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Earthbound Honey & Soy Sticky Chicken with Green Rice

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I bought a beautiful bottle of Earthbound Raw Organic Apple Cider Honeygar from the lovely Terry and Karlene who have a stall at The Hobsonville Point Farmers Market. 

I have always steered clear of cider vinegar after being subject to is as a child. I can still hear my Mum saying “it’s good for you, drink it up”. Thankfully there wasn’t often the pennies for health tonics like this but you only need one memory to make it stick. But Earthbound’s cider Honeygar is nothing like memories of the past, it has a beautiful silky honey taste to it. I was hooked as soon as I tried it and even before I got the bottle home this recipe had developed in my head. I used the Honeygar as the sweet and acid for the marinade and man did it taste good!

Psst…. don’t tell my Mum but you can often find me having a hot toddy these cold night with a shot of the honeygar and water!

 

Ingredients – marinade 

5  Tbsp Earthbound Raw Organic Apple Cider Honeygar

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1 Tbsp soy

2 small chili, finely chopped

12 chicken wings or 6 thighs

Extra peanut oil for frying the chicken

Sesame seeds for garnish

Ingredients – Green Rice

2 cups basmati rice

3 Spring onion, finely sliced

2 Tbsp peanut oil

Small bunch of each herb – parsley, mint, coriander, finely chopped

Method

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the chicken wings/thighs and leave to marinade for 20 mins or longer if you have the time.

In a heavy frying pan (I used cast iron) over a medium heat add a splash of peanut oil.

Put the chicken wings into the frying pan but retain the marinade for later.

Cook the chicken on one side till golden then turn over. Cover the chicken with a piece of baking or greaseproof paper and sit a saucepan on top of the paper.

The pan should be big enough to cover all the chicken underneath the paper (i Think I saw Jamie doe this and it works really well).

This helps it to cook through and also pushes more of the chicken surface onto the pan making it browner.

Prepare the rice as you would normal basmati, I use a rice cooker so I’m no use at giving instruction on making rice in a pan.

Once the rice is cooked, add the chopped herbs and peanut oil and stir through. Season with salt or a little soy. Keep warm till chicken is ready.

Once the chicken is brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 mins for wings. Add the reserved marinade and 1/4 cup of water to the pan and allow it to cook for a minute.

Serve the chicken wings and sauce over the green rice

Sprinkle with some sesame seeds

Posh Bangers & Mash with Herby Peas

DSC_0017 (1)Bangers… does that make sense to anyone other than the British? Sausages earned the named bangers during World War 1 when the meat content in them was reduced due to rationing and shortages. More water was added which made them explode when cooked, hence bangers.

I was never a fan of sausages as a child but loved to make what we called ‘a bean fort’. A dollop of mash was put onto the plate and you made a well in the centre. Half a sausage stood tall in four corners as turrets to a fort and you poured your beans or peas in the centre. The highlight was to break the mash wall and watch all the beans soldiers run out. I obviously always likes to play around with food even then :o)

I began to really like sausages when living in Germany, where only meat and spices are put into the sausages, no wheat or other fillers are used. In New Zealand there is finally a trend by some butchers to make sausages in the same method, relying on their meat and spices to shine in their glory without packing them with cheap fillers. Amanda, my  stall holder neighbour at Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, who is the owner of Farm Gate Produce  makes these beautiful free range piggie sausages I used in this recipe. They also have a mixed beef and pork spiced sausage which is perfect not only for good old Bangers and Mash but makes a great pasta dish by using the sausage instead of meatballs. Don’t get me started on how amazing their aged eye fillet is either otherwise I’ll never finish this post. Anyway, if you do get a chance to try them, you really should and you can buy one of my sweet treats from the market too to finish your meal off.

A note when making the three elements to this dish, make the beans and peas first and put aside, they can be warmed through just before you are ready to serve. That will save you the juggling of pots and pans on the stove top.

