This recipe was partly inspired by a recipe for a beetroot, carrot and bean slow cooker casserole from Sara Lewis’ Ultimate Slow Cooker cookbook. The remaining “inspiration” was more like desperation when I needed to come up with some sort of dish to take to a pot luck dinner and the fridge was fairly bare apart from plenty of beetroot and carrots. A salad was thrown together and turned out to be one that the family voted a ‘make again’. It has been through several tweaks and trials and each has been a success with a different member of the family. So it can be changed according to what you have available: use brown onions instead of red and green or savoy instead of red cabbage. The cabbage can be lightly steamed instead of raw and the green beans left out completely or swapped for another green vegetable such as broad beans or broccoli. The amount of dressing is enough to coat the vegetables and it can be incorporated before serving. Omit the garlic aioli if desired (or use mayonnaise instead) although I like the slight tang it adds to the dressing. The salad is filling enough to be served as a main course and any left overs are perfect for lunch the next day.
This dish is inspired by a delicious meal of Raclette cheese with boiled potatoes and crispy bacon that we enjoyed in Switzerland and an equally delicious Tartiflette I ordered in Versaille thinking I was ordering some sort of tart but was instead a potato bake.
As Raclette Grills are uncommon here in New Zealand, I have borrowed the idea from the Tartiflette and used the oven to melt the cheese. The cheese is the star of this dish so use the greater quantity if desired. Substitute a different sort of melty cheese (try Gruyere or Emmental) or use camembert or brie which heads more in the Tartiflette direction. Waxy salad or boiling potatoes such as Nadine, Draga or New Season Perlas work best but an all-purpose potato (Moonlight, Vivaldi Gold) will also work ok.
Adding Spanish Chorizo & Mexican Jalapenos to a tomato base is definitely not authentic Italian but it does make a quick, easy and super tasty week night meal. Chorizo is a great addition as only a little is required to pack a huge flavour punch. I have used cured chorizo here, as opposed to fresh chorizo sausages. Chorizo come in a variety of sizes: if using the larger chorizo, two will be enough; or use 5-6 of the small cheerio size. Continue reading
Soup is the perfect dinner for a cold wet raining winter’s night – it warms from the head to the toes and when served with fresh crusty rolls or scones, it is very filling. This soup (which doesn’t have any apples in it) is a recipe I created for our local newspaper making use of fresh seasonal produce. Continue reading
Running around town picking up supplies, I sneaked in a visit to our local Vetro (a Mediterranean food shop) to pick up a bottle of Gusto tart apple syrup. I always have their sweet apple syrup in the pantry but I wanted the tart syrup to make a caramel slice with an apple enhancement. As caramel slice is already very sweet, the tart syrup is a better option than the sweet syrup, hence my dash into the shop. I had to dash for if I linger, I end up with a basket full of other goodies and that is a killer for my grocery budget (not because they are expensive but rather than I am spending my grocery budget on food we don’t need leaving less (mmm, more like no) money for food we do need.
Each bottle of Gusto syrup comes with a teeny tiny leaflet of recipes and ideas on how to use the apple syrup. Among the recipes included is an Apple Syrup Cake – the recipe can also be found here and here (Bachology Lynda has made the cake and included a glowing review and a lovely picture). It sounds and looks like a great cake and I am interested in trying to make a dairy free version. Continue reading
This is a beautiful fresh tasting salad that I make every spring when broad beans and asparagus are brand new for the season. Broad beans are loved by few and detested by many due to memories of overcooked tasteless rubbery grey globules. I know of keen vegetable gardeners that grow broad beans and then give them away to the neighbour across the fence. They don’t know what they are missing out on…… as broad beans don’t have to be rubbery or tasteless. Along with Brussels sprouts, it is all in the preparation and cooking. Treated right, broad beans are sweet, delicate morsels tasting of peas and cucumbers. Continue reading
This is a recipe I created for our local newspaper, The Gisborne Herald. Roasting cauliflower brings out intense flavours while keeping the florets tender and yet retaining a bite (broccoli is also very good when roasted). Continue reading
A lot of my recipes include yoghurt in some shape or form. We usually have natural unsweetened yoghurt in the fridge and I like the idea of the live cultures in the yoghurt being included in my food. I am not sure if cooking with the yoghurt affects these live cultures – I’ll have to do a little research on that point.
These tarts have yoghurt in the pastry and the filling – buttermilk or sour cream would probably work for both (I haven’t tried it but I do substitute yoghurt for buttermilk or sour cream in a lot of recipes so imagine it would the other way). Continue reading
Pasta bakes are a great for week-night dinning. I have taken a classic macaroni & cheese recipe and amped it up a little by using smoked chicken, Gruyère cheese and kale, the green vegetable of the season. I have made this with cavolo nero and curly kale – both vegetables retain a semi-crunchy texture adding good contrast to the gooey sauce.
A pot of soup simmering on the stove on a chilly afternoon makes the whole house fragrant and has everyone asking when dinner is ready. The pork hock (or shank) is not the easiest cut of meat to skin, however it is worth the effort. The meat is succulent and full of flavour and is perfect with the creamy kumara.
Home prepared black beans are very easy when using the crockpot – I have used my Crockpot Savoury Black Beans. The recipe can also be found on here. This makes a large pot of soup – enough for dinner for 4-6 and leftovers for lunch the following day.