Thursday, August 30, 2012

Donne' Dinanche Restaurant, Tumon, Guam!!!

Lupe and I try to experience a new restaurant every couple of weeks. We like trying out new and exciting restaurants. And we found the experience at the fairly new Donne' Dinanche Restaurant in Tumon as such.

A friend had recommended the Donne' Dinanche Restaurant and were we are glad we went. Donne' Dinanche is located in the Royal Orchid Hotel complex. I must say that I normally do not write about restaurants on my Guam Firehouse Cook blog but this was definitely worth mentioning.

Donne' Dinanche specializes in what is referred to on Guam as "local" food "Chamorro" style!! If you don't know the meaning of Chamorro, it means the native people of the Mariana Islands, their customs, food and language.

We opted for the lunch buffet at $7.99 plus 10% service charge. The buffet is different every day. We had three different meat entrees, appetizers, salad bar, kelaguens, dinanches and drinks. It was more than worth the price but more importantly the food was great. Just like home!!!

Here is the menu...

Front Page

Back Page

As you can see by the menu, quite the variety but yet not too many items that you would be lost in the "menu zone".

Guam's Food Guy, Ken Stewart, wrote his review about his experience here and it was all super positive. To read what Ken had to say, you can go to his Guam Diner web site and read the review. Just toggle down about 9 articles.

KUAM News also featured a special on Donne' Dinanche Restaurant. It is a Joan Charfauros production of "In the Mix". You can view that video here.

For more information you can also visit Donne' Dinanche's Facebook page. 

So if you happen to be in the Tumon area and you get those "hunger pains", pull on into the Royal Orchid Hotel complex and pay a visit to the Donne' Dinanche Restaurant. Order up some home style "local" food. It will be an experience that you soon won't forget. 

Until next time....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kalua Pig Shredded Pork Tacos

Tacos, the ultimate comfort food. Easy to make, convenient to eat and so delicious you hate to stop eating them. And I was in the mood. What to do??? Pork Butt slow cooked Kalua Pig style. Simple and not a whole lot of work.

Here's the prep for the pork...
  1. Take one whole pork butt, about 3 pounds, and pierce it all over with a large fork like a BBQ fork or carving fork. 
  2. Give it a good rub down with sea salt using roughly about 2 1/2 teaspoons. 
  3. Next rub it down with approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons of Liquid Hickory Smoke. 
  4. Place this in your slow cooker (CrocK Pot). 
  5. Cook it on the high setting for 4 to 6 hours. Basically until it it fork tender. 
  6. If your pork butt is smaller or larger, adjust your seasoning amounts accordingly. 
While that is cooking, make your Pico de Gallo Salsa. Here is my favorite recipe. I like to keep it simple.

2-3 Roma Tomatoes, diced.

1 medium Red Onion, diced.

1-2 Jalapeno Chilies, minced. Number of chilies depends on your desired heat level.

About one cup of loose Cilantro, roughly chopped.

The juice of one lime.

Salt to taste.

Mix this up and let sit in the refrigerator so that the flavors blend together nicely.

Once your pork butt is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks.

Putting it all together for the taco....

Heat up a corn tortilla and place the desired amount of pork, topped with the shredded cheese of your choice. Then top it with the Pico de Gallo salsa and any other taco condiments that you like, such as shredded lettuce, sour cream, or guacamole. The topping ingredients are endless. Remember, tacos are a style of eating up your leftover food. So experiment and enjoy. Heck, throw it all in. Don't be shy. Just enjoy yourself....

I would like to thank for inspiring this Kalua Pig recipe that I used for the taco. For more of their Hawaiian recipes visit their web site at

Until next time....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Breakfast Burger.....Breakfast of Champions!!!

Breakfast....everyone's favorite meal. Whether you have it in the morning or the evening, for some reason the breakfast meal and menu is great at anytime. So for that reason I just had to create the Breakfast Burger. Something that you can enjoy eating at anytime.

I set upon creating this meal within itself. Of course I had to have the burger patty. I went with home-made pork butt hamburger. I like the pork butt because it has lean meat as well as fat. Since I try to stay with the 80% meat and 20% fat ratio for my burger meats, the butt was perfect. I put the appropriate amounts of each into the food processor along with fresh oregano from the garden, minced red and yellow onions, smoked paprika powder, mustard powder and minced garlic. I gave this all a twirl in the processor and Bam!!!!! The perfect hamburger meat. Patty #1.

