MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN
Delectable memoirs of living on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai high above the famed Kona Coast on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii.
The savory melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of the slow cooked pork hits it off like gangbusters with the crispy, crunchy tortilla chips and creamy cheese. One big tray of hot-from-the-oven yum.
Dear Journal – The morning dawned bright and sunny. Just right for our beach day. Hapuna Beach or bust!! Driving north from Kona, we eye-spied a pod of whales spouting not too far out from the shore. Further off across the blue Pacific we could see Haleakala brushing the skies over Maui and off to the mauka (mountain) side we marveled at the mantle of fresh white snow atop Mauna Kea. Way cool. Needless to say we hit Hapuna smiling. After a few lazy hours of bobbing in warm, clear turquoise waters and easy beach chatter we headed home blissed out, sun-glazed and totally relaxed. How to top off this day? Crunchy, gooey, hot-from-the-oven nachos that begged to be munched in the shimmering silver light of a Hawaiian full moon? Yup, that would do it. The night wound down happy and moony.
BROKEN PORK NACHOS
1 x 2 - 3 pound boneless pork butt roast
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled (cut in half lengthwise if too plump)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Hawaiian or other sea salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 onion peeled and roughly sliced
2 cups water
1 small can (4-oz) chopped mild green chilies
1 bag (325gr - 400gr) best quality tortilla chips
1 can refried beans
2 small fresh, firm, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium size sweet Maui, Walla Walla or Vidalia, chopped
2 fresh Hawaiian chili peppers or jalapenos, thinly sliced into rounds (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Serve with Salsa Fresca, sour cream and guacamole
For Broken Pork – Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Place pork in smallish roasting pan. With a small sharp knife cut 8 or more deep little pockets in the roast and insert the garlic cloves. In small bowl mix together olive oil, salt, chili powder, black pepper and dried red chili flakes. Massage spices all over the roast. Sprinkle onion pieces around the roast in the pan. Add 2 cups water to the pan. Cover with tin foil and roast 2 hours. Check to make sure there’s still water covering the bottom of the pan and if needed add more water. Cover and bake another 1 – 1 ½ hours until pork is ridiculously tender.
Remove from oven and as soon as meat is cool enough to handle shred into bite sized chunks using two forks. (Do not, I repeat, Do Not eat all of the pork as you are ‘breaking’ it or you’ll have to start all over again!) Add tin of chopped mild green chilies to the broken pork and mix to combine evenly. Use immediately to make nachos or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
For Nachos - preheat oven to 400F. On large rimmed baking sheet place half of the tortilla chips. Evenly layer half of the toppings over the chips – little dabs of refried beans, chopped tomato, chopped onion, hot peppers, fresh pineapple, as much shredded pork as suits your fancy and the cheeses. Top with the remaining chips and layer all remaining ingredients on top, ending with the cheeses. Bake nachos for 10-20 minutes or until you can’t wait another moment to indulge in the gooey, crunchy, succulent goodness. Serve hot with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
Serves 4-5 as a meal, 8 or more if serving as pupu.