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otago farmers market mobile kitchen menu – 3/05/2014

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Leeks are in full swing at the moment and these irresistible croquettes are just perfect to introduce this delicious vegetable.  Don’t forget that leeks are a main ingredient now as they play such an important part in soups and stews.  I like to soften them down in butter and fold through mashed potato or add to fritters, crepes and the good old white sauce.  I also have Jerusalem artichokes which add so much flavour without too much effort.  Chillies are still available from Kakanui Produce and this chilli sauce is very typically Thai, its punchy, bloody hot and addictive.  I will also be making one of my favourite comforting potato dishes – Tartiflette. Which quite simply translated is good potatoes (Brydone organics) with good quality bacon (Waitaki Bacon and Ham) and creamy fresh curds (Evansdale Cheese) and when all baked together you can just imagine how damn good this is.  It is great eaten on its own with a fresh crisp green salad or it works perfectly alongside a wintery casserole or perfectly cooked steak.

Don’t forget that pumpkins/squash are available which of course make a simple inexpensive soup and many meat stalls will have cuts of meat perfect for long slow cooking. Wrap up warm and see you at the market.

thanks alison



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I think this method of cooking leeks is superb. They are juicy, sweet and crispy all in one!

Serves 4 as side

2 whole leeks

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Egg

1 cup Panko crumbs or bread crumbs

¼ cup fine polenta

Zest ½ lemon, lemon wedges for serving

oil for frying

sea salt flakes for serving


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

Prepare the leeks by removing the green of the leeks and trimming the base. It is important to keep the leek whole. Wash the leek and cook in the boiling water until just tender (6-8 minutes). Drain and pat dry.

Cut the leek into four even sized pieces.

In a medium deep sided pot, half fill with oil and heat to a moderate-high heat.

Set up 2 bowls one with the egg, lightly beaten and another with the crumbs, seasoning, polenta, thyme and zest.

Start by placing the leeks into the egg mixture then coat generously, but firmly in the crumb mixture. Set aside on grease proof paper until all the leeks are completed.

Now carefully test the oil by placing a little of the crumb or leek into it, if it bubbles instantly then it is ready to fry the leeks if not then turn the heat up ever so slightly until this stage occurs.

Place 2-3 pieces of leek into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy all over (5minutes) remove with a dry slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little sea salt. Continue until all the leeks are cooked.


TARTIFLETTE – French style potatoes baked with curds

Felicity Cloake's perfect tartiflette

Serves 4


1kg potatoes, peeled

250g bacon, or bacon ends cut into lardons

2 shallots

1 garlic clove

100ml white wine

200ml cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g fresh curds


Preheat oven to 200C

Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.

Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot and fry the bacon, shallots and garlic for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Slice the potatoes thinly and layer into an ovenproof gratin dish with the bacon mixture. Pour over the cream. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Layer the curds on top.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling.

Serve immediately.



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This method may seem a bit crazy to some but the final product is outstanding. It can be used as a base in soups, curries and great for dressings.

Makes 1 cup


500ml veg oil

6 large red chillies, deseeded but left whole

6 shallots, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 -2 Tbsp Fish sauce

2-4 tsp sugar (to taste)

1-2 Tbsp tamarind (dissolved in water)


Put the oil in a deep-sided pot and heat to hot.

Carefully add the chillies and fry very briefly (1 minute) or until skin is crisp, remove and drain.

Now add the shallots and fry until crisp 1-2 minutes, remove and drain.

Continue with the garlic and fry for 1 minute or until crisp. Remove and drain and now fry the ginger for a minute or two or until crisp. Drain.

Turn off the oil and set aside to cool.

Once all the ingredients have cooled pound them with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until fine.

In a small-medium sized saucepan add 2 tablespoons oil which is from the pot you cooked all the ingredients in. Add all the pounded chilli mixture, fry briefly, and then add the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Cook for a minute or two then remove from heat.

Store in fridge for up to two weeks.


QUICK CHILLI SOUP – heat up 1 litre of stock in large pot, add 1-3 Tbsp chilli sauce (recipe above) to liquid. Taste and add dash more fish sauce or pinch of sugar if needed.

To serve place the cooked noodles, handful greens, mung beans and handful fresh coriander into bowl, with plenty of fresh lime juice, ladle over the hot chilli stock and serve immediately.




They have arrived and I’m very excited as these tubular add so much flavour for so little work.

Serves 4


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 tablespoons 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




EVANSDALE CHEESE – fresh curds


WAIKOUATI GARDENS – organic Jerusalem artichokes

JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – coriander and micro greens



You can follow Alison on face book or on her blog on www.tasteofmylife.com


  1. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

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