Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Fresh Pasta

2 Cups High Grade Flour
2 Cups 00 Flour (or just use 4 cups High Grade Flour)
4 large Eggs

Form the flour into a mound, in the centre of a large wooden board. Make a well in the centre of the mound.

Crack the eggs into a bowl. Using a fork, beat the eggs together and pour into the well. Starting from the inside of the well, begin to incorporate the flour. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (it will look messy, and that is okay!).

When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together. Start kneading the dough, mostly using the palms of your hands. Once the dough has completely come together, set the dough aside and scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough.

Continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


This delicious drink is made using plain white rice.

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to list

Place the rice in a bowl with enough water to cover it and let it soak overnight.
Strain the rice and discard the water. Stir the cold water and evaporated milk together. Place the drained rice into a blender along with half of the diluted milk. Blend until the rice is finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla; blend well. Pour in the remaining diluted milk; blend.

Line a strainer with two layers of cheesecloth. Place the strainer over another bowl to catch the liquid. Strain the rice milk through the cheesecloth, discard the solids. Repeat the process if necessary. Serve over ice.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Thai Curry

It has been a while between recipes and for that I apologise. It has been foodie paradise in Whakatane this year, with two brand new events; the Wild Food Challenge and the Sunshine and a Plate Food Festival. I am so lucky to have been involved in both events, but it has taken every bit of spare time I had. So now, after a week to rest my body and mind, I am happily writing again.

One of my jobs for the Sunshine and a Plate food festival was a wild food demo, sponsored by HOBEC. Using fresh swordfish for my protein, I made curry two ways, using very traditional red and green Thai curry pastes. Making curry paste is really easy and so rewarding. The recipe I am sharing today has been used as a sauce for every meat I cook and is really good with vegetables or lentils, too. I have served it as a main, an entrée, as a soup and as a stew. It is incredibly versatile and no matter what you do with it, it always tastes good. But first, some interesting information about Thai curry paste.

Thai curries as we know them are actually named “Gaeng”, but pronounced with a “k” sound in place of the “g”. The paste has always been made with shrimp paste, onions or shallots, lemongrass, garlic, chillies, galangal (closely related to ginger) and coriander root. While there will be variations added to these ingredients, a true Gaeng paste will always have these base ingredients. While most Thai curry dishes include coconut cream or milk, traditionally they did not. They are described in the first Thai dictionary 1873 CE as a watery dish using those base ingredients, as listed above. It is interesting to note that Thai people do not call this dish a curry at all. In Thai, “kari” (curry) is specific to Indian influenced curry, with flavours such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and cumin.

When you make your paste, make a good sized batch – it freezes really well. I divide my left over paste into meal lots and store in zip lock bags in the freezer. Then simply take it out, thaw and fry, like you would when it is fresh. I would love to hear how you get on, so please feel free to make contact.

Kia makona, Mawera Karetai

Thai Green Curry with Swordfish
1 1/2 tablespoons for the spice paste and a further 2 tablespoons of oil for the fish
3 tablespoons green curry paste, recipe follows
Enough fish for the meal
1 standard tin each of coconut cream and coconut milk (use two cans of milk for a thinner sauce)
5 kaffir lime leaves, lightly bruised
2 small, sweet capsicum sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup Coriander and some Thai basil

·       Heat up a pot over medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the green curry paste until aromatic. Add the coconut milk and cream and bring it to a quick boil.
·       Add the kaffir lime leaves and capsicum. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.
·       Cut the fish steaks into bite-sized pieces. Sauté in oil until just cooked through.
·       Add the fish, fish sauce, basil and coriander to the curry. Stir gently and serve immediately with rice.

Green Curry Paste
1 tablespoon sliced coriander roots
1 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons galangal
1/4 cup garlic
1 Kaffir Lime (try really hard to find this, but if you can’t, regular lime will do)
3-4 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 large Green Thai Chilli Peppers
·       Making the paste: Toast coriander, peppercorns and cumin in a pan until light brown.  You’ll hear the crackling sound when they're ready.  Let the spices cool so they will grind easily.
·       Slice shallots, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces.  I use one lemongrass stalk. Slice thinly or grate the kaffir lime zest, about 1 tablespoon. They will grind into fine paste with smaller fibers

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Peach Chutney

Right outside our back door is the most amazing peach tree I have ever seen. It is tall, strong and keeps the summer sun out of our living room in the late afternoon. It started life as a seedling under a wild tree on the side of the road, and was soon planted in our garden. For the first couple of years nothing happened, and then the third year we had buds, but it aborted all the fruit soon after they formed. We decided to give it one more year (last year) and we are very glad we did; last year we got a healthy crop of peaches and this year was even better. So what to do with kilos and kilos of peaches? My two favourites are peach chutney to serve with cold meats and of course bottles peaches for winter desserts.

Peaches are deciduous trees (they lose their leaves annually), originating in Northwest China. They are a tree that likes a cold winter and so they grow best in places like Central Otago and the Hawkes Bay. Over the last two winters here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, we have had some good winter frosts which have contributed to our good crop. Most varieties of peach require 500 hours of chilling (0-10 degrees Celsius) over the last autumn/early winter period. Over this time the plant is dormant, but inside, important chemical reactions are taking place. Once the weather starts to warm up again, these reactions result in the buds breaking and growing. Peach trees can happily tolerate temperatures above -26C, but new buds are unlikely to form if the temperature falls below -16C, especially close to bud break. If temperatures are too warm over winter, then the chemical reaction required for fruit does not happen, or at least is not as successful as it would be in a cooler climate.
Peaches are loaded with nutrition.

One large peach will provide an adult with up to 10% of their daily requirement of fibre, vitamin A, potassium and almost 20% of the vitamin C we need. That is a lot of goodness packed into a very delicious snack.

One of my favourite things to do with excess peaches is to make peach chutney. Today I will share my recipe with you. Enjoy!
Kia makona,
Mawera Karetai x
Peach Chutney


1.8kg firm, ripe peaches
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
Two cinnamon quills
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small red onion, sliced finely
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
12 cardamom pods, bruised
2 fresh red chillies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced (choose your chilli based on your tastes

·         Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of each peach with a small X. Add the peaches to the boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon. Peel the peaches, then halve them and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into medium dice.
·         In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar with the vinegar, ginger, onion, cinnamon and cardamom; stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately low heat until the onion is slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the peaches, chillies and a pinch of salt and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are very soft and translucent, about 1 hour. Remove cinnamon quills.

·         Ladle the chutney into preserving jars, tapping lightly on a flat surface to release any air bubbles. Seal the jars and leave to sit for at least a month.