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OTAGO FARMERS MARKET

The weather bomb has moved on and the sunshine is out and about – yahoo!!
The menu today is as varied and exciting as ever – Leckies butchery has venison mince and i will be adding fresh beetroot and cracked wheat to make delicious patties. Pumpkin are sweet and vibrant and with the addition of a little Moroccan spice and a few chickpeas; you now have a pot of fragrant, moorish soup! I also have yams from Bydone organics and i will be adding a little spice to these and roasting till crispy and golden, pak choy from Jane Field Hydroponics will be quickly sauted and Wairunas organic’s, sweet carrots will be grated and combined with Ettricks beetroot to produce a truly irresistable cake!
I will be in my usual place with lots of fantastic market produce, recipes and of course food for you all to sample – see you soon!

Bennies honey and mead

PAK CHOI WITH SESAME
serves 3-4

6 pak choi (small) or 2-3 large
2 Tbs oil


2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil


1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped


1 mild green chilli , seeded and finely chopped

1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional)
Method

Cut a thick slice from the pak choi root to separate the leaves. Rinse and drain.

Heat the groundnut oil in a large wok over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the garlic, chilli, fish sauce (if using) and pak choi. Toss until coated and clamp a pan lid over them. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-6 minutes, tossing occasionally, just until the leaves have wilted (the stalks should be tender-crisp).

Add the rest of the sesame oil and salt. Toss the leaves and serve immediately.

MUSTARD ROASTED YAMS
2 Tbsp cup whole grain mustardyams

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter


1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1kg yams, washed

Method
Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 200C

Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, honey, vinegar/lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt in large bowl to blend.


Add yams; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat. Spread yams in a single layer over a preheated baking tray. Roast yams for 20 minutes or until the yams are crusty on the outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, (you may need to cook them a little longer).

VENISON, CRACKED WHEAT AND BEETROOT BURGERS
Serves 4

500g minced venison
½ medium onion, grated
½ cup cracked wheat soaked until tender
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
2-3 beetroot, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 free-range egg

Method

Soak the cracked wheat in cold water for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl add the mince, grated beetroot, onion and rosemary.


Using your hands squeeze out any excess moisture from the cracked wheat, add to your beetroot mixture season well with salt and pepper.

Using your hand mix the ingredients together really well if the mixture needs some binding add the egg and mix well.

Using slightly damp hands mould four even size patties and put onto a plate and chill until required.

When ready to cook, heat up a good size fry pan with enough oil to just cover the base of the pan. When almost smoking add the patties and turn the heat down to medium, cook on both sides so they are golden brown and ruby red, they should take around 5 minutes either side (depending on the thickness).

Serve immediately, they are great wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf with perhaps a tangy little relish or yoghurt dressining.

MOROCCAN PUMPKIN AND CHICKPEA SOUP

Curried pumpkin and chickpea soup

Serves 4

500 g fresh pumpkin, diced into bite sized pieces


1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas


several small sprigs of fresh coriander, tied into a bouquet


2 Tbps oil


1 medium onion, sliced thinly


1 leek, washed and sliced thinly


2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped


1 litre vegetable or chicken stock


2 -3 tsp honey


1 cinnamon stick


Fresh grate of nutmeg


1 tsp ground coriander


1 tsp ground cumin


¼ tsp ginger


¼ tsp turmeric


salt and freshly ground pepper

Method
In a medium to large pot, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spices and cook for further minute or two, add the pumpkin, chickpeas, coriander stalks, stock, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is just tender. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.


To add a little natural thickening simply use a potato masher and mash the ingredients together a few times to slightly amalgamate the soup.

Serve the soup with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves a grind or two of pepper.

CARROT AND BEETROOT CAKE

This cake can be made with either carrot or beetroot or as I have done here combined them so I get not only a fantastic flavoured cake but a fabulous looking one also.

