Long Time Coming

Its been a longtime since I have posted on here. Its been a busy start to the year and now its already May! I don’t know where the first four  months of the year have gone but I can defiantly say that the years are going faster and faster!

Its getting colder in New Zealand now as winter is approaching we get a great variety of produce available as the seasons change. Ive had great fun in the kitchen photographing and testing some new recipes for the blog. Coconut and Mango Passion Cheesecakes, Feijoa and Apple Crumble, Rhubarb, Vanilla Bean and Granny Smith Preserve plus some great savory dishes . Butternut Squash Cheese Bake, Sole with Capers and Shallots in Brown Butter the list goes on. Now I better get typing so you all can enjoy these tasty items to !

Feijoa and Apple Crumble

Feijoa is such a unique flavour which i really love and something i get very excited about once they come into season. Here is a super simple and fast recipe for feijoa and apple crumble with fresh custard.

Ingredients
5 feijoas, peeled and sliced
2 apples, cut into 3 cm chunk (skin on)
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
Crumble Topping
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
130gm butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Custard
20gm custard powder
30gm white sugar
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine sliced  feijoa, apple, sugar and water in a medium size pot bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes until feijoa’s are soft and apple is tender.
  3. Pour into oven proof dish.
  4. Make the crumble topping by combining all ingredients and stiring well, top the stewed fruit evenly with crumble mix.
  5. Bake for 20minutes until golden and bubbling.
  6. While the crumble is baking make the custard.
  7. Combine custard powder, sugar and a small amount of milk in a bowl to form a smooth paste, whisk in remaining milk and transfer to a pot.
  8. bring to the boil and stir until thick.
  9. Remove crumble from oven and serve with hot custard and ice cream if you dare.

Serves 4

Christmas Mango and Strawberry Pav

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It’s that time of the year again when the sun shines and we create new memories. Christmas is just a few weeks away and why not make this perfect summer pav to empress the family!

Looks and tastes great plus it’s a great way to use up left over eggs!

 

Iingredients:

150gm egg whites, room temp (4-5 eggs)
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp corn flour

To Decorate:
250ml cream, whipped
1 mango, diced
250gm Strawberries, sliced
1/3 c Passionfruit pulp

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.
  2. In clean bowl whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, whisking well until mixture is glossy and stiff. (hold peaks when whisk removed)
  3. Add vinegar and sifted cornflour, whisk until just combined.
  4. Line baking tray with baking paper, draw a large circle as a guide if needed i like mine more rustic.
  5. Spoon meringue mix into the centre of the circle piling it high then pushing out towards the edges to make a rough circle. Don’t make it to skinny though!! 
  6. Drop oven temp to 120 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, Do Not open the door during the cooking process. Turn of oven and leave pav to cool inside it.
  7. Once cool wither store in an airtight container for 1-4 days or decorate like seen below.

Great for making a couple days ahead of christmas to reduce stress on the day!

Serves: 6-7

 

Separate 5 room temp eggs. Cover yolks with clingfilm and refrigerate.

Seperate 5 room temp eggs. Cover yolks with clingfilm and refridgerate.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks.

Gradually whisk in sugar.

Gradually whisk in sugar.

Whisk until glossy and firm peaks have formed.

Whisk until glossu and firm peaks have formed.

Add vinegar and sifted cornflour. Whisk to combine.

Add vinegar and sifted cornflour. Whisk to combine.

Spoon meringue onto baking paper lined tray. Try to make it stay in the centre.

Spoon meringue onto baking paper lined tray. Try to make it stay in the centre.

Shape meringue into a rough circle.

Shape meringue into a rough circle.

Once cool store in an airtight container or top with whipped cream mango, strawberries and passionfruit.

Once cool store in an airtight container or top with whipped cream mango, strawberries and passionfruit.

Enjoy.

Enjoy.

Spice is Nice

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Checked the letter box this morning and the courier had been. I entered a competition with EQUAGOLD and won a shaker of their Fiery Hot Harissa. I suggested to make;

Fiery Hot Harissa Roast Beef with cinnamon pickled onions, sour cream mashed potato, lemon roasted cauliflower and wilted greens.

Looking forward to dinner tonight. Recipes will be posted along with photos.

Head over to www.equagold.co.nz  to check out their full range of amazing products!

