A Fresh Fish Mexican Favorite

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 16, 2009
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This year’s HMSA Island Scene Festival, an annual outdoor party featuring food, fitness, family and fun, is set for Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kakaako Gateway Park in Honolulu (facing Ala Moana Boulevard).

The festival is free and open to the public, with plenty of parking in the area. It will include onstage healthy cooking demonstrations by local chefs, a watermelon-eating contest for the kids, a huge farmers’ market (with lots of fresh local produce), live entertainment throughout the day, games, prize giveaways and more. From keiki to kupuna, there’s something for everyone!

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Lanakila Meals on Wheels and More, a program of Lanakila Pacific. Founded in 1939, Lanakila Pacific is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 4,000 Oahu residents annually with programs that build life skills. In 2008, Lanakila Meals on Wheels and More provided more than 250,000 meals for Oahu senior citizens and is Hawaii’s largest and only islandwide meal provider for seniors, offering group dining at 19 Kupuna Wellness Centers and home delivery to homebound seniors. Meals are prepared in a state-of-theart commercial kitchen led by a creative team of chefs who are the core of Xpress Chefs. Xpress Chefs is all about using the freshest ingredients in a variety of healthy foods prepared for retail sales. All proceeds from Xpress Chefs support Lanakila Meals on Wheels and More.

This year marks Lanakila Pacific’s 70th anniversary. More information on the unique organization may be found at www.lanakilapacific.org.

Here is a recipe courtesy of the chefs at Xpress Chefs. A hearty mahalo for all their good work.


* 2 pounds fresh mahimahi, 1-inch dice

* 1 tablespoon ground cumin

* 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

* 1 teaspoon lime juice

* 2 tablespoons minced onion

* 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

* 12 6-inch flour tortillas

* sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

* 1 ripe local tomato, diced

* 1 bunch Island cilantro

* 10 leaves Island Manoa lettuce, thinly sliced

* 1 cup grated cheese (your choice)

* 1 cup fresh salsa (your favorite)

Heat pan, add extra virgin olive oil, then add garlic and onion. Saute until onions become translucent; add fish and remaining seasonings. Complete cooking until tender. Remove from heat. Lay out tortilla, add fish mixture (divided into 12 portions) and top with cheese, lettuce, two cilantro leaves, diced tomato and salsa. Fold and serve.

(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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