Friday, August 28, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: Enjoy Hawaii in your own home!

**Check back Monday for this recipe

By Michèle De Meglio

Hawaii holds one of the top spots on my “must visit before I croak” vacation list. Sadly, I can’t make it to Maui this summer since my suite is booked at the Ritz in Paris. Ha! (It seems the recession is inspiring sarcasm.)

In an attempt to take a trip to Hawaii without leaving my Brooklyn abode, I hosted a luau. Hello, grass skirt!

At a true Hawaiian luau, the culinary star is kalua pig. The swine is coated with spices, wrapped up and tossed in a hole in the ground that’s filled with hot coals for a 12-hour cooking session.

Uh, yeah, I ain’t doing that.

Inspired by the traditional cuisine — and dying to wear a tropical flower in my hair — I created my own recipe for Hawaiian chicken. I opted for chicken rather than pork because I’m just not a fan of “the other white meat.”

The recipe was actually rather simple, especially when compared to roasting a whole pig in the ground.

Using my slowly improving cooking skills (I’m being generous in that assessment), I thought the easiest way to create Hawaiian flavors was with a marinade.

For the base of the marinade, I drained a can of pineapple slices and poured the sweet syrup into a large mixing bowl. I added honey, soy sauce, garlic powder and a bit of ginger. A healthy stir is necessary so the honey doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl.

I placed two boneless chicken breasts in the marinade and left the bowl in the fridge for three hours.

Once I was sure the chicken had soaked up the Hawaiian flavors, it was time to cook on my trusty George Foreman Grill. I know it’s not as neat as a barbecue, but the grill is super easy for novices like myself. Don’t judge.

Verdict: Unbelievably, amazingly, stupendously awesome!

This Hawaiian chicken is easy to make and, most important, tastes great. It has a perfect flavor combination of sweet (from the honey and pineapple syrup) and tangy (from the ginger).With this recipe, who needs a kalua pig? Leave that hog in the ground!

Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.


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