Collect the year's top recipes
ON THE EVE of the Great Day of Gratitude, I offer my thanks to all the inquiring minds who fill this column with requests, and to the sharing spirit of all the chefs and cookbook hounds who help solve them.
In that Thanksgiving spirit, here's today's offer: the second-annual "By Request" Top 5. For a $5 donation to the Star-Bulletin's Good Neighbor Fund, we'll send you copies of the five best recipes of 2006.
Make checks payable to the Good Neighbor Fund and send them to "By Request," Star-Bulletin features section, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
The Top 5
Chinese Tea Cookie:
Readers have been asking for this recipe for years, so it was especially gratifying to finally find one that baked up properly. Called Kong Sui Ban in Chinese, this oversized cookie is common in Chinese bakeries, but published recipes are few. The key ingredient turns out to be wong tong, or Chinese brown sugar.
Korean Black Noodles: These noodles (official name: Chajiangmyun) are the Korean version of a Northern Chinese dish, made with a fermented black bean sauce. The noodles have long been popular with Korean immigrants, served in a handful of local restaurants, but they've gained popularity in the larger community because they're often shown being served on Korean soap operas.
Guava Pound Cake: The best part of researching this request was discovering the kinds of flavors people bake into pound cakes. Pina colada, anyone? This cake is made with frozen juice concentrate and can easily be adapted to, say, passion fruit or lemonade.
Inari Tuna Tofu: This potluck-friendly dish was developed in response to a request for a cone sushi recipe that didn't include rice. Seems counter-intuitive, but it was an interesting challenge. This creating with a filling of tofu, tuna, dried shrimp and mushrooms stuffed into an inarizushi wrapper, is worth eating even for those who have no fear of carbs.
Macaroni and Cheese: Technically not part of "By Request," this recipe came from the New York Times and was published in our Sunday Dining section, but it is my personal favorite recipe of the year. I've made it a dozen times in the last few months and it always scores major kudos. It's a bizarre recipe, which is another reason I like it. You put dry macaroni in a pan and cover it in a sludge of milk, cottage cheese and cheddar. Bake it an hour or so and it turns into a creamy, cheesey dinner. I think it's magic.
Send queries along with name and phone number to: "By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org