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‘Savory’ Category

  1. Summer Cilantro Salad

    May 24, 2013 by

    Cilantro 1-crop

    Today is the beginning of Summer for us. It always starts with a bang because we have 3 birthdays within a 3 week period (Elliot is 13, Jim turns 50!!! and Grandpa turns 87). We are having a party with all of Elliot’s friends this afternoon.

    We have been working on a Farm Stay for quite a while now. As funds allow, we have been working on it in sections. It is going to be quite a sweet space with enough room for 6. We should start to offer it up for farm stay visits within the next few weeks! A beautiful deck on the front is going on this week, and all the lights go in next week. It will be completely off-grid, so it will be the perfect place to come and unplug for a lovely stay in the country. And of course, all visitors will get to join in on one of our functions up at the Mill (A Tasting, Farm Tour, Vanilla Luncheon Experience, or Upcountry Tea). We can’t wait for you to visit!

    Cilantro 1

    You can see in the photos some of our plots where we grow all of the greens we serve at the Mill, plus a ton of cilantro, which I had to use because it was going to seed. I was so happy to find this recipe.


    Cilantro 2



    This Summer Cilantro Salad I served 3 times last week, and Isaac actually picked every last piece of cilantro from the bowl–yes, it’s that good. I got it from the very first blog I started following, 101 Cookbooks–it’s a lovely site so make sure to check it out. Of course I doctored the recipe up a bit with vanilla and loved the results.



    Cilantro 3



    1/2 Cup Extra virgin olive oil

    1/2 Cup onion, diced

    4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

    4 Cups cilantro, leaves and stems (but not thick, tough stems)

    1 pound asparagus, stemmed and sliced thinly

    1/4 Cup Shoyu (soy sauce)

    1/4 Cup brown sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 Cup peanuts, roughly chopped

    3 Tablespoons sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white)


    In a heavy bottomed pan sauté onion and garlic in olive oil using the lowest heat and a cover to allow the onions to sweat. Allow to cook for 15- 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft and the oil fragrant. Pull off the heat and allow to cool.


    Blanch the asparagus: bring a medium sauce pan of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and place in the bowl you will be serving the salad in.


    Trim the tough stems from your cilantro, wash and dry thoroughly. Add to the asparagus. Toss in peanuts and sesame seeds.


    In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine shoyu, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.


    Add your onion, garlic and oil to your salad. Then add your shoyu mixture. Toss gently.


    **Make sure when you are serving to stir up the bottom of the bowl because the asparagus and peanuts like to hang out down there!




    xovoxo, (vanilla hugs & kisses)

    Tracy Reddekopp













  2. Spinach and Vanilla Rice Casserole

    May 17, 2013 by

    Rice 6

    We have been having Wedding Planning Nights at our home in preparation for Ian & Malia’s marriage in September. We are so very excited about having the celebration on our farm and helping out where we can. Jim & I have been planning their honeymoon, but it is a surprise, so I can’t tell you yet!

    Rice 1

    I always try to make something special for them when they come over, and Ian has a few favorites that I like to make for him. This is a simple, easy dish that can be made ahead for a crowd, a brunch, dinner, frozen for later meals–just a great casserole dish with a few embellishments that everyone in my family enjoys. The vanilla rice (by itself) can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish, with eggs in the morning, or just by the spoonful. Vanilla adds just the perfect note of delicateness to the rice, softening and pulling the flavors into perfect harmony. Ahhhh…sounds like the perfect recipe for marriage!


    Rice is a staple here in Hawaii. It is served with every meal. This is how we make rice in our home.


    Vanilla Rice




    4 Cups white rice

    4 Tablespoons butter

    2 Teaspoons kosher salt

    vanilla seeds scraped from 1/2 of a bean




    Measure out rice into a heavy bottomed pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add warm tap water to the rice and using your hands, sift through the rice to release the talc. Carefully dump that water out, using your hand to keep the rice greens from slipping through ( you can also use a fine-meshed sieve, and then place rinsed rice in your pot). Wash-rinse-repeat two more times. Pat rice down so that it is even in the pot. Using your pinky finger as a guide, place the tip of your finger on the top of the rice and add warm tap water until the water comes up to the first knuckle line on your pinky. Place the pot on the burner and bring to a boil. Add butter, salt and vanilla and give it a quick stir. Cover and lower heat to the absolute lowest setting and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is fully steamed, all of the water is absorbed and the grains are soft. You can check to see if it is done by using a wooden spoon or spatula to scoop to the bottom of the pot and see if all of the water is absorbed, or to pull a few grains out to taste. Cover again quickly because you don’t want to lose too much of the steam from the pot.

