Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Your Trip to Hawaii is Just a Click Away

An article in today's Honolulu Advertiser said that the Pakele Lounge in the Ala Moana Hotel was going to be streaming their summer concert series. You can find the concerts here (5:30 Hawaii time, Wednesdays through July) and here at LavaNet. I'm listening to it as I write and it makes me want to eat local food and just hang out.

What kind of hostess would I be if I didn't offer you food, too? This is my standard mainland luau for homesick Hawaii folk.

First, the Kalua Pork. I don't have space to dig the pit for the pig, so I just use the slow cooker. You will need:
  • 1-2 lb slab of boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 2 Tbsp Hawaiian salt (it's red)
  • 2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider

Slash the meat all over and rub the liquid smoke and Hawaiian salt into the meat. Put the pork in the crock pot and add the water and apple cider. You can set it on high and cook it for 6-7 hours, or cook it on high for the first few hours and turn it to low and cook it overnight. I usually turn the meat over a few times during the first hours of cooking. Sometimes I add a little more liquid smoke to the pot about halfway through. The meat will start to fall off the bones when it is ready. Pull the meat apart and shred it. Keep warm until you serve it. Serve with short grain white rice (not Uncle Ben's!)

Vegetable: I also serve spinach with the pork as a side dish. Take about 1/4 cup (or more) of the cooking liquid and use it to cook down one huge bag of spinach.

I always make chicken long rice as part of the meal. The recipe I use is from A Taste of Aloha(p.329), but this recipe is very similar to it.

We love our Jell-o in Hawaii. We eat it with the meal, not as dessert. My friend always begs me to make Confetti Jell-o; I got the recipe off the Aloha Airlines recipe page years ago, but they no longer have the 2002 recipes archived. Since it's no longer there, I hope it's o.k. to put it here:

Confetti Jell-o by Robyn in Aloha Airlines Marketing

  • 3 packages (3 oz.) flavored gelatin (lime, strawberry, orange)
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 can (12 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Mix each package of Jell-o with 1 cup hot water. Pour into separate bowls. Chill until set, then cut into small cubes. Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 1/2 cans hot water and 1/2 can cold water. Stir until dissolved. Mix 1 cup hot water with four envelopes of unflavored gelatin (until dissolved). Mix into condensed milk mixture and let cool. Place cubed Jell-o into a 9x13 inch pan (I use a tiki man mold I found on eBay), then pour the cooled condensed milk mixture over the cubes. Chill to set.

My mom is usually visiting when I cook this meal and she manages to put more stuff on the table. Supreme Japanese hostess that she is, it's usually sushi and an assortment of Japanese pickles in pretty little bowls.

If that wasn't enough food, there's still dessert! Mmmmm...haupia cake. I love this recipe, but I don't add the gelatin/coconut milk mixture to the frosting as per the recipe. It gets too gloppy. I also lightly toast the coconut before chucking it onto the frosting (it looks like sand & I can plant my plastic hula dancers on it!)

There. That's my once a year cooking extravaganza. There are 364 days left to work off all the calories in this meal.


tina said...

OHMYGOOOOOOOOOOSH---- Now I'm really hungry (gee thanks!) I miss local food B.A.D. Right now I would absolutely love:
a. Mahi sandwich from Zippy's
b. Saimin
c. chicken katsu from L&L
You know...... the simple things! :)

I don't make my oven kalua pig with apple cider, I'm going to have to try that!

Thanks for the link from the Ala Moana as well----- I'll have to make a Mai Tai and sit and have a peek! Or should I say mahalo?????

hapagirl said...

I never had the mahi sandwich before; I am more a Zippy's chilli and rice girl. Did you ever have the chicken katsu at Grace's Inn? How does it compare to L&L?

If you miss local food, come West young girl! L&L is out here! Copy and paste this link for locations:

Another blog that will make you miss local food.

Elaine said...

omg. and the Ala Moana?!!!
i remember that place...and the shave ice place that all the locals go to...ack! i forgot the name...and this great local plate lunch place in the middle of nowhere...
geez. hawaii is so great. :o)
and yes, whenever i crave hawaiian bbq, i just stop by L&L and it quenches it. it's not exactly the same, but good enough for me.