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APPLE SAGO

Apple sago

This pudding takes me back to my childhood where I remember my mum serving us a bowl full of fragrant lemony apples stewed with sago and finished with pouring cream. It is simple to make, cheap to buy and will surely satisfy you on these cold nights.

Serves 4

500g apples (2-4) granny smiths or a variety that is tart and mushy when cooked.

½ -3/4 cup sugar

1 ¼ cup water

1 lemon, zest and juice to taste

¾ cup sago

Cream or vanilla ice-cream to finish

Method

Peel, core and cut the apples into bite sized pieces. Add to a heavy based saucepan and add sugar, water and zest. Cook over moderate heat until the apples are tender.

Add the sago and stir well to combine. Lower the temperature and cook gently for a further 20 minutes, stirring frequently until the sago becomes tender and translucent.

Spoon into bowls and serve with pouring cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Nb – it works beautifully with pears, rhubarb, quince and plums.

APPLE AND HONEY CAKE

Copy of apple cake

Apples are always a great staple for time of the year and this cake with the addition of aromatic honey adds a wonderful mystery note to this cake.

Serves 8-10

4 medium sized apples, peeled, halved and cored

1 tsp lemon zest, set aside

1 Tbsp lemon juice

125g butter, softened

¼ cup sugar

¼ good quality honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

¾ cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

Glaze

¼ cup honey

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C

Grease a 18-20 cm cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.

Prepare the apples first by peeling, halving and removing the core. I then scored the top of the apples for decorative purposes.

Toss the apples through the first measure of lemon juice and set aside.

To make the cake begin by creaming the butter, sugar and honey together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time ensuring that you beat well between each egg.

Fold through the sifted flour and baking powder until evenly mixed.

Pour into prepared baking tin and even the surface.

Place the apple halves, scored side up evenly over the cake surface.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in cake tin for 5 minutes and then remove from tin and cool on wire rack.

CAULIFLOWER PICKLE

chow chow

This recipe is one I adapted from the old fashioned pickle named chow chow. I have spiced it up with a combination of mustard, cumin and celery seeds to liven up a classic.

Makes 2-3 250ml jars

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 leek, washed and cut into rounds

¼ cup salt

1 ½ cups white or cider vinegar

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup white sugar

30g flour

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp mustard powder

1 Tbsp celery seeds

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

Method

Begin a day ahead by placing the cauliflower florets and leeks into a non-reactive bowl, sprinkle with all the salt and let sit in a cool place overnight. The salt helps to remove the excess moisture which is essential when making a pickle to preserve.

The next pour cold water over the salted vegetables and swirl around a little to dislodge the salt. Drain and rinse of excess salt if need be. Drain well.

Clean and sterilise your jars and lids if using.

In a large pot add the vinegar and sugars. Stir over high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil.

Add the cauliflower and leeks, reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables until tender (10 minutes).

Mix the mustard, turmeric, cumin and flour together with 125ml cold water and stir to form a paste. Stir into vegetables until mixture boils and thickens.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. And finally add the celery and mustard seeds.

Pour into your sterilised jars and cool before sealing.

 

KALE AND QUINOA SALAD

The combination of two super healthy ingredients with a punchy dressing is the perfect winter pick-me-up!

kale salad (1)

Serves 4

200g quinoa

500g kale, stalks removed, finely sliced

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed

50g shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

½ red onion, finely diced

¼ dried cranberries (optional)

Method

Begin by cooking the quinoa, add 3 cups water to a suitable sized pot, add ½ tsp salt and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and cook until just tender (10-20 minutes). Drain and cool spread evenly on a tray (this helps it dry out).

Meanwhile, mx the balsamic and oil together, season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, kale, onion, cheese and cranberries, toss to combine.

Pour over the dressing, season lightly and toss well to combine.

Serve and enjoy the benefits of this tasty, nutritious salad.

APPLE FOOL

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Stewing apples is simple, easy on the pocket and you can use it for so many things.

If I’m not spooning this over my cereal or filling a tart, then I like to make an impromptu dessert for the kids.

Serves 5

500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly diced

50g sugar

300g greek yoghurt

150 ml cream , lightly whipped.

1-2 Tbsp icing sugar

Topping

100g rolled oats

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Pinch cinnamon

Method

Begin by stewing the apples: add the apples, sugar and 1 Tbsp water to a suitable sized pot. Cook over a gentle heat until the apples soften and pulpy (10-15 minutes). Cool until required.

To make the topping: place a sheet of baking paper over a baking tray. Mix the rolled oats with the sugar and cinnamon and spread evenly over the paper. Place in oven and bake until the oats go golden and the sugar caramelises (3-5 minutes). Cool completely.

To assemble: Gently fold together the yoghurt, icing sugar and cream.

Place the apple in the bottom of the glass or serving dish, add a generous spoonful of cream mixture, repeat with apple and cream and finish with the crunchy toasted oats.

Chill until required. This simple dessert can be made with any type of fruit all year round.

LEEK MASH

It may sound simple and yes it is but it’s so versatile and utterly delicious. It can go with anything from a juicy steak or a simple piece of fish.

mash 2

Serves 5

800g potatoes, peeled

1 leek, washed and cut into rounds

75g butter

100ml cream or milk

Salt and white pepper

Method

Evenly cut the potatoes into large pieces and place into suitable sized pot, add 1 teaspoon salt and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer until tender.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, add the leeks and sweat off until tender and sweet (about 8-10minutes).

Add the cream and heat gently together, set aside.

When the potatoes are tender, drain well and mash or pass through a mouli so they are lump free. Add to the hot leek mixture and whip together with a rubber spatula.

Season with salt and plenty of white pepper.

All great mash is lump free, light and creamy. Make the effort as the final product will lift your meal to another dimension.

ROASTED CHEESY BRUSSELSPROUTS

brussel sprouts

The combination of nutty roasted Brussels sprouts, smothered with cheesy, leek sauce and finished in the oven until bubbling and golden brown is now my new favourite! You won’t be disappointed.

SERVES 4

Cheese sauce

1 Tbsp butter

2 tsp flour

2 sprigs fresh thyme, stalks removed

½ leek, washed and sliced thinly

½ cup milk

½ cup cream

50g parmesan cheese, grated

fresh nutmeg, pinch

topping

2 tsp butter, melted

2 tsp parsley, finely chopped

200g gruyere cheese, or a cheese that melts well and has a nutty flavour

½ tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

¼ cup bread crumbs or panko crumbs

1 Tbsp butter

500g Brussels sprouts, remove outer leaves

 Method

Preheat the oven 180C

Begin by making the cheese sauce; melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, add the sliced leeks and thyme, cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks have softened and sweetened.

Add the flour and mix well to combine and cook out over a moderate heat for 2 minutes.

Add the milk gradually, whilst stirring all the time. Add the cream and continue to stir, lower the heat and cook out for another 10-15 minutes.

Add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg and seasoning. Set aside until required.

Places the brussels sprouts into a suitable sized oven dish. Add the butter and season well. Roast in the oven until the sprouts start to carmelise and soften, about 10 minutes.

While they are roasting, quickly mix together the melted butter, bread crumbs, parsley, gruyere and seasoning. Mix lightly to combine.

When the brussels sprouts are tender, pour over the cheesy sauce.

Finish by sprinkling over the breadcrumb mixture and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Ready for serving when the sauce is bubbling and golden.

RHUBARB AND APPLE SHORTCAKE

Apple shortcake

I always remember my mother’s shortcake with its light and airy pastry and juicy, tart filling. I simple added some rhubarb to this classic and it married together perfectly.

Makes 12-16 squares

Pastry

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

125g butter

¼ cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling

1 egg, lightly beaten

1-2 Tbsp milk, extra for glazing

Filling

1 Tbsp butter

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbsp water

1 orange, juice and zest

6 sticks rhubarb, sliced into 1 cm pieces

Method

Begin by making the pastry – Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl, rub in the cold butter until coarse breadcrumbs appears.

Add the egg and mix through, if too dry add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time and mix until dough comes together. Do not over mix as this will toughen up your dough. Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

To make the filling add the apples, sugar, water, butter and orange juice and zest. Cook gently for 10 minutes, add the rhubarb and continue to cook until the apples and rhubarb are soft and pulpy. If you mixture is extra juicy drain it off as this will make your shortcake to wet.

Preheat oven to 180C fanbake or bake.

Line a 20×20 or so cake tin, I use a square fruit cake tin for mine.

Roll the pastry out so it will fit your tin twice in length and it should be about 1/2cm thick. Cut the pastry in half and line the base of the tin.

Spread evenly with the apple and rhubarb filling.

Place the other half of the pastry on top. Brush with milk and sprinkle remaining sugar on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and firm.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before cutting. This shortcake works beautifully warm or cold.

Otago Farmers Market Mobile Kitchen Menu – 23/05/2015

IMG_8056 (640x423)

Autumn is here and so are some hearty, flavoursome ingredients.  Warming soups, comforting pickles and homely pudds will brighten up those cold days.  I shopped around for staple ingredients which also packed a lot of flavour. 

 

MY VERSION OF A BOIL-UP

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This type of hearty meal has many variations throughout the world and the options are endless. I put this together hunting out cheap cuts and using up veges I had at hand. Feel free to use ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Serves 5

Ingredients

1 ham hock

2 oxtail bones

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs of thyme

1 lamb neck fillet or mutton chops

3 carrots, peeled

1 leek, remove outer layers and cut the white into 1cm rounds and leave the green tops for later

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges so they stay together

3 sticks of celery

500g potatoes

½ white cabbage

Freshly ground pepper and salt

Method

Place the hock, oxtail and chops in a large pot or crock-pot and cover with plenty of cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 1 ½ -2 hours. Remove any scum that may rise to the surface.

Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces so they will cook evenly. I like to keep them on the larger size so I can cook them longer in the stock.

Add all the vegetables except the potatoes and the green of the leek. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to cool enough so you can pick the meat from around the bones (discard the bones).

Add the potatoes and return the meat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender (20 minutes), finish by adding the finely sliced green of the leeks.

Check for seasoning you may not need to add any salt, taste before you go crazy. Adjust if necessary and serve in large bowls. It will be great the next day as well.

 

PICKLED RED CABBAGE

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Makes 2 350ml jars

Ingredients 

1kg red cabbage, finely sliced

2 apples, peeled and finely sliced

2 cups cider vinegar

¼ cup brown or raw sugar

¼ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

4 juniper berries

3 bay leaves sterilise

2 jars and lids (if wanting to store)

Method

In a large heavy-based pot add the sliced red cabbage, apple, vinegar, sugar, spices and water. Stir to combine.

Cover with a lid and cook gently over a low heat for about 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Store in the sterilised jars and seal or put into a suitable container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

QUICK SPINACH

IMG_4525

This is my go-to technique which I also use when cooking kale, cavolo nero or silver beet.

Serves 4

2 bunches spinach, stalks removed and washed well.

3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Pinch chili

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Method

Remove the stalks and wash well.  Shake off as much excess moisture as possible.

Heat a good size fry pan up to medium-high heat, add garlic and toast in the oil until it starts to go light golden colour, add a pinch dried chilli flakes and spinach, season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.

Toss to combine and allow the spinach to lightly wilt (about 1-2 minutes).

Serve immediately.

 

EGGPLANT/AUBERGINE

IMG_1986 (427x640)

There are so many wonderful dishes throughout the world that celebrates this versatile vegetable. This is just one of many dishes and techniques that work well with Eggplant.

Serves 2

1 medium eggplant – per person Slice the eggplant into ½ cm thick slices – lenthways 1 clove garlic, sliced into thin slices

1-2 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you may need more)

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves – basil, parsley and marjoram work well

Method

Heat a grill or BBQ up to medium-hot Place the eggplant slices side by side onto the hot grill. Cook until grill mark appears on each side and the flesh feels tender and the slice of eggplant begins to wilt (about 3 minutes each side).

Meanwhile add all the other ingredients into a serving dish and when the eggplant slices are cooked plunge them immediately into the dressing and allow them to soak up the dressing. Continue until all the eggplant is cooked.

It can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

 

QUICK CHILLI SAUCE

IMG_3265 (640x427)

Everyone needs a chilli sauce up their sleeve.

Makes ½ cup

½ cup rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)

½ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. white sugar

¼ cup water

3Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. sherry (or cooking sherry)

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 whole chillies, finely sliced

1 Tbsp cornflour, dissolved in 2Tbsp. cool water

Method

Place all ingredients – except the cornsflour-water mixture – in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil.

Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. (Note that the vinegar will be quite pungent as it burns off. Generally, I find rice vinegar less strong than regular white vinegar).

Reduce heat to low and add the cornflour-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes).

 

RHUBARB JAM

rhubarb jam (1)

Rhubarb is growing in abundance at the moment and if like me I love its unique flavour but can never quite keep up with it. This jam recipe is great as the endless uses will impress you.

Makes 600g

400g Fresh rhubarb

200g jam sugar (pectin added)

200g caster sugar

1 Tbsp boiling water

1 vanilla pod, seeds removed

½ lemon, Juice of half a lemon

Method

Remove the leaves and wash and dry the rhubarb. Cut the stalks into 1cm pieces.

Place the rhubarb, both sugars, one vanilla pod, seeds and the tablespoon of water into a jam pan or thick based saucepan.

Let the sugar dissolve over very low heat, stir to encourage the sugar to dissolve.

Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up, cook the jam over high heat. Do not stir the jam too often, just every now and then to prevent it from catching.

I like to wash the sides of the pan down with a clean pastry brush that’s dipped in boiling hot water. This will help prevent the jam going cloudy and crystallised.

