RESTAURANT REPLICAS: TURN A PARTY INTO A POLYNESIAN PARADISE.
Dig up some tiki torches, Hawaiian music, lush tropical flowers and leis, gather a few friends and party Aloha style with Polynesian-inspired drinks and appetizers.
Design your menu selections around our terrific replica creations from the 5-month-old Roy's restaurant (one among the many namesake dining establishments in Roy Yamaguchi's portfolio) in Woodland Hills, noted for glorious and colorful Hawaiian fusion fare in a warm and friendly setting.
Tom Voss, executive chef partner at Roy's Woodland Hills and Jason Pohlman, bar manager, shared a few secrets and clues to expedite our facsimiles for home cooks.
If you plan to imbibe, don't miss the fabulous Hawaiian martini, the restaurant's top-selling signature drink - or the ever-popular mai tai - two from a list of 17 specialty tropical drinks and martinis. ``We sell 2,500 Hawaiian martinis a month and 1,500 mai tais,'' notes Pohlman.
To make the martinis, the restaurant infuses regular and vanilla vodka and coconut rum with cut-up fresh pineapple pieces for five days prior to serving. We've included a version of that along with a shortcut copy that goes together in a flash - no waiting.
The mai tai goes together fast with mango rum, pineapple and orange juices, triple sec and orgeat (almond) syrup - and has a float of dark rum on top. For best flavor, squeeze the lime garnish over the top before drinking.
For party appetizers, pick and choose from wonderful seafood offerings such as coconut shrimp or an avocado-shrimp feta salad along with Roy's hallmark Szechwan baby back ribs. All of them fly out the door during the summertime, notes Voss, 31, a graduate of the San Francisco California Culinary Academy and a 5-year Roy's veteran.
``We have a huge emphasis on fresh fish and seafood, with half of it coming from Hawaii,'' he adds, noting that such fare accounts for up to 65 percent of the creations sold in the 200-seat restaurant serving from 300 to 450 meals nightly. Hawaiian ingredients - ahi, mahi-mahi, ono (wahoo, a type of firm white fish), onaga (orange snapper), uku (gray snapper), some Hawaiian spices, macadamia nuts, pineapples, mangoes and ogo (a type of seaweed) - are also featured.
The coconut shrimp, served on Roy's canoe sampler platter, although fried, is amazingly easy for home cooks to duplicate. The trick is to coat super jumbo raw shrimp (13 to 15 per pound, if available) with tails on, with flour, then roll in beaten egg and then in a coconut-panko mixture. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut, available at natural food markets or other stores. For a lower-calorie option, simply grill the shrimp. Serve either with cocktail sauce jazzed up with a little wasabi paste and lemon juice.
The Maui wowee shrimp salad with a caper lime vinaigrette is another dynamite possibility.
Although the restaurant smokes the ribs (in a smoker) for a couple of hours after braising in liquid on top of the stove (until tender and cooked through) and then grills them, we skipped the smoking step with excellent results. Unlike the restaurant, which makes its own teriyaki sauce for the marinade, we purchased a bottle and combined it with hoison sauce for ease and convenience. Kick it up a notch with sriracha sauce, a hot and spicy Vietnamese or Thai condiment that Voss uses in several dishes on the menu. Look for it at Trader Joe's or in the Asian section at supermarkets. Tasters devoured these finger-lickin'-good ribs.
All of these recipes, ideal for summer dining and beyond, are winners and bound to impress friends or family.
When you don't want to cook, book a table at Roy's to experience their creations. For a reservation at prime time (Friday or Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m.), call a couple of weeks in advance, advises Mark Damico, managing partner in Woodland Hills, who notes that Roy's is a joint venture partnership with Outback Steak House.
Natalie Haughton, (818) 713-3692
MAUI ``WOWEE'' SHRIMP SALAD WITH FETA
CAPER LIME VINAIGRETTE:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon caper juice (from caper jar)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 pound extra-large OR jumbo peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped sweet white onions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups small strips romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 avocado, chopped
16 thin slices Roma tomatoes
8 bibb, red OR other lettuce leaves
To prepare Caper Lime Vinaigrette, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
For Salad, combine shrimp, pepper, onions, feta cheese, romaine lettuce, capers and avocado; toss well. Add as much Caper Lime Vinaigrette as desired (we used about 1/2 of it) and toss until well mixed. Arrange 4 tomato slices around edges of each of 4 individual salad plates. Top each with 2 lettuce leaves. Mound shrimp salad atop greens, dividing evenly. Serve immediately, drizzled with remaining dressing, if desired. Garnish top with micro greens, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
1 tablespoon mango-flavored rum
1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon triple sec
2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons orgeat (almond) syrup
3/4 cup small ice cubes
2 tablespoons dark rum
Pineapple chunk, maraschino cherry, lime slice and orange slice, for garnish
Mix together mango rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, triple sec, orgeat syrup and ice cubes. Turn (including ice) into a tulip or other glass. Float dark rum on top. Garnish with a pineapple chunk, maraschino cherry, a lime and an orange slice. Squeeze lime into mai tai before drinking. Makes 1 serving.
