Sunday, April 22, 2018


I’m not even sure if spring will get here. Here it is, the middle of April, and we’re still getting threats for snow. But I did finally get my taxes filed (lame… I have to owe this year) and the Karabars/KaratGold Coins launched a few days ago. So that’s exciting!
Oh, this was absolutely wonderful!
 What’s also exciting is that I’m making Samoan food. I actually divided this between two days. The first recipe I made was Pani Popo, or Samoan Coconut Rolls. I mixed all of the roll ingredients into a bowl: 3 ½ c of all-purpose flour, ¼ c sugar, ¼ c dry milk, 1 pkg of yeast, 2 eggs, 4 Tbsp of softened butter, 1 ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used coconut extract instead), and ¾ c lukewarm water. I mixed everything until it came together as a dough. Then I dumped it on my floured pastry mat and kneaded it for several minutes. After I formed my dough into a ball, I put it in a lightly oiled bowl and let it rest for an hour covered lightly with plastic wrap. Mine didn’t really rise all that much, but I kneaded it a little more before dividing it into 12 pieces. I rolled these into balls and placed them in a greased 9”x13” cake pan. I recovered it in plastic wrap and let it rest for another 45 minutes. Before this time was up, I made the coconut sauce. In a sauce pan, I mixed in 1 ¼ c of coconut milk, ¼ tsp of coconut extract, ½ c sugar, 2 tsp of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. I heated this up, stirring constantly until it thickened up (it took about 6-8 minutes or so). Before putting this in a 350ºF, I poured the sauce over the rolls. I took it an extra step and sprinkled a few coconut flakes on top of each roll. The recipe said to bake it for 18-25 minutes until it was golden brown, but it took mine about 28 minutes. However, once they cooled slightly, I thought these were fantastic! The sauce on top was sweet, but the dough was not as sweet as I thought it might be. In fact, it might have even been a little dry at times. It was perfect with some warmed up hazelnut coffee.

I need much more of this in my life.
The main dish I made today was Samoan-style chicken and coconut rice. I used bone-in chicken thighs and seasoned them with a little salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large skillet, I browned my chicken in a little oil and then removed them and placed them on a plate. In the leftover oil, I sautéed some onions and garlic before adding my chicken back into the skillet. Then I poured in some soy sauce and vinegar (I used red wine vinegar instead of the apple cider vinegar), and enough water to mostly cover the chicken. After about 20 minutes, I took the chicken out again; this time I added in some ground ginger and 4 Tbsp of cornstarch, constantly stirring for several minutes until it started to thicken up. Then I returned my chicken back into the skillet, letting it simmer for a few minutes more. In the meantime, I made my coconut rice: I made steamed rice like I normally do (except with a pinch of salt) but then when it was cooked, I poured the coconut milk on top and let it soak in. To serve this, I poured out the coconut rice and placed the chicken on top, garnishing it with some chopped scallions. I really enjoyed this. I think everyone on the family liked it, except my son was mad that chickens have bones. The sauce was excellent, although I wished I had twice as much chicken because we didn’t have any leftovers, and there was soooo much sauce leftover.

This. Right. Here. Is. The. Best. Soup. Ever.
The only dish I made the second day was a Samoan noodle soup called Saimin. I started with making the broth: 8 c of water and some salt. When it came to a boil, I added in 8 oz of noodles (I used 2 bundles of Japanese udon). Once my noodles were cooked to al dente, I added in about 4 c of chicken broth (1 box?) along with all of my toppings and seasonings: 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, about 1 tsp pepper, about 1 tsp ground ginger, shredded carrots, chopped bok choy, sliced mixed mushrooms, diced scallions, egg (stirred in like egg drop soup), and small cooked shrimp. You can actually add whatever you want really. I let everything simmer for about 20-30 minutes to really mesh all the flavors. This was amazing and everyone loved it. And I mean everyone! I will definitely do this again. In fact, we decided we’d rather have this instead of chicken noodle soup.

What's not to love?
So, as I was doing this, I did think about the movie Moana. I found a BuzzFeed article that I read years ago where the author interviewed other Polynesian friends and asked about their opinions of the movie. Overall, most were pleased that Polynesian culture was represented, even though they wanted to make sure people knew it was more or less a mash-up of a variety of cultures in the film. But it was well-researched and represented the cultures well. Many of them were just excited that there was a now dolls they could buy their kids who looked like them. And I think that’s all anyone wants: to be seen and acknowledged for who they are.

Up next: San Marino

No comments:

Post a Comment