Home' Greymouth Star : February 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
What is too much?
(ALAC) says that
more than four
standard drinks for
a woman and six for a man on a drinking
occasion (like an evening) is bingeing and
dangerous to your health.
Is that too much? No, it is just a bit tipsy
or merry. at is not drunk. Drunk is when
you have had too much.
To stop people getting drunk you just
need the right laws and then enforce them.
at is what many people think but, no, it
goes a lot deeper than that. To get drunk is
a primal urge, a primitive need.
A recent English commentator,
Rhiannon Coaslett, writes: " e Industrial
Revolution of the 1800s gave birth to the
modern pattern of alternating monotonous
silent work with noisy drunken piss-ups.
Historically, pubs gave the crowded city
poor a surrogate home away from their
slums. e English pub is small and like a
friendly living room for you to relax in and
forget your horrible life".
Bingeing is also a cover for a nationwide
lack of confidence, an emotional reser ve.
And it results in boozed-up first kisses
and late night street rows between red-
faced angry people. How can you legislate
against bloated drunkenness? How can you
legislate against this centuries-old need for
One way is to increase the tax on alcohol,
but it does not seem to be very effective
as most people will drink no matter how
much it costs.
You could become one of those people
who do not drink or drink in moderation,
but that is another story.
Gimlet --- a classic simple cocktail: Into
an ice-filled short glass pour 60ml gin and
15ml lime cordial. Garnish with a wedge
of lime and it is optional to top with soda
Non-alcohol cocktail --- Lime twist: Fill
a short glass with ice, squeeze and drop
in four wedges of lime, then top with cola
and sprinkle with cinnamon.
To take a litre or two from a 10,000-litre
tank in a winery is very tempting for a
worker and it can not be detected. So
theft is a common problem. A Hungarian
winemaker decided to try to do something
about it and dosed an easily accessible
barrel with anti-freeze. A worker filled a
rigger or two from the barrel and shared
some of his stolen booty with friends. Two
days later they were all in hospital and the
thief was dead. e winemaker defended
himself by saying he only wanted to put
people off stealing his wine by getting sick.
" e table was laden with four
sirloins, six f ricassees of chicken, veal in
the casserole, three legs of mutton, and as a
centrepiece, a handsome roast suckling pig
flanked with meatballs cooked in sorrel.
Decanters of brandy stood at each corner,
and bottles of sweet cider were frothing
round their corks. e glasses had all been
filled to the brim with wine in advance.
Great dishes of yellow cream, which
quivered whenever the table was shaken,
bore on their smooth surfaces the initials
of the newly-married couple picked out
in hundreds and thousands." --- Gustave
Flaubert, Madame Bovary , 1858
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 7
Eggplants are one of the world s most
widely eaten vegetables. Originating
in India and introduced to Europe
over 1500 years ago by the Moors
and Arab traders, the eggplant was
initially greeted with suspicion
because --- like the tomato and potatoes --- it
belongs to the nightshade family, some of whose
members are poisonous.
e eggplant has other names in other parts of
the world including garden egg in West Africa and
aubergine in the Mediterranean, a word of Sanskrit-
Eggplants vary in shape, colour and size. e most
common is the large, glossy deep-purple variety but
long slender mauve eggplants are increasingly being
noticed on restaurant menus and in good produce
Eggplants can also be round and white, about the
size of a tennis ball and the ais enjoy a small green
eggplant about the size of a pea added to green
Its mild flavour and spongy texture marries well
with an international medley of dishes.
ere is no need to peel young eggplants.
Sometimes older fruits (it is really a fruit but used as
a vegetable) tend to develop thicker skins and bitter
ese are best peeled and the flesh salted and left
to stand for 30 minutes to draw out the bitterness.
Rinse in cold water and pat dry before using.
Another reason for salting eggplants is that they
absorb masses of oil. So for a lower calorie dish,
salting the flesh first will collapse the cell walls and
less oil will be absorbed.
e most famous eggplant dish, eaten all over the
Arab world, is called Imam bayildi --- the priest
One story claims that the priest fainted because
of the deliciousness of the dish; another that he
fainted when he learned how much precious olive
oil his wife had used the preparation of this
e eggplant is firmly established in numerous
other international cuisines: in Greek Moussaka;
in the eastern Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush
(pronounced baba ganoosh ); in
French ratatouille; and Indian curries
and pickles. Enjoy.
1 medium purple eggplant
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon,
pinch chilli flakes
400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
4 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190degC.
Halve the eggplants lengthways.
