Delicious and Easy Raw Fish Kokoda

raw fish kokoda

Delicious and Easy Raw Fish Kokoda

Sadly, I haven’t just returned from a holiday in Fiji sitting in beach front restaurants eating genuine Fijian raw fish Kokoda.  But, I was this week the recipient of some beautiful line-caught tuna, fresh from the West Coast.   The immediate problem was that the only time available to prepare the fish was now!  Luckily it came with a reference to a local restaurant that has a delicious Kokoda (Fijian ceviche), on the menu.  Thanks to Google, and the fact that making Kokoda requires just a few every day ingredients,  our dinner was delicious! Inspired by success, I knew I wanted to share this with you.  It is such a simple and delicious treat that can be made in large or small quantities – a dainty canapé, an entree or served with salad as a light main course.  Although I chose to use tuna a second time, this was because it was the freshest fish available on the day, you could make this with any very fresh fish you are lucky enough to buy, catch or be given.   So – to my lovely daughter who gave me the first piece of tuna and the idea for Kokoda, I say, “make sure you take a lemon, a red onion and a can of coconut milk on all your fishing trips, but please bring home a little fish as well xx”. As is becoming apparent, I do like food to mostly be quick and tasty .   Mid week particularly is […]

pumpkin plum and walnut salad

Pumpkin, Plum and Walnut Salad

Autumn is here with its mad weather swings and the end of season produce bounty.  Amid cyclone warnings and Easter holiday breaks suddenly summer – such as it was –  is definitely behind us.  I always mourn the end of summer, and then as the realities of autumn arrive with all its beauty, seasonal produce and shorter days,  I remember again that there is so much to autumn that I do enjoy.  The lawns and the garden are definitely slowing down ready for a final mow and tidy up before winter, mushrooms are popping up for foraging, there is a glut of fruit and vegetables and the kind of weather that makes it okay to hunker down in the kitchen, entertain family and friends, or find a cosy place and relax with that book I have been wanting to read. Here is a great crossover salad born of a glut of herbs, end of season omega plums and the first of the winter pumpkins.  Fresh walnuts are starting to fall, but I made this with the final handful of last seasons walnuts.   Although all the ingredients are heros here I have to pay homage to the French walnut mustard which is one of my top ten ingredient picks at the moment “Edmond Fallot Moutarde Aux Noir”, (available at Raeward Fresh in Queenstown).  So delicious, you may find yourself wanting to eat it off the spoon, I know I do this too often, but really it is that good!  It […]

cashew cream breakfast jar

Breakfast to Desert – Cashew Nut, Coconut Chia Cream

I am struggling to decide where I begin telling you about this cashew, chia, coconut cream as I am so taken with everything about it. To start with it is amazing because it tastes soooo delicious, and isn’t that where we should always begin – “healthy” or not! Then it is also amazing in its versatility.  You can keep it as thick as when first made and it is spoonable enough that you could use it as a cream filling in a cake. Or you can thin it with a little of, your choice of milk, coconut water or and a little lemon juice and you  have a great yoghurt substitute. As a totally dairy free alternative it offers all the richness, mouthfeel and satisfaction of its dairy alternatives such as cream, greek yoghurt, marscapone cheese, cream cheese etc…   I love dairy products and happily include them in my diet, but it seems to me that more and more people are telling me they are intolerant to lactose or dairy.  As someone who wants to feed everyone and enjoy the widest variety of foods, I am very excited when I find delicious alternatives.  Especially alternatives that aren’t a lesser product and that taste amazing in their own right.  Anything that expands the variety of foods we eat, offers new options in how we cook and prepare our meals has to be a good thing. Lastly (I am definitely being hasty saying lastly, but for now lastly!),  it is so […]

kimchi salad

Kimchi Everyday

Spoiler alert, you can buy delicious Kimchi! Locally made organic Kimchi absolutely delicious, and with all that fermented goodness.   Authentic Korean Kimchi,  found in the chillers at the Asian stores,  is also delicious, not crazy expensive and worthy of sneaking to the fridge with a spoon and eating from the straight container (only when no one is looking of course!).  The only problem with this last one is the ingredient list, which you need a magnifying glass to see and is still too confusing for me to say it is definitely what I want to eat.  These are both delicious though and I have eaten them both with great joy. Curiosity, quality control and a need to do it myself have led me to try and make my own.  This has been a process, never catastrophic  (no explosions as experienced with kefir and kombucha), a little smelly at times but always edible.   At last though I feel I am on the right track and would like to share my latest brew recipe with you and in doing so save it for myself as well. MY SIMPLE EVERYDAY KIMCHI RECIPE     Kitchen gloves to massage spice paste into cabbage.  (Saves stained hands!!) large bowl to massage cabbage in large sieve or colander to rinse and drain cabbage in 2 litre jar to pack kimchi into bucket to put your kimchi in, incase it spills over a little whilst fermenting Begin with your cleaned and trimmed cabbage.  Save one large […]

hummus antipasto platter

Hummus For Everyday

Hummus.  A simple chickpea spread that anyone can make in seconds, lined up on supermarket shelves and appearing everywhere.  How amazing that this simple Middle Eastern staple should become such an international superstar.  No surprises really, it ticks all the boxes, as simple or complex as you want it to be, everyday comforting or maybe cleverly sophisticated, substantial but healthy.  You can just pluck a jar off the supermarket shelf and many of these are of a very high quality, you can pick up a can of chickpeas and in seconds in a food processor or with even the cheapest stick blender have made your own (probably for not much more than a couple of dollars) or soak some chickpeas over night simmer them for an hour and go from there.  Because I love the comfort of the kitchen and I love chickpeas I will always take the route of soaking and cooking my own chickpeas, that definitely doesn’t mean you have to. My history owning Habebes Cafe, and a love of carbs like these, means I have cooked a LOT of chickpeas in my life.  As versatile and useful as Hummus is so are chickpeas, Use them in a summer salad, with tomatoes, green beans, red onion, fresh herbs olive oil and lemon juice.  Or tomatoes, cucumber peppers red onion and feta or black olives, olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar of choice. Mash or chop them a little and use them as you would couscous or grains […]

fresh fennel bulb

Lemon Fresh Fennel Gratin

  A beautiful display of fennel started an obsession that treaded its way through my week, waking me at night, stalking through the internet and finding its way into a ridiculous number of salads and braises at work and at home.  Fennel isn’t  always available, yet alone plentiful or affordable in my corner of the world, so it seems ridiculously important when it is, that I come up with ways, to use it to its best advantage.  That is the nature of my obsession!  I still have a note pad of ideas waiting to try, but after way to much headspace and time spend on pondering the best uses for the noble fennel bulb, I have a couple of ideas worthy of remembering and sharing now. I will share them one at a time, over the next couple of days so they don’t get lost at the bottom of the page. This first recipe does have cream and parmesan in it, not everyday cooking or eating, but it tasted so good I think it is worth thinking about –  at least once in a while! This is a simple, but exquisite, braised fennel with cream, parmesan cheese and a hint of lemon.  We ate this with some delicious free range pork chops, but I would have been equally as happy eating it with Puy lentils and a crisp green salad . Actually with the richness of this fennel dish a green salad with a sharp vinaigrette is a must, then […]

ricotta,parmesan gnuddi

Fresh Ricotta and Parmesan Gnuddi

Gnuddi are gnocci-like little dumplings made with ricotta rather than potatoes.  It is said to be the filling for ravioli without the pasta, which to me sounds – and is – just the good bits. These are simple and light in texture, a little rich and delicious.  A great entree or vegetarian option, which won’t leave you feeling like you have missed out on something. I did make this ricotta myself, after a conversation that set me imagining warm fresh ricotta drizzled with honey and berries for breakfast. It is very delicious I promise you but not what happened this time! I had intended to pass on the recipe for making ricotta, but after making the ricotta and waiting for the subsequent draining my timing went way past breakfast. Considering the cost when using good quality milk, it actually very similar to the wonderful Zany Zeus ricotta. I was not convinced you would want to know how to make it after that result but do  let me know if you do want to know and I will happily show you how it is made. The method as it is is very simple. I then returned to ricotta gnuddi, an idea I have been working with, and now thanks to my beautiful fresh ricotta I have a recipe worth sharing. I  served these two ways today. Firstly, with a little crisp fried sage and brown butter and a simple salad of rocket with a lemon vinaigrette, and secondly with some fresh […]

