Monday, June 6, 2011



Aloha! Last summer, we decided to have a little family luau. It was a great success and a lot of fun.

The problem was that the pictures I took of the food made the food look the point of appearing inedible and unappetizing. I figured that I could either post the recipes without the pictures or try to fix the pictures so that they were presentable. The pictures turned out to be beyond repair. They were that bad. Time passed and before I knew it, it was nearly a year after we had originally had our luau. (The cropped pictures of fruit represent the only presentable pictures I took last year. I just couldn't get the pork to look as good as it tasted!)

My mom chose a few recipes that I didn't find for her and thus, I don't remember what they are. But she made a very nice pulled chicken teriyaki (made in the slow cooker) and a refreshing, fruity punch. I'll have to see if I can get those recipes from her and add them to this post.

The recipes that I found and contributed are for Hawaiian macaroni salad and slow cooker Kalua pig (pulled pork).

The Hawaiian macaroni salad tasted just like the macaroni salad you can find at Hawaiian restaurants (such as Moki's and Mo' Bettah Steaks). I must stress the importance of following the macaroni salad recipe exactly. You might think that you can combine or skip steps, but trust me, it's much better if you follow it exactly as written. When I made it again, I didn't have time (and didn't want to use the dishes) to follow the step where you let the apple cider vinegar soak into the warm macaroni before adding the other elements of the dressing. I didn't think it would make a difference, but it did. It was much better the last time I made it! But it was still a super yummy macaroni salad and it is pretty kid friendly. I would also suggest that you refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least two hours prior to serving in order to allow the flavors to meld.

The slow cooker pork also tastes just as good as what you can get at a restaurant--salty and smoky. Mmmm. Just note that it takes a lot longer than your usual slow cooker recipe. The recipe recommends slow cooking the pork for 16-20 hours! But trust me, it makes a huge difference in the texture of the pork. It is so tender, it will melt in your mouth.

And I made a discovery in re-making these recipes this year. I discovered that while Hawaiian food is super tasty, it really isn't pretty. My pictures this time around were way better than last year's pictures, but they still aren't great pictures. Hawaiian food is all nearly the same color! Oh well!

Serve some brown rice and tropical fruit along with your macaroni salad and pork and you'll have a very satisfying meal--even if it isn't the most colorful meal you'll ever serve! Trust me, you'll want to add the fruit for two reasons: first, Hawaiian food is really salty and it's nice to have refreshing, juicy fruit to balance the salt and second, because it adds a much needed splash of color to your plate!


Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Notes and Explanations from the original recipe:

  • Hawaiians cook their macaroni until it's "fat," or very soft. It turns out they know what they're doing. Here's what the Test Kitchen discovered:
  • While overcooking the pasta seemed like a bad idea, it actually enabled the macaroni to absorb more dressing.
  • The dressing had to be thin enough to soak into the pasta. we used an equal amount of mayonnaise and milk, and we used a lot--a full 2 cups each--to get the right texture.
  • to prevent the cider vinegar from curdling the milk, we poured the vinegar directly over the hot macaroni.
  • After the vinegar soaked in, we poured on about half the dressing, gave the mixture a stir, and let it cool. We then stirred in the remaining dressing and added grated carrot, chopped celery (for crunch), scallion, a bit of brown sugar, and some vigorous shakes of salt and black pepper.
  • Don't use low-fat milk or mayonnaise because it will make the dressing too thin.
  • Serves 8-10 (in my opinion, it serves a lot more than that--especially if you have a lot of other side dishes).

2 cups whole milk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste (you're going to want a lot--especially pepper--since it is the only seasoning for this salad)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, chopped fine


Make dressing: Whisk 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup mayonnaise, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in bowl.

Cook pasta: Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta and cook until very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add vinegar and toss until absorbed. Transfer to bowl. Cool pasta 10 minutes, then stir in dressing until pasta is well coated. Cool completely.

Make salad: Add scallions, carrot, celery, remaining milk, and remaining mayonnaise to pot with pasta mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Serve.

Source: This recipe comes from Cook's Country Magazine. I found it on another recipe blog by doing a Google search for it.

Notes: Follow this recipe exactly. Don't change a thing and it will taste exactly like the macaroni salad you can get at Hawaiian restaurants. Be generous with the pepper.