    Rice 4


    Spinach and Vanilla Rice Casserole


    Serves 8




    1 Portuguese sausage, quartered and diced

    1 large onion, diced

    8 Cups cooked Vanilla Rice

    4 pkg. boxed, frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze the water out

    8 eggs, lightly beaten

    2 1/2 Cups whole milk

    2 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar & jack cheese blend

    1 Teaspoon dried thyme

    Corn flakes, crushed (optional)



    **This can all be done in one pot–so use a large one to accommodate all of the ingredients.


    Fry the sausage in a large pot. When nicely browned, drain on paper towels and wipe out the pot to remove most of the grease.



    Rice 2


    Then add onion and sauté until translucent and softened.

    Rice 3



    Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.


    Pour into a well buttered (or vegetable sprayed) 9×13 baking dish ( I know the picture shows an 8×8, but I made extra for the photo shoot!). Top with crushed corn flakes and gently press into the rice mixture.


    Rice 5



    Bake at 375 F or until the top is nicely browned and all moisture is absorbed, about 30 minutes.


    **We serve ours with a hot sauce like Frank’s or Tabasco.



    xovox, (vanilla hugs & kisses)

    Tracy Reddekopp









  3. Meatless Monday Taco Salad

    April 22, 2013 by

    Champagne vinaigrette

    What dressing goes good on a Taco Salad?

    Taco Salad


    I love a good, big salad. Especially when we grow the crisp greens and they are so fresh you can practically feel the goodness in them. Especially when the tomatoes and cilantro are grown right down the street. The onions are from Maui. I love that we can get good, fresh food to feed our family. I also have some black beans sprinkled in and also some black olives (those came from a can–however, I did make the refried beans from scratch–don’t forget a hint of cinnamon & vanilla added into the pot at the very end!)


    Champagne vinaigrette

    We will crumble the tortilla chips on the top and then dress it with our Vanilla Champagne Vinaigrette. It really is such a delicious combination. It is brighter and lighter than the traditional thick and heavy Ranch style dressing that is usually paired with this salad. I actually crave this salad–so we have it, um, a lot. Probably once a week when our lettuce is going off. I also like this dressing drizzled over my Quinoa and Shrimp salad that I re-made from a salad I had at Mariposa on Oahu. I’ll have to post that one soon–it’s perfect for a Spring luncheon, or even Mother’s Day. Enjoy!

  4. A Walk In the Rain, Tapas & Wine

    February 12, 2013 by


    A Walk In the Rain, Tapas & Wine

    We hosted our very first Saturday afternoon/evening event with a narrated-history tour given by Jim followed by tapas and wine at the Mill.

    It was a bit rainy, but our intrepid participants came ready to brave the weather.  Armed with umbrellas, they headed out for almost an hour while Emma & I opened the wine to breathe and finished plating the tapas.


    We made Vanilla-Lemon-Cumin Roasted Wings, Vanilla & Thyme Housemade Flatbread, Vanilla-Pepper-Onion Marmalade, Rib-Eye Nachos with Queso Fresco and all the fixings (fresh guacamole, salsa, vanilla-creme fraiche & chopped cilantro), roasted asparagus with vanilla oil  cotija cheese, cucumber boast with feta and vanilla-red wine vinaigrette, browned vanilla-butter toasted Marcona almonds, feta stuffed dates wrapped with bacon and some beautiful olives to top it all off.  Everything was very tasty, if I do say so myself!


    Everyone enjoyed themselves and toasted the evening.

    We will be hosting one in March(either the 23 or the 30th) and would love to have you join us!

    If you can’t be here, you can try these at home–everyone in my family said that these rival my Christmas Eve Hot Wings–you’ll have to let me know what you think.

    Vanilla-Lemon-Cumin Roasted Wings


    **These are super easy and the perfect combination of acidity, spiced and rounded nicely with vanilla, crispy on the outside-very tender on the inside yumminess. Please note that they do require a marinating time–so plan accordingly.

