All posts tagged: recipe

Arroz Caldo for two.

It’s been a month since we got back from the Philippines and winter has landed heavily on New Zealand. I’ve pulled out my old winter coat and I’m wrapped in my biggest scarf. I’m contemplating new slippers. Is two pairs of slippers really enough? All I want is comfort food. I love comfort food. If I could figure out how to make a living devouring the world’s comfort foods, I would be in heaven. One comfort food that I grew up with is congee. Rice porridge. Placed somewhere between soup and risotto, it’s a bowl of steaming goodness. My Cantonese parents made congee when we were sick or just needed comfort. Congee was brought to the Philippines by Chinese migrants, where the locals tweaked it and gave it a Spanish name: Arroz Caldo. ARROZ is “rice”, CALDO is “hot” and this tricked up relative to congee was on my list of dishes to try. Many parts of the Philippines serve a yellow-hued Arroz Caldo (coloured with safflower) however, we visited the Visayas where they serve …

One thing I would absolutely eat again and one thing I would not.

I just spent three and a half weeks in the Philippines. I ate balut on the first day. It was completely unplanned. I promise. Yeah, OK, it was on my list of things to eat. Way, waaay down, at the bottom. Past lechon (pig on a spit), adobo (chicken or pork vinegar soy stew), sisig (sizzling chopped pigs head and chicken liver), arroz caldo (chicken rice soup), kare kare (peanut sauce stew). Even past dinuguan (that’s pork blood stew if you were wondering). Like, if we seriously ran of things to do, I *might* eat a duck fetus for shits and giggles. But that is not what happened.  We arrived in Mactan on a Friday morning and met up with our dear old friend Adam. We started on the local beers fairly early in the day and later enjoyed a jolly dinner with his Mactan crew. There was local BBQ (marinated meat on sticks) tacos and of course, local beer. The subject of balut was brought up I mentioned I was interested in trying it…at …

Coriander Chimichurri

I am obsessed with polarising flavours and ingredients. “What is your favourite food?” is such a common question but I think, “What is your least favourite food?” is far more interesting. My own list of hated foods have evolved over the years and I imagine yours is ever evolving too. If we were meeting for the first time – making conversation – I might ask you, “What food do you hate?” and you might answer, “Coriander” (or cilantro). Known as coriander in most parts of the world but known as cilantro in Spanish (and in the US). Fresh and leafy, the entire plant: leaves, stem, root and seed are used in cooking. The root and seed taste notably different and should not be substituted in place of the green parts. Probably the most polarising herb in the world, those who dislike it call it foul, soapy or grassy. Those who love it describe it as fresh or citrus-y. I don’t taste citrus but it goes beautifully with lemon and lime IMO. Buy coriander in a …

Chicken and vegetable pie with creamy white wine and tarragon sauce

Hey folks, it’s officially winter in New Zealand. This week we have had bright cold days with beautiful blue skies. Now that we’ve hit the long weekend, the gloom has set in. The rain is relentless today. It’s 9am and as dark as night. We have the lights on, the heater cranking and it is good to be inside. Bring on the comfort food. I’ve been craving pie lately and since leeks are in season (just a dollar each!) I decided to make a chicken and vegetable pie. The creamy white wine and tarragon sauce is stunning. This is a good one to have up your sleeve. This recipe is very forgiving. I’m sorry, the ingredients list looks super long but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand to the equivalent of about 2 litres (an ice cream container) of filling. Some other vegetables that would try are: mushrooms, silverbeet, pumpkin, and celery. Read through the recipe ahead of time, as steps 2, 3 and 4 can be worked on simultaneously. Chicken and …

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates

This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.   We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland. Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather. To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold. Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones. The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea …

Five spice roast pork belly with peaches

Summer is in full swing. It’s muggy AF and I am chancing mosquitos to sleep with the window open. So far so good. I haven’t left Auckland this summer, instead, I’m enjoying local day trips. I’ve hit 70k steps every week so far – it’s only been 2 weeks – and regularly include Mt Eden summit in my daily walks. I’m a little obsessed with my FitBit and doing well with my “more steps” resolution. Yesterday, The Koala and I explored Duder Regional Park, enjoyed ice cream truck treats and swum at random beach on our way home. We usually stay central, or head north or west so exploring east is new for us. I hope to discover more of Auckland’s regional parks this year. My first recipe of the year is fiercely seasonal and embodies the kinds of food I love to eat. A shit-ton of vegetables (another resolution) and some beautifully cooked free range meat. Yes please! I usually order pork belly if I see it on the menu so it makes sense …

