new (zealand) traditions

This past weekend was the much touted “Easter” holiday here in New Zealand, and other countries. I’m used to celebrating Easter in the spring, but here in the southern hemisphere autumn is in full swing.
New Zealanders (and perhaps in other countries as well?) celebrate Easter Friday by buying and eating mass-produced “Hot-Cross Buns” from the grocery shop. Since I live in a house of gourmandes, we would not stand for some store-bought shit. So, my amazing-baking-and-baby-making housemate made a batch of delicious home-made Hot Cross Buns.
I’m guessing that the cross on top somehow represents Jesus’s resurrection? Anyway, we enjoyed quite a feast on Easter Sunday – I made a quiche, and some crepes. Lotte’s dad & step mum came over, bringing an amazing carmelized-onion tarte, and a mind-blowing bacon & egg pie. Lotte also made Ginger Gems – a baked treat I also had never heard of. Gems are small cakes, cooked in a special “gem iron”. Lotte and I discussed our love of single-purpose kitchen items, such as gem irons, Madeleine molds, waffle irons, tortilla presses, poultry roasters, cherry pitters, etc.

Some pictures of our feast:

the spread
a slice of the bacon & egg pie
hot cross buns
hot n' fresh out the oven
ginger gems
quick veggie quiche
how festive!

So, it’s basically impossible to be on a diet in this house.  Last night I made a curry (photos coming soon!), and blended up my own curry paste in the food processor.  It was effing amazing. It seems as if this site is turning into the Holloway Road Food Blog. Readers, how do you feel about this turn of events?

So, I suppose I should post some recipes?

My quick quiche:

1 cup whole wheat flour

3 tbs butter – cold

1/2 tsp salt

some water

Mix the salt & flour.  Using a cheese grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture.  Use 2 knives to mix the flour & butter, cutting the butter into tiny pieces as you go.  Add about 5 tbs of water, or just enough to wet all the flour a bit, then mix with your hands as little as possible – just so that everything is evenly moistened.  Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a rolling pin, and then place in a pie tin.  Handle the dough as little as possible – the more you mix it, the tougher and chewier it will become.  The less, the lighter and flakier and deliciouser it will be.

3 eggs

1 cup grated cheese of yr choice

fresh parsely, finely chopped

green onions, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped up

1/2 cup red capsicum or red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup zucchini, or whatever other soft-ish vegetables you feel like throwing in (ie – I wouldn’t put in a carrot, or anything that needed a lot of moisture to cook).    You could also throw in some bacon or meat of some kind.

1 cup milk

salt

pepper

Mix this all up!  Throw it in the crust, throw it in the over for about 30 or 40 minutes at 350 F or 175 C.

YUM!

You want my curry paste recipe?!  OK! This is using ingredients that are hopefully not too hard to find.

in a food processor throw in:

a largeish hunk of ginger, peeled (or unpeeled if you’re really lazy)

1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander)

1 kaffir lime leaf (I don’t know if anyone puts this in their curry paste but I had some lying around so I threw it in)

1 stalk of lemongrass, or, some rehydrated dried lemon grass, plus 2 tbs of the liquid you rehydrated it with.

4 cloves of garlic (peeled)

1 green onion

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds or ground coriander

1 tsp tumeric

2 fresh thai chilis (or more if you dare!)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

the juice of 1/2 a lemon or 1 lime

some lemon or lime zest

3 tbs of peanut oil

Process this in the blender until everything is really smooth.  It took me a good 7 or 8 minutes – don’t run your food processor motor for too long at a time, it can burn out the motor.  Use the pulse function for the first minute or two. If it’s not blending smoothly, you can add a bit more liquid, or oil.  This should make enough to create a few curries – don’t use more than 1 tbs or so in a smallish pot of curry.  Just taste as you go…

For my curry, I chopped up a bunch of vegetables, including a pumpkin (so delicious!), and threw them into a pot with:

1 can of LIGHT coconut milk

3 cans of water

2 cans of veggie stock

This made quite a huge serving, we stil have 3/4th of the pot in the fridge.  I ended up using about 2 or 3 tbs of curry paste – which made it really HOT!  I also added some salt, pepper, tofu, and a couple of tbs of (fat free!) yogurt at the end, and served it over brown rice.  Mmmmm!

The tumeric is a bit non-traditional, but I like it!  Add more if you want.

Bon appetit, mes amis!

PS – I SAW JEMAINE CLEMENT AGAIN ON SATURDAY!  (Is he stalking me?)

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