Monday, July 9, 2012

Main Dish Monday

This is a special edition to the Monday blog in celebration of the Hawaiian Blessing being offered before the third season of Hawaii 5-0 gets under way.  I thought maybe I could find some classic Hawaiian treats, throw in a new cocktail for good measure (just for my pal Joe, the original bad boy) and see what kind of Luau Monday we can have.  

Now wanting to truly understand what the blessing is, I went searching for a definition or explanation.  Actually found one at
The Hawaiian blessing - When a place of business or a new home opens its doors, it is common to have the location blessed by a Hawaiian kahu (guardian or minister).

The blessing ceremony dates back to the early days of Hawaiian culture. Though it has come to incorporate Christian elements since the arrival of missionaries in Hawaii in 1820, the ceremony is based on the traditional Hawaiian belief in kapu (taboos) that can be placed on a physical space. Although some societal kapu were immutable, other kapu, such as curses or negative energy, still linger in modern-day places. During a blessing ceremony, a kahu clears any kapu that might have been placed on a space, so the new occupants may move forward with a "clean slate."

The details of this ceremony can vary depending on the occasion — whether it is a home, office, building or other enterprise being blessed. Kahu often personalize blessings with readings and chants they specifically select for the occasion. Three elements are fairly universal to a blessing, however: the asking for blessings from Akua (God), the sprinkling of salt water, and the untying of a maile lei (made from the leaves of a fragrant, native twining shrub) that has been gently draped and tied across a real or virtual threshold.

An extension of huikala (a ceremonial cleansing with the healing waters of the ocean), salt water is sprinkled by the kahu on both the space and the people involved in the venture, to cleanse them of impurities. The untying of the maile lei, made from a plant sacred to Hawaiians, opens the space being blessed. The threshold may then be crossed; the kapu are amama (done, finished).

Though I would assume after the blessing is over everyone starts to work, okay that said, in Kelela's world we need to eat.  I have put together some rather tasty Hawaiian treats, hopefully easy enough for you to prepare in your own home.

Always needing to start a little celebration with a cocktail, as every show needs to start with an antagonist.  I think we may have both, I was inspired, even if it did come from a Philly fan.  

Bad Boy Cocktail

3 oz vodka
2 oz passion-fruit juice
1/2 oz orange liqueur

  1. Fill a glass with Ice add the first 3 ingredients, top off with seltzer, then add an orange slice or twist for garnish.

BBQ Ribs Hawaiian Style

5 lbs thin cut tender short rib of beef, 
2 cups soy sauce 
2 cups white sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
sliced green onions 
sesame seeds, toasted  (optional)
1 red chilies (optional)

  1. Place ribs in a glass dish, mix all ingredients except for the optional ones in a saucepan and heat until the sugar melts, then cool.  
  2. Pour marinade over ribs, then add optional ingredients, and place in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight, tossing  occasionally to make sure all ribs are covered with sauce. 
  3. Remove from marinade and grill short ribs until slightly charred and tender and cooked to desired degree of doneness. These ribs may also be placed under the broiler.

Mochiko Chicken

5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup mochiko sweet rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
5 Tbsp soy sauce
4  garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp sesame seeds 

  1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, in a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix well. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, soy sauce, garlic, then whisk into dry ingredients and add chicken to mixture. 
  3. Fold in green onions, and sesame seeds if desired. Let this marinate at least 4 hours or as long as overnight, which is best.
  4. To cook, just deep-fry until golden brown.

Ahi Poke

2 lbs fresh ahi tuna
1 small round onion, julienne cut 
3 green onions, diced
1/2 tsp freshly grated fresh ginger
3 finely diced garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili sauce 
1 tsp hawaiian sea salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Cut Ahi into at least 1/2" cubes, then set aside and refrigerate.  Combine all other ingredients in a large glass bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to serve toss Ahi and other ingredients together, let sit for 5minutes.  Then serve on chilled platter with chopsticks or toothpicks.

If you make any of the recipes take a picture and share it with me either here or on Twitter @cherylhofmann or by email I will share them here with everyone.

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