Savoury

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 […]

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 […]

kumera,kale and corn fritters
Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten Free, Savoury

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 […]

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. […]

Breakfast, Gluten Free, Savoury, Snack

My Daily Bread and Crackers

Wahoo … 2017!  High expectations for another amazing year, with lots of challenges and big goals.   Top of the list is a commitment to keeping up with regular contributions to Fresh Kitchen and in doing so keeping us all fueled with fresh and tasty exciting meals and snacks.  Please let me know if you see anything we should try!