January 12, 2011

Abundant Lobster & Fish Pie

I WAS AWOKEN TOO EARLY this morning by our neighbor Vaimou'i who had just returned from tahi with a fresh catch.  He passed me four decent sized lobsters and a yea big parrot fish.
While grumpy at the early wake up call, I bit my tongue and decided NOT to tell him about my anger that two days ago their basketball team held a kai tunu (pig roast) on our beach just to the North of Kali's house, and had left rubbish, a smoldering BBQ stand, had cut some fao trees, and stripped bare the young baby coconut trees of their leaves in order to make a picnic blanket underneath the 'ovava fisi tree.  I didn't get angry - or even let him know about it which I had sworn I would next time I saw him - and all because he came bearing GIFTS.  How could I criticize and call to responsibility when I am feeling nothing but GRATITUDE and JOY at the prospect of making FOOD all day long.  In fact, such a bounty of food might last a whole week if carefully preserved.  But, seafood is BEST eaten FRESH.  So, I baked the four good size lobsters, slid the parrot fish up on the same pan, and placed in the oven. 

Due to the recent festive season - or shall I say FEASTING season - we had accumulated an excess of lard.  Uncle 'Apiesa brought us some big ole hunks of beef,  and before that Uncle Tevita Lutui and Vika brought some pork with BEAUTIFUL strips of fat on each piece, which I cut off, boiled down, added to half as much salted water, and boiled again then let it set over night. The result: Lard formed a cake/skin on top which I stored in a sterilized glass jar with lid.

Lard is exceptionally amazing.  I've been using it all week in meals.  My favorite has been the pie crust: flour, salt, lard, water.  Don't overmix and voila: Flaky pie crust.  I've also made crackers with it.  I even tried to make soap, it was an utter disaster. 

So here's the rest of the Lobster Fish Pie:

1. Make a white sauce.  (I used goats milk as base)
2. Shred lobster and fish, season.  (Hide from cats). Chop onions and your starch - I used a couple different varieties of green bananas, called hopa and siaina - boiled for 10 minutes before.

3. Shred the lobster and fish, season all, layer all in prepared pie crust, pour white sauce over all and BAKE until done.

Dad and Kitilani enjoy the meal

Smelled delicious and tasted even better.