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As you are aware once a month myself and Trish Oakley do a Food Club.  It has almost been going a year and we have covered everything from Tapas – Emerson’s beer matched with food and the man himself (Richard) was present – Wine (thanks to Sam at Rhubarb) matched with food of course.  We had half a lamb from Duncan (the farmer) with which we got down and dirty with the hack-saw, hung out with a few too many birds – poultry of course! Showcased the valuable skill of boning a whole chicken.  Whew and that is only the tip of the food basket!
This month we are concentrating on Fish – filleting, smoking, curing and simple methods of cookery.  I have been brought up by the sea and fish of any shape and form has always been a staple meal for us.  Like anything these days it is getting expensive and the art of fishing, filleting and curing is disappearing from our repertoire.  I feel passionately about keeping skills like this alive, it not only is a more affordable skill to have up your sleeve i think you will find it not half as scary as you once may have thought. 
maple and bay smoked monkfish
(manuka bark)

Smoking fish is not only about imparting flavour it is also a form of preservation. You can pretty much smoke any type of fish although oily fish like salmon, trout and mackerel smoke with better results due to their natural oiliness and they seem to absorb flavour better.
Smoking fish is hugely satisfying especially if you have done the hunter-gatherer thing. However if like me and fish don’t seem to like your line then buying from the farmers market or fishmonger is the next best thing. It is paramount that the fish is super fresh, to check this firstly smell the fish it should not smell fishy at all. The skin should be shiny and not dry, and the flesh should have a natural sheen. If buying whole fish always check the gills they should be bright red and the eyes should be plump and glossy.

What I like about smoking fish at home is that you can experiment with the rub, marinade, type of wood chips (untreated) and of course the type of fish.

fish ready for smoking

• BRINE – 1 Tbsp salt per cup of water – you will need enough brine to cover your fish. Increase recipe as required. (I usually only brine white fleshed fish like red cod or any soft fleshed fish). I leave the fish/ fillets in the brine for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
• Rinse off the brine under cold running water and pat dry the fish with paper towels.

• Make a rub or glaze to rub over the flesh of the fish – brown sugar, lemon zest and cracked pepper works well. Or perhaps try maple syrup, lemon zest and mixed peppercorns. You want enough to generously cover the fish.

• Prepare you smoker by placing wood chips on the base and filling the dish provided with white spirits. Place the fish or fillets, skin side down on the tray provided. Light the spirits and place under the smoker ensuring that it is not sitting on a flammable surface. Place the lid on; for an average fillet of salmon it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I checked mine a few times to ensure it wasn’t over cooking.

• Remove from the smoker and serve.

home smoked monkfish
verjuice mayonnaise and wild rocket and cucumber salad


A little taste of Spring
photo Simon Lambert
Isn’t it exciting that winter feels as though it is subsiding and spring is on the way….!  It won’t be long until we get to dip that long, crisp green spear of Asparagus into some peppery Central Otago olive oil mayonnaise.  It is true it won’t be long but hey lets not forget what is good at the moment….silverbeet, calvolo nero, cauliflowers, brocccoli, romanesco, jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, pumpkins, brussels sprouts, leeks, lettuce, asian greens (large variety from Youngs) living sprouts, huge array of apples and pears, frozen berries and much, much more.  I am only scatching the surface as to what is available i haven’t even mentioned the incredible array of meat, fish, cheese, wine and beer……i will leave the rest up to you!
Character’s of the market vendors
photo Sarah Cowhey
I have put together an interesting menu for you all to play around with.  Leckies Butcher have given me the challenge of preparing and cooking Lamb Sweetbreads, i am going to simply poach, then crumb and panfry with a little squeeze of lemon.  I also have some bacon ends which i am going to incorporate into a fantastic pasta dish using none other than Pasta D’oro.   I also have the infamous Smoked Manuka Eggs which i am adding to make my market version of Carbonara!  This is one of those meals you can come home from work and whip up well under 30 minutes.
Busy day in the mobile kitchen…thanks
photo Sarah Cowhey
I also have some fantastic apples from Willowbrook Orchard which i am going to turn into a delicious dessert along with hazelnuts and quince conserve from Corydon Hazels.