New Zealand Venison

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Fennel and Beer Braised Venison Shank with fresh Marrow served upon Creamy Garlic Mash and wine fried Green Cabbage

New Zealand the land of the long white cloud for many we call it home and I also call it paradise. With rolling hills, native forests, winding rivers and snowy peaks our country has it all.

We produce some of the best top quality meat here in New Zealand. Lamb, Beef and Venison are some of the largest meat exports from our country which go all over the world. Venison  is the star of tonight’s dish. Venison has more iron than beef and is lower in fat than skinless chicken. The range of farmers in new Zealand that are producing venison available in supermarkets is growing. Venison is one of my favorite meats , wild is even more delicious however today I am using store brought New Zealand farmed venison. I got 4 venison shanks from pak N save last week for $9.00 I thought this was a good deal. When adding a bulb of fresh fennel, carrots, onions, diced tomatoes and beer it bulks it out along way. Served upon creamy garlic agria mash and wine braised green cabbage you can’t get any better than this dinner.

As the days are cold and wet we are wanting house and heart warming meals, ones with hearty rich flavour that will keep you going. Here is an iron rich slow braised fennel, beer and venison dish with creamy mash and wine fried cabbage and venison marrow, best way to end a cold Dunedin day.

Would you like this recipe? Comment Below

Steak, Ale and Cheese Pies

Steak Ale and Cheese Pies

Steak Ale and Cheese Pie with Homemade Buttery Savoury Pastry

Ingredients:

300 rump steak, cut in 2-3 cm pieces
50 ml Worcester sauce
2 tbsp. oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 bottle Speight’s, or any ale
2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese
3 tbsp. corn flour mixed with 3 tbsp. cold water

 

2x butter savoury pastry
1 tsp. butter and butter wrapper + flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Method:

  1. Combine beef, garlic, Worcester sauce, rosemary, thyme and a good seasoning of salt and pepper in a bowl. stir and coat well refrigerate for 1 hour or longer to enhance flavour in meat.
  2. Heat heavy based fry pan to a medium high heat, add 1 tbsp. oil brown onions add to a large pot.
  3. Add remaining oil and brown beef on each side, add to the pot with onions.
  4. Deglaze your hot fry pan with beer to remove all the tasty caraamilsed juices also add this to the large pot.
  5. Add stock, tomato paste and salt and pepper to your pot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 45- 50 minutes until meat is becoming tender.
  6. Remove pastry from fridge.
  7. Mix cornflour and water together, stir until lumps have dissolved. Turn your pot onto a rapid boil add cornflour mix stirring as it will thicken. Cook on low for 2-3 minutes to cook out cornflour taste.
  8. Cool your beef mix.
  9. While your beef mix is cooling pre-heat oven to 220 degrees.
  10. Roll your to pieces of pastry out, one slightly thicker than the other. one around half-size of your finger and the other slightly thinner.
  11. Grease large muffin tins with butter, add a sprinkle of flour to each and shake to coat in flour. ( this is creating a non-stick coating for pastry to sit on.
  12. Cut pastry I use a glass that fits the top of the muffin tin for the lid, then a large round object for the base. ( around twice the size of the glass.)
  13. Line tin with pastry bases, add cooled beef mix top, fill 3/4 way up the pastry. Add cheese.
  14. Egg wash with a pastry brush around the edge of the pastry, add the lid and seal by pushing the edges of pastry together.
  15. Egg wash the top and with a fork poke to holes.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, remove from oven cool slightly before turning out and serving.
  17. These are perfect for lunch’s or dinner.

Makes: 6 individual pies.

Hint: I made the pastry and the meat in advance and assembled and baked  them when I wanted them.

Brown onions, add to large pot.

Brown onions, add to large pot.

Brown beef.

Brown beef.

deglaze hot fry pan with beer.

deglaze hot fry pan with beer.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling-pin to avoid sticking.

Roll out on a lightly floured bench and flour our rolling pin to avoid sticking.

Roll pastry to this thickeness.

Roll pastry to this thickness.

Cut lids and bottoms.

Cut lids and bottoms.

Grease tins with butter.

Grease tins with butter.

Then sprinkle with flour.

Then sprinkle with flour.

Shake and bang out excess flour.

Shake and bang out excess flour.

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Cut pastry and lined tin.

Line with pastry case.

Line with pastry case.

Smooth out, pushing pastry to the edges.

Smooth out, pushing pastry to the edges.