fresh tuna, chimichirri salsa

My New Favourite Chimichirri Salsa

Sometimes good things just come out of the blue or happen at the right moment, this salsa is both of those things.  I made it to go with the amazing Tuna I had bought and wanted to give proper respect to. Now I want it on every thing. I have a love of condiments, for me they can transform a few simple ingredients into something special.  I love to know that I have a few jars of flavour boosters in my fridge and pantry. Yes, this can get a little out of hand and there are moments when I see my family looking sadly in the fridge as if to say how can this be so full and there is nothing to actually eat!  Haha and bad luck them, they just need to put a little effort and imagination in and there is a whole lot of deliciousness in there! I have made chimichirri before and it has been good on the day, but right now this is the best, a little chunky, fresh, bright and straight up delicious salsa. It is my go to “put on everything” sauce of the summer.  What’s more, it isn’t  fussy or tricky to make! The main thing is the red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of parsley and fresh herbs.   Have a look outside if you live in Otago, origanum and thyme grow like weeds here, so useful and delicious or you might have some other wild herbs around […]

kumera,kale and corn fritters

Kumera Kale and Corn Fritters

Good morning breakfast I love you!  On a good day off,  if get up early enough I can even manage two breakfasts.  Actually I am hideously routine in my initial breakfast, and always start with a piece of the toast I featured on the blog a couple of weeks ago  http://freshkitchen.co.nz/my-daily-bread-and-crackers/ .  Although this is great, because of my early starts by mid morning I am ready for something else.  As luck would have it a second breakfast/brunch is the perfect answer, especially on a day off. These fritters are beautiful, the ones I made this morning for the photos I made with golden kumera,  but any kumera (purple NZ, orange or gold)  will work well. These are beautiful light, crispy, tasty fritters. I did try to make my fritter into one big rosti like cake the other day thinking I might simplify my fritter life.  This was no great success, the kumera doesn’t seem to have the same gluey qualities of potato and it was all a bit more like a kumera hash, delicious, but not my intention.  In my research, I found people lightly salting the kumera leaving it for a while and then squeezing out the liquid, along with giving the kale a quick steam I found this made the cooking process quicker and they held together better, especially as I did not want to use any flour in these fritters. I chose to poach the egg as I wanted to keep this healthier but you could fry […]

Everyday Nut and Seed Mix and a Clever Quick Biscuit

Here is another delicious mix to make every day better.  A comforting jar of goodness in the pantry gluten grain and processed sugar free.  This began several years ago with a recipe Kim Malcolm shared at Raeward Fresh called “The Simple Goodness Snack” it has been a favourite of mine ever since, and as with all Kim’s recipe ideas is nutritious and delicious.  This is my take on Kim’s recipe two years on. This mix is so versatile,  play around and have fun with it, here are a few of the ways it works for me and my family, an amazing breakfast buddha bowl topping, a handful of energy on your way past the pantry or in your backpack while hiking, 3 pm salvation snack, a topping for a fruity desert bowl, yoghurt and ice cream ?! add some quinoa flakes, puffed cereal and dry fruit to make it into a gluten free  muesli, use it as a crunchy as a topping to your favourite fruit muffins,  a topping for pancakes or waffles, a delicious fast biscuit base for those moments when you need to entertain in a hurry.  (see the recipe at the end of the page) It is amazingly delicious high energy and so very versatile.  I am sure you will love it, I can’t wait for you to try it and let me know what uses and variations you come up with I decided that in order to make this its nutritious best I would go the […]