Serves 4
photo Sarah Cowhey
100g bacon ends, cut into 1 cm pieces
50g parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
3 Manuka Smoked eggs
350g Pasta d’oro Linguini
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
50g unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Put a large saucepan of heavily salted water on to boil.
Firstly get together all your ingredients such as the cut bacon ends, grated parmesan, lightly beat together your eggs in a bowl and set aside.
In a heavy based fry pan add the butter and dash of olive add the bacon. Cook over a moderate heat so the fat renders out a little and it starts to colour. Squash the garlic and add it to the bacon. Continue cooking until the bacon has gone golden and crisp. Remove the garlic as it has done its job of imparting flavour.
Cook your pasta as directed on the packet. I am using fresh pasta which is very quick to cook (2-4 minutes). Ensure the water is constantly boiling. When your pasta is cooked you can either drag it across from the pot to the fry pan with a long pair of tongs or you can drain in through a colander, but ensure you collect a little of the cooking liquor as this is vital to your dish.

Mix most of the cheese with the eggs (reserving a little cheese for serving), remove the fry pan from the heat and now quickly pour in the egg mixture. Using tongs lift up the pasta through the mixture so it evenly coats all the threads of pasta and thickens as you do so. Add a few Tbsp of the cooking water to loosen the mixture. You want it moist but not wet. Adjust the seasoning and serve with freshly grated cheese.

Sweetbreads have nothing to do with bread at all they are in fact the thymus or pancreas gland from sheep, calves or deer. Do not let this put you off as they are tender and creamy in taste and texture. There is a little preparation beforehand but worth the small amount of effort. Go on be daring…!

Basic preparation of sweetbreads – ideally soak them for a few hours in several changes of cold water. If a little low on time you can omit this stage and gentle poach them in unsalted water for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle prick each sweetbread all over to release any excess fat. Remove any gristly or sinewy bits and discard. Be careful not to remove too much of the membrane as this holds them together.
Your sweetbreads are now ready to use in whichever way you so desire!

This is a classic way of serving sweetbreads, simply panfried and finished with a zesty sauce.

photo Sarah Cowhey
Serves 4

250g sweetbreads
2 eggs,
½ cup flour
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
1 lemon
2 Tbsp capers
Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
50g butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Firstly get together the ingredients for crumbing – put the flour into one dish, then break the eggs and lightly whisk and put into another dish. Finally put the crumbs into another dish. Place them on your bench in the above order.

Crumb the sweetbreads in the flour, egg mixture and finally the crumbs. Lay out on a tray ensuring they are not sitting on one another. Refrigerate until required.

Heat up a large fry pan with ½ the butter and drizzle of oil. Fry the sweetbreads over moderate heat, season with salt and pepper and fry until the crumbs go a lovely golden brown (2 minutes) turn over and repeat with the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

To make the sauce; add the remaining butter and let it go frothy (2 minutes) it will give off a slightly nutty aroma, squeeze over the juice of the lemon, add the capers and swirl the pan around to amalgamate the flavours. Finally add the parsley, taste, adjust if necessary.

To serve; divide the sweetbreads between the warm plates and drizzle over the sauce. I particularly like mine with some crisp pepper rocket or watercress leaves.

photo Sarah Cowhey
3 carrots, thinly sliced diagonally, or peeled into strips with potato peeler

½ red onion or spring onions, thinly sliced
70g roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, roughly torn if necessary

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and fennel


Place the carrot, hazelnuts, onion and mint into a large bowl.
In another bowl prepare the dressing by mixing the oil, spices and juices together. Season lightly.
When ready to eat, drizzle over the dressing, toss to combine and serve immediately.
This is wonderful alongside some middle eastern spiced lamb or chicken. Although it works superbly on its own.


photo Sarah Cowhey
 I love the crunchy pastry with the brandied apples, crunchy hazelnuts and sticky quince it makes for a fantastic dessert or a very decadent high tea.

