Ahi At 21 Degrees North

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - December 01, 2010
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21 Degrees North Chef de Cuisine John Armstrong

Turtle Bay Resort is a peaceful oasis on 880 ocean-front acres, with almost five miles of beachfront. Only about an hour from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki or downtown Honolulu, the magnificent setting draws you into the natural serenity of the North Shore. The staff is friendly and inviting, and the beach is as relaxing and beautiful to walk on as it is a feast for the eyes. The luxury of Turtle Bay Resort offers two lushly landscaped pools, golf, tennis, horseback riding and a myriad of activities to enjoy.

The entrance to 21 Degrees North, one of the hotel’s fine restaurants, begins with a beautiful waterfall that leads to a path of tropical trees and plants that border the walkway to the restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight the breathtaking natural beauty of Turtle Bay. Guests can dine either outside or in, and enjoy the finest contemporary island cuisine of Chef de Cuisine John Armstrong.

Armstrong, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, worked at several notable hotels on the Mainland before coming to Hawaii. He began his culinary career in the Islands working for the Halekulani as sous chef, and in 2003 moved to Turtle Bay.

All produce is 100 percent organic, and salads and soups are house-made with local produce as available.


Chef Armstrong was kind enough to give me this recipe for MidWeek readers to enjoy at home.

PEPPER CRUSTED AHI

Kahuku Corn Fritters, Sesame Miso Vegetable Slaw And Watercress Ginger Puree

* 1 pound ahi
* 1/4 cup peppercornn trio
* olivee oil

Cut ahi into 4-ounce blocks. Grind the pepper-corns in coffee blender. Dust ahi blocks with ground peppercorns and pan-sear in olive oil.

Spoon 2 ounces of Watercress Ginger Puree on plate and top with Miso Vegetable Slaw. Place seared ahi on top and garnish with Kahuku Corn Fritters.

Makes four servings.

For Kahukuu Corn Fritters:

* 3 ears corn
* 1/4 cup diced redd bell pepper
* 1/4 cup diced greenn bell pepper
* 2 tablespoons diced red onion
* 1 cup heavyy whipping cream
* 1/4 cup cornmeal
* 1/2 cup flour
* 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass

Boil corn and shuck. Mix all ingredients and shape to size. Deep-fry until golden brown.


For Watercress-Ginger Pure:

* 1 cup watercress
* 1 tablespoon pickled ginger
* 1 teaspoon ricee wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons olivee oill
* salt and pepper, to taste

Blend all items in a food processor.

For Sesamee Miso Vegetablee Slaw:

* 1/2 cup each shredded carrots, daikon and zucchini
* 1 teaspoon miso
* 1 teaspoon rice e wine vinegar
* 1 teaspoon sesamee oill
* 1 tablespoon olivee oill

Place vegetables in mixing bowl and toss with miso, vinegar, sesame oil and olive oil.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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