Thursday, August 21, 2014

Maui, Day 4: Tropical Fruit Salad and a Red Sand Beach

The thing about staying at the end of the road to Hana for a week is that you're at the end of the road to Hana. Meaning there's not much in the way of stores or restaurants. Fortunately, if you stock up with provisions ahead of time at Costco and Mana Foods, and if you happen to be staying in a little bungalow in the middle of the jungle with a well-stocked kitchen, and if you adore collecting fruit from roadside fruit stands as you wend your way from place to place during the day, you can cook up just about anything.

Say, for example:


Heavenly, just-baked macademia nut banana bread from Hana Farms (just before Hana, and just after the little stand that purports to sell "Maui's best banana bread" but in fact sells, as far as we can tell, banana-less banana bread, which is basically the opposite).

Tropical fruit salad, inspired by breakfast a few days ago at Hale Ho'okipa Inn (which is where you should stay if you're ever in Maui and want a beautiful, restful retreat nestled in a lovely garden near both Haleakala and delicious food).

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
1/2 papaya, diced
About the same amount of pineapple, diced
1 large star fruit, sliced crosswise*
1 apple banana, sliced
(or sub whatever you find at a roadside fruit stand for any of this)
1 ripe passion fruit**

Toss everything together, chill if desired, then serve. Dipping the banana bread in the extra juice is highly, highly recommended. Possibly even required.

*To prepare the star fruit, wash and dry, then stand up on one end and slice off just the very outer browned edges that make the five points of the star. Then just trim the ends, slice crosswise into stars, and de-seed when necessary.

**To pick a ripe passion fruit, look for the wrinkled and ugly ones...pretty and smooth on the outside means you'll be puckering when you try to eat it. To use, cut in half crosswise, and spoon out the seeds and pulp over the other fruit like a sauce.


Blue marlin and sea asparagus poke from Costco (that's right, the Maui Costco does poke, sashimi, you name it), seaweed salad (also from Costco), zucchini and kale salads from the (excellent) salad bar at Mana Foods in Paia, avocado from somewhere...possibly the tree outside.


Blue marlin with lemongrass, ginger, bok choy, coconut milk, and sea asparagus over jungle rice, topped with local papaya and Maui gold pineapple.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Maui, Day 3: Blue Marlin with Ginger and Coconut

Found at the Maui Costco: Fresh, local blue marlin.
Found at Mana Foods: Curry leaves, red mustard frisee, ginger, and cilantro.

The result: A new take on an old favorite. Serve this over jungle rice.

2 thick blue marlin fillets (or one that you cut in half later; we used one .7 lb fillet for two hungry people)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 curry leaves (optional)
Olive oil
1 1/4 tsp minced ginger
Small handful cilantro, chopped
1/3 can coconut milk
1 bunch red mustard frisee, coarsely chopped (or sub spinach or another green*)
1/2 large papaya, diced

Sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper, and press a couple curry leaves into each side. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. When hot, add a little olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the fish, shake the pan to prevent it from sticking, and then pan fry until golden on both sides.

Add the mustard frisee and sauté around the fish, stirring a few times, for about a minute until it begins to wilt. Stir in the coconut milk, the ginger, a pinch of salt, and the cilantro. Turn the heat down a bit to simmer gently until the fish is just barely cooked through (if you use one fillet for two people: it gives you an excuse to cut the fish in half at this point and check whether it's almost done). Turn off the heat about a minute before the fish is cooked to your liking, because it will keep cooking a little once served over the rice.

Serve over jungle rice—fish, then greens and sauce over the top, then scatter papaya over everything.

Serves 2.

*If it's a veggie that takes a little while to cook, like bok choy or asparagus, sauté separately until almost tender first and then add back in with the fish at the end.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Maui, Day 2: Hali'imaile General Store and off to Hana

Lunch at Hali'imaile General Store: Mahi Mahi Coconut Curry

Fresh mango margarita and something amazing with ginger, lemongrass, and lime

Rave-worthy fish tacos

Coconut Banana Bread Pudding a la mode

Provisions from Mana Foods and assorted roadside fruit stands

Rainbow over Hana Bay

Monday, August 18, 2014

Maui, Day 1: Blackened Fish Benedict and Sunset

Sublime Blackened Opah Benedict at Market Fresh Bistro
(NB: All brunches should be followed by house-made tiramisu in the garden)
Up through the clouds to Haleakala Crater
Decent spot for a picnic...

Stars for dessert

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kauai, Day 4: Moonfish and Helicopters

Two things.

1. You can make this recipe with eggplant, and it will be just as decadently amazing as the original.

2. Today, there was a helicopter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kauai, Day 3: The North Shore and Bar Acuda

Na Pali Coast in the rain
Anini Beach
Local avocado type #2 of ??

Mango from the Waipio farmer's market


Bar Acuda: Local honeycomb, Fuji apple, Humboldt Fog goat cheese

Arancini with lime, honey, and truffle sauce

Blackened tiger prawns

Chocolate pot de creme with toasted macaroon