Catalina Cooking: Plate lunch

Banana pork is just one of the recepies in this week’s cooking column. Courtesy photo

Plate lunch

Always sounds like you are on vacation, unless you are me trying to juggle so much all at one time. I have two boats closing requiring very high maintenance, another one that is in the slot and back to back Tiki Mermaid and Scuba gigs. Not complaining but Wally (commodore of the Port Royal Yacht Club) calls me and says he needs me to do my officer of the day thing and by the way you need to make something for 30 or so members. When do you want to do it? Well I like to get things done so how about this weekend. Wally said Great … Week whizzes by and I just thought … The go to…. easy right? Cook this for 10 to 100 of your closest friends with a few hours of hard work by yourself. I cooked for 60 and lets just say that the Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol was very happy when I brought over the leftovers. Basically, I poached the pineapple upside down cake from Betty Crocker. Why mess up a good thing? I also included a good ginger/soy salmon with mango but I only have so much space for this column! So lets get to it.. Aloha…

Pineapple upside down cake.

Use the Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Worth the $$ for sure.

• 1/4 cup butter or margarine

• 1 cup packed brown sugar

• 1 can (20 oz) pineapple slices in juice, drained, juice reserved

• 1 jar (6 oz) maraschino cherries without stems, drained

• 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ yellow cake mix

• Vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Melt butter in pan and add brown sugar. Arrange pineapple with a cherry in center and pour over cake mixture as the instructions on the box indicate. Bake about 45 minutes @350. Remove from over, take a knife and loosen the sides and invert. I made a whipped cream with rum and leftover cherry juice!

Banana Pork

• 5 pounds of pork shoulder, defatted and pierced with a fork

• 1 C soy sauce

• 4 T liquid smoke

• Banana leaves. Asian market in the frozen section.

• 4 whole bananas

• Cup of white wine

Put the pork in the sink and massage everything together but the banana leaves. Leave in the sink for about 2 hours doing the same massaging. Take a roasting pan and line with the banana leaves. Lay the pork in the leaves and put the bananas on top. Cover with more banana leafs and pour over the white wine. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for 4 hours at 350. When done carefully pour off liquid and shred the pork. Cover and keep hot.


• 2 pounds of macaroni. I like the small cut ones. Elbow will be fine.

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1 cup good mayonnaise

• 1 cup whole milk

• 1 cup shredded carrots

• 1 cup diced celery

• 2 scallions sliced thin

Cook the Mac but cook for an extra minute. The only time I say overcook pasta ever.

Remove from the pot and drain. Put in a bowl and add the vinegar and mix until cool. Add the milk, mayonnaise and vegetables. Season to taste. This a day ahead of time is good to soak everything up!

Napa Slaw

• 1 large head Napa cabbage or just cabbage sliced thin

• 2 bunches cilantro chopped coarse

2 bunches green onions sliced thin

1 cup slivered toasted almonds

1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

4 T dijon mustard

3 shallots minced and lemon juice of 2 large lemons

Cracked black pepper

Mix together the vinegar, chili, dijon, shallots juice in a bowl. Add everything else and toss together … Oh yeah. get some steamed sticky rice as well from your local shop that sells steamed rice!

Make plates … Pork, Salmon, Mac Salad, Slaw, sticky rice, pineapple cake and peanut butter cups …

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at


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