Favorite ideas for cooking with local ingredients (Maui or Hawaii in general)
What's your favorite meal, dish or snack to prepare when you're in Hawaii?
We'll be staying in a condo in Wailea on Maui for eight days in late February early March and plan to do most of our own cooking. I'm getting some good ideas for where to shop for local ingredients on another thread. I was wondering if folks had some favorite ideas or recipes for meals and sunset celebration snacks they'd be willing to share, especially ones that use local fish, produce or other local supplies.
We'll be out and about quite a bit, so relatively easy prep would be nice. We'll have access to an herb garden, gas grill and what is supposed to be a reasonably equipped kitchen. We'd love to focus on simple meals where local ingredients can shine! That said, we're also willing to take some time and care to fix our food. Hanging out in the kitchen or by the grill with whoever's doing the kitchen seems to be one of our more natural kinds of entertainment.
Thanks for any advice you can share!
P.S. Suggestions for wine pairings or great drinks to enjoy on the lanai would also be welcome!
Here are some suggestions for local pupus to have with drinks on the lanai. Purchase already prepared at Foodland or Safeway or Times deli: sushi, sashimi, poke (ahi/tuna or tako/octopus); spicy edamamae (soybeans) and maybe dried fish jerky. In the oriental snack section of the supermarket, there are packages of crunchy wasabi peas and wasabi peanuts and taro chips. Kula strawberries are pricey but a nice addition. From restaurants, consider taking out Vietnamese summer rolls or deep fried won tons or spring rolls. The Maui onion flavored Macadamia nuts are great too.
Not local, but definitely worth considering, are the frozen Spanokopita from Costco which you can pop in the oven..
I'm not familiar with the Maui Costco or markets, but on O'ahu, Costco carries mushrooms from the Big Island that would be a nice addition to many things you could prepare. Local produce here, and I assume to some extent on Maui, includes a lot of asian vegetables which are variations on bok choy...especially nice are the baby varieties...great steamed and served as is with a little soy sauce and sesame oil, or put into stir-fry. Cilantro (Chinese parsley) should also be widely available. I often make a guacamole/salsa variation with local avocados which should certainly be available, and including local mangoes in season (usually summertime) or papaya and local tomatoes/cherry tomatoes and chili peppers with local citrus and cilantro...great with sunset drinks on chips or lavosh.
Maui onions obviously available, but they tend to be best raw rather than cooked, so put them in your guacamole, and get regular onions for cooking.
Several local distilleries are producing pretty good rum these days...top of the line is Koloa brand made on Kauai, but often available at Costco. I favor the gold (there are 3 or 4 versions)...local citrus and tonic (Rum and Tonic is my go-to) is simple and refreshing, but you can go for more elaborate tropical concoctions starting with the same rum if you want.
I don't find any of the Maui wines of interest...most are fruit-based and too sweet for my taste, but maybe they are finally getting good grapes up in Kula...local Maui hounds would have to confirm that. But Costco is sure to have some nice NZ sauvignon blancs which match well with local fish. As I say, don't know what the Maui Costco has, but on O'ahu they almost always have nice ahi tuna, and the large pieces they package can be sliced into sashimi for cocktail hour, steaks for dinner, and if there are only two of you, the rest can be poached for a great tuna salad for the next day.