Friday, September 13, 2013

Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast

Photo Courtesy of KHON2

I have recently gotten the honor to cook like a MasterChef! It was part of KHON2's community contests. The contest is open to home cooks with no professional cooking backgrounds, winner will be flown (for free) to the audition of the Master Chef season 5, bypass public auditions and go straight to the producers of the show. The criteria is you have to submit a 100-word or less essay, explain why you wanna be on MasterChef, and what entree and dessert you will make if you are selected to do a live one-hour cook off. Lil P saw the commercial and told me I should do it so...I did! I thought long and hard of what I want to make, I have a crazy idea that I should not cook something that I have done before, wanted to make something with a local twist, something that stands out but yet tasty and true to what I love. So...I went with:

Wasabi Peas Furikake Crusted Ahi and Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast

I got the nerve wrecking call 2 days before the cook off and I was in on the run!! They said they went thru 3 rounds to select just 2 competitors to do the cooking throwdown, and I am soooo honored to be one of them!

Today I am going to share with you my recipe for my dessert: Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast (I have a link to the Ahi dish at the end of this post):

1 medium size okinawan sweet potato
4 tbs evaporated milk
1 heaping tbs of condense milk
1 loaf of french bread
Coconut Chips
Oil for light frying

1) Boil sweet potato in water until fork tender (about 20 mins)
2) Set oven to 300 degrees, toast coconut chips for a few minutes, toss, then in for a few more until nicely toasted (watch carefully so they don't burn), set aside
3) While sweet potato is cooking, heat oil in a pan.
4) Slice french bread
5) In a separate bowl, mix together beaten eggs and milk (depends on how much french toast you make)
6) Dip sliced french bread into egg/milk mixture
7) Fry bread on each side until golden brown, drain, then keep warm in oven at 170 degrees.
8) When sweet potato is soft, run sweet potato with water and quickly remove the skin under running water
9) cut it up into pieces, drop it into a food processor
10) add in evaporated milk and condense milk
11) pulse sweet potato filling until well-blended (you may add more evaporated milk if you want the filling to be less thick)
12) Let filling cool, then place filling a ziplog bag
13) place a french toast on a plate, snip the corner of the ziplog bag then pipe in sweet potato filling, sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes
14) repeat for a 2nd layer
15) drizzle honey all over the stuffed french toast


I would LOVE to add haupia to this but there's no way I could make it in an hour so I nixed the idea. But after speaking with the chefs, they said I could have added a haupia sauce over the french toast to make it into breadpudding-like dessert. Wow, that is why they are chefs because they've got great ideas!! They did give me a bonus for creativity!

All in all, I had a great time on the competition. Win or lose, the experience in itself was just uncomparable! I would like to give a shout out to Lil P for encouraging me to take on the challenge, Mr. P for all his support and providing me the kitchen of my dreams so I can cook the way I want, all my friends who provided me feedbacks, suggestions, and words of encouragement. I would also like to thank all the sponsors that made this contest possible: KHON2, Ferguson Honolulu, Hawaii Gas, and Anthology Marketing Group. Best of luck to Amanda Price as she represent Hawaii on the real MasterChef Competition!

Please refer to my Facebook page for my Wasabi Furikake Crusted Ahi recipe!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chinese Roast Pork

All my life I thought roast pork is something that you have to get at a chinese restaurant or a chinese roasting market. Who would have thought this actually can be done at home?!

1 large even layer pork skin with fat and meat (my trial was without meat - used the meat for kalua pork)
garlic salt
five-spice powder

1) Par-boil the pork in boiling water, about 10 minutes
2) Remove and rinse pork, discard the hot water
3) Wipe pork dry with paper towels
4) Prick the pork skin with something sharp. (If you have a meat pricker, use it. I didn't so I used a toothpick, it broke in half, then I used both sharp ends but it got dull, so I end up using a sharp knife and stab it all over the skin)
5) Use a knife and score the skin lightly (score = make diagonal cuts across the skin)
6) Rub the pork skin with garlic salt and five-spice powder, generously if desired
7) Refrigerate the pork with skin side up uncovered overnight (this will help dry the meat further)
8) Remove pork and place it on top of a rack on an oven safe tray, skin side up.
9) Bake pork at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
10) Turn bake to broil until the skin bubbles and turns to golden color, maybe another 25-40 minutes. (I recommend you watch it...if it's your first time, just for fun. It was pretty fun seeing the skin bubbles!)

 how do you like my disposable rack?

11) Remove from oven, let cool enough to the touch, chop them up into pieces.

Yes, in butcher knife chop if you have one. I didn't have one and end up using my palm to pound that thing down, it was pretty sore.

All in all, I really enjoy making this. I don't think I had this much fun watching the oven!

Taste testers gave me the thumbs up! Now it's your turn!!

Have you find me on facebook yet?