Saturday, February 03, 2007

Eggcentric Cafe, Flaxmill Bay

The past week I've been living and working in Flaxmill Bay, about 10 minutes (and a ferry ride) from Whitianga, in the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand. Dave and Denise, owners and head chefs of Eggcentric Cafe, have been my kind hosts--esp. with regards to Dave's kindnesses in sharing his recipes and expertise in making a delicious, creative menu. Every customer that leaves the place has (minimum) two positive adjectives to match their thank-you! This picture shows Dave's "Full Monty"--a brunch option featuring a split fried sausage that he says is awesome second only to a whale's tail rising out of the sea at sunset. Hey, he said it.
Peanut Chut

An example of Dave's kitchen genius at work is his use of this excellent chutney recipe. Derived from Tom Kline's Exploring Taste and Flavor, is an excellent side dip. Dave reckons the reason everyone loves it with his chicken is because it has a series of complex flavors--sweet and savory, salty and tangy--everything that makes your tongue say "woo hoo". I just like pounding it out with a mortar and pestle. If you have the patience, you won't be sorry to have this hanging out in your fridge for quick snackin'.

Over medium-high heat, fry up:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chilli, deseeded and minced
3 coriander (cilantro) roots or the bottom of the stem

Add and cook 3-4 minutes (until carmalized)
4 chopped shallots
4 tablespoons sugar
(if it's burning, add a little dash of water)

Add 2 tablespoons blanched peanuts, as well as water to dilute.
Remove from heat. In small batches, crush with a mortar and pestle.
To your mash, add:
1 tablespoon seasame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime

Garnish with 20 coriander leaves.
Dilute with water if necessary.