A Neighborhood Bistro Shares Salad Secrets

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 01, 2010
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Chef Alan Takasaki with his Caramelized Tangerine And Stilton Salad

Chef Alan Takasaki has always known what he wanted to do in life, and has realized his dream at Le Bistro in Niu Valley, a restaurant that he describes as a neighborhood bistro.

In my opinion, he is much too modest; I would describe the cuisine as gourmet comfort food. This chef is a natural with his flair for perfect seasonings and creativity in his dishes.

The popular restaurant is in its ninth year and has a varied menu that features just about everything for every taste, at very reasonable prices. The food is exquisite, and he tries to use fresh island produce, meats and fish as much as possible.

One of the most popular offerings is the beef quartet - a sampler of red wine and peppercorn short ribs, mini Kobe beef burger, mini rib eye steak and filet mignon served on a large plate.

Takasaki was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Kaiser High School. He has worked in restaurants for 35 years, working his way up the hard way.


Chef Alan has most graciously given me this delicious salad recipe for MidWeek readers to try at home. Oh, if you are planning to go to Le Bistro, it is very popular, so reservations are a must. Call 373-7990.

SALAD OF CARAMELIZED TANGERINE AND STILTON CHEESE

* 4 handfuls Nalo greens
* 4 tablespoons Stilton cheese
* 1/4 cup candied walnuts (found in most supermarkets)
* 6 ounces Orange Citronette Dressing
* 8 slices Caramelized Tangerines

To assemble salad, mix greens with dressing and top with Stilton cheese, walnuts and tangerines.

Makes four servings.

For Orange Citronette Dressing:

* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* juice of 3 oranges
* zest of 1 orange
* juice of 1 lemon
* 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
* 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
* 1 sprig tarragon, chopped
* splash Angostura bitters


For Caramelized Tangerines:

* 2 tangerines, each cut into 4 slices
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle sugar on tangerine slices and caramelize on both sides by placing into a small nonstick saute pan and heating on medium heat until sugar browns, but does not burn.

Place in pie tin and drizzle with olive oil. Place in hot oven for 10 minutes.

(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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