Home' Greymouth Star : April 15th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 7
ew Zealanders love the
taste of Thai and many
ingredients have become
part of everyday meals:
red and green curry
pastes, lime juice, fish
sauce, shallots, fresh herbs such as basil,
mint, coriander and lemon grass plus
The basis of many Thai recipes is ‘paste.’
Traditionally, a pestle and mortar is
used to pound chillies, fish paste, shallots,
coriander root, garlic and other ingredients
to a paste.
Luckily we have some excellent
commercially-prepared pastes in jars that
we can add a dash of to Thai-style dishes
or our old-fashioned casseroles, mashed
potatoes or kumara, stir-fries, rice or pasta.
Kaffir limes have little juice and the
pungent flavour of its knobbly skin —
grated or julienned — is used to flavour
Thai curries, dressings, sauces and even
desserts. The leaves are also popular and
usually very finely sliced before being
added to a dish. Although, to add flavour
to rice or potatoes, I love to throw whole
leaves into the cooking water.
Kaffir lime trees are now readily available
from garden stores. In colder climes it is
best to grow them in tubs sheltered from
Chillies are easy to grow in the garden
and range in flavour from mild to
unbearably hot. They can be green, red,
black or yellow. Many chillies are green
initially changing colour as they mature.
The hotness or ‘capsaicin’ in chillies irritates
the skin so during preparation it is wise to
wear rubber gloves. Seed the chillies
before use if you prefer less heat. In
general, the smaller the chilli, the more
intense the heat.
Unfortunately, chillies tend to ripen
at different times but one way of
preserving them is by salting. Chop
chillies finely then layer in a jar with
salt. Add more chillies as they ripen.
About half a teaspoon is equal to about
one medium chilli or use to taste.
Thai beef with
Take advantage of the last of the outdoor
1 large carrot, julienned
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 long red chilli, sliced
1 cup basil leaves
1 tablespoon each: rice bran oil, lime juice
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
500g lean minced beef
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup beef stock
2 cups basil leaves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm or brown sugar
To make the slaw, combine all the
ingredients in a bowl.
To prepare the beef, heat the oil in a wok
or large frying pan over high heat. Stir in
the garlic and 1 chilli for 30 seconds. Add
the beef, salt and pepper, stirring with a
fork to break up. Cook until browned and
almost crisp in places. Add the stock and
basil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Combine the dressing ingredients.
Ser ve the beef on rice with the slaw on
the side. Drizzle with the dressing. Ser ves
Red curr y baked
A fabulous accompaniment for grills.
4 medium potatoes
1 each: shallot, spring onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1⁄2 small red capsicum, diced
2 teaspoons rice bran oil
1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
4 tablespoons coconut cream or coconut
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190degC. Bake the
potatoes for 35 minutes or until just soft.
Meanwhile, saute the shallot, spring
onion, garlic and capsicum in the oil, until
softened. Add the curry paste and cook for
30 seconds then stir in the coconut cream.
Simmer for 30 seconds.
Remove the cooked potatoes and cool a
little. Halve each one lengthwise. Scoop
out the flesh leaving a thin shell. Mash
the potato flesh and combine with the red
curry mixture. Spoon back into the shells.
Reheat in the oven. Great garnished with
coriander. Serves 4.
Thai-style fish curr y
For variation, add squid rings and-or
mussels to this curry to make a mix.
1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
400g can coconut cream
1⁄2 cup water
2 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
1 cup sliced snake beans or peas, blanched
600g skinned and boned white fish fillets
1⁄2 cup each: sliced basil leaves, mint leaves
1-2 tablespoons each: lime juice, fish
sauce (or to taste)
Place the curry paste in a large wok or
frying pan. Whisk in 1⁄2 a cup of coconut
cream. Slowly bring to the boil. Stir in the
remaining coconut cream and water.
Add the lime leaves and beans and
simmer for 3 minutes. Add the fish and
poach for about 3 minutes, until cooked.
Add the herbs, lime juice and fish sauce.
Great served with Jasmine rice and
garnished with extra basil leaves. Ser ves 4.
Sankaya fak thong
A traditional coconut custard cooked in a
1.5kg pumpkin or buttercup
4 large eggs
100g raw sugar
1 cup coconut cream
Wash and dry the pumpkin. With the
point of a small sharp knife, cut out the
stem and a small amount of skin, leaving
4-5cm diameter opening. Retain the stem
piece as a lid. Spoon out the fibre and
seeds and — if very thick — any excess
pumpkin. Place the pumpkin upside down
on a paper towel in the microwave and
cook for 8-10 minutes on high (100%)
power. Alternatively, steam on a rack in a
saucepan, until almost tender.
To prepare the custard, whisk the eggs
and sugar in a saucepan, until light. Add
the coconut cream and stir well. Cook over
low heat, until slightly thickened. Pour
the warm custard into the partly cooked
pumpkin and top with the stem lid.
Stand upright in a steamer, cover and
cook over boiling water until the custard
is set and the pumpkin tender, about 40
minutes. Test after 30 minutes by inserting
a metal skewer through the pumpkin skin
into the custard. Remove the steamer from
the heat and allow the pumpkin to cool.
Place on a platter and chill overnight. Slice
into wedges to ser ve. Ser ves 10 as a dessert.
e seem to have some
weird reasoning wired
into our brains that says
something you really
enjoy cannot be good
Is it some inherited religious guilt
All the research that has been done on
coffee drinking has not been able to find
any way that it is harmful to your health. In
fact, it is beneficial!
This is good news for those of you who
enjoy your moderate daily intake of coffee.
Moderate is three or four cups of real
coffee, or five of instant. This does not
include those large American-style milky,
creamy, syrupy concoctions.
The goodies are in the minerals in the
coffee bean. They slow the development of
dementia, halve the risk of liver cancer and
reduce the chance of mouth, throat and
The Har vard School of Public Health has
one of the largest studies of 130,000 40 to
56-year-old volunteers for up to 24 years
and many of these statistics come from
them, but their doctors still will not say,
‘you should drink coffee for your health,
even if you do not like it’.
Coffee helps regulate blood-sugar levels
and reduces your chance of developing
type 2 diabetes. Tinnitis is less common
in women who drink more coffee than less
coffee. One study found that four cups
of black coffee a day produced an 11%
reduction in heart failure. Those men with
a high consumption — over five cups a
day — had a 59% reduction in the risk of
Coffee drinkers have less chance of MS,
and your arteries are likely to have less
build-up of calcium and your blood will
flow better and thence fewer strokes and
heart attacks. The list just keeps going on
You may depend on your morning hit
of caffeine to get you going, but you can
feel even better as result of all those health
benefits. Drink deep.
A classic from the Brits coping with the
tropics — into a shaker with ice cubes add
45ml gin, 15ml cherry brandy, 30ml lemon
juice, tsp grenadine, shake and strain into a
tall glass and top with soda and garnish.
Alcohol-free beer is trending around
the world. Holsten 0.0% is the one that
is increasing sales rapidly in Australia so
it will be here soon. In Europe, these zero
alcohol beers make up 13% of beer sales,
and that is considerable. Some people use
it as a spacer between each alcohol beer,
others like the taste of beer but do not
want to be affected by the alcohol. Some
switch to it when they think they have had
enough of the proverbial.
SP Lager is a Papua-New Guinea beer
producer owned by Heineken that has
initiated a solution to the local problem of
mosquitoes. They have produced a ‘mozzie
box’ — the beer carton that releases a
repellant when it is burned on the fire that
the locals sit around drinking.
“The other day someone told me I could
make ice cubes out of leftover wine. I was
confused. What is leftover wine?”
Thai beef with fresh basil.
How can coffee
be good for you?
Red wine choice
Church Road Merlot Cabernet
Malbec 2013 — A medium bodied dry
red from a prestigious Hawke’s Bay
producer from an excellent ripe har vest
and it is perfect for its price and place.
I could tell you what I taste but it is
better if you do it for yourself and
enjoy what you discover. Drink now
till 2018. Dry. $17-$21.
White wine choice
Corbans Homestead Riesling 2013 —
Homestead is an old world word for a new
world wine and this one is very good value,
with lovely hints of limes and oranges
carried along by an acid vibrancy. A gentle
pick-me-up while you are cooking dinner.
Drink now till 2019. Dry. $10-$12.
Emersons Pilsner — Bright pale
gold, fine bead, light mousse, malty
herbal aroma, medium malt, fruity
yeast, mild and complex hops.
Excellent pilsner from Emersons in
Dunedin, now owned by Lion. 500ml.
Charlie’s Honest Fizz Lemonade — Very
lemony lemonade and as it says on the
label, from real squeezed lemons and a
refreshing acid sharpness. It is not so sweet,
it uses stevia. If this is ‘honest fizz’ the rest
must be dishonest. Very lemon. 350ml.
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