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    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Rarotonga-Food From the Island

     Above the final Team Raro 2010, They arrived on this actual plane
    They have been having a terrible time.
    Night One, Assume The Position with our lovely Eis
    Fresh Mahi Mahi on the brand new BBQ thank you Tony and Kathy.

    The Beach
     The Electronics

     The pool
     The wildlife
     Dining out.
     The host!
     You have to work for your supper here.
     The waterfall, Hiria, John and Joseph's Big Adventure
    They did a trip. It has been so dry on the island the Waterfall had dried up but with the enormous of rain in the past few weeks now it is replenished.  It was a public holiday yesterday... The locals loving having their pool back
     So many people

    And this Team have produced the best washer ups
     How about that for a clean kitchen? They can come again.

    The produce on this island is amazing. AND cheap if you go to the right places.
    This little lot cost me $10, all packed into a big plastic bag, so fresh and beautiful
    Dan has been the fish  buyer, we have eaten Sashimi, Ika Mata 3 different ways,
    Look at this Tuna, like a jewel
    BBQ Marlin with Papaya Salsa nesting on a bed of Rukau.
     Ika Mata variation, Adding some Papaya and Havana Club Rum. Good hit of Chili. Yum.
    This Marlin was deconstructed Thai Green Curry

    Island Fries.
    Using NZ Potatoes, Island Kumara and Taro.

    Rukau, For those that don't know, Rukau is the leaves of the Taro plant, they call it the Island Spinach
    First you have to remove the fibrous stalk.
    Cut it up and cook in in a little water for quite a while. If it is not cooked enough you get "The Itchy Throat"
    So then you add some garlic, coconut cream, season it well
    and cook it for about another 30 minutes. Divine.

    you name it... we have cooked it (Almost)
    Big salads, with Garlic Pizza Bread.

    and to top it all off, Fresh Suckling Pig, roasted, with Potatoes (from NZ) and Butternut, Cabbage, Spring onions (all local) and Frozen Peas.
    I have only eaten Suckling Pig once at a restaurant in Argentina...This was only killed a couple of days ago, by our Host Tony and he kindly dropped off a leg for us.
    It is an amazing cut of meat. So white and clean almost like marble. No hair. Smooth as a baby's Bum!
     Hiria oiling and salting it
     Look at that, How about that crackling?
     And local Butternut and NZ Potatoes

    What feasts we have enjoyed, all washed down with a bevy or two.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Team Raro’s Captain - The Planner, Stuffed Up, Kia Orana Lucy

    We were planning to go to the Tamarind Room for dinner, but they were booked out... it is Wedding City Here in Raro
    Weddings right through to Sunday and Ms Mary is outgoing that day and she wouldn't get her special night.
    So I suggested cocktails at Sunset.
    Manuia Beach Hotel seemed a good idea with its Infinity Pool. So off we trotted to get some supplies first from town in preparation for Lucy’s arrival on Friday.

    Arrived at the Manuia, as promised very pretty, but they only had ½ bottle of Sauv Blanc , would you believe.

    Must move on. So onto Waterline. Chris the host, pleased to see us… he has the good wine list. A nice glass of Oyster Bay and onto the sand to watch the sunset.

    Moving on.Oro’a Beach Resort. Rudy was on the Ukulele and Vibraharp.He is Hawaiian, from Maui
    Jim is the owner of the Resort, also from Maui.
    It is a very relaxed place. We have done 3 trips there now.
    Before long, it was rocking
    Another 1 glass for me and a couple for the passengers.

    Rudy’s wife got up and did some Hawaiian Hula. Very pretty.
    Below Rudy's Wife and Jim waiting to go on stage.

    Then, Stephanie from behind the bar was next. She sang some Rarotongan songs

    THEN Jim got up and sang "The Pub With No Beer".

    We all joined in and then there was “10 guitars”, “Sweet Caroline”. Loud singing from the troops, hands in the air. If we had had candles, they would have been waving. All go at the Oro’a.
    Finally it was 7.30, Rudy finished then, so did we. Into the car and arrived home, got out of the car and to our surprise, there was Lucy.
    Team Captain, Silly Gilli had the wrong date in the diary. Which was quite mad, as I had booked the ticket for her, requested the seats and printed it out for her and all!!!
    Dear Me. Anyway, while we were swanning about, Crawling through Pubs.
    Lucy arrived on the big plane.
    Waited ages for us to pick her up.
    She spoke to a lady at the terminal who knew where Kathy and Tony lived so she finally got a taxi, and ended up at the house. Empty no Team Raro. She looked int he window and recognized the house from my photos from last year
    Oh what to do next...But lucky for her, Tony arrived up when he saw the taxi and let her in.
    Lucky Lucy, ever resourceful, she poured herself a drink (there is no shortage of alcohol in Titikaveka and waited.
    The Merry Revellers arrived home, I wish there was a photo of the looks on our faces.
    As luck would have it I have made chili earlier in the day.

    So after a couple more wines  many apologies from Silly Gilli.,we assumed the position.

    We sat down to a good bowl of chili, topped with sour cream, coriander, spring onions, finely chopped.

    I like to cook the mince over a high heat first to get a good sear. Helps the flavour.
    If you have any fresh corn that’s a good addition as well but we didn’t have any.

    Black Bean Chili Con Carne
    Olive oil
    500 grams mince
    1 onion chopped
    1 carrot finely chopped
    1 green pepper
    2 cups black beans (soaked overnight and cooked for about 30 minutes)

    2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp dried oregano
    Good shake of chili flakes (to your taste)
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Tin of tomatoes
    1 cup Chicken Stock

    In a hot pan add a little oil then the mince
    Brown, season, remove set aside
    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Add onions, soften,
    Add carrot, green pepper
    Season with S & P
    Add coriander, cumin, oregano and chili flakes
    Cook for about 5 minutes
    Add tomatoes, beans and stock

    Bring to boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes

    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

    Best to cook it earlier in the day and reheat before serving.
    Top with sour cream, spring onions, fresh coriander and grated cheese

    Now what to do with the leftovers
    Make a Pie

    Puff pastry
    2 tablespoons Sour cream
    Grated cheese
    Spring onions and coriander, finely chopped

    Roll out pastry and line greased tin
    Prick the base and grate a layer of cheese
    Mix leftover chili with sour cream and herbs
    Into tin

    Another layer of grated cheese
    Top with Pastry
    And bake 190C till golden brown and crisp

    And to give our livers a treat...
    Ms Mary made a lovely Beetroot and Carrot Salad to accompany the pie.
    Welcome Lucy.
    Another delicious day in Paradise.