more flour over the dough and on your hands if the dough is too wet to come together.  Try not to add too much flour or the dough will be dry.

With a large knife, slice round into 8 equal-sized wedges.  Using a thin spatula, transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet and space about 2 inches apart.  Try not to have too many exposed berries touching the baking pan. They have a tendency to burn.  If you prefer square-shaped scones, pat dough into a rectangle and cut into 12 equal-sized pieces.  If you are using sparkling sugar, sprinkle it on before baking the scones.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until scones are very lightly golden and cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  Oven temperatures vary, check scones after baking 15 minutes.

Allow scones to cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to cool completely.  If you are using a glaze, make the glaze while the scones cool.

Combine the confectioners sugar and citrus juice. Whisk together until smooth.  You may need to adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more sugar or citrus juice.  Drizzle the glaze over the cooled scones.





Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Open -Face Omelets with Spicy Feta and Escarole

Open-Face Omelet with Spicy Feta & Escarole I always return to my eternally favorite food: eggs. I rarely make omelets, however I now have a new favorite weekend breakfast.  This open-face omelet is so easy to prepare and very delicious.  I had never tried escarole before and initially thought I might not be able to find it for this recipe.  Mana Foods, my favorite market in Paia, has almost every type of vegetable and fruit you can imagine, but they didn’t have any. I tried Whole Foods as well, but our store on Maui is quite small with a limited selection.  I was quite surprised to find it at Safeway.  Recently Safeway in Kihei upgraded their produce section and it’s a considerable improvement from what they offered a year ago.

Escarole Escarole is a gorgeous green, belonging to the endive family.  It’s definitely not as bitter, and is very good tossed with other salad greens. Each head of escarole has a pretty mix of bright and pale colored leaves.

Extra Large Eggs

Feta, Jalapeno, Scallion A bit of feta and spicy jalapeños make this dish stand out.  The recipe calls for za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend typically consisting of sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram and salt.  I had purchased a jar in Napa at the Whole Spice shop (they spell it zahtar) and it sat in my refrigerator waiting to be used.  If you can’t find za’atar at your local market, the recipe says to combine 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds with 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.

Open-Face Omelet with Spicy Feta & Escarole

Open-Face Omelet with Spicy Feta & Escarole

Open-Face Omelets with Spicy Feta and Escarole

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

Serves 2


1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar (or 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon dried oregano)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (I love Mt. Vikos sheep and goat’s milk feta.  It’s mild and creamy and not too salty)

1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped

2 jalapeño nacho rings (you may use more if you prefer, or fresh jalapeño to taste)

3 extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups shredded escarole



In a small bowl, mix the za’atar with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

In another bowl, mash the feta, scallion and jalapeño with 2 – 3 teaspoons of water until smooth.

In a small non-stick skillet (9 – 10-inch works well) heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  In a 2-cup measuring cup, beat the eggs with the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of water (it’s OK if a few lumps remain). Pour half the mixture into the skillet and swirl the pan to form a thin omelet.  Sprinkle half the escarole and half the feta mixture evenly over the eggs; cook over moderately low heat until the escarole starts to wilt, the feta melts and the omelet is just cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Slide onto a plate and season with pepper.  Repeat with the remaining oil, eggs, escarole and feta mixture.

Drizzle za’atar oil over the omelet and serve.  Side of bacon please!





Posted in Breakfast, Eggs, Recipes, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Maple Squares with Walnuts

Maple Squares with Walnuts I still have lots of pure maple syrup in my cupboard (gifts from “snowbirds”) so I thought I’d give this recipe a try.  If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love the chewy, gooey, texture and the rich sweetness of pure maple syrup.   Copious amounts of walnuts add to the scrumptiousness.  You’ll only need a little slice (with a mini scoop of vanilla ice cream) to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar I bought the maple sugar at Mana Foods market not knowing what I would use it for.  It sat in the cupboard for a while, until I saw this recipe.  Maple syrup plus maple sugar?  What’s not to like?!

Walnuts Saveur magazine mentions that these dessert squares are known as Carré Érable et Noix in Quebec, where they pour fresh cream over the top before serving.  Simply decadent!

Maple Squares with Walnuts

Maple Squares with Walnuts

Saveur Magazine

Serves 8 – 10


8 tablespoons (1 stick) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter), cubed and chilled, plus more for the pan

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, plus more for the pan

1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup maple sugar

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


Heat oven to 350°.  Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a food processor, process butter, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup maple sugar until combined; transfer to pan and press evenly into bottom.  Bake until lightly browned, about 18 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Whisk remaining flour and maple sugar with maple syrup, walnuts, salt, and eggs in a bowl.  Pour over baked crust.  Bake until filling is golden brown and set, about 30 – 35 minutes.  Let cool completely before serving.




