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    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Day Tripper - Bondi Beach - General Confusion

    A trip to the beach
    Was in order we cried
    We’re all trusty travelers
    That can’t be denied

    So off to Town Hall Station
    Trailing like Browns cows
    We walked in formation
    This Dream team of ours

    We got to the station
    That was a breeze
    But buying the tickets
    Brought us to our knees

    Does this one notes?
    No only coins...
    Oh this one takes notes
    But spitting our ours!!!

    We’re starting to panic
    Its minutes to departure
    Finally YES we have sorted
    This impending disaster
    ...
    So tickets aloft
    We get on the train
    And off to Bondi
    Team’s clever again


    Hot at the junction
    We rushed to the bus
    More trouble with tickets
    Is it only us?

    We get to the beach
    Its golden and sandy
    Soon we were needing
    a dip in the salt sea

    Surrounded by bodies
    All tanned and funky
    All surge to the water
    To cool off their booty

    Then off to lunch
    We did calamari and prawns
    And other fine food
    Maitais, beers and wines




    So our day at the beach
    Was really fantastic
    Thank you Bondi
    You’re our kind of magic.

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Gilli's Chilli and Rice Casserole - In honour of Mr Obama

    Wednesday 21st January 2009 NZ Time
    Today is the start of a new age - The Barack Obama Age.
    This morning our time, he was inaugurated as 44th President of the US of A
    I listened to the ceremony on my little transistor radionery early this morning.
    The reception is less than memorable and most the time I have to hold the little radio in the air.
    But it was worth it. His speech was stunning.
    I took this shot around 7am, I thought it was worth recording.
    What a beautiful day…what a good start to this new age.

    Luckily for us we are tied up with Silverado and Geoff has My Sky and he recorded the ceremony, so we spent the morning watching this momentous occasion.
    How is that…here we are in Whangaroa Harbour, on the other side of the world…on a boat… through the wonders of technology able to watch this world event

    We were blown away with this charismatic man – if anyone can get the people going again in this global situation he will I’m sure.
    What an orator.
    I love the fact that he included 2 lines from this song written for Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger’s 1936 movie “Swing time”
    Lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern

    "Pick yourself up
    Dust yourself off"

    I was inspired to sing
    "Let’s start all over again"

    Such a great sentiment. Go Obama
    Here is our future
    Isn't that fabulous?
    But onto food I made a good dish yesterday.
    As a starter we were lucky enough to have a beautiful whole snapper grilled
    Courtesy of Laurian off Silverado
    It was slashed, covered in coriander, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon, a touch of garlic some olive oil
    It was fabulous but would you believe that I didn’t take a shot of any of the glorious food.
    Smack my hand.
    Anyway we followed it with the My Chilli
    Really simple.
    I like to use tinned Mexican style beans all prepared for you but I do add some spices of my own and of course tinned tomatoes

    500 gms mince
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon celery salt
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon chili flakes

    1 more tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion sliced
    1 small carrot chopped
    2 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
    1 tin Mexican beans
    1 tin cherry tomatoes in juice

    First
    Brown the mince in olive oil
    Season with spices
    Cook for a couple of minutes
    Remove from pan set aside

    Saute onion, garlic and carrot till soft
    Add back the mince
    Plus beans and tomatoes.

    Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
    If the beans are not hot enough some more chilli flakes would be good.

    Cook gently for about 30 minutes
    This improves on hanging about but you can eat it straight away.

    Serve with Steamed rice mixed with fresh coriander leaves
    Pop some sour cream and extra coriander leaves on the top

    Excellent.

    Now we had left overs and I forgot to put the leftover rice in the fridge.
    Sat on top of the stove all night.
    Bit worried that I might poison us, (a bit like Ruth Reichl’s mother!)
    so I decided I should turn these leftovers into
    A Chilli Casserole
    "Gilli's Chilli and Rice Casserole"
    Baked in the oven that will kill any stray bacteria.

    So as this kind of dish a bit like the Famous American Tuna Casserole
    I dedicate it to Mr Obama and his beautiful family
    First I made a béchamel sauce
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 cups milk

    3 tablespoons grated cheese

    Left over rice and chili
    Extra grated cheese and 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
    1 tablespoon Panko breadcrumbs

    Make the roux
    Add milk and cook till thickened
    Add cheese
    Season
    Add rice and chili
    Mix well
    Into casserole dish and top with Grated cheese and coriander and the Panko breadcrumbs.

    Bake medium hot oven about 30 minutes

    This was fabulous we greedily ate it all, we should have shared it, but it was too good.

    So in the words of Dorothy Fields

    "Nothing's impossible I have found,
    For when my chin is on the ground,
    I pick myself up,
    Dust myself off,
    Start All over again."

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Whangaroa Big Gamefish Club - Best Fish and Chips in the North

    After 5 fabulous days at Omaha Beach with the family, we finally returned to the boat
    It was a fraught day, not helped by both of us feeling somewhat hung-over after a last big night at the beach. AND it is a 2 ½ hour drive. PLUS we had to buy provisions.

    We loaded the boat and then had a fabulous lunch at the Whangaroa Big Gamefish Club.
    The restaurant has been taken over by Sally and the improvement in the food is sensational…Earlier in the year pre Sally it was average, but she is making the best fish and chips I have had for a long time

    The fish was very fresh bluenose, which is an excellent fish for deep frying
    So moist.
    The batter, she makes fresh just before service, and it is crisp and light
    And good fat crisp chips


    We farewelled our Marina Manager Alan who has organised berths for us when ever we need to go back to town

    This office is brand new and what a change to the marina.
    John from the Boyd Store has been running it for years, but it’s hard when you are not on site.
    Now there is a small ablution block and a laundry facility and a man on hand to help out.
    Excellent

    After lunch we had a well earned nap and then motored off to find a nice anchorage for the night.