MOCK HAWAIIAN MARTINI
Here's a fast, no-wait version of the tropical-flavored martini when you're in a hurry.
1/4 cup vodka (unflavored)
2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored vodka
2 tablespoons coconut-flavored rum
1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pineapple wedge for garnish
Combine all ingredients except ice and pineapple wedge. Shake over ice cubes until very cold. Serve straight up (without ice cubes) in a martini glass. Garnish edge of glass with a pineapple wedge. Serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.
3 to 4 cups cutup fresh pineapple chunks (cut up a fresh pineapple OR purchase already cutup chunks)
1 3/4 cups vodka (unflavored)
3/4 cup vanilla-flavored vodka
3/4 cup coconut-flavored rum
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (OR to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a large glass pitcher or bowl. Refrigerate (the restaurant leaves the mixture at room temperature), covered, 5 days. Strain out pineapple chunks (use in a dessert or as desired) and serve liquid (shaken over ice cubes, if necessary, to chill) straight up (without ice) in martini glasses. Garnish rim of each with a pineapple wedge. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
SZECHWAN-STYLE BABY BACK PORK RIBS
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
6 tablespoons teriyaki marinade and sauce
4 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
1 teaspoon mirin OR sake
1/2 to 1 teaspoon (OR more to taste) sriracha sauce (hot, spicy Asian condiment)
3 to 4 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 to 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger OR 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro stems, chopped
For Marinade, combine all marinade ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
Place ribs (cut into slabs of 6 to 8 ribs each) in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Stir in remaining ingredients (except marinade). Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until tender.
Carefully remove ribs and immediately brush with some of marinade (use about 1/3 to no more than 1/2 of it). Cool ribs. (You can refrigerate overnight at this point until grilling, if desired. Also, refrigerate remaining marinade).
To grill, heat gas (or charcoal) grill to high or medium high heat. (If you have a charcoal grill, add some mesquite wood chips soaked in water, if desired.)
Brush ribs with more marinade and grill, covered, until well browned (do not burn), about 10 minutes per side. Brush with more marinade, cut into individual rib pieces, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired, and serve any extra marinade on the side. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 pound super-jumbo raw, peeled and deveined shrimp (13 to 15 per pound, if available) with tails left on, thawed if frozen
1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/3 to 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
Flour (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
1 egg, beaten until smooth
Wasabi Cocktail Sauce
Heat 2 1/2 to 3 inches oil in a saucepan over medium-high to high heat until very hot. (Or use a deep fryer if you have one).
Meanwhile rinse and dry shrimp with paper towels. Mix together panko and coconut and place in a shallow foil pie pan. Spread flour out in another pie pan. Beat egg until smooth in a shallow bowl.
Dip each shrimp in flour, then in beaten egg (allow any excess to drip off) and panko/coconut mixture, rolling around to cover completely (press in with fingers, if necessary, for mixture to stick).
Carefully place a few shrimp at a time in hot oil, cooking until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes total. With a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all shrimp are cooked (you may need to reduce heat a bit on subsequent batches to avoid overbrowning).
Serve 2 to 3 shrimp per plate per person, with a drizzling of Wasabi Cocktail Sauce, topped with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with thinly sliced cucumbers, shaved red onions and shredded carrots marinated with rice wine vinegar and a little sugar 2 to 3 hours. Makes 4 to 5 servings.
WASABI COCKTAIL SAUCE: Mix 3/4 cup cocktail sauce, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon wasabi paste (mix 1 teaspoon wasabi powder with 2 teaspoons water and let stand 2 to 3 minutes before using) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
GRILLED SHRIMP (on the cover)
Instead of coating shrimp, place on skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over medium to high heat a minute or two per side, until pink. Serve as directed above with Wasabi Cocktail Sauce and cucumber salad. Makes 4 servings.
(1 -- cover -- color) Island delights
Create drinks and appetizers from Roy's
(2 -- color) MAI TAI
(3 -- color) SHRIMP SALAD WITH FETA
(4 -- color) BABY BACK RIBS
(5 -- color) COCONUT SHRIMP
(6 -- color) HAWAIIAN MARTINI
Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer
Photographed at Roy's, Woodland Hills
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jul 20, 2005|
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