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STUFFED PEPPERS

This recipe fills me with warming memories of Greece. I love recipes like this as you can pretty much put anything in them.

Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil

4 large capsicum (peppers)

2 onions peeled, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 large tomatoes, roughly diced

100g quinoa, cracked wheat or rice

50g olives, stone removed and roughly chopped

100g greens, spinach, rocket, kale or silver beet, roughly chopped

½ tsp fresh thyme leaves

500ml vegetable stock

200g Feta cheese, crumbled

100g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat oven 190C

Halve the peppers lengthways, keeping the stalk on. Carefully scoop out the seeds and any white membrane and discard.

In a suitable sized heavy-based fry pan add 2 tablespoons oil, add the onion and garlic. Cook over a moderate heat until the onions have softened and sweetened (about 5-10 minutes). Add quinoa and toast lightly in the onion and garlic. Add the tomatoes and toss through with the quinoa etc.

Add 1 cup stock and allow the water and juice to absorb into the quinoa (8-10 minutes).

Add the olives, greens and thyme. Mix well to combine.

Remove from the heat and finish with the feta, parsley and check for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

Carefully stuff the capsicums with your quinoa filling and place them in a suitable size oven dish. Pour over the remaining stock and drizzle over a little oil. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake in your preheated oven for at least 45 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the peppers are juicy and sweet.

Remove the foil and continue cooking the capsicum for at least another 15 minutes so they colour up and the filling is cooked.

Remove from the oven and enjoy piping hot or as in Greece eaten either hot or cold!

 

 

 

3 OF MY FAVOURITE SAUCES

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It is great to have a collection of simple, yet utterly delicious sauces up your sleeve.   These three partner up with so much.

SMOKED TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients

4 tomatoes, sun-ripened

½ red onion,

2 cloves garlic

2 dried red chillies (approx.)

Coriander, fresh, handful

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lime, juice

Sea salt flakes

Fresh ground pepper

Method

Heat up a heavy-based fry pan or barbecue to hot, add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, allow the skin to blacken and blister, allow time to do this right as you also want the ingredients to soften and get a wonderful smoky flavour.

Once this has done turn off the heat.

I used a mortar and pestle to make this sauce but it can be done in a blender or by hand.

Slice the onion thinly and add to the mortar and pestle, add the garlic and a pinch of salt, mash together, add the dried chillies and continue to blend the ingredients together, slip the tomatoes out of their blackened skin and squash these into the onion mixture, add the coriander, extra virgin olive, lime juice, adjust the seasoning and serve.

 

 TAHINI SALTED YOGHURT

Ingredients

250g Greek style unsweetened yoghurt

1 Tbsp tahini paste

Sea salt flakes, generous pinch or two

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Mix all the ingredients together and serve.

 

 GREEN HERB SAUCE

Ingredients

½ cup fresh parsley

¼ cup fresh coriander

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 tsp fresh green chili, diced finely

1 garlic, clove

1 lime, juice

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Chop all the ingredients together until well combined and fragrant.

Place into a bowl, add the lime juice, pinch of salt and oil, stir to combine and taste. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so the flavours start to develop.

 

 

 

 

TOASTED CORN SALAD – MY WAY!

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Who doesn’t like fresh corn??

This crunchy, sweet and fragrant salad never disappoints and one that I can put with pretty much anything.

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

4 zucchini, small and firm

5 cobs fresh corn or 3-4 cups corn

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

4 spring onions, sliced thinly

1-2 limes (juice)

1 fresh jalapeno chilli or equivalent, seeds removed and diced finely

1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped (stalks also)

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp unsweetened yoghurt

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Carefully remove the kernels from the corn cob. This is a messy job so I advise wearing an apron! Set aside.

Slice the zucchini into roughly 3mm strips.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based fry pan. When hot add the zucchini and fry each side for 1-2 minutes or until the flesh has a delicious golden glow and is still tender. Remove and set aside.

Using the same pan add a little more oil and heat over a moderate to high heat, add the corn. Lightly season with salt and allow to sizzle, you want the corn to colour and for the skin to crisp up a little. Remove from the heat with a slotted spoon reserving the oil in the pan. Add the red onion and garlic and cook quickly over a moderate heat to colour up, resulting in a smoky flavour. Remove and add to the corn and zucchinis.

