You'll note that this entry is NOT categorized as "From the Kitchen." I suppose it has to do with a kitchen, but not with MY kitchen.
I'm still in rapture from our visit to Maui. I suspect that you will all be thoroughly tired of my comments before the week is over, but when you've had such an incredible trip, it's hard not to share your experiences.
The first night in Maui, Dear Husband and I went to dinner alone. That alone should tell you that it was wonderful....just the two of us, and no one grousing about having to eat at a place not of their choosing.
We went to the Hula Grill. On the plane to Maui, there was a young man who was a feast for the eyes, and he was wearing a T-shirt from the Hula Grill. So, I wasn't exactly prepared for our experience.
The Hula Grill is perhaps twenty, maybe thirty feet from the Pacific Ocean. There is a section where the tables are set up on sand. You can walk in from the surf for a meal. Right next to that, is an elegant house, for lack of better words, with an open lanai. We sat on the lanai and let the trade winds blow over us.
Our waiter was friendly, well informed and there when we needed him. He described the specials and we mulled over our choices. We needed to eat, but neither of us wanted to overeat. The solution was to share soup and salad, and each have an entree.
The soup was fabulous. I'm trying to expand my soup repertoire, and one of the soups I'd like to learn to make is a tortilla soup. The Hula Grill offered a Fish and Corn chowder that is the best tortilla soup I've ever had! I wish I had begged for the recipe!
The soup was a mildly spicy tomato base, rather like a salsa that had been run through a blender for just a couple of seconds. It had chunks of tuna that were firm and bite-sized, a little bit of corn, some black beans, a sprinkle of toasted tortilla strips and a sprig of cilantro as a garnish. It was so good we almost licked the bottom of the bowl!
We both chose the fish special for the night. The plate had been dressed with a Lobster Miso Coconut sauce and four ounce cuts of herb grilled Ono and seared Ahi were laid over a small mound of ramen noodles. A fall of Shrimp Salsa decorated the area between the cuts of fish, and a fan of Asian green beans (identical to tiny haricot verts) finished the plate.
It was heavenly! Everything was done to perfection, and it satisfied all our senses. We were replete without having overdone. While we chose not to do dessert, we saw one of the signature desserts delivered. It's an ice cream sandwich made with macadamia nut brownies and vanilla ice cream. It must stand four to five inches high and is easily six inches long. They decorate it with drizzles of red raspberry sauce. It's the kind of thing you order when you plan to make dessert your entire dinner!
There's a lot to be said about having someone else prepare your meal. I can tell you.....if I'm ever in the Hawaiian Islands again, I'll be sure to return for another helping of the Hula Grill!