Serves 6-8

250g self-raising flour


2 tsp baking powder


150g soft brown sugar


100g sultanas


100g carrots, grated


100g beetroot, grated


150ml vegetable or sunflower oil


2 medium eggs, lightly beaten

Method

Preheat oven 160C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake tin (preferably one with removable bottom).

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the soft brown sugar. Add the sultanas and grated vegetables.  Beat in the oil and eggs together and add to the bowl.  Combine with either a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin and bake for 1- 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

behind the scenes of the stalls at the Otago Farmers Market
 
Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their fantastic produce

BENNIES HONEY – honey and mead
BRYDONE ORGANICS – yams


LECKIES BUTCHERY – venison mince


JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – pak choy


ETTRICK GARDENS – baby beetroot


WAIRUNA ORGANICS – carrots


ROSEDALE ORCHARDS – pumpkin


LEIVITO BAKERY – freshly baked goods


JUDGE ROCK WINES – wine

MUSTARD ROASTED YAMS

The addition of mustard, herbs and sticky, sweet honey add a light crust and a little bite to these wonderful morsels

yams2 Tbsp cup whole grain mustard

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter


1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1kg yams, washed

Method

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 200C

Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, honey, vinegar/lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt in large bowl to blend.


Add yams; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat. Spread yams in a single layer over a preheated baking tray. Roast yams for 20 minutes or until the yams are crusty on the outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, (you may need to cook them a little longer).


MOROCCAN PUMPKIN AND CHICKPEA SOUP

Pumpkin, chickpeas and a little spice equals a wickedly tasting soup.  I like to keep it pretty chunky as the textures work well and the flavours mingle perfectly.

Curried pumpkin and chickpea soup

Serves 4

500 g fresh pumpkin, diced into bite sized pieces


1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas


several small sprigs of fresh coriander, tied into a bouquet


2 Tbps oil


1 medium onion, sliced thinly


1 leek, washed and sliced thinly


2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped


1 litre vegetable or chicken stock


2 -3 tsp honey


1 cinnamon stick


Fresh grate of nutmeg


1 tsp ground coriander


1 tsp ground cumin


¼ tsp ginger


¼ tsp turmeric


salt and freshly ground pepper


Method

In a medium to large pot, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spices and cook for further minute or two, add the pumpkin, chickpeas, coriander stalks, stock, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.


Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is just tender. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick.

To add a little natural thickening simply use a potato masher and mash the ingredients together a few times to slightly amalgamate the soup.


Serve the soup with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves a grind or two of pepper.

CARROT AND BEETROOT CAKE

This cake can be made with either carrot or beetroot or as I have done here combined them so I get not only a fantastic flavoured cake but a fabulous looking one also.


Serves 6-8

250g self-raising flour


2 tsp baking powder


150g soft brown sugar


100g sultanas


100g carrots, grated


100g beetroot, grated


150ml vegetable or sunflower oil


2 medium eggs, lightly beaten


Method
Preheat oven 160C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake tin (preferably one with removable bottom).

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the soft brown sugar. Add the sultanas and grated vegetables.  Beat in the oil and eggs together and add to the bowl.  Combine with either a wooden spoon or an electric mixer.


Spoon mixture into prepared tin and bake for 1- 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

WARM POTATO SALAD

As you all know i am a sucker for ingredients especially when they have been loving grown in someones back yard.  I was talking potatoes (as you do) and some how i started remanicising about these wonderful little potatoes shaped like fingers which i use to buy in the UK, they would come in a little woven basket lined with a checkered piece of cloth (who could resist them?). Only to find some very passionate growers here in Dunedin, growing the very ones i long for and as it happened they happened to have a crop and a few spare as it goes for ME! I have treasured these potatoes which are called Pink Fir Apple – some for the pot and some for chitting.

These potatoes are long and knobbly in shape, with a yellow waxy flesh and pink skin which makes them ideal for salads. 

