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OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

Well another week has flown by and no denying it Autumn has arrived not only with the changing temperatures but also with the change in produce.  At the farmers market you will notice stone fruit, tomatoes and zucchinis are on the way out and pumpkins, squash, cauliflowers, cabbages, turnips, onions, apples, pears and quince have arrived.  The menu today is celebrating onions, squash, fish and strawberries.  If you think it is a little late for strawberries then don’t be alarmed this is the second crop and Butlers still have plenty in stock – still great in desserts and for jam!

Have a great day and enjoy the new season produce its delicious!!!

FRENCH ONION PISSALADIERE
This tart is a true celebration of rustic French fare simply made with onions and lots of them!

Serves 6

3 cups strong flour
2 1/4 tsp dried instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt,
1 cup warm water
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, extra for greasing bowl
4 cups (5 to 6 onions) thinly sliced onions, separated into rings
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Method

Add the flour, yeast, and 1 teaspoon salt to your bowl. If using an electric mixer, a dough hook is required or you can knead by hand. Mix on low speed until combined, then add warm water, brown sugar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix on low speed until dough forms into a ball. Turn mixer to low/medium speed and mix for 10 minutes, stopping halfway through to remove dough from hook and return it to the bowl.

Remove dough from mixer and place into a lightly oiled bowl; cover the bowl with warm dampened kitchen towel or gladwrap and place in draft-free warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and ½ the cumin seeds and cook on medium-low heat until onions are lightly browned and soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add honey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine well. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, coat an oven tray with a little oil. Punch down dough, turn out onto prepared pan, and spread out with your fingertips to cover bottom of tray. Cover with gladwrap and place in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C.
Lightly press dough once again with fingertips, creating small craters all over the surface with tips of your fingers. Brush on remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil, top with onion mixture, and remaining cumin seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, and cool slightly before cutting.

ONION BHAJI

Onion Bhaji


2 eggs
3 onions, sliced
75g plain flour
45g chickpea flour (optional) can substitute with plain or wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
Pinch chilli powder
Generous pinch salt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required

Method

Beat the eggs in a bowl.

Add the onion rings and mix well.

Add the both the flour and all the spices and salt. Mix well.

Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan or wok over medium heat. When hot add a large spoonful of the bhaji mixture and fry for 30-45 seconds until golden-brown.

Turn the bhaji over and fry for a further 30 seconds, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Continue cooking until all the mixture is used – if you find you are low on oil, add another 2-3 tablespoons and bring up to medium heat before continuing.

HERB CRUSTED FISH

This is a great way to use up left over bread and it is a delicious way to cook fish. It will form a wonderfully fragrant crust on top and help keep the fish moist.

4 fillets of fresh fish
70g breadcrumbs, fresh preferably
grated zest of 1 lemon
25g grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped chives, fennel or dill leaves
Salt and pepper
4 skinless fillets of firm white fish

50g butter
1- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C

Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated lemon zest, grated Parmesan, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, butter and oil. Mix well to combine.

Place the fillets on to a baking tray and season the four skinless fish fillets with salt and pepper. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the fish fillets, pressing firmly on to the tops of the fillets.

Bake in preheat oven for 8-10 minutes depending thickness of fillets. A good indication to show when the fish is cooked is when pressed the fish begins to just flake and the it has turned white in colour.

BAKED KALAHARI SQUASH


These tasty little squash are fantastic baked on their own or with a stuffing.

1 Kalahari squash, cut in half, seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons honey, pure maple syrup
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or sage leaves, roughly chopped

Method

Cut squash in half lengthwise (from stem to end). Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each squash half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of honey, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to the hollow scoop of each squash half.

Place each half in an oven dish, cut side up. Add about approximately 2cm of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out. Bake approximately 1 hour or until tender when flesh is poked with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

It can be stuffed with rice, cous cous, or perhaps try some roughly torn watercress/ rocket leaves, shaving of parmesan cheese and a little dressing.

