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OTAGO FARMERS MARKET COOK BOOK – SPRING

$10.00

If you haven’t heard i have written a cute, informative cook book!  It is the first of four books which are designed to assist with the seasons.  It is based on our local market which in relationship with the rest on New Zealand is one of the biggest.  Yet some of our produce arrives a little later in the season, due to our unpredictable climate.  There is a comprehensive list of produce, when it is in season, how to store it, what to look for when purchasing it.  It also has a fabulous collection of seasonal, practical and quite delicious recipes.

I have finally started book two, which will focus on Summer, and i will be allocating a lot of pages to the art of preserving.  It really is satisfying, great for gifts and for some reason people tend to think you are cleaver… never quite understood it, but it makes you feel as though you have achieved something.

Any way you can purchase this book at the Otago Farmers Market or contact me via this blog and i could post you one. 





OTAGO FARMERS MARKET – SPRING PRODUCE!!!

Today for me at the market was probably the first day where i really noticed a difference in the variety of fresh produce.  I was overwhelmed with the array of beautiful spring vegetables.  Nigel from Brydone Organics is such a wicked grower,  he supplied me with so many delicious Jersey Benne Potatoes.  Sue from Waitaki supplied me with her perfectly cured bacon, and to top it off i then had the immense pleasure of podding fresh peas.  That was just the tip of the vegetable pile today. 
The market from now on will get more and more varieties of produce, the first of the seasons cherries and strawberries were for sale in quite a few stalls today.  Yum, Yum Yum!!

Thanks for your support with my cookbook, (only $10.00)  i hope it is clarifyingng when produce will be coming into the market and i hope you enjoy not only eating the dishes, but don’t forget to enjoy making them as well.
I am writing volume 2 as we speak!!



johnny – Organic land




life at the market











GOOSEBERRY COBBLER

Serves 6

900g young green gooseberries, topped and tailed
110g caster sugar
2 Tablespoon elderflower cordial (recipe on my blog)
For the topping
110g ice cold butter, cut into pieces
170ml buttermilk or fresh milk
1 heaped teaspoon sugar
275g flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 220`C
You will need a baking dish 23cm in diameter and 6 cm deep

All you do is arrange the fruit, caster sugar and elderflower cordial in the baking dish, then get on with the topping.
Place the sifted flour, salt, baking powder and butter (first cut into chunks) into the goblet of a food processor. Then switch on and give it a pulse (on/off) action several times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then pour in the buttermilk and switch on again briefly until you have a thick, very sticky dough.
Now spoon tablespoons of the mixture over the fruit – the more haphazardly you do this, the better. Lastly sprinkle the sugar over the top of the dough, then pop the dish on to a high shelf in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is a crusty golden brown. Serve it warm from the oven with (if you want a real treat) with a good quality ice cream. Or try homemade crème fraiche.

JERSEY BENNE, PEA, AND BACON SALAD
Serves 6

250g fresh peas or French beans
250g new season potatoes – jersey benne
1 lettuce – cos, romaine or iceburg
1 red onion, finely sliced
150ml crème fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Pod the peas and cook in the peas and potatoes in separate pans of salted boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. Cut into small pieces. Separate the lettuce and wash them and drain well. Shred finely. Add the lettuce to the peas, potatoes, red onion and stir in the crème fraiche and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and place onto a serving plate and enjoy.

SPRING CARROTS
Serves 4

500g carrots
30g butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
Sprig of fresh thyme
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly

Peel and trim the carrots, if the odd carrot is larger than the rest cut into half length ways to even the size. Put them in a fairly large pan. Add the butter, salt, sugar, thyme and enough water to just cover them. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Continue cooking, shaking the pan every few minutes, until the cooking liquor is completely reduced and the carrots are coated in a shiny glaze. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

CARROTS WITH BACON
Serves 6

4 slices good quality bacon, rind removed and dice
20g butter
700g carrots, peeled or scraped and sliced
500ml any stock
Sprig of thyme, bay leaf, parsley
Generous crack of pepper
Salt

Fry the diced bacon in butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the carrots, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook gently until the carrots are very tender, 15- 20 minutes depending on their size. Serve.

