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    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    KIngfish Lodge - Fine Food and Fun - Whangaroa Harbour

    Silverado invited us to join them at Kingfish Lodge for Dinner.
    This exclusive Lodge is situated just in from the entrance to Whangaroa Harbour. It is unique. The only way to approach it is by boat or helicopter.

    We have spent many a fun time at this lodge and we were excited about our return.
    As we arrived it immediately, became obvious that mooring at the dock was going to be difficult.Even Geoff and Laurian who can turn on a sixpence, were having problems. I was very nervous.

    It may not look like it, but it was blowing at least 15-20 knots. We had to pick up a  mooring and then back in to the jetty. Not looking good.
    Solution, we anchored, Dale went over and got Geoff, 2 boys are better than one boy and an useless girl.
    He came back straight away, just to tell me that they were going to wait till the afternoon breeze died down. Then he shot off to have a drink. Suited me. Got dressed and poured a gin and waited.
    Finally we were able to go into the dock and without too many problems, we docked.
    Needed the girls on land, though to catch ropes and tie us up. Mission accomplished
    Getting off the boat was interesting. This was as close as we could get.
    Croatia all over again but there you had a plank to cross.
    Dale leapt across…Not me.
    Solution pull Cajun Moon close to Silverado and went from there. I needed help as I am yes really useless in these situations.
    Any way we finally went ashore. They were waiting for us. We had a drink or two and then the Chef Paul Field came out with the specials
    He suggested that we tried the calamari. We ordered a platter, to share It was excellent
    So we ordered another one.
    The menu was tempting. I had the poussin special
    Girls had the scallops
     Dale had the snapper

    Geoff had steak, we all know what a good steak looks like.
    The food was very good. Highly recommended.
    Chef Paul, we love your food.
    So the evening wore on
    Geoff was in fine form
    A fishing story perhaps!!!
    Dale of course has "The Cold" which meant hundreds of tissues.
    The girls got a giggle out of that
    Back to Silverado for a nightcap...more stories from Geoff
    Just another couple of wines, to finish of the night.
    Definitely winding down. 
    Took a couple of people, to get the boats close enough for me to get across.
    Not a problem, all safe and sound.
    In the morning, the girls off to pay our bill.
    It was a lot easier to get off the dock. So Bye Kingfish and Silverado...
    A fun night.Thanks to all.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Whangaroa - Pasta and Fresh Tuna...Very Fresh Tuna

    Pasta for lunch today. Vege style.
    Very simple dish
    Slurp olive oil
    1 onion chopped
    1 clove garlic finely chopped
    1 courgette grated
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    3 fresh tomatoes Quartered, pulp removed and sliced
    Water (Pasta water is good)

    1 large tablespoon Mr Heinzie's Chili and Coconut Special
    (Seeing as most people won't have this
    You can replace this with a good sprinkle of chili flakes)

    Pasta cooked al dente in boiling salted water.

    Grated Parmesan
    Chopped parsley and some chopped chopped basil leaves

    Saute onion till translucent, in olive oil
    Add garlic, then courgette
    Saute a little longer
    Add tomato pulp and chili
    Squash down to make a sauce
    Add some water to make a good consistency

    Saute 2-3 minutes
    Add sliced tomato flesh

    Cook just enough to warm the tomato and soften it slightly.

    Add cooked pasta to pan mix well
    Serve with herbs and grated Parmesan

    Late in the afternoon Silverado arrived
    Geoff and Laurian had on board, two fab friends from Canada
    Madelaine and Nell
    They rafted up.
    Didn't take long and we were over there for drinks
    Mr Dale with Laurian's Uke

    We were in for a treat, Geoff had caught 3 small tuna, enroute from the Bay of Islands.
    He fileted it and we had Sashimi
    Geoff and Lauarian made a tasty salsa to serve with the marinated Tuna.
    Spicy and excellent
    Take a good look at the white bowls while you can,
    When Mr Dale went out to wash them, over the transom.
    Whoops, over he went, complete with bowls. Managed to save 2 but lost 2.
    Never mind, (I Guess!)
    It was still daylight so that was lucky!
    When he was dry Laurian served
    Pasta with seared tuna, with Asian flavours

    Geoff is a huge fan of Rick Stein and has copied down some of his favourite recipes, into this lovely book that Laurian bought for him  in Venice, a few years ago.
    Very classy
    It was starting to get noisy
    Madelaine having a good time.
    Geoff like all smokers, these days having to stand outside
    The stargazers, once again a brilliant sky, unfortunately my little happy snappy can't capture that
    Nell looking pensive and probably a bit tired... they have been full on here in NZ. Time to nuture the jet lag.
    So it was off to bed.
    Another day today.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    What's For Lunch - Frittata Today

    Funny when we are on the boat, a lot of trouble normally goes into lunch prep.
    At home, it tends to be a sandwich. Maybe more to do with being busy on land.
    Actually as I was busy at home I didn't want to go out and buy fresh bread so I decided to make a Frittata.
    I loved the potato and pea combination in last night's dinner and there was some of each in the pantry/freezer.
    Some excellent FRENZ Organic Free Range Eggs, a red onion and some olive oil and Bob's your Uncle.

    Quick and tasty, we ate it all

    5 eggs
    1 red onion chopped

    New potatoes cooked in salted water, till just fork tender ( as many as you like)

    1 cup frozen peas quickly defrosted in the micro wave
    1/2 cup Olive oil
    Pre-heat oven 195C
    Cover the bottom of a pan (that can go into the oven) with about the olive oil
    Heat the oil, so that when you put the potaoes in they sizzle.

    Meanwhile chop the potatoes into rounds
    Add to oil and fry till golden brown.

    Strain in a sieve and reserve oil
    Add 1 tablespoon of reserved oil and
    Add onions
    Saute till tender
    Meanwhile beat eggs in bowl
    Season with Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Add onions, potatoes and defrosted peas into eggs

    Add another tablespoon of reserved oil into pan
    Throw in egg mix

    Cook for about a minute to get that frilly edge
    Pop into oven

    Cook for about 8 minutes or until a knife comes out clean

    Remove from pan
    Let rest for about 5 minutes
    Turn out and cut into wedges.
    Good warm and also at room temperature.
    Think I will make one for Dale and Pete, who are sailing the boat up to Whangaroa tomorrow.
    Will make an easy and tasty lunch.
    A few leaves of chopped mint would be a nice addition.

    Of course for a healthier option, don't fry the potatoes.
    I have done that but the flavour of the fried potatoes is really, really good!
    Of course it will serve 4 with a salad and maybe some crusty bread.
    Anyhow great.

    Can't Find Duck - Use Snapper Instead

    Where have all the ducks gone? Is it not the season or something?
    This dish was originally designed to have with Duck Breasts complete with crispy skin,
    brushed with honey and five spice powder.

    It was cooked on Food TV by Michael Caines on Market Kitchen.
    So as luck would have it, I was shopping at Nosh in Dominion Rd and when the Duck option was no longer an option. I was lucky enough to have at my fingertips, beautiful fresh fish.
    I wanted a more meaty fish and the Snapper looked just fine.
    I think if you want to do this, try some Hapuka (Grouper) or Bluenose. But the Snapper was great.

    I will redo it with the Duck Breast, another Day and blog that then.

    So it is in 4 components, counting the Potatoes.
    All very simple but you will need 4 pans.
    I roasted the fish, that was very easy.
    The whole dish is very delicious.
    This will feed 4 people
    Snapper on a bed of Spinach and Mushroom and Pea Fricassee. 
    Accompanied with little new potatoes
    1 filet of fish per person
    Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    200 gms Baby spinach ( 2 bags)

    Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    125 gms butter (unsalted is best)
    2 shallots finely diced

    250 gms brown Mushrooms Cut into chunks
    Sea salt

    Lemon juice

    100 gms peas (fresh or frozen)
    50 mls chicken stock
    50 mls water
    Chopped mint
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    New potatoes cooked and tossed with some butter.