FRESH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY AND YOGHURT


Serves 4

Allow ½ cup fresh strawberries per person, hulled and cut into chunks
2 cups Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp runny honey – more or less depending on how sweet you like it
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Crumbs
200g day old loaf of bread (sourdough works well) torn into small pieces
75g unsalted butter, roughly diced
200g caster or raw cane sugar
Method
To make the crumbs preheat the oven to 180C.

Spread the torn bread crumbs over the base of a roasting dish in a single layer then dot with the butter. Bake the crumbs until they are deep golden in colour and crisp (20 minutes). Remove from the oven and spread over a large baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes (do not stir) or until you get a rich, caramel colour. Carefully pour over the crumbs, using a fork toss the crumbs over in the toffee to coat well. Sprinkle with a little ginger powder and cool. When cool, separate, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Prepare the strawberries by removing the hull – green top and cut into large chunks. Drizzle over the honey and balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat and let sit for a few minutes.

To Serve: Use four 250ml glasses or dishes.
Using half the mixture first evenly divide between the glasses, spoon a generous amount of yoghurt on top and repeat process with remaining strawberries and any juice, finishing with yoghurt. Sprinkle over the toffee crumbs and serve immediately.

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for the fantastic produce
Harbour Fish – fresh fish
Sunrise Bakery – fresh bread
Wairuna Organics – onions
Ettrick Gardens – Kalahari squash
Butlers Berries – strawberries
Judge Rock Wines – wine

ONION BHAJI

I remember ordering these little tasty fried puffs on my travels and they were delicious.  They are simple to prepare and the mixture will make at least 20.
2 eggs
3 onions, sliced
75g plain flour
45g chickpea flour (optional) can substitute with plain or wholemeal flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
Pinch chilli powder
Generous pinch salt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if required

Method

Beat the eggs in a bowl.

Add the onion rings and mix well.

Add the both the flour and all the spices and salt. Mix well.

Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan or wok over medium heat. When hot add a large spoonful of the bhaji mixture and fry for 30-45 seconds until golden-brown.

Turn the bhaji over and fry for a further 30 seconds, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Continue cooking until all the mixture is used – if you find you are low on oil, add another 2-3 tablespoons and bring up to medium heat before continuing.

HERB CRUSTED FISH

This is a great way to use up left over bread and it is a delicious way to cook fish. It will form a wonderfully fragrant crust on top and help keep the fish moist.

4 fillets of fresh fish
70g breadcrumbs, fresh prefably
grated zest of 1 lemon
25g grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped chives, fennel or dill leaves
Salt and pepper
4 skinless fillets of firm white fish
50g butter
1- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C

Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated lemon zest, grated Parmesan, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, butter and oil. Mix well to combine.

Place the fillets on to a baking tray and season the four skinless fish fillets with salt and pepper. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the fish fillets, pressing firmly on to the tops of the fillets.

Bake in preheat oven for 8-10 minutes depending thickness of fillets. A good indication to show when the fish is cooked is when pressed the fish begins to just flake and the it has turned white in colour.

FRESH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY AND YOGHURT


Serves 4

Allow ½ cup fresh strawberries per person, hulled and cut into chunks
2 cups Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp runny honey – more or less depending on how sweet you like it
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Crumbs
200g day old loaf of bread (sourdough works well) torn into small pieces
75g unsalted butter, roughly diced
200g caster or raw cane sugar
Method
To make the crumbs preheat the oven to 180C.

Spread the torn bread crumbs over the base of a roasting dish in a single layer then dot with the butter. Bake the crumbs until they are deep golden in colour and crisp (20 minutes). Remove from the oven and spread over a large baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes (do not stir) or until you get a rich, caramel colour. Carefully pour over the crumbs, using a fork toss the crumbs over in the toffee to coat well. Sprinkle with a little ginger powder and cool. When cool, separate, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Prepare the strawberries by removing the hull – green top and cut into large chunks. Drizzle over the honey and balsamic vinegar. Stir to coat and let sit for a few minutes.

To Serve: Use four 250ml glasses or dishes.

