At a library cast-off sale, I found an out-of-print "Taste of Aloha" cookbook from the Honolulu Junior League. It's a beautiful book with Pegge Hopper illustrations and throwback recipes like Punahou Carnival Malasadas, baked kumu from the old Maile Restaurant at the Kahala Hilton, or opakapaka from Hy's Steakhouse. Honolulu restaurants like Bagwell's and Michel's, circa 1980, that you went to for special occasions: prom, grandma's birthday, family reunions, and the occasional funeral.
I remember Willows Shrimp Curry as something fancy and special from my childhood, so I was looking forward to re-creating it at home. But one look at the recipe, and it was clear that some serious updates were in order. 6 tablespoons of butter, 9 tablespoons of curry powder and 1/2 gallon of coconut milk to feed 6 people? Perhaps 6 people the size of Rubeus Hagrid.
It's much thicker, creamier and definitely milder than a Japanese or Thai curry. It's the kind of curry that works best with traditional accessories. We dressed it up with honey-roasted peanuts, cranberries and dried (unsweetened) coconut. Chutney would have been good too, but we didn't have it. Definitely worth repeating.
Click here for what I came up with.
What restaurants do you remember? Eat Well. Be Well.