Congratulations also to the winners of the Haute Cuisine double passes….. Genie and Sue, have fun at the movies!

Bangers – Sausages – 4 people

8 quality free range, wheat free sausages

Cook as required. If using wheat free sausage do not over cook them, treat them like you would a good steak.

Ingredients – Mash

1 Tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained

1 x400g tin cannellini beans, drained

1 cup veg stock

Method – Mash

In a medium pan over a low heat put the garlic and butter. Cook for 1 minute.

Add both beans to the pan with the stock and warm through.

Once hot blitz with a wiz stick till you have a smooth puree.

I don’t salt them as tinned beans tend to have enough but go with your own preference.

Ingredients – Herby Peas

3 cups baby peas – frozen

1 cup podded broad beans (optional)

1/4 cup of veg stock

1 handful parsley

1 handful of basil or mint

1/4 tsp salt

Method – Herby Peas

Warm the frozen peas and podded broad beans with the stock in a medium sized pan over a low heat. Don’t boil them, they really don’t need to be cooked and too much heat will turn them brown.

Add the herbs and salt and with a wiz stick blitz a quarter of the peas, keeping the stick in one place so all the peas don’t mush. The quarter blitzed peas will create a sauce.

Assemble on the plates or serve on family style platters or if you have kids maybe they would like to try making a bean fort!

Ham Hock, Cannellini Beans and a few Autumnal Photos

DSC_0006 (3)It’s getting colder and wetter here in New Zealand as we stumble towards autumn. I say stumble because at this time of year we can still swing between glorious warm days or wet and blustery days, particularly on our wild West Coast. But that’s no reason to be sad, we have hearty winter fare to look forward to, roasts, stews and dishes with dumplings! Not only that I get to wear my new boots that have been in a box for several months waiting for colder days. I have a thing for UK shoes still even after 13 years here and buy online out of season, the benefits are two fold. Something different to what is selling on the high street and picking up the out of season sales price.

Enough shoe talk and onto the ham hock and cannellini bean stew. I used a pressure cooker to make this dish being short on time and just a tad impatient so if you don’t have one you will probably have to cook the ham at least an hour and a half or until it falls off the bone. Recipe below the pics from a misty Muriwai morning.

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Ingredients – serves 4

1 small smoked ham hock (uncooked)

1 onion, peeled, halved & thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed,

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tins cannellini beans

small bunch parsley, finely chopped

zest of 1 lemon

Method

Place the onion in the pan/pressure cooker with olive oil over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the tinned tomatoes, garlic and ham hock.

Cook in pressure cooker per manufactures instructions for 35 minutes.

Once cooked pull the ham off the bone and remove the bone from the pan.

Add the cannellini beans, chopped parsley and lemon zest.

Season with black pepper, it won’t need salt as the ham hock should be salty enough.

Serve with crusty bread

Haute Cuisine & a Movie Ticket Give Away!

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Last week I was invited to the preview of the movie Haute Cuisine by the lovely Samantha of Trigger Marketing. Being a slight Francophile myself I was in heaven, a movie about a French Chef, set in my favourite two places in France, Paris and Périgord. It’s a wonderful movie in a beautiful setting but be warned, don’t watch it like I did on an empty stomach, we had to straight out for dinner afterward. It’s a humorous and engaging tale with mouth watering visuals in which recipes are discuss and prepared lovingly. I heartily recommend the movie if you, like me, love anything French and are a big foodie movie fan.

The good news is I have two double passes curtesy of Trigger Marketing to give away to the movie. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post before 26th April and I will take a luck dip from those names and the two names that are picked will win the passes. I will contact the winners for their mailing address.

The passes are valid at any movie box office showing Haute Cuisine. The tickets are valid from May 2nd to June 10th.

About the film: Hortense Laborie, a renowned chef from the Périgord, is astonished when the President of the Republic appoints her his personal cook, responsible for creating all his meals at the Élysée Palace. Despite jealous resentment from the other kitchen staff, Hortense quickly establishes herself, thanks to her indomitable spirit. The authenticity of her cooking soon seduces the President, but the corridors of power are littered with traps. Based on the extraordinary true story of President Francois Mitterand’s private cook.