Mix the mayonnaise and yoghurt together, add a pinch of salt and fold through a little extra virgin olive oil.

To assemble; Place the corn, zucchini, onions and garlic onto a large platter, now drizzle over the lime juice, chillies and coriander. Season lightly with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Drizzle over the yoghurt dressing and serve at room temperature.

RASPBERRY SPONGE

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Raspberries are sun-sweet and juicy and they seem to float in this light and airy sponge cake.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

4 medium eggs, at room temperature

75 g sugar

50g butter, melted and cooled

75g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

250g fresh raspberries

Method

Preheat oven to 180C

Grease and line round 20cm cake tin.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and airy and triples in volume.

Slowly pour in the cooled melted butter whilst whisking continuously. The volume may drop a little but don’t worry. Stop beating.

Sieved flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and gentle fold through.

Add half the raspberries and fold through. Pour into prepared tin and then sprinkle over remaining raspberries as these will sink a little.

Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden and well risen. It will be cooked when gently touched in the centre and bounces bake (20-30minutes).

Remove from oven cool in tin for 5 minutes then gently remove and cool.

 

FLAVOURS OF SUMMER IN A BOWL

south american soup

This soup has South American flavours and influences but brought together with our local seasonal delights.

Serves 4-6

ingredients

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium zucchini, finely sliced

4 cups corn kernels (3 cobs) (fresh or frozen)

700ml -1 litre cold water

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

Generous handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 medium green chilli, charred and peeled*

1 large cos or romaine lettuce (or a variety that is similar) roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve – salted yoghurt (unsweetened with pinch of salt), lime wedges, coriander and chilli

Method

In a large pot add 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat to soften and sweeten the onion (approx. 5 -8 minutes).

Add the sliced zucchini and cook for a few minutes until soft.

Add the corn kernels and 500 ml water and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the peas, lettuce, 2/3 of the coriander and chilli. Season with salt and a little cracked pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for another few minutes. Puree until desired consistency (I like it almost pureed with a little texture). Adjust consistency if needed by adding enough water to desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

I like to serve this with the yoghurt, lime, coriander and chilli piled high on top.

 

*To char the chillies: place whole chillies on a hot dry pan, or barbecue blacken by rotating regularly, until blistered and charred on all sides. Transfer to a heat proof bowl, cover, and let steam for a few minutes. The chillies are now ready to peel and the black blistered skin will slip easily off. Be careful as the chilli heat can rub off onto your skin!

Otago Farmers Market Mobile Kitchen Menu – 31/01/2015

 

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This is my first day back in the mobile kitchen for many weeks and boy i’m excited.  Summer produce is in abundance and full of sweet summer flavours.  Menu this week is focusing on simple summer veges and of course, sun-ripened sweet Central stone fruit.

I will be demonstrating some simple dishes with simple but valuable techniques which are always good to have up your sleeve. Even though for many we are now back on duty of not only working but school runs, after school runs and of course the lunch boxes.. I find great ideas by walking around the market and getting little lunch box fillers such as salami sticks, cheese, school lunch sized fruit, good quality jams, relishes, obviously fresh vegetables that aren’t covered in sprays and you can even get packets of biscuits, bagels and sweet treats to make it through the week.

I am in the kitchen if you need some inspiration and some tips on what to put on your menu this week and of course as always I will have lots of market food to sample.

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WET POLENTA, ROASTED VINE TOMATOES, SMASHED BASIL

polenta

This dish works well throughout the year at the café as I simple change the sweet tomatoes for mushrooms, wilted greens or even alongside a hearty stew.

Serves 4

ingredients

12 cherry vine tomatoes (if possible get them still attached to the vine)

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pinch sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

Polenta

375ml water

100g polenta

25g unsalted butter

30g parmesan cheese, freshly grated and more for serving

Smashed basil

1 cup fresh basil leaves

Pinch salt

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 200C

Place the tomatoes onto a suitable sized oven dish, scatter over the garlic slivers and thyme. Drizzle over the oil and season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Roast in the hot oven until the tomatoes blister and just start to split (8-10 minutes). Remove immediately from the oven and set aside.

