3-COURSE HAWAII THEMED VALENTINE’S DINNER
This year, my husband and I stayed in for Valentine’s. If you know me, I take advantage of any ‘special’ occasion to spend extra time in the kitchen and this night was no exception.
I had a lot of fun with this one! All of this snow, icy rain, wind, and cold temps has me yearning for some SUN; namely that of Hawaii. Given how much my husband and I are drawn to Hawaii, visiting each year on our anniversary, I thought it would be fitting to build a Valentine’s dinner around it. Hence the theme. The 3-course represents the # of years we’ve been married (I just made that up… not the years we’ve been married… the # of courses is a total coincidence). Hope you all had a great night as well!
SEAFOOD CEVICHE W/ AVOCADO + MANGO
Appetizers are always best kept fresh, simple, clean, and refreshing. Just enough ‘kick’ to get the taste buds going and plenty of room left for more. So naturally, I went with a ceviche. Aside from the seafood, I added some chopped scallions, mango, and avocado. For this starter, I drew inspiration from the abundance of beautiful seafood, avocado & mango trees in Hawaii.
SOFT BOILED EGG OVER CRISPY BROWN RICE COCONUT CAKE ATOP POI
For our second course, I paid homage to Hawaii’s roots by creating a dish around Poi. Poi is a traditional Hawaiian staple made by laboriously pounding down taro and mixing with water until you reach a velvety smooth texture. I cheated and used a food processor . Taro is a root vegetable with all kinds of health benefits – easily digestable, low Glycemic Index, excellent source of Potassium, and filled with other minerals and nutrients (calcium, vitamins C/E/B, magnesium, manganese, copper).
Atop the Poi I have a crispy brown rice cake. The brown rice is mixed with some coconut milk, shredded coconut, black sesame seeds, and a little soy sauce. And finally, the entire dish comes together with a soft-boiled egg and finished with a dash of sprinkled Hawaiian salt.
MACADAMIA + COCONUT CRUSTED SALMON OVER WASABI PEA PUREE
To round out our dinner, I brought in an abundance of bright, popping island flavors. The macadamia and coconut crust crisped up nicely while the fish remained moist. I went with a wild-caught salmon but you could go even more Hawaii-authentic and opt for Mahi Mahi. I garnished with edible flowers which you can find scattered around Hawaii (what don’t they have??).
The real star though is the sauce. I puréed some sweet peas with wasabi, mint, honey, and brown rice vinegar. The heat from the wasabi balances out the sweetness in the sauce and coconut on the fish. Bursting tones and textures all around and plates licked clean = delightful delectable delicious success.