GARLIC BREAD in the style of Focaccia

SWEET HOTTIES ~ Hawaiian Hot Wings

Da kine Hawaiian flavahs....boasting a good blast of Thai and Filipino tastiness, and a heady hit of rum or whiskey. These tender, crispy, oven-fried chicken wings tossed in a fiery-sweet, tangy glaze, are guaranteed to leave you with a big, sticky smile. Broke da mouth!


Delectable memoirs, from a few years back, of living on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai, high above the famed Kona Coast on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii.

Dear Journal - It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday up Kaloko.  A feel good day from the get-go.  I'd just had my morning Kona coffee on the lanai, watching the fishing boats, on the shimmering Pacific, head out en masse from Honokohau Harbour, far below.....  one of my favorite Big Island Saturday things to do. 

The Ka'au Crater Boys filled the house with easy Island tunes and I was ready to conjure up some hot wings, to rival Buffalo. 

Then it happened.

The earth shook......really shook!!!  A friendly quake.

Kilauea Volcano was, once again, kicking things up on the windward side of the island. 

When the 'aina moves and jiggles and sways, it's such an unnerving, and breathtaking, reminder of nature's ultimate power, that it makes you stop in your tracks in some sort of anticipation.  And awe.

I'm not sure I can explain it, but after an earth tremor, it's like after a tickle...... I'm left with a thrill and a giggle.  It's just so remarkable when the earth moves. 

It questions everything.  But at this magnitude, all in a good, thought-provoking way.

Small earthquakes or earth tremors are not an unusual event on the Big Island of Hawaii, but always leave behind a fresh new awareness.  Of power, of blessings.

So on this wonderful, tropical day, as I created away in my Hawaiian kitchen, I thrilled, yet one more time, to be in this paradise, and then I made some Hot Wings, kissed by Madame Pele, and as delicious as the day itself.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



HOT SWEETIES ~ Hawaiian Hot Wings
2 -3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons peanut, corn, vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 plump garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup rum or whiskey
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Banana Ketchup/Sauce, or regular ketchup  (Banana ketchup or Banana Sauce is a Filipino condiment available in Asian grocers or Asian sections of supermarkets)
2 tablespoons dark shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons dried red chiles (how hot do you like it?)

Glaze can be made ahead and gently reheated.  For ease of serving, whether we are having company or not, I always make my Sweet Hotties glaze ahead of time.

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute minced garlic 3-4 minutes, until starting to caramelize and turn golden.  Stir in rum or whiskey to deglaze the pan and let mixture bubble and steam for about 1 minute.

Add vinegar, sugar, water, ketchup, soy sauce and chiles and stir to combine.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a steady, gentle boil.  Do not let your glaze boil too vigorously or it will cook too quickly.

Boil gently for 30-40 minutes, until mixture thickens and bubbles start to plop, plop, plop as they break the surface.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.  Very lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet, or use parchment paper. Dry chicken wings with paper towels and place in large bowl.  In a cup mix melted butter, peanut oil, garlic powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Pour over wings in bowl, mix and massage seasoning mixture to coat the wings.  Lay wings out, not touching, on prepared baking sheet.

Bake wings 45-55 minutes until toasty brown and cooked through. Place cooked wings in large bowl.  Quickly reheat glaze for a moment and drizzle over crispy tender wings.  Toss gently to completely cover the wings in that sweet, spicy, tangy scrumptiousness.  E 'ai kakou! (Let's eat!)