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Posts tagged ‘dinner’

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


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

Malaysian Egg Curry & Return of The Gannets

Where have you gone my lovely sunshine? For one day you graced us with your presence and back into hiding you went, all you left behind was a glowing red line across the back of my neck, evidence that you truly had visited . Our beautiful Gannets were happy as the sun shone, they played on the blustery sea air, swooping and diving, showing off to their mates, they are home again for the season. When the wind blows onshore we can hear their calls from our deck, they know summer is on it’s way even if the sun doesn’t always play it’s part in the deal.

As the weather changed again the salads went to the back of the fridge and a quick spicy Malaysian curry made an appearance for lunch. The recipe is slightly adjusted from Alice Hart’s book, Vegetarian to suit the ingredients I had on hand, it’s one of my favourites because it is so quick to prepare and full of fragrant flavours.

Ingredients – 4 portions

Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice

8 soft boiled eggs

1 Tbsp coconut oil

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic

2 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 chili, chopped

400ml chopped tinned tomatoes

2 Tbsp tamarind paste

100ml coconut milk

1 Tbsp brown sugar

salt to season

large handful fresh coriander, chopped


In a large frying pan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat.

Add the spring onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili & tomatoes to the pan and saute for 5 more minutes.

Stir in the tamarind paste, coconut milk and brown sugar, season with salt to your taste.

Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and then add the boiled eggs.

Cook for a few more minutes to warm the eggs through.

Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with rice

Hola Mexico! Chipotle Chili Tamarind BBQ Sirloin & Grilled Salmon with Lime, Ginger & Coriander

It’s definitely time to get out the BBQ, it’s been five month since it saw light of day, the only problem is our summer doesn’t seem to be towing the line. Slammed by southerly wind, showers and the odd blink of sun this weekend my great plans of a Mexican BBQ turned into grilling indoors in the cast iron skillet instead. It’s a ritual this time every year, the New Zealand weather turns on a few warm days, we pack away our winter clothes knowing damn well the weather Gods haven’t finished toying with us and it all turns to custard again. Realistically the weather doesn’t truly settle till December , at that stage the jandels (flip flops) are on and no socks for 5 months. I’m just hoping the weather might give me a little reprieve next week when I am running the Mexican BBQ workshop, at least I have a back up plan and plenty cast iron frying pans if doesn’t behave itself.

Mexican Grilled Salmon with Lime, Ginger & Coriander

Ingredients – serves 2-4

  • 2-4 salmon fillets (one per person)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 2 chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 small bunch Coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  • Remove skin from the salmon and any pin bones.
  • Place all the ingredients except for the salmon in a bowl and mix together.
  • In a flat bottom dish place the salmon pieces and pour over the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes, do not leave it much longer as the lime and tamarind will ‘cook’ the salmon.
  • Heat the BBQ to medium high and flame grill the salmon for two minutes on each side or cooked right through if you prefer. Place the salmon pieces onto a serving dish.
  • Put the remaining marinade into a small pan and bring to the boil. Pour over cooked salmon on serving dish and serve with corn tacos & tomato salsa.

Chipotle Chili Tamarind BBQ Skirt Steak

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 800g Skirt Steaks (or sirloin if you prefer)
  • 1tps black pepper corns, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 chipotle (I use tinned-La Morena) chili, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 Tbsp Japanese soy
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • Combine all the ingredients except for the skirt steak together in a bowl.
  • Place the skirt steak into flat dish and pour over the marinade and covering both sides. Marinate the steak for a minimum of one hour (it can be left for several).
  • Heat the BBQ to medium high and flame grill the steak on one side for 2 minutes and then turn over and marinate on the other side also for two minutes.
  • Remove steak from the heat and wrap in tin foil and let the meat rest for ten minutes.
  • Slice thinly and serve with corn tacos and tomato salsa
  • Heat the remaining sauce in a pan and serve over sliced steak
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