For Patty #2 I wanted a breakfast meat. Something different and with some kick. I spotted the Farmer John brand of link sausage with Chorizo at the store. I had to have it. Thus with this I fashioned Patty #2.

Well, because this was a breakfast burger, I felt compelled to include a fried egg and 2 strips of bacon. I thought to myself, now this is starting to shape up nicely.

Cheese, what kind of cheese did I want to use? I had four different types of sliced cheese on had. You know that variety pack from Cost U Less here on Guam. In the states I guess it could be found at Cost Co. Anyway I chose Cheddar and Monterrey Jack. I love them both and their colors would contrast nicely for my photos.

Then I topped this all off with green butter lettuce, red onion slices, a slice of beef steak tomato, and alfalfa sprouts. Got to make sure I get all the food groups in here right? Of course I had to spread my standard burger goo made up of mayo, dijon mustard and ketchup. I was able to cram this in between a large Sesame Seed bun.

Here's how that all came out...

The only problem with this burger was that it was so darn tall and fat. So I ended up cutting it in half and squishing it down a tad. Just enough so that I could get some decent bites in which is exactly what I did.

All I'm going to say is that all those flavors in you mouth at one time was like having a fiesta!!! Awesome, simply awesome! 

So if you are every in the mood for breakfast and a burger at the same time, don't hold back. Open up those flood gates and make yourself one of these Breakfast Burgers. You will be dribbling all over yourself in a flash.

Until next time....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can you say....Enchilada Burger???

Yep, had to do something different for our Wednesday Burger Night. We had been craving for some chicken enchiladas so why not kill two birds with one stone. Chicken enchiladas and Chicken Enchilada Burger. Ever hear of that one before? I hadn't but I was definitely up for the challenge to create it.

Here is what I did....

First I slow cooked the chicken in the crock pot for 4 hours. This also provided me with the fresh chicken stock that I needed for my enchilada sauce.

Next I made my home-made enchilada sauce. You can go to this link to see how I made that.

Once the chicken was done, I shredded it.

I then took a long bun, sliced it into two pieces length-wise and hollowed out the bottom half, just like Subway. I used the long bun rather than the standard round bun because enchiladas are long.

I poured enchilada sauce into that, filled it with shredded chicken, topped the chicken with more enchilada sauce, grated cheese and chopped olives. 

Over the top half of the bun I sprinkled more grated cheese.

I then placed both halves in a baking dish and into the oven broiler to heat, brown and melt the cheese for about 5 minutes.

Took them out after 5 minutes and put them together .

Then I poured a little more sauce over the top and garnished with cilantro.

There you have it!!! An Enchilada Burger.

All we could say was that they were awesome. Lupe wants me to make this again. I can go for that!!!!

Next Wednesday’s burger…..who knows????? 

Oh and by the way, we also ate regular chicken enchiladas as the side. Can you believe that??

Chicken Enchiladas fresh out of the oven!!!

Of course I had to sample these also!!  :))

Until next time....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Boonie Dog Burger!!!

Another Wednesday Burger Night has come and gone and is down in the books. This week I present to you the Boonie Dog Burger!!!

The Boonie Dog Burger is a reflection of Guam's Boonie dogs. No, I didn't use Boonie Dog meat!!! Boonie Dogs are Guam's mutts. They are made of who knows what conglomeration of dog breeds. But one thing is for sure, they are resilient.

Well the Boonie Dog Burger is similar in that the patty is made up of a number of meats. I used ground beef, chicken and pork. I also added Mexican chorizo, red onions, oregano, freshly ground black pepper and a dash of salt.

I fashioned two quarter pound patties. I placed a thick slice of smoked cheddar/jack cheese on one patty and then covered it with the other patty and sealed the edges. This gave me one big, fat patty that was stuffed with smoked cheddar/jack. This patty was then grilled. Unfortunately I had to grill indoors as we had a Monsoon storm on top of us that dropped about 5 inches of rain.

Chicken-Oregano patty on the left and Boonie Dog patty on the right. Due to my wife, Lupe's diet, I made her a Chicken-Oregano burger with Portobello mushroom.

I also grilled the onion/poppy seed buns and served this burger with all the "fixins". Those fixins consisted of more cheddar/jack cheese, green leaf lettuce, red onion slices, beefsteak tomato, alfalfa sprouts and avocado. Oh and a spoonful of donne denanche (hot pepper paste). Wouldn't be a Boonie Dog Burger without that hot pepper kicker. 

What did this taste like????? I think you should make one and find out. 

Until next time....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rib Eye Burger aka the "RueBurger"

Burger Night Wednesday came and went. I didn't grill our burgers and I was definitely "jonesing". We just had too much food at the house to justify grilling my customary weekly creation. So I did it the following day, Thursday.

After spending a week trying to decide what type of burger I would create, I decided to create a burger that defines me. So I came up with a burger that has my favorite ingredients. First all all my favorite meat. Rib eye steak wins that hands down. My favorite cheese. It had to be smoked and have distinct, mellow flavor. It was a toss up between Asiago and Mozzarella cheeses. The smoked Mozzarella had a slight edge. Had to have something to back up my Mexican heritage. Thus the grilled Anaheim chilies. Then I wanted greens that were crunchy yet blended well with the rest of this burger. Baby spinach was my choice. And the onion....only one choice, Red Onion. Sweetness yet that bite and crunch only an onion can give you. Lastly my burger sauce. I have my standard Brown Spicey Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Mayo and Ketchup, which I call my "Yalaka" special. That is Chamorro (Guam) for "to mix up".

Here are a few photos on how I prepped and cooked all of this....

Dusted with a little of my Rueben's Rub added.

Olive oil and Rueben's Rub for the Anaheim Peppers and Red Potatoes.

Rib Eye gets it's grill marks on!

It's all coming together.

And here is the RueBurger!!

The flavor of this burger was just amazing. How many times do we actually grill our favorite piece of meat and enjoy it as a burger? If you are a true burger aficionado, you have got to do just that. Unbelievable flavors just swirl inside you mouth. It's almost like a party.

I will definitely be grilling this again. My wife, Lupe, wants her favorite Porterhouse Steak Burger with Portobello Mushrooms. That is definitely doable. 

Until next time....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Burger Night.... Motsiyas Burger

Motsiyas Burger

Well another Burger Night has come and gone this past Wednesday here at the Olivas home in Guam. And what a night it was. This weeks burger was a Motsiyas Burger. Was it ever fantastic!!!

Motsiyas (mot-cee-jas) is a local delicacy here on Guam. It consists of a mixture of diced up chicken parts, hot pepper leaves, tomato leaves, young green beans, mint (yerba buena), lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. You can also mix in coconut milk and hot pepper, which is usually included. There are a variety of mixes and you can believe that everyone has their own "special" mix. All these ingredients are then mixed together, fashioned into small loaves and placed into banana leaves, tied and steamed in water and coconut milk. With so many flavors going on in Motsiyas, you can be that your taste buds will be taken on one fun ride. Motsiyas are so delicious. Well with such a great dish, I just had to make a burger out of this.

I had to change the basic recipe just a little because my daughter does not eat hot pepper and is slightly intolerant to milk, so out with the coconut milk and hot peppers. However, most of the ingredients were used, allowing for a still very traditional chicken blend.

Here are the steps that I used to make this fantastic burger...

First we start our with ground chicken. This is a package of white meat. Weighed about 1.7 pounds.

Ground Chicken

Next, I went into the garden and picked tomato, hot pepper and mint leaves. These were washed, drained and diced.

Tomato, hot pepper and mint leaves.

The next step was to pick the very young and tender green beans. I have the yard long beans growing in my yard so I used these. But any fresh green bean will work. These were diced small.

Diced fresh green beans.

I mixed this, by hand, all together adding salt and black pepper to taste.

Chicken, veggie and herb mix.

Now you can squeeze about two tablespoons of fresh lemon into the mix. I used our local calamansi lemons. Great, mellow flavor.

Calamansi Lemon.

Maked sure everything is mixed well together, fashion your burger patties and slap them babies on the grill.

The patty is sizzling on a cast iron, well oiled grill plate.

The burger patty is just about ready to come off the grill.

My finished Motsiyas Burger. I used large English-style sour dough muffins for the buns. Loved the flavor those brought to the burger. Added a slice of Swiss cheese. And garnished with iceberg lettuce, onions, Roma tomatoes, tomato ketchup, Dijon mustard and mayo.

I must admit I had a hard time biting into this burger because of the size, but I managed. It was everything that I thought it would be. The chicken patty was juicy and had absorbed all the flavors of the added ingredients. The mint was great and the lemon balanced everything out leaving a little tang on your tongue. Made my mouth water as I was devouring this burger. I'm definitely making this again. And I'm not changing the bun. The sour dough was perfect.

Well another Burger Wednesday come and gone. It was a memorable one. Still haven't decided what I am going to come up with for next Wednesday's Burger Night at the Olivas home.

Until next time....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chamorro and Portobello Burgers

Well this past Wednesday (Wednesday's are burger night in our home) I decided to come up with a burger that justs shouts out, "This is Guam". Naturally I name the burger the "Chamorro" Burger. Chamorro is the name for the indigenous people of the Mariana's Islands. 

The challenge here was to use ingredients that are common to Guam and loved by all. So I came up with a burger that started out with locally made Pork Chamorro Sausage and served in between two pieces of the local "flour titiya". These are basically a 14-16 inch by 1/4 inch thick flour tortilla with a little sugar and coconut milk added in the dough.

So let me get started on how I brought this all together....

Bought about a pound and a half of Pork Chamorro Sausage. It is a special spicy blend available at most grocery stores here on Guam.

Next I mixed in my fresh herbs from the garden. 

Mint, Oregano, Cilantro flowers and hot pepper.

All the herbs and hot pepper plus one egg and freshly ground black pepper are in the food processor ready for mixing except we need one more item....

On heaping tablespoon of Finadenne Denanche, Guam's hot pepper paste. I don't want anyone falling asleep while they're eating their burger.

Blended all this in the food processor. Then I add about a cup of Japanese Bread Crumbs (Panko) for a binding element and mixed this all together in a large bowl.

Slap the patties on the grill and cook to your spec. Lupe likes her's well done and I like my patty medium.

This puppy is ready to come off the grill.

Also grilled some portobellos for my wife Lupe because she didn't want a bun. Guess what she used for buns???

This is what I used for my buns. Guam's local flour Tatiyas.

Here are Lupe's portobellos being served.

Here is Lupe's Chamorro Burger using the portobello mushrooms. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find two Portobellos the same size. Oh well, didn't bother Lupe one bit.

Here is my Chamorro Burger ready to be put together. It is served with Lupe's Garden Fresh Salad and home made Potato Skins.

I just had to take a break from taking all these pictures and bite my burger before I resumed my photo chores. Dang was this burger delicious and hot!!!

Lupes' Fresh Garden Salad. This is also what I used on my burger.

And here are the grilled Potato Skins.

Well, Lupe told me that this was the best burger she had ever eaten. She also told me that from now on she wants Portobellos on all her burgers. No more buns for her. As for me, the heat factor on the burger was great. Not a killer heat where I could not enjoy my burger, but enough heat that it drew a little sweat on my face and gave me the hiccups. That means it was delicious. 

All this with another one of Lupe's Garden Fresh Salads and those grilled Potato Skins. This went down in our burger book as the best so far. 

People!!!!! my late Uncle Sal used to say, you have got to try this. You can always kick the heat factor up a bit by adding a few of those million plus scoville unit hot peppers into the mix. Up to you if you want to melt off all your hair follicles from the inside.

Whew!!!!! This was a gooder!!!!

Unit next time....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pork Spare Ribs Adobo

If you have never tried Pork Spare Ribs Adobo, you are missing out. This is a dish that you will never forget. It doesn't take long to prepare. And you are more than rewarded for that effort by the absolutely mouth watering and smooth flavor of this dish. And, let me warn you now, you will find yourself sucking the meat and sauce right off the bone. 

Pork Spare Ribs Adobo is a multinational dish. You will find it in Latin America, as well as Asia. There are so many different twists to the recipe. But one thing is for certain, regardless of the recipe, they are all outstanding. Here is mine....

Pork Spare Ribs Adobo 

  • 1 rack of spare ribs cut into 3 inch pieces.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (Kikkoman).
  • ½ cup of water.
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar.
  • ½ medium onion, diced.
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced.
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper.
  • 5 bay leaves, crumpled.
  • 1 cup of achote seeds soaked in water, or 1 package of achote powder (like Mama Sita’s brand).
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of olive oil or just enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
  • 1 large potato cubed cut into ½ inch cubes (optional).
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce (optional).
  • Cut up, rinse and drain the spare ribs
  • Cut the onions and garlic
  • Heat oil in pot over medium heat.
  • Sauté the onions, garlic and black pepper.
  • Add the spare ribs, turn heat to high and brown the spare ribs.
  • With the heat remaining on high add the rest of the ingredients except the optional items.
  • Crumble up the dried bay leaves when adding.
  • Bring to a boil, then cook another 5 minutes, before reducing the heat to low.
  • Cook about 20 minutes more, stirring constantly, then add the cubed potatoes and tomato sauce at this time if you are going to use them.
  • If you do use the tomato sauce, then eliminate the achote.
  • Cook another 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked but not disintegrating.
  • The spare ribs should be cooked tender but not falling off the bone. Just firm enough to stay on the bone.
Serve with steaming hot white rice and lemon finadene. Here is the recipe and instructions for lemon finadenne':

Note: For the achote coloring, you will soak the achote seeds in two cups of water, stirring constantly until the water is a deep red color. Once you are satisfied with the color, then you can add the achote water in with the rest of the ingredients at the proper time.

This adobo is so good, you will find yourself making numerous trips back to the pot. And like some dishes, it is even better the next day. So you might want to double up on the recipe, because I am sure this won't be enough for the family.

Hope you enjoy the Pork Spare Ribs Adobo as much as we do!!

Until next time....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Firehouse Burgers.....A little taste of Heat!!

Well we enjoyed another weekly burger night as is the custom every Wednesday night. And this week I threw down some Firehouse burgers. Of course being a firefighter had nothing to do with it.

This burger had to be hot!!! But as with anything I cook, it also had to be palatable. I mean, come on now, I am not cooking for the frat boys at the bar. So here is how I prepared and cooked this burger.

First off I use regular ground beef. I don't use lean because it is not nearly as juicy as the fattier regular ground beef. It weighed in a little over one pound. I mixed in one heaping tablespoon of Donne' Denanche (Guam Hot Pepper Paste).

I chopped up about 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro and mixed this in the ground beef. It was already looking and smelling good. 

The last addition was adding freshly ground black pepper. No measurement here. Just to my liking.

I let this sit in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. I wanted to make sure everything blended well. 

You probably noticed that I didn't add any other seasoning or salt. I usually only do this when the burger is just about done cooking. Salt has a tendency of toughening up meat. That is why I add it, if needed, just prior to removing the burger from the grill.

Come grilling time, all I had to do was insert the hot peppers into the meat. Because my wife Lupe loves her patties thin, I placed her peppers on top of her patty. On thicker patties like mine, it is easy to insert the peppers into the middle. Just use a chop stick to poke a hole into the patty and insert the pepper. Insert as many as you like.

Grill your burger and buns.

I used 100% whole wheat sesame buns for this go round. I like to change up the buns every Wednesday also.

I caramelized the onions with slices of jalapeno peppers in butter and hot chili oil. You can buy hot chili oil at the store usually in the oriental section. This was a great addition.

Now here are the fixings and condiments. Iceberg lettuce for my burger and green butter lettuce for Lupe's. Chamorro (name for the indigenous people of Guam) pickles aka Jalapeno slices, tomatoes, baby sprouts, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, and the usual ketchup, mayo and mustard.

This was served with onion rings and Rueben's Slaw on the side.

Onion ring batter consisted of buttermilk, buttermilk pancake mix, self rising flour, one teaspoon sugar, salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Of course the onion rings were dipped and deep fried to a nice golden brown.

All in all, another great burger dining experience. Well except for one thing......Lupe said the burger wasn't hot enough for her so she had to munch on some fresh hot peppers picked right off the hot pepper tree. She is my Hot Tamale!!!

Lupe wasn't doing too much talking at the dinner table.

Next Wednesday's burger.....the Chamorro burger. Chamorro is all about heat and this burger will make the Firehouse burger look like an Popsicle.

Until next time....