Saturday, July 17, 2010

Locomoco Deluxe (sans le Spam)

“Huh? Brah, that doesn’t look like a Locomoco!”
Ah, but it is my friend. It is…and I’ll tell you why.

In this posting of Speaking Penguin, I’m taking what the people of Hawai’i call, “Locomoco” and giving it a Penguin dialect.
Haha! Like I mentioned at the start of this blog, Speaking Penguin is about: using my past cooking experiences, influences from flavors around the world that I have been blessed with being able to experience and putting a spin on the Hawai’i local flavors and Pinoy food that I grew up eating.

If you want, you can call it Pan-Asian-Fusion Cuisine, except for 3 things:
That category is totally played out.
If you haven’t experienced it yet or just haven’t noticed, most of Hawai’i’s flavors are a fusion of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Hawai’ian, Mexican, Portuguese, other Pacific Islanders, American, English, Irish and which ever other immigrants arrived in Hawai’i during the sugarcane/pineapple industry era.
That means the “fusion” of these flavors have been motion well before the 1900s.

As you can see before the term “Pan-Asian-Fusion Cuisine” was ever created the People of Hawai’i have been enjoying the flavors that they have mixed up for a long, long, long time and continue to do so.
So, you can say that I’m not really doing anything new either and yeah, you’re right. But, what I am doing is taking the flavors that have been created; that have become standards, and (as I like saying) “Giving it a new Dialect.”
Let’s get cooking!

And I Quote: He’ah’s da ingidaments, yah. ~ Aunty Maria Lani/ Rap Replinger. (Translated: Here are the ingredients.)
2” thick USDA Prime Top Sirloin Steaks,
Japanese style rice,
Schillings Brown gravy mix,
Ketchup (what ever is your favorite),
Shoyu (Preferably the Aloha brand, but any Japanese Soy Sauce will do.)
Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce,
Olive Oil
Cooking Oil

One of the most important things to do when prepping your steak is to let it sit out, unwrapped, and get to about room temperature.
If it is 102 degrees (like it was today, about 90 in the house) you don’t want your steak sitting 90 degrees. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about 65-75 degrees in the house.
Why, because the last thing you want to do is throw your steaks on a +375 degree fire when the steaks are still at refrigerator temp.
That’s just bad, mmm-kay.
I don’t want to go into details, but trust me…and Alton Brown from the Food Networks –Good Eats…and a millions other cooks.
Let the steaks get to about room temperature and then give them a nice coat of good olive oil, then pepper and salt.
I am a firm believer or not over spicing really good steaks. It totally defeats the purpose of appreciating their quality.
Let the steaks sit for a while.

Start your grill.

Make a pot of rice.
No! You make the rice, don’t get some one else to do it! Hehe…
One of the reasons I like to cook by myself is because everything is timed-out.

For instance:
The steaks are sitting…absorbing the olive oil, oxygen and getting to or maintaining room temperature while you are starting your fire.
As you are making your rice, and getting the other stuff ready, the grill is getting hot.
You see?
All timed-out.

Ok, back to cooking.
Where were we…?

Steaks sitting.
Grill getting hot.
Rice being made.

Ok, afterwards….
Get a small pan or pot that is more than 3 inched deep.
Fill is up with cooking oil deep enough poach your egg(s).
Yes, that’s what I said. We’ll get to why later.
And begin heating it up on simmer.

Prep the mix for your brown gravy, but don’t cook it yet.
Let that sit in the water on the stove.

By the time you’re done with all of this, your fire should be prefect and the steaks are ready to be cook.

Grill your steaks.
How you like your steaks is all up to you. I love having them really rare, especially when they are great quality beef.

Don’t worry about anything else at the moment.
Have a beer or a glass of vino, have some tunes going and chill.
That is of course, if you are like me and cook you steaks about five minutes each side and that’s it. Pretty much all I do then is have a smoke and keep and eye on the clock and the steaks.

Plate the steaks and take them in and cover with foil.
This is important. If you do, you ruin the steak.
Just cover them and leave them alone.

At this point, your rice should be done.

The oil that is sitting on simmer should be brought up to medium.
Start the heat on your brown gravy mix.
Just follow the cooking directions on that and you’ll be fine.
When the gravy is ready, add about:
2 tblspns of ketchup,
2 tblspns of Shoyu,
1 tblspn of Worcestershire Sauce,
And a couple pinches of pepper.
By this point your steaks should have settled and released some of their juices.
Put this juice into the grave.
Oh yeah, baby.
This is the SHIZZLE!!
Taste and make adjustments to your preference.
Remove form the heat.

Bring the heat for your oil up to high.

Plate a serving of rice onto each of the plates and put a couple table spoons of gravy onto the rice.

The oil in your pan/pot should be ready.
Now, one at a time:
Drop an egg into it and poach it, A la Jacques P├ępin.
Give it a pinch of salt and pepper.
With a spoon, take some of the hot oil and douse you egg while you poach it.
When that is done, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and drain the oil for a bit before setting it on the rice.
Repeat as need for however many servings you need, or if you or anyone is like my brother, “3 more eggs please!”
Haha! Heart attack!

Take a steak and plate it with your rice and gravy.

*Now, for the sake of the photo, I sliced and fanned the steak for presentation.
Normally, I ONLY slice the steak when I am ready to eat that piece. To me, the steak retains its juiciness and flavor a lot more.

Drizzle gravy over the plate and steak to preference and serve.

Serve with your favorite salad.
Side rant for those who have grown up in or visited Hawai’i:
I don’t know if anyone noticed, but at some of the restaurants the server says and asks you when you are ordering, “Ok, you have a choice of 2 kind salads, yeah. Mixed or Mac?” This means your salad choice is either mixed greens or macaroni salad.
And seriously, Hawai’i’s Mac salad is DA BOMB! Not to mention, a proper choice when eating a Locomoco. But since we’re speaking Penguin here, eat what ever salad that makes you smile.

Eat & Enjoy
Now, for those that have argued about this not being a Locomoco…here’s what you do.

Break the yoke over your rice.
Take a piece of the egg, yoke and gravy covered rice, and a slice of steak, and stick it in your mouth.
Don’t tell me that is not a Locomoco you not eating there FOOL!!

Oh yeah, you can also eat this with my famous fried rice!

Much Aloha and Enjoy!