Sunday, June 28, 2009

One haole loco moco

This year is the 60th anniversary of the loco moco (a.k.a. code blue plate special.) If you eat it with a big green salad, it cancels out some of the sodium, fat and cholesterol. Maybe.

Traditionally, a loco moco is a scoop or two of sticky rice topped with a ground beef patty or other meat, smothered in gravy (we like turkey or chicken gravy even with hamburger), an over-easy fried egg on the top. (You might be tempted to reinvent this as a healthy meal, using brown rice, tofu... but don't go there.)

So I go surfin' on the net and find this about the history of loco moco:

Says Linda Stradley, “There are many people who claim to have invented Loco Moco, but it is generally agreed that around 1949, either the Cafe 100 or the Lincoln Grill (both in Hilo, Hawaii) originated the first dish of Loco Moco. According to the story, the dish was created for teenagers who wanted something different from typical American sandwiches and less time-consuming than Asian food to eat for breakfast. The nickname of the first boy to eat this concoction was Loco ("crazy" in Portuguese and Hawaiian pidgin). Moco rhymed with loco and sounded great, so Loco Moco became the name of the dish.”

Whatevahs. Jeeze, it's not like they invented kryptonite, or the cure for cancer. It's what's for dinner!

In tonight’s version we’re using up a handful of mushrooms and the last of the green onions. We’re using gravy from a jar. Of course homemade gravy tastes much better but this ain’t Thanksgiving dinner, folks. This is rather formulaic semi-fast food: 1.Put beef or whatever on rice. 2.Add gravy. 3.Top with runny egg.

You wanna be healthy, add a salad. We’re having Kohala greens. We buy ‘em in a bag locally at the KTA in Waimea, and I LOVE the little orange nasturtium petals the growers sprinkle in. Tossed with a dab of Maui Onion salad dressing from a bottle, it adds color to the rather bland colored loco moco, not to mention a dose of antioxidants and ZING.

While we’re cooking we’re listening to Hapa’s Maui cd. Bob’s drinking a beer and I’m finishing last night’s wine. (Some things have changed in our lives. We never used to have leftover wine…)

Don’t forget to serve it up with plenty of love and aloha. That's the real secret we've discovered from the locals.

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