Makes 12 pieces

500g puff pastry
9 apples – granny smiths, braeburn or fuji work well, peel and core
Juice of 1 lemon
250g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
50 ml brandy (optional)
125g hazelnuts
Icing sugar for dusting
Whipped cream (optional)


Firstly cut the apples into 1 cm dice and put into a heavy-based saucepan with the butter, brandy and lemon juice. Add 250g (1 cup) sugar and the cinnamon stick. Cook over high heat, stirring continuously, until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat to low then cover and cook, stirring frequently for 30 minutes, or until mixture reaches a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work bench until you get a 30x 40cm rectangle. Place it onto a baking sheet, trim the edges and prick well all over and cover with another baking sheet (this will prevent the pastry rising up too far)

Preheat the oven 220C

Bake the pastry still between the two baking sheets, for 15 minutes or until the pastry becomes golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C.

Remove the top baking sheet and allow the pastry to cool slightly, cover with the apples, leaving a 1 cm gap around the edges. Scatter evenly with the hazelnuts and coat heavily with icing sugar. Bake for another 15-18 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the oven, cut into desired size pieces and enjoy it goes wonderfully well with lashings of whipped cream.

Thank you to everyone that makes the mobile kitchen such a success


JUDGE ROCK WINES (thank you Paul for the fantastic wine week after week)http://www.judgerock.co.nz/CORYDON HAZELS – HAZELNUTS AND QUINCE CONSERVE

PASTA D’ORO – LINGUINI  http://www.pastadoro.co.nz/
SMOKED MANUKA EGGS  http://www.nzmanukaeggs.co.nz/


www.alisonmarketchef.blogspot.com or follow me on facebook Alison Lambert Taste of my life.


I was flicking through some cookbooks and came across this recipe, i liked the addition of olive oil instead of butter as it not only adds a wonderful flavour, but its also great to have recipes without dairy. This cake is best made in two tins and you will find the mixture is quite runny, almost of a batter consistency. I also like to utilise and celebrate our vast array of apples we have in abundance down here in the far south.  I have mentioned a few varieties which i think cook up well and have a wonderful flavour when cooked.  However this is where you decide what varieties you like or more to the point what you have on hand.
This cake will be more dense than you are probably use too, i particularly like to serve this cake warm (and a little cream never goes astray). To store wrap in plastic wrap and it will keep for 2 days (if it lasts that long!).
Makes 2 x 25 cm round cake tins

280g plain flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
100ml virgin olive oil
150g unrefined caster sugar
 vanilla pod, seeds only
4 free rang eggs
4 granny smith, braeburn or fuji apples, peeled and cut in 1cm dice
1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
30ml milk
2 free range egg whites


Preheat the oven to 160°C, grease 2 x 25cm cake tins and lightly dust with flour.

Weigh the sugar, vanilla seeds and oil into a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the sugar and oil till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, whisk until creamy and pale in colour.

Sift all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold half of the dry ingredients gently into the egg mixture with a metal spoon. Add the milk and fold the rest of the flour in. Do not over work the batter.
Fold in the diced apples and lemon zest.

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Divide the cake mixture between the two cake moulds. This will give you two fairly shallow cakes, if you like a higher cake only use one cake tin.

Place the cake tins in the preheated oven on the middle shelf and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the moulds for 10 minutes, turn them out on to a cooling rack and let the cakes cool completely.

Dust heavily with icing sugar and glaze the cake either under the grill or using a blowtorch.
Serve slightly warm.
Makes 2 shallow 25cm cakes


