Facebook Twitter RSS Pinterest Email

The Next Project………

OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

What’s a little rain…? Compared to last week in the freezing cold (and it was freezing) a little rain is almost pleasant!
I have a large piece of pork from Havoc and i will be slow cooking it with plenty of vegetables it smells delicious!  I will be making silverbeet and jerusalem artichoke tart which is such a fabulous combination.  I will also be making a wicked slice made with almonds, brown sugar and filled with large plump gooseberries it makes a wonderful pudding also.

Wrap up warm and i will see you all soon.

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE AND SILVERBEET TART

Serves 4-6

500g shortcrust pastry

Filling
600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut ½ cm rounds

250g Silver beet, washed and drained,
4 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
175ml cream
70g crème fraiche or sour cream
2 medium eggs
150g cheese (curds, feta, cheddar or gruyere), broken into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Lightly oil a 23 cm loose bottom tin.

Line the tin with the pastry ensuring that you don’t stretch it into the tin (it will shrink) allow enough pastry to overhang the tin. The excess will be trimmed later. Prick the base with a fork and rest the pastry case in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170C

Bake blind the pastry case by lining it with a round of greaseproof paper and fill it with dried beans or rice. Bake for 35 minutes, remove the paper and beans and continue to bake for a further 5 minutes or until the dough has coloured lightly and cooked through. Remove and cool.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by cooking the artichokes in cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.

Separate the silver beet leaves from the stalks. Roughly cut both but keep separate as they take different times to cook. Heat the oil in a large frying pan add the stalks and fry for 2 minutes, add the leaves and rosemary and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, seasoning and garlic.

Whisk together the cream, crème fraiche and eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the artichokes over the base of the pastry shell, scatter over the silverbeet (leaves and stalks) and finally place bits of cheese around the tart. Pour the custard over top and bake for 15 minutes, cover with foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Break or cut off the overhanging pastry and discard.

Great served warm.

POT-AU-FEU OF PICKLED PORK

serves 4

1.5 kg good quality pork, boned and skin removed leaving a small amount of fat.
3 fresh sage leaves

3 litres water

4 carrots, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 bouquet garni – made with 2 bay leaves, 2 sage leaves, 1 rosemary sprig and 1 marjoram sprig, tied together.
2 celery sticks, cut into 7.5 cm lengths and tied together in a bundle
4 shallots, peeled but left whole
2 leeks, cut into 7.5 cm lengths
1/2 savoy cabbage, cut in 4, with the core left in to hold leaves together
4 medium potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into quarters
a handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preparing the pork: Place the pork fat side down and season the flesh with pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Lay the sage leaves in a line along the centre, then take the thickest part of the pork and roll it up as tightly as possible. Tie the string around the belly tightly; repeat 5 or 6 times so the meat holds tightly.

If your pork is already rolled then simply season lightly.

Browning the meat: On a medium heat, in a large non-stick frying pan, without oil or butter, fry the rolled pork belly for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown all over.

Braising the pork: Place the pork belly in a large casserole dish. Pour in the water and bring to the boil over a high heat. With a ladle, skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Lower the heat and cook on a gentle simmer for 1 hour. Fast cooking would make the meat very tough.

Cooking the vegetables: Add the carrots, garlic and bouquet garni and cook for a further 30 minutes. Then add all the remaining ingredients except for the parsley and cook for 1 hour longer, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley, adjust the seasoning and serve with the vegetables on the bottom of a large dish and slice the pork and arrange on top. Pour over the broth and serve the large platter with all the goodies directly at the table.

GOOSEBERRY SLICE

250g chilled butter , chopped
250g self-raising flour
125g ground almonds
125g light muscovado sugar or brown sugar

350g gooseberries , fresh or frozen
85g caster sugar , plus extra
50g flaked almonds

METHOD

Heat oven to 190C. Line a 27 x 18cm baking tin with baking parchment.

Rub the butter into the flour, almonds and sugar to make crumbs, then firmly press two-thirds onto the base and sides of the tin. Toss the gooseberries with the caster sugar, then scatter over the top.

Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining crumbs, then scatter over the gooseberries. Bake for 50 mins-1 hr until golden and the fruit is bubbling a little around the edges. Dredge with caster sugar, then cool in the tin. Cut into about 8 squares and enjoy with a cup of tea or serve as a pudding with custard or cream.

LEMON CURD

2-3 lemons – unwaxed

90g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
200g caster sugar

3 large free-range eggs

Method

Grate the rind of the lemons and put into a bowl along with the sugar and the strained lemon juice. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

Place over a pot of simmering water add the butter and stir until it dissolves with the juice of the lemon.

Whisk the eggs and pour them through a sieve directly into the lemon mixture. Stir steadily until the mixture thickens. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO BOIL.

Pour the curd into a clean jar or pot and cover and chill in fridge for up to a week.

ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS FOR THEIR FANTASTIC PRODUCTS.


WAIRUNA ORGANICS

HAVOC PORK



KAKANUI PRODUCE


BUTLERS BERRIES


ETTRIC GARDENS


Follow me on facebook ALISON LAMBERT – TASTE OF MY LIFE

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE AND SILVERBEET TART

I willl be making this tomorrow at the Farmers Market it is a wonderful lunch or light dinner.  I will be using Wairuna Organics lovely Jerusalem Artichokes and accompained with Ettrick Gardens silver beet. 
Come and see me tomorrow at the market and you can have a little sample. 
See you tomorrow.
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE AND SILVERBEET TART

Serves 4-6

500g shortcrust pastry

Filling

600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut ½ cm rounds
250g Silver beet, washed and drained,
4 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
175ml cream
70g crème fraiche or sour cream
2 medium eggs
150g cheese (curds, feta, cheddar or gruyere), broken into pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Lightly oil a 23 cm loose bottom tin.

Line the tin with the pastry ensuring that you don’t stretch it into the tin (it will shrink) allow enough pastry to overhang the tin. The excess will be trimmed later. Prick the base with a fork and rest the pastry case in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170C

Bake blind the pastry case by lining it with a round of greaseproof paper and fill it with dried beans or rice. Bake for 35 minutes, remove the paper and beans and continue to bake for a further 5 minutes or until the dough has coloured lightly and cooked through. Remove and cool.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by cooking the artichokes in cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.

Separate the silver beet leaves from the stalks. Roughly cut both but keep separate as they take different times to cook. Heat the oil in a large frying pan add the stalks and fry for 2 minutes, add the leaves and rosemary and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, seasoning and garlic.

Whisk together the cream, crème fraiche and eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the artichokes over the base of the pastry shell, scatter over the silverbeet (leaves and stalks) and finally place bits of cheese around the tart. Pour the custard over top and bake for 15 minutes, cover with foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Break or cut off the overhanging pastry and discard.

Great served warm.

ENGLISH MUFFINS

Due to the snow and black ice and the fact that our car has been trapped since Sunday i have of course been cooking (and eating).  I have always enjoyed playing around with yeast, when i was young i was always making yeast goods i remember vividly proving the dough by the open fire and teaching myself how to knead and how dough should look and feel.  I think i like the constant surprise factor with yeast products they are always unpredictable it feels as though the dough has a mind of its own – well i suppose it does in a round-about way. It is one of the most satisfying jobs in the kitchen and one i never tire of.  When making any doughs  use the wet quantities as a guideline – the flour you use varies, the weather can have an impact etc etc.  It is nothing too fear it just takes practice to find that “look and feel”.  You will know what i mean after making some light and crusty batches and when you make some heavy and dry batches.  It is all down to the feel!!

ENGLISH MUFFINS

225ml milk

2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp sugar

450g all purpose/plain flour

1 tsp salt

55g butter or lard for greasing

Method
Put the milk and 55ml water into a saucepan and heat gently until just warm enough for you to dip your finger in comfortably. Put the warmed milk into a small basin or jug, add the sugar and the yeast, mix lightly and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes and the mixture has a lightly bubbling top.
Sift the flour into a roomy baking bowl or bowl of an electic mixer, add the salt and stir. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast and milk mixture in. Mix all the ingredients together until a soft, non-sticky dough is formed; if the dough feels dry a little more water a drop at a time, too wet add a little more flour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea towel and leave in a warm (not hot) place until the dough has doubled in size, this could take up to an hour, so be patient.
Evy helping!
Once risen, tip the dough back onto the floured surface and roll out to 1cm thick. Cut into 7.5cm rounds. The dough may start to puff up again but simply roll it back lighlty. Place the muffins on a greased baking sheet and leave to rise for 30 minutes, again in a warm, but not hot, place.
Grease a heavy-based frying pan or griddle with a little butter or lard (remove excess with paper towel) heat until hot but not burning. Add a few muffins, lower the heat and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Once cooked, put to one side, re-grease the pan or griddle and heat, then continue as above until you have used up all the dough.

Store them in an airtight tin.

Muffins are delicious warm, split the muffins and coat with lashings of butter and jam.  Or toasted in the morning for breakfast….yummy!

PUMPKIN, CHICKPEA AND CAVOLO NERO SOUP

I love soups with substance, almost a cross between a soup and stew.  You may be familiar with the Italian classic Ribollita which is thick, seasonal and nourishing.  My version is not much different it is based on the same thick, seasonal soup but with what you have in your fridge/garden.  Today i had pumpkin if you have butternut squash, carrots or kumara then use them.  I had a leek, tin of chickpeas and cavolo nero if you have onions canneilini beans potatoes or silverbeet then use them.  As long as you keep the flavours connected and balanced and the texture needs to be chunky, thick and as i mentioned a cross between a soup and stew well then the rest is up to you!
PUMPKIN, CHICKPEAS AND CAVOLO NERO SOUP
serves 6
500g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes
1 leek, washed well, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 sprig fresh rosemary, sage or thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tin chickpeas, washed well and drained
250g cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Thai fish sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
olive oil
extra virgin olive oil for serving
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese (optional but highly recommended)
Method
In a large pot heat the oil gently add the leek, onion, rosemary and smoked paprika and cook without colouring for 5 minutes.  Add half the diced pumpkin and cook for a further 5 minutes, add the chickpeas stir to combine.  Just cover with cold water or veg stock and cook gently for 20 minutes. 
When you notice the pumpkin and chickpeas softening add the remaining pumpkin and season well with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook for further 10 minutes, add the cavolo nero and continue cooking until it wilts and the soup starts to slightly thicken.  At this stage i give it a rough mash with a potato masher, i am however only trying to break up a little of the soup.  Taste the soup and add the fish sauce, honey, taste again and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve in large warm bowls, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and a grating of fresh cheese if desired.
Don’t forget to improvise with your own combinations.  This type of soup is based on “rustic peasant type”.  You can’t go wrong if you keep it simple and seasonal.

OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

photos by Simon Lambert
I am actually looking forward to the fresh southern air today….i do realise i sound like i have lost my marbles but the truth is i have been couped up at home with my sick family.  I need a good blow-out and i want to get cooking!
The menu today is highly nutritious and full of flavour. I know for a fact i will get people going home to cook a pot of Borscht, it is so simple and inexpensive to make but so bloody delicious to eat.  It is crazy that such a fabulous tasting and looking (hot pink) soup is not made or even talked about in our family homes regularly enough.
I will also be talking about the fine products from Limousin Healthy Beef and going through a few handy tips about cooking that unforgettable steak.  I will also be using some of Brydone gorgeous, plump, little yams and i will be poaching off some pears and tossing them through some home-made hazelnut butter and then coating them in some more crunchy, lightly, toasted hazelnuts….its as good as it sounds!
I will see you soon, bye!
MENU FROM THE MOBILE KITCHEN


BORSCHT – one of Russia’s better known dishes. Simple to prepare, inexpensive and highly nutritious. It is wonderful served hot in winter and equally as good in summer chilled.
Serves 4

50 g butter
500g beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ litres beef stock or vegetable if desired
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon or red wine vinegar
Soured cream to serve
A handful of chopped chives to garnish or dill

Method



Melt the butter in large pan over a gentle heat and slowly sweat the beetroot onion, carrot and garlic, turning the vegetables (which will become a lurid pink) over the butter.
Add the sugar and stock to the pan, season with a few grinds of pepper bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Using a blender or food processor (cover with a tea towel just encase it splutters out the top) whizz the soup until it is entirely smooth then add the lemon juice or vinegar and salt to taste.


Serve with a swirl of sour cream and a scattering of herbs.

STEAK WITH PERSILLADE

Persillade is a simple mixture of parsley, shallots and garlic which is a classic French finishing touch to many a dish!

photo Simon Lambert
Serves 4
4 x 225g porterhouse steak, 2cm thick

2 pinches of salt
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil

65g butter

Persillade
1 handful of fresh parsley

½ medium shallot
1 garlic clove

Method

Prepare the steaks by seasoning them with salt and pepper and oil, pressing it firmly into the steaks on each side.
Prepare the persillade by finely chopping the parsley, shallot and garlic and mix them together. Set aside.

Using a large heavy-based pan heat it up on a medium-high heat. Place the steak into the hot pan and cook without touching it for 1 ½ minutes on each side for rare, 3 minutes for medium rare or 4 minutes for medium. Add the butter and let it go foamy and the aroma goes nutty. Spoon over the steak and remove the steak when cooked and put onto a warm plate and keep warm so you can finish off the sauce.

Quickly add the persillade to the pan. Then add the water and lemon juice and simmer for 10 seconds. Pour over the persillade and meat juices over the steak and serve right away!

Caramelized Pears with Hazelnut Butter
Serves 6
Caramelized Pears

3 firm, ripe, firm pears
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¼ tsp cream of tartar or squeeze of fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Hazelnut Butter

¾ cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and skinned
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
Good quality ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Method

Peel and halve the pears, leaving the stem intact on one of the halves. Set aside in acidulated water.

To make the caramel, place the sugar, water, and vanilla bean seeds in a shallow and wide saucepan. Add the cream of tartar or lemon juice and stir together. Heat the mixture over medium heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup begins to bubble. Remove the lid, increase the heat slightly and allow the syrup to boil undisturbed until it turns golden in colour. Add the butter and swirl until combined and colour is uniform.

Carefully place the pear halves in the caramel, cut side down. Cook over medium heat, occasionally basting the pears with caramel, until the sauce begins to attach itself to the pears and give them colour, about 15 minutes. Carefully transfer the pear halves to a small tray lined with foil or grease-proof paper and drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce. Cool at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 180C. While the pears are cooling, make the hazelnut butter.

Spread the hazelnuts onto a small tray and toast the nuts until they are lightly golden and aromatic, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, set aside ¼ cup and transfer the remaining ½ cup hazelnuts to a blender or food processor. Add the olive oil, sugar, and salt and blend briefly on low speed. Gradually increase the speed until a smooth paste forms, adding water a tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency, slightly looser than peanut butter (the hazelnut butter should coat the back of a spoon).

To serve, lightly crush the reserved hazelnuts with a rolling pin, try to keep them coarse. Drain excess caramel from the pear halves, coat them with hazelnut butter and roll in the crushed nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or lightly whipped cream.

MAPLE or HONEY ROASTED YAMS
Serves 4
500g yams
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
50-100ml maple syrup or honey

Method

Preheat oven to 200

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cut the yams lengthways and toss through the oil and season well roast for 20 minutes pour over the maple syrup and continue to roast until it caramelises and the yams are tender. Serve straight from the oven. They are also great tossed through some rocket or spinach leaves and a little red onions for a quick warm salad.
SAUTEED YAMS WITH CHILLI

Serves 4

500g yams, sliced into 2-3mm rounds
1 onions, sliced thinly
1 chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic
Splash of Thai fish sauce (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice or splash of vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Handful roughly chopped coriander

Method

Heat a heavy-based fry pan up to medium-hot, add the oil and yams. Toss regularly to evenly colour, add the onions, garlic and chilli after 5 minutes. When the yams are just tender and the onions have softened and caramelised.

Add a couple splashes Thai fish sauce, season with salt and pepper, give them a taste. Adjust seasoning and squeeze over the lemon and scatter over the coriander. Serve warm.

ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS FOR THEIR LOVELY PRODUCE.

LIMOUSIN HEALTHY BEEF  limousinhealthybeef.co.nz
BRYDONE ORGANICS http://www.finda.co.nz/





Follow Alison on face book Taste of my life or null.alisonmarketchef.blogspot.com

HOME-BREW

What a week…..we have all been knocked out with a nasty bug and now coping with a horsey, chesty cough.  There are so many cough syrups available whether it is the herbal or pharmaceutical type i have tried more than my far share and i always revert back to my “home-brew” which consist simply of lemons, honey and ginger.

HOME-BREW COUGH SYRUP
1 lemon, cut into slices
thumb of ginger, sliced
2 dessertspoons of good quality honey
200 ml water

Method
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil and then turn off.  Let the ingredients infuse for at least 10 minutes.
Strain and drink warm.
NB; it is totally optional but highly recommended one or two drams of whiskey will certainly help keep the cold at bay! It is optional don’t forget.

SPROUTING SPELT FLOUR BREAD

I love to experiment with any ingredients and flour is no exception.  At Taste Naure http://www.tastenature.co.nz/, they have a great selection of organic products and you can get as much or as little as you like.  One of my favourite breads is a good loaf of spelt and with a sick family and a pot of freshly made chicken and corn soup simmering away i thought it the perfect accompaniment.