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Haricots Verts and Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing

Haricots Verts & Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing Freekeh, an unusual grain with a novel name!  The first time it caught my attention was in Berkeley at the Pasta Store.  I like cooking with many different types of grains.  They make interesting side dishes, and in this case, a great salad.  The name Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic.  The wheat is harvested when young and green then roasted, dried and rubbed. It has a subtle smokey flavor and a pleasant, chewy texture.  It’s delicious.


Cooked Freekeh Freekeh looks a bit like bulgur once it is cooked.  In fact, if you can’t find freekeh, you could substitute bulgur but freekeh has a chewier texture and more interesting flavor.

Madagascar Pink Rice I included Madagascar pink rice in my salad.  I love the color and texture it added to the salad. This beautiful rice cooks in just 20 minutes.

Haricots Verts

Dill, Cilantro, Parsley Fresh herbs are scattered over the salad just before serving.

Minty Tahini Dressing I am a big fan of any dressing that contains tahini and lemon juice!

Haricots Verts & Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing This salad is so good I made it three times in a one week period.  I packed it up for my work lunch and tossed the beans, freekeh, rice and walnuts with the dressing just before I sat down to eat.

Haricots Verts & Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing

Haricots Verts and Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 2


1/4 cup cracked or uncracked freekeh, rinsed

1 cup Madagascar pink rice (optional)

6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed

1 very small garlic clove, finely grated (I used my microplane zester)

2 – 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint (or 1/2 teaspoon dried mint)

1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts (I baked them in the toaster oven for 5 minutes)

a few sprigs of dill, cilantro, flat leaf parsley

crushed red pepper flakes


Cook freekeh in a medium saucepan of salted simmering water until al dente, 12 – 15 minutes (uncracked freekeh will take longer to cook, 30 minutes or so).  Drain and rinse under cold water; set aside. You will not use all the freekeh for the salad.

Cook Madagascar pink rice if using, following directions on package.  (I make 1 cup of rice at a time and serve leftover rice with mock chicken tofu the following day).

Cook haricots verts in a medium pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes (very thin haricots verts may take just 2 minutes to cook).  Drain and transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry.

Whisk garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, oil, tahini, mint, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl; season with salt. Taste, add more lemon juice if desired.

In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup each, cooked freekeh and pink rice if using (use more freekeh if you skip the pink rice). Add green beans and toss with enough dressing to coat everything nicely.  Season with salt.  Divide on to two plates, top with toasted walnuts, small sprigs of dill, tender leaves of cilantro and parsley.  Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the salad and serve.




Posted in Lactose Free, Recipes, Rice Dishes, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake I recently received three jugs of pure maple syrup as gift from a several friends who visit from the mainland and Canada.  I love pure maple syrup on blueberry pancakes or waffles, but I don’t eat them often enough to make a dent in all of the syrup stashed in my cupboard. I thought this Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake would be a good way to start.  I first noticed the recipe in Food & Wine magazine.  It was developed by Joanne Chang, a well-known pastry chef and owner of Flour, a bakery in Boston.  I noticed that the recipe called for baking the cake for 1 1/2 hours!  This didn’t seem right so I searched around and found a couple of other versions of this recipe, one of them by Wendy of bookcooker blog.  Wendy says to bake the cake for 45 – 60 minutes. That made sense!

Granny Smith Apples Granny Smith apples hold up well when baked.  Their tart flavor balances the sweetness of the maple syrup.

Peeled & Cored Granny Smith Apples I long ago discovered the value of using a melon ball corer to remove the seeds and core of apples.  One single swoop and you’re done.

Apples over Maple Syrup Arrange the sliced apples in two concentric circles over the thickened syrup.

Cake Batter over Apple Slices Smooth the cake batter over the apples and bake until golden brown.

Baked Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake The maple syrup infuses the apples and the cake.  Yummy.

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Serves 10 – 12

Adapted from Food & Wine and bookcooker blog


1 cup pure maple syrup

3 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and quartered, each quarter cut into 3 equal slices (the Granny Smith apples I bought were large but if you have smaller apples you can cut the apple into eighths)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk (I used lactose free milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice since there is no lactose free buttermilk available here on Maui)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened (or unsalted butter,  increase the salt to 1 teaspoon)

1 1/3 cups sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan with 3-inch high sides. (You may use a 9-inch cake pan with 2 1/2-inch sides.  You will not need all of the batter).

In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.  Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan.  Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles. If your apples are on the large side and you are using a 9-inch pan, you may not need all of the apple slices.

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla.  In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until the batter is smooth; scrape down the side of the bowl.  Mix until just combined.

Pour the batter over the apples and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 50 minutes.

Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate. Let the cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve.


Posted in Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments