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

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

Food and Plates Go Together

An obstacle course ran from the front door to the kitchen. The lounge a giant-sized, walk-in storage box with stuff piled everywhere. Cupboards and drawers were thrown into chaos as a pile of plates, a different shape platter, coloured linen, extra forks or spoons were to be found. The kitchen, our food preparation space doubled as our studio.  It’s hard to believe a year ago this month; we were in the midst of photographing Churchill Park School’s 50th Jubilee cookbook. 

Cookbooks are so much more than the recipes. Some people have shelves and boxes crammed with them and never cook a single thing. Many rainy afternoons of escapism can be spent immersed in a new cookbook, reading and looking at photographs, pondering what to make if only there was time, and if you had the necessary ingredients. Images provide inspiration and enticement - great visual cues of what the finished dish should look like.  You’ll concur, there is nothing more frustrating to discover your interpretation of a dish and its carefully followed instructions look nothing like the picture in the book.

the foodie inc cupboards.png

Don’t be disheartened. Those cookbook photos take lots of time and hours of practice to perfect.  Tomorrow’s another day so take time to create something that smells delicious, is nutritious and tastes good too. A weeknight dinner, a special occasion or even a BBQ for a crowd, but don’t simply throw it on any old plate. White dinner plates, Nana’s china or those coloured bowls you brought back from a fabulous overseas - eating should be one of life’s simple pleasures, so make it a visually appetising one too.

Now, what’s for dinner!

Michelle