Recipe Resolution is back

New food books are always eagerly devoured cover to cover within days, with recipes keenly marked, but when the stack of books acquired in past 12 months are vying for attention with the towering magazine pile teetering precariously on the three legged coffee table – placement is absolutely critical, otherwise a magazine avalanche and an upended table results – the time has come to bring back My Food Magazine Resolution.

December provided the perfect opportunity to use some of those marked recipes.  With meringues simple to make, easy to transport and a crowd pleaser every time, Fiona Hugues’ cappuccino meringues from the November / December 2017 Taste Magazine #126 made an appearance no less than three times during Christmas festivities.

 Made 70 for a Christmas party

Made 70 for a Christmas party

 Sandwiched together with Cathedral Cove cacoa bean coconut yoghurt

Sandwiched together with Cathedral Cove cacoa bean coconut yoghurt

Christmas Day this year was a simple affair – salads and seafood – and possibly meringues for dessert! The peach, mozzarella and Israeli couscous (swapped out the fregola) salad from #126 Taste Magazine and Yael Shochat’s (Ima Cuisine book released mid 2017) Mediterranean slaw were perfect partners for a smorgasbord of baby octopuses, prawns and scallops.

 Peach mozzarella and Israeli couscous salad

Peach mozzarella and Israeli couscous salad

 Baby octopuses dancing in the wok

Baby octopuses dancing in the wok

With the humidity proving a challenge over January, the less time spent in a hot kitchen the better.  Clare Aldous’ buffalo sauce online or in Dish magazine #76 – a firm favourite on chicken wings – made the perfect sauce for fresh sweetcorn or drizzled over leftover sweetcorn, crispy bacon and salty feta.

 Sweetcorn, bacon and feta topped with buffalo sauce

Sweetcorn, bacon and feta topped with buffalo sauce

Finally, for this recipe roundup a variation on Dish magazine #64 Fresh Cherry Crumble Tart (note shown as individual tarts in magazine).  After a false start earlier in the week when the pastry (round one) collapsed in the humidity – resulting in a boysenberry and chocolate parfait (forgot the photo) – friends would have been none the wiser had the kitchen bench not been covered in flour! Round two – attempted to re-roll the refrigerated pastry – an epic fail so round three was a quick trip to the local supermarket for pastry sheets! Voila one Fresh Cherry and Chocolate Tart to share with family visiting from Australia.

 Fresh cherry and chocolate tart

Fresh cherry and chocolate tart

Of course there were plenty of other dishes made, and shared with family and friends over the past couple of months, with lots of local market visits, but that pile of books and magazines are calling out to be used.  It’s time to broaden our everyday menus and use more of those marked recipes.

Watch this space and please help keep the recipe resolution on track throughout 2018.

Michelle

Crunchy Piccolos Potatoes

If you like crunchy roast potatoes... you’ll love this simple recipe using delicious ‘Piccolos’ potatoes.  Thanks to Potatoes NZ who gave them to us at the NZ Guild of Foodwriters market day last week.

Cutting hasselback potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 small potatoes (piccolos are perfect size)
  • 20 grams butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt, generous sprinkle
  • 4 Tbsp finely grated fresh parmesan
parmesan cheese

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Put each potato in the bowl of a wooden spoon (this means you don’t accidentally cut through the potato) and cut at 3mm intervals.
  3. Melt butter and olive oil together in small fry pan and heat until it sizzles.  Add the potatoes cut side down, then turn and coat with the butter oil mixture.
  4. Transfer to oven proof roasting dish and sprinkle generously with salt and rosemary.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then check flesh is soft.
  6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fan bake for a further 10 minutes to melt cheese and for a lovely crunchy skin.
  7. Serve hot with pan fried crispy skin salmon and sautéed greens (or your choice of meat or chicken).

Note: cooking time will vary depending on size of potatoes. 

 Crunchy piccolos potatoes

Crunchy piccolos potatoes

Enjoy

Michelle

Spicy Tangelo Jam-a-lade

Earlier in the year, Fiona Hughes and Jani Shepherd from Gatherum Collectif hosted a wonderfully relaxed gathering of fellow foodies under the trees in Fiona’s garden.  With Kylee Newton of Newton and Pott back in New Zealand on holiday, and a recently launched book – The Modern Preserver – we were delighted with tales of her passion for turning seasonal produce into something that will last; while we enjoyed endless cups of tea accompanied by freshly baked scones topped with Kylee’s preserves and softly whipped cream.

