Meal

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 […]

ricotta,parmesan gnuddi
Brunch, Gluten Free, Meal, Salad, Savoury

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 […]

asian quinoa fish cakes
Canape, Gluten Free, Meal, Salad, Savoury, Seafood

Asian Inspired Quinoa and White Fish, Fish Cakes

This is part two of my pot of quinoa, multi tasking for the week (see last weeks http://freshkitchen.co.nz/roast-quinoa-and-tomato-salad-with-quinoa-and-parmesan-wafers/).  These fish cakes in themselves are pretty multi tasking and delish.  They are light, healthy, tasty, and depending on your choice of white fish very economical.  I have served them both as a canapé and as a main course with a salad, and frozen then before cooking and later cooked them very successfully!!! I used a food processor to chop the fish and herbs finely but I am very confident that this could all come together just as easily with a good sharp knife or mezzaluna, and probably get a fishier texture as well (I will try this). As always use the Asian herbs you have to hand, I am very conscious that a lot of people have a low tolerance for coriander and though I would happily add it by the bucket load I have found lots of good alternatives.  My favourite alternative is vietnamese mint which even in Queenstown grows seasonally well in a shady moist spot. My other go to ingredient are kaffir lime leaves, which also grows well here as long as I keep the shrub in a tub and bring it indoors for the winter.  Apart from these aromatics ginger,  lemon grass, mint and fresh turmeric are readily available and are interchangeable in this context (turmeric will add colour but added goodness as well, it depends if it seams important to you to keep the white look […]

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. […]

prawn potsticker dumplings and asian salad
Meal, Salad, Savoury, Snack, Spring, Summer

Prawn Potsticker Dumplings with a Fresh Asian Salad

Delicious light summer food with the bonus that, by spending a little extra time, you can put a batch or two in the freezer for Christmas entertaining.  This did involve a little bit of time but once they are in the freezer you will thank yourself!   These little dumplings are full of fresh, light, zingy asian flavours and are so delicious. I chose not to put chilli’s into the dumpling mix as I wanted the prawn and fresh herb flavours to be the heroes.  I always love dumplings and love that here they can become part of the main event for dinner. For the photos today I have served them up as an individual generous portion (slightly greedy – I hate it when there aren’t enough of the good bits in a meal ! ) but, when I have friends and family for a meal I mostly resort to big platters and I would love to serve this on a big platter with a jug of dipping sauce and little bowls for everyone on the side. It was interesting to me that these potstickers are really good at room temperature (and not too bad cold) which also makes for helpful salad meals.  A friend and fellow dumpling maker is here for Christmas and the plan is to have a dumpling dinner, so watch out for more photos on Facebook and Instagram, no pressure Chloe! Prawn Potstickers (makes approximately 70) 800 grams raw prawns tails removed and well drained 1 […]

haloumi and green vegetable fritters
Gluten Free, Meal, Savoury, Spring, Summer

Halloumi and Spring Vegetable Fritters

Often I crave large helpings of green vegetables.  Today after melting in the heat yesterday the weather has changed to damp and dreary so something a little comforting seemed in order.  Fritters fit that comfort food bill every time, and these do it leaving your conscience in a good place too. Although the weather is dreary my little vegetable patch is starting to yield a few goodies and add to that the wonderful array available in the market and the choice is there to play.  You can make this with pretty much whatever greens  you have in your fridge and or garden.  Recipes like this make me happy because I get to use the whole vegetable, I love the fact that I can grate the broccoli stalk and any other stalks into the allocation of of vegetables.  It is also a good way of clearing out all those odds and ends that accumulate in your fridge at the end of the week.  The flavours I have used here are more of a mediterranean bent, and so choose your herbs accordingly, parsley, mint, and even basil if you should be so lucky. Haloumi and Green Vegetable Fritters 3 eggs 3 tablespoons brown rice flour (you can use any flour you like here it is just to add a little thickening and body) 1 teaspoon salt pinch pepper 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional) Chilli or chilli flakes to taste (optional) Approx 100 grams halloumi 5 cups fairly finely chopped and grated green […]

involtini and kale salad
Meal, Salad, Savoury, Spring, Summer

Spring Involtini

Involtini is an Italian word for a small bite of food consisting of some sort of outer layer wrapped around a filling. It seems the market is awash with lush spring vegetables calling to me to get to the kitchen. This is a delicious little spring starter, light dinner,or side dish. A little bit of effort, involving a bit of slicing and standing over the chargrill pan, but then it’s all fun and as creative as you want to be.  I teamed this with a kale salad, but any simple salad would go just as well.  The ingredients and vegetables I used are really just a rough guide, though the eggplant and courgettes make for good sturdy wrappers.  The cheese could just as easily be feta or haloumi for these. I felt they were equally delicious as they were straight after wrapping ( this keeping them a bit light and fresh) or,  given a hot fast bake to meld and melt all together.  Left to sit for a while  the tomato juices and combined flavours start to run a little, and are delicious served with a slice of toasted ciabatta to mop it all up.   Ingredients on the day[ enough for 4 starters or 2 main course) 1 mozzarella ball, equivalent amount of feta or haloumi. 1 eggplant bunch fresh basil 3-4 courgettes 1-2 red peppers 1 red onion 1/2 bunch asparagus 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes sticks or skewers to secure involtini Optional extras or substitutions such as […]