All posts filed under: Recipes

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Burrata for NZ Cheese Month

Happy NZ Cheese Month! I was over the moon last month when I joined a bunch of cheese-loving media on a NZ Cheese road trip. We visited some great local cheese makers, tasted some amazing and some polarising cheese and even met a lovely herd of water buffalo north of Auckland in Whangaripo. One of our stops was at Il Casaro, located in Glenfield in an unexpectedly industrial area proving that cheese needn’t be made out in the countryside to be good. Here we witnessed Italian cheese maker and co-founder Massimiliano make mozzarella by hand as he explained the process and treated us to freshly made cheese. New Zealand cheese is nothing short of phenomenal. The quality and creativity of our cheese is absolutely good enough for the world market, but many small producers can only meet the demand of our local appetites. This means that our very best cheese actually stays in the country. A win for us. In honour of NZ Cheese Month this month, I had the pleasure of trying this organic …

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Dumpling wisdom from a retired dumpling professional

I am a lucky girl who grew up eating home made dumplings. The dumplings we ate were stuffed with pork mince with different variations. I asked my Mum what ingredients were in the dumplings of my childhood and this post is based around her answer. 12 years ago, back when I was still a hungry design student, I worked in our family’s Chinese take-out. Since I loved dumplings so much, I helped myself to dumplings at the start of every shift. Free dumplings is a (self-proclaimed) perk of working in the family business. Dad made the filling and wrapped a hundred dumplings ahead of time and the dumplings were cooked during service. One of my duties was cooking dumplings fresh to order. So while I can’t proclaim I was a professional dumpling wrapper, I did get paid to cook dumplings. This makes me somewhat of a retired dumpling professional (see pro tips at the bottom of this post). Fast forward 12 years, my love of dumplings has grown. I don’t cook dumplings for money anymore and my …

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Tamarind chutney and blue cheese pizza

Happy Friday guys! Just a quickie recipe for a Friday when you can’t really be bothered cooking but don’t feel like takeaways either. Read on for punchy flavour, minimal fuss. This recipe is super easy and uses Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney, a locally made product with a loyal following. With a tangy sweet flavour and plenty of spice, this chutney elevates the simplest dishes. I tried Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney a few years ago at a food festival and it’s one of those products that keeps popping up in food magazines. My friends and family RAVE about this chutney so I’m not surprised it’s currently in the running for Bite’s People’s Choice Awards. Make sure you vote before 25 September because every vote goes into the draw to win $250 to spend at The Sugar Club. Enter your vote here. It’s weird to think that 6 years ago when I started this blog, I hated blue cheese. As in, “Ewww gross, get that stuff away from me”. In that short space of time, my palate has changed and developed …

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Fish at work

It doesn’t matter if your co-workers love fish, zapping a fish lunch in the staff microwave is just bad manners. I love fish, especially smoked fish but I’ve always been careful not to have bring fish to work. Smoked fish pie and fish curries – while delicious – are dishes I enjoy at restaurants or at home. This smoked fish recipe is work-place appropriate. Because it is served cold, no one else needs to know you’re enjoying some yummy smoked fish. Kahawai is a firm white fish commonly found in New Zealand and most of the time is served hot smoked. Reasonably priced at around $25NZ per kilo for boneless sides, a 250gram (half pound) fillet will set you back less than $7NZ. If you can’t get a hold of smoked kahawai, feel free to use any smoked fish fillet – hot smoked trout would be a great substitute. Spring is just around the corner here and in my garden, the rosemary bush and onion weed is flowering so I’ve used these as garnish along with …

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Curious chips for seasoned foodies and a hot giveaway

Being a curious foodie can be a double-edged sword. I love trying new things, but am never satisfied with the same old flavours. Food tastes and food culture are constantly evolving and finding the next big flavour can be a constant pursuit. I often find inspiration from new foods, cuisines, chefs, and restaurants so I was delighted to learn that Eta have done the same by exploring dozens of ingredient, flavour combos and food trends around the world for the release of four interesting new Eta Uppercuts flavours. I’m excited to share with you two of the new flavours: Sriracha Chilli Corn Tapas, and Cheddar with Black Pepper Deli Cut along with the dips I have created to match. These recipes make generous portions of dip, good for 2-3 bags of chips each. Great as a snack or as a party food, I’ve tested these combinations with my enthusiastic band of guinea pigs friends and I’m pleased to say that both chips and dips were reduced to nothing. A tasty dip can elevate a great …

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Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #3

  Being able to chuck a bunch of ingredients together and create something delicious isn’t so much a skill as a way of thinking. When cooking, I enjoy getting creative, using recipes only for inspiration. I find sticking to recipes tedious and restrictive and always find myself deviating. Understanding your own cooking style can help make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. When I took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? I was branded the Freestyler. Find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quiz quick here. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. Throw-together recipe #3 This is a easy, naturally gluten-free omelette for one that is good for any meal of the day. I make this style of omelette at least once a week and I like how each one can be customised without fuss. We’re …

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Chipotle and passionfruit with Long White Vodka

Some people are iffy about fruit with meat. I am not some people. Sweet and savoury have always been in my culinary vocab. I practically grew up in a Chinese takeaway in Rotorua during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Back then, Dad and Uncle worked as chef owners and cooked a thousand sweet and sour pork dishes for their customers. Battered deep-fried pork smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce; this came with onions, capsicum and of course, pineapple. An instant classic. I grew up loving sweet and sour pork and I think many of you did too. I enjoy cooking with natural sweet flavours and pork lends itself traditionally to fruit pairings, most commonly apple and pineapple but I found passionfruit also works beautifully. This sweet and smoky pulled pork taco is inspired by Long White Vodka Passionfruit. With a light, tropical taste that’s not too sweet, Long White Vodka Passionfruit is my favourite of their three flavours. Containing no added table sugar, apple juice is used to give it just a …

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Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #2

  I recently took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? and was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries and going “off-piste”. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities, from the Curious Novice to the Professional and everything in between. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, recipes and appliances to make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. You can find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quick quiz here. Go on, I’ll wait. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. These recipes are more templates than traditional recipes. I’ve suggested ingredients, but in all honesty, whatever you have in the fridge can be substituted and you’ll only know if you try. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this …