    I think Dale’s biorhythms (remember them!!! don’t hear much about those these days)
    Anyhow as he was loading wine from the cupboard to the fridge, he dropped the case and 2 bottles broke.
    Wine and glass everywhere.
    Lots of cursing.
    He had to lift the carpet and carry it out doors being careful not to spill wine and glass over the rest if the boat.
    As he was organizing to rinse it the carpet dropped over the side.
    Bugger
    Dear me, the dinghy was up on the davits, the carpet was drifting too fast to pick up with the boat hook

    He desperately tried to get the dinghy down, of course it was not playing the game.
    Also, just before it went in the water, he remembered that the bung was out.
    That is not easy...on the angle!
    Meanwhile the carpet was drifting gently out to sea.
    Finally the dinghy down, he jumped into it but the oars were stuck.
    Not only was the carpet drifting away it was in great danger if sinking as it absorbed more water.
    I finally got the camera trying hard not to laugh
    Back on board...he was not happy
    This time as he rinsed he made sure it was secure…mind you it was so heavy I don’t think it would have fallen overboard easily after that.
    No stains though…they say salt water does the trick well that is correct.

    I kindly poured him a well deserved glass of wine and we settled down to watch the sunset.


    It seems as though all I do is make pizza and its half true. But its such a simple lunch.
    This was one of the best I have made
    If I had a Pizza Parlour I reckon this would be a winner
    It came by chance as they do from leftovers but I liked it so much I made the “leftovers” again last night just so we could have this pizza again for lunch.

    The secret is mashed potato
    Not any old mashed potato but this version.
    Cook 3 peeled potatoes with
    1 courgette cut into chunks and 1 clove garlic in salted water.

    When tender
    Drain and roughly mash with a fork
    Add good slurp of olive oil and 1 heaped tablespoon of mint jelly
    Good grind of freshly ground black pepper and voila
    Perfect to accompany any meat or fish main courseAnd more importantly left overs for Pizza topping. It is quite a dry mash, chunky, plenty of guts.
    White pizzas like this need a spicy red base.

    1 red freshly ground black pepper sliced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 clove garlic crushed
    3 anchovies

    Saute the above till soft
    Add 1 teaspoon Piri piri seasoning
    1 tin cherry tomatoes

    Slosh white balsamic vinegar
    Bring to simmer and reduce till thick
    Beautiful deep red sauce

    Slice some mozzarella cheese
    Few basil leaves for garnish

    Here is the dough recipe again

    Pizza dough - so simple.
    1 cup strong flour
    1 pkt yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 dash olive oil
    100-200 mls hand hot water

    With a fork mix the dry ingredients and start adding the water
    When it is starting to combine use you hands and pull it together
    Adding more water little by little till you get a wet dough and it all comes away from the sides.

    On a lightly floured bench knead for about 1-2 minutes till the dough is smooth.

    Make a ball place into light oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

    Leave about 1 hour till double in size.
    Roll out on lightly floured board till a nice flat circle is formed
    I use my pizza pan but you can use a baking sheet or straight onto a pizza stone if you have one.

    Lay the dough in your oiled pizza pan

    Cover with tomato sauce
    Put dobs of potato mix on top and spread
    Cover with slices of cheese

    Into hot oven should take about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven

    Throw on some basil some freshly ground black pepper and serve
    This is divine.

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Chilli Philli - Perfect for Pizza

    This has been the best summer…so far everyday a cracker
    This is my view…off the side of our boat up here in New Zealand’s Far North.
    Stunning.

    I am getting ready to sit in the sun then slip into the sea and cool down and then sit in the sun and dry off ready for the next swim.


    And off the other side of the boat
    Just what holidays are made of.
    Food on the boat has been wonderful, there will be many posts coming up, when I get good enough reception.
    But I thought this post might be of interest to Eric Green who a Philli aficionado.
    He is a Facebook friend have a look at his page.
    Philli Cheese had put out a Sweet Chilli Philli and it is delicious.

    I thought I would make a version of Pizza Strasbourg the most popular pizza on the Island of Moorea in Tahiti.
    Generally the base is Crème Fraiche but I thought I would use the Philli.

    Pizza dough - so simple.
    1 cup strong flour
    1 pkt yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 dash olive oil
    100-200 mls hand hot water


    With a fork mix the dry ingredients and start adding the water
    When it is starting to combine use you hands and pull it together
    Adding more water little by little till you get a wet dough and it all comes away from the sides.

    On a lightly floured bench knead for about 1-2 minutes till the dough is smooth.

    Make a ball place into light oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

    Leave about 1 hour till double in size.
    Roll out on lightly floured board till a nice flat circle is formed
    I use my pizza pan, but you can use a baking sheet or straight onto a pizza stone if you have one.
    I made 2 pizzas
    First one
    Philli Chilli
    ½ cup caramelised onions
    4 rashes bacon cut into lardons
    Parmesan cheese


    Cover the raw pizza with Philli and bacon lardons
    Into hot oven about 8 minutes
    Remove from oven and cover with onions and
    Grate generously with Parmesan Cheese.
    Back into oven another 8 minutes approx

    Remove and serve
    Delicious
    Next version

    Roll out dough
    Cover with Philli
    Into hot oven 8 minutes
    Remove
    Cover with hot smoked salmon
    Spread over onions
    Once again grate generously with Parmesan

    Bake another 8 minutes approx
    And serve

    Equally delicious
    My customers enjoyed it.