A friend of ours pitched up the other evening with a couple of bags of Pāua….YUM!!!
For anyone who doesn’t know what they are….they are in the USA and Australia they are also known as Abalone and in the UK as Ormer shells.
They’re probably better known for their beautiful shells than their less attractive insides…….
They are basically a large edible sea snail that feeds on sea weed…. sounds like something very unappetising….BUT….they are delicious!!!
So this evening we took a departure from the traditional Sunday dinner (which we really do love) and decided to have Pāua Fritters
Pāua Fritters Recipe
Prepare 1 chopped onion and 6 pāuas (without shells) by cutting into
manageable cubes and mincing (preferably through an old fashioned mincer) ….the result isn’t that appealing looking to be fair……as a friend said…you gotta mince it up until it looks like…well…it looks like pus (way to go how to sell something as appealing to eat!!!)..but actually he is right..you do have to mince it up till it looks like pus
In a mixing bowl put:
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg
Mix in the minced Pāua and onion, as well as some finely chopped parsley, then add a cup of milk or more to make a fritter mix (not to stiff).
Fry in oil at a low temperature and serve.
The end result is however a completely different thing altogether they don’t necessarily look much…..they are delicious!!
It would be rude of me not to include one of New Zealand’s greatest gifts to the world ….
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups of castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 teaspoon of white vinegar
Beat the egg whites until soft,
Add one third cup of sugar and beat, gradually add remaining sugar, beating well.
When all the sugar has dissolved (about 8-10 minutes with a hand held electric beater) add vanilla & vinegar. Beat for 1 minute.
Line an oven tray with foil, draw an 18cm ( inch) circle and spoon in the mixture. Build up sides to 7cm ( inches) smooth top.
Bake at 150 degrees centigrade for 1 and a half hours. Turn off the heat and cool in the oven with the door open.
Cover with fresh whipped cream and fresh summer fruits. traditional at xmas we use kiwifruits and strawberries.
The Morepork is New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. They are found in mainland New Zealand’s forests and on many offshore islands. They are less common in the drier, more open regions like Canterbury…which is why it was a pleasant surprise when this little bod stopped to rest in one of the trees by our veggie patch.
They are very pretty little owls….Speckled dark brown, with yellow eyes and long tails, they are around 29 centimetres long from head to tail and 175 grams in weight.
In Māori tradition, they were often seen as a watchful guardian. As a bird of the night, it was associated with the spirit world. Its high, piercing call was supposed to signify bad news, such as a death, but the more common ‘ruru’ call heralded good news.
A number of sayings referred to the birds’ alertness. One saying warned an enemy that they were being watched:
“Etia anō āku mata me te mata-ā-ruru e tīwai ana
Me te mata kāhu e paro noa rā kai te tahora!”
My eyes are like morepork eyes turning from side to side,
Like the eyes of a hawk who soars over the plain!
Look what I’ve found…..
Anyone who is interested in animation (especially in movies) will have heard of the Weta workshop..http://www.wetanz.com/movies/
Well here’s a Weta…. this one is a picture of one we had on our back doorstep in Wellington….not very clear but enough to see what it looks like….this is a Tree Weta…. they’re common in suburbs on the North Island.
They look like a big grasshopper and can be up to 40 mm long and most commonly live in holes in trees or where rot has set in after a twig has broken off. The holes are called a gallery, and the Weta’s will keep things tidy and any growth of the bark surrounding the opening is chewed away. The males have much larger jaws than the females, though both sexes will hiss and bite when threatened.
They readily occupy a preformed gallery in a piece of wood (a Weta motel) and can be kept in a suburban garden as pets…though I can’t say it’s something I have ever had a yearning to do!
Tree Weta are normally nocturnal (I think this was taken about 10.30 at night -another reason why I don’t think they make the most fantastic pets LOL!!)……BUT…..their diet consists of plants and small insects ~so they can be useful in the garden in some ways …unless of course you’ve got prize Petunia’s and then they might not be so discerning and have a chomp on them!