FRESH PEAS AND PUHOE
Serves 6

40g butter
1 onion, sliced
1 kg fresh shelled peas
300g fresh puhoe, coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onions, cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the peas, puhoe, sugar and season. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.

FRESH MINTED PEA DIP
This is a fresh dip to serve with a selection of lovely spring vegetables

200 ml natural yoghurt
1-2 handfuls of fresh mint, leaves picked from stalk
2 handfuls of fresh podded peas
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
Tiny amount of wasabi paste (optional)

Whiz the yoghurt and mint up in a food processor for halt a minute or so. Add the peas and Parmesan and whiz again – the peas will break down and the yoghurt will become green. Put into a bowl, correcting the seasoning with salt and pepper, lemon juice and wasabi paste if using. Stir well and chill until required.

Spring Vegetables at their BEST!

JERSEY BENNE, PEA, AND BACON SALAD

Serves 6

250g fresh peas or French beans
250g new season potatoes – jersey benne
1 lettuce – cos, romaine or iceburg
1 red onion, finely sliced
150ml crème fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Pod the peas and cook in the peas and potatoes in separate pans of salted boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. Cut into small pieces. Separate the lettuce and wash them and drain well. Shred finely. Add the lettuce to the peas, potatoes, red onion and stir in the crème fraiche and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and place onto a serving plate and enjoy.

SPRING CARROTS
Serves 4

500g carrots
30g butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
Sprig of fresh thyme
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly

Peel and trim the carrots, if the odd carrot is larger than the rest cut into half length ways to even the size. Put them in a fairly large pan. Add the butter, salt, sugar, thyme and enough water to just cover them. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Continue cooking, shaking the pan every few minutes, until the cooking liquor is completely reduced and the carrots are coated in a shiny glaze. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

CARROTS WITH BACON
Serves 6

4 slices good quality bacon, rind removed and dice
20g butter
700g carrots, peeled or scraped and sliced
500ml any stock
Sprig of thyme, bay leaf, parsley
Generous crack of pepper
Salt

Fry the diced bacon in butter over a medium heat for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the carrots, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook gently until the carrots are very tender, 15- 20 minutes depending on their size. Serve.

FRESH PEAS AND PUHOE
Serves 6

40g butter
1 onion, sliced
1 kg fresh shelled peas
300g fresh puhoe, coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a large pan. Add the onions, cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the peas, puhoe, sugar and season. Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.

FRESH MINTED PEA DIP
This is a fresh dip to serve with a selection of lovely spring vegetables

200 ml natural yoghurt
1-2 handfuls of fresh mint, leaves picked from stalk
2 handfuls of fresh podded peas
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ a lemon
Tiny amount of wasabi paste (optional)

Whiz the yoghurt and mint up in a food processor for halt a minute or so. Add the peas and parmesan and whiz again – the peas will break down and the yoghurt will become green. Put into a bowl, correcting the seasoning with salt and pepper, lemon juice and wasabi paste if using. Stir well and chill until required.

GOOSEBERRY COBBLER

This is one of those wonderful old fashioned puddings, which is versatile and satisfying at the same time.  It is wonderful at anytime of the year, experiment with the seasons fruit.  Fresh peach and a scattering of raspberries in summer will be absolutely amazing, or summer mixed berries.  The options are unlimited.  Give it a try, and let me no some of your varieties.

Serves 6
900g young green gooseberries, topped and tailed
110g caster sugar
2 Tablespoon elderflower cordial (recipe on my blog)

For the topping
110g ice cold butter, cut into pieces
170ml buttermilk or fresh milk
1 heaped teaspoon sugar
275g flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 220`C
You will need a baking dish 23cm in diameter and 6 cm deep

All you do is arrange the fruit, caster sugar and elderflower cordial in the baking dish, then get on with the topping.

Place the sifted flour, salt, baking powder and butter (first cut into chunks) into the goblet of a food processor. Then switch on and give it a pulse (on/off) action several times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then pour in the buttermilk and switch on again briefly until you have a thick, very sticky dough.
Now spoon tablespoons of the mixture over the fruit – the more haphazardly you do this, the better. Lastly sprinkle the sugar over the top of the dough, then pop the dish on to a high shelf in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is a crusty golden brown. Serve it warm from the oven with (if you want a real treat) with a good quality ice cream. Or try homemade crème fraiche.

http://summertomato.com/

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ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL

Not only is it a fun outing collecting these pretty little bouquets of flowers, it is so easy to make. The syrup is lemony sharp, yet aromatic – it makes one of the most refreshing drinks I no!

