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Polynesian Paella Links Spain to Hawai`i

The Spanish influence in Hawai'i ranges from guitar and 'ukulele to the paniolo-Hawaiian cowboy, and the introduction and cultivation of coffee, fruits and vegetables in early Hawai'i. A classic dish from Spain is the famous Paella Valenciaga, (pronounced pie-elya). This comestible is a hearty blend of rice, seafood, poultry and seasonings.

The Hawaiian Islands offer their own delectable contributions, as this dish is rediscovered, donning a Pacific-Rim flavor.

To create this concoction that serves four to eight people, begin by sautéing together:

1 tsp each sal2 TBS. macadamia nut oil (or virgin olive oil)

1 tin of chopped anchovies

1 cup of chopped Maui onion

10 cloves of minced garlic

1-1/2 cups of sliced shitake mushrooms

When the onions are clear add:

1/2 cup sliced black or green olives

1/4 cup sliced pimientos

1 TBS saffron threads

4 ­ 5 bay leaves

2 tsp Chinese five-spicet and pepper

Stir well and then add:

2 cups jasmine rice (basmati rice)

3-1/4 cups chicken broth

1/2 lb cubed ahi filet (any firm fish will work)

1/2 lb cubed ono filet

1/4 lb large shrimps (peeled)

1/2 lb mussels or clams in shell (or half of each)

3/4 lb chunked raw chicken breast (pork may be used instead)

In a large oven-proof lidded pot (such as a Dutch oven) bring mixture to a boil, cover tightly-with foil and the pan lid-and bake in the oven at 350° for about 45 minutes to one hour until the rice is cooked. Remove from the heat and serve warm with the accompanying salsa.

This delightful salsa may be used with chips or Mexican food but is wonderful as an accompaniment to the paella.

Mix together: 3 cups of finely chopped cored white pineapple (yellow or canned will do)

1/4 cup of fresh chopped Chinese parsley (cilantro)

3 tsp. fresh oregano leaves

1 each red and green jalapeno peppers seeded and diced

1 cup Japanese rice vinegar

2 TBS. Hawaiian rum

1 diced yellow bell-pepper

pinch of coarse sea salt

Make one day ahead and refrigerate for the best flavor.