To make the polenta, bring the water to a simmer, add a generous pinch of salt, whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring, on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the polenta comes away from the sides of the pan. Add the butter and cheese and stir vigorously.

In between stirring the polenta smash the basil by adding a pinch of salt and mashing it in a mortar and pestle until you get a coarse paste, stir in 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.

To serve place a generous spoonful of the polenta onto a warm plate, place 4 roasted cherry tomatoes on top and any delicious juices, drizzle over the smashed basil and finish with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

BEETROOT AND QUNIOA SALAD

beetroot -Wairuna

Salads like these are great throughout the year as they are not only nutritious, they are very filling. Feel free to change the grains, leaves etc to make this your own.

Serves 4

ingredients

500g beetroot

280g qunioa

600ml vegetable stock

75g pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ red onion, sliced thinly

Handful flatleaf parsley

50g rocket leaves

Method

Wash the beetroot gently. Place in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Cool slightly, peel and chop into 2cm pieces.

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil, add the quinoa and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender but not soggy. Drain and fluff up with fork. Leave to cool.

Dry-fry the pumpkin seeds until golden.

Cool and add to the quinoa, add the red wine vinegar and oil to the quinoa.

Mix in the sliced red onion, rocket, flat leaf parsley and beetroot, season with salt and pepper.

 

QUICK PICKLED RED ONIONS OR CUCUMBERS

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Pickles are a fantastic way of adding a bit of zing to any dish and these onions will surely do that!

Serves 4 3/4 cup (180ml) white or cider vinegar

3 Tbsp sugar

4 black peppercorns

pinch of salt

1 bay leaf

1 tsp freshly chopped dill

1 -2 fresh chillies

2 large red onions, peeled, and thinly sliced into rings

Or 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
Method In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt and seasonings and bring to the boil. Pierce the whole chilli a few times with a fork and add to the vinegar mixture. Add the onion slices and lower the heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer the onions and the liquid into a sterilised jar then refrigerate until ready to use. Storage: The onions will keep for several months, but I find they’re best the week they’re made.

 

TZATZIKI

 

Makes 300ml (1 small bowl)

300 ml thick Greek yoghurt

2 cloves garlic 1 medium sized cucumber, cut in half and seeds removed

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch salt

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Method

Put yoghurt into a bowl, crush garlic to a smooth paste with a little salt (mortar and pestle is good for this).

Add to the yoghurt and mix through.

Grate the cucumber and squeeze out excess liquid (the dryer the better).

Add to the yoghurt mixture along with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt, taste and adjust if necessary.

Store in the fridge until required.

Serve in a small dish drizzled with the remainder oil and plenty of flatbreads, and crudities’.

 

GRILLED APRICOTS AND RICOTTA

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A simple marriage of summer flavours with the cooling ricotta and tangy citrus makes this simple dessert one of my summer favourites.

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 apricots (ripe but firm), cut in half and stone removed

250g ricotta

1 lemon, zest

1 orange. Zest

4 Tbsp raw cane or coconut sugar

Method

Heat up the barbecue or griddle pan to hot.

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and orange and mix with the sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse.

When the barbecue is hot place the cut side of the apricots directly onto the griddle bars and allow to char (blacken) slightly and soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove the apricots and place onto a dish, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the infused sugar over the peaches, cover with plastic wrap and let so the juices seep out of the peaches, (10-20minutes).

To assemble: place the apricots onto a large platter, add a little of the sugar. Spoon over the ricotta so that you get good dollops placed over the fruit.

Spoon over any juices from the apricots and finish by scattering over the infused sugar.

Best eaten at room temperature.

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

KAKANUI PRODUCE – tomatoes

ROSEDALE ORCHARDS – apricots

WAIKOUAITI GARDENS – cucumbers

BRYDONE ORGANICS – red onions and beetroot

JANE FIELD HYDROPONICS – basil

TE MANGHA – zucchini

GILBERTS FINE FOODS – freshly baked goods

RADSIHES WITH WHIPPED BUTTER AND SEA SALT.

