Our Abundant Hauraki Gulf

It’s incredible that in a country surrounded by sea that New Zealanders, from home cooks to restaurant chefs, need to reach for imported sea salt.

Imported salt and pepper in The Foodie Inc's pantry

Imported salt and pepper in The Foodie Inc's pantry

One Sunday morning Greg Beattie from Hauraki Salt Company was at a farmers market watching a chef showcase fresh local produce.  Surprised to see the chef season dishes with sea salt from England, Greg caught himself wondering... what if a local artisan sea salt was available. 

Auckland's Hauraki Gulf at sunset (photo supplied)

Auckland's Hauraki Gulf at sunset (photo supplied)

With a background in horticulture and landscape design Greg has always felt a close connection with nature, insisting from a young age that he have a patch of the family garden to call his own.  At seventeen, his very first garden maintenance job was for a successful entrepreneur and his wife who owned a large home and garden in the country. One morning over coffee his client said, “Greg it’s fantastic what you do for us in the garden but working in the service industry you will be forever trading hours for dollars, what you really need is a product. It’s the only way you can really leverage your time.” Thanking him for his advice, Greg said he would keep it in mind.

Four years ago Greg suddenly fell very ill and was off work for almost a month.  Being a self employed landscape gardener trading hours for dollars, his financial health suffered, alongside his own. During his recovery Greg had plenty of time to think and remembered the advice from 20 years earlier – what he really needed was a business he could grow and generate income from, that didn’t require hands on involvement.   Scribbling ideas and searching the internet for inspiration, nothing really took his fancy.  Frustrated he put it aside until that day at the farmers market.

Greg wading to sea water (photo supplied)

Greg wading to sea water (photo supplied)

Hauraki Flake Sea Salt is the first artisan salt product in New Zealand; with no additives it’s nature at its best. Hand-harvested and made it small batches, it takes 4.7 litres of salt water to make 100g of flaky sea salt.  After the water is collected from the Hauraki Gulf, the salt making process takes around 24 hours. Five hours of boiling, then a further 19-20 hours in the salt pan on a low heat – the long slow evaporation helps form larger salt crystals. Given it’s a 24 hour process, with things happening at the same time every day, it’s an easy process to follow to maximise production efficiencies.

Available in 100g bags for your home pantry

Available in 100g bags for your home pantry

To get your hands on this new product go to Hauraki Salt Company's website  – you can purchase online or from one of retailers listed.  If you want to see you local food store stock Hauraki Sea Salt, send Greg an email and put them in touch.

What's not to love about a local product that's made from an abundant and sustainable natural resource.

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