Ready to be filled.

Ready to be filled.

Addd cooled beef.

Add cooled beef.

Top with cheese.

Top with cheese.

Egg wash.

Egg wash.

Seale with pastry lid.

Seale with pastry lid.

Egg wash the top and prike with a fork.

Egg wash the top and prike with a fork.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Perfect pie.

Perfect pie.

Steak, ale and cheese pie with tomato sauce a kiwi classic.

Steak, ale and cheese pie with tomato sauce a kiwi classic.

 

The Feijoa

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

I grew up eating feijos we have 2 large feijos trees at my batch in the Coromandel, and every autumn the trees would be full of feijoas, a sweet fruit with bursts of tang a unique flavour, paired well with sweet ingredients.

While feijoas are in season at the moment and a reasonable price all over the country why not try out this sweet tooth fix with a crunchy edge and delicate moist cake with soft bursting feijos you cant go wrong. the feijoa pairs incredibly with the milky white chocolate and creates a delectable upside down cake.

Why not try it out for mother’s day, get in to the kitchen and surprise mum with this beauty.

Feijoa and White Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup white flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
250 gm chocolate, melted and cooled
250 ml water
1 tbsp. vanilla essence
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
12 feijoa’s, halved flesh removed

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees, line large spring form cake tin with baking paper and light coating of oil to elemental the cake sticking.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the dry ingredients is evenly mixed, this is also aerating your dry ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, in a jug whisk together oil, water, vanilla and vinegar. Pour into the well along with melted chocolate. whisk in a figure 8 pattern until just mixed through. (over mixing makes the cake tough.)
  4. Line cake tin with cut in half feijos, place them seed side down, pour over cake batter and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown, test with a knife to see if cooked. (when knife comes out clean its cooked.)
  5. Cool in tin,  the cake will drop dramatically in size but don’t worry this is how it’s supposed to be.  Run knife around the edge of the cake and remove the sides, place a plate over the top of cake and flip upside down so cake flips onto its top showing the beautiful feijoa bottom.
  6. Serve with unsweetened plain yoghurt or on its own.
Gather ingredients.

Gather ingredients.

add oil mixture.

add oil mixture.

 

Add chocolate and whisk to combine.

Add chocolate and whisk to combine.

Whisk to combine in a figure 8 pattern.

Whisk to combine in a figure 8 pattern.

Scoop flesh from feijos with a teaspoon.

Scoop flesh from feijos with a teaspoon.

Line bottom of cake tin with feijoas.

Line bottom of cake tin with feijoas.

Pour batter over feijoas

Pour batter over feijoas.

Golden brown once baked.

Golden brown once baked.

 

When its cooked the cake will pull away from the edge of the tin.

When its cooked the cake will pull away from the edge of the tin.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Finished feijoa and white chocolate upside down cake.

Serve with unsweetened yoghurt.

Serve with unsweetened yoghurt.

 

 

New Zealand Food Writers Competition

Here is the lastest page I have added to my blog, showcasing my entry into the New Zealand Venison Food Writers Competition in 2013. I did not win however I had the honor of them publishing my recipe and the picture is featured on their page and I was also mentioned in the New Zealand Hospitality magazine last year.

 

New Zealand Food Writers Competition.

Saturdays Score

Farmers Market Produce

 

Another great Saturday at the Otago Farmers Market in #gigatowndunedin .
This weeks great purchase were Heirloom Green Tomatoes, Romanesco Broccoli, Purple Curly Kale and end of season fresh Raspberries.
Watch this space as I create some delicious meals and chutney perfect for the cupboard or gifting to friends.
— at Otago Farmers Market

Watch this space as the creating starts to happen

Heirloom Green Tomatoes  End of Season Raspberries

The Banana Passionfruit

 

Banana Passionfruit    Passiflora mollissima Bailey- Banana Passionfruit

Passiflora mollissima Bailey – Banana Passionfruit

Most of you may ask , What is a Banana Passionfruit?

Banana Passionfruit

Well here it goes, Passiflora mollissima Bailey is a climbing vine that produces a banana shaped fruit that starts of green and ripens into a yellow lush fruit having an inside of a yellow pulp with black seeds very similar to its relative the Passionfruit.  It has a slightly milder flavour to its relative the Passionfruit but holds very fragrant notes. Perfect for sauces, fruit salads, drinks making curds and many more.

