Hale Aina Cookbook: Island Harvest
Throw a great dinner party with six gourmet recipes from Hale Aina Award-winning chefs.
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It’s a match made in heaven, or at least in Hawaii: In recent years, our state’s newly diversified agricultural scene has flourished in tandem with chef-driven restaurants that source locally grown food—not for virtue alone, but also for pleasure, because food just tastes better when it doesn’t have to deal with jet lag. Now, in addition to fresh seafood and tropical, backyard and plantation crops, you’ll find staples from all over the Western world that have spent their entire lives within earshot of “howzit”: tomatoes, corn, shallots, onions, eggs, goat cheese and a cornucopia of vegetables and flavorful garden herbs. Here are six ways to partake of our local bounty, from three Hale Aina Award-winning chefs with cosmopolitan roots and locally stocked pantries.
List of Local Ingredients :
Kona Kampachi, Ono, Keahole lobsters, goat cheese, eggs, sugar, tomatoes, shallots, Maui onions, corn, asparagus, fennel, herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, lemon verbena, tarragon, chives, oregano), lemons, strawberries.
Don't know where to get locally grown food? Read how to find local food sources.
Crispy-Skin Kona Kampachi with Hauula Tomato and Big Island Fennel Ragout
12th Avenue Grill
2009 Hale Aina Finalist, Best Bistro/New American Cuisine
Kampachi, a sustainably farmed ocean fish with sky-high Omega-3 levels, with one of Hawaii’s most tantalizing new vegetable crops, baby fennel.
Kona kampachi is garnering national attention for its health benefits and rock-bottom contaminant levels. Like other local ingredients, it’s available at Hawaii supermarkets according to season and supply. Find it online at www.kona-blue.com. However, if kampachi eludes you, try salmon or rockfish.
2 6-ounce pieces of Kona Kampachi (skin on)
2 Hauula tomatoes, one red and one yellow, diced
4 baby fennel bulbs, quartered
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
¼ cup black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Start the ragout:
Put half of the extra-virgin olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the fennel, and sauté about 10 minutes, until fennel is quite tender.
2. Cook the fish:
Salt and pepper the Kampachi and place (skin side down) in the same pan, along with the garlic. Cook Kampachi about 5 minutes on this side.
3. Finish the ragout:
Flip Kampachi, add tomatoes, olives and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 3 minutes.
4. Plate it:
Remove Kampachi from the pan and place on mashed potatoes, rice or pasta, skin side up. Pour the tomato-fennel ragout over the fish. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over everything to finish.
ABOUT THE CHEF
Chef Kevin Hanney majored in alternative energies in college, and his first restaurant job was a farm-to-table affair in Upstate New York. He’s kept the faith since then, starting 12th Avenue Grill five years ago, just in time to catch the new wave of Hawaii’s diversified farmscape. Hanney says it’s a win-win situation for farmers and restaurants: “You build long-term relationships with farmers, who often grow things specifically for you.”