Written & Directed by Christian Vincent
Starring Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d’Ormesson & Hippolyte Girardot

Custard & Raspberry Jam Doughnuts

DSC_0017I’m afraid I am going to torture you with a photograph only today and no recipe. The pictured doughnuts are rapidly becoming the most popular item on my patisserie list so I am being mean and not sharing it’s secret, not just yet anyway. Well I don’t want you all making your own and no longer visiting me at my stall do I? That would be sad to not see your faces every Saturday or Sunday.

The end of the week is a crazy one, making all my own pastries for all the goodies to sell on Saturday and Sunday; puff, shortcrust, hot water, croissant, brioche dough and bread. It’s very rewarding though as it comes out the oven and the neighbours knock on the door when they get a waft of the sweet and savoury aromas.  As well as the market stall on Sunday I have a growing list of orders from Muriwai locals who stop by my kitchen on Saturday and collect their weekend treats.

So instead of a recipe I leave you with this weeks menu, in hope some of you Auckland locals reading this will pop Hobsonville Point Market by and say hello! Happy weekend!

Savoury Pastries

Seasonal Galettes – Leek,Walnut Pesto, Halloumi & Roasted Tomato. Roasted Beetroot & Feta. Caramelised Onion, Halloumi & Field Mushroom

Handmade Traditional Pork Pies

Cornish Pasties – Beef & Mustard. Chicken, Leek & Tarragon
Large Croissant Cheese Twists/Stick
Bacon & Egg Pies

Pork & fennel Sausage Rolls

Multigrain loaf (500g) – $5 (please order

Sweet Pastries
French Caramel Apple Tart
Eccles Cakes

Crisp Palmiers

Apricot Danish

Pacific Panforte– Mango, Macadamia, Coconut

Vanilla Custard & Raspberry Filled Doughnuts

Pacific Panforte – Macadamia, Mango, Coconut & White Chocolate

DSC_0006This was meant to be an Easter post, technically it still is being Easter Monday today but a little too late for any of you to make as an Easter gift which was my original intention. It would make a nice Christmas gift too so you can always stash the recipe in the memory banks for later this year. I have been selling the panforte on my market stall at Hobsonville Point on Sunday’s, it’s been quite popular, although the new addition of my vanilla custard & raspberry jam doughnuts seemed to have eclipsed everything with their popularity. I will try and share that recipe with you at some point or you can visit me at the market and pick up a few.

Ingredients

  • 200g roasted macadamia nuts
  • 350g dried mango, roughly chopped
  • 100g flour (or ground almonds can be substituted for gluten free)
  • 100g coconut thread or desiccated
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 100g honey
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Prepare a 20cm x 20cm baking tin by lining it with greaseproof paper and also greasing the paper.
  3. Roast macadamia nuts in oven till golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, mix flour, coconut, nuts and spices.
  5. In a pan over a low heat, melt the honey and sugar till dissolved and gently boil for 2 minutes.
  6. Add mango to the cooked honey and sugar and gently boil for a further 2 minutes.
  7. In a microwave or over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate pieces, being careful not to overcook them.
  8. Add honey and mango mixture, melted chocolate to the nuts and and flour mixture.
  9. Stir the mixture well with a wooden spoon (working quickly, it is easier to do this while the mixture is still hot).
  10. With a wet hand, press mixture into prepared tin.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Cool on a cake rack.
  13. Store in an airtight container or gift wrap. Panforte will keep for a few weeks stored this way.