Celebration Stuffed Chicken Breast

This post was made possible thanks to Freshlife who have two summer hampers to give away. Competition closed. Winners: Congratulations to Kate Rassie and Holly Jay P! You are the winners of the Freshlife Summer hampers. November is my favourite month as it’s my birthday month. Each year, I use my birthday as an excuse to celebrate for at least 2 weeks. In my world, celebrating includes great food and great company. My social life really amps up this time of year, as I get ready for the summer season. Sometime before Christmas are mandatory end-of-year catch ups, often over grazing platters and bottles of whatever you fancy. There will be cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and various cold cuts. Having a few staples in your pantry is ideal and Freshlife nuts and dried fruit are great to have on hand for those occasions. Cooking at home over summer should be painless, delicious and not too harsh on the wallet. A recipe to celebrate Made with Freshlife’s pistachio kernels, dried cranberries and silver platter …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 series. …

5 ways with Dairyworks cheese

Hi, I’m Genie and I am a cheese addict. Our fridge is always stocked with cheese. Like, a SELECTION of cheese. I always have a block of cheese open but the thing that annoys me is how the packaging is rendered useless after opening. When I wrap the packaging back on, the cheese is exposed like a cutout dress. Not cool. Blocks of cheese are designed to be used over time so I was delighted to see that Dairyworks has come up with re-sealable packaging for their convenience range of cheeses. At the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards a few months ago, Dairyworks won four category awards for their innovative cheese packaging. The Dairyworks range comes with recloseable packaging, a homey wood design and windows so the consumer can eat with their eyes. I really like the new grated cheese mixes 3 CH3EEZE and SMOKEY JOE which appeal to the glutton in me. Can’t decide on which cheese to buy? Well these packs are a blend of 3 cheeses each! The 3 CH3EEZE is a …

Tasty hot dogs and a meaty giveaway

L’Authentique (law-thon-teek) is a small local charcuterie run by Frenchmen. Charcuterie (sha-koo-ta-ree) is the culinary art of turning meat (mostly pork) into delicious things such as sausage, bacon, ham, terrines and pates. Known primarily for their handmade sausages, I love L’Authentique’s gluten free, dairy free and free range meat products. There are no fillers here and definitely no carcinogens (for those who worry about recent food headlines). The Koala and I have been eating lots of L’Authentique sausages this year. We tried the whole range of sausages so far and they are great to serve up at home or to take to a barbecue where you want to impress. I’ve yet to meet a sausage lover who doesn’t fall in love with L’Authentique sausages. Summer collaboration L’Authentique have just released two summer sausages for the Kiwi barbecue. In collaboration with Javier Carmona, Executive Chef at Orleans, a hot and smokey Louisiana Andouille (ahn-DOO-eee) sausage that comes in a 4 pack; and in collaboration with Hallertau Brewery, the Asian-inspired Peking Maximus which is made with Hallertau Maximus …

Our Growing Edge December 2015 Intro

This month is hosted by Jazz from Dash of Jazz. The theme is NOSTALGIA. To join, click on the submission button below: We all have bucket lists. Whether they’re written down somewhere or kept in our heads and hearts. Our Growing Edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. This blogging monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things and to compile a monthly snapshot of what food bloggers are getting up to. If you have a blog and are planning to write about a new food related experience, join us! More info on the event can be found here. Our host, Jazzmine is a Texas native with Nigerian roots, loves classic Southern cooking and has suggested the theme NOSTALGIA for this month. Some ideas you could try this month: Cook a recipe you remember from childhood Make a family favourite with a new main ingredient Cook a loved one’s favourite recipe Recreate a recipe that is well …

Fancy Steak and Chips

This is a sponsored post. The Koala and I love a good steak, but I don’t order steak when dining out because it’s so easy to cook at home for a fraction of the price. I often go for the fattier steaks because that’s what my tastes buds like, but when I heard there was a leaner steak coming out that still tastes good, I was all for it. The flat-iron steak is a relatively unknown cut to the kiwi palate. A butcher’s secret, this cut is for people in the know. It is called the oyster blade steak in NZ and Australia. It is known in the US as the flat-iron steak and in the UK as the butler’s steak. Affectionately known as the ugly steak, this flat, rectangular cut comes from the shoulder and is trimmed to make it very lean. Because it is so lean, it’s important not to overcook a flat-iron steak. Just 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan and 5 minutes resting time. This month, Silver Fern …

Game of Rhones Auckland – a review and a meaty recipe

A couple of Saturdays ago, my friend Miss A and I found ourselves at upstairs at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. We were dressed in Game of Thrones garb, feeling a bit foolish and ready to taste some good wine at Game of Rhones. Game of Rhones is different to other wine tasting events because of the  unofficial Game of Thrones theme and also the awesome feature being token-free. You don’t have to worry about rationing out your drink tokens, just try whatever you feel like. Each ticket holder also gets a Reidel wine glass to keep. (Just in case you’re wondering, “Reidel” rhymes with “needle”). The only thing you have to pay extra for is food which was priced well for the size and quality. For $50 we got entry, all our wine tastings and a wine glass to keep. A bargain. Game of Rhones has enjoyed sell out events in Australia for a few years but this is the first time Game of Rhones has come to Auckland. There were plenty of dressed up folk from the …