SPELT BREAD
makes 1 large family loaf

300g wholemeal spelt flour (i used sprouting-spelt flour)
200g strong white bread flour1 heaped tsp fine sea salt
7g packet of instant dried yeast or 15g fresh yeast
350ml water

Method
Put the two flours in a large bowl and add the salt. Stir in the yeast. (If you are using fresh yeast, crumble it into the water and stir to dissolve it.) Pour the water into the flour. Stir to a soft dough then tip out on to a floured board.

The dough will be quite sticky at this stage, but keep kneading it for a good eight or nine minutes. This sounds a long time, but it shouldn’t be hard work. If it is, then you are probably kneading too hard. I knead firmly but gently, working the dough with my hands, pushing it flat with my palms then folding the far edge back into the dough. As you knead, the dough will become drier and tighter. It will feel alive.

Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the floured bowl. Cover with a warm, damp cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour, until it is roughly twice its original volume. I have tried almost every room in the house for this and find the work surface at the side of the fire, or in a hot water cupboard gets the quickest results, but even at ordinary room temperature it should be up in an hour or so.

Dough proving
Shape into one large full round loaf then bring the side furthest away from you down towards the centre press firmly with your fingers, making the ends narrower than the centre. Place onto a lightly floured baking sheet. Dust generously with flour and leave in a warm place, covered by a tea towel, for 30 minutes or so until your loaf  have risen once more.

Set the oven at 240C. Bake the loaves for 15-20 minutes, turn down the heat to 190C and continue to cook until your bread is crisp and dark outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
(approx another 10-20 minutes).  Remove and cool on a wire rack.



RELIEF FOR COLD AND FLU

We have all been hit by a nasty bug in our household and timing couldn’t have been worse – it is the school holidays! My three children and husband have been bed ridden for days. With not much of an appetite i always turn to Chicken Soup, this time i added some corn as it is always a winner with the children and to be honest i am quite partial to a good Chicken and Corn Soup.

CHICKEN AND CORN SOUP
serves 4-6

1 whole free-range or organic chicken
1 cube chicken stock (optional)
1 stick celery
1 carrot
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 x 400g tin creamed corn
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour
2 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce or any good quality
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
freshly ground pepper
Salt
finely sliced red chilli (optional)

Method

Remove the 2 breasts off the chicken by running a sharp knife down the centre of the breast and carefully using your knife take one breast off at a time.  Set aside.
With the remaining chicken body place it into a large pot and cover with cold water.  Add the onion, celery, carrot garlic and ginger.  Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that may come to the top.  Cook gently for 1 hour. 
Meanwhile; remove and discard the chicken skin of the breasts.  Slice very thinly and mix with the soy sauce, sugar and cornflour. Set aside.
Strain the chicken stock into another pot and set aside the cooked chicken which can be picked off and tossed through a salad or added to a sandwich. 
Heat the chicken stock up gently and add the creamed corn. Add the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Let the chicken cook for 5 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Just before you are going to serve pour the egg white into the hot soup and lightly stir so that the egg white cooks in a thin stream.
Serve with freshly sliced spring onions and chilli if desired.  Aah i feel better already!

OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

Weekly recipes on offer from the Mobile Kitchen
Thanks Sarah for your beautiful photos!

Alison cooking in Mobile Kitchen
photos Sarah Cowhey
is it really winter
photo Sarah Cowhey

Do i or do i not have enough layers on….? I can hear the wind howling round the house i don’t see any signs of snow at this point which is encouraging.  Thank goodness i love what i do and that is COOKING! Thank goodness i have such wonderful products to create with today; Chorizo sausage from Waitaki Bacon and Ham, www.waitakibaconham.co.nzdeep,green, richly-robust Cavolo Nero from Brydone Organicswww.organicnz.org/organic-nz…/brydone-growers-and-farm-shop, maginficent cheese from Whitestone www.whitestonecheese.co.nz.
Whew it was a windy day, i was wondering if i would get anything cooked as the gas had no chance of staying alight with wind like that!
But hey being the true professional i am we did get some food eventually and i got to admit the soup was wicked.  I hope you try out these simple recipes and as i say time and time again get a few good quality  ingredients in your fridge or pantry and your cooking need not be complicated.

WILTED CAVOLO NERO WITH GARLIC AND CHILLI
This is a great way to simply cook this deeply flavoured, robust green.

photos Sarah Cowhey
Serves 4
1-2 bunches cavolo nero
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch dried chilli flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon (optional)

METHOD

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Lay a clean cloth on a tray or large plate this is to drain and cool your cavolo nero down.

