All posts tagged: oysters

Bluff oysters and Red Red Mignonette

Bluff oyster season kicked off last week and so far, I’ve scoffed 3 dozen. Oysters can be an acquired taste but I have the taste for oysters in my genes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love them, though I didn’t grow up on Bluffies. If you’re not an oyster fan, I wouldn’t recommend starting with raw oysters and certainly not with Bluffies. They are truely for the oyster connoisseur. The season is March to August and fans go a little crazy for the season. Bluff oysters can be identified by their flat saucer shape and their creamy warm grey colouring. They’re less “frilly” than their black and white Pacific cousins. My very first bluff oyster was at a design event a few years ago, the oysters were free and shucked to order. Being a design event rather than a food event, there was no one queuing up for oysters. Not one to turn down free oysters, I kept eating as long as they were shucking. This was the first time buying oysters in a …

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 …

Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiacs

Food bloggers’ potluck On Wednesday night, four food bloggers gathered for a delicious potluck. The theme was Valentine’s Day and aphrodisiacs had been thrown about in discussion. If you have a mind anywhere near the gutter, the dishes present all had sexy connotations. I recently saw a close up of a mussel on Instagram which could have been R18 and probably redefines the term “food porn”. So I brought my current potluck go to: baked mayo-cheese mussels. I’ve never travelled with these mussels so my heart and mussels jumped every time my Uber hit a bump or turned a sharp corner. The mussels went sliding around in their tray, possessed. Luckily none escaped the plastic wrap and the topping stayed on. As well as mussels, there were fresh oysters, satay sticks with greens, herbs and sauce by Carli from The Enthusiastic Cook, stuffed pasta shells with both smoked fish and a fascinating beet, beef and chocolate version by our host Maddy at Madicattt. Dessert was peach pie with dollops of cream by Bri from The Market. Kindred spirits understand that cameras eat first! As per our …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2016

If you enjoy sensational, succulent seafood, then make sure you visit Auckland Seafood Festival this long weekend. My sister and I hit Auckland Seafood Festival on opening night and we had a truly delightful time.  We both love seafood so we shared a bunch of things we both enjoy. Arriving shortly after opening, there were no queues so we didn’t have to apply any strategy based on length of the queues. Last year I gave crayfish a miss because the lines were horrendous. Nothing like that this time around. We started with oysters and the Bluff farmed oysters at Sanford Oysters looked good to us. These were freshly shucked and served with malt vinegar and lemon (6 for $22). We had a little browse and then hit up Besos Latinos for some Peruvian ceviche ($14) and seafood empanadas ($10). The ceviche really hit the spot and the empanada (fried fresh to order) reminded us of a seafood pie.   Always popular at Auckland Seafood Festival are Auckland Fish Markets’ crayfish tails. This year they had grilled half cray tails …

Favourite Seafood Recipes

Summer in New Zealand is all about gorging on simply prepared seafood. This summer has been particularly seafood filled. Here is a collection of five my favourite seafood recipes. Just click on the images to view the recipes. Enjoy!   1. Steamed Garlic Prawns Super easy recipe for Steamed Garlic Prawns, a very popular dish at Kingsland’s Canton Cafe. Includes a handy guide to prawn sizing in New Zealand.   2. Pan Fried Flounder The most popular recipe on my blog by miles, this buttery golden pan fried flounder makes use of a whole flounder. You’ll need a flounder (or two) butter, more butter, flour, salt and pepper. 3. Raw Fish Salad I fell in love with Ika Mata (raw fish salad) in Rarotonga. Here’s my version of it using fresh tuna fillets, though you can also use any firm white fish. 4. Oysters Kilpatrick Oysters Kilpatrick are an easy crowd pleaser. Oystes, bacon, tasty sauce and cheese. What could go wrong? 5. All-in-one Seafood Stew I test out Adie McClelland’s all-in-one seafood stew from her …

Oysters Hong Kong

  Since we’re messing around with oysters this week, I figured I could mess around with Oysters Kilpatrick. My asian-inspired version uses ingredients like lap cheong, spring onions and black vinegar which you can find in any Cantonese kitchen. I’ve named it Oysters Hong Kong. From a previous post:  “Chinese dried sausages or Lap Cheong are dry cured sausages normally made of pork and fat. These are smoked, sweetened, seasoned and taste like awesome. The sausages I buy from my local are vacuum packed and hail from Canada. You might like these if you like streaky bacon cooked in maple syrup.”   Oysters Hong Kong Ingredients 12 fresh Pacific oysters (opened) 2 Chinese sausages (Lap Cheong) 3 tablespoons black vinegar 3 tablespoons spring onion, chopped Preparation Turn on grill to 200°C. Slice the Chinese sausages into thin rounds and fry until brown. Set the oysters on an oven tray lined with foil. Bunch up the foil so they oysters have a nice bed to lay upon. Top with the cooked sausage and black vinegar. Grill for 2-5 minutes. …

Make Oysters Kilpatrick

I usually prefer my oysters fresh and unmolested, but things have changed since trying Oysters Kilpatrick for the first time at Mikano in April. They were Bluff and they were divine, but at $5 each, they are a special occasion treat. Oysters Kilpatrick is a dish from Australia and this 70’s retro-to-the-gills recipe isn’t for the faint hearted. Can you taste the oysters at their full potential? Maybe not. Are they delicious? Yes sir! I’ve always said Worcestershire rather awkwardly and today I noticed this month’s edition of Taste Magazine sorts me right out: How do I say…Worcestershire? The famous secret-recipe sauce named for its English home county has lost a syllable over time: ‘Wuss-tuh-shuh’ or just ‘Wuss-tuh’ for short. I’ve been ordering my oysters from New Zealand Seafoods (www.nzseafoods.co.nz) for years. They own oyster farms in Mahurangi Harbour and offer fresh, shucked Pacific oysters for $50NZ (about $40US) for 5 dozen. It’s about $6 to deliver which I consider money well spent. The oysters are always well packaged (export quality) and ready to eat. Oysters Kilpatrick …

On the bandwagon at Depot

This week, I convinced Miss A to try out Al Brown’s new restaurant at Sky City: Depot with me. It’s had great reviews and what I read about the food really appealed to me. If you haven’t read the reviews, this place is small. The are no real chairs, just stools that you perch at. This means your bags and coats may need to find a hook on the wall. It also means that you’re unlikely to get cosy enough to let your dining experience drag on. Smart. Third time’s a charm. We had failed to get a table twice the night before – at about 7pm (full) and then at about 10pm (kitchen closed). This time we were joined by Uncle and more determined to eat. It was lunch so the turnaround was faster and that means better odds for a table. They don’t take bookings here and they get busy. You have been warned. We took one end of a large table. If communal dining isn’t your thing, then you might want to say …