It will keep for several weeks in the fridge, but if you wish to keep it longer you will need to add the acid and serilise the bottles, to make sure no bacteria or yeasts that could cause fermentation. This version should keep for a year.



ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL

20-30 freshly picked heads of elderflower
Zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange
Up to 1.5 kg granulated sugar
Up to 200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-5 lemons, depending on size)
Tartaric acid (optional)

Shake any insects of the elderflowers, then place them in a large bowl with the lemon and orange zest and pour over enough water just boiled water to cover the flowers completely (1 ½ -2 ). Cover and leave for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until cold.

Strain the liquid through muslin, a clean cotton cloth or a jelly bag, gently squeezing it to extract all the juice. Measure the amount of liquid and pour it into a saucepan. To every 500ml liquid, add 350g sugar, 50ml lemon juice and a heaped teaspoon tartaric acid if you are using it. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim off any skum. Let the cordial cool, then strain once again through muslin.

Pour the cordial through a funnel into clean bottles, filling them to within about 2-3 cm of the top. Seal the bottles with screw tops or corks.

To serve, dilute to taste with ice-cold water at least 5-1 water to cordial.

RASPBERRY SHORTBREAD

Boy this is a great slice.  Easy, versatile and absolutely delicious.  I made it with raspberry jam one day and the next i used homemade apricot jam.  It is a light and crisp slice with just the right amount of sticky, sweetness to satisfy you.
You will love this recipe – i can guarantee it!

RASPBERRY SHORTBREAD – (AUSTRIAN)

460g butter, softened
4 egg yolks

2 cups sugar
4 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup raspberry jam
¼ cup icing sugar
Method: Cream butter in bowl of electric mixer, with the paddle until soft and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and mix well. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated and the dough starts to come together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into two balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.
Heat oven to 180`C
Remove one ball of dough from freezer, coarsely grate it by hand or I highly recommend using a food processor with the grating disc (so much faster). Place into a slice tin lined with greaseproof paper. It will make one large tin 38cm x 25cm slice tin or it will make two 30cm x 18 cm. The dough will last well in the freezer, I often make one, using one ball of dough and leave the remainder for another day. Place ½ the grated dough onto the bottom of the tin, making sure the surface is covered evenly with the shreds of dough.
I recommend warming up the jam and giving it a good mix so it loosen it up. If it is too thick, add a little water. You can either use a piping bag with a round large nozzle or drizzle the jam over the dough with a spoon. It won’t spread over the base, as I am sure you will see when making it. Try to ensure that the jam is evenly dispersed over the base.

Sprinkle over the remaining shreds of dough until the jam is covered. Do not be tempted to pat down the dough!
Bake until lightly golden brown and the centre on longer wiggles, 30 – 40 minutes.
As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, dust with icing sugar.
Cool on a rack, then cut into desired size.

SCHOOL FAIR



where to start…..

 TOFFEE APPLES……
I remember when i was young helping my mother pushing sticks into the bottom of hundreds of apples.  Once my mother had carefully, yet skillfully submerged the apples into the brightly coloured, hot toffee, and it

