Should you be shrewd enough to have picked up on the format our blog follows, you will know that this month’s recipes are all inspired by campfire cooking. Not being able to lay claim to ownership of a Webber BBQ, I knew it imperative I find an alternative cooking method which would fit the month’s prescribed theme, and thus I decided uopn a hangi*. I wrote the menu, I rounded up friends and family, I enlisted the help of several burly men, and most importantly I nominated a cultural advisor – my boyfriend. Whilst the cultural advisor bit I say with tongue in cheek, Nick is in fact of Maori decent and the only person I know who owns hangi baskets and has the know-how to use them. So his role in all of this really was pivotal!
Despite all our planning and enthusiasm, come the day of the hangi, Mother Nature sent rain our way instead of sunshine and the whole affair ground to a halt. So, my recipes for the month will now seem rather out of place where in fact they are perfectly common place at any hangi. They are by no means traditional but instead explore our pacific ties; steamed pudding injected with a generous dose of fresh ginger and orange and roast chicken stuffed with coconut, lime and chilli.
*A hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food over heated stones in a pit which has been dug into the ground. The food is prepared and placed into baskets, then set over the hot stones and covered with sacking and earth where it is left to cook over the course of an afternoon.