Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maui Farmer's Union Meeting 11-22-11: Chef Justin Pardo

There is so much information at the Maui Farmer's Union Meeting, that I was thinking I could use a clone or two or three, and maybe an extra computer, a super fast internet connection, better video expertise, and the know-how or software to compress videos for quicker uploading. Oh well. My fantasy wish list also includes having a cleaner, a professional oganizer, and an errand person.

The farmers union meetings are open to the public, and was held at the Tavares Community Center in Pukalani. Last night's meeting was a blast. I'm still processing and uploading videos, and also rewriting my notes for legibility.  Please also visit their website to find the latest meeting info:

The meeting last night included a Thanksgiving style potluck including a turkey cooked by Melissa Panzarini and donated by Whole Foods. Mana Foods also donated a big produce box.  

Since Thanksgiving is coming up tomorrow, here are few video clips of Chef Justin Pardo from Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao. This bistro is located in the courtyard by Viewpoints Gallery and to the left of Makawao Steak House. Chef Pardo was a very entertaining and dynamic speaker. 

Some of his turkey tips include:

  • Thaw turkey in the fridge, not overnight outside.
  • Take out the giblets before cooking!
  • Cook it at about 425 for 40 minutes, as soon as skin is golden brown on top, then turn the oven down to a lower temperature. (This part is in the video clip.)
  • Check with a thermometer to see if it’s ready, don’t test the breast – that’s the part that cooks first, put it in the thigh b/w the bone and breast – in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Braise legs separately – he likes to cut them off the turkey and cook them in a little stock for about 3 hours, that also makes a nice gravy.
  • Wait at least a half hour after cooking the turkey before cutting it. It has to rest, or else all the juices will stream out.

There were also plenty of vegetarians in the audience who were not interested in turkey! Here's a recipe for cranberry sauce.

Other Thanksgiving Ideas from the Audience and Chef Pardo:
  • Use Kula persimmons in cranberry sauce
  • Stuff the turkey with luau leaves, taro and coconut milk
  • Substitute taro for potatoes
  • Chef Pardo mentioned a turducken: a deboned turkey, deboned chicken, and deboned duck. They are stuffed and rolled together. He hasn't tried it yet.
  • Make chestnut kale stuffing for vegetarians, roast the chestnuts. Chef Pardo says it’s amazing.
  • Make green beans with local beans, onions, not using French fried onions in a can.
  • (Note: my favorite way to make turkey is to stuff the inside with quartered onions and lemons or limes which are later discarded... they make the turkey very tender.)

Lastly, Chef Pardo shared ideas on using leftovers, both turkey and non turkey iems:

I'm hoping to add more info soon. By the way, I am now checking on my turkey, bought at Mana Foods... I just pulled out the giblet bag, then the other bag from the other side of the turkey, and a neck bone. I have a bowl under the turkey to collect the blood - because I am quirky, and I am going to feed it to my plants. Kind of like Little Shop of Horrors. Plants like nitrogen in animal blood. Anyhow, Happy Thanksgiving!

Also... consider registering for Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express - if you have an AmEx card. AmEx will credit you $25 if you spend up to $25 this Saturday (November 26, 2011) at a LOCAL small business registered with AmEx for this program. Upcountry Fine Art in Hali'imaile is participating, and I believe, so is Mana Foods.


Post a Comment

Comments are important to me, so mahalo for adding a comment! I will try to follow up when I receive one.