Cooking on the Big Island
Staying on the Big Island with a fairly well equipped kitchen. In-laws don't do raw fish so the delicious ahi is only for me and the husband. Ideas for what to cook that won't be ingredient intensive?
Arguably my favorite place on earth. Not necessarily what you expect in Hawaii. No palm trees, far from a sandy beach, at 5,000 foot elevation it is cool and damp, hopefully you will be in the Ohia forest, the quality of light almost primordial. Huge tree ferns, misty mornings, rainy nights. If it is clear, more stars than you can imagine.
There is a good farmer's market on Sunday mornings at the cooper center, not as good as the Saturday farmer's market in Hilo, but still worth the trip. With temperatures in the upper 70's during the day and low 50's to mid 40's at night be thinking fall food menus. In Hilo I like to shop at the KTA, much more local kine foods than you find at Safeway, although the organization of the store is a bit baffling. They do sell Big Island beef at KTA. They also have a good seafood counter. You will also be able to buy prepared LauLau, Poi, Lomi Salmon, and Kalua Pig - as well as a few other local favorites. They will probably have some good dried fish as well.
There are two markets in Volcano, three if you have military ID, the 3rd one is in Kilauea Military Reservation in Volcanoes National Park. The other two are in Volcano Village itself. The upper store is about half again as large as the lower store, and has most staples at only slightly ridiculous prices. The lower store is more of a convenience mart. People who live in Volcano do their real shopping in Hilo, and use the two general stores as a stopgap for a specific item now and then.
One thing that will probably surprise you (aside from prices) will be that 80% or more of what you find in the grocery store will be from the mainland. For various and sundry reasons not much of our food is grown or raised here. Local produce at the grocery store is almost always marked as such, and is generally 30% more in cost than imported.
Hope you have a great time there.
add/edit: the Hilo Farmer's Market is about 4 times as big on Saturday morning as during the week.
They might like delicious ahi if you cook it...a simple saute in butter or olive oil with salt and pepper and a sqeeze of local lemon or lime is hard to beat for simple and fresh...but maybe you want to keep it all for yourself.
This listing http://www.gohawaii.com/big-island/gu... has something like 25 different farmer's markets on the Big Island...should be able to get good local fruit at any of them that don't require cooking, so that is as simple as it gets. Most will also have fresh vegetables...preparation will depend on what is available.
Bottled vinaigrette can be used as a marinade for fish or chicken breasts as well as a salad dressing. You could also grill steaks,chops and fish and vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini and Japanese eggplants utilizing only salt, pepper and olive oil. Baked potatoes, corn on the cob, steamed asparagus, stir fried greens also come to mind.