The other night at Hualalai we enjoyed a plump, fresh and tasty Hawaiian Roll bursting with local Ahi, ripe mango and Kona avocados. A dip of low sodium soy, pickled ginger and smear of wasabi….sushi perfection.
The other night we did what we love to do more than anything, cook dinner for our friends, this time for our Big Island friends John and Ginny, as well as some new friends, Rob and Barbara.
To our surprise, and GREAT delight, Rob is a bit of a wine collector and entered the gathering with a wine bag filled with some of the best wine we have tasted (more on all of what we enjoyed to come) but we started with a 2001 Croits-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru after a Moet and Chandon bubbly. The Montrachet had just a bit of age on it which I love, with a deep golden color and aromas of ripe apricot and dried peaches and pears with a hint of honey and orange blossom. Rich and elegant.
With this we paired our opening course. The rest of the dinner we did family style, but inspired by the Hawaiian roll I wanted to create what basically became a deconstructed Hawaiian Roll, chilled avocado soup with Ahi and mango. Wow! This one was a complete risk that paid off ten fold! Half way through creating it I could tell something was missing, that took 2 store visits to get…ginger. It added the sweet and spicy element that took the avocado flavor to the next level and really tied in the tuna and mango with the soup. Creamy, rich and filled with healthy fat from the avocado, loads of low fat calcium, and tons of fresh, healthy herbs. Delicious!
Cold Avocado Soup with Ahi, Mango and Ginger
4 ripe avocados – pits and skins removed
3 oz greek yogurt (we used fat free and it was fine)
8 oz reduced fat milk
Juice and zest of 2 lemons (1 tablespoon divided to season the tuna)
1/2 english cucumber – chunked
1/2 jalapeno – seeds removed
1 teaspoon fresh garlic – minced
2 tablespoons red onion – chunked
2 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
11/2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (1 teaspoon divided to season the mango)
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce or Bragg’s
Sea salt (pink Hawaiian salt was beautiful in this) and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup water – if needed
1 mango – diced
1/2 pound sushi grade ahi tuna – diced
Begin the soup at least 3 hours prior to serving so it can get very cold, even popping in the freezer for a bit to get very cold if needed. Keep mango and tuna very cold in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
In a blender begin blending all the ingredients together in batches except the tuna, mango, soy, water and divided lemon juice and cilantro. Season each batch, pour into a bowl and season next batch. Include a bit of all ingredients in each batch, (about 3 batches in our blender) making sure there was enough liquid to blend to a very smooth consistency. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap touches the soup completely around the bowl and fully covers on all sides to prevent oxidation. The lemon will help with this but the wrap helps prevent a thin layer film from forming.) Refrigerate at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours. About half and hour before serving season the mango with the cilantro, a bit (bit) of salt and set aside. Season the tuna with the soy, lemon and several good cracks of pepper. Set aside, but keep cold. When ready to serve check the consistency. If it is too thick for your taste add a bit of water at a time, whisking to incorporate. We added about 1/3 cup. Then ladle into soup bowls. In the center of each bowl drop about a teaspoon of Ahi and a teaspoon of mango (or more if you like) and serve.