 

Boizel Winemakers Dinner at Bracau

It’s been a whirlwind few months, working 3 days in my office job as well as running cooking school classes once a week and the baking for the Sunday market at Hobsonville Point. My patisserie sales have organically grown into selling direct to the Muriwai locals on a Saturday now too, straight from my kitchen. The local sale are a lot of fun, neighbours  coming together in my cooking school kitchen for a Saturday morning catch up while they pick out their weekend treats. There is talk about whether I should be offing coffee too but I think I might need an extra pair of hands to do that!

So I am please to be taking some time out this evening and heading out to the Bombay Hills to Bracau where I have been invited to attend the winemakers dinner with my mate Mairi from Toast. We will keep you updated on Twitter and Facebook this evening, perhaps torturing you a little with photos of what we are eating. There are still places available for those keen. Here’s some information below.

Oh and I promise to be back before the weekend with my recipe for Pacific Panforte with Mango, Coconut & Macadamia

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On Wednesday 27 March Mikey teams up with Maison Vauron’s Will Brunel-Morva and Quitterie Lagrange to create an exquisite five course Boizel Winemaker’s Dinner featuring stunning champagnes from Boizel at Simunovich Olive Estate.

The meal starts with canapes and ends with a glass of 1996 Joyau Vintage Champagne to accompany dessert. Champagne Boizel represents the finest in artisan winemaking handed down from one generation of the Boizel family to the next. The dishes Mikey and his team create will reflect the hand-crafted heritage of wines that are made to be enjoyed with food.

When he visited the House of Boizel last year, Bracu Head Chef Mikey Newlands could barely believe his eyes, or his tastebuds! “I found the wines of Champagne Boizel just exquisite! And I loved the opportunity to learn of the passion for winemaking that this family has after talking to Florent Boizel, a fifth-generation member of this dedicated family”, says Mikey.

A few more tickets remain for this special dinner at Simunovich Olive Estate on Wednesday 27 March. The link follows here

Cheese & Smoked Paprika Croissant Twists

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It’s been a whirlwind start to the year…looming redundancy, starting a patisserie stall at a local farmers market and now looking to expand. Most day’s I don’t know whether I am coming or going let alone take photos of food I am making and sharing them with you.

Hopefully I will have news soon about our new business venture but I will wait until we have something signed and sealed and then I will share all our plans with you. I can say though that I hope to be cooking every day.

I have bought a commercial dough mixer this week,  how exciting is that? It’s been a chore as demand grows making croissant dough, puff pastry, shortcrust – sweet and savoury, special pork pie and Cornish pasty pastries en-mass by hand. This week should be a breeze with the new machine and I will be dabbling with an Easter loaf recipe too.

I introduced these cheese & paprika twist to the market last week and sold out! Here is the recipe below.

Ingredients

1 and 1/3 cups luke warm water

1.5 tsp instant yeast

450g flour

200g butter

2 Tbsp sugar

200g cheese, grated

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika

Method

Pre-heat oven on fan bake 200C and line 4 baking trays with baking paper.

Place the luke warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast. Let it dissolve.

In a large bowl add the flour & sugar then mix in the water and dissolved yeast. Bring everything together to a soft dough (tacky but not sticky). Knead dough for 3 minutes.

I use commercial slabs of butter which make it easier so I suggest you slice the butter block into 6 if you can.

Roll the dough to approx 20 cm x 60cm. Lay 3 slices of butter at one end and fold it over towards the middle so butter in enclosed.

Lay the other 3 slices of butter ontop of folded dough and bring the opposite end over to cover butter. Press around edges to seal butter in and turn so open ends face you.

Gently press down along the dough then roll to existing size 20 x 60cm.

Rest in the fridge until butter it cold and hard ( several hours)

Remove dough from fridge and repeat the process 2 more times, resting in fridge between both rollings.

Cut dough in half and roll each half to approx 20 x 40 cm.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika.

Longways, cut 6 strips. Roll each strip up enclosing the cheese and put onto a baking tray covered in baking paper.  4 to a tray so they have plenty space.

All twist to prove till double in size (this will depend on how warm your kitchen is).

Bake for 12-15 minutes

Enjoy!

