Saturday, 9 January 2016

Pineapple of the South Pacific

The Cuisine of the South Pacific, Gwen Skinner, Photography by Michael Willison, 1983 New Zealand, Photo of Gwen Skinner by Derek Hunt


The South Pacific conjures up visions of a paradise of waving coconut palms, coral reefs, white sands, and a tropical climate. It has all of those things, but it also has a wide geographical and cultural diversity and not the least of its splendours is its food." 
Solomon Islands – Chicken Curry with Fruit and Nuts

1 large boiling chicken; 5 cups water; 1 large onion, sliced; 1 cup coconut milk (½ coconut cream, ½ water) or cow's milk; 1 tsp salt; ¼ tsp pepper; 2 tsp curry powder; 3 tblsp cornflour; hot cooked rice; 4 eggs, hard boiled and sliced; 2 bananas, sliced with lemon juice squeezed over; 1 cup fresh pineapple pieces; ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped; ½ cup fresh coconut, grated
Bring the chicken to the boil in water with onion, then simmer until tender. Remove chicken and cut meat into serving pieces. Discard bones, etc. Strain stock which will have reduced to about 2 cups. Add milk, salt, pepper and curry powder to stock. Bring to the boil, thicken with cornflour mixed in a little water, cook gently for a few minutes, just under boiling point if coconut cream is used, then add chicken pieces.
Pour chicken over hot rice in shallow serving dish. Arrange sliced eggs, sliced bananas and pineapple chunks on top. Sprinkle with peanuts and coconut.
Dasom Lee and Woogon Park enjoyed our Solomon Islands chicken curry as much as we enjoyed the Korean tteokbokbi that they cooked for us. Do visit us again!
Samoa – Polynesian Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Sauce
½ cup vinegar; 1 cup pineapple juice; ½ cup tomato sauce (ketchup); ¼ cup brown sugar; 2 tblsp cornflour; water
Bring first four ingredients to the boil. Mix cornflour with a little water and stir into sauce to thicken.
4 chicken breasts; 4 chicken legs; 2 X 425g cans of fruit: peaches, apricots, guavas, mixed etc; ¼ cup soya sauce; 1 tsp crushed garlic
Preheat oven to 180°C. Pat chicken pieces dry, place skin side up in a baking pan. Drain fruit and reserve syrup. Mix syrup with soya sauce and garlic, pour over chicken and bake uncovered, basting the chicken and turning pieces until all are golden brown, about an hour. Remove chicken to warming drawer.
Add Sweet and Sour Sauce to baking pan liquid, bring to the boil over medium heat, and cook until the liquid thicken and reduces to about 2 cups. Pour this over the chicken pieces, cover with foil, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Bake chicken and sauce, uncovered, in 180°C oven for 30 minutes. Add fruit to dish and baste often while cooking a further 30 minutes.

New Zealand – Candied Kumara
2-3 large kumaras; 1 tsp bacon dripping; ½ cup pineapple juice; 1 cup pineapple pieces; 1 tblsp brown sugar; 1 tsp vinegar; 1 tspn cornflour; ½ cup water; ¼ tsp nutmeg
Peel, wash and boil the kumaras in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain, cut lengthwise and place with the flat side up in a roasting dish. Put juice, pineapple pieces, sugar and vinegar in a pot, mix cornflour and water together then add. Simmer, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Pour sauce over the kumaras and bake in a medium oven 10 minutes, turning them over after 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and cook a little longer. Serve with roast wild pork or pork chops.

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