A Tribute To Tequila At Compadres

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 19, 2007
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Manager Tina Martin offers one of Compadres' popular margaritas
Manager Tina Martin offers one of Compadres’ popular margaritas

Tequila is Mexico’s national drink, so it’s no wonder that Compadres Bar & Grill in Ward Centre, recently voted “Best Mexican Restaurant in Honolulu” by MidWeek‘s sister publication, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, pays tribute to tequila with its fabulous margaritas.

Made from the fermented juice of the heart of blue agave plants and not from cactus as many erroneously believe, tequila comes originally from the town of Tequila in the Mexican state of Jalisco, which is home to Compadres’ executive chef Raul Puga and other kitchen heads for the restaurant.

Tequila also is the main ingredient in margaritas, and that is why we offer kudos to Compadres, which donates its signature drinks to many local charity events. Among the places Tiffany Nozawa, Justin Brownfield and other Compadres bartenders have been seen recently are the REHAB Hospital Golf Tournament, Saint Louis School’s Mamiya Theatre fundraiser, Young Artists Helping Young Artists at the Hawaii State Art Museum and at the MidWeek-supported Women Drivers Golf Tournament benefiting the Women’s Fund of Hawaii.

So if you want to unwind after a hectic work week, try one of Compadres’ refreshing margaritas; whether you make it Margaritaville or Don Julio, Herradura or Jose Cuervo, Patron or 1800, say “ole” to Compadres for always being so supportive of local charity events.

I would like to dedicate this recipe to Rick Enos and all the Compadres staff.

Capsaicin is the substance that makes a chili hot. Capsaicin is found in its highest concentrations in the ribs of the pepper; the seeds are also highly concentrated, so removing the ribs and seeds will reduce the heat of the chili pepper. Capsaicin is also distributed in smaller amounts throughout the flesh of the chili pepper, and because of the uneven distribution, it’s common for some areas of a pepper to be hotter than others. When selecting peppers for heat, the rule of thumb is the smaller the pepper, the hotter it will be.

This hearty stew packs a spicy wallop to your palate. If you like it milder, omit the chili peppers. Serve with brown rice and a Romaine lettuce salad to complete the meal.


* 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

* 3 carrots, peeled and sliced

* 2 teaspoons olive oil

* 8 boneless chicken breast halves, skinned and cut into pieces (note, you may use frozen chicken breasts, just defrost and cut into bitesize pieces)

* 1 large Maui onion, chopped

* 4 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 tablespoon chili powder

* 1 tablespoon cumin

* salt and pepper, to taste

*1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes (low or no salt if watching sodium)

* 3 green chili peppers, chopped

* 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, no MSG added

Put potatoes and carrots in pan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer until fork-tender.  Strain in colander and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a large covered stew pot, spreading the oil out to coat bottom, and add chicken.  cook chicken until browned on both sides, and add onion and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix in the potatoes and carrots, and cook for a few minutes, strring until combined.  Add in stewed tomatoes, chili peppers and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Make eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 250

Fat: 6 grams

Cholesterol:  80 milligrams

Sodium: 300 milligrams depending on salt added and tomatoes used.

(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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