On my way from Kona to Hilo the day of the rehersal I stopped by the only vanilla farm in the US, the Hawaiian Vanilla Company. It was amazing! I now understand why vanilla is second to saffron, as the most expensive spice. Everything is done by hand. The blossom blooms for only a few hours and they have to pollinate the orchid by hand. I had a wonderful lunch at the farm, with some wonderful people from Washington that welcomed me to their table.
The owner gave a short presentation and demonstration on how to carmalize the nuts for our salad. I had to leave early for Amanda's rehearsal, so I got my velvety rich vanilla ice cream to go. To remember Hawaii, I bought two vanilla beans and their vanilla-scented lotion.
Beautiful bride and groom, Amanda and Jack! Amanda and I pose with a hug!
Silly Amanda! The rain held off to just after her ceremony!
Hey, I think someone copied my ring? :) Good taste!
Amanda told me on my way from Volcanoes National Park I had to stop at the southern most bakery in the US, Punalu'u. Again, a delicious passion fruit pastry or two!
One of my favorite photos from the trip.
Of course I had macadamia nut crusted mahi-mahi, while in Hawaii. I had a wonderful meal of vegetables, coconut pineapple risotto, and fish from Lava Java. It was a perfect fusion of Asian Pacific.
I tried my best to recreate this meal. I made Grilled Asian Ratatouille from the NYT. I also, made Pineapple Coconut Risotto. I have never made a sweet savory risotto before, but the flavors really work with a hint of parm.
Lastly, I adapted several recipes for the Macademia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi. Here is what I came up with:
- 1 cup coarsely ground, roasted macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- 2 tablespoons toasted coconut
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for brushing foil
- 4 (6 to 8-ounce) mahi mahi fillets
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- lime slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place two slices of lime on the top and bottom of each fillet to marinade for at least 15 minutes. In a bowl, mix together macadamia nuts, panko, coconut, flour and melted butter. Set aside. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with a few tablespoons of oil. Remove lime wedges and spoon the coconut milk over the fish. Dredge one side of the fish in the nut mixture. Place each fillet in the pan crust-side down, cook 3 minutes. Add fish to a greased baking dish, crust-side up, and bake approx. 7-10 minutes until flaky.
Next time I may serve this with a pineapple salsa.