Crisp Apple Tarts

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The Gourmet Gannet will be selling these crisp apple tarts at Hobsonville Point Farmers Market this Sunday (and every Sunday) if you haven’t time to make your own sweet treats this weekend. We will also have Traditional Handmade English Pork Pies, Cornish Pasties, Cheese & Paprika Twists, Chocolate Almond Twists. Lots of yummy vegetarian tarts topped with things like field mushrooms & halloumi or roast vegetables. Swing by and say hello if you are in Auckland, it’s a lovely market with lots of local producers.

This recipe can quick and simple if you want to buy the puff pastry or use the recipe below to make your own. The apple crisps are perfect with a morning coffee or for dessert after dinner with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

This is also my submission for Sweet New Zealand, our monthly Kiwi blogging event. This month hosted by Michelle over at Greedy Bread.

Ingredients
3 Braeburn Apples, cored
3 Tbsp Apricot puree/jam
3 Tbsp caster sugar
3 sheets of puff pastry or use recipe below

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Method

Pre-heat oven on fan bake to 200C

Take the pastry sheets or prepared puff pastry and cut round a saucer 6-9 times, re-roll spare pastry.

Place pastry circles on a baking paper on a baking tray.

Spread apricot puree over the circles.

Thinly slice the apple (I use a mandolin) and arrange over the pastry.

Brush the apples with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes. Liquid will release initially but this will dry and caramelize around the pastry to make them crisp.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Puff Pastry Recipe
Ingredients

250g plain, plus extra for rolling out

250g butter

150ml ice-cold water

Method

Place the flour in a large bowl.

Cut the butter into small cubes.

Using a round-bladed knife, stir the butter into the bowl until each piece is well coated with flour.

Add the iced water and bring everything together into rough dough.

Press the dough flat without kneading and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to relax and chill. The key with puff pastry is to keep it cool.

Lightly flour a work surface.

Roll the pastry in one direction until it’s about 1cm thick and three times as long as it is wide, or about 45x15cm. Try to keep it as square as possible.

Fold the bottom third of the pastry up, then the top third down.

Turn the dough so that its open edge is facing to the right, like a book.

Roll and fold the pastry again as before. Repeat process two more times (4 in all).

If the pastry gets warm or the butter soft at any point chill it for 10 minutes before continuing.

Chill the finished pastry for an hour, or ideally overnight, before using.

Roll to ¾ cm thick.

sweetnz

Sour Cherry & Walnut Brownie

DSC_0006What do I like about this brownie? Everything! The crisp sugary crust as you take the first bite, the gooey chocolate centre is so rich it clings to the roof of your mouth and you wonder if you can get through a whole piece. Then a tang of the sour cherry hits, balanced with the earthy walnut and you know you will managed another bite…maybe even another slice!

Would you buy these brownies if you stumbled across them at a Farmers Market? Well you may get the opportunity soon as the Gourmet Gannet plans to be selling sweet and savoury pastries pies and other treats from Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, Auckland starting this Sunday 17th Feb, 9am – 1pm and then every Sunday after that date. Come along and visit me!  In the meantime I’ll let you have my recipe….

Ingredients

200g Dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken into pieces

50g butter

300g soft brown sugar

5 free range eggs

80g Plain Flour

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

100g sour cherries (dried)

100g walnuts

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter & chocolate together in short burst in a microwave. Stir in between each burst.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar & eggs till they go pale.

Pour the melted but cooled chocolate & butter into the sugar mix and whisk briefly to combine.

Add the walnuts & cherries to the cake mixture and stir through.

Sift the flour & cocoa into the cake mixture and stir through till combined.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. The centre should still feel a little wobbly and when you insert a skewer it will come out sticky. The top will be crisp. it will set when cooled but have a gooey centre. Don’t be tempted to cook longer otherwise it will just be like a cake.

Allow to cool before cutting.

Brownie will keep in the fridge for at least a week if you can resist!

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