All posts filed under: Recipes

Dan Dan Noodles and a $100 Prezzy Card giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – Made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. They are available at all supermarkets. Dan Dan. Fun to say. Fun to eat. Dan Dan Noodles are a common street food from China’s Sichuan Province which  is also responsible for Kung Pao Chicken and Mapo Tofu. If you know these dishes, you’ll know the fiery, punchy flavour profile of the region. Dan Dan Noodles are egg or wheat noodles served with a meat topping, preserved or pickled vegetables, peanuts or sesame seeds, a sweet sesame soy sauce or soup and of course, Sichuan pepper.  Served from street food peddlers, these noodles are an inexpensive, filling meal with lots of flavour. Spice level varies, but this is more about the satisfying tingle of Sichuan Pepper than the burn of chilli. There are many variations on this dish but those are the key elements. For the sake of research, I’ve eaten a few bowls of Dan Dan Noodles to get a feel for …

Vege Wonton Noodle Soup

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – They are made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. Available at all supermarkets. Do you have a favourite meal? Is it comfort food? I am all about comfort food. As stated on my ABOUT page, wonton noodle soup is my favourite meal. I grew up on wontons and back in the day, I folded many, many wontons for our Chinese take away. Unpretentious. Easy to portion to suit your current appetite. Easy to digest. While I love the Cantonese classic of pork and prawn, I decided it was time to reinvent this old favourite to be vegetarian-friendly. Perfect for spring, this light yet satisfying meal is a hug in a bowl. I make no claims on the authenticity of this recipe. It is fusion at best. Win! MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain noodles come in Chicken or Beef 5 packs, are baked, not fried and are 99% fat free. Thanks to MAGGI’S 2minute Wholegrain Noodles I’m giving away a set of …

Oven baked flounder with tomatoes

If you don’t like eyes looking at you from your plate, then flounder are the worst. I grew up eating yellowbelly flounder. My parents steamed whole fish with fresh ginger and a touch of hot oil and soy, served with rice and a side of greens. Fish doesn’t need much messing around with. While I’m sure not everyone feels the same way, there’s something I find super appealing about fish served whole. Fun fish fact: Flounder are born with an eye on each side but as they develop, one eye grows over to the other side to join the other. Yellowbelly flounder are available year round and I’ve paired them here with tomatoes which also available year round as they are grown in glasshouses. When buying whole fish, Look for bright clear eyes, shiny tight scales and a moist flat tail. A fish with a dry tail is a sad sight. Your flounder will probably be gutted and most places may have scaled your fish, if not ask, for them to be scaled or do …

Pork belly adobo and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot and I am delighted to give away a Crockpot Sear & Slow CHP700 (RRP $299.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Pork belly adobo is comfort food. Adobo is the (unofficial) national dish of the Philippines. A country of 100 million people, inhabiting 7000 islands, you will find many variations, both regional and personal of this delicious Pinoy stew. Some cooks make it with pork, others with chicken, others still with both chicken and pork. Accepted ingredients are soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and bay leaf. With default savoury, sour and sweet notes, variations include the addition of ingredients such as pineapple, coconut milk, potatoes or hard boiled eggs. I’ve added potatoes to my slow cooker adaptation which soak up the sauce and takes on a gorgeous hue. What I love about this dish is that aside from the pork belly, if you cook regularly, you may already have these ingredients at home. The ingredients list feels familiar and not too …

Slow cooked whole chook and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Lift & Serve CHP450 (RRP $159.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Does a whole chicken in a crockpot seem weird to you? It’s not. I promise. Inspired by my new crockpot, I slow cooked a whole chook. The Crockpot Lift & Serve is the largest model in the Crockpot range. If you have a large household or like to meal prep, this one is for you. Its oval design happens to make perfect for cooking a large chicken.  Whole chickens are affordable and shredding means you don’t need carving or  or butcher skills. Just go at the tender cooked chicken with a fork. Easy. One thing I loved about this recipe is that slow cooked chicken is succulent all over. All over! Even the wings. If you’ve ever roasted a chicken, you’ll know the wings are done long before the rest, often resulting in sad, dry wings. Once you have cooked this chicken and you’re …

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Braised beef noodles and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Traditional CHP200 (RRP $119.99) just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. I was born in Hong Kong and the Cantonese have a long-standing obsession with food. They love to eat well and they love to eat often. Whenever I visit Hong Kong, my days transition from meal to meal. Almost the entire time is spent eating along with the social fanfare that comes with it. There are many dishes I am inspired by. However, locals typically do not cook at home. After working long hours, grocery shopping, followed by cooking at home is undesirable when eating out is so good and very affordable. Here in New Zealand, not so much. Regularly eating out in NZ is expensive but luckily there are clever ways to cook at home using affordable ingredients which yield maximum flavour. Enter the crockpot Thanks to Crockpot I have created a braised beef noodle recipe inspired by a dish found at Dai Pai Dong …

Bao Chicken Bao Bao

This post was made possible thanks to the Best Burger Truck which is trucking through the North Island giving away Beef & Cheese Sliders and Thai Chicken Sliders made with Best Foods Mayo. I have been enjoying Best Foods Mayo since I was a teenager because it is the creamiest, tastiest mayo. I distinctly remember me and my friends being obsessed with this mayo in high school and I have bought it ever since. One thing I was pleased to learn is Best Foods use 100% cage-free eggs in all their products. Winning! The Best Burger Truck recipes have been created by brand ambassador Jo Wilcox, who has worn many different hats including Chef, Food Editor and Food Stylist. To tuck into on these complimentary sliders, simply turn up at the locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington listed below. If you can’t make it to one of these events, make your own sliders at home by following the 5 recipes found here. Best Burger Truck will be in… Auckland Friday 28 April, 5pm-8pm at Basement …

