Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Hour Friday

This has truly been a bittersweet week for me, on one hand it is Friday and we always need to blow off steam. Though beyond that, this tiny little blog has crossed the 10,000 threshold yesterday thanks so much to all of you coming here and liking what you see, and coming back for more. 

As much as the blog's 
inception was started by a challenge and one Mr. O'Loughlin standing on the rocks, my inspiration my love for cooking began with one very special lady so it is to her I thank from the bottom of my heart. 

Secondly I want to thank my very special ohana , and the rest of you for inspiring me to step out of the box and share this part of myself with you. I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I have.

Enough of the reflection and a few tears, how about we celebrate this Friday our lives, our accomplishments, and especially those we hold dear. Have a little fun in the process.  In honor of my gram's I thought an Italian Luau would be in order, so here is a re-boot from March 16th, I do hope you enjoy.  I believe Danno went out of his way to impress McGarrett on this on, you may be as well.

As many of us say TGIF and I think we may add Danno to the list, or can we?  Let's face it he rose to the occasion this week and there is no better way to end it than with a Five-0 celebration (cause we all know we need to celebrate).   This just can't be any old Happy Hour for a Friday with beer and chips boys, HELL NO! No one here will stand for that.  
So how do you end up winding down Italian week,  in paradise, this means we need a Luau! Oh yes! Alright, a party, I may be scaring you guys a little, well maybe Steve more than Danny.  Did I mention a party in paradise, when you look at that scenery nothing else really has to matter.   That said lets get ready to party... Come on Danny you were amazing all week show
the big guy how a party is done.  There is fear in those eyes, take advantage.   

Okay guys we will need to   start the party off easy, how about a signature cocktail?   This one is cool it's called an Italian Surfer With a Attitude.  This should liven the party up a bit..

Italian Surfer With a Attitude 

4 ounce Coconut rum
4ounce Amaretto
4 ounce Vodka
4 ounces Pineapple juice
16 fluid ounce Cranberry juice

1.      Mix in a pitcher.
2.     Add ice to glass and pour

So I think it is possible we have gotten off to a good start, and might now venture into some of our tasty treats.

Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Beans and Fresh Herbs

For the topping:

1 cup seeded and diced ripe beefsteak tomato

3/4 cup well-drained canned cannellini beans 
1/4 cup seeded and diced cucumber
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green (spring) onion
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Freshly ground pepper

For the Bruschetta:

8 slices country-style white or whole-wheat bread (each 2 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick)
1 large clove garlic, cut in half
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients, including pepper to taste. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours or for up to 2 days to allow the flavors to blend.  
  2. Preheat a broiler or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Arrange the bread slices on a rack on a broiler pan or on a grill rack and broil or grill for 2 minutes. Turn the bread slices over and continue to cook until golden, 1-2 minutes longer. 
  3. Remove from the heat, rub a cut side of the garlic clove over one side of each warm bread slice and then brush with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil. 
  4. Mound an equal amount of the topping on the garlic-rubbed side of each bread slice. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Insalata Caprese

2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
2-1 pound mozzarella balls, sliced thickly
fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  1. On a plate, arrange the slices of tomato and mozzarella, alternating one after the other and fanning out. 
  2. Tear the fresh basil over the salad, salt and drizzle with the best extra-virgin olive oil available.

Tropical Prosciutto Bites

¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto or fully cooked ham, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 large mango or papaya, peeled, pitted or seeded, and cut into 12 pieces
12 medium strawberries

  1. Wrap strips of prosciutto around mango pieces and strawberries. 
  2. Secure with toothpicks.

Hawaiian Pork Roast
What is a Luau without some pork right?

1- 15 can pineapple slices
4 to 5 lb. pork loin roast (have butcher loosen backbone)
1/2 c. honey
1/3 c.  soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ginger

  1. Drain pineapple slices and blend syrup with rest of ingredients. 
  2. Roast in 325 degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Brush pork with marinade every 10 minutes and last 1/2 hour of cooking.
  3. Heat remaining marinade and serve with roast. 

Danny congratulate yourself, you did an amazing job and you should be very proud.  Okay Steven today we did enlist your services as well and are very grateful because a party can be overwhelming (okay maybe not for a Navy Seal) but what are friends for, right?  

Friends are coming over and your Luau feast seems to be complete.  Have a great weekend everyone.

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