Pink fir-apple potato.JPG

WARM ‘PINK FIR APPLE’ SALAD
 this salad would work alongside fish and most meats; we were grilling some juicy, fat pork chops for dinner and a piquant homemade mayonnaise – as you can imagine the combinations were spot on and delicious!!

serves 4

1 kg waxy potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbsp capers
4 cornichons or gherkins, diced
2 shallots, diced finely
generous handful flat leaf parsley (Italian), stalks removed and roughly chopped
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

dressing
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider or white wine vinegar
pinch sugar
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or any good quality oil
pinch salt and pepper

Method
Place the scrubbed potates in a suitable size pot and cover with cold water add a generous pinch of salt.  Bring to the boil then reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer until the potatoes are just tender (about 15 minutes). 
Meanwhile add all the ingredients together in a small bowl for the dressing and whisk together to combine, taste and adjust if necessary. Do take into consideration that with the dressing you want it to be quite sharp as it is to soak into the potatoes which are pretty mellow in flavour!
Add all the remainding ingredients into a large bowl, add the drained warm potatoes, pour over the dressing and toss to combine so all the ingredients get to soak up the flavours and mingle for a minute or two.
Serve immediatley.

Otago Farmers Market

Menu today shows off the diversity of the market – Waitaki Beef, Brydone Organics sweet tender leeks and potatoes, Wairuna’s turnips, Jane Field Hyrdroponics baby pak choy.  Rosedale Orchards juicy pears and fruit juice and a few surprises (no doubt).  See you soon

BEEF STEW, PEPPER AND PUMPKIN STEW

This stew is Italian inspired with a hint of local flavours.  Waitaki’s Beef combined with sweet pumpkin and a generous amount of cracked black pepper make a harmonious dish.

Serves 4

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


900-1kg stewing beef, cut into 2cm cubes


2/3cup carrot, diced


2/3cup onion, diced


2/3 cup celery, diced


salt o taste

2 cups red wine, something gutsy

3 cups chicken stock


1 tin tomatoes, crushed


450g (about 3 cups) pumpkin or butternut squash, diced into 2cm cubes


2 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns

Method


In a heavy casserole over high heat, warm half the olive oil.  Add the beef and sear (colour on all sides to sear juices in) about 6 minutes.  Remove the beef and set it aside.
Reduce the heat to low, and add the remaining olive oil to the casserole.  Add the carrots, onion, celery and salt.  Mix the seared beef in the pan with the vegetables and cook together for 2 minutes.  Add the red wine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue cooking until there is almost no liquid left in the pan, about 4 minutes.  Add the stock and the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add half the pumpkin and all the pepper.  Add water if there is not enough liquid to cover the solids.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.  When the meat is very tender, add the rest of the pumpkin and cook for another 20 minutes, covered until the cubes of pumpkin are tender.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.

LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
Not only is this soup tasty and comforting it is also fantastic on the pocket. I like to keep it as natural as possible which is why I only use a masher to blend my soup if however you like it smoother then by all means go right ahead.
Serves 4

50g butter


3 fat, firm leeks, sliced thinly and washed well


3 medium floury potatoes, peeled and chopped


Sprig fresh thyme or 1 fresh bay leaf


700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock


50ml cream to serve (optional)

Method
For the soup, heat the butter in a medium pot over a moderate heat, add the sliced leeks and herbs and cook without colouring for 3-4 minutes.  Add the chopped potatoes and stir to coat in the butter and leek mixture.  Put the lid on the pot and cook for a further 5 minutes so that all the flavours start to sweat out of the ingredients, this will help improve the overall flavour of the soup.
Add the hot stock, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning and carefully mash with a potato masher to break down any large lumps of potatoes and to help amalgamate the ingredients into a chunky, rustic soup. 

Serve in warm bowls with a swirl of cream and a crack of pepper.

