Saturday, 23 February 2013

Fish, Chickpea & Green Olive Tagine

serves 2
takes about 20 minutes
  • 500 grams thick, firm white fish
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp each: ground cumin, coriander, ginger, sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 x 400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 gram tin cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • small handful each: coriander, flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup large green olives
  • 1 cup fish, chicken or vegetable stock
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • seas salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in the base of a large saute pan.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery with a good pinch of salt and cook until soft.
  3. Add the garlic, tomato paste, spices and cook for 1 minute then add tomatoes, chickpeas, herbs, olives & stock.
  4. Season & simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the fish & turn to coat in the sauce.
  6. Cover & cook for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  7. Add the lemon zest & juice just before serving.
  8. Scatter with herbs and serve with couscous or crusty bread. Enjoy!

Upside-down Onion Tart

You don't need many ingredients to throw this yummy tart together, serve it with a simple green salad, crumble over some salty feta and viola!

serves 4
takes about 40 minutes

  • 200 grams ready made puff pastry
  • 4-6 medium onions, peeled & sliced
  • small knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 190oC.
  2. Peel onions and slice into 6 or 8 wedges.
  3. Heat the butter & oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the onions arranging them roughly in a concentric pattern. Sprinkle with salt & pepper & cook for around 20 minutes, turning once or twice, until they are fairly tender and starting to caramelise around the edges.
  5. Trickle the balsamic vinegar over the onions and cook for a couple of minutes more so the vinegar reduces a little. Remove from the heat and make sure the onions are fairly evenly spread around the pan. Remove from heat.
  6. Roll out the pastry to a 3-4mm thickness and cut into a circle.
  7. Lay the circle over the onions tucking the edges down & pop pan into the oven.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is fully puffed up & golden.
  9. Invert the tart on to a plate so the sticky caramelised onions are facing up, on top of the crispy pastry. Serve straight away with a green leafy salad and crumble over some of your favourite salty cheese like feta. Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot and Israeli Couscous Salad with a Sultana and Caper Dressing

Carrots develop a lovely nutty flavour when roasted and stand up well to the gutsy flavours in this dressing. The bean combo adds crunch while the feta lends a creamy, salty texture.

serves 4
takes around 30 minutes
  • 600 grams carrots, peeled & cut into thick batons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 250 gram packet crunchy bean combo
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • small handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams feta, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp sultanas, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. Carrots: toss the carrots with olive oil, cumin, salt & pepper and place on a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender & golden. Set aside.
  2. Couscous: cook the couscous in plenty of boiling salted water for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain & refresh under cold water then drain again. Toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
  3. Dressing: whisk the oil, vinegar, paprika, honey, garlic & chilli in a bowl, season then stir in capers & sultanas.
  4. To serve: put the couscous, carrots, bean combo, spring onions & mint in a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the feta and gently combine. Bon appetit!  

From Dish Magazine

Smoked fish and potato salad with sour cream and horseradish dressing

Horseradish and smoked fish were made to go together, and when combined with waxy potatoes they make a simple but divine salad.

  • 500 grams smoked fish
  • 600 grams waxy new potatoes, scrubbed 
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 inner stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 large gherkins, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped  
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 1 tsp cold water
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper   
  1. Dressing: whisk the sour cream in a bowl until smooth then whisk in all remaining ingredients & season.
  2. Remove the skin & bones from the smoked fish and pull fish into large chunks.
  3. Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Drain & set aside. When cool, peel and cut into large chunks.
  4. To assemble: combine the fish, potatoes & remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl & gently fold together. Grate some lemon zest over and a grind of pepper. Enjoy!

From Dish Magazine

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Thai Venison in Lettuce Cups

A quick, refreshing Thai dish, perfect with NZ venison.

serves 2
takes 20 minutes
  • 500 grams venison mince (I use Silver Fern Farms)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2-3 chillies, finely sliced (red or green)
  • 3 small limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup vietnamese mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  1. Heat a fry pan to medium-high heat and cook onions, garlic & chilli until soft. Add venison and cook until tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except coriander & mint.
  3. Wash iceberg lettuce, discard outer leaves.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups. 
  5. Garnish with coriander, mint & chilli strips.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Baked Salmon with Coconut Topping

The Asian flavours knock the socks off the salmon while the coconut adds a lovely crunch, serve it with a simple green salad.