    36 Wings (I didn’t take note of the weight, but these were whole wings, with drumette, mid-section and tip)

    1 Cup Vanilla Oil

    1 Cup Lemon Juice (remember, I have a LOT of lemons to use up!)

    4 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

    4 Teaspoons Kosher or sea salt

    Ground pepper to your taste

    A few drops of Frank’s Hot Sauce or Tabasco to your taste

    Combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well to combine. Pour over chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours–overnight is even better. I combined my marinade in a snap-lock plastic container, shook the marinade well, and then added the chicken. I also tried to “shake” the container (or turn it up-side down) every few hours since the marinade was mostly on the bottom of the container.

    Line a large baking sheet (or two half-sheets) with parchment or foil (to make clean-up easier!). Place a rack on top of parchment and spray with vegetable spray (such as Pam). Remove wings from marinade and place on rack.

    Roast at 400º until nicely browned. I have a convection oven, so they took about 30 minutes.


    Enjoy and let me know how they turn out!

    xovox (vanilla hugs & kisses),
    The Vanilla Chef (aka Tracy Reddekopp)

  5. Making Garam Masala Shrimp!

    January 11, 2013 by



    Aloha Vanilla Chefs! Another recipe used in our Hawaiian Vanilla Luncheon is now available for you to cook at home. Today we will be learning to cook shrimp with our Hawaiian Vanilla Garam Masala Spice Rub.

    Today’s Ingredient List:

    – 2 Tbsp. Butter

    – 1/2 Vanilla Bean, Scraped

    – 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Spice Rub

    -1/2 tsp Pure Extract

    – 6 Shrimp, De-Tailed


    – 1 Frying Pan

    – Spatula

    – Tongs


    Start by de-tailing you shrimp if you haven’t done so already. The shrimp we will be using in this demonstration are precooked. Place the pan on your stove and turn on your burner to medium heat. Then add the butter in. As the butter begins to melt cut your vanilla bean open on a cutting board and scrape vanilla seeds into pan stirring with spatula to mix with butter. Add the Garam Masala Spice Rub, again stirring thoroughly. Finally, add the Vanilla Extract ( be careful as extract does have a tendency to flame up). Stir until all ingredients are blended. Shut flame off and add shrimp. Coat each piece thoroughly. Your Vanilla Garam Masala Shrimp is now ready to serve!

    Serving Ideas:

    Thinly slice a Baguette loaf. One slice for each piece of shrimp being served. Brush with oil and toast slices in oven till crispy. Put a dollop of Pineapple  Chutney on each slice. Enjoy!

  6. Making Southwest Spice Rub Potatoes!

    January 4, 2013 by

    For those of you who have had the luxury of visiting the Hawaiian Vanilla Company for one of our Luncheon experiences you know, already, how exceptional our Southwest Spice Rub potatoes are. But for those of  you who have not visited us yet, this recipe will allow you to enjoy those special potatoes in the comfort of your own home.

    Serving Size: 6 People


    – 6 Potatoes

    – 3 Tablespoons Hawaiian Vanilla Southwest Spice Rub

    – Vegetable Oil ( We use our Vanilla Oil Blend, amount used in recipe is up to the chef)


    – Knife and Cutting Board

    – Pot Large Enough To Hold All Potatoes Plus Water

    – Strainer

    – Baking Sheet

    – Spatula


    Start by rinsing all the potatoes thoroughly. Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks. Place the chunks in your pot and fill till all the spuds are submerged. Place on stove and turn burner on high. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When water boils in the pot and then cook  potatoes until soft when pierced with fork ( potatoes will turn mushy if boiled to long, be observant!). Drain potatoes in sink. Pour potatoes onto a baking sheet. Allow potatoes to steam on baking sheet. Once all steam has been released, pour oil onto potatoes ( be generous) and mix thoroughly with spatula. Sprinkle Southwest Spice Rub over potatoes and mix again. Spread potatoes evenly in pan and place in  oven. Roast for 30-45 minutes. After 20 minutes pull the pan and carefully stir the potatoes spreading them evenly once again.  Roast for twenty more minutes and test for crispness. Pull potatoes out when crispy, Serve hot. Enjoy!


  7. Welcome To The Vanilla Chef!

    January 2, 2013 by


    Welcome to the vanilla! Updates coming soon! This weeks featured product is the Hawaiian Vanilla Southwest Spice Rub! Check back every Friday the whole month of January for a new recipe featuring this product!

    To purchase this product please click here.

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