All posts tagged: Recipes

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 …

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 …

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 …

Our Growing Edge – February 2017 – Aphrodisiacs!

I hope you had a great start to the year and have kept up with any food related resolutions. February edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Amanda from My Everyday Homemade and the theme is APHRODISIACS…just in time for Valentines day. Amanda lives on 8 acres of land in Indiana, US. Her recipes are feed many mouths – as they should be when cooking for 6 people regularly! Check out her charmed life on her Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/homemade_mama/ If you are embarking on any new food adventures this month, make sure to  share it with Our Growing Edge. Some aphrodisiac-related food adventures you could try this month: Makes something from a fruit or vegetable with a sexy shape (bananas, avocados, figs) Cook with chocolate Shuck an oyster Construct a 3 course meal that can be eaten in bed Host a champagne breakfast Devise a romantic dinner for two Make truffles (chocolate) Cook with truffles (fungi) To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event can be found here. Last month’s event Last month was hosted by Terri from Food …

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 …

Our Growing Edge – January 2017 – Healthy Starts

Many of us will begin the year with a food-related resolution. Whatever form your new years resolutions take, there’s no doubt that it can be tricky to start afresh after the decadence of the holiday season. A new year, a new month means a new edition of Our Growing Edge. This blog link up encourages us to try new things in the kitchen, in our bellies and in our every day lives. While I’m not a fan of extreme diets, incorporating whole foods into my diet is absolutely something I can get on board. Fresh produce, fresh fruit, fresh meat and fresh seafood can be super inspiring when it comes to eating well. January 2017 hosted by Terri from Food Meanderings and the theme is HEALTHY STARTS. Hopefully this link up with encourage us to think of healthy, delicious recipes and hold us accountable this month. I look forward to seeing all the delicious ways you start 2017 with. If you are creating any healthy dishes month, share it with Our Growing Edge. Some ideas you could try this month: Experiment with …