  • 2 pieces of salmon, boned, skin on
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 long chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped (I used a green one from my garden)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp coconut threads
Place all the ingredients in a bowl & mix, adding coconut in last and coating with the mixture.
To serve
  • fresh coriander
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 long chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped
  • lime wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
  2. Remove pin bones from salmon. Placed on a lined baking tray & season.
  3. Spoon topping onto the salmon & spread evenly. Don't press it down firmly.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes until just cooked and the top is golden.
  5. Cool slightly before scattering coriander, spring onion & chilli over the salmon & serve with lime wedges. Bon appétit! 


Fennel and Mozzarella Salad with Almonds

Another fantastic Dish Magazine recipe. So loving Clevedon Buffalo cheeses & yoghurts, especially the mozzarella. Mum still doesn't believe me when I tell her the buffalo are local...well shipped in back in 2008 but local now :)

Serves 2 as main
Takes around 20 minutes 

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large balls fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roasted & roughly chopped
  • 2 pieces preserved lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Scrape the flesh from the lemon skin & discard. Finely chop the skin & mix with remaining ingredients.
  1. Shave zucchini into thin strips with a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Place in a colander & sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Leave for 10 minutes then pat dry with kitchen towels.
  2. Shave the fennel thinly using above methods.
  3. Spoon the yoghurt onto a serving platter & drizzle with the oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Slice the mozzarella & arrange over yoghurt then spoon over half the dressing & top with fennel & zucchini.
  5. Drizzle over rest of the dressing, almonds & a grind of black pepper. Enjoy! 

Warm Chicken Liver Salad with Hazelnuts

To toast and skin the hazelnuts for this recipe, place on baking tray and bake 180oC for 10 minutes. Cool, then place in a clean tea towel & rub to loosen the skins. This recipe is adapted from Annabel Langbein, Free Range in the City.

Serves 2 as a main
Takes around 30 minutes

  • 350g free-range chicken livers
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp butter
  • bag of baby spinach, rocket or watercress
  • 2 oranges, peeled & segmented
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted, skinned & coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • a drizzle of pomegranate molasses (optional)
  1. Trim chicken livers, cutting any large pieces in half. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Heat butter in a large, heavy based fry pan and when it turns nut brown add the livers. Cook over high heat, turning once, until browned but still lightly pink in the middle. About 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute the other. Lift out of pan & set aside.
  3. Arrange spinach on a serving platter with oranges & hazelnuts. Add warm livers & gently toss. Drizzle with lemon juice & pomegranate molasses, if using, & season to taste. Serve immediately & enjoy!

Roast Chicken Salad with Orange Dressing

I've always eyed up the ready roasted chooks in the supermarket but I've had to walk away as they aren't free range. You can imagine my delight when I discovered Farro Fresh in Grey Lynn are now doing roasted free-range chicken. You can easily get enough meat for 4 people but we were rather hungry this night and two piglets devoured this easy as salad.

Serves 2 piglets
Takes around 15 minutes

  • 1 roasted free-range chicken
  • 1 large lettuce of choice i.e., cos or iceberg lettuce
  • bunch of grapes (or use seasonal fruit such as apricots, destoned & cut into wedges, pear slices or orange segments)
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (or plain roasted cashews or peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander or mint leaves
Orange Dressing
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp fresh orange juice (1 large orange or 2 small ones)
  • finely grated zest & juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. To make the Orange Dressing place all the ingredients into a jar and give it a good shake. Put aside in fridge.
  2. Strip chicken from bones discarding the skin and fat. Roughly shred into bite size pieces. Place into a bowl and toss with half the dressing.
  3. Grab a serving bowl and layer with the lettuce, top with grapes, spring onions, nuts & fresh herbs.
  4. Add the chicken and remaining chook and toss gently. Bon appétit!