Gourmet Style: Classic American Comfort Food

8 Easy Recipes from Hale Aina Award-winning Chefs


Published:

(page 1 of 5)


Photo: Monte Costa






The world seems a little tense right now. There’s an uneasiness about where and how we’ll get our energy; who will be the next U.S. president; in which direction the economy will go. If you are what you eat, perhaps we need to consume a little stress relief. The prescription? Nourish ourselves with classic, home-cooked American comfort food. When you’re making these recipes, savor the process. When the food is ready, slow down a moment and cherish the time spent with friends and family around that most comforting of places—our dining tables.





 

Recipe from Chef Ed Kenney

“The Elvis”: Grilled Almond Butter, Apple Banana and Candied-Bacon Sandwich


2    slices multigrain bread (chef Ed Kenney used Watanabe Bakery bread)       
¼  cup almond butter   
1     ripe, local apple banana   
3    slices applewood smoked bacon       
3    tsp. honey (Kenney used Nalo Meli brand)
3    tsp. brown sugar   
      Cracked pepper
      Salt, to taste       
 

1. Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out bacon on a baking sheet. Combine honey with 1 teaspoon warm water to thin it slightly, then brush one side of the bacon with the honey/water mixture. Sprinkle each strip of bacon with brown sugar and generously season with cracked pepper. Bake the bacon for 15 minutes or until crisp and shiny. Slice the banana lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices. Spread bread with the almond butter and season with salt. Top the almond butter with bananas, bacon and bread. Grill the sandwich in a panini press, or on a griddle as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.

Chef Ed Kenney with his son, Duke.  Duke prefers his dad's Classic PB&J.

Photo:  Monte Costa

TOWN
Town won a Hale Aina, bronze, for Best Bistro/New American Cuisine in our 2008 awards. 3435 Waialae Ave., 735-5900. www.townkaimuki.com. Its sibling restaurant, Downtown @the HiSAM, has been causing a stir at the Hawaii State Art Museum. It’s on the ground floor, 250 S. Hotel Street; 536-5900.

ABOUT THE CHEF
Ed Kenney is the owner/chef of Town and Downtown. His favorite comfort foods? “I’m from here, so anything with rice, or saimin, or oxtail soup. One of our most popular dishes at the restaurant is risotto with oxtail soup.” This champion of locally produced food gets his beef for the risotto from the North Shore and the Big Island.
 

 



Recipe from Chef Ed Kenney 

Classic PB&J

“PB&J is the ultimate American comfort food,” says chef Ed Kenney. The classic version is beloved by his son, Duke. Like many peanut-butter aficionados, Duke prefers white bread, with the crusts cut off.

Photo: Monte Costa

Sure, you can use store-bought jam, but why not try something that uses locally grown, Kula strawberries? Here’s Kenney’s recipe.

2 ½  lbs. Kula strawberries
(6 cups stemmed and crushed)
4 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 package pectin
3 Tb. lemon juice
4 Tb. balsamic vinegar



Combine the pectin and ½ cup of sugar. Set aside. Combine the strawberries and remaining sugar and allow to macerate for one hour. Next, add the lemon juice, vinegar and pectin-sugar mix, and stir well. Heat the mixture in a heavy pot and bring to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Periodically stir and skim off the foam. Use a chilled plate to test how well the jam is gelling. This jam can be canned using standard canning technique or you can simply store it in an airtight container for up to a month.

 

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