Kalua Pig in a Slow Cooker


1 (6 lb) pork butt roast
1 1/2 tbsp Hawaiian sea salt
1 tbsp liquid smoke flavoring


Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt, then liquid smoke all over meat. Place roast in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 16-20 hours, turning once during cooking time.

Remove meat from slow cooker, and shred, adding drippings as needed to moisten.

Source: submitted by KIKUCHAN.

Notes: I couldn't find Hawaiian sea salt, so I just used plain sea salt. Also, I didn't pierce the pork. I simply sprinkled the salt and liquid smoke over the roast. Finally, when I shredded it, I shredded it directly in the slow cooker and decided that I would drain it if it was too juicy. However, the drippings that the roast rendered were the perfect amount to keep the meat moist and the meat absorbed all the juices after it was shredded, so it was perfect just the way it was.


  1. I will hunt down the recipe for the punch. As far as the chicken teriyaki, I just put frozen chicken thighs (not breasts as they will dry out too much) into the crock pot, poured bottled teriyaki sauce over and cooked on low for 6 hours. Tasty.

  2. These pictures looked really, really good on my work computer. I can only imagine what my boss spent on those monitors!

  3. When cooking the pork do you add any liquids to the meat while it Cooks for 20 hours

  4. No, it is not necessary to add any liquid to the pork while it cooks. I didn't use any. A pork butt roast creates plenty of drippings, and because it is cooked in a slow cooker, it is moist heat as opposed to dry heat and it keeps the pork from drying out. However, if you are nervous about it, you could add 1/2 cup of water when you place the pork in the slow cooker and the flavor would be the same.

  5. I feel completely weird asking this but do I use my crock pot set on low for 20 hours or my roaster pan set to a real low temperature for 20 hours?

  6. This recipe is for a slow cooker.

    I don't know what the results would be for a roaster pan. I think the slow cooker would be the best option because it is more of a moist heat than a roaster pan. Plus, I don't know what the recommendations are for your roaster pan in regards to how long it should be left on. I think the slow cooker might be a little safer to leave unattended.

    If you need a bigger batch than what this recipe calls for, you could cook the pork in a slow cooker in batches and freeze it. Then you could thaw the pork overnight and reheat it for a large party in your roaster pan. I have done that with pulled pork for sandwiches and it works great.

    You can also check out some of the comments from others who have tried this recipe:

    It sounds like some of the other people cooked it on high for less time than the 20 hours called for in the recipe and still got great results.

    1. for the roaster oven put about an inch of water in the bottom then place the pork on the rack. cook at 275-300 for 12 hours. We do it overnight.

  7. I tend to procrastinate and wait until the week of the party to do all the shopping, decorating, and since I like to make my pennies scream..
    Maui luau

  8. Ha ha! I love the way you put that. "Making my pennies scream." Good one. :)

  9. Do you mean scallions as in green onions, or as in actually scallions- the mini red onion looking things?

  10. Sorry for the confusion. Scallions and green onions are the exact same thing. This is one of those plants that just happens to have two names that can be used interchangeably. The mini red onion things you are talking about are called shallots. I have clarified it in the recipe. Use green onions/scallions in the macaroni salad recipe, not shallots, red onions, etc. Thanks for the question!

  11. OOHHH...Shallots!! I don't know why I always confuse those two! Sorry!!! You are so right!!

  12. No worries. Those names sound so similar. It is easy to get them mixed up!

  13. The macaroni salad I make always tastes wayy too vinegary. Its so sour that it ruins the food unless I add more o f everything else. Are you sure its 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar? I now do a little less than 1/4 cup and its sooo much better!!!

    1. In Hawaii we do not cook much with vinegar and never use it or sugar in the macaroni salad. Some people mix Mayo (must be Best Foods) and ranch dressing and use that for the dressing.

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  15. This is a Cook's Country recipe and they are always pretty exact and scientific in their recipes. It calls for 1/2 cup, so that is what we have always done. I personally like the bite that the cider vinegar adds to this macaroni salad and I think it tastes much closer to the macaroni salad that you can get at Hawaiian restaurants that way. However, if you don't like that much vinegar, I think it is awesome that you decrease the amount when you make it. I know I definitely alter recipes to suit my own tastes. :) I mean, if you hate anchovy paste, for instance, just leave it out of a recipe. :) It will taste better that way to you!

  16. This helps a lot to know just what to do and what not to do!! Hawaiian restaurants