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.
Dear Journal - We went holoholo (to go out for pleasure) to Pahoa. Going to Pahoa is almost like time travel - it's a bit of old Hawaii, a bit of funkadelic 60's, a bit of old west and no matter how you look at it, very laid back. Cool place. Backroads Hawaii. The boardwalk lined main street houses quaint shops and a good handful of down-home ethnic eateries with the most amazing aromas wafting out from them. We settled on a little tucked away restaurant where the food was all homemade and the service made us feel like one of the 'ohana (family). A find and a perfect way to top off the day before heading back to Kona side. We'd already hit the Hilo Farmers Market and along the way stopped at a couple of superb little grocery stores too, so we came home armed with fresh herbs, killer good Parmesan and some imported Italian pasta that begged to be something special. Inspired by the utter charm of the mish-mash that is Pahoa I just let my ingredients lead me and made my very own mish-mash that turned out to be as delicious and unique as going holoholo to Pahoa.
4 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups fresh cilantro
2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil – or ½ cup browned butter
½ cup toasted macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1 small Hawaiian chile or fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
Good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt, or your favorite salt
¾ cup good quality Parmesan cheese, grated
1 ½ pounds whole pork tenderloin cut into ¼ -inch thick ‘pats’
2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
Hawaiian, sea or Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
3-4 fresh, ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1 pound linguine, angel hair, fusili or bowtie pasta
Lightly sauté chopped garlic in a small skillet in a drizzle of olive oil for 1 minute until just starting to get golden. Remove from heat. Let cool.
Combine garlic, basil, cilantro, ½ cup olive oil, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, shoyu and chile in blender or food processor and buzz until combined. Transfer to small bowl and stir in cheese. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and store in fridge up to 1 day.
Put pork pats in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons shoyu, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to distribute seasonings evenly. (Can be made a little ahead of time and let sit with seasonings)
Heat skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil, until sizzling. Add pork pats and quickly fry on both sides until cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. But make sure pork is nicely caramelized on the first side before flipping. Keep pork warm while pasta is cooking.
When ready to serve, cook pasta til al dente, and before draining add about ¼ cup of the cooking water to the pesto to help it adhere better to the pasta. Old Hawaiian pesto secret! Put pasta into a large bowl for serving, add pesto, chopped fresh tomato and pork pats and toss, toss, toss. Serve with extra parmesan and enjoy!