It’s not too early to start planning the first backyard luau once the warm weather sets in. There’s a bunch of planning to do to ensure an epic patio party. Flower centerpieces to be made, chairs to rent, hula girls to hire, you get the picture.
Fortunately I am here to administer a dose of hula-istic medicine to guarantee the health of your luau.
The Hawaiian luau began in the early 19th century by King Kamahameha Ding-a-Ling-a-Bang-Bang II. As with most Hawaiian words or phrases the term “Luau” has two meanings. Like “Aloha” means ‘hello’ and/or “good-bye”, “Luau” can mean either “Feast of the Pig” or “Dance with the pig and eat the hula girls”. This is often referred to as a “Reverse Luau”.
Don’t think that you have to go out and dig yourself a pit to roast a pig.
Here is an easy one that will get the pig jump started for the feast.
The original recipe for Kalua Pig calls for Ti leaves. Ti leaves are the leaves from the Agave plant and can be tough to find. Substitute banana leaves instead, they can be found at almost any oriental market.
1 6-8 Lb Pork Butt
Set your grill up with charcoal, fire it up let it get hot, and put soaked wood chips on the fire. If you have a smoker, this is easy. Make sure the wood is soaked.
Generously season the butt with sea salt, wrap it with the banana leaves and seal completely.
Place the butt on the smoker and let it smoke for 8-10 hours, occasionally spray it with water, apple juice or orange juice. Just keep it moist.
Butt is done when internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.
Remove from smoker discard banana leaves, shred pork and serve on a platter lined with fresh banana slices and pineapple chunks.
Always got to feature some fresh Pacific seafood at a luau. Try this one out.
Sesame Crusted Mahi Mahi with Soy Shiso Ginger Butter Sauce
2 Oz. Macadamia Nuts
4 Oz. Panko Bread Crumbs
6 (6 ounce) Mahi Mahi Fillets
42 Tbs. Butter
2 Scallions, Chopped
4 Cups Fish Stock
½ Cup Pineapple, Chopped
½ Cup Papaya, Chopped
½ Cup Mango, Chopped
1 Tbs. Shredded Coconut
2 Habaneros, Seeded & Chopped
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
White Sugar to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a food processor or blender, pulse together macadamia nuts and breadcrumbs until finely ground. Pour nut mixture onto a plate, and coat fish fillets on both sides.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry fillets on both sides until nuts are golden brown. Remove to a baking pan.
Add scallions to skillet, and cook until translucent. Stir in chicken stock. Mix in pineapple, papaya, mango, coconut, and habanero peppers. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Simmer until sauce is thick, about 30 minutes. Strain to remove peppers, fruit, and shallots. Reserve sauce in a pan over low heat.
Bake mahi mahi in preheated oven about 10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F. Remove fish, and lightly coat with sauce.
Classic Hawaiian Salad featured at every festive gathering on the islands.
1Llb. Ahi Tuna, Diced
½ Cup Dried Seaweed, Soaked
1 Cup Roasted Crushed Macadamia Nuts
½ Cup Soy Sauce
1 Sweet Onion, Diced
Mix all ingredients together and chill.
Always include fruits such as apples, oranges, kiwi, star fruit and cantaloupe. Don’t forget tropical favorites like mango, passionfruit and pineapple. You may also want to tuck in bunches of red grapes for a burst of contrasting color.
Wash down the feast with this Elvis inspired Hawaiian cocktail
1 oz Light Rum
1 oz Blue Curacao
3 oz Pina Colada Mix (Or 1 part Crème de Coconut and 2 parts Pineapple Juice)
1 Cup Ice
Combine ingredients in a blender or mix well and enjoy on the rocks. Garnish with a cherry, pineapple and a frou-frou umbrella.
A Hui Hou Kakou everybody!