had hardened.  My brothers and i would set up a mini production line – one would put the toffee apple into a cellophane bag, another would cut ribbon and one would tie.  Then they would be packed into apple boxes for the fair the next day.  Wow it seemed such a lot of work, but so worth it when you see the sticky faces of delighted children and adults, slurping away on the apple.
The ironic thing is now i make the same recipe, using the same techniques, hoping to carry on this dying skill.
Here’s too the mighty (sticky) Toffee Apple…
TOFFEE APPLES
makes 12 small
12 small slightly tart apples, washed and dried
12 wooden ice block sticks
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon vinegar
red food colouring
cellophane bags
pretty ribbon
Method:  with toffee apples it is all about the preparation!  Firstly you need to select smallish apples, slightly tart and spray free.  If by any chance they look as though they may have some spray or worse wax, you need to wash them in cold water and dry them well with a clean cloth.  You then need to remove the little twig that sticks out from the apple, (i usually twist is off).  With a little force, push the ice block stick into the part of the apple where you have just removed the twig thing.  Once all the apples have been done. 
Add the sugar, water and vinegar to a clean, heavy base, deep sided pot.  heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly – DO NOT STIR ONCE THIS STAGE HAS REACHED!!!! If you stir it as this stage, you will get cloudy toffee and it can crystallize.  Grease a bench well with a little oil or butter.  Once your toffee has been boiling for about 7-10 minutes or the bubbles are looking bigger and slower.  Get a glass of cold water and a dry spoon.  Carefully dip in the spoon and get a little toffee, drizzle it into the water and listen for a crack sound.  Once the toffee has gone cold, check for the stage you are at.  If the toffee is still soft and sticky it is at the soft ball stage, we are wanting the hard ball stage.  It will take another couple of minutes to reach that point.  Remove a little more toffee as you did before and listen again as it drizzles into the water.  If should make a cracking sound and it should be set like toffee, yet snap if broken.  Turn off the heat immediately as you don’t want it to cook any further.  After a few minutes, add the red food colouring – stand back as it will bubble.  Stir to mix and add more colouring if needed.
Carefully dip the apple into the hot toffee, only attempt one at a time and allow the excess toffee to drain off, back into the pot. Place carefully onto the greased bench and continue until all the toffee is used up. 
When cool and hard, wrap in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon.
TIPS WHEN MAKING TOFFEE
 – clean apples and dry                                                    
 – clean and dry pot
 – once sugar has dissolved DO NOT STIR
 – test for hard ball st
 – always put the toffee apples onto a greased bench.
 – wrap when cold and don’t refrigerate
 – last for 2 days

mm mm – sticky Freddy











NORTH AFRICAN – BRIQ A L`OEUF

I remember having this unforgettable snack in Morocco.  It is one of those dishes that you never forget, certain smells, or memories take you back. I thought it would be fun to have as a relaxed dinner with the family.  The children loved it, as did the adults.  They are quite rich and tend to be quite big, although to make them smaller, simply reduce the filling.

The aim is to serve the egg yolk still runny, but the remainder of the egg cooked!!

BRIQ A L`OEUF – POTATO AND EGG FILO PIES

1 kg potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for children)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 black olives, roughly chopped
2 handfuls chopped coriander
salt to taste
6 filo pastry dough sheets
6 small free range eggs
oil for shallow frying
wedges of lemon, for serving
harissa – chilli sauce, for serving

Place the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer until soft, then drain off most of the water, leaving a little to moisten the mashed potato, and mash until smooth.
Heat the oil in a fry pan, when hot add the garlic, fry until golden, and then add the paprika, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.  Stir into the mashed potato along with the chopped black olives, coriander and salt.  Divide the potato between the filo pastry sheets, placing some in the middle of each sheet. 

Then make a well in the middle of the potato, carefully break the egg into the well and fold the pastry dough like a package by folding in the sides and then folding the ends under the package, so that the thickest pastry dough is on the opposite side to the egg.  Moisten the edges of the pastry dough to seal the package.  In a frying pan, heat 1 cm of oil.  When hot, place the wraps in the oil,  and fry on both sides for 2 minutes until quite brown.  Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
Serve with the harissa (if using) and lemon wedges…incredible!

Oatmeal, Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Cookies

These cookies are simply delicious! You can mix and match the dried fruit (depending what is in your cupboard).  With this batch, i didn’t have any nuts so i just didn’t put them in.
Makes about 14 cookies

1 ½ cups rolled oats 1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
125g butter, at room temperature

½ cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 Tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins
½ cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 180`C
Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and both sugars until fluffy and smooth. Add egg, milk and vanilla and blend until smooth. Stir in the oat mixture, walnuts, raisins, cranberries.
Using either an ice cream scoop or soup spoon, get a generous amount of dough and place about 10cm apart on the baking tray.
Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, about 15 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Remove cookies from oven and let them set for 1 minute. Using a spatula, transfer cookies to a rack and let cool.

To prevent hardening, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to three days.