PAK CHOI WITH SESAME
Serves 4 as a side

6 pak choi (small) or 2-3 large
2 Tbs oil


2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil


1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped


1 mild green chilli , seeded and finely chopped


1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional)

Method

Cut a thick slice from the pak choi root to separate the leaves. Rinse and drain.
Heat the groundnut oil in a large wok over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the garlic, chilli, fish sauce (if using) and pak choi. Toss until coated and clamp a pan lid over them. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-6 minutes, tossing occasionally, just until the leaves have wilted (the stalks should be tender-crisp).

Add the rest of the sesame oil and salt. Toss the leaves and serve immediately.

TURNIP AND POTATO GRATIN

ready to bake
550g medium potatoes (Desirée, King Edward, or Maris piper)
550g large turnips or swede
500ml cream or you can do ½ cream and ½ milk
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (if possible)
10g/10 pinches sea salt
1g/2 pinches freshly ground black or white pepper
10g/2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed

Method


Pre-heat the oven to 160°C  

Wash & peel the potatoes and turnips. Pat dry and slice them 2mm thick (a Japanese mandolin is perfect for this job).

On medium heat, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the seasoning, thyme leaves and crushed garlic and leave to infuse off the heat


Mix the sliced vegetables in a large gratin dish layer the sliced vegetables halfway up the dish; pour half the warm cream through a strainer over the sliced vegetables add the remaining sliced vegetables making sure you top the gratin with a layer of just potatoes as this will give you a golden crust.


Pour over the remaining sieved cream and discard the garlic. Press gently with the back of a spoon to ensure the cream is evenly distributed

Cover with tin foil and bake in the pre-heated over for 40 minutes


Remove the tin foil and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the vegetables are just cooked in the middle 


Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

A FEW TIPS ON COOKING A GRATIN

Don’t wash the potatoes after we have sliced them as the starch present will bind the the layers together and also give a good caramelisation.

If you leave a layer of turnips on the top they will dry out and curl up.

Cooking – The gratin is cooked when the tip of a sharp knife cuts into the gratin with little resistance (you shouldn’t feel the layers).

Rosedale orchard not only grow exquisite fruit but also produce fantastic fruit juice which I am going to use to poach some of their juicy pears.

serves 6
1 litre juice – pear, blackcurrant or apple


½ – 1 cup of sugar


1 vanilla pod (optional)


Couple strips of orange zest
6 pears, peeled and cored

Method

Place the fruit juice into a deep medium size pot, add the sugar (sweetness is up to you) add the vanilla pod and orange zest.  Bring to the boil then reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer.  Place the pears in the liquid and place a round of greaseproof paper on top to help keep the moisture in and to keep the pears submerged.  Poach gently for 10 – 20 minutes or until the pears are tender all the way through.


Remove the pears carefully onto a platter and return the liquid back to heat and boil vigorously until the liquid has reduced to thick syrup.

Serve the pears whole with the fruit syrup poured over with either vanilla ice cream, cream or perhaps crème fraiche.

ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS FOR THEIR FANTASTIC PRODUCE

SUNRISE BAKERY – fresh baked goods


WAITAKI BEEF – beef


BRYDONE ORGANICS – leeks and potatoes


ROSEDALE ORCHARDS – fruit juice and pears


WAIRUNA ORGANICS – turnips


JUDGE ROCK WINES – wine


JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – baby pak choi

I would also like to say a heart-felt thank you to Simon (husband) for all his help with my wonderful, natural photos!

POACHED PEARS IN FRUIT JUICE

Rosedale orchard not only grow exquisite fruit but also produce fantastic fruit juice which I am going to use to poach some of their juicy pears.

1 litre juice – pear, blackcurrant or apple


½ – 1 cup of sugar


1 vanilla pod (optional)


Couple strips of orange zest


6 pears, peeled and cored

Method


Place the fruit juice into a deep medium size pot, add the sugar (sweetness is up to you) add the vanilla pod and orange zest.  Bring to the boil then reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer.  Place the pears in the liquid and place a round of greaseproof paper on top to help keep the moisture in and to keep the pears submerged.  Poach gently for 10 – 20 minutes or until the pears are tender all the way through.

