Today is National Hawaii Day. It’s also National Bikini Day. Hum, how fitting is that? While I don’t know how today was chosen for Hawaii Day, I do know that on July 5, 1946 the two-piece bathing suit hit the beaches for the first time. I’m just tossing that little tidbit out there. I can’t exactly build a recipe around a Bikini Theme, but I sure can for Hawaii.
On August 21, 1959 the 50th star was added to the flag with the state of Hawaii. With its diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, oceanic surrounds and active volcanoes the Hawaiian Islands are a popular destination for tourists and scientists alike. Hawaii’s culture is strongly influenced by North American, East Asian and indigenous Hawaiian cultures in a tapestry of beauty.
It’s been over 20 years since we visited Hawaii. Yet the islands, its people and beauty have stayed with me. While we were there, we took a helicopter tour over the volcano on the Big Island. It was an amazing experience. Kiddo has always been interested in Vulcanology, so it was a great experience for him as well. He was all of 4 at the time. When we came home, he started to pack up all the toys in his room. When I asked him why, he said he wanted to send them to the children of Hawaii who might have lost theirs when the lava came. It’s moments like that when you realize you’ve done something right.
To this day, Kiddo would give you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it. I am proud of him as a person.
Once again, got off track. Back to Hawaii. Usually I like to create an entire menu around a theme such as Hawaii. But then I found the perfect food – Loco Moco. It’s an inexpensive lunch dish that is popular with Hawaiians everywhere. The only thing missing would be a side of Spam.
Hawaiian Loco Moco
4 cups cooked White Rice
Onion-Mushroom Brown Gravy (recipe follows)
4 Beef Patties (recipe follows)
Oil as needed for eggs
Steam or cook the rice as desired, keep warm until ready to serve. While the rice cooks, make the gravy and the beef patties.
Onion-Mushroom Brown Gravy
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
1 cup Button Mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 cups Beef Stock
2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 tablespoon Water
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Peel and slice the onion into thin rings, set aside. Clean mushrooms, slice into quarters and set aside.
Heat oil in large well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Note: If the pan becomes too dry, add a little water.
Once the onions are caramelized, remove skillet from heat, remove onions and set aside. Form the Beef Patties.
1 bunch Chives
2 Garlic Cloves
1 lb Ground Beef
1 1/2 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Snip chives garnish, set aside in a small bowl. Peel and finely mince the garlic, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, break up the ground beef. Add soy sauce and minced garlic. Mix the meat with your hands, careful not to over-mix. Form a large ball, score into quarters. Form each quarter into a ball, then flatten into a patty about 1/2 inch thick. Set patties aside.
Heat the same cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add patties and cook until browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness. Remove skillet from heat, remove beef patties and let rest. While the patties rest, finish the gravy and fry the eggs.
Return the cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Return caramelized onions to the skillet with the mushrooms. Add beef stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer. Create a slurry of cornstarch and water. Add slurry to the skillet and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.
In another skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium-low heat. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a small ramekin. Pour eggs, one at a time, into the warm oil. Fry eggs sunny-side up, basting with the oil until the whites are set while the yolks remain runny . Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, plate 1 cup rice on each plate, topped with 1 patty, brown gravy and a fried egg. Garnish with chives and serve.