22 December 2013

Bookshelf: Mexican Corn from Ripe, A Fresh Batch

Hi! It has been a little while.  The silly season well & truly kicked in & something had to give; amongst all the lunches, parties & holiday festivities.  Sadly it was cooking & so this little blog became a little neglected.  The good news is Santa came early with a new toy

And just like that my cooking mojo returned.  I want to BBQ, smoke or roast everything on this little baby!  The first foray was eye fillet.  I kept it simple with just a few wood chips to add that wonderfully smokey flavour that only a charcoal BBQ can deliver.  It was just, well delicious; tender, moist & smokey. Loving the new BBQ.

And then on the side this corn.  You have to try this corn.  I first had it at a Gourmet a Go Go cooking class the other month with Grant, his team & Pip Wylie from Ripe. It was the star attraction amongst all sorts of tempting summer dishes.

Corn is blanched, smeared in mayo, rolled in Mexican seasoning & then the final touch, a little Parmesan before heading to the grill. Sweet & spicy I reckon it will be making frequent encore appearances over Summer.  These are most definitely finger licking good!

Mexican Seasoning

This versatile rub is amazing with the corn but would also work on all sorts of kebabs or even fish to spice things up a little.

Makes 1/2 a cup


3 tbsp paprika
3 tbsp garlic powder
3 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional...but highly recommended)
3 tsp dried Mexican oregano* or regular dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

*You’ll get dried Mexican oregano at mexicanspecialities.co.nz


Place all the ingredients in a small bowl, mix well & store in a clean jar with an air tight lid.

Mexican Corn

Serves 6


6 corn cobs, husks on
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 lemon
1/4 cup good mayonnaise
3 tbsp Mexican seasoning


Pull the husks back from the corn, but leave them attached.  Remove any stringy silk & set the cobs aside.  Fill a large pot with water & a pinch of salt & bring to the boil.  Blanch the corn, with husks attached, for 3-4 minutes.  Fill the sink with cold water & plunge the corn in the water to cool.  Drain well & pat dry with kitchen towel.

Place the Parmesan & Mexican seasoning on plates.  Cut the lemon in half & rub the juice all over the cobs.  Spread mayonnaise over the cobs & then roll in the Mexican seasoning & then in the Parmesan.

BBQ or grill the cobs for 1 or 2 minutes, turning often. And serve.

If you like these you might like this Fried Caprese Zucchini Blossoms
Three years ago Christmas Muffins


03 December 2013

Honey & Orange Glazed Salmon

Last week was the first National Honey Week & I was lucky enough to be asked along to celebrate in style at Vinnie’s where Geoff Scott & his team treated us to a wonderful lunch.

This was pheasant…breast & terrine; with globe artichokes, guava jellies & honey & rosewater yoghurt

Chocolate & honey, panacotta & honey, blue cheese parfait & honey….honey works with everything!

Led by Airborne Honey, NZ’s oldest honey brand, it was been launched to raise awareness & support of New Zealand’s sweetest natural resource & to encourage more Kiwis to include it in their diets. 

Manuka honey is NZ’s most popular honey, just ahead of Clover. In the nationwide survey launched by Airborne Honey this month; 40% of Kiwis named Manuka as their favourite & 29% chose Clover.  And how do we like to eat it? Most of us like to eat it on toast. I also like it in a hot toddy when I have a cold.  That is after all the only thing good about having a cold!

So in honour of NZ Honey Week, which I really should have done last week but life got in the way,  here’s a savoury way with honey; honey & orange glazed salmon. It’s hardly even a recipe....but a speedy supper you can whip up in minutes.

Honey & Orange Glazed Salmon

Serves 2

1 large or 2 small fillets of salmon
Juice & zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp Airborne Manuka Honey
1/2 red chilli, finely diced
Salt & pepper


Pre heat your oven to 180C / 350F

To make the glaze mix together the orange juice & zest, honey & chilli & season with a little salt & pepper.

Drizzle the glaze over the salmon & pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until just cooked through.  Cooking time will depend on the size & thickness of the salmon fillet. So it may need a little less if small & thinner & a little longer if enormous & thick like the one I had. Seriously it could have fed 3 people.

I served mine with some char grilled asparagus & fresh peas for Spring on a plate & lighter supper amongst all the festivities as the silly season gets in to full swing.

The Manuka is the star with the orange delivering a little citrus to cut through the rich salmon, & for me as always; a welcome hit of heat from the chilli.