Using half the mixture first evenly divide between the glasses, spoon a generous amount of yoghurt on top and repeat process with remaining strawberries and any juice, finishing with yoghurt. Sprinkle over the toffee crumbs and serve immediately.

BAKED KALAHARI SQUASH

These tasty little squash are fantastic baked on their own or with a stuffing.

1 Kalahari squash, cut in half, seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons honey, pure maple syrup
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or sage leaves, roughly chopped

Method

Cut squash in half lengthwise (from stem to end). Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each squash half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of honey, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to the hollow scoop of each squash half.

Place each half in an oven dish, cut side up. Add about approximately 2cm of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out. Bake approximately 1 hour or until tender when flesh is poked with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

It can be stuffed with rice, cous cous, or perhaps try some roughly torn watercress/ rocket leaves, shaving of parmesan cheese and a little dressing.

BEETROOT CURED SALMON

1side of salmon (approx 700g) skin on, pin-boned
160g rock salt
50g demerara sugar
40g horseradish – fresh if possible, peeled and finely grated or otherwise jarred is fine
300g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
50 mls vodka or plain spirits
A large bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon
METHOD
Place the salmon on a large tray, skin-side down, and spoon the rock salt evenly all over the fish – this will draw the moisture out and make it dense and firm enough to carve. Scatter over the sugar to give some sweetness and then spread the grated horseradish and beets all over the salmon so that the flesh is completely covered. Gently pat it down with your hands (you might want to put on rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained). Drizzle over the schnapps, then sprinkle over all your chopped dill and a few dill flowers if you have them.

Finely grate over the zest of your lemon, cover the tray of salmon tightly with glad wrap. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down (another tray and a few tin cans usually do the trick), then put it into the fridge for 48 hours.

After 2 days, unwrap the fish and hold the fillet down while you pour away the juices from the tray. Use your hands to push away all the toppings (this can be really messy, so again you might want to wear rubber gloves and push the toppings straight into a plastic bag). Wipe everything off and then pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper.

Skin-side down, starting at the tail end, carefully cut under the fillet with a really long sharp knife, separating the skin from the fillet. With long rocking motions, angle the knife down slightly towards the skin and carve along the length of the fillet to remove the skin. Trim off any brown bits of fish from underneath and then flip it back over. Slice what you need as thinly as you can and arrange on a board or plate for serving. Wrap the rest of the salmon fillet in cling film and it will stay happily in your fridge for 2 weeks.

HOME SMOKED FISH

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.

QUICK GUIDE TO HOME 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.

PAN-FRYING FISH FILLETS


I have to admit I like to cook my fillets of fish like this as it is quick, easy to prepare and quite delicious to eat.

4 – 8 fillets of fish
¼ cup flour
Handful dill, fennel or parsley, finely chopped
2 lemons
2 Tbsp capers
25g butter
2 Tbsp oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Method
Place the flour in a flat dish, add sprinkle of salt and a little pepper. If using fresh herbs put a little in the flour, combine.

Heat up a large fry pan with 1 Tbsp butter and the oil. When the butter starts to froth, put the fillets into the flour and coat both sides, tap off excess and place skin side down into the hot oil. Continue with the remainder fillets and add to the pan. Do not however overcrowd the pan. When the fillets are going golden brown (2-4 minutes depending on size of fish) carefully turn them over (two forks work well). Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Remove the fish and place onto warm plates.

Add the remainder of the butter and allow to go frothy and turn a light golden colour it will give off a slight nutty aroma (beurrenoisette), add the juice of ½ to 1 lemon directly into the pan, swirl around, add the capers and herbs, adjust the seasoning, add a little more lemon juice if needed.

Pour over the fillets of fish and serve immediately with more lemon wedges

THAI FISH CAKES


These fishcakes are perfect for a dinner party or a casual lunch. You don’t need to use expensive fish, red cod or something similar works particularly well.

500g white fish fillets
3 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ cup fresh coriander
1 egg
1 Tbsp ready- made red curry paste
2 spring onions or snake beans, finely chopped
Oil for frying

Method

Blend the fish in a food processor until smooth. Add the cornflour, fish sauce, egg, coriander and red curry paste. Process until combined.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions.