Score the flesh almost through to the
skin. Brush well with olive oil. Place
in a baking pan. Cover loosely. Roast
for 20 minutes, until soft.
Meanwhile, saute the onion a little
olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and
spices. Fry for 1 minute.
Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle,
scoop out the flesh. Reser ve the shells.
Chop, then add to the onion with the tomatoes.
Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the eggplant is
very soft. Spoon into the eggplant shells.
Sprinkle with pine nuts or almonds. Bake for about
20 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
Great ser ved with Tzatziki:
Combine ½ a cup of Greek yoghurt with 1G3 of a
cup of seeded and diced cucumber and 4 tablespoons
of chopped mint. Serve as a light meal or as an
accompaniment to grilled lamb. Serves 2.
Indonesian-style eggplant with
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 shallot, diced
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ cup roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon each: kecap manis (sweet soy sauce),
1 cup water or half water and half coconut milk
1 large eggplant, cut into 2cm slices
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste
Briefly saute the garlic, shallot and chilli flakes in
the sesame oil in a small saucepan.
Grind the peanuts in a blender until almost
powdered. Add to the garlic mixture and cook for
30 seconds. Add the kecap manis and lemon juice
and water or water-coconut milk mix. Simmer until
Brush the sliced eggplant with oil. Season.
Barbecue, grill or pan-fry until cooked, about 7
minutes. Place on a serving plate and drizzle with
the sauce. Ser ves 4.
2 large eggplants, about 750g each
1 tablespoon tahini
juice 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, diced
2 tablespoons each: chopped parsley, mint
coarsely ground salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pierce the eggplants with a skewer in 3-4 places.
Place the eggplants on a microwave rack and cover
with a paper towel --- cook for about 4 minutes on
high (100%) power, turn them over and continue
cooking for another 4 minutes or until soft.
Stand the eggplants until cool enough to handle.
Halve and carefully remove all the flesh. Mash the
eggplant flesh well. Cool slightly.
Add the combined tahini and lemon juice then the
garlic, shallots, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Place
in a small bowl and drizzle with the oil.
Serve as a starter with triangles of warmed and
toasted pita bread or French bread. Makes about 2
Prepare this tasty starter a day ahead.
2 medium eggplants
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper (capsicum), diced
½ cup tomato puree
4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
16 stuffed green olives, sliced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Peel the eggplants and cut into cubes.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil and saute the
eggplant in batches, until coloured. Remove. Add
the remaining oil to pan. Saute the garlic, onion and
green pepper, until softened.
Add the puree and simmer for 2 minutes. Return
the eggplant to the pan and add the capers and
olives. Combine the vinegar and sugar and pour over
the eggplant mixture. Season, cover and simmer
until the eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally.
Cool, then cover and refrigerate.
Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and
toasted French bread. Serves 8.
Why do you
drink too much?
Mac s Sassy Red --- Light malt
sweetness, gentle hop bitterness makes a
refreshing summer drop with a wild rave
on the back label. 330ml. 4.5%. $2.40.
Red wine choice
Peter Yealands Pinot Noir 2012 ---
Ripe juicy flavours of cherries and plums
will fill your palate with this good value
Awatere, Marlborough wine, Made in a
medium bodied style with light tannins
and a gentle spicy aftertaste. Drink now
till 2015. Dry. $14-$21.
White wine choice
Muddy Water Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Growers Series --- A delicious example
of our flag-bearing wine enhanced with
barrel fermentation and less ageing --- a
magical transformation. Drink now till
2016. Dry. $18.
800g blue cod fillets, skinned, boned and diced into 3cm chunks
20mls olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp green curry paste
4cm ginger root, grated or cut into small matchsticks
½ red chilli, finely sliced --- optional
5cm lemon grass stalk, sliced and pounded in a mortar and pestle
1 tin coconut cream
1 whole coriander root
2 tbsp fish sauce (approximately, adjust to taste)
¼ cup water (if necessary)
chopped coriander to garnish
Place a large frying pan on a medium heat.
Add oil, onion and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes until soft and transparent. Add
green curry paste, ginger, chilli and lemon grass and cook for 1 minute to release
flavours, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Pour in coconut cream, add whole coriander root and simmer gently for 15
Place fish into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes until cooked. Add a little water
if the consistency is too thick. Add fish sauce to taste (in ai cooking this is the
equivalent of salt), and remove coriander root.
Ser ve in warm bowls accompanied with a side dish of steamed jasmine rice,
garnished with chopped coriander leaves. Recipe courtesy of Seafood New Zealand
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