I use a sugar thermometer now when making jam as it has taken the ‘luck’ out of the setting stage if you know what I mean. Cook the jam till it reaches 105°C. However if you don’t have a thermometer, place a small amount of jam on a small cold plate and spoon a little jam onto the plate and if the jam sets and you can run your finger through it without the jam running it means its ready!

Remember the longer you cook the jam the darker the caramelized colour will become and the flavour more earthy.

Once the jam reaches the correct temperature add the juice of one lemon, stir and remove the jam from the heat.

Let the jam cool slightly before ladling your jam into cleaned sterilized jars.

 

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their outstanding products

INDIGO BAKERY – fresh baked goods

BRYDONE ORGANICS – organic red cabbage and spinach

LECKIES BUTCHERY – lamb forequarter chops, hocks, beef bones

BUTLERS BERRIES – rhubarb

KAKANUI PRODUCE – chillies and aubegine

 

AUTUMN

Doc1

Autumn is well and truly upon us bringing changes not only to the weather but to our menus. I love to keep nourished but we also need to keep warm and satisfied with our food. I looked through my limited garden and scoured the farmers market to get cheap cuts of meat like ham hocks and oxtail and essential versatile ingredients like carrots, celery and potatoes. Apples always fill our fruit bowls and not only become a great snack but are perfect for a warming pudding.

 

AUTUMNAL SALAD

180

photo by Simon Lambert

Salads need not get overlooked at this time of the year as the combinations of ingredients will add new life to your diet.

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 apples, mixed variety

3 sticks of celery, cut into 2cm pieces

Celery leaves, only the light coloured ones from the inside (these are not bitter)

100g kale, cavolo nero or spinach, stalks removed and finely sliced

1 red onion, sliced thinly

30g walnuts, lightly toasted

60g cheddar cheese, cubed

Dressing

¼ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

Method

Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad, toss lightly together so all the ingredients are well coated in the dressing.

Serve and enjoy. Makes a wonderful lunch box salad.

MY VERSION OF A BOIL-UP

029

photo by Simon Lambert

This type of hearty meal has many variations throughout the world and the options are endless. I put this together hunting out cheap cuts and using up veges I had at hand. Feel free to use ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Serves 5

Ingredients

1 ham hock

2 oxtail bones

2 bay leaves

5 peppercorns

2 sprigs of thyme

1 lamb neck fillet or mutton chops

3 carrots, peeled

1 leek, remove outer layers and cut the white into 1cm rounds and leave the green tops for later

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges so they stay together

3 sticks of celery

500g potatoes

½ white cabbage

Freshly ground pepper and salt

Method

Place the hock, oxtail and chops in a large pot or crock-pot and cover with plenty of cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 1 ½ -2 hours. Remove any scum that may rise to the surface.

Whilst the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables.

Cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces so they will cook evenly. I like to keep them on the larger size so I can cook them longer in the stock.

Add all the vegetables except the potatoes and the green of the leek. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to cool enough so you can pick the meat from around the bones (discard the bones).

Add the potatoes and return the meat and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender (20 minutes), finish by adding the finely sliced green of the leeks.

Check for seasoning you may not need to add any salt, taste before you go crazy. Adjust if necessary and serve in large bowls. It will be great the next day as well.

 

A SIMPLE APPLE PIE

189

photo by Simon Lambert

Apple pies are always a crowd pleaser as they bring back memories and who doesn’t like apple?

And don’t worry if you haven’t the time to whip up your own pastry I won’t tell!!

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

For the pastry

1 x 250g sweet pastry, rolled 4mm thick

Or

250g plain flour

50g icing sugar

125g cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

Splash water

Egg yolk for glazing and sprinkle of sugar

Filling

600g apples, granny smiths, braeburn, peas not so good etc

3 Tbsp raw cane sugar

¼ cup sultanas or raisins

½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger

25g butter

1 Tbsp water

1 lemon, zest

Method

Begin by making the pastry if using this method.

I add the dry ingredients into a food processor or into a large bowl, add the butter and processor until just combined enough to resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together, if looking dry add the water and this should hold together. Bring the dough together so it forms a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20-30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make the filling.

Preheat oven 170C

Place all the ingredients for the filling together into a saucepan and cook gently for about 5 minutes so that the apples cook half way through and this will get the juices going.

Place the apples into a 20cm pie dish. Set aside.

Roll the pastry so that is will cover the pie dish and about 1 cm overlap.

Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little of the egg yolk. Place the pastry loosely over the apples and press down around the edge. Trim off any excess. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Cut a few slits in the pastry and if feeling decorative you can make a few leaves to place on the top.

Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples are tender and juicy.

Serve warm with plenty of cream and icecream.