Friday, December 9, 2016

Hodgepodge 41/365 - Portuguese Bean Soup

A while back, a friend of mine whose grandparents live on Kaua'i (her grandpa just died, so now it's only her grandmother) tweeted while waiting at Lihue for a flight home to the mainland that if you were to ask any of the flight attendants arriving what their go-to dish at the airport restaurant would be, the hands-down answer would be Portuguese bean soup over fried rice.

Which got me curious. Portuguese bean soup? On Kauai? I googled, of course. And came up with a Portuguese bean soup (sopa de feijao) not from Kauai, but from Oahu— specifically, served up at an annual fund-raising carnival held at the Punahou School, President Obama's alma mater.

Okay. It's a Hawaiian thing. And then to serve it over fried rice? That sounded too good to be true.

And so I made the soup. I was too lazy to make the rice as well, but it worked great just as soup—a hearty stew. Once it was a question of leftovers, the rice became a relatively simple addition. And oh man! We served the combo to our family who were here during the dismal election: comfort food par excellence.

And so I will share the recipes here (for my own reference as well). And yes, I will be making both these dishes again. Probably not too long from now. Winter, this one bringing a truly deplorable new administration, is the perfect excuse for comfort food.

Punahou Portuguese Bean Soup

1–2 lbs ham hocks or ham bone
2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 16-oz can tomato sauce
1 lb linguica sausage, cubed
1 cup elbow macaroni
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium head of cabbage, cubed

1. Boil ham hocks/ham bone in 2 quarts water until tender (several hours), saving the stock. Cut meat from the bones.
2. Bring ham stock to a boil and add all ingredients except macaroni and cabbage.
3. Simmer 1–2 hours, stirring frequently. Add water if too thick.
4. Add macaroni and cubed cabbage about 10 minutes before done.

Gouveas Portuguese sausage (mail order) gives this soup a real Hawaiian flare.

Fried Rice

3 Tb  neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
1 Tb minced garlic, or to taste
1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)
1Tb  minced ginger, or to taste
3–4 cups cooked white rice, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, or water
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced cilantro or scallions

1. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn heat to high. When it begins to shimmer, add onion, pepper, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl.
2. Drain peas if necessary, and add them to skillet; cook, shaking pan, for about a minute, or until hot. Remove them to the bowl.
3. Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed by garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble these, then stir into the rice.
4. Return vegetables to the skillet and stir to integrate. Add wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off heat, stir in the cilantro, and serve. 

1 comment:

  1. Portuguese immigrants brought malasadas to Hawaii, too. Yum.