Recently I travelled to Hawaii to see two fabulous people tie the knot. Yeah, poor me. As you can guess, there were several factors I had to to ‘deal’ with, not least the lovely beaches with no stingers, and the most well behaved waves I’ve met in a long time (although there’s always something great about an erupting Mexican wave).
Given this set up, I didn’t think Hawaii was ready for, or deserved a natural disaster, so I had concerns about being able to maintain a gluten free diet while travelling (in a socially-friendly kind of way). Surprisingly it wasn’t very difficult. Thanks to the local Polynesian food (gluten free, traditionally) with some delicious influences from other countries like Japan and China, most local traditional meals were already gluten free. And tasty. Notably, Turtle bay (on the North shore) was not only geographically stunning, but had a tiny community of restaurants that seemed to specialize in incredibly fresh seafood dishes. See http://www.turtlebayresort.com/Oahu-Restaurants.
So I thought I would share some pacific wonderment in the form of beautiful recipes of Hawaii. (Just as a side note, apparently Spam is considered at real treat in Hawaii. I’m not a Spam Fan, so I thought I’d rough it and stick with these):
Baked Mahi Mahi
4 pieces of Mahi Mahi
1 lemon, juiced
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 pinches of salt to taste
1-2 tsp of pepper to taste
1/2 a cup of mayonnaise
2 diced eschallots
1 cup of ground almonds
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Rinse the Mahi Mahi and place it in a baking dish. Squeeze the lemon juice on the fish then sprinkle it with garlic, salt and pepper. Mix the mayonnaise and eschallots and spread on fish. Sprinkle the fish with the ground almonds and bake at for 25-30 minutes. I served these with baked sweet potato, a conveniently simple traditional Hawaiian dish.
Coconut & Macadamia Crusted Prawns
6 or so cleaned, shelled raw prawns – or as many as you want really
Place in small bowls separately for dipping:
1/4 cup rice flour in a small bowl
1/2 cup coconut milk in a small bowl
¼ cup macadamia nuts blended with ¼ cup of desiccated coconut
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lightly coat a baking dish with olive oil. Dredge the prawns in the flour, then dip into coconut milk and roll in macadamia-coconut mix. Place the little tigers in the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. I grilled mine afterwards to give them a crispy finish, and you could also simply or grill or shallow fry them, whichever is easiest. Sweet chilli sauce and Rosa’s Smokey Aioli (from Rosa’s Gourmet Deli) are perfect dipping sauces for these.
Haupia – Polynesian Panna Cotta
Now I changed this recipe a little to optionally reduce sugar content, and to include gelatine, for those who would like to take advantage of gelatine’s health benefits. Gelatine is almost pure protein so eating high-gelatine, low sugar dessert is like eating a little steak. Gelatine also contains high amounts of collagen which strengthens connective tissue in skin, hair, gut lining, joints, everywhere. I only use GoBio organic gelatine, which is sulphur-free and produced without chemicals.
2 cans of coconut milk
3 tsp of organic gelatine (or agar agar for a vegetarian version)
1-2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup, xylitol, stevia) to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla (if desired)
Wet the gelatine to let it ‘bloom’. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan on moderate heat. Dissolve the gelatine into the coconut milk, and add vanilla and sweetener to your pleasing. Simmer for a few minutes, and pour into ramekin dishes or mugs. Let them cool for a few minutes and refrigerate till cold and firm.
Aloha. Enjoy the Luau without having to run to the Lua!