Welcome to week 50 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the last, but certainly not the least, state of Hawaii, who joined the union on August 21, 1959. I cannot believe I did it. All fifty states represented here. From Delaware to Hawaii, we have taken quite a journey through our states, each one unique in its own way. I can honestly say that I learned something from this process. A lot of history about our country, some of it better than others, but I have definitely gained knowledge about who we are, good and bad.
But we’re not done yet! Let’s talk about our Pacific state of Hawaii.
So how did we end up with a state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Well, a lot of it has to do with sugar and of course, location. During the mid to late 1800s, the US government gained interest in the island nation, as it offered a strong strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region and also provided for huge economic opportunity in its sugar plantations. At the time, the islands were ruled by the Kamehameha dynasty, but when the last of the reigning family died in 1872, the islands went into some upheaval and the US stepped in to try to bring control. At the urging of the military and US citizens now living there, the government and Queen Lili’uokalani were overthrown in 1893. US President Cleveland was against annexing Hawaii, but several years later under President McKinley, the islands were officially annexed into the US as a territory in 1898.
After becoming a territory, the US moved quickly to build military bases around the island of Oahu, some still in use today. The US Navy built a base at Pearl Harbor, which we all know was hit by Japanese fighter planes on the morning of December 7, 1941. Twenty vessels were destroyed, over 2000 service men were killed and the attack propelled the US into World War II.
Hawaii wanted to be admitted as a state as early as 1935, but was rejected 3 times before finally gaining enough support with their arguments in 1959. They sent an elected representative to Washington with their desires clearly laid out. They wanted to elect their own governor, have the ability to vote for the president, put an end to taxation without representation in Congress, plus they had proven their loyalty to the US in WWII and more than 90% of the population were already US citizens. In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Hawaii Admission Act and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. On June 27, 1959, a ballot vote was held asking Hawaii residents to vote on accepting the statehood bill, which passed 17 to 1 to accept. On August 21, church bells were rung throughout Honolulu proclaiming that Hawaii was finally a US state.
Ok. So let’s talk about Hawaiian food. I have been to the Hawaiian Islands several times and I always love the food. I tried to find some recipes that were representative of the local culture, but also had to avoid fish (son won’t eat it). I would have loved to make some cool luau food, but not having taro leaves and a big fire pit in my back yard sent me looking for something else.
What I decided on were three different dishes! Yes, three different recipes, because I just couldn’t decide on one. The first dish is Shoyu Chicken, which is a tasty braised dish that tastes like teriyaki. It is super simple and flavorful. It is often served as a meat option for the Hawaiian Plate Lunch, which is where the second recipe comes from; Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. This one was also very tasty. It contains more mayonnaise than any other mac salad I have ever made, and everything I read about it is that it is supposed to be that way. It sort of reminded me of deli prepared mac salad. Tasted good, but too soupy. The third recipe was a dessert called Haupia. It is a super simple coconut pudding with only a couple of ingredients. My son described it perfectly when he said it tasted like coconut jello. Sort of jiggly, but flavorful while not being heavy. I bet it would be really good with some chocolate sauce!
So there you have it. Fifty states of New Recipe Tuesday complete. As they say in that old tv ad “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”! Where do we go next? Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe a week or two of reflection and planning for my next adventure. If you have any ideas, please feel free to offer them up. For now, I want to thank you for following along, and I hope you will continue with me as we move on to our next culinary journey.
Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week…
Recipe for Shoyu Chicken:
6 – 8 chicken thighs
2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cups low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup mirin
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 -inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick and smashed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and green onions in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes more.
Remove chicken to a serving platter. Remove garlic and ginger and discard. Bring sauce to a boil, skim off excess fat, and cook until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add chicken, turn to coat, and serve chicken with sauce and sliced green onions.
Recipe for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:
1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole or 2% milk, divided
2 cups mayonnaise, divided
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled & grated
Salt & pepper
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and the macaroni; cook one minute past done, about 10-11 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
Add the cider vinegar and toss until absorbed. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1 ½ cups of the milk, 1 cup of the mayonnaise, the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp pepper.
Once the cooked pasta has cooled for 10 minutes, mix in the dressing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup of mayonnaise, along with the scallions and carrot. Stir to combine, and then season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Recipe for Haupia:
1 (12 – 13 ounce) can coconut milk
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
3⁄4 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut extract
toasted coconut, for topping
Pour coconut milk into saucepan.
Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in water and blend well.
Stir sugar mixture into coconut milk; cook and stir over low heat until thickened (about 4-5 minutes)
Remove from heat and add coconut extract.
Pour into 8-inch square pan and chill covered until firm.
Cut into 2-inch squares. Garnish with toasted coconut.