Hawaiian Healthy Eating

Mac and Cheese

Originally Published by Alana Kysar, author of Aloha Cookbook.  Adapted by Chef Alan Zox

Serves 3-4

Some call this dish a Mac Salad; I grew up calling it merely Mac and Cheese. Whichever is your preference, there are certain ingredients which caught my childhood eye more than others. For instance, by adding sweet pickle juice and relish with plenty of Hellmann’s mayo you create a memorable dish, which when combined with grated onions creates an unforgettable eating experience for all ages and tastes .

In many parts of the United States, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is called Best Foods Mayonnaise. It is the same. Best Food (a competitor, selling mainly in California) bought Hellmann’s in 1932, and since then, has always sold the same product under both names, keeping the Hellmann’s name for dedicated East Coast customers. Look at the Best Foods label and you will see “Known as Hellmann’s East of the Rockies”. It is the same great mayonnaise.

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/4 cups Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
  2.   Kosher Salt to taste
  3. 2 Tbsp sweet pickle juice
  4. 3 Tbsp sweet  pickle relish
  5. 2 grated medium yellow onions
  6.   1/4 cup coarsely grated carrots
  7. Ground black pepper/Kosher Salt
  8. 1 cup fresh (or frozen) peas cooked
  9. 3 finely chopped sprigs cilantro
  10.    2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  11. One box elbow pasta

Steps

Cook the macaroni until tender, not al dente (for time and amount of water follow directions on box). Salt the water with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. After cooking, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked peas, chopped cilantro and grated cheddar cheese and toss to melt into the hot macaroni. Let cool for 10 minutes, then add the onion and 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise; taste and toss until pickle juice, relish and pepper have also coated the macaroni.

Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, stir in another 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise, and shredded carrot. If too dry, adjust accordingly with more mayo.  

Gazpacho, Tomato & Watermelon Soup

Adapted  by Chef Alan Zox, from the Hali’mall General Store Cookbook, author Beverly Gannon, Hawaii

Recipe for 6-8  cups of soup

Gazpacho is one of  those extraordinary thirst-quenching drinks which also serves as a meal.

When  eating and drinking a version of this gazpacho in Hawaii last summer I found myself in heaven.  Of course, the ingredients make such a great difference but honestly canned San Marzano roma tomatoes, complemented by tomato paste with seasoning, tastes as good as this homegrown variety.

Ingredients

  1. 3 pounds seedless watermelon
  2. 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  3. 3 pounds fresh summer tomatoes
  4.   One chopped red bell pepper
  5. 2 cups chopped cucumbers
  6.    2 chopped yellow bell peppers
  7.     8 cups squeezed San Marzano roma tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes from your garden)
  8.    1/2 cup lemon juice
  9. 1/2 cup lime juice
  10. 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil 
  11. 1 Tbsp kosher salt or to taste
  12.    1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed black pepper
  13.    6 Tbsp  chopped green onions with both white and green parts

Steps

Finely puree all ingredients  using chopped green onions as a garnish.

Combine 1/2  ingredients in a  large blender and pour into a large bowl after blending.

Do the same for the remaining ingredients and add to the large bowl.

Coarsely chop cilantro and mix with green onions. Spoon 1 tsp greens into each glass, and as it is served. You may wish to add a shot of vodka and may be served chilled as well. If you’re  serving it without alcohol, you may also enjoy adding a tsp of creme fresh or sour cream into each glass as well.

A stick of celery, to chew on while you drink, inserted in each glass as a stirring stick is a nice addition, or you can top off each glass with a sprig of mint.

Send questions or your favorite recipes directly to  azox@zoxkitchen.com I look forward to hearing from you. Chef Alan

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