Let’s Talk Food: Spring cleaning

  • Courtesy of AUDREY WILSON
  • Courtesy of AUDREY WILSON
  • Courtesy of AUDREY WILSON

This is the time many of us do some spring cleaning, and sometimes there are things we find that are special to us.

I found a shoebox of categorized recipe cards from those day when Hawaii Electric Light Co. and The Gas Company had home economists who conducted cooking classes in their auditorium. I remember going to a few when Mrs. Amy Iwamoto and Mrs. Joycelyn Manalili were the lecturers in Hilo. Back then, margarine was a common ingredient.


Here are just some of recipes I thought were interesting, and all tested by the Home Service Department of Hawaiian Electric Co. Ltd.:

Sparkling Curried Chicken

2 small pineapples

1/3 cup butter (or margarine)

3 cups cubed, cooked chicken

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bottle (7 ounce) carbonated lemon-lime beverage (lemon-lime soda such as Sprite of 7-Up usually come in 12-ounce cans or 16-ounce plastic bottles, no more glass bottles, so 7 ounces would be 14 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cut pineapples into halves lengthwise. Cut off tops, reserve for decorations. Cut the fruit from each pineapple half, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Remove and discard cores. Cut enough of the fruit into small cubes to make 2 cups. Melt butter in saucepan. Add chicken and the 2 cups pineapple cubes; saute lightly for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, curry powder, salt and carbonated lemon-lime beverage. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in lemon juice. Fill the pineapple shells with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Place on baking sheet and broil 4 inches from unit if electric oven for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Attach leaves to pineapple shells with skewers. Makes 4 servings.

Homemade Pot Cheese

1 baby Gouda cheese

3 ounces blue cheese

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives

Dash of garlic salt

Dash of cayenne

Finely shred Gouda cheese and crumble the blue cheese. Combine cheese with butter in a saucepan. Add all remaining ingredients and blend well. Cool on low heat, stirring vigorously until cheese is melted. Chill until firm, about 8 hours, and spoon into small pots. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 2 cups.

Note: Pot cheese is sometimes called club cheese. It is typically a Pennsylvania recipe, although the French also make a similar cheese call potted cheese in Sauterne.

Salmon Loaf with Caper Sauce

1 can (1 lb) salmon

1/4 cup butter (or margarine)

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups soft bread crumbs

1 egg yolk, beaten

1 1/2 tablespoons capers

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Grease an 8-1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf dish. Drain salmon, reserving liquid. Remove skin and bones from salmon. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and seasonings until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Set aside 1 cup of the sauce. Slowly stir remaining into eggs. Mix in salmon, lemon juice, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Fold in crumbs. Pour into prepared baking dish; bake at 350 degrees in electric oven for 40-45 minutes. Mix egg yolk with reserved salmon liquid; stir into the remaining l cup sauce. Heat slowly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in capers and lemon slices. Serve with salmon loaf. Makes 6 servings.

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I also found a bunch of newspaper articles I cut out. One of them, from the Honolulu Advertiser, April 2, 1997, featured dessert treats from Kakaako Kitchen’s pastry chef Lisa Siu.

Here is her recipe for brownies:

Kakaako Kitchen Brownies

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon water

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Chocolate icing

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Melt butter, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add half of the semi-sweet chocolate. Mix well, then add vanilla. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift flour, baking soda and slat together. Add gradually to chocolate mixture and blend. Mix in remaining chocolate and nuts. Pour into lightly greased 9-inch square cake pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. Test for doneness; center should be moist. Remove from oven and cool. Spread with chocolate icing. Cut into serving pieces.

Chocolate Icing

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1/3 cup half-and-half

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar


Place chocolate, half-and-half and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add vanilla. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until mixture is smooth. Place saucepan in bowl of iced water so it cools and thickens to spreading consistency.

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.