Condiments

pumpkin plum and walnut salad
Autumn, Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Salad, Savoury

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, Brunch, Canape, Condiments, Desert, Gluten Free, Snack, Sweet

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
Condiments, Gluten Free, Savoury

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     Begin with your cleaned and trimmed cabbage.  Save one large leaf to top your finished kimchi in the fermenting jar. Cut into approximately 4cm/1inch squares and place in your large bowl with the salt. Spend 4-5 minutes massaging the salt into the cabbage and breaking it down.  It will start to release liquid as you do this. Put […]

hummus antipasto platter
Canape, Condiments, Gluten Free, Meal, Salad, Savoury, Snack

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
Condiments, Gluten Free, Savoury

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 […]

fresh tuna, chimichirri salsa
Condiments, Gluten Free, Salad

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 […]

Breakfast, Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Snack, Sweet

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 […]

Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Meal, Salad, Savoury, Summer

Roast Quinoa and Tomato Salad with Quinoa and Parmesan Wafers

It seems like a good idea when life is so busy to try and plan ahead a little for meals or, at the least, to make ingredients that I am cooking do a bit of multi tasking other than just as leftovers.  With this in mind, I cooked up a nice big pot of quinoa and put it to work firstly in a summery fresh salad with basil, tomatoes, parmesan and quinoa crisps. Next time, for a complete change of flavours, I used it for some Asian inspired fish cakes (post for this to follow shortly!) Remember, quinoa is a food like rice that has a high water content, therefore it is a great breeding ground for bacteria.  If you have cooked up a big pot and can’t use it within a couple of days, put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. This salad is delicious on its own, for a light lunch, with some crusty bread or with some simply grilled meat or chicken. The components keep well although, if made in advance, you might want to freshen up the crisps briefly in the oven. Oven at 150′ C Cut the cherry tomatoes in half (save a small handful raw for the final salad), place on a lined baking tray (for larger tomatoes, cut in chunks and follow the recipe), drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in the oven to bake. […]

fresh fridge pickles
Condiments, Gluten Free, Salad, Spring, Summer

A Quick Fridge Pickle and a Favourite Easy Raw Beetroot Salad

I am in the zone to be talking and thinking about summer.  The local weather has other ideas though and after a month and a bit of balmy spring weather I am  this morning surrounded by snow, no electricity and fallen trees and chicken coups.  It has been said that I don’t respond very well to change (love my family!) so here I am as planned talking about some great fridge staples, to brighten and lighten up your spring and summer meals. This fridge pickle has been a favourite for the past few summers, easy,fast and delicious. When I went to get the recipe I found it was lost – forever! So here I am trying to embrace one of life’s little challenges and I will admit to varying levels of success with that.  Oh well! A little memory jog and a bit of kitchen play and I think that if this is not the same recipe then I have the old fav back with a few little improvements.  This very pretty pickle is a great addition to cold meat meals, cheese and ploughmans platters, sandwiches, salads, buddha bowls… I also have some plans to add little slices of pickle to some rilette canapes. You can eat it within a couple of hours or it will keep in the fridge pretty much for a month or two, but it does loose colour with age though so i try to make it little and often. Fresh Pickles Vinegar Start by finely […]