Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winner, Winner, Tuna Dinner

Bradleen recently became an officially-sanctioned union, and Brad and I embarked upon our wedded bliss by honemooning in Kona, Hawaii.  We stayed at an amazing condo with a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean, where the sunsets were remarkable.

We chose to stay in a condo rather than a hotel after hearing from fellow travelers that the restaurants in Kona were unremarkable, and we found this indeed to be the case on our few nights dining out.  An exception was Merriman's up in Waimea, which was very good.

Our Kolea condo, however, served delicious food.  There were fresh waffles with coconut syrup and fruit for breakfast.

And a variety of tuna dishes, made with our fresh catch. 

Growing up in South Florida, I spent quite a bit of time fishing with my grandfather.  I don't remember what we typically caught, but I do recall it was your basic take a boat out, drop a line and wait-syle fishing.  I've also done some fly fishing here in Colorado, with my days spent mostly untangling my line.

What I experienced in Kona brought fishing to a whole new level for me.

The adrenaline rush when a large game fish is hooked is incredible; the scream of the reel as the fish dives toward the ocean depths sounds an alarm that caused me to cry out with delight.  Brad had a Blue Marlin on the line for about five minutes, long enough for us to see it leap from the water, before we lost it.  It happened so fast that I was unable to take a good photo, but the image of that beautiful fish flying out the water with its bill waving back and forth will be in my memory forever.

Brad and I both caught some tuna.  His were bigger, but mine was an unusually strong fighter.  At least that's what they all told me when I was barely able to land it, the captain cheering me on as I was fatiguing in the final hundred yards.  I'm definitely going to do some push-ups before our next trip.

Brad's second, larger, tuna became our dinner.  And our lunch.  Then dinner again, and lunch again. 

And even this little guy got some of our tuna.  But don't tell the people at our condo complex, as I doubt they'd be pleased we were feeding the stray cats.

Our fish was cleaned on the boat while we were still fishing

and then Brad prepared the fillets when we got back to the condo.

We had a sashimi appetizer

and then some tuna barely seared on the grill, which we served with a salad of greens, avocado, mango and macadamia nuts.

With tuna this fresh, few other ingredients are needed; just a little salt and pepper before searing.

We packed several bottles of our favorite wines because we'd also heard the wine selection in Kona was limited and pricey.  We found the local gourmet market actually had quite a good selection and prices were not that much higher than we find here in Colorado.

The next day, Brad made poke for lunch, which we served with the traditional macaroni salad found everywhere on the Island.

Dinner the following night was more tuna steak, with grilled zucchini and salad.  And this fabulous brioche we found at a local farmer's market.

Lunch the next day was tuna sandwiches, made with that yummy brioche and leftover grilled tuna.  It was delicious, but apparently we found it not picture-worthy.

After eating only tuna for a few days, we were more than ready for the Taste of the Hawaiian Range, an annual festival celebrating sustainable farming and ranching on the Big Island that just happened to be held during our trip.  How lucky are we?

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