Photo Sarah Cowhey
It may be a frosty start but i hear sunshine is on the way! Today’s menu has all the elements in it to create a delicious meal at home.  I will be making a sticky sauce to coat the pork slices from Waitaki Bacon and Ham teamed up with some super crispy bok choy from my man Nigel at Brydone Organics and finally spiced up with a little chilli from Kakanui produce.
Just a sample of the incredible produce i get to cook with.
Photo Sarah Cowhey
I also have carrots from Ray Goddard and if you haven’t had the pleasure of eating his sweet, crunchy and natural tasting carrots, then you should give them a try.  They turn this simple soup into a pot of sunshine, sweet and smoky tasting and highly nutritious bowl of goodness for only a couple of dollars. I will also be adding my Karaka Berry jam (thanks to Butlers Berries) to some pastry, rolling them up and baking them so they are sweet, crisp and impossible to refuse. 
Just a quick update from my day at the market.  Apart from a few issues like gas problems, freezing cold weather and NO CARROTS…..Ray from Goddards was so apologetic, it is not as if he could help the fact that we have had the Artic blast from hell, add a little rain and a pinch of below zero temperatures to top it off.  How on earth is any man or machine suppose to pull up carrots…..this is why i love the market you never know what to expect!

Wicked picture Sarah
Serves 4

4-8 pork slices

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced
Freshly black pepper


5 Tbsp dry cider or white wine
5 Tbsp soy sauce
1 generous Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tbsp Kakanui Produce Chilli sauce
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp soft brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 200C

First of all, make sure the strips of belly pork are absolutely dry by patting them with kitchen paper. Then rub each one all over with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper (but no salt because of the sauce).

Now pop them into the roasting tin, tucking the chopped onion in among them and sprinkling them with a few more drops of oil. Place the tin on the highest shelf in the oven and let them cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make up the barbecue sauce simply by whisking all the sauce ingredients together until blended thoroughly. When the pork has been cooking for 30 minutes, pour off any excess oil from the roasting tin, then pour the barbecue sauce over the pork and cook for a further 25 minutes, basting frequently.

Photo Sarah Cowhey
Serves 4

2 large or 4 small heads bok choy
1 Tbsp veg oil


2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly


Rinse the bok choy and cut off the bottom stem at the base of each head. Separate the leaves, if the stalks are very large I would suggest to sliced them in half lengthwise.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frypan over medium-high to high heat, add oil and heat.

Add the bok choy plus 2-3 Tbsp of sauce. Keep the bok choy moving. If looking a little too dry add a spoon or two of water to loosen the dish. Add another 2-3 Tbsp sauce, continue to stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the bok choy is bright and green and tender.

Taste the sauce and adjust with more sugar, chilli sauce or a little lime juice.

This will go perfectly alongside Sticky Pork Slices.


When making a soup like this it is paramount that you get the freshest, sweetest market ingredients available as the end result will be far superior!

Serves 4-6

2 tsp cumin seeds

pinch chilli flakes

2 Tbsp olive oil
600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
140g split red lentils
1litre hot vegetable stock
125ml milk
plain yohurt and good quality bread to serve


Heat a large saucepan and add the cumin seeds. Dry-fry the cumin seeds until they become fragrant (1 minute) add the chilli flakes and toss around briefly. Remove half of the seeds and set aside.
Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils and carrots have softened.
Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.
Serve with some good quality crusty bread.


Jerusalem artichokes have a slight mushroom flavour, they partner extremely well with thyme, sage and bay leaves. They can be boiled and tossed through a salad, roasted, smashed or baked, great with fish and meat!


600g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
Good quality oil for frying
4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dry
2 clove garlic, finely sliced
Splash white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Cut the Jerusalem artichokes into chunks.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in frying pan add the artichokes and fry for 2 minutes or until lightly caramelised. Add the garlic and bay leaves cook for a few minutes more, add a splash of vinegar, some salt and pepper, place a lid on top and cook for a further 15 minutes or until they have softened. Remove the lid and bay leaves, continue cooking for a few more minutes so the artichokes can crisp up.

Serve straight away.

