Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Great Chardonnay Drought of May 2016

The Wokkers set out on a fine May day from Havelock marina in "mv Live Wire" for Waitata Bay for yet another spell of fine dining, a little drinking, card playing and even some fishing.

We brought along a diver (George) to get us some crayfish, paua and other fish species. This he did.

We had a few "events" along the way. On the first evening, all the Chardonay wine was drunk and one member was forced to drink "grass clippings".

Long lines were set on arrival day (Saturday) in Waitata Bay and the next day (Sunday) at the Chetwoods. Both places were a disaster - the run of Spiny Dogfish was only broken by a few Carpet Sharks. Neither species were of any use for eating.

The long lines, empty air cylinders and other assorted sundries were sent home by road with the gentleman who returned by road on Monday evening to his beloved Chardonay.

There were a few other lessons to be learned. Sous Vide paua does not produce tender flesh, even after 30 hours. Use the device for other foods - or stick with the wok.

Watch out for the pig, Brian.

A good excuse to depart, if you are a Woofer is to claim allergy. George (from Chile), his friend Wynton and a pair of Woofers came to tea with us on Monday evening but the woofers departed the next day because of cat allergy.

Waiting for food.

The forecast for the trip was not all that favorable. However, the weather was (mostly) good.
Sunrise Sunday
We had a calm cruise on Saturday from Havelock to Waitata Bay and (fairly) calm crossings on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday to Chetwood Islands. However, we left the Chetwoods early on Monday and arrived back at the jetty the same time as a vicious front arrived, with driving rain, strong winds and thunder & lightening.
The boat could not be motored to it's mooring and so braved the storm for about an hour until the wind abated sufficiently to moor.
"Live Wire" in a squall.

Clear and calm (though somewhat colder) the next morning.
Next morning
We had a couple of hours fishing at the Chetwood Islands before cruising back to Waitata Bay and then back to Havelock Marina.
Homeward Bound.


Part of the trip is for eating gourmet food.  

 Vietnamese Caramelised Fish

·      Fish Fillets cut up into about 4 inch pieces.
·      1⁄3 cup Castor sugar             
·      1⁄4 cup fish sauce
·      4 shallots, thinly sliced
·      1 tablespoon chopped fresh chili pepper
·      2 slices ginger, julienned
·      Ground black pepper

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook the sugar over low to medium heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown and caramelized.
Remove pan from heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel.
It will smoke slightly.
Return the pan to low heat and gently boil for about couple minutes while stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir in the shallots, chili and ginger.
Add the fish in the caramel sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, turning the fish occasionally and carefully.
Serve with rice.

 Tandouri BBQ Mussels

Place Mussels in shells on BBQ till open. 
Discard top shell, save Mussel liquid from shell.
Clean up Mussels to liking ( eg. Hard tongue, detritus) 
Mix Plain Yoghurt with a few Tsp. of Tandouri Paste, Mussel liquid, finely chopped Mint.  
Place a Tsp. of mix onto each shell, and back on the BBQ until the sauce just begins to bubble.
Sauce should turn a dark red.
Garnish and serve.

Tandouri Paste

•      1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
•      1/4 cup lemon juice
•      5cm fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
•      2 garlic cloves, skinned, chopped
•      1 tablespoon salt
•      1 teaspoon chilli paste
•      1 tablespoon garam masala
•      3 teaspoons ground cumin
•      2 tablespoons oil
•      3 teaspoons chilli powder

•      1 tablespoon natural yoghurt

Spicy Fried Chicken or Fish

Mix 3 Cups buttermilk with salt (2 Tbsp.)
Hot Sauce to make marinade.
Add the chicken or Fish, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbpn. onion pwdr.  
  • 1 tbpn. Cumin Pwdr
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika    
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the Honey Peppercorn Drizzle
3/4 cup honey. 
2 Tbsp. Pink Peppercorns.  
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime. 

Grind Peppercorns and mix all to make drizzle.
Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne in a large bowl and divide among 2 shallow platters and season generously with salt and pepper. 
Drain the fish in a colander and pat it dry. Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow excess to drain off. 
Dredge in the second plate of flour and pat off the excess. 
Put the fish pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.
Fry in batches till crispy.

Serve hot drizzled with the honey peppercorn drizzle. 

Bon Appetit!