If you like this you might like this Hot Smoking
One year ago Matakana
Two years ago Sweet NZ Round Up

*Airborne Honey is New Zealand’s oldest honey company.  Behind each jar is 100 years of experience, plus 25 years of laboratory experience & a comparative database containing more than 31,000 records. Airborne Honey adheres closely to the principles of being Honest, Undamaged and Traceable. Specific numbers on Airborne Honey packaging relates to the honey’s actual pollen count, the HMF level, plus others, giving Airborne the ability to trace the honey right back to its source, as well as pinpointing any damage from processing & identifying its active ingredients. Airborne Honey has also patented a unique, breakthrough technology that almost entirely minimises heat damage to honey and delivers to the consumer the most natural and undamaged honey possible. www.airborne.co.nz


01 December 2013

Sweet New Zealand #28

And it is December!  Here's the round up of last month's Sweet New Zealand. Our 28th month! 

First up this pretty as a picture crepe cake from Alessandra with edible flowers & alpine strawberries straight from her garden...crepes & cointreau infused butter cream sounds pretty heavenly to me.

Second my contribution; my take on pay…pear belle helene pav....so really somewhere between a meringue & a pav...a little chewy & a little crunchy topped of with whipped cream, pears, bittersweet chocolate...& oh yes....just a little salted caramel sauce!

And then there are these elderberry flower fritters from Alessandra....every so pretty & delicate.

Next up what could be the perfect raw caramel slice from Frances over at I Bake Club. Caramel - check. Chocolate - check! It is hard to believe that it is gluten, sugar & dairy free.

Could these possible be the prettiest cupcakes you’ve ever seen?  Hydrangea cupcakes from the just as gorgeous Arfi at Homemades. And hidden under the ever so pretty topping gluten free chocolate brownies

From Lesley at Eat Etc we have her take on Linzer Torte by way of these delectable Linzer biscuits, nutty biscuits sandwiched together with jam.  I’d imagine perfect with a cuppa.

And now we move in to the completely decadent with this amazing banana nutella cake...yes you heard right! Banana cake with a nutella coating!

Summer is almost here & strawberries are here! And they make for the perfect little tart as you can see by Alli over at Pease Pudding’s contribution. Perfect little strawberry tart tatins with a vanilla syrup. Now that is a dessert perfect for Summer.

Carrying on the Summer & strawberry theme check out these beautiful looking morsels from Sue over at Couscous & Consciousnessroasted strawberry custard tarts.  I want one...Now!

And with Christmas on the horizon how about these Christmas Caramel Slices from Nom Nom Panda....they’s make the perfect festive gift!

And finally these gorgeous looking pistachio orange & cardamom biscotti...these would also make a the prefect festive gift....if they lasted that long.  I love cardamom so these are right up my alley!

With Christmas just around the corner I am sure you will all be cooking up lots of festive sweet treats.  Be sure to send them on to Alice at Alice in Baking Land who will be hosting December Sweet NZ.

27 November 2013

Auckland Eats:Baduzzi

I do love Baduzzi, after 3 visits I still want to back for more....of just about everything.  Meatballs are star but then everything else is just a tempting & delectable. It’s run by the same team as The Grove so they know exactly what they are doing & it the most welcome addition to Wynyard Quarter.

Step in through the bright red door, settle in & enjoy! 

Baduzzi is the Sicilian word for meatballs & there are some very tasty morsels to choose from. Crayfish meatballs with braised chickpeas, heritage tomato & basil or grilled wagyu meatballs with onion gravy, salsa verde & cannellini beans or wild red deer meatballs with portabello mushroom & cauliflower crema.  The other Monday night we had the crayfish & wagyu & were not disappointed....these are melt in the mouth delicious.

Much as I love the meatballs I love the past even more! My special favourite the saffron gnocchi with goats curd, burnt butter, almonds & marjoram.  What’s not to love about pasta & burnt butter, well actually anything with burnt butter!  Add to that the sharp goats cheese & I am in heaven.  We also had the rabbit ravioli, plump ravioli packed with rabbit meat are rich & comforting.

We also tried the insalata of white beans, squid, lemon juice & parsley.  Perfectly grilled squid & wonderfully bright & fresh salad.

And then there are desserts! I have had the tiramisu on a previous visit...just have it.  Rich & creamy...No matter how full you think you are you will thank me...I promise! The chocolate torta caprese with vanilla ice cream is rich, dark & decadent. Served warm with an ooey gooey centre if you love chocolate you will adore this dessert!

Baduzzi from beginning to end is just a delight!

10-26 Jellicoe St, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter. 
Ph: (09) 309 9339

23 November 2013

Bookshelf:Dark Danish Rye from The Green Kitchen

They say good things come to those who wait & that is definitely true of this bread, no no knead, bread ready in an hour here. This is a 24 hour job but it is so worth the wait.  Ever since getting the Green Kitchen Stories cookbook this one was calling me.  I have actually had the ingredients waiting in the pantry for a weekend when time was on my side.  And this weekend just gone I did have a little time.

