Aloha! It is Hawaii game week, and I am excited! I have been looking forward to tailgating for this game for a long time. I grew up with a lot of Pacific Islanders – one of my good friend’s jokingly called me Keleka once – a rough translation of my name – and it stuck. Anyways, I was lucky enough to be able to attend many back yard Luaus, and there is nothing like Polynesian food and culture. Let’s get to it!
Traditional Kalua Pig is cooked in an underground pit called an Imu. This oven is made by digging a hole, starting a mesquite fire and then covering the fire with rocks and lining the pit with banana leaves. The whole pig is then salted and stuffed with more hot rocks and wrapped in banana leaves or wet burlap to maintain the moisture of the meat. The pit is then covered in sand and left to cook for about eight hours. Once finished, the pork is shredded to mix the melted fat with the meat to spread the flavor throughout the pig. My friend’s parents had an imu in their back yard and would make Kalua Pig for special occasions – there is nothing that compares to it. Unfortunately, for tailgating purposes you probably don’t have the time to cook the pig traditionally, and I would guess the people who own your tailgate spot would frown upon you building an imu. Luckily crock-pot Kalua Pig is very easy. All you need is some pork butt roast, sea salt, and liquid smoke. Pierce the roast a few times with a fork, cover it with sea salt and liquid smoke, and cook on low for about eight hours or on high for about four hours. Once it is tender, shred it with a couple of forks and mix it with the fat and juices in the pot, and serve.
A great traditional side item to serve with this is Local Kine potato-mac salad. It is basically a mixture of potato salad and macaroni salad, so get your favorite recipes of both, and mix them together. If you are short on time (or lazy) you can also buy a container of each of these at your nearest deli and throw them together.
If you want to go all out, make some spam fried rice or sticky rice and you will be able to build your own Hawaiian lunch plate!
BEER OF THE WEEK: KONA BREWING BIG WAVE GOLDEN ALE
I am a big fan of all the beers from Kona Brewing, and I think Big Wave is perfect for tailgating. It has a great balance of malts and hops, but is lower in alcohol (4.4%) so you can still have a few. Here is the description from Kona:
Our brewers wanted to make a beer that went down easy after a day out on the water. Big Wave Golden Ale is just the ticket. Big Wave is a lighter bodied golden ale with a tropical hop aroma and flavor – a smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The use of caramel malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and our special blend of hops provides bright quenching finish.
You can find Kona’s brews pretty much everywhere around the Treasure Valley, and some stores carry their sampler pack so you can try all of their great beers.
LIQUOR/COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: SHELLBACK SPICED RUM & MAI TAI’S
In previous editions of the Feedbag I have referred to Business Insider’s article on the most popular liquor in every state, which for Hawaii is Jack Daniels. I am going to go a different direction this week so we can keep with the theme, so let’s make some Mai Tai’s!
Most people think of Captain Morgan’s when it comes to spiced rum, but I really like Shellback Spiced Rum. I find it a lot smoother and great for shots:
Shellback® Spiced is a flavorful, medium-bodied rum of remarkable quality. Its 12 exotic spices combine to offer unique aromatics and layers of caramelized vanilla, brown spice, cinnamon, and honey. With a distinctive yet versatile profile, it is pleasantly warm with a clean finish and makes for a tasty shot, mixes nicely with soft drinks and serves as the perfect companion for hot drinks.
For the Mai Tai, pour a shot of Shellback, and a shot of Malibu Coconut Rum over ice, add a splash of grenadine, and top with pineapple juice and orange juice. Stir and enjoy!
Enjoy your tailgate parties this week. Should be a great October day for football!