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

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

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

September: Magazine Recipes

Absolutely love that asparagus announces spring’s arrival and we all know that means summer is sneaking up on us too. While the latest food magazines are bursting with spring fare, September’s recipe roundup is more 'any time of the year' fare – simple ideas packed full of flavour.

It’s not often I cook from a book purchased the same weekend but having sampled the delights of roast salmon with lemony crème fraiche from Unna Burch, The Forest Cantina’s new book My Garden Table, at a Cook the Books ‘meet the author’ event I couldn’t resist recreating the dish for friends on a Sunday night.

Roast salmon with beans and couscous

Roast salmon with beans and couscous

The original idea was a lazy Sunday dinner and to get everyone cooking.  When one friend arrived with a back injury and another texted to say she had lost track of time, it was easy enough to delegate the small tasks and get things underway.  

Baked feta and rosemary, drizzled with honey and a sprinkle of dukkah (someone forgot to buy walnuts) – served with oat biscuits and a Pinot Gris it was a match made in heaven. It’s my take on a recipe from Petite Kitchen. This time it was cooked slightly longer and served in the ramekin, keeping it nice and warm, just watch those fingers on the dish.

A drizzle of honey before serving takes this dish up a notch

A drizzle of honey before serving takes this dish up a notch

Followed by roast salmon topped with a lemon crème fraiche dressing on a bed of herb-infused Israeli couscous and a side of beans with toasted almonds. Simple and very satisfying; better still it was ready in less than 40 minutes.

Dusted with icing sugar and a dollop of softly whipped cream, these super easy and delicious rhubarb tarts were the perfect finish to the night. The recipe is up on Dish Magazine’s website: Simple Rhubarb Tarts.

Homegrown rhubarb, on store bought pastry

Homegrown rhubarb, on store bought pastry

It wouldn’t be a recipe round-up without some baking.  In this house bananas only get eaten if they are slightly on the green side; as soon as one spot appears they end up in the freezer.  Having made an extremely decadent banana cake with whiskey caramel and whipped crème, although not as photogenic as Donna Hay’s version in Canvas Magazine, the latest Dish Magazine #62’s Banoffee Loaf with Anzac Crumble was the perfect excuse to clear the freezer of bananas.

Moist banana loaf studded with crunchy toffee and topped with Anzac crumble

Moist banana loaf studded with crunchy toffee and topped with Anzac crumble

Fingers crossed October brings warmer days and longer evenings now daylight saving has arrived.  It’s time to spruce up the backyard, plant summer salad vegetables and get that BBQ cranked up, if you haven’t done so already.

Watch out for the October review, and don’t be surprised if asparagus makes an appearance or two!

Michelle



 

July: Magazine Recipes

Sshhh... opportunities to utilise July’s post-it marked recipes while away on short breaks in the Bay of Plenty and Waiheke Island with friends were squandered. On the flip side, four new recipes were devoured and June’s Chicken Sausages with Lentils, Walnuts and Feta from Dish Issue 60 June / July 2015, a hit last month, was made again.

Lazy Sunday Night Fare

Wow!  Taste magazine’s stunning cover ‘Trio of sugars’ cake with caramel pears caught my eye but recreating that cover would need to wait for a special occasion.  One wintry afternoon snuggled on the couch with a coffee, Katie Quinn Davies’ article Italian love affair hooked me in – Spaghetti with tomato, bacon, capers and mint. A quick trip to the supermarket, bacon swapped for chicken bacon, this winter-warming dish will most definitely get made again.

Prep done...

Prep done...

The new look Taste magazine The July / August Issue 112 is on sale now or if you can’t wait, the recipe is on Katie’s website:

What Katie Ate » Spaghetti with tomato, bacon, mint and capers

Spaghetti with tomatoes bacon capers and mint

Spaghetti with tomatoes bacon capers and mint

Easy Mid-week Vegetarian Dinner

For an easy mid-week vegetarian dinner you can’t go past the Roasted Cauliflower and Sage Butter Chickpeas from Farro Fresh’s Winter Feast magazine (available in stores). The herbaceous buttery sauce transformed the cauliflower and chickpeas into a tasty wholesome dish – perfect on its own or served as a side dish with pan fried fish.  Simply scrumptious!

Simmering sage butter

Simmering sage butter

Roasted cauliflower with sage butter chickpeas

Roasted cauliflower with sage butter chickpeas

Family Dinner

Thick stalks of rhubarb from a friend’s Waiheke garden deserved something more than a crumble. Family for Sunday night dinner provided the perfect excuse for a two courses.  Chicken with Mushrooms and Tarragon Dish Issue 60 June / July 2015 worked a treat as our main, served on a bed of quinoa with brown and black rice. There was even enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.

Chicken with mushroom and tarragon

Chicken with mushroom and tarragon

Having never attempted a clafoutis before the texture of the Rhubarb and Apple Clafoutis from Cuisine Magazine July 2015 was unexpected – the pudding was punctured with fragrant vanilla bean and best served warm with runny cream. The dessert is free of refined sugar too!

Mascerating the rhubarb

Mascerating the rhubarb

Rhubarb and Apple Clafoutis

Rhubarb and Apple Clafoutis

While you get so many more recipes from the printed magazines, for some immediate inspiration or more online recipes:

Farro Fresh – Your Everyday Fresh Market

Taste - Recipes | Baking | How to cook

Dish: Good Enough to Eat

Cuisine News | Stuff.co.nz

Enjoy your Sunday. I’m making time to mark recipes in the latest pile of food magazines!

Michelle


 

June: Magazine Recipes

The month of June disappeared and today’s self-imposed deadline to feature My Food Magazine Resolution loomed large.  Recipes were marked weeks ago but too many choices and procrastination had set in.  It did seem rather short notice to ask friends over for dinner.  

Finally on Thursday, yes Thursday was technically in July but with the need to cook something for dinner, settled on Chicken Sausages with Lentils, Walnuts and Feta from Dish Issue 60 June / July 2015.  The winter salad promised hearty ingredients: delicious roasted beetroot, creamy feta and a gutsy mustard dressing. It sounded perfect for a cold Auckland day.

The original recipe and photo

The original recipe and photo

The pantry and fridge were checked for ingredients on hand.  The recipe stated Puy lentils but an open packet of quinoa and brown rice beckoned to be used.  A quick trip up the road was made to grab the missing items. Checking the ingredients list discovered the chicken sausages had beef casings so a plan B was put in place.  Rosemary, sage and parsley vegetarian sausages sounded rather tasty and unless mentioned would anyone really notice.

So here’s The Foodie Inc's take on the recipe, and by the way one more substitution – horseradish instead of Dijon mustard: Vegetarian Sausages, Quinoa, Walnuts and Feta.

Roast baby beets and red onions

Roast baby beets and red onions

Parsley, spring onions, feta and walnuts

Parsley, spring onions, feta and walnuts

The Foodie Inc version: Vegetarian Sausages, Quinoa, Walnuts and Feta

The Foodie Inc version: Vegetarian Sausages, Quinoa, Walnuts and Feta

The verdict: absolutely delicious if I do say so myself! To get your hands on the original recipe pick up a copy of Dish Magazine Issue 60 June / July, it’s still on sale.

Next month the plan is to be more organised, use more than one magazine, make more than one recipe and invite friends over for dinner too. Look out for July’s food magazine review on Friday 31 July.

Enjoy your weekend.

Michelle