A Yummy Taste Of Aunty Pasto’s

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - October 04, 2006
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Auntie Pasto’s is known for its family-style Italian cooking, and Lisa Kobs, general manager of the Beretania Street original location, is quite a family person herself. Lisa is the mother of two children and knows that using the best ingredients, whether cooking at home or eating out, makes all the difference.

Originally from Wisconsin, Lisa moved to Hawaii in 1979 and graduated from Kahuku High School, which qualifies her as a “local” girl. She served in the U.S. Army, including a three-year stint in Germany, where she picked up many culinary tips, and when she came back home, she entered the restaurant industry.


Lisa is part of Ed Wary’s team planning this year’s Mushroom Festival, which runs Oct.12-28 at both Beretania Street and Kunia locations. She also loves mushrooms, and says that this recipe for Mushroom Bread Pudding is a perfect side dish when serving chicken, seafood or meat as an entrée.

So, stop by and introduce yourself to Lisa!

For the mushroom mix, you can choose your favorite mushroom variety.

The common mushroom is the most widely cultivated and consumed variety. Mushrooms are grown in a controlled environment, and the fleshy white cap of the common mushroom can measure up to four inches across. In the United States, one of the most popular types of common mushroom is the portobello mushroom; larger, with a darker color and stronger taste, it is reminiscent of wild mushrooms in flavor. Some other types of mushrooms are Shiitake mushrooms that grow on wood and are indigenous to Asia; boletus or porcini mushrooms, which generally grow in evergreen forests and have a long, fleshy stalk; wood ear mushrooms, which grow on the trunks of beech, elder and walnut trees; and chanterelles, which grow in coniferous forests and are more well known in Europe.

AUNTIE PASTO’S WILD MUSHROOM BREAD

PUDDING

Compliments of Ed Wary

* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 3 cups julienne-sliced onion
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 12 turns fresh ground black pepper *
3 cups mushroom mix, sliced and coarsely chopped
* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
* 6 eggs (for no cholesterol or fat, may use egg substitute)
* 2 cups 2 percent milk
* 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* 4 cups white bread, crust removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil, about 1 minute. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne, and the black pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes. Add the garlic about halfway through this step.

Remove from the heat and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs for 30 seconds. Add the milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk the mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in the (cooled) sautéed mushroom mix. Add the bread cubes and mix well.


Pour into the buttered pan.

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Baked for about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest at lease 10 minutes before serving or before refrigerating. Cover and refrigerate.

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour. Makes 10 to 12 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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