Poké face

Poké (pronounced “po–kay”) landed in Auckland last September in the tired underground IMAX food court on Queen Street. My fork buddy and I hit up Poke Time on opening day: bright and little tacky, as Hawaiian-themed things can be, the experience has a Subway vibe and is essentially a build-your-own raw fish salad bowl. You pick whatever you want, although it can be too many decisions for the uninitiated. If you’ve never tried poké before, it can be overwhelming but if you know what you are doing, Poke Time is great value. With heaps of options including salmon, two types of tuna, and trevally, they also have token vegetarian options, but that’s probably not what most will come here for. Tip: go for the seasoned fish, the non-marinated options are essentially sashimi bowls, rather than poké bowls. Poké means “chop” and is a Hawaiian dish influenced by Japanese cuisine. Poké is raw fish (such as tuna, salmon or octopus) is cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed. Poké is often served served with fresh vegetables and rice …

Festive Lamb Salad

Hope everyone had a delicious Christmas! We’ve just spent four nights at a bach (kiwi for holiday home) for some family time. We were just a short downhill walk to the centre of Akaroa, a sleepy French harbourside settlement surrounded by dramatic hills. There were barbecues, lots of salads, a glazed ham, whitebait fritters, chocolates, cookies, desserts and just enough chilled beer and wine to wash it all down. I adore glazed ham (call me the queen of ham) and we finished the last of the ham leftovers the night before departure. I am not all hammed out at all. In fact, I’ve been contemplating buying a post-Christmas ham for the two of us to snack on. Maybe after that I shall be satiated. In any case, this festive salad I made earlier this month with lamb steaks could be switched for leftover ham if you happen to have any still left. Just top with sliced ham instead of sliced lamb. Festive lamb salad (or leftover ham salad if you happen to have leftover ham) Serves 2 Ingredients …

Around the world with Lisa’s World of Flavours (and a giveaway)

I haven’t eaten EVERYTHING…but it’s on my list. Food tourism is on the rise and eating one’s way around the world is a legit pastime. New flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques are my favourite travel souvenirs to bring home. I love being inspired by cuisines from around the world and until my next overseas adventure, I bring little slices of the world into my kitchen through food. Lisa’s new World of Flavours range takes iconic flavour combinations and re-imagines them as dips. Lisa’s Hummus is already a household name in NZ and the new range is made with beans instead of chickpeas and is gluten free and vegetarian. These dips make it easy to add an exotic touch to some of your favourite meals. There are 3 flavours in the World of Flavours range (so far): Greek Yoghurt Dip – lightly creamy with the fresh taste of mint and lemon. Great on sandwiches or burgers, as a spread or topping, perfect for summer barbecues. Thai Sriracha Dip (my favourite) – with sweet chilli and roasted capsicum, this …

Te Matuku Oyster Festival and a deep fried oyster recipe

The Koala and I had the pleasure of attending the Te Matuku Oysters on Waiheke on Saturday thanks to Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters. Our first festival of any kind since last summer, the weather held up – aside from a couple of light showers, it felt like summer. Waiheke is an island just a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland with loads of pristine beaches, a warm Mediterranean micro-climate and a focus on growing quality food and wine. We started with a delightful pilsner from Albi Brewing Company and a complimentary 3 oysters each. We were in oyster heaven and gobbled up more than our share and at festival special prices, it didn’t hurt the wallet one bit. If you love oysters the festival is time to gorge yourself on fresh, plump oysters. If your preference is natural with a squeeze of lemon (or Worcestershire sauce or vinaigrette), then shucked oysters are just $20 per dozen. To give you an idea of market price, a local restaurant sells the same oysters at $48 per dozen. …

Learning to shuck oysters and a recipe for Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters. If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat. Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this …

Gold reds with easy tapas and $150 New World voucher giveaway

As a graphic designer I’m often attracted to beautifully designed labels…but if I’m deliberating between two bottles of wine, the one with a little gold sticker gets the final say. I usually buy wine on special in the $10 to $15 range. If I’m feeling fancy, or buying a wine for a BYO birthday dinner I’ll upgrade to a $20 to $25 bottle. I don’t often go over that because I don’t have to – there are delightful wines to be had for under $25. The New World Wine Awards takes wine just seriously enough for your garden variety wine drinker. They’ve just announced their Gold, Silver and Bronze winners – all under $25. A panel of experts double-blind taste test over a thousand wines so you can be confident that the hard yards of wine tasting has been done for you. Thanks to the New World Wine Awards, I have a $150 New World voucher to give away so you can embark on your own gourmet adventure. Look for the gold sticker next time …

Chicken hand pies and a Freedom Farms giveaway

At the beginning of 2016 when bloggers everywhere were sharing their New Year resolutions, I shared my list of 5 things I wanted to do more and less of during 2016. One item on my list was “free range”. Animal welfare is important to me and I eat free range whenever I can. As of this year, I only buy free range pork, chicken and eggs. The good thing is, eating free range has become increasingly affordable and accessible as more consumers demand it. Full disclaimer, I relax this when eating out and would never even mention it if someone were awesome enough to cook for me. There’s a difference between showing integrity and being a dick. I hope free range becomes the norm in our lifetime and maybe one day we don’t have to worry about it at all. Until then, it’s good to keep track of accessible free range products. Freedom Farms is one of NZ’s most trusted free range brands and their streaky bacon (YUM!) is always on my shopping list. When I heard they launched a …