Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer Salads: Lisa Czlonka

Garrett and I discussed this weekend how blessed we are to have met so many nice people in our small town. Like us, many of them are not from here but have made a home in this little community at the foothills of the Ozarks.

Lisa Czlonka is one of these people who is a looooong way from where she grew up: Hawai'i.
Lisa Czlonka
 How lucky am I to have a friend who throws luaus in landlocked Oklahoma?! Really. She had a luau for her baby girl's first birthday. 

I thought Garrett went back for seconds of the Kalua pig, but he confessed to thirds.  Thirds. Garrett

Ya'll, kalua pig made my taste buds hula.

Lisa offers many special tricks with this recipe that she makes it sound simple. So simple you might want to throw your own luau. If not, you'll certainly wow everyone at the next potluck.

Lisa Czlonka's Kalua Pig
In Hawai’i, a typical drive-in restaurant will serve plate lunches, which essentially is a meat, rice, and mac salad.  In more recent years, the mac salad can be replaced by a side salad…well maybe you could do that awhile ago, but who was counting carbs in high school?!
So, I’m taking a little liberty with the salad share and really introducing you to a Hawaiian favorite, kalua pig.  As my husband would say, "Kalua pig on any salad makes the salad better."
Magical Meal Suggestion
Keep it simple and get a premix salad. Pictured is one that includes baby spinach because I love to get the extra punch of antioxidants.  Add whatever vegetables you’d like.  If you’re going fancy, you can use a ramekin to form a border for your salad from tomatoes or cucumbers.  
The white rice can be found in the Asian section of your local grocer.  You could replace this with brown rice to be healthier, but I’m just trying to introduce you to the traditional way it’s served in Hawaii.  Loading your fork or chopsticks with a little rice and kalua pig makes a nice flavor balance.   
But enough talk, let’s get to the recipe…and no it doesn’t involve digging a huge hole in your backyard, though traditionally a full pig is cooked in an underground oven called an imu (pronounced EE-moo).

Kalua Pig (~24 servings)
8 lbs. bone in pork butt (shoulder)
3.5 oz. liquid smoke
4 T Hawaiian salt
Oven Bag

Make sure your rack is set on the lowest level in your oven.  Preheat oven to 350. 

If your pork has a thick layer of fat, be sure to trim as much off as possible.  Or better yet, if you can remember when you're at the store, ask the butcher. 

With a paring knife, score the pork on all sides and then rub with the Hawaiian salt; use enough to cover all sides.  Don’t try to use imitation salt. I did once and it turned out bad.  If your local grocer doesn’t carry Hawaiian salt, ask and they may bring it in or go with the good ol' Amazon.  Put the pork in the oven bag and dump in the liquid smoke.  Make sure all sides get covered by turning the pork over in the bag.   

Blow air into the bag and close with the tie provided. I recommend cutting the excess bag so that you leave only a couple inches above the tie, as the bag will expand in the oven and you don’t want the bag to touch the top of the oven and melt.  

Place bag in a shallow roasting pan and cook for 4 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool for a bit and then shred the pork (you can use two forks).  Pour some of the liquid from the bag over the pork, which is really important in helping not to dry out the meat in case you want to freeze leftovers.


Check back this Friday for a give away that will keep you in the spirit of the islands.


Wailani's Body Scrub


  1. Fun, fun, fun - thanks for bringing a bit of (tasty)Hawaii to Oklahoma, Lisa!

    1. Yes. It's absolutely delicious. Check back Friday for a way to get a little more of the Hawaiian flare in your home.

    2. Hope you enjoy. I love that you can do this any time of the year without having to dig a big hole in your yard:)

  2. This sounds amazing and so do-able! I'm going to the store TODAY to get the "fixin's" and try it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hope your store had the Hawaiian salt. That's usually the toughest one to find, but doable through Amazon even in Tahlequah:)

    1. For sure! We got ours through Amazon...and it was delicious!