Using wet hands, mould into flattish patties, about 4cm in diameter.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Cook the fish cakes (don’t overcrowd the pan) until browned on both sides. Slip them into a paper towel-lined roasting pan, keeping them warm in a moderate oven.

Serve warm with chilli dipping sauce.

#

THAI FISH CAKES

These fishcakes are perfect for a dinner party or a casual lunch. You don’t need to use expensive fish, red cod or something similar works particularly well.

500g white fish fillets
3 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ cup fresh coriander
1 egg
1 Tbsp ready- made red curry paste
2 spring onions or snake beans, finely chopped
Oil for frying

Method

Blend the fish in a food processor until smooth. Add the cornflour, fish sauce, egg, coriander and red curry paste. Process until combined.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions.

Using wet hands, mould into flattish patties, about 4cm in diameter.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Cook the fish cakes (don’t overcrowd the pan) until browned on both sides. Slip them into a paper towel-lined roasting pan, keeping them warm in a moderate oven.

Serve warm with chilli dipping sauce.

PAN-FRYING FISH FILLET

I have to admit I like to cook my fillets of fish like this as it is quick, easy to prepare and quite delicious to eat.

4 – 8 fillets of fish
¼ cup flour
Handful dill, fennel or parsley, finely chopped
2 lemons
2 Tbsp capers
25g butter
2 Tbsp oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Method

Place the flour in a flat dish, add sprinkle of salt and a little pepper. If using fresh herbs put a little in the flour, combine.

Heat up a large fry pan with 1 Tbsp butter and the oil. When the butter starts to froth, put the fillets into the flour and coat both sides, tap off excess and place skin side down into the hot oil. Continue with the remainder fillets and add to the pan. Do not however overcrowd the pan. When the fillets are going golden brown (2-4 minutes depending on size of fish) carefully turn them over (two forks work well). Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Remove the fish and place onto warm plates.

Add the remainder of the butter and allow to go frothy and turn a light golden colour it will give off a slight nutty aroma (beurrenoisette), add the juice of ½ to 1 lemon directly into the pan, swirl around, add the capers and herbs, adjust the seasoning, add a little more lemon juice if needed.

Pour over the fillets of fish and serve immediately with more lemon wedges

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.

QUICK GUIDE TO HOME 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.

#

BEETROOT CURED SALMON

1 side of salmon (approx 700g) skin on, pin-boned
160g rock salt
50g demerara sugar
40g horseradish – fresh if possible, peeled and finely grated or otherwise jarred is fine
300g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
50 mls vodka or plain spirits
A large bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon

METHOD

Place the salmon on a large tray, skin-side down, and spoon the rock salt evenly all over the fish – this will draw the moisture out and make it dense and firm enough to carve. Scatter over the sugar to give some sweetness and then spread the grated horseradish and beets all over the salmon so that the flesh is completely covered. Gently pat it down with your hands (you might want to put on rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained). Drizzle over the schnapps, then sprinkle over all your chopped dill and a few dill flowers if you have them.

Finely grate over the zest of your lemon, cover the tray of salmon tightly with glad wrap. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down (another tray and a few tin cans usually do the trick), then put it into the fridge for 48 hours.

After 2 days, unwrap the fish and hold the fillet down while you pour away the juices from the tray. Use your hands to push away all the toppings (this can be really messy, so again you might want to wear rubber gloves and push the toppings straight into a plastic bag). Wipe everything off and then pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper.

Skin-side down, starting at the tail end, carefully cut under the fillet with a really long sharp knife, separating the skin from the fillet. With long rocking motions, angle the knife down slightly towards the skin and carve along the length of the fillet to remove the skin. Trim off any brown bits of fish from underneath and then flip it back over. Slice what you need as thinly as you can and arrange on a board or plate for serving. Wrap the rest of the salmon fillet in cling film and it will stay happily in your fridge for 2 weeks.