Just about one year ago, I blogged about our Food Odyssey on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. This year we spent our tropical vacation on Maui and did eat some very good food so I am going to talk about it here and display some photographs. Maybe even give some recipes. Hope you will enjoy this tropical respite.
Since we live on the west coast of the United States during the Daylight Savings time we are 3 hours ahead of Hawaiian time or Pacific Standard Time. Our plane left Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 PDT and arrived in Maui at 10:30. Even though we had eaten at the Airport and had some snacks on board, my husband was still up for breakfast. We stopped at the Azeka Plaza and ate our Sunday Brunch at Amigos Mexican Restaurant. Ev had the Banana/Macadamia Nut Pancakes (definitely Hawaiian style) and I had the Shrimp Ceviche. Ceviche is very similar to the Hawaiian Poke (a marinated fish dish) so I really was right in keeping with the tropical food theme. The pancakes huge which made me glad that I didn’t order them because I would only have been able to eat about half. The Avocado Shrimp Ceviche was perfect for me.
After eating we went to our Condo Complex and checked in. Fortunately, even though we were early our unit was ready for us. We had a fantastic garden and ocean view with palm trees waving and two fountains operating. After unpacking and resting a while, we went out to pick up some food essentials for our stay here. Before shopping, we decided to eat dinner and ended up in a small place called King’s Chinese Barbecue. We had delicious Roasted Duck and Vegetable Chow Mein. The seating was outdoors and was right across the street from the beach, so again we had the ocean view and the palm trees waving, even though there were cars driving down the street in front of us.
We purchased Blueberry Muffins, Hawaiian Vanilla/Macadamia Nut Coffee, Half & Half, Turbinado Sugar (grown and processed on Maui) and a few other things such as juice and soft drinks.
The next day after a Breakfast of Cornflakes and Coffee we went to the Kealia Ponds which have been designated as a bird refuge. One of our major hobbies is ‘birding’ and when in the tropics (or any vacation for that matter) we try and see as many birds as possible. The last time were here, the ponds were half dry, but this time they were quite full. As a result, we saw many more birds this time than we did last time. After our birding venture we drove up to a Tropical Plantation that we like to visit when we are here. One of the reasons we decided to go this day (Monday) because my list of Farmer’s Markets said that they had one on Monday. Wrong, when we got there the sign said Tuesday. No loss though, because we did get to see more birds as there are plenty of ponds in this venue as well as beautiful tropical plantings. They also had a store where we could purchase tropical food items. One of the things which I bought was a bag of Pineapple/Coconut Caramel Corn – this was very yummy!
On the way back from the Tropical Plantation we stopped at an ‘Open-Air Market’ on Kihei Road and purchased some fresh Tropical Fruit which included Papaya, Maui Gold Pineapple, Apple Bananas, Baby Jicama and a lime which was almost pink in the middle. Our next stop this morning was the Market again where we purchased ready-made sandwiches (one thing we noticed this visit is that all the Markets and ABC Stores and Whalers Stores have a very nice Deli Counter and you can get almost anything for any meal. Competition I’m sure the restaurants don’t like) In addition to the sandwiches we purchased Cornflakes which managed to last us most of the 11 days that we were there.
For dinner we went to the Five Palms Restaurant which was just down the street from our Condo. Not only was the food delicious but the view was fantastic. In addition to the foregoing they also have a very good ‘Happy Hour’ that lasts from 3PM until 7PM. We got there about 5 PM and since it was so busy and the patio was full we were seated inside and had great comfortable seating and a great view.
We ordered California Roll, Coconut Fried Shrimp and Chicken/Lettuce Wraps along with Beverages. Not necessarily Hawaiian Food except for the Shrimp but nonetheless very good.
The next day for Breakfast we each had a half of a Papaya filled with cubed Pineapple and sliced Bananas sprinkled with a little Turbinado Sugar and sweet Lime Juice as well as Hawaiian Coffee.
To make the Fruity Breakfast simply slice a ‘ripe’ Papaya in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (a delicious Salad Dressing – popular in Hawaii can be made from the seeds), squeeze a little lime on the fruit and then fill with fruit of your choice such as sliced Bananas and Pineapples or whatever your preference is.
Check back for more on our Maui Food Adventures.
NATIONAL FOOD DAYS
May 2nd – ‘National Truffle Day’
Since Wednesday, May 2nd is ‘National Truffle Day’ I decided to make the centers for some Truffles which I will serve to my Mah Jong Group on Wednesday. For the Truffles, I had a small piece of Milk Chocolate and a pound piece of White Chocolate. For the Centers of the truffles, I used a couple of Ganache Recipes that I had that were intended for cakes.
White Chocolate Ganache – this recipe was originally intended for a cake, so the resulting mixture was just a little too soft in that it was supposed to be spread on the cake. I used half the original recipe as follows:
150 grams White Chocolate, chopped – (I actually shredded it with my shredding blade; chopping would have been simpler)
90 grams of Heavy Cream
2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
45 grams unsalted Butter, softened
The above ingredients were combined in my food processor and run until everything was well-combined. The mixture was then chilled. Of course, it became too cold and I had to microwave it for about 30 seconds and then whipped it up with a hand whisk.
The ideal way would have been to:
1. Heat the Cream with the chopped Chocolate and Butter.
2. Pour into a shallow dish and chill thoroughly and then whip it up in the food processor along with the Vanilla Extract.
Because the resulting mixture was too soft to scoop and roll into balls I ended up adding about 3/8 cup of unsweetened Cocoa and mixing it in. The result was a mixture that I could scoop, roll and dip into melted chocolate.
I placed the scooped portions of the Ganache onto a baking sheet that was covered in powdered sugar. When I finished scooping, I placed the balls of chocolate Ganache in the freezer until the next day when I dipped them in melted chocolate. The lighter colored truffles are the Milk Chocolate ones while the darker ones are the White Chocolate fortified with Cocoa.
I melted Wilton Melt ‘n Molds to coat the Truffles with. Using this kind of chocolate saves a lot of time and trouble, because if you use the same chocolate that was used for the centers, you have to take the time to temper it. Unless you are experienced with tempering, it can be a bit of a problem. While I was dipping the Truffles, the melting chocolate seemed to be getting a little too thick so I added just a bit of heavy cream to the melted chocolate. I figured there was enough butterfat in the cream to keep the chocolate from siezing up. Wrong! Don’t do it! If you want to thin out your chocolate use a little bit of vegetable or shortening chips designed especially for this purpose. (These can be purchased at a cake decorating store)
There is actually plastic wrap in the bowl so that I would be able to get the chocolate out. I had to remove the siezed up chocolate from my warmer. Once it completely solidified, I just put the whole thing in a plastic bag and put it aside for a later use.
For variety and also for those people who want a little less candy or chocolate, I dipped some into shredded unsweetened Coconut that was finely cut. I also rolled some of the chocolate dipped truffles in the Coconut as well.
The first batch that I dipped I placed on a rack; they were difficult to get off once the chocolate hardnened, so I switched to waxed paper. The coated truffles released easily from the waxed paper.
Since I wasn’t going to use the Truffles for a couple of days, I placed them in a plastic box with a doily on the bottom and refrigerated them. To serve I will place on a pretty plate with gold doilies.
Having sampled a couple of these Truffles, I know that they are truly delicioius and if you are a chocolate lover, they are a dream.
Of course you can get your truffles without nearly as much fuss by going down to your local Godiva or Sees Candy Store and purchasing some. But think of the fun you are missing!