It’s not difficult, it is just like a lot of really good things it takes a little time.step by step...they do say patience is a virtue.

Dark Danish Rye Bread, from The Green Kitchen

Makes 1 loaf


190g (6 1/2 oz / 1 cup) whole rye grains
60g (2oz / 1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
500ml boiling water
250ml plain yoghurt, at room temperature
3 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fennel seeds
125g (4oz / 1 cup) dried cranberries
5 tbsp carob or cocoa powder
4 tsp fast action dry yeast
400g (14oz / 2 2/3 cups) whole rye flour
150g (5oz / 1 cup) whole spelt flour
60g (2oz / 1/2 cup) light spelt flour

*So I had rye flour....& 400g was way more than 2 2/3 cups!  But the dough seemed to be the right consistency so I just carried on!  And for the second round I just added less spelt flour.  I didn’t have whole & light & so just used regular spelt flour.


Place the rye grains & sunflower seeds in a bowl & pour over the boiling water.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, then add the yoghurt, honey, sea salt, fennel seeds, cranberries & carob or cocoa powder.  Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Test the temperature with your finger; it should be just warm.

Stir in the yeast & then add the rye flour & stir until you have a smooth batter.  Cover the bowl with cling film & leave for 1 hour at room temperature  or until the yeast has worked it’s magic & the dough is slightly bubbly.  Gradually add in enough of the spelt flour to form a dough that you can turn out on to a floured work surface & knead for 5 minutes.  Add more spelt flour until the dough  becomes firmer.  It will be slightly sticky but quite heavy.

Form it in to a ball & place it in a clean oiled bowl.  Slap some water on the top with your hands.  Cover with clingfilm & chill for 8-10 hours....this is where the first round of waiting comes in.

Place the dough in a 1kg (2 1/4 lb) oiled loaf tin & press down with your fists to get rid of any air pockets.  The dough should be quite sticky.  Brush the top with water & dust with rye flour.  Cover with a kitchen towel & set it aside to rise for slightly for 2 hours....round 2 of waiting.

Pre heat your oven to 200C / 400F.  Place the loaf in the oven on the lowest shelf & bake for 1 hour.  After an hour turn off the heat & leave the loaf in the oven for a further 15 minutes.  Remove from the tin & leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours....I know, very hard not to cut a slice of bread just out the oven to slather with butter!  But the wait is worth it  & it is important to allow the bread to set which makes it easier to slice.

Place in an airtight container it will keep for a week.

This is good bread, well actually better then good. A little heavy & full of substance & sustenance it leaves you feeling satisfied & nourished.  They say the cranberries are optional but I would definitely include them, those little bursts of fruit just add more texture & flavour.

If you like this you might like this Busy People's Bread
One year ago Passion Fruit Mousse
Three years ago Yucatecan Guacamole with all the Trimmings


17 November 2013

Zucchini & Feta Tart

What I do love about Donna Hay recipes is that they are so adaptable, easy to tweak & change to suit yourself. For me that is a sign of a a good recipe.  I prefer them more as guide rather than list of hard & fast rules & ingredients.

“if god had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn't have given us grandmothers.” 
Linda Henley

This week’s theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is tarts; now I love a tart but with Summer & beach time fast approaching I am in the need of a lighter tart! So this zucchini & feta tart with filo instead of puff or short crust pastry hit the spot.

Zucchini & Feta Tart, adapted from donnahay.com.au

*I switched out the goat’s curd for feta as that was what I had. I also used a tray half the size so pretty much changed all the quantities! So And I added a little lemon zest & chilli....they just work such a treat with feta & zucchini.

Serves 4 


50g butter, melted
6 sheets filo pastry
2 zucchini (courgettes), grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1 red chilli, finely diced (seeds & all if you like a little heat!)
4 eggs
½ cup cream
Sea salt & cracked black pepper
100g feta crumbled


Preheat oven to 160C / 320F

Brush the base of a 15cm x 40cm tart dish or baking tray with melted butter. Layer with filo sheets, brushing with melted butter between each layer & leave a little of each sheet over hanging. Top with the grated zucchini. 

Place the eggs, cream, lemon zest, chilli, salt & pepper in a bowl & whisk until well combined. Carefully pour over the zucchini and top with the crumbled feta. Crumple up the edges of the over hanging filo to make a little crust & brush it with a little of the melted butter. Place on a baking tray & bake for 30-35 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. 

This was a light & fresh take on a tart....ticking Donna’s fast, fresh & simple mantra.  The chilli & lemon zest definitely adding a little heat & brightness so would most definitely recommend their addition.

If you like a tart.you'll find more here.

If you like this you might like this A Very Full Tart
Two years ago For the Love of Food
Three years ago Watermelon Raspberry Ice

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