    Make the Fricassee first
    Take 30 gms butter
    Sweat shallots with a pinch of salt
    Add mushrooms
    Toss around till cooked
    Add squeeze of lemon juice
    Add stock and water
    Bring to the boil
    Add peas and cook till  tender ( about 2 minutes)

    Put to one side while you prep the rest
    When ready to serve bring back up to boil
    Add chopped mint
    Swirl around remainder of butter
    Season to taste

    Heat oven to 210C
    Season Fish and brush well with olive oil
    Into oven 6 minutes
    Remove ready for plating.

    In another pan
    Add slurp olive oil
    Throw in spinach
    Toss till wilted
    Put aside.

    Now to put together

    First the Spinach on the plate
    Place some fricassee on top
    Place the fish fillet
    and finish off with more Fricassee

    Pop some new potatoes around
    and serve.

    For dessert Warm Berries and Pineapple served with Peach and Pineapple Sorbet

    I really love this Warm Fruit Salad  -Inspiration Ina Garten
    I have made it several times but I have never blogged it.
    So Here goes

    2 punnets Raspberries
    1 punnet Blueberries
    2 cups chopped Pineapple
    2 tablespoons Sugar
    2 tablespoons Raspberry Liqueur (Optional but for me necessary)

    Put 1 punnet raspberries, the rest of the fruit and sugar into a saucepan
    Bring to boil
    Simmer about 5 minutes
    Let cool about 10 minutes
    Add Liqueur and rest of raspberries

    Serve on plate with your favourite ice cream

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    How to use the Vege up in the Fridge - Don't make Soup, make Fritters

    As our time winds down, on this part of our journey, we needed to use up all of the fresh food.
    There was some left over meat sauce, originally used for pasta.
    I was keen to make pies for lunch.
    No oven of course, but how about empanadas.
    Those cute little pies, that you can fry.
    Defrosted some pastry and rolled out little circles.

    Popped some meat mixture in and sealed the pies.
    I brushed them with egg wash to make sure they were sealed and wouldn't leak.
    Shallow fry.
    I would do this again, but next time making sure, that one has the right oil for frying.
    I only had Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it is not the best.
    But accompanied by a little cucumber tomato and avocado salad. It still made a tasty lunch.

    So dinner loomed.
    The Skipper waiting for his pre-dinner drink.
    Hurry up Lana
    We still had lots of vege, some sweet corn. carrots courgette, chilies, red onion, yellow pepper.
    Lets make fritters
    Just shuck the corn, grate the carrots and courgettes...
    Finely chop chilies, onion and yellow pepper.
    Toss the vege in 1/2 cup self raising flour, salt, pepper
    Add enough eggs to make a batter

    Fry in batches.  Once again Rice Bran or a comparable oil is best.
    These are as good at room temperature, as hot from the pan.

    Ms Lana went to work on some prawns to accompany the fritters
    First thaw the prawns
    (The green prawn meat from St Pierres is fantastic, succulent prawns, shelled and tailed and a really good price as well)

    She made a marinade of
    Crushed garlic,
    Fresh chili finely chopped
    Juice and Zest if 2 lemons
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper

    Olive oil

    Saute in a med hot pan
    Onto serving dish, pour over juices from the pan

    Just delicious.
    Candles do add atmosphere.
    The plan was to sit in the sun and make the most of our last day.
    But that bloody South West wind chilled the air and water temperatures to Brass Balls country.
    So, back on the sea and home James.
    A good breeze for windsurfers
    Ms Lana whipped up a morning cocktail.
    Only vodka left, was a raspberry flavoured variety.
    She called it in a "Bloody Mess"
    Accompanied by the rest of the avocado, made into a dip, a nice healthy morning tea.
    All vege...not too many calories in that!
    Pulling into Westhaven, and there, with a group of eager sailors.
    Endless Summer the boat belonging to
    Ms Penny Whiting of the Penny Whiting Sailing School... She's an Auckland Icon.
    Almost everyone I know, that has had any contacts with boats, have done her course
    Go Penny.
    Finally packed up, wiped down and wearily made our way home.
    Plenty of TV to watch. Thank you My Sky.
    Might be land bound but that's not too bad.
    How about this for a lovely day?
    Sunday morning in Parnell. I can live with that.