 

The banana passionfruit is native and commonly found in the wild in Andean valleys from Venezuela and eastern Colombia to Bolivia and Peru.  It is believed to have been domesticated only shortly before the Spanish Conquest.  Today it is commonly cultivated and the fruits, which are highly favored, are regularly sold in local markets.  In 1920, the United States Department of Agriculture received seeds from Guayaquil, Ecuador (S.P.I. No. 51205), and from Bogotá, Colombia (S.P.I. No. 54399).  The vine is grown in California as an ornamental under the name “softleaf passionflower”.  It has never succeeded in Florida; is grown to some extent in Hawaii and the State of Madras, India.  The climate of New Zealand seems highly suitable for it and it has been grown there, more or less commercially, for several decades. (Morton, 1987)

New Zealand gave Passiflora mollissima Bailey it a very fitting and appealing name of; Banana Passionfruit. (Morton, 1987)
In New Zealand from the months of March/April through to September the Banana Passionfruit crop is ripening and  thriving, ready to be picked and eaten. The Banana Passionfruit can handle brief drops in temperature and has acclimatized well to the New Zealand environment. Found all over the country from Otago to the Waikato and beyond the Banana Passionfruit is a creeping vine that grows over trees, power lines, fences and in many different locations.

I have many plants growing all over my garden here in Dunedin, Otago New Zealand and decided I would harvest them and create an easy, carefree dessert.

Banana Passion

Banana Passion

Here is a easy carefree dessert using freshly picked Banana Passionfruit I created this week. A simply delicious fragrant fruit sauce served over moist cake crumb topped with seeded pulp and toasted thread coconut. Simple Easy and Delicious.

Ingredients:
8 Banana Passionfruit
2 tbsp. White sugar
2 tbsp. Water
2 tbsp. Thread coconut
1/2 cup. Cake crumb/scraps

Method:

  1. Cut Banana Passionfruit in half length ways and remove pulp and seeds.
  2. In a pot combine pulp and seeds, sugar, water. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking.
  3. Strain the mix into a clean bowl, press the seeds to remove as much liquid as possible.
  4. Return the strained liquid to the heat and reduce to form a thickened sauce. Cool.
  5. In a dry pot, over a medium heat toast coconut, constantly stirring until a light brown colour is achieved and becomes fragrant. (be careful it can burn quickly)
  6. In a tall glass place cake crumb/scrap and top with the fresh Banana Passionfruit sauce followed by a spoonful of the pulpy seeds and a sprinkle of toasted thread coconut.

Yield: 1/4 cup. Banana Passionfruit sauce.

Banana Passionfruit

Pulp and seeds of Banana Passionfruit

Straining the seeds

Banana Passion

Source of information: Morton, J. (1987). Banana passionfruit. (pp. 332-333). Miami, FL:  Retrieved from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/banana_passion_fruit.html

People, Place and AMAZING Produce

Otago Farmers Market

Taste before you buy Southern Gold Peaches Delicous

Otago New Zealand is home to one of the largest Farmers Markets in New Zealand , where vendors come from all around the Otago region to sell their amazing produce to the people of Dunedin. I strongly believe that if you have a farmer’s market in your town, city or near by you should definitely head down and support the local growers and vendors that give a piece of their life and hard work to the community.

It’s not only the produce that makes it a great place but its the people , all greeting you with a smile and are willing to go above and beyond to share stories and talk about their products and produce. There is a strong sense of community at the Dunedin farmers market. A place that is welcoming and makes you feel very comfortable.

I went down to the market as I do most Saturdays to purchase my weekly fresh fruit and veges. I love to create tasty dishes with fresh local ingredients giving my piece back to the community by spending my money there rather than at a commercial supermarket.

This week I purchased some beautiful Southern Gold Peaches , I got to taste these peaches before I purchased them which I love , you can’t do that at the Supermarket!! All peaches have a different flavour and trying before you buy gives you a sense of the taste and bursts of flavour before you purchase. With my Southern Gold peaches  I am going  to make a white chocolate velvet cake with fresh stewed peaches which I will be posting about tomorrow and sharing the recipe.

If you have not been down to your local farmers market I suggest you do so! Everything is a great affordable price, top quality and full of a welcoming community of local growers.

Go on give it a go!!

Check back tomorrow for my recipe using my delicious Southern Gold Peaches.