In Season: A Mexican inspired meal with limes
What's growing in your garden or flooding the markets? In Season follows Witt's many hospitality tutors and journalist Virginia Winder in their quest to source the freshest fruit and vegetables, and serve them up with simple sense and inspiration.
Tane Morgan can't do anything without coffee, even when the In Season ingredient is lime.
The surfer, father of two and barista tutor at WITT has his own local coffee business with wife Adrianna Greenhill. It's called Pr%f & Stock and will be running from his New Plymouth garage from November.
In the meantime, he's been busy roasting for friends and delivers perfect coffees to the writer and photographer to accompany a Mexican feast highlighting the wonders of the green citrus fruit.
"The limes come from a friend's tree at Okato – it's heaving," he says.
The ceviche, which is fish marinated in lime, uses tuna, but if that hadn't been available from Egmont Seafoods, Tane would have opted for snapper. "But any fresh fish will do," he says.
This dish takes him back to a Fijian holiday, where they caught yellow-finned tuna used to make "kokoda". "The boat caption swam over to an island and grabbed a coconut with his big machete."
Tane's ceviche has been marinating for two hours, allowing enough time to "cook" the tuna. It is fresh, sour and spicy. He hasn't skimped on the chillies, which he bought at the supermarket, but says fellow tutor Alex Dickey grows his own.
Then he's on to making margaritas, using ice that's been crushed in a towel. He carefully measures the triple sec, tequila, and lime juice, shakes then strains the drink into a salt-rimmed glass. One sip soothes the chilli heat.
As the Mexican session unfolds on a rainy Friday afternoon, chef tutors stop by, including Craig Ludlow, who is teaching a night course for people wanting to expand their normal repertoires.
"We're looking at fundamental concepts to make cooking more interesting and enjoyable," he says.
So far, he has covered Italian and Mexican food and will be looking at entertaining, canapes, eating healthy and more. People can just pop along to one or two or do the whole lot, he says.
Back to our Mexican feast, the guacamole is straight forward, except for the addition of olive oil to make the mixture smoother. This dip goes perfectly with the home-made corn chips, which taste quite different to the commercial kinds.
However, they are still crunchy and moreish. Tane has served them with the ceviche, but they also pair well with the chimichurri. This is a salsa, but quite different to the normal tomato-based variety and features red onions, chillies, fresh coriander, parsley and lime juice.
"Getting good produce is key," says Tane. "Make sure you get the proportions right for the lemon and olive oil. Don't be afraid of adding lots of chillies to it – heat is good."
This is a mix-and-match feast, best served with Coronas and a wedge of lime or margaritas.
For dessert, there are churros – or as Tane has renamed them, "churrbros".
These are much simpler to make than people may imagine, but care is needed when adding the eggs. The mixture needs to be cool, so the eggs don't scramble and they must be added one at a time and mixed in before adding the next one.
Using a star-shaped piping nozzle creates the classic shape of the dessert. "As soon as they come out of the oil, dip them into cinnamon and caster sugar."
Then dunk the warm churrbros in the lime, white chocolate and tequila ganache and serve, of course, with fresh coffee. He's made flat whites for his visitors and a short black for himself.
Tane loves to spread the word about coffee. He takes "barista 101" evening classes and teaches coffee-making to STAR high school students. He is a restaurant service tutor for secondary school Trades Academy students every Thursday and teaches on the "3+2" course in Hawera, where students attend WITT three days a week and high school two days a week.
And then of course there's his home coffee, where he shares the joys of coffee-roasting and espresso making with friends – and soon with the rest of us.
2 red onion
3 hot chillies
1 large garlic clove
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
3 Tbsp chopped coriander
30ml fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Season with cracked pepper and salt
Finley chop all ingredients and toss together into a large bowl. Chill for 30 minutes and serve.
2 ripe avocados
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and cracked pepper, to taste
15ml fresh lime
Crush and finely chop garlic and add to avocado mash with olive oil, lime, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve.
2 x 150g fresh tuna steaks
2 hot chillies
2 red onion
3 tsp coriander
8 to 10 fresh limes, juiced
Slice tuna into 1cm x 1cm cubes, add to a small bowl with lime juice, making sure there is enough juice to cover all tuna so it can marinate evenly. Cover and store in fridge for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.
Dice remainder of ingredients and add to cooked tuna. Serve.
2 cups Corn flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 1/2 cup of water
Oil for frying
Dry fry cumin seeds for 2 minutes to release flavour and the grind with mortar and pestle to a fine powder.
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and slowly add water and knead into a dough. Divide into four equal parts and flatten using a rolling pin, using baking paper with flour so you can pull chips off once rolled out.
Prick with a fork and cut into triangles and deep fry with oil in a large wok for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with a cumin seeds, cracked pepper and salt seasoning.
15ml triple sec liqueur
15ml fresh lime juice
1 lime wedge
Sea salt flakes
Grab enough ice to fill a shaker, wrap it into a tea towel and crush with a rolling pin. Add crushed ice to shaker and measure tequila, lime juice and triple sec and pour in and shake. Wipe rim of glass with lime wedge and dip into crushed sea salt (use a pestle and mortar) on a saucer and strain into glass garnish with lime wedge.
1/2 cup of cinnamon
1/2 cup of castor sugar
Add water and butter into a medium saucepan, heat on an element until butter has melted.
In a slightly larger saucepan add flour, butter and water and stir with a wooden spoon until it turns into a doughy, paste-like texture.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then add one egg at a time – once one egg has been mixed in completely add the next and so on.
Place mixture into a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle. Re-use hot oil from nacho chips and pipe mixture at 15cm lengths. Fry for 6 to 8 minutes.
Mix cinnamon and castor sugar together and dunk freshly fried churros into the mix and cover well.
White Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce
1 1/2 cups of white chocolate
1/2 cup of cream
60mls lime juice
Melt white chocolate in a medium pot and stir well to prevent chocolate from caramelising.
Once melted add cream, stir well and then add lime juice and tequila. Serve warm with Churrbros!