Kai time



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BOIL UP I’d have to say boil-up is the most staple of staples in many Māori households. It’s a hearty, wholesome and economical ‘one-pot’ meal that tastes even better the next day. It’s simple: all of the flavour comes from the meat and bones, and the sweetness of the vegetables: the only extra seasoning is salt. That’s it. Don’t try adding spices, or onions, or even garlic, or it will no longer be a boil-up. Pork or bacon bones are best for boil-up, but you can also use beef or brisket bones. And doughboys. Don’t forget the doughboys. And if you know a thing or two about boil-up, you’ll know that someone always takes all the doughboys, so you’ve gotta be quick. There really is no rule about quantities. Boil-up is a meal where you use what you’ve got, put it in a pot, and let the pot do all the work. I’ve provided quantities below as a guide, but use as many or as few ingredients as you need. Serves 4-6 , or more 2 kilograms pork bones (with as much meat as possible) or beef bones, beef brisket bones, pork spare ribs or pork chops 1 kilogram of vegetables, such as potatoes, kūmara or pumpkin, peeled or scrubbed and chopped into chunks lots of greens, e.g., 2 big bunches of watercress or pūhā, washed, hard ends removed, and ‘bruised’ (see Cook’s Note below); and/or half a cabbage, chopped into chunks; and/or silverbeet salt For the doughboys 1 cup self-raising flour, plus extra for kneading water to mix to a soft dough Put the bones in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle boil, put the lid on and cook for 2 hours, removing any scum with a slotted spoon. One hour into cooking, add the root vegetables, topping up with more water if necessary to keep everything immersed. To make the doughboys, mix the flour and water together in a bowl to create a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead only a few times as the dough needs to remain soft. Pull o small pieces of dough and shape into balls (they don’t need to be perfect) half the size of a golf ball. In the final 20 minutes of cooking time, drop the doughboys into the pot, and add the greens on top. When cooked, the greens should be wilted and soft. Check the flavour, and season to taste with salt. Serve in bowls with fresh rēwena bread, fry bread (see recipe page 90) or other crusty bread, and, if you’re that way inclined, tomato sauce. COOK’S NOTE Watercress, pūhā and cabbage are the most commonly used greens for boil-up, but as always, use what you’ve got. Watercress and pūhā are best when they’ve been ‘bruised’ to soften the hard stalks, To bruise, grab a small bunch and massage it, squeezing and wringing it in your hands until it is soft and limp. CREAMY OAT NUT SEED MILK Making your own ‘home-squeezed’ nut, seed or oat milk is so satisfying, and much tastier than what you can buy at the supermarket. Further, they’re not full of additives and stabilisers, and you can use the leftover pulp for all manner of things, reducing food waste – which is always a good thing. If you want to sweeten your milk, any natural sweetener is great, but my favourite thing to use is dates. If using dried dates, simply soak them in boiling hot water for half an hour first. You can also play around with flavouring or spicing up your milk by adding turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon or chai spice mix, cocoa or carob powder, matcha powder, freeze-dried powdered berries, or vanilla extract. As a general rule of thumb, I use 3-4 cups of water to 1 cup of nuts/oats/seeds – 3 cups for a creamier, fuller milk, and 4 cups for a more economical, but still lovely and creamy version. Creamy oat milk 1 cup rolled oats 3-4 cups water pinch sea salt 1-2 fresh dates, or soaked and drained pitted dates or 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, honey or brown rice syrup (optional, for sweetness) Place the oats in a blender with the water, salt and desired sweetener and flavourings and blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds, until well combined. Don’t overblend the oats, as the mixture can become slimy. Strain and squeeze through a nut-milk bag, cotton tea towel or fine muslin cloth, and transfer to a large glass bottle. This will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Natural separation will occur, but just give it a good shake before using. Nut or seed milk Use almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts – but not peanuts. Use seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. You can even use shredded coconut! It’s preferable if hazelnuts are peeled, but it doesn’t matter so much for the other nuts. Raw nuts are preferred, but roasted nuts are also fine, and will add another dimension to the flavour. I prefer to mix seeds in with the nuts, rather than just having a full seed milk, as some seeds have a very strong flavour. 1 cup nuts (and seeds), soaked in cold water overnight in the fridge, rinsed, then drained 3-4 cups water pinch sea salt 1-2 fresh dates, or soaked and drained pitted dates, or 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, honey or brown rice syrup (optional, for sweetness) Place the drained nuts (and seeds) in a blender with the water, salt and desired sweetener and flavourings and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Strain and squeeze through a nut-milk bag, cotton tea towel or fine muslin cloth, and transfer to a large glass bottle. This will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Natural separation will occur, but just give it a good shake before using. TRY THESE DELICIOUS COMBINATIONS Assume that all nuts are to be soaked in cold water overnight, rinsed and drained, and follow the directions provided in the preceding recipes for blending and straining milk. Vanilla cardamom almond 1 cup almonds 3-4 cups water 2 soaked and drained pitted dates, or 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 vanilla bean, cut and seeds scraped out, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract pinch sea salt Choco-hazelnut 1 cup hazelnuts, peeled 3-4 cups water 2 tablespoons cocoa 4 soaked and drained pitted dates pinch sea salt Golden cashew coconut 1 cup cashews 1 cup shredded coconut 3-4 cups water 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup pinch sea salt BASIC YEAST DOUGH Here is a simple and versatile recipe for basic yeast dough that can be used for all manner of things from pizza bases to fry bread (see recipe page 90). 1 sachet (8 grams) instant yeast, or 2 tablespoons active yeast 2 cups warm water 4 cups high-grade flour 2 teaspoons salt 4 tablespoons white sugar flour for kneading If using active yeast, combine with the warm water in a medium bowl, cover and leave aside for 5–10 minutes. If using instant yeast, you can skip this step and the yeast goes straight in with the flour as follows. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl, add salt and sugar and mix to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the instant yeast, if using, and slowly pour in the warm water, mixing to combine. If using active yeast, pour in the yeast and water mixture in the same way. Turn out onto a floured bench, and fold together gently with your hands, being careful not to overmix. Lumps are fine, just make sure there are no big clumps of dry flour left. Add a little more water if required, kneading gently until you have a soft, pliable, non-sticky dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a lid/dinner plate/ damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm to prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size. FEIJOA ICE CREAM Making feijoa ice cream with my cousins is something of a tradition. We first made it back in standard three (about 9 years old), using a recipe from the School Journal. Every year now we make a batch of this when the feijoas are dropping, and even my cousin who now lives in Australia and can’t get feijoas from a tree, still buys them especially for this treat (at an exorbitant price). I’m so thankful that we have a few backyard feijoa trees, but if you don’t, you will often come across school kids selling bags of them at their front gate. Makes approximately 2 litres 2 eggs, separated 1 can (395 grams) sweetened condensed milk 2 cups feijoa flesh, puréed 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice 1 cup cream Using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks with a steady drizzle of condensed milk until pale and creamy – about 3–4 minutes. Add the feijoa purée and lime or lemon juice and beat until combined. Note: You can reserve some of the feijoa purée to swirl through the ice cream at the end, but be aware it will freeze harder than the ice cream due to the higher water content. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until thick. In another bowl, and with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until sti . Carefully fold the whipped cream and then the egg whites into the condensed milk feijoa mixture until just combined. Pour into a freezer-safe container with lid (around 2-litre capacity), swirl through reserved feijoa purée, if desired, and freeze for at least 5 hours or until set. Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for 5 minutes to soften before serving. HONEY ROASTED YAMS WITH FETA WHIP Yams were a staple in our whānau growing up. These weirdlooking morsels with crevices that we’d have to scrub the dirt out of have a flavour that I still can’t quite put my finger on. My grandad would grow them year after year, and we would always roast them, the delicious flesh bursting out of the skin when you bit into one. Here I’ve added another dimension to the flavour profile by roasting them in honey and balsamic vinegar. The sweet with the sour is a beautiful thing, and with the feta whip it is absolutely moreish. You can also cook other sweet root vegetables such as kūmara, carrot and parsnip in the same way. Serves 4 as a side • Vegetarian 500 grams yams 2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons runny honey (or pure maple syrup) 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar extra 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup for drizzle handful of chopped parsley to garnish For the feta whip 200 grams feta cheese, crumbled 1 cup cream cheese, softened, or Greek yoghurt 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon lemon zest Heat the oven to 200°C. Place yams in a bowl with oil, honey and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat the yams and spread into a large roasting dish or baking tray with sides in a single layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes until golden brown all over, turning twice during cooking. Remove from the roasting dish and spoon any leftover marinade into a small bowl. While the yams are cooking, make the feta whip. Put feta cheese, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest into a medium bowl. Blend together with an electric beater until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, place the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Mix the extra tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and honey with the marinade reserved from the roasting dish, to create a drizzle. Serve the yams either with, or over, the feta whip, drizzled with the marinade and sprinkled with chopped parsley. AUNTY’S FRY BREAD Fry bread is a staple in our whānau, and there’s bound to be someone selling them at a food market near you. Essentially it’s just a yeast dough fried in oil, and I know many cultures have their unique variations on it. Fry bread is exactly what it sounds like. Fry some dough in oil or fat and you get fry bread. Luscious, soft pillows of bread, with a beautiful golden shell, ready to be dipped in soup, or ripped open and slathered with butter. Makes 2-4 1 basic yeast dough recipe (see recipe page 87) neutral oil with high smoke point for deep frying, e.g., canola oil or rice bran oil Make basic yeast dough. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured or oiled bench. The flour or oil is just to prevent sticking. I prefer to use the ‘ways of the aunties’ and use oil, as any excess dry flour on the dough can burn when you come to fry it – and these burnt fragments can also remain in the cooking oil and ruin it. Roll out to about a 1-2cm thickness, and cut into your desired shapes: I suggest 5 x 5cm squares. Create some room between each, as they will keep rising. Cover the dough with cling film or baking paper and leave to prove and plump up on the bench for another 20-30 minutes. Heat a medium pot or deep frying pan of oil over a medium heat, or alternatively you can use a deep-fryer. You don’t want the oil too hot (if you have a thermometer, 180°C is good), or the fry bread will brown before it is properly cooked inside. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer to test when the oil is ready, dip the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil. If the oil starts steadily bubbling, then the oil is hot enough for frying. If the oil bubbles very vigorously, it is too hot, and you’ll need to turn the heat down. If no or very few bubbles pop up, then it’s not hot enough. Fry the dough shapes in the oil, 4 or 5 at a time, allowing each fry bread to become golden and pu y before turning over to cook the other side (about 1-2 minutes per side). Once cooked, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or mesh scoop, and drain on a wire rack or paper towel-lined tray. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before eating (if you can!). Serve with soup or stew, filled with creamed pāua or chowder, or eat like scones – cut open and layered with your favourite toppings. Or, simply eat as is. Reka!