Saturday, September 1, 2012

English meets Hawaiian Potatoes and green bean salad

I was in the mood for some Hawaiian comfort food.  It would be deluxe mac salad for me. In Hawaii, Mac salad is mainly overcooked macaroni, shredded carrot, mixed with a mayo mix. Everyone has a different recipe. Mine is simply mayo with mustard, dash of Hawaiian salt.  Now what make it deluxe? When there is potatoes in with the mac, that's deluxe. According to one of the Aunties, back in the days on the plantation, potatoes were imported in. Only the plantation owner could enjoy the classic potato salad. The workers loved the flavor, but could afford the potatoes. The local adapted the recipe by putting in overcooked macaroni, that would have the texture of potatoes! How smart!!! For those special occasions they would put a potato or 2 into the salad as a special treat! Now you know the story. The locals love the salad so much and it is only of the stable in any plate lunch in Hawaii, you will get 2 scoop of rice, 1 scoop of mac salad!!

With my new "day" job, I didn't sign up for CSA this year. I knew I would have issue making it to the pick up point every week. I missed my weekly surprise greatly. However this also brought me to venture more to different farm stands. I was on my way home from the country and discovered a small farm stand next to a potato farm. I picked up some beautiful potatoes and green bean. The potatoes are so flavorful. I am going back to pick up more in the next few weeks and cellar them for the winter. The green beans are very vibrant too. I want to make something that will highlight their freshness vs taking it away.

Growing up in a British colony, my childhood diet was a mixture of English and Southeast Asian food. Heinz Salad cream was a stable in household. I was so excited that it is now readily available in the grocery stores here. I like the flavor better than mayo and at times I would mix the 2. Though the years, if I am making mac salad for non-Hawaiian, I would use Salad cream instead. Yes, I broke the rule @@

Remember I just told you about those beautiful green beans. They are calling me. I am inspired to make variable of a Nicoise inspired salad here. It's very simple. The protein here is a simple cut up rotisserie chicken breast from the store, you can use cooked tuna or to keep it vegetarian, you can mix tofu and eggs together. There is not much cooking here and you can make it ahead and toss it together before serving.
Potatoes, Green bean and chicken salad
4-5 Yukon potatoes. Cleaned, boiled, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 cup of fresh t green beans or asparagus. Cleaned and cut into 1.5" pieces. Quickly blanched and drained.
1 fully cooked rotisserie chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes.
1/3 cup Heinz Salad cream

1 tsp honey Dijon mustard
Hawaiian red Alaea salt and pepper to taste
Black sesame seeds
Fried shallot

In a small box, mix the salad cream with mustard. Set aside
In a large bowl, toss potato with green beans.
Add chicken
Add Salad green mixture. Toss well.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set ahead in the fridge to chill and let the flavor blend.
Line the serving plate with lettuce leaves, place the salad on top.
Garnish with black sesame seeds, fried shallot and a sprinkle of Hawaiian salt!
Serve 2-3 as main course or 4 appetizer size salad

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