Remove the pears carefully onto a platter and return the liquid back to heat and boil vigorously until the liquid has reduced to thick syrup.

Serve the pears whole with the fruit syrup poured over with either vanilla ice cream, cream or perhaps crème fraiche.

TURNIP AND POTATO GRATIN

This is a classic French dish with a twist of turnips or swedes – it is delicious which ever way you eat it and it accompanies a perfectly cooked steak harmoniously well.

ready to bake
550g medium potatoes (Desirée, King Edward, or Maris piper)

550g large turnips or swede


500ml cream or you can do ½ cream and ½ milk


1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (if possible)


10g/10 pinches sea salt


1g/2 pinches freshly ground black or white pepper


10g/2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C  

Wash & peel the potatoes and turnips. Pat dry and slice them 2mm thick (a Japanese mandolin is perfect for this job).

On medium heat, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the seasoning, thyme leaves and crushed garlic and leave to infuse off the heat
Mix the sliced vegetables in a large gratin dish layer the sliced vegetables halfway up the dish; pour half the warm cream through a strainer over the sliced vegetables add the remaining sliced vegetables making sure you top the gratin with a layer of just potatoes as this will give you a golden crust.

Pour over the remaining sieved cream and discard the garlic. Press gently with the back of a spoon to ensure the cream is evenly distributed

Cover with tin foil and bake in the pre-heated over for 40 minutes

Remove the tin foil and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the vegetables are just cooked in the middle 


Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

A FEW TIPS ON COOKING A GRATIN

Don’t wash the potatoes after we have sliced them as the starch present will bind the the layers together and also give a good caramelisation.

If you leave a layer of turnips on the top they will dry out and curl up.

Cooking – The gratin is cooked when the tip of a sharp knife cuts into the gratin with little resistance (you shouldn’t feel the layers).

PAK CHOI WITH SESAME

serves 4 -6 as a side

6 pak choi (small) or 2 large 
2 Tbs oil


2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil


1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped


1 mild green chilli , seeded and finely chopped


1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional)

Method
Cut a thick slice from the pak choi root to separate the leaves. Rinse and drain.

Heat the groundnut oil in a large wok over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the garlic, chilli, fish sauce (if using) and pak choi. Toss until coated and clamp a pan lid over them. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-6 minutes, tossing occasionally, just until the leaves have wilted (the stalks should be tender-crisp).

Add the rest of the sesame oil and salt. Toss the leaves and serve immediately.

BEEF, PEPPER AND PUMPKIN STEW

This is an Italian inspired recipe utilising local ingredients. The combination of succulent beef combined with sweet pumpkin and fiery pepper makes it a well-rounded dish.  It would be fabulous with creamy mash potatoes, wet polenta, turnip gratin or crusty bread!
Serves 4


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


900-1kg stewing beef, cut into 2cm cubes


2/3cup carrot, diced


2/3cup onion, diced


2/3 cup celery, diced


Salt to taste


2 cups red wine, something gutsy


3 cups chicken stock


1 tin tomatoes, crushed


450g (about 3 cups) pumpkin or butternut squash, diced into 2cm cubes


2 Tbsp crushed black peppercorns

Method


In a heavy casserole over high heat, warm half the olive oil.  Add the beef and sear (colour on all sides to sear juices in) about 6 minutes.  Remove the beef and set it aside.

Reduce the heat to low, and add the remaining olive oil to the casserole.  Add the carrots, onion, celery and salt.  Mix the seared beef in the pan with the vegetables and cook together for 2 minutes.  Add the red wine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue cooking until there is almost no liquid left in the pan, about 4 minutes.  Add the stock and the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add half the pumpkin and all the pepper.  Add water if there is not enough liquid to cover the solids. 
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.  When the meat is very tender, add the rest of the pumpkin and cook for another 20 minutes, covered until the cubes of pumpkin are tender.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.