After 23 years of working as a teacher and administrator at a very large school district, I decided to change careers and become a Personal Chef. I wanted to say goodbye to my long-time co-workers and friends by having a fun get-together outside of the office. My boss and her husband offered their beautiful home – with a fantastic, roomy kitchen and gorgeous backyard with a poolside grill – and because it was June in the very sunny San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, a backyard barbeque would be perfect. One of my co-workers was from Hawaii and talked about her days and nights working as a sous chef in four and five-star restaurants on the Island and in Los Angeles and she inspired me to go with a Hawaiian-themed menu. She even offered to be my sous chef for the day!
The guests were treated to the following Hawaiian Backyard Barbeque Menu:
- Arugula Salad with Pears and Candied Pecans
- Kona-Spiced Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
- Kahlua Pork served on Sweet Hawaiian Rolls
- Hawaiian Curry Fried Rice
- Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
The entire menu was a huge success but the fan favs were the Kona-Spiced Grilled Chicken and the Hawaiian Curry Rice, which I prepared using the spice blends of a popular Hawaiian chef whose amazing dishes I tasted at a cooking demonstration. Here are my adaptations of her recipes:
(Kaiulani Spices and Recipes can be found at http://kaiulanispices.com/default.asp)
Source – PC Magazine July 2010
- 1 – 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast strips
- 1 – 1 ½ tablespoons of your favorite coffee and seasoning blend (I used Kaiulani’s Coffee Rub and Seasonings) plus extra for dipping sauce 2 teaspoons seasoned salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 bunch green onion (optional)
- 1 tablespoon water, plus extra for dipping sauce
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Mix together coffee and seasoning blend with salt to taste (if using), oil and water to form a paste. Rub over rinsed and dried chicken strips and let marinade for 30 minutes or more.
- While chicken is marinating, make a dipping sauce by mixing coffee and seasoning blend, sugar, and as much water as needed to dissolve in a small pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, lower heat, and cook until begins to thicken. Add more water (or other liquid such as orange or pineapple juice) until desired consistency is reached.
- Grill chicken strips on hot grill with green onions until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook!
Click here to see the Hawaiian Curry Rice recipe.