24 September 2012

*oink oink, œuf œuf*

A bacon and egg pie - staple food of the summer picnic.  And, by extension, going out on the boat, or as a convenient dish to take with for a weekend away, when you think you'll be arriving too late to faff about with making dinner.  Throw a salad together, reheat pie (or not), and voilà, Bob's your proverbial uncle. 

Friday past was such a day.  We were headed to Whitianga for the weekend and there was a good possibility we'd not be leaving until 6 pm or so (and thus arriving at 9 pm or so), and would need something to (a) peck on along the way (and other than a pie at Turua it's pretty slim pickings) or (b) eat upon arrival.  So a bacon and egg pie came to mind.  I'd not actually made one before, believe it or not (I promise I am a true kiwi - I eat marmite, watch rugby and have dossed on a friend's floor in London), but having watched Mum and KB's mum whip 'em up knew that wouldn't be a prob. 

So, next time you're in one of the above situations, or just have a mass of eggs that need eating and you're scratching your head wondering what the hell to do with 'em, just remember, to always blow on the pie. 

12 eggs (or thereabouts)
6 rashers bacon, chopped into large pieces
dash milk 
2 onions, chopped up
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
few tsp capers 
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard 
cup frozen peas 
1/2 capsicum, chopped up (had that in the fridge, so used it, could also use 'shrooms)
grated cheese, I used almost a cup
salt and pepper 
fresh herbs, if you have some
  1. Spray oven dish with oil, or rub with some butter.  Turn oven on to about 180 celcius.
  2. Break eggs into large bowl, stir to break up a bit.  Throw all other ingredients in and mix. 
  3. Pour into dish and bake until all cooked through and golden on top.  I had to cover mine with foil for the last 15 or so minutes.  Think it took about 45 minutes all up.    
  4. Serve hot or cold, with salad.  Or just throw into the hamper and enjoy! 

10 September 2012

worth peanuts?

I am used to finding recipes and meal ideas in odd places.  But a biscuit recipe in an issue of a mountain biking magazine?  Wow, that one surprised even me.  I suppose though that biscuits would be convenient refueling for a busy biker. 
The recipe was for peanut brownies, which I made half with peanuts and the other half with chocolate chips, so there's something for everyone.  The recipe itself called for Chelsea's low GI sugar, but I just used raw sugar (or white, whatever you have in the pantry).  Suddenly the lunchboxes look far more interesting!   
125 g butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup raw peanuts/choc chips
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar then add egg and beat to combine.
  3. Fold through dry ingredients and peanuts/choc (I split the mixture into two here, to keep the peanuts and chocolate apart). 
  4. Roll into balls and press flat on trays with fork.  Bake for 12 minutes.  

03 September 2012

Ota 'ika

Raw fish.  Initial thoughts that spring to mind is of old-school farce, slapping someone across the face with a fish, rather than of delicacies from the deep.  But, when you give it a second thought, you realise just how prevalent raw fish is in the diet of many cultures, and increasingly in our own - cerviche, sashimi, some sushi, an veritable plethora of dishes using raw salmon. 

We've recently returned from holidaying in Tonga, swimming with humpback whales around the Vava'u Islands, where we were seriously spoilt for choice of good restaurants and cafes - thanks Tropicana, Ovava, Aquarium, Mango and Marina (and there are many more, but there's only so much eating one can do before one (a) runs out of holiday and/or (b) risks being mistaken for the whales we were swimming with)!  One of the local dishes we stumbled upon was ota 'ika.  Ota 'ika (literally 'raw fish') is basically diced fish that been marinated in lemon or lime juice until the surface becomes opaque, then mixed with coconut milk (much like cerviche).  From there seemed to be many alterations, depending on availability of produce and the whim of the person making it.  Most of the ota 'ika I saw used a lot of dill, but I'd be inclined to go for coriander and mint myself.  It's quite rich, so as an entree is perfect. 

Small portion per person fish, diced - snapper, gurnard, tuna etc - or mahi mahi if you're in the islands!
coconut milk (about 1 tin per 2 fillets)
lemon or lime juice
salt and pepper
fresh herbs, roughly chopped
veges - capsicum, tomato, spring onion, maybe a little cucumber

NB: There are no exact measurements because, frankly, how much of everything you put in will depend on personal taste, the look you are going for (chunky and full of bits and pieces, or more simple with just herbs and fish) and the type of fish you're using.  Trial and error - it'll taste fab no matter what!  Furthermore, don't feel that you have to just use fish - if you have mussels, scallops, pipis, squid or crab use those.  Yum!!