Salmon of almost any kind (even tinned salmon) is very high on my list of favourite things. While tinned salmon is good and useful in lots of different ways, it is not quite on the same level as fresh salmon and smoked salmon. If I am out to dinner, lunch or brunch; I find it hard to bypass the salmon.
Unpacking boxes of food items to stock my newly built pantry, I came across a jar of date molasses. Date molasses is similar to blackstrap molasses but milder in flavor (golden syrup or treacle can be used here instead). The date molasses inspired me to create a slice similar to a very popular ginger crunch that originates in Takaka (the original recipe can be found here) but using dates (obviously) to appeal to people not overly fond of ginger. I don’t completely understand how people can not be fond of ginger but I do have a couple living in my house. I try not to make the ginger version too often as I am likely to scoff the lot in a couple of days and that is not an action that fits into my everything in moderation philosophy.
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
Zucchini, courgette, marrow – whatever you like to call them – are very useful vegetables to have a surplus of. It is possible to serve zucchini every night of the week without really noticing that it’s zucchinis for supper again. Cooked simply as a vegetable side – grilled, barbecued, roasted – they are a tasty addition to any meal.
Grate them and add to all sorts of things – quiche, meatloaf, sausage rolls as well as cakes and muffins. I don’t bother peeling the vegetables before grating them, however if I am using a ginormous zucchini (marrow), I cut them in half and scrape out the seeds. These are donated to the compost bin. The grated flesh is then used just as you would grated zucchini. It is a great way to dispose of marrows. This year I have grated and dehydrated grated zucchini in two cup portions. The idea is to rehydrate them whenever I need to bake or cook with zucchini. I have also frozen about 10 lots of 2 cup portions to keep us going throughout the year. The frozen idea came first then I read about dehydrating zucchini here and away I went. Continue reading
Panforte, an Italian Christmas cake of Siena, Italy, is more confection than cake. A variety of nuts & fruit are coated in heady spiced flour then enrobed in honey-caramel. The result is a rich chewy treat, delicious when cut into thin slivers and served with coffee. In Italy, each village has their own variation of Panforte, and so I was inspired to make not one but two Gisborne variations. Here is the White Chocolate version. Continue reading
Pineapple & chocolate are a perfect pairing and this delicious mud cake was inspired by a very Kiwi confectionery (Pineapple Lumps). White chocolate & pineapple give the cake a lovely golden-yellow colour. Using a white chocolate that has cacao solids seems to make it easier to work with (and it tastes great). Roasting the pineapple intensifies the tropical flavour of the fruit and with the addition of the freeze-dried powder, this cake is very fragrant and pineapple-y. The yoghurt in the ganache lends a lovely tang to the chocolate topping, though it can be omitted, and the cream quantity doubled. The cake keeps well but most likely won’t last long enough to need storing. 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
This cobbler is a recipe I created for our local newspaper, The Gisborne Herald. Cobbler is one of those dishes that means something different to almost everyone that makes it. A traditional cobbler is a dish of stewed fruit, topped with a sweetened scone mixture and baked – much like the cobbler I have made. However, there are many other dishes such as buckle, betty, clafoutis & even our humble crumble which masquerade as cobbler. Whatever form the dessert takes, it is simple and easy to prepare. Any combination of fruit can be used – peach is often used, but the apple can be paired with many other fruits – berries, feijoas, or currants to give a delicious dessert. I often double the fruit portion to make enough cobbler for breakfast leftovers. The cobbler can made as one large dish or evenly divided into individual portions. Apple pie spice is a simple spice mixture I make and keep on hand – substitute with cinnamon if you wish. Continue reading