Aloha, Hesperia!

In March, Gary and I went to Hawaii. We stayed in Kona on the big island of Hawaii, at the Mauna Lani. I had never been to Hawaii. It was beautiful and there was so much to do. We went to the beach almost every day and drove all over the island.

One of my favorite things there was the luau. The entertainment, food and atmosphere were excellent. It was at the Royal Kona Resort in Kona. Chef Mike Lamb has been so kind to share a couple of his recipes with me to share with all of you. Mahalo (thank you), Mike, I really appreciate it.

And thank you, Jeff Tahari for your recipes and Nani Lelong.

It was a wonderful experience and thank you Shane, Ana and Brock (my family) for inviting us. The memories will be in my heart forever. Mahalo.

***

This was served at the luau and I thought it was great! Thank you to Mike Lamb, the chef. He was so kind to call me from Hawaii and share this recipe. Mike is the corporate chef from Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts for Don the Beachcomber.

Haupia (Hawaiian Jell-o)

1 gallon water (16 cups)
3 quarts coconut milk (you can buy the canned milk at certain markets or at the Asian Market in Victorville)
1 quart sugar
1 box cornstarch

Boil half the water, with all the coconut milk and sugar, in saucepan. Then add remaining water and cornstarch to mixture to make slurry. You must use a wire wisk and stir till smooth, while boiling. Stir and cook until transparent.

Line a large jelly roll pan (with sides) with parchment or wax paper. Pour hot mixture over it. Use a spatula to scrape all mixture out and spread evenly in pan. Cool and put in refrigerator. Take out and flip over, peel paper off and cut into squares.

***
If it's nothing more than a smile - give that away and keep on giving it...Beth Brown

Don's Tsunami Prawns

16 - 20 large peeled and de-veined shrimp butterflyed
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallots or sweet onions
1/2 cup your favorite beer (can substitute with non-alcoholic beer)
1/2 cup Mae Ploy sweet Thai chili sauce
1/2 cup passion fruit puree
1/4 teaspoon Sambal chili paste
1 teaspoon chopped and dried parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil

In large sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil and heat. Add shallots. Sauté until transparent. Add garlic and sauté until tender; don't overcook. Add shrimp with pinch of favorite season salt. Sauté shrimp until slightly firm and almost pink. Add beer and bring to a simmer. Add sweet Thai chili sauce, passion fruit puree and chili paste. Bring back to simmer for a minute or two.

Remove shrimp from pan and arrange on a serving plate.

Return sauce to heat and simmer to reduce by 50%. Sauce should be like syrup. At last minute, add chopped parsley and incorporate with the sauce. Gently drizzle sauce over shrimp and garnish with an orchid and some whole parsley, and then serve.

***
Pay attention to the small things - the kite flies because of its tail...Hawaiian Proverb

Jeffrey Tahauri is from Hesperia. He and his wife Carolyn have six children, with one on the way. With his father from Tahiti, Jeff was raised enjoying many of the cultural foods and performing the Polynesian dances, iorana and maururu.

Jeff's Salsa Chicken

5 chicken thighs
2 cups flour
Garlic seasoning salt
Corn oil
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 cans pineapple rings
1 large green bell pepper, cut into rings

Add flour into gallon zipper-style sandwich bag. Add garlic seasoning salt and coat chicken.

Over medium heat, brown chicken in frying pan, with a little corn oil. Place into baking pan.

Place ginger, soy sauce, chicken bouillon and honey into saucepan, mix together. Pour pineapple juice from cans. Add enough water to the juice, to total one and a half cups, mix together. Bring juice mixture to a boil for two minutes. Mix cider vinegar and cornstarch in a different container. Pour into saucepan, while stirring, and boil for another two minutes.

Pour glaze over chicken and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Add pineapple and bell pepper rings, spoon sauce over rings. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.

***

Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears out...Libbie Fudin

I love making this for get togethers. Thanks to Nani, from Hawaii, who I met in 1967. She had wonderful recipes and I feel so lucky to have a couple of them. We both lived in Colton, and then she moved back to Hawaii. Mahalo, Nani.

Nani's Coconut Candy

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
2 cups shredded coconut (I use the wide coconut or grate a fresh coconut)
Food coloring of your choice

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add shredded coconut and food coloring. On very low heat stir until it becomes like soft candy, and dry looking. Put in container until you use it.

***

Favorite people, favorite places, favorite memories of the past...these are the joys of a lifetime...these are the things that last...Author Unknown

Jeff's Coconut Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut water
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pour ingredients into bowl. Mix and pour into cake pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

***

What the heart gives away is never gone - it is kept in the heart of others...Robin St. John

Jeff's Firi firi (Tahitian donut)

Start with a standard bread dough recipe. Replace water ingredient with coconut milk. Then deep fry in peanut oil. (Vegetable oil can be substituted.)

Food for thought: A hot dog and drink was the same price at Costco in Hawaii as here. Wow, what a deal!