Meanwhile prepare the cavolo nero by removing the leaves from the fibrous stalk, discard the stalk and wash the leaves well in cold water. Drain.

When the pot of water is boiling add the leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and lay out in a single layer on the cloth.

Heat a large frypan up to medium hot, add a glug of oil, add the garlic and let fry for a few seconds so it turns a light golden colour and it gives off a nutty smell. Add the chilli flakes and all the leaves, season with salt and pepper, toss to combine and warm through.

Serve with a half of lemon if desired and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It partner’s well with all meats, fish and also great with a toasted sliced of good bread.

PASTA WITH CAVOLO NERO, CHORIZO AND PARMESAN




photo Sarah Cowhey

Serves 4

400g pasta
80 ml olive oil
2 onion, peel and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
300g chorizo (or bratwurst)
24 sage leaves
300g cavolo nero (or silverbeet, kale or spinach), remove stalks and wash well
1 tsp salt
180ml boiling water
Oil for frying
80g parmesan

Method

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan and fry onions, and garlic over high heat until they begin to caramelise. Add chorizo slices and half the sage leaves and gently stir until sausage is partly cooked.

Plunge the prepared cavolo nero into the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and drain well.
Bring the pot of water back to the boil and cook your pasta (follow the directions on the packet).
Roughly chop the cavolo nero and add to the chorizo’s, when the pasta is cooked drain and add immediately to the pan, season with salt and cracked pepper toss to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

CHORIZO BROTH WITH CAVOLO NERO

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 cooking chorizo, sliced
4 large potatoes
1 ½ litres chicken stock

200g cavolo nero, stalks removed and finely shredded

Method
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and chorizo, then cook for 5 minus until soft. Throw in the potatoes and cook for a few mins more. Pour in the stock, season lightly and bring back to the boil. Cook everything for 10 minutes until the potatoes are on the brink of collapse.

Use a masher to squash the potatoes into the soup, then bring back to the boil. Add the cavolo nero and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Ladle the soup into bowls, then serve drizzled with the remaining olive oil.

CHORIZO – can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked before eating. In Europe it is more frequently cured by smoking. The distinctive smokiness and deep red colour usually comes from dried smoked red peppers.

Photos Sarah Cowhey

They are great added to soups, cassoulets, wonderful with eggs, and great tossed with potatoes and mixed through salads.

PASTA-DORO www.pastadoro.co.nz

Photo Sarah Cowhey

Whether it is fresh or dried it is arguably one of the all time great meals. It makes the perfect light lunch or a comforting dinner and it is always a hit with children.

A lot of people think fresh pasta is superior to dried – not true! It’s just that they have a different role to play in your dish. Dried pasta generally is made from flour and mostly water, which means that it lasts longer and retains a fantastic bite. It is great with seafood, oily tomato sauces, whereas fresh pasta is silky and tender and suits being stuffed with creamy and buttery sauces.

HOW TO COOK PASTA

FRESH AND DRIED

the most important lesson I have learnt with cooking pasta is not to over-cook it! It needs to have a slight bite. And getting the appropriate pasta for the right sauce…

Always use a large pot with enough water so the pasta has plenty of room to move around. Simply 2/3 full a good-size pot up with water and a generous pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil. Only add the pasta when it is on a rolling boil. I tend to read the packaging on the pasta packets as they can vary. But the best test is to remove a piece and bite into it to test it. It should be tender to the bite not soft!

Give the pot of pasta a frequent stir to prevent over cooking. As soon as it is done, drain most of the liquid, reserving some of the liquid as it is good to add to your sauce. Add to your favourite sauce!

CHEESE PLATE – as I have previously mentioned if you are serving cheese always have it at room temperature, match it with some good quality chutney or relish that will work with the cheese. Strong cheese goes well with something sweet, aged with something fresh like pears or apples. Soft cheese pair’s well with crisp celery, a few grapes and some oat cakes.

photo Sarah Cowhey

Try to concentrate on either one or two good quality cheeses, some fresh market bread or good quality oat cakes and team it up with the appropriate accompaniment.

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their wonderful produce


BOUCHE – PICKELS, SAUCES AND CHUTNEYS


WHITESTONE CHEESE


WAITAKI BACON AND HAM


BRYDONE ORGANICS


Follow me on face book Alison Lambert taste of my life and www.alisonmarketchef.blogspot.com