Who Are You Calling a Fruitcake?

Posted on December 11, 2016 by admin
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  Not Your Granny's (Or My Mom's) Fruitcake In mid-October, I appeared on Kitchen Creations to make another Betty Shimabukuro recipe. This time, it was for her popular "spice cake," a.k.a. that most dreaded and ridiculed holiday pastry of all--fruitcake. In her article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, she jokes how she brought the fruitcake to work, called it a spice cake, and watched it disappear. Since the holidays are right around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to revisit this TV segment, and set the record straight about fruitcake. Now, I don't have the normal aversion to this pastry that some people seem to have, in large part because my mom used to traditionally make it for the holiday season--like I mention in the video, giving out fruitcake was the 70's housewife thing to do. Betty's recipe calls for brandy, and you can substitute whiskey for this, but all the alcohol will cook out. The brandy is to add flavor, but will also help the cake to rise, because alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature, which ma... Read more

Mom’s Homemade Piccalilli Makes a Special Appearance

Posted on November 23, 2016 by admin
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[caption id="attachment_7087" align="alignright" width="720"] Mom's homemade piccalilli[/caption] A couple months ago when I was visiting in Massachusetts I rummaged through my mother's cabinets in her absence to locate a childhood favorite, homemade piccalilli. I was unsuccessful. I simply figured she was slacking on the canning and enjoying life so much! Low and behold this came in the mail a few weeks ago. Piccalilli is relish with green tomatoes, peppers, and onions. My mom would put it on my roast beef sandwiches for bag lunch in high school, and my friends would barter for my sandwiches. I can't remember what I got in return, but more often than not I wouldn't want to trade! For our new Lunch Menu rollout (coming soon to you all in a few weeks!), I'll be featuring my own version of piccalilli, using Mom's tried and true recipe, of course. It will complement our revamped Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Melt Sandwich & Soup. The panini will be made with fresh island ahi tuna salad (dolphin & green sea turtle free and safe), Swiss cheese, the housemade picca... Read more

KITCHEN COMMANDMENTS! – 10 Tips to Help You Cook Like a Pro

Posted on October 25, 2016 by admin
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            “Of course, everyone knows that.” It was just a good natured tongue-in-cheek jab from Grace Lee, host of the Kitchen Creations segment on Hawaii News Now Sunrise Show. My off handed comment had begged for a little sarcasm. She made a good point. I was mixing up the batter for Banana Andagi and mentioned that the recipe emphasized not to over-mix. When I added “cuz then you can activate the gluten in the flour - right” I made it sound like something so obvious it hardly needed saying. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75KYqb8odng&feature=youtu.be[/embed]  While it’s something a trained chef would definitely know, someone with a little less kitchen experience might still be wondering why their cakes always come out tough and chewy. It got me thinking about what other basic kitchen know-how has been buried under piles of microwave meals and fast food wrappers. Here are 10 great tips to get started on the right foot. 1. Don’t Over-Mix the Batter - See above if you... Read more

Hawaii Chocolate Festival 2016

Posted on October 12, 2016 by admin
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    It's that time of year again - Chocolate Festival! Today, I went and picked up a whopping 10 pounds of dark chocolate from Manoa Chocolate. For this year's Chocolate Festival, I will be making some Hawaiian Style S'mores, with Coconut Marshmallow Creme, Dark Manoa Chocolate, Graham Cracker Tartlet, Hawaiian Grown Cacao Dusted.   Manoa Chocolate Hawaii is a self-proclaimed bean-to-bar company. Besides sourcing quality beans from around the globe, they also use local cacao beans, thus drawing attention to premium products manufactured on the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S that grows cacao. Cacao trees produce beans, roasted beans become cacao nibs. Manoa Chocolate Hawaii then crafts them into delicious dark chocolate bars. This event is presented by Special Events Hawaii in celebration of the state the Department of Agriculture's "Hawai`i-Grown Cacao Month". This sweet celebration takes place on Saturday, October 15, 2016, in the Ward Village Courtyard. Event hours are Saturday from noon... Read more

14th Annual Taste of Kick Start

Posted on September 10, 2016 by admin
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Another Year, Another Kick Start On September 4, I was happy to be a part of the Taste of Kick Start for another year in a row. This is a gala put on by Kick Start Karate, a nonprofit founded in 1994 by then Assistant Chief of Police Lee D. Donohue and Mrs. Amy Abe, an Educator from Waipahu High School. The mission statement of the organization is: "To provide alternative activities to combat anti-social youth gang membership in a welcoming environment while encouraging positive changes and enhanced quality of life with all participants through building leadership skills and a sense of empowerment, resulting in more productive citizens, and ultimately, a healthier society." Youth who are enrolled in the program are required to practice karate, as well as maintain an acceptable grade average.  The Taste of Kick Start is a fundraiser with food booths, beverages, and a silent auction. All proceeds go to benefit Kick Start's goal of keeping youth off the streets.  My wife Suni put her name down for some delicious smelling 100% K... Read more

21st Annual Mealani’s A Taste of the Hawaiian Range – A “Meat”-ing of the Minds

Posted on September 06, 2016 by admin
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I'm fortunate enough to again be participating in the Mealani's A Taste of the Hawaiian Range. This is event is held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the beautiful island of Hawaii.  Everything really is bigger on Big Island - the hotel is so expansive you can take a tram or boat ride to get from one end to another. Each chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef, and in year's past, I've gotten mutton and wild boar. This year I got grass fed beef short ribs. I'm preparing it with a smoky taro pureed mash, with a sea asparagus (or maybe cucumbers as a substitution, as Kahuku Farms is currently out) poke "salad" - probably the closest thing you'll get to a salad at this meat-lover's event - and a luau leaf demi glaze. In addition to enjoying expertly prepared beef sirloin, lamb or Rocky Mountain Oysters (a colorful name for bull’s testicles) attendees can taste samples at local food booths and learn about sustainability and agriculture in Hawaii. There will also be the yearly... Read more