The Cherokee Indian Reservation is not Hawaii by any means, but it is a place where you can get your fix for Hawaiian food this month. Chef Tony O'Neill has prepared some savory island fare for Harrah's Cherokee Casino's Chef's Stage Buffet each Friday and Saturday.

Tank and J.P. met with Chef Tony and sampled some of the items available this month.

From Chef Tony's not-so-secret cookbook:

Tank's favorite:

Ono Sausage

This dish is ono (delicious in Hawaiian).  Serve this at any gathering or luau and everyone is sure to say how ono it is.

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

Serving Size: 6

Skill Level: Intermediate

Drink Pairing: Ice Cold Beer


2 cups white rice

4 cups water

12 ounces country-style smoked link sausage

1/2 cup water

1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup diagonally sliced celery, 1 inch thick

1 (14 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, quartered

1 cup beef broth

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple rings in juice, cubed and juice reserved

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Cooking Directions

1. Bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Place sausages into a skillet with 1/2 cup water over medium heat, cover, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Thinly slice sausages. Combine sausages with onion, green pepper, and celery in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir tomatoes, beef broth, pineapple, garlic powder, black pepper, and brown sugar into sausage mixture. Cook and stir until brown sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Whisk reserved pineapple juice with cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into sausage mixture and cook until sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Serve sausage mixture over cooked rice.


J.P.'s pick:

Aloha Style Pork Ribs

These are the kind of ribs that make you want to say Aloha!  Perfect those hot summer days, sitting out in the sun, and just having a good time.

Preparation Time: 3 hours

Serving Size: 6

Skill Level: Intermediate

Drink Pairing: Ice Cold Beer


•3/4 cup sugar

•1/2 cup soy sauce

•1/2 cup ketchup

•1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry

•1 teaspoon salt

•1 garlic clove, smashed

•1 (1-inch) cube peeled fresh ginger, smashed

•3 pounds baby back pork ribs (3 racks; do not cut apart)

Cooking Direction

Stir together sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, Sherry, and salt in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Pour marinade into a roasting pan, then add garlic, ginger, and ribs, turning ribs to coat with marinade.

Marinate, covered and chilled, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Line bottom of a broiler pan with foil, then arrange ribs, rounded sides up, on broiler rack, reserving marinade for basting (discard garlic and ginger).

Roast in middle of oven, basting with marinade every 20 minutes (do not baste during last 10 minutes of cooking), until ribs are tender and glaze is well browned, about 1 3/4 hours.

Discard any unused marinade.

Let racks stand 5 minutes, then cut into individual ribs.