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This is a classic partnership but one many steer clear from. When radishes are fresh, crisp and fiery in flavour the creamy accompaniment of butter and salt all makes sense.

Serves 4 as an aperitif

Ingredients

20 fresh radishes, washed and if desired keep leaves on

4 Tbsp unsalted good quality butter, at room temperature

Generous pinch of sea salt flakes per person

Method

Wash the radishes and pat dry and chill in the fridge to keep crisp. Remove 10 minutes prior to eating.

Place the softened butter in suitable bowl and either whip by hand or beater until the butter becomes light and creamy in colour and texture. Place the whipped butter into suitable size dish or dishes.

To serve place the radishes onto a suitable platter, along with the softened whipped butter and sea salt flakes. Allow your guest to help themselves (I like to dip my radish in the butter and then in the salt) and simply enjoy!

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM MUFFINS

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Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven and this easy recipe is a great way to simply bring them together. I love these for brunch, afternoon tea or simply to add to the lunch box.

Makes 12 large or 15 medium muffins

ingredients

6 cups self raising flour

2 ½ cup sugar

250g fresh strawberries cut into bite size pieces

3 eggs

1 ½ cup milk

¾ cup unsweetened natural yoghurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g mascarpone or cream cheese

1 orange, zest only

Method

Preheat oven 190C

Grease the muffin tins with butter or spray oil

Put the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and mix to combine, add the strawberries and combine.

In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients, eggs, milk, yoghurt and vanilla.

Finally combine the mascarpone and orange zest and mix to combine, set aside.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently together until just combined.

Spoon enough of the muffin batter neatly into the tins so it’s half full. Add a teaspoon of the mascarpone mixture onto the centre of the mixture and cover with enough muffin mixture to cover. The mixture should fill the muffin tin ¾ full.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the muffin centre springs back when lightly touched.

Cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.

 

SUMMER MINESTRONE SOUP

soup

Once again I am bringing the new season summer produce together. This refreshing soup works wonderfully hot or chilled along with the addition of my pungent smashed basil this takes the soup to another level.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 litre good quality vegetable stock

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium sized onion, diced finely

2 medium courgettes, diced

250g firm potatoes (jersey benne), slice thinly

1 bunch asparagus (if in season), sliced thinly

1 cup broad beans, skinned if possible

1 cup peas

1 cup fresh basil

75g fresh grated parmesan

Extra virgin olive oil for serving

Sea salt flakes, freshly ground pepper

Method

In a large pot add 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the onions, cook over a moderate heat without colouring (5 minutes). Add the courgettes and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Cover with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, add the potatoes and reduce the heat. Cook until the potatoes are just tender (10 -15 minutes depending on size).

Whilst the soup is simmering away make the basil paste to serve with the soup. I use a mortar and pestle but you can easily chop this by hand. Place all the basil leaves and the finer of the basil stalks into the mortar add a pinch of salt and mash or chop the basil until a coarse, fragrant paste occurs, add the parmesan, stir in the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside until needed.

Finally add the broad beans, peas and asparagus, season with salt and a little pepper, taste and adjust if necessary.

Serve either hot or chilled with a generous spoon of the basil paste.

 

FRESH CORN RELISH

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This relish is fresh, spicy and crunchy and good with almost everything!

Makes 1.5 kg

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped

3 onions, diced

1 red capsicum, seeds removed and roughly chopped

1 green capsicum, seeds removed and roughly chopped

4 cups corn kernels (cut from 4-6 ears, depending on how big the ears are)

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced

1 ¼  cups sugar

2 Tbsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 ½ cups apple cider or white wine vinegar

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp cumin

Method

To save time you can easily cut the ingredients for this quick relish in the food processor.  I suggest doing it in batches so it doesn’t go mushy.

Pulse the cucumbers, onions and capsicum so that they are all a similar size, I go on the size of a kernel of corn.

Place mixture in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed pot.  Add the corn, tomatoes, chillies, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, turmeric and ground cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.

Spoon the corn relish into clean jars and seal. Will last for 4-6 weeks refrigerated.