This column depends on the kindness of strangers — those who cook and create recipes and are willing to share them. To those kind souls, I’d like to say thanks on this, the eve of Thanksgiving.
In that spirit, it is our tradition to offer a holiday collection of recipes — the Top 5 taken from this column over the last year. These are my favorites, and I’ve made some of them several times, tweaking the recipes a bit since they were published.
You can have a set for a $5 donation to the Star-Advertiser’s Good Neighbor Fund, which assists the Community Clearinghouse in its good works for local families in need. Every year, we raise a few thousand dollars for the fund, thanks to the enduring power of recipes.
This year’s favorites:
Nori’s Chocolate Mochi Cake: Imagine the very best brownie, crossed with the very best chocolate cake, crossed with the very best chocolate mochi you’ve ever had — and you’ve got this cake. Nori’s Saimin & Snacks in Hilo is famous for this bouncy dessert, and owner Beth An Nishijima is happy to have home bakers try it out. This has become my favorite go-to dessert for potlucks, and it always draws several requests for the recipe.
Taro Rolls: Got a little leftover poi? Bake it into buns, just like the ones from the bakery or the restaurant bread basket. These are light, soft and just sweet enough. They’re also a familiar purplish-gray, thanks to food coloring, which you shouldn’t leave out.
Sparkled Ginger Cookies: This recipe was published for a grandma whose granddaughter was allergic to eggs, soy and dairy products. These cookies contain none of those things, which means even if you’re not allergic, you get a cookie free of the cholesterol in eggs and butter — and you won’t even miss them. They’re also full of the holiday flavors of ginger and cinnamon — perfect for the upcoming baking season.
Maui Chip-Crusted Fish: After this recipe ran in the newspaper, I received an anonymous and unhappy phone message. The caller’s point was, why cover a lovely piece of fish with oh-so-fattening mayonnaise and potato chips? Well, because it’s yummy. The recipe comes from the Kahala Hotel & Resort, which does use lovely mahimahi, monchong or snapper, but I’ve been using cheaper frozen fish, which I feel less guilty about covering in mayo and chips. I’ve also made adjustments to cut some of the fat.
Slow-Cooker Lasagna: First make a simple sauce, then layer it with noodles, thinly sliced zucchini, spinach and mozzarella cheese in a slow-cooker. Turn it on; go away for four hours. You’ll have lasagna. Simple — you don’t even have to precook the noodles. It’s like magic.
HOW TO ORDER
Send $5 per set to "By Request," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Include a legal-size stamped, self-addressed envelope. Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund. Deadline to order is Dec. 31.
Larger donations are welcome, but be sure to indicate how many sets of recipes you want (for example, if you send $20, let me know whether you want four sets of recipes or just one, with the rest of your cash being a donation).
This is a snail-mail offer only — no e-mail or fax orders — and it’s all or nothing. No discounts if you only want one recipe.
The Weekly Eater: Nadine Kam is taking a break for Thanksgiving. Her restaurant review returns next week.