 Under the trees
The Modern Preserver

So when gifted a large bag of the sweetest tangelos by my fabulous friends, Tracey and Martin from Tea Tree Orchard, Rangiuru I took my inspiration from Kylee’s book and with a little bit of trepidation, experimented with herbs and spices to add flavour.

tangelos
  • 8 cups thinly sliced tangelos
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger grated
  • 1 large lemon zest & juice
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups jam (preserving) sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves plus extra sprigs for decoration
spices
  1. Cut the ends off the tangelos and then cut in half.  Slice into thin (3mm) semi-circles.  Discard any pips.
  2. Put slices into a large heavy-based pot with the grated ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and water, then boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and then cook for 30-40 minutes until the peel has softened.
  4. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and remove the seeds.  Stir the seeds through the sugar then add the sugar and vanilla pod to the pot, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  5. Boil, stirring continuously for 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and darkened in colour.
  6. Use the wrinkle test to check if the mixture has set to your desired consistency.  When ready, take off heat, remove vanilla pod and skim off any surface scum.  Stir through thyme leaves and let sit 5-6 minutes.
  7. Ladle into warm and dry sterilised jars, add small sprig of thyme to each jar and then seal with lid. Wipe jars to remove any residue, and label.  Refrigerate once opened; unopened jars will last 6 months.
Spicy tangelo jam-a-lade
Spicy tangelo jam-a-lade 2

Why jam-a-lade... it turned out thicker than marmalade, with a jam-like consistency! Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle

 

 

Cookbook Journeys

Some people simply love to devour cookbooks from cover to cover. A friend who is an avid cookbook collector has bookshelves and boxes full of cookbooks but doesn't actually cook from them.  With a keen interest in tracking down out of print and classic cookbooks, she gets more pleasure from perusing the pages – from author notes and tips to glossy enticing photographs, interesting lists of ingredients or unusual cooking methodology. 

Others might spend hours reading them from cover to cover to mark which recipes to make. Then later making notes on recipes they tweaked when cooking.  But one thing that all cookbook lovers enjoy is reading the author's story, understanding their philosophy, motivation and inspiration behind the book.

For a recent assignment for my Le Cordon Bleu, Masters of Gastronomic Tourism I reviewed the first cookbooks of four contemporary New Zealand authors.  Click Cookbook Journeys to read their stories.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Michelle

December / January: Magazine Recipes

While most of New Zealand enjoyed their long summer break I was toiling away on assignments (due late December and mid-January) for my second Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism paper, catching up with overseas visitors and flat tack with my day job so decided the Blog needed a holiday too.

But that didn’t mean cooking from favourite magazines or experimenting with new ideas and flavour combinations took a back seat.  Here’s a round-up of some of the magazine recipes used over the holiday season.

Christmas Day

Planning food for Christmas Day is something I thoroughly enjoy.  My family have got used to be allocated tasks or acting as sous chefs on the day.  This year we kept the menu simple:

 Fragrant spicy rub

Fragrant spicy rub

  • Whole BBQ snapper stuffed with fresh thyme, garlic and limes and served with a sauce verte (Cuisine Magazine November 2015 #173)
 Fresh snapper

Fresh snapper

 Sauce verte

Sauce verte

  • Raw Zucchini, Asparagus and Apple Salad with Shredded Mozzarella and Israeli Couscous, an adaptation of a salad from Dish #57
  • Beetroot & pumpkin salad with sumac yoghurt & pomegranate dressing from Taste Magazine #112
 Lemon pavlova from Simply Nigella

Lemon pavlova from Simply Nigella

Comfort Food

It’s not very often that you’ll find me whipping up a beef and mushroom stew, let alone in the height of summer but with a friend just out of hospital requesting some comfort food (her partner is vegetarian) I turned to a winter issue #61 of Dish magazine for inspiration. Loosely based on a beef, mushroom and oyster dish, I omitted the oysters, doubled the amount of portobello mushrooms then late in the cooking added a can of cannellini beans to make it a complete meal, ready to reheat and eat.  And it was freezer friendly too.

 Beef and mushroom stew

Beef and mushroom stew

Milestone Birthday Celebration

Towards the end January we celebrated a very dear family friend’s 97th birthday with Rhubarb and Poppy Seed Cake from Dish Magazine #50 (recipe here).  Using the freshest rhubarb, picked straight from the garden, the lightly spiced rhubarb syrup drizzled over the cake before serving makes the citrus and poppy seed cake beautifully moist, with the yogurt and sour cream layers a welcome change from whipped cream.

