16 August 2013

Hoki mai ra...

We love fish.  Catching fish, cooking fish, eating fish.  Talking with a friend the other night I came across a really nice way to liven up a piece of otherwise fairly bland fish - hoki.  Hoki is crazy cheap at the supermarket - $8.99/kg at the moment in Te Awamutu.  It's not as tasty au naturale as gurnard or snapper, but it's a really good way of getting plenty of fish into your diet.  We normally coat it with a little flour and panfry it in butter.  Or sometimes we'll chop it into smaller pieces, crumb it with panko and have tasty little fish bites.  However, this way wins hands down - topped with a parmasan and herb panko crumb and baked in the oven.  

We've done this with lamb racks before, but on fish would be my preference from now on.  

1 large hoki fillet (about 1/2 kg) - this'll feed two hungry adults
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
good grating parmasan cheese 
fresh herbs, finely chopped - I actually used a BBQ rub last night instead
couple dollops sesame oil - enough to have mixture bound enough to stay on top of the fish, but not too wet and clumpy 
1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Cut hoki into two pieces. Place on baking tray (I put baking paper down first, to save having to wash the tray.  
  3. Brush fish liberally with egg. 
  4. Press crumb on top and place in the oven.  
  5. Bake for about 5 minutes, then grill until crumb is nice and golden.  

NB: Panko crumbs are the creme de la creme of crumbing because they're always turn out nice and crispy, as opposed to normal breadcrumbs which can sometimes go a bit soggy.  Fogdog do them and are available at most supermarkets.   

02 August 2013

bring the chinese home - cashew chicken

I'm one of those people who have a crockpot but rarely use it.  I mean, we cook the good ol' corned beef from time to time, but other than that...  I know there's a myriad of possibilities, but I think I've probably only ever used it for the odd sausage casserole.  So, when I came across this recipe through my sister-in-law Kaz, I thought it was about time to break out. 

We used to have a chinese restaurant in Hawera, where I grew up, called the Wing Wah.  It was our go-to for pretty much every family birthday or major event.  My childhood fav was cashew chicken.  This is a different tasting, but similar textured dish, and I'll be making it again!  It made a heap too - fed four for dinner, then enough leftovers for another two for lunch (with rice).  Crazy easy chinese at home, which effectively cooks itself! 

500 g chicken tenders (or breast, chopped up)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cashews
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 tbsp cider, rice or wine vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated ginger
3/4 cup soy sauce
8 tbsp tomato sauce
1 chilli, chopped (optional)
1 stalk lemongrass (optional)
3 tbsp peanut butter (I added this in, because I like the satayey taste)
  1. Mix flour, salt and pepper in resealable bag.  Add chicken and coat.
  2. Brown chicken in pan. 
  3. Place into crockpot and add all other ingredients (except cashews). 
  4. Stir and leave to cook on low for 3 hours. 
  5. Stir through cashews and serve with rice and naan (or similar).