I have eaten these crunchy little biscuit all throughout Europe. I have adapted them with some thick and pulpy Karaka Berry Jam and now made them New Zealand style!

photo Sarah Cowhey
Makes 32( approx)
4 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry (or roll your own)

75g caster sugar
4 Tbsp Karaka berry jam or any good quality jam

Preheat oven 220C

Sprinkle your bench with a little sugar and place the pastry sheet on top. If rolling out your pastry roll it on the sugar until it is about 5mm thick, and 10-20cm wide.
Spread about 1 Tbsp of jam evenly over the pastry. Don’t be tempted to add too much jam as it will spill over.
Fold the short ends of the pastry in so that the 2 edges meet in the middle, then fold again in the same way. Cut the pastry into slices 1cm thick. Open the slices out slightly to form heart shapes. Sprinkle the baking tray with sugar and put the heart shapes flat on the tray. Bake the palmiers for 15-20 minutes, turning them over once during cooking.




www.alisonmarketchef.blogspot.com or follow me on Facebook Alison Lambert Taste Of My Life

CARROT AND CUMIN SOUP…….it’s that simple!

This is one of those soups where there really are only a few ingredients.  But the emphasis is on the freshest carrots you can get your hands on.  My garden is a no-go area so home-grown are out of the question (sadly), however it is pretty hard not to be impressed with the quality of carrots available at the market.  Ray Goddards carrots are sweet, crunchy and unbelievably good value…where do you get anything for $2-4 dollars these days?  Even his seconds are better quality than the supermarket.  Actually why i am on the subject of carrots and supermarkets can anyone enlighten me why their carrots are all the same size, washed so that they need not be peeled and have absolutely no flavour and if they were not bright orange i might have trouble thinking that it was a carrot?  It saddens me as this is what the majority of the population eat and this is what our children think vegetables taste like….nothing. Is it any wonder we have trouble getting our children to eat their 5 a day!
Any how back to the soup.  I will be making this at the market on Saturday and you can taste just how sweet, smoky and pure it is.  I thought it might be a good soup to whip up if like me you are cold and just like to sip away on a bowl of goodness.
photo Sarah Cowhey

When making a soup like this it is paramount that you get the freshest, sweetest market ingredients available as the end result will be far superior!

Serves 4-6
2 tsp cumin seeds

pinch chilli flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
140g split red lentils
1litre hot vegetable stock
125ml milk
plain yohurt and good quality bread to serve


Heat a large saucepan and add the cumin seeds. Dry-fry the cumin seeds until they become fragrant (1 minute) add the chilli flakes and toss around briefly. Remove half of the seeds and set aside.

Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils and carrots have softened.

Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.

Serve with some good quality crusty bread.

photo Sarah Cowhey


I realise it seems a little odd to be making jam, well jam with berries that is, in winter.  To be honest one of my son’s loves a jam sandwich and my stocks of homemade plum and blackcurrant jam are running dangerously low.  At the farmers market you can still get a great selection of frozen berries ranging from raspberries, blackcurrants, karaka (cross between boysenberry and blackberry), gooseberries to name just a few and don’t be concerned that the quality is anything but of the highest standard.  Donald from Butlers Berries supplied me with a huge bag of Karaka Berries if like me you aren’t quite sure what exactly they are, well apparently they are a cross between a boysenberry and blackberry. To look at they are of the deepest, darkest purple and what strikes you is the sheer size of them; they are huge, about the size of your finger.  They have a wonderful fruity aroma and will mingle well with good quality dark chocolate or baked with a crumble or cobbler topping.  I have turned these berries today into a magical jam which i am not only to smear generously over hot buttered toast i will use it to spice up a frangipane tart or dolloped onto chocolate muffins, or even better submerged in the midst of a hot chocolate fondant.  I will leave the rest up to your imagination.
makes 6-8 jars 300g
1.5kg karaka berries (i used frozen)
1.5kg sugar
Large heavy-based pot with deep sides.
6-8 clean and sterilised jars with lids/seal
When using fresh berries, remove the hull (leaves and stalk) from the berry.  If frozen you can use as is or defrost retaining all juices. 
Gently heat the berries for about 20 -30 minutes or until the juices start to seep out and the berries soften and breakdown a little. 
Add the sugar and stir and heat on a gentle heat until the sugar dissolves about 5-10 minutes.  When this stage is reached turn up the heat and fast boil until the jam thickens to the point of setting. 
To test for setting i use the old method my mother passed on to me.  It is simple to do and needs no fancy equipment and best of all it works every time!  Put a spoon of jam onto a saucer and let cool.  Then run your finger through the middle if it doesn’t run back into the middle then it is ready to bottle.
Important tips for bottling – i always let the jam sit for five minutes or so (this allows the berries to settle).  I wash my jars in hot soapy water and drain upside down on the oven rack in a very low (50C) heated oven until required.  Do not be tempted to handle the jars or wipe the inside out with a cloth as you want to keep them sterilised.  I also cover the lids (if using) in a small pot and heat gently until required. Pour the jam using a jug and wipe the rim with a clean cloth.  Always label, date and store away from direct sunlight.
For more information on preserving refer to my SUMMER-AUTUMN BOOK (available from the farmers market).
Once the jam has cooled for 5 minutes i then carefully pour the warm jam into the sterilised jars, seal well and label. 
The final product is one of deep colour with a rich, pulpy texture and full of exotic aromas.  And as i have mentioned above it will lend itself to many desserts and it will even enhance some gamy sauces.


