CHEETOS RING BLING

A dimeand Cheeto ring

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

They DID it! My daughter Traci and son-in-law Kim gave me some Cheetos bling for my birthday! Somehow they managed to get their hands on a dimeand Cheeto ring (see photo). Now maybe you understand why I am such a proud mom!

With all the hubbub surrounding my birthday and whatever that lunar or solar event was Aug. 21, I’ll bet not many of you thought to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the statehood of our 50th state, Hawaii. What would we be without this tropical paradise, the dream destination of so many, and the No. 1 consumer of Hormel’s oft-maligned delicacy, SPAM?

English explorer Capt. James Cook came across the Hawaiian Islands on Jan. 18, 1778. Just imagine what it would be like if he had not offended the natives, which lead to his death on Feb. 14, 1779.

At that time the native islanders took back the name Hawaii. Had that not happened, our tropical paradise, dream destination and 50th state might just be “Sandwich.”

That’s right. Cook, who by accounts was not a very nice man, renamed the Hawaiian Islands the Sandwich Islands in honor of his equally unlikeable friend, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who is credited with the idea of slapping meat between two slices of bread and eating it.

Just think: you might be having your destination wedding on Sandwich. Imagine telling your envious friends that you are spending your honeymoon in Sandwich! Or thanking your kids for gifting you with a trip to Sandwich to celebrate your silver wedding anniversary. Think of the honor of being “Miss Sandwich” and representing your state in the Miss America or Miss Universe pageants.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it!?

In belated honor of our 50th state’s 58th anniversary of statehood, I am going to share some “authentic” Hawaiian recipes today. I can’t swear to their authenticity, but allrecipes.com, which for today has been dubbed “alloharecipes.com,” says they are the real thing and who am I to argue with them?

I have chosen a fried rice side dish, a dessert, a beverage, and for those who think Captain Cook’s island name was appropriate, a luau roasted pork sandwich made without the hassle of digging up your yard and burying a whole pig.

The rice dish was submitted by Chen, who says of it “Everyone in Hawaii has their own version of fried rice. This is my own version of fried rice that the locals ate in Hawaii.” Feel free to substitute other meats for the SPAM, but be advised that you risk compromising that “authentic” island flavor!!

“Saxony” provided the dessert, saying “This recipe for mochi is an easy Hawaiian local-style treat made with coconut and butter in a rice flour base. A great dessert for any tropical themed party.” In case you are unfamiliar with mochiko, Wikipedia says “mochigomeko (mochiko for short)” is sweet, or glutinous, rice flour, although it is neither sweet nor contains gluten. It can be purchased online from various outlets, including Amazon.

The very simple slushy fruit punch has long been a favorite of CindyRN’s family, and they use it as a breakfast beverage. For the adults in the crowd, you could add a little rum or brandy.

Island-Style Fried Rice

1½ cups uncooked jasmine rice

3 cups water

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 (12-ounce) can fully cooked luncheon meat (such as SPAM(R)), cubed

½ cup sliced Chinese sweet pork sausage (lup cheong)

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup chopped green onion

Bring rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat; brown luncheon meat and sausage. Set aside. Pour beaten eggs into hot skillet; scramble and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; stir in rice. Toss rice in hot oil until heated through and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic powder; toss rice 1 more minute to develop garlic taste. Stir in luncheon meat, sausage, scrambled eggs, pineapple and oyster sauce. Cook and stir until oyster sauce coats rice and other ingredients, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in green onions and serve. (chen; alloharecipes.com)

Ono Butter Mochi

1 pound mochiko (glutinous rice flour)

2½ cups white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup butter, melted

3 cups whole milk

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-x13-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and milk. In a separate larger bowl, stir together rice flour, sugar, and baking powder. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients; stir to blend. Mix in melted butter and coconut. Pour into pan; bake 1 hour. Cool completely; cut into squares to serve. (Saxony; alloharecipes.com)

Luau Punch

1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice

1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 liters lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

In an empty gallon milk jug or pitcher, pour pineapple juice and orange juice concentrate. Shake to mix; slowly add lemon-lime soda (you may need to stop to let the fizz settle; then return to pouring). This will fill the gallon. Freeze overnight. Let punch start to thaw 2 hours before serving. Serve slushy. (CindyRN; alloharecipes.com

Luau Pig in a Slow Cooker

1 (6 pound) pork butt roast

1½ tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt

1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

Artisan bread or rolls

Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt, then liquid smoke over meat. Place roast in a slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low 16 to 20 hours, turning once during cooking time. Remove meat from slow cooker; shred, adding drippings as needed to moisten. Serve generous portions of the shredded meat on your favorite artisan bread or rolls. It should be perfect as is, but feel free to add your condiment(s) of choice. (kikukat; alloharecipes.com)

Send requests, recipes and/or cooking tips and techniques to Alice P. Clark at: Reader Exchange, c/o La Crosse Tribune, 401 N. Third St., La Crosse, WI 54601; e-mail: readerexchange@lacrossetribune.com.

Liven up your Thursday mornings by tuning in to Coulee Region Cooks from 10 to 11 a.m. on 1410-AM on the radio dial.

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