Holiday Recipes with a Local Hawaiian Flare

December 17, 2010, 9:42 AM HST · Updated December 17, 9:42 AM

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If you’ve begun planning your holiday recipes and the traditional turkey just doesn’t seem as appealing this year, why not add flare to your holiday menu by giving it a local taste of Hawaii!

Take a traditional turkey recipe and infuse it with spices and flavors of the Islands and your guests will applaud your creativity and flair! The following recipes have been adapted from

Molokai Sweet Potato Palau

If you’ve never heard the word Palau used before, it is a type of pudding made with sweet potatoes and coconut cream. Both the coconut cream and sweet potatoes make this pudding super rich and creamy and super easy to make! Keep in mind you can also substitute Molokai sweet potatoes with traditional sweet potatoes.

  • Three large sweet potatoes
  • One cup coconut milk
  • Once cup onion, diced
  • One cup butter
  • Salt, to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into small, one-inch cubes and simmer in water over the stovetop until they are tender and easy to cut. Drain the water from the potatoes, add the butter and set aside. Sautee the onion in the butter and heat until the onions achieve a translucent appearance. Add coconut milk to the potatoes and butter and mash until creamy and smooth. Top with sautéed onions and salt, to taste.

Cranberry Pineapple Relish

What better way to add a taste of Hawaii to your Hawaiian holiday meal than with cranberries and pineapples?

  • Two cups fresh cranberries
  • Four cups fresh pineapple (or canned), cut into bite-size pieces
  • Four cups brown sugar
  • Two tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • One cup fresh pineapple juice (or canned)
  • One teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a pan and heat to boiling. Allow cranberries to pop. Cool the mixture down and serve.

Kalua Turkey

The centerpiece of any traditional Hawaiian holiday dinner is, without a doubt, Kalua turkey. You may have heard about Kalua pork on the Islands, but it is also quite common to make Kalua turkey.

  • One whole turkey
  • Water or chicken stock
  • One teaspoon liquid smoke

Using a large roasting pan, place turkey in the pan, along with the water or chicken stock. Add liquid smoke and bake turkey according to the size.

Macadamia Nut Stuffing

This stuffing is sweet and satisfying, and the addition of macadamia nuts adds a nutting flavor that is sure to please your guests.

  • Six cups bread, toasted and cubed
  • Three eggs
  • One cup turkey stock
  • One small onion, chopped and diced
  • Three cloves garlic, chopped and diced
  • One cup toasted macadamia nuts
  • One cup fennel sausage, browned and chopped into small pieces
  • One cup chorizo sausage, browned and chopped into small pieces
  • One half teaspoon fennel seed
  • Two stalks celery, chopped
  • Two tablespoons parsley and sage, chopped
  • One half pound butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onions, garlic and celery until the onions are caramelized and translucent. Add both types of sausage and add all other ingredients to this mixture, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Place ingredients into a baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes in a 375-degree oven.



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