Dee: “Hawaiian cuisine was suggested to me during a visit to our fab local Deli/Café, the Cherry Blossom Bakehouse and it didn’t take me long to agree that it would be worth a go.
First, Hawaiian cuisine is not pizza with pineapple on it. It’s an interesting mix of Native, Oriental and, I later discovered, Portuguese, ingredients and preparation methods.
We haven’t explored fish or seafood in the blog yet and I’d got it into my head that it would probably feature significantly in the Hawaiian diet, so that’s what we went for.”
All recipes from: http://www.alohafriends.com/
Macadamia Crusted Coconut Shrimp with Mushroom Rice and Orange Lime Sauce
Dee: “The cooking of the prawns after being dipped in coconut milk and coated in crushed macadamia nuts was something we’d not tried before, and we did wonder about toasting the nuts before crushing them, but decided to go along with the recipe The coated prawns still looked a bit pale after the specified ten to fifteen minutes so we left them in the oven a little longer. The taste was initially unusual. It reminded me a little of tempura prawns, but with a softer and slightly creamy texture, provided by the nuts. We served the prawns on a bed of rice cooked with sautéed sliced mushroom, garlic and ginger, and topped with Orange Lime Sauce, which was made with marmalade, mustard and lime juice. The dish was pleasant and tasty, and grew slowly on me as I ate it, but it definitely needed the sauce, which was sweet and tangy rather than fiery hot.”
Jay: “I was the one who got messy preparing these. The prawns were lovely and while the dish needed a sauce, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the marmalade base.”
Dee: “We experimented a bit with this dish and, I have to admit, deviated from the stipulated recipe by using coconut flour rather than cornflour, so I can’t really call it Haupia, which was the recipe we should have been following. The finished dish was supposed to have the consistency of blancmange, but ours came across more like a sweet, coconut flavoured polenta, and looked, I have to say, pretty dull. However, we both enjoyed it, and it was nice with the simple salad of chopped papaya and pineapple that we served it on top of. I think next time we cook this we’ll use cornflour as well as the coconut flour.”
Jay: “Super sweet this one!”
Soundtrack: Gabby Pahinui with the Sons of Hawaii (self-titled album)
Dee: “I wanted to listen to Elvis’s ‘Aloha from Hawaii tonight, but Jay wasn’t having it so we went with this one instead. It was an old album, from I think 1962, and sounded pretty much how we imagined it to be. Voices and guitars gently serenading us as we enjoyed tea.”
Still deciding on next week. At the moment it’s between Ireland, Iceland and Indonesia…