"The Mauna Loa Macadamia Cooking Treasury" Leslie Mansfield

Pros: Spectacular, show-stopping, delicious, rich-tasting foods
Cons: None
Rating: 5 out of 5

First posted 8/9/2000

My fiancee considers the macadamia to be one of the best little snack foods on the planet. After trying this cookbook, I love macadamia nuts almost as much as he does.

The Photography – Or, Can We Move to Hawaii Please?

Buy this book just for the photography – and I don’t mean the food photography, although that’s gorgeous too. Every few pages you’ll find a stunning photo of a lava flow, a lovely beach, rocks in the surf, a tropical waterfall…I could go on and on. Sometimes I pull this book out just to experience the photography. I hate the heat, but these pictures make me want to pack up and move to Hawaii.

The Food – Or, Can We Buy a Macadamia Nut Company Please? Okay, Then Can We Buy a Whole Crate of Macadamias?

Take, for a start, the Cream of Tomato Soup with Onion and Garlic Macadamias. Wow. It’s amazing. Creamy, rich, with a sort of dark roasted taste from the onion and garlic. Fantastic. If that doesn’t float your boat, go for the Sweet and Spicy Pepper Nuts. If you aren’t on a diet, try the Brie and Macadamia Stuffed Mushrooms. For a truly decadent treat, try the Macadamia-Crusted Monterey Jack. Yes, you really do dredge slices of cheese in stuff-and-macadamias, fry them, and serve them on bread. For an exotic flavor, you might try Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Oranges and Macadamias.

Luckily our grocery delivery service started carrying cans of Mauna Loa macadamia nuts. If yours hasn’t, you might try the Mauna Loa website. I’ve ordered from them before and had good luck with it (no guarantees, of course). You can understand why Mauna Loa has put their name on this cookbook – how better to convince people to eat more macadamias than by providing the recipes? They’ve done a much better job at it than most companies. The majority of companies who try something like this put together cheesy little pamphlets that get lost or torn. Mauna Loa at least had the guts to do it right.

Speaking of which: Macadamia-Crusted Tofu with Noodles! Macadamia-Breaded Chicken with Guava Lime Sauce! Rum-Baked Fish with Hot Mango Salsa looks fabulous, although I haven’t tried it yet: it includes allspice, cloves, soy sauce, and dark rum. This book even has a macadamia-laden version of Mussamun Curry.

Of course you’ll find no shortage of desserts in this cookbook: Mauna Loa Macadamia Brittle; Chocolate Macadamia Fudge; Macadamia and Coffee Chocolate Bars; White Chip Macadamia Bars; and my all-time favorite: Macadamia Toffee, in which you’ll find a layer of chocolate, tender macadamia dust, and sweet crunchy toffee.

Tips and Info

You’ll even find bits of information about macadamia nuts, the harvesting process, and the macadamia tree interspersed with the recipes. Did you know the nuts actually come from an evergreen tree?

So whatever you do, find yourself a copy of this cookbook. It convinced me that I love macadamia nuts. My fiancee is just happy that it gave us an excuse to buy extra jars of macadamia nuts from which he can steal tastes.

Cooking Addict

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