I am such a homebody, my mother thinks I’m agoraphobic! My idea of a perfect day is to go for a long run in the woods, come home and dunk in the pool, putter in the kitchen and studio, go for a walk, have a leisurely supper with my sweetie, and then watch a movie in bed.
When I travel, it’s no surprise that I like to do the same things, with a rented space as my base. It is much more fun for me to be away from home if I have a kitchen, however rudimentary. I like the enforced creativity that arises from exploring different tools and ingredients than the ones I have here in my Warwick kitchen.
Last month, Bob and I flew (via San Francisco) to Kauai to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (our actual anniversary is July 20). This was our 4th time in the archipelago 50th state, second time on Kauai. And if you have never been…yes, it IS paradise!
We stayed at the Hanalei Colony Resort, which I cannot recommend highly enough. It is simple and non-pretentious in a way that allows the natural beauty of the island to predominate. Located on the ocean, it is near the best snorkeling, diving, and swimming beaches on the North Shore, two miles from the famous Napali Coast.
Every morning, we each took a long run, followed by an ocean or pool swim, and a soak in the hot tub. Then, trips to farmer’s market, or hiking, or snorkeling…a walk in the afternoon, more swimming, and a beautiful supper on our lanai overlooking the Pacific.
If you do make the trip to Kauai, I hope you will follow my lead and check out the farm markets; here’s a partial list of some of the amazing produce we bought from local farmers: lychees, mangoes, pineapple, okra, long beans, lima beans, gorgeous lettuces, and goat cheese. The Dolphin Fish Market in Hanalei carries the freshest, most delicious local seafood; we shopped there twice. And the local supermarkets carry incredibly fresh ahi tuna for poke.
Poke is a Hawaiian raw fish salad, typically served as an appetizer. The recipe developed from fisherman, who would season cuts of freshly caught fish and munch on them as a snack. It is sort of a charming, ever-evolving, island cross between salad and sashimi. We love to serve my version with a green salad for a light supper with some crackers or bread. Here, you see (back in Warwick), a salad of local lettuces, pepitas, and goat cheese. The homemade crackers are gluten-free, made with chickpea and corn flours.
So…this recipe contains raw fish. From what I read, raw tuna is safer to eat than raw salmon. But, eat this at your own risk. There. Now you can’t sue me! Needless to say, it is delicious; the texture of raw tuna prepared this way, is like silk. I think it’s a risk worth taking, but certainly if you are pregnant or immune compromised, be advised.
Serves 2-4 (4 as an app, 2 generously, as a meal)
1 lb. sushi grade tuna, ahi is traditional, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 small cucumber (I like kirby here), small dice
1 small jalepeno, seeded, small dice
1 small shallot, small dice
½ tsp. sugar (optional)
juice of half a lime
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. white wine vinegar
drizzle sesame oil
1 ripe avocado, medium dice
coarse sea salt, to taste
In a small bowl, mix the shallot with the vinegar, a pinch of salt, and the sugar (if you like; I like). Let stand for 5 minutes to mellow the shallot. Then drain and save the shallot-infused vinegar for another use.
Mix all the ingredients except the avocado; taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and up to 8 hours to let all the flavors merge and to season and lightly cure the fish.
Add the avocado and toss very gently just before serving.
Serve with extra lime.
Serious Blog Note: It has been said that blogging and social media create the illusion of a perfect life. Those who follow me know that I have fun creating that pretty deception and don’t worry over much about the fact that it is not accurate. But I also know that many of you keep track of me and my life and I have no interest in concealing reality. So, I will pull back the veil for just a minute. Life has its difficult moments, and this is one of them. Both of my parents have been diagnosed with cancer this summer and are undergoing surgery and subsequent treatment. They have good doctors and a wonderful support system of friends and family. I know you join me in wishing them the best.
I am currently battling Lyme disease; will finish my medication later this week and anticipate a full recovery. My beloved tech angel, Mary, is recovering from pneumonia. It has been tricky to maintain a positive focus; continuing to engage in creative endeavors helps me to stay balanced. I am grateful for your kind encouragement!