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


12 November 2013

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova

Well not quite pear belle helene & not quite pavlova, but some sort of deliciousness in between.  I am more of meringue person so like my pav a little chewy & crunchy & little less marshmallowy, so my pavs tend a little towards a giant meringue! 

The favourite dessert of last summer was this brown sugar pavlova with whipped cream, raspberries & salted caramel sauce.  Mound everything on top & let everyone just tuck in & help themselves...it went down a treat.

I wanted a little variation, but still a craving for some salted caramel & came up with this pear, chocolate & caramel concoction. Pear Belle Helene, or Poire Belle Helene if we are being all French, is traditionally pears poached in sugar syrup & served with vanilla ice cream & chocolate syrup so I have taken a few liberties...it was the pears & chocolate that inspired this dessert. They may not be quite the classic beautiful pears but they were very, very good!

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova

Makes one large pavlova & 8 dinner guest & neighbours scoffed the lot!


6 egg whites at room temperature
380g 13oz raw sugar
4 tsp corn flour
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
750 ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 pear, cored & sliced
125g Whittaker’s Dark Ghana or other dark, bitter chocolate, melted

For the salted caramel sauce*

75 g / 3 oz unsalted butter
50 g / 2 oz soft light brown sugar
50 g / 2 oz caster sugar
50 gram 2 oz golden syrup
125 ml / 4.39 fl oz double cream
1 tsp good quality salt (not table salt)

*Severe Warning: This sauce is highly addictive after just one hit!


Pre heat your oven to 140C (no fan bake) / 275F & line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer & beat until you have stiff peaks & then gradually add the sugar.  Keep beating until the sugar is completely dissolved.  To check just rub a little meringue between your fingers. If you can still feel grains, beat a little longer until it feels completely smooth.

Add the corn flour*, vinegar & vanilla & beat on low until all incorporated in to the meringue.

*If like me you like something that is somewhere between a pavlova & a meringue reduce the cornflour; I added 3 teaspoons.
Not quite smooth enough…keep beating!

Now this is a rustic pavlova; so gently turn out the meringue on to the baking tray & make a rough rectangle with swirls & peaks & troughs...all the better for holding all those lovely toppings.  Place in the oven & cook for one hour.*  Allow the meringue to cool completely before assembling & serving.

While the pavlova is cooking make the salted caramel sauce.  Place the butter, sugars, syrup & butter in a small saucepan over a medium low heat to melt.  Once melted simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring now & again.

Add the cream & half a teaspoon of salt & stir again.  Taste, carefully as it will be hot! Add more salt if need be & cook gently for another minute.  Et voilà,  that is it.  In a matter of moments you will have what is  the most addictive sauce. I find if left on the stove top it is almost impossible not to just have a little taste every time I walk by.

*Again if like me you prefer a slightly “failed” pav with a little more crunch & a little more chew & little less marshmallowy just cook for a little longer, 5-10 minutes more.

To assemble place the pavlova on a large platter or board, mound on top the whipped cream, scatter over the pears, drizzle generously with the salted caramel sauce & the melted chocolate.  Take to the table & let everyone dive in & help themselves.

Chewy crunchy meringue, whipped cream, salted caramel & bittersweet chocolate....need I say more?  Thought not 😊

This is also my entry for this month’s Sweet NZ being hosted by me 😊 All details here if you have some sweet treats!

If you like this you might like this Brown Sugar Pavlova with Raspberries & Salted Caramel Sauce

Three years ago M&M's Green Coleslaw


10 November 2013

Char-grilled Asparagus & Parsley Pesto Pasta

Asparagus, how I love those tender green spears. They’ll make at least one appearance a week at the dinner table until their season is over. They are not happy travellers so I always like to make the most of always too short season.  And I always like to find some new ways to cook with them.  This week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs it is all about in season, so asparagus was an obvious choice.  Even better this another fast one!

Char-grilled Asparagus & Parsley Pesto Pasta, from donnahay.com.au

Serves 2


1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil, plus extra, for brushing
2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cloves garlic, crushed
2 anchovy fillets
½ cup (40g) finely grated parmesan, plus extra, to serve
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
200g spaghetti
Salt & pepper


Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush the asparagus with oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook for a few minutes, until just charred. Allow to cool slightly & roughly chop. Place the asparagus in a food processor with the oil, parsley, garlic, anchovy fillets, parmesan, lemon zest & juice, salt & pepper & blitz until roughly chopped. 

Set the pesto aside. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, with a little bite. Drain the pasta & reserve about  1 cup (250ml) of the cooking liquid. 

Return the pasta to the saucepan with the pesto & reserved liquid & toss to combine. Divide between plates & top with a little extra sprinkling of parmesan & cracked pepper to serve. 

Another speedy & tasty supper from Donna Hay & perfect for this weeks I Heart Cooking Club's In Season theme. This one is bright, fresh & satisfying, the char grilling adding a wonderful smokey sweet note.

If you like this you might like this Ottolenghi's Asparagus Mimosa
Three years ago Port & Chicken Liver Pate


02 November 2013

Zucchini, Feta & Chilli Crostini

This week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are all about the sandwich.  Who doesn’t love the versatile sandwich?  I am certainly partial to that classic the cucumber sandwich & a personal favourite would be an egg mayonnaise sandwich.  Perfect egg mayonnaise, so more egg than mayo & well seasoned with salt & a good dose of freshly ground black pepper for me. The freshest white bread & butter also requisites to make it the perfect sandwich.  That brings me to another favourite; the bacon sandwich which also needs the freshest white bread & butter encasing crispy bacon.

This week I thought of maybe some sort of wrap or some sort of open sandwich & then I stumbled upon these bruschetta.

bru·schet·ta [broo-sket-uh, -shet-uh; Italian broo-sket-tah]
an Italian appetiser consisting of toasted bread slices drizzled with olive oil & usually topped with tomatoes and basil.

Which pretty much is one of these; an open sandwich...

open sandwich
a sandwich served on only one slice of bread, without a covering slice.

So I reckon that means this bruschetta come crostini qualifies as a sandwich for this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs.  It really is just one without a top, which is why this one caught my eye.  Fresh bright pale green circles of zucchini flecked with red chilli, chives & lemon zest was just the ticket for a bright, fresh Spring supper.  Reading further these were scattered over crispy grilled bread & feta & I was sold.

Zucchini, Feta & Chilli Crostini, adapted from donnahay.com.au

*these were originally bruschetta, I made them crostini & rubbed them with a little garlic before char grilling rather than raw garlic in amongst the zucchini . I also added a little mint as it works so well alongside the zucchini & used a little less oil.


2 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced
2 small red chillis, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 French baguette, sliced on an angle. 
1 garlic clove halved
A little olive oil to drizzle
150g feta, sliced
Salt & pepper


Place the zucchini, chilli, garlic, chives, lemon zest, salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and mix to combine.  Rub the garlic clove over the bread & drizzle with a little olive oil.  Char grill stove top or pop in a 180C/350F oven for 10 minutes until golden.  Top the bread with the feta & the zucchini mixture to serve.

Et voila, a quick, bright & fresh supper on the table in moments. The crispy bread wonderfully crunchy & the creamy, salty feta the perfect foil for the zucchini herbs & chilli.  As little crostini these would be the perfect nibble for a summer BBQ.

For more sandwich inspiration head over here.

If you like this you might like this Cavolo Nero & Ricotta Bruschetta
Two years ago Fennel Ice Cream

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