while on our vacation, we spent a lot of time with fruit. we ate it. we drank it. we battled the sugar ants coming for it. the opportunity to take a break from root vegetables and ingest a little sunshine was just what ol' man winter ordered.
the fruit superstar for the week was definitely papaya. sooo incredibly delicious. we had them with breakfast and coffee on the lanai every morning, snacked on them in the afternoon, and, the one night we cooked, papaya was half the plate! (i love the pacific northwest, but can someone please figure out a way to grow papaya here? maybe a big ol' tropical biodome in a p-patch? my life feels empty without it!)
we bought all of our fruit from this guy at the west maui farmer's market. as we looked over the papaya, he asked, "you need for today, or for tomorrow?" we answered both. plus the next day. aaand the next day... he picked out 4 fruits for us in varying stages of ripeness and plunked them in our hands-- "for today, for tomorrow, for sunday, for monday." he knew his papaya! i heard someone next to us ask for one for tomorrow, and he answered in the matter-of-fact and somewhat punchy manner of a fast-moving guy who knows his stuff, "what time tomorrow?"
i had planned that we would cook at least one night while we were away, and read dozens of recipes using island ingredients before we left. the ones that stood out the most to me were various fish dishes with fruit salsas. after our magical evening at mama's fish house, i found that their website included a perfect recipe for us, especially considering we already had half of the ingredients in place-- mahimahi with tropical fruit salad. done.
mahimahi with tropical fruit salad
from mahimahi macadamia nut saute with tropical fruit salad, mama's fish house
2 mahimahi filets
salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbps butter, divided
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 of a fresh lemon
1 ripe papaya, halved and seeded
1 cup mango, peeled and medium diced
1 cup fresh pineapple, peeled and medium diced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
one fresh lime
sprinkle papaya halves with a pinch of salt and fresh lime or lemon juice. set aside. mix mango, pineapple, onion, cilantro, and mint, and toss with fresh lime juice to taste. season with a pinch of salt. chill for one hour.
season both sides of mahimahi with salt and freshly cracked pepper. heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat in heavy saute pan. cook fish 1 to 2 minutes, turn, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, until cooked through, depending on thickness of fish. don't overcook. remove fish from pan and cover to keep warm. add remaining 1 Tbps butter to pan, lemon, and wine. cook, stirring or whisking, until sauce begins to thicken.
heap fruit salad in papaya half. serve with fish topped with lemon-wine pan sauce.
mama's notes that ahi, ono, opakapaka, or any fresh fish can be substituted.
the buttery, salty fish with the sweet and tangy fruit was absolutely perfect. ahhh, and so was the view.