• Samantha Dawn

Road Reviews: Aloha Kitchen

I've been to Hawaii twice and every time I go, I fall in love with the culture and the island time lifestyle. Hawaii isn't like the rest of the United States and it warms my heart that they aren't. The food in Hawaii is also very different than what I would eat normally, but it's hard not to fall in love with their use of guava and lillikoi. They also eat a lot of pickled items and creamy noodle salads, which is a guilty pleasure.

I saw the book Aloha Kitchen one day in March and I couldn't wait to try it. It had sweet rolls, which I couldn't wait to try. It also had a lot of fun things in it that remind me of Hawaii.

I made five recipes with the intent on doing more, but summer hit and I just didn't want to cook. From the beginning, I realized that a lot of these recipes would be hard to do in Fredericton, New Brunswick where passion fruit is scarce and so is some of the ingredients she uses. I was a little limited on what I could make, but I ended up picking out some good ones.

The other thing I have to mention is that although there is a lot of instructions, I feel the instructions could have been broken down a little more; like when it calls for a stand mixer, she could have said you can do it by hand.

The first thing I made was Local Style BBQ Chicken. It was amazing! It's also known as Huli Huli chicken and it's got a Korean BBQ flavour, which was so so good. It was super easy to make and I don't have BBQ, so I used my mini oven and it worked out really well. I used it for lettuce wrap tacos with pineapple slaw.

Then I made the Mac Salad, which I could eat all of it. What a tasty dish, with flavour. I hate how most macaroni salads have a bland taste to it. This pulls a lot of picked flavours and is delicious. It was easy to make and I really enjoyed eating it.

The next thing I made was the Lilliko'i Chiffon Pie. What a disaster, it was tasty, but it took too long for me to enjoy. It also didn't help that passion fruit pulp is super hard to find and I had never worked with gelatine. It did help that I didn't make the pie crust from scratch. It just took too much time and my kitchen got hot fast. I didn't have enough passion fruit, so it ended up being lighter in colour and I also set the gelatine too much so it's kind of chunkier than I would like. Overall though, it was good and if I were to re-make it, it would go smoother.

The next thing I made were Sweet Rolls which is what I was most excited about. This went a lot easier than I thought. I however think the recipe should have mentioned you can make it by hand and you didn't have to worry about using a stand mixer if you didn't have one. I would have also enjoyed knowing how long it took to make because bread takes a long time. It total, I spent four hours making bread on a Sunday night.

The last thing I made and it was so easy were pickled onions. HOLY MOLY, you guys!!! It's so good! I love pickled onions, so I made mine with red onion and they were the kind I like where it pickles over a few days and you don't need to boil anything. They are meant to eat after two days.

Overall, I really like the idea of this cookbook, I found that the recipes were long in some instances and easy to follow in other instances. Everything always ended up taking really good, but sometimes the process of getting there I found to be a challenge. If you want something totally different from your usual, you should but this book. If you get easily annoyed in the kitchen, don't buy this book. It's a solid cookbook, but lacks that every day cooking feel. It's definitely a specialty book, but oh so delicious.

Thanks for reading,

Samantha

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