 Rhubarb Poppy Seed Cake with yoghurt and sour cream

Rhubarb Poppy Seed Cake with yoghurt and sour cream

Fish Tacos: Favourite Summer Dish So Far

Sticky and humid summer evenings in Auckland call for less time in the kitchen and time spent outside searching for that elusive breeze.  Here’s my take on fish tacos. Wrap the soft tacos in foil and warm in a slow oven.  Finely slice red cabbage and carrots. Pan fry snapper fillets, lightly seasoned with cumin and lemon.  Place on a bed of raw cabbage and carrots on each taco. Top with a punchy and fragrant coriander, lime and chilli mango salsa (recipe on instagram) and slices of ripe avocado.  Tightly wrap up your taco – dinner prepped, cooked and ready to eat in under 30 minutes.  Perfect for long summer evenings.

 Coriander, lime and chilli mango salsa

Coriander, lime and chilli mango salsa

 Spicy fish tacos

Spicy fish tacos

Looking forward to Waitangi Weekend and cooking up a storm.

Michelle

November: Magazine Recipes

With two weekends away in November – caught up with friends in the Bay of Plenty and had a fabulous afternoon with Unna Burch from The Forest Cantina at her food styling workshop in Tauranga, then last weekend, a long weekend in Wellington – there has been plenty of eating out and little time to discover new recipes.

So funnily enough both recipes this month (yes there are only two) are from “Flash in the Pan” in the latest Cuisine Magazine (#173 Christmas issue) where Olivia Andrews delivered quick and clever midweek ideas. There were leftovers for lunch the next day too.

First up was ‘Cauliflower Steaks with Haloumi, Spinach and Almond Salad’.  Not a piece of meat in sight so perfect for meatless Mondays.  Couldn’t resist topping with early season fresh asparagus too so really was a complete meal; simply delicious cold the next day too. Key trick to the steak was to ensure that a chunky piece of core held the florets together. 

 Meat free Mondays... cauliflower, asparagus, haloumi and spinanch

Meat free Mondays... cauliflower, asparagus, haloumi and spinanch

Just opened the Cuisine Magazine to ensure the descriptions are correct and realised the recipes are side-by-side on the same page – that’s definitely a first! ‘Dukkak Crusted Chicken with Pistachio Potatoes & Herbed Yoghurt’ hit the mark – prepped and on the table in under 40 minutes.  Crispy new potatoes served with pan fried chicken breasts sprinkled with Maggie Beer dukkah – a souvenir from my Master of Gastronomic Tourism residential trip to Adelaide earlier in the year.  Dressed with a honey, lemon and herb infused yoghurt and a scattering of fresh herbs.  Certainly wasn’t complaining about cold sliced chicken served on salad greens with tomatoes the next day either.

 Honey, lemon and herb infused yoghurt 

Honey, lemon and herb infused yoghurt 

Dukkah crusted chicken

It’s hard to believe there are less than 20 sleeps until Christmas.  If you’re anything like me, Christmas shopping is still on the “to do” list but menu planning for the big day is almost done; it’s important to delegate some tasks when you’re working up until 23 December. Promise to share our Christmas menu soon.

Keep your eyes peeled for more on the blog about those weekends away... coming soon.

Michelle

October: Magazine Recipes

October disappeared in a whirlwind.  So quick and easy seems to be the theme for the month; whether it’s been revisiting old favourites or exploring simple new ideas.  With next to no entertaining at home, experimenting with newly discovered recipes has taken a backseat.  Instead, I’ve found myself cooking old favourites – usually without a recipe using whatever ingredients are in the garden, pantry and fridge.

Pizza is always a weekend favourite.  Toppings can be prepared while the pizza base is defrosting.  One day I’ll get my head around making pizza dough but good things take time, right?

Simply love (made it twice) this white pizza with asparagus and green olives topped with handfuls of baby spinach.  White, because there is not a tomato in sight. The recipe is in the latest (issue #62) of Dish Magazine.

 Simple ingredients for a flavoursome pizza

Simple ingredients for a flavoursome pizza

 Keeping it light and tasty

Keeping it light and tasty

 Topped with fresh baby spinach leaves

Topped with fresh baby spinach leaves

Sunday nights call for a lazy dinner with leftovers perfect for Monday lunch.  Last weekend I reached for that very same issue of Dish Magazine, and with fingers and toes crossed (a supermarket trip was out of the question) checked for supplies.  Substituting pasta spirals for spaghetti, we had everything we needed and no one noticed the pasta was a different shape.

Spirals (spaghetti) with prawns, lemon and parmesan.  Pungent fresh soft herbs from the garden, slithers of spring onions and a hint of chilli – simply defrosted a red chilli from last year’s crop.

 Lemon, parsley and parmesan with a hint of chilli

Lemon, parsley and parmesan with a hint of chilli

 Prawn, lemon and parmesan spirals

Prawn, lemon and parmesan spirals

With the marked up recipes growing at an incredible rate it’s definitely a good excuse to gather people together during November.

Michelle