Tuesday, September 20, 2011

0 Pork chops Manago....

I remember a few years ago when I was visiting the Big Island in Hawaii a friend had told me that he had eaten the best pork chops in the world at the Hotel Manago. So when passing through Captain Cook Town on my way to Kailua Kona, I had to stop and try them. Well it was worth the stop, not only for the chops which were delicious and tender, but for the side dishes and the pleasant conversation with the waitress. I told her how much I enjoyed the meal and asked what the secret was to the chops, she told me that they were actually very plain, just flour, salt and pepper, and slow cooked in an iron skillet with butter. Next, I asked her if the secret flavoring in the zucchini was bonito flakes. She looked at me kind of surprised since I was obviously not from Hawaii (or Japan) and told me that I was right. Since then I've cooked both dishes successfully at home. I hope you'll enjoy both recipes.

In Hawaii they have what they call plate dishes – a meat, two scoops of rice, and macaroni salad. Very high in carbs and not very diet friendly. I suggest that instead you try the chops with the zucchini, maybe some steamed string beans and this lighter rotini salad. Make the rotini first so that it can cool down while the rest of dinner is cooking.

Pork Chops Manago
4 Center cut pork chops (please don't buy them too thin, don't believe the “Serves more” sticker - just buy thicker chops and eat one! Thicker chops will be more tender.)
3 Tbl flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1-2 Tbl butter

Mix the flour, salt and pepper together on a plate. Rinse the chops under running water. Dredge them in the flour mixture. Heat frying pan (or better an iron skillet) over a low to medium low flame, add butter. Once melted add the chops, cook about 7-10 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. Serves 4.

Zucchini Manago
2 medium zucchini, cubed
1 tsp bonito flakes
1/4 tsp sugar
1Tbl soy sauce
water

Put zucchini, bonito, sugar and soy sauce in a medium pot, add water to cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until zucchini is cooked, but firm. Serve with slotted spoon.  Serves 4.


Rotini Salad
1 pkg rotini pasta (tri-colored or whole grain)
½ – ¾ c cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, chopped
½ green or red bell pepper
½ c sliced black olives
½ c crumbled feta cheese
1-2 Tbl olive oil

In a large pot boil water, add rotini and cook for about 12 minutes, rinse in cold water and drain. Put into a large bowl, add tomatoes, onion, olives and cheese, mix, drizzle with olive oil, mix well. Refrigerate, serve cold. Serves about 12.

This is another recipe you can really get creative with – you could add broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and/or mushrooms to it too! You can also add diced chicken breast (1-2 broiled breasts), ham (1-2 card deck size 1/4” slices), a small filet of broiled salmon or a can of drained tuna fish to this salad to make it a main course instead of a side dish – just be sure not to eat too much and to still have more veggie sides with it. Or don't add the meat but add a hard boiled egg. Remember you don't want to have too much protein in your meal, don't add egg and meat!


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