Please believe me i do bake cookies other than chocolate chip its just that my darling little children love anything to do with chocolate and if incorporated into a cookie then it is the best of both worlds.
 However i mixed it up a little and combined dark and white chocolate with the addition of a little coconut.  The chocolates mingle heavenly together and the creamy coconut add a little extra texture.


175g butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups flour
170g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
170g white chocolate, cut into chunksMethod

Preheat oven to 180C

Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy and smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time incorporating well after each addition.
Add the essence.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda together, add salt and add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the coconut and both kinds of chocolate until mixed through.
You can use either a 1/4 cup measure or as the American’s do us 55g icecream scoop or as I do as i am old-skool i roll a ball using my hands! Place them on an ungreased baking tray and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Don’t forget to allow for spreading.
Bake for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
When cooked remove carefully with a spatula and cool on wire rack.

Storage: they will store well in an air-tight container for at least three days, if you don’t want them to get to hard wrap them individually.




its all about the qrCode….

i am trying to keep up with technology when you are first and fore-most a chef these sort of things don’t come naturally….
this is however pretty exciting you can simply scan this and before you can say “whats for dinner” you will get connected to my blog and recipes all at a glance.


Winters morning at the market
(photos Sarah Cowhey)

Mum and Dad watching me
(they will probably kill me for this picture)
photo Sarah Cowhey
Looking forward to my challenges today at the market.  Romanesco is a wonderful vegetable to cook with, it is a cross between a cauliflower and a broccoli and you can cook it pretty much the same way.  I think it goes well lightly roasted and tossed through a cous cous, barley or perhaps even a cracked wheat salad.  I will also be getting people excited about swedes!  Yes i hear you “not swedes again”, well this time i am going to spice them up and make them into little cakes which i will pan fry…. i will convert you! Leckies butchery have kindly given me some of their South African type sausages to cook.  They require very little preparation i am just going to skewer them with some rosemary and cook them whole, i actually think they will team up well with some of Kakanui Produce homemade chilli sauce.
And last but not least…..i will be of course making Eves Pudding (which i love) as you are all quite aware i adore making puddings and i adore eating puddings, but i especially favour puddings like these.  The old ones hold special memories, not only for the traditions which i am passionate about keeping alive but also for the simplicity and how they work in so naturally with our gardens and farmers markets – they just make sense!
Anyway i will see you at the mobile kitchen and here’s hoping the snow stays on the hills and we don’t get washed away in the non-stop rain which is falling far to heavy for my liking….

One of the easiest puddings to make and one of the mostmemorable to eat. Try using a variety of apples to give subtle twist to this dish.

6 large braeburn, pacific beauty, granny smith apples, finely sliced
200g unsalted butter
140g raisins
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
200g self-raising flour


Heat oven to 180C.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Grease a large serving dish, about 2.5 litre with 25g of the butter and tip in the apple. Scatter the raisins over the top.

In a separate dish beat the remaining butter and sugar together for 10 minutes until the butter turns pale and the sugar starts to dissolve. Beat in the eggs, then carefully fold in the flour with a large spoon. Spread the batter over the apples, bake for 45 minutes until golden.

Serve with custard and or good quality vanilla icecream.

ROMANESCO OR BROC-FLOWER – was first documented in Italy in the sixteenth century. It is a cross between a cauliflower and broccoli with a crunchy texture with a flavour lending itself more towards cauliflower.

Serves 4
4 leeks, trimmed and cut lengthways in half
1 Romanesco, divided into florets
3 Tbsp cooked haricot or cannellini beans

1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the leeks in large pan of boiling salted water for a few minutes, until just tender, then drain and dry well. Heat a ridged grill pan, place the leeks on it and grill on both sides until ridge marks appear. Remove from the grill, cut into strips and set aside.

Cook the romanesco in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and toss with the leeks, white beans, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. Season well and sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

1 head romanesco, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 crumbled dried chilli
1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon


Gently cook the garlic in the oil until soften, add the fresh and dried chilli along with the oregano and parsley. Squeeze in juice from ½ a lemon.

Bring a pot of boiling salted water to the boil and blanch the romanseco until just tender. Drain and immediately toss through the spiced oil. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and a few grinds of pepper.


1 Swede, peeled and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped
75g butter

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
A pinch of cayenne pepper
200g breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
Oil for frying


Cook the swede in simmering, salted water for 20 minutes or until soft.

While it is cooking gently fry the onion in 2 Tbsp of the butter until soft and caramelised – this will take about 15 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, add the spices and garlic cook for a further 2 minutes.

Drain the swede and let sit and steam for a minute, combine it with the onion and spices.

Mash until smooth, season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Form into small balls or larger if desired.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper to your crumbs and place into a suitable dish so you can crumb your swede cakes. Coat the cakes well by gently pressing the balls into flat little cakes.

Drizzle enough oil in a frying pan to coat the base of a heavy-based fry pan. Heat to a medium-high heat and carefully add the cakes, remembering not to overcrowd the pan. Cook so they are golden on each side (2-3 minutes).

Drain on paper towels and serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime and some natural yoghurt with a little fresh mint and garlic.

1 boerewars sausage

1 large sticks of rosemary or fresh bay stalks
Oil for cooking


Holding the tip of the rosemary or bay stick (so you have a few leaves) remove the remainder so you have a large fragrant skewer. Carefully push the skewer through the sausage and then push the other skewer through so it forms cross. The skewers will help hold it together and also enhance the flavour.

Heat up a large fry pan with a little oil to medium-high heat. Add the whole sausage and fry gently for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turnover and cook for a further 5 minutes remove from the pan and cut into fours. Serve.

It goes great with almost anything but I particularly like it with a creamy leek and potato mash or try with some potatoes sauted with onions, garlic, smoked paprika and a few rosemary leaves.




www.alisonmarketchef.blogspot or follow me on face book – Alison Lambert taste of my life.


I adore the old and trusted pudds especially ones like this where they are so simple to make and so wonderful to eat.
I had a little rummage around my fruit bowl which just happens to be filled with apples from the market.  What is so great is that i have such an amazing array of varieties – sweet, sour, some good eating, some good cooking, some red, some green.  Even though they maybe a mere apple to some, but to me they all have different textures, taste and  degrees of which they cook. I picked a few pacific rose, granny smith and braeburn apples for my pudding tonight.  Obviously if you aren’t quite as fortunate as us market goers then use whatever you have on hand.  I just like to play around a little and it makes a subtle twist to the flavour.
6 large braeburn, pacific beauty, granny smith apples, finely sliced

200g unsalted butter
140g raisins
100g soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
200g self-raising flour


Heat oven to 180C.

Peel, core and slice the apples. Grease a large serving dish, about 2.5 litre with 25g of the butter and tip in the apple. Scatter the raisins over the top.

In a separate dish beat the remaining butter and sugar together for 10 minutes until the butter turns pale and the sugar starts to dissolve. Beat in the eggs, then carefully fold in the flour with a large spoon. Spread the batter over the apples, bake for 45 minutes until golden.

Serve with custard and or good quality vanilla icecream.