A ‘Great Chefs’ Favorite To Try

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 22, 2006
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Your mouth will water when you hear the list of restaurants participating in this year’s AIG-sponsored “Great Chefs Fight Hunger,” when Hawaii’s top culinary talents offer their finest cuisine to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank. The Great Lawn at Restaurant Row fronting Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Hiroshi’s Eurasian Tapas will be filled with outstanding food stations as the sampling takes place on Friday.

You’ll be able to fill your plate and meet such notables as Chef Nawai Keko’olani from Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Chai Chaowasaree of Chai’s Island Bistro fame, 3660’s Russell Siu, Eric Leterc from the Pacific Club, Doug Lum from Mariposa, Chef Yanni from his Restaurant Row Greek eatery, Hiroshi Fukui, and the event’s ever-capable and talented organizer, D.K. Kodama, whose own d.k. Steakhouse and Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar will be participating. Also on hand will be Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Roy’s, Side Street Inn, Ihilani Spa at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort, Halekulani Hotel & Dining, Nalo Farms, Le Bistro and more.


It will be a magical night for a great cause, with fine wines, ales and martinis being served and live entertainment to complement the culinary festivities.

Where else can you spend $85 for a ticket and sample so much great food, helping a wonderful charity at the same time? Call the Foodbank at 836-3600, ext. 223 to reserve your place.

And when you’re at the event, remember to stop by the Ruth’s Chris booth and sample Chef Nawai’s delicious Osso Bucco Ravioli with Sauteed Spinach and a Veal Creole Butter Sauce. Chef Nawai has graciously given me an easier recipe for his osso bucco for MidWeek readers to try at home.

Osso bucco is traditional Italian dish of veal shanks (the literal meaning is “bone with a hole”) that is slowly braised with onions, carrots, garlic, celery, tomatoes, stock and white wine and served with an aromatic garnish of gremolada. In Milan, risotto accompanies the dish.

NAWAI KEKO’OLANI’S (RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE) FAVORITE VEAL OSSO BUCCO RECIPE

* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 pounds 1 1/2-inch-thick veal shanks (4 shanks)
* all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
* 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 28-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes, crushed
* 1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth (or you can use veal or beef stock/broth)
* 1 cup of your favorite red or white wine
* 2 tablespoons veal demiglace (available at your gourmet market, optional and tasty)
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel


For Mirepoix:

* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped

For Gremolata:

(This is a topping that goes on the osso bucco)

* 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Heat oil in heavy, extra-large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge shanks in flour; shake off excess. Add to skillet and cook until brown, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer shanks to bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add mirepoix and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Return shanks and any liquid in bowl to skillet. Season shanks with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, broth, wine, veal demi-glace, bay leaves, peppercorns and lemon peel to skillet. Cover partially and simmer until veal is very tender and begins to fall off bones, at least 3 hours, or braise in the oven at 275 for the same time. (Can be prepared three days ahead).

Let cool, and refrigerate. Simmer 10 minutes over medium heat before serving. Ladle into bowls and serve with sauce and gremolata.

This dish is wonderful to pair with pasta, flavored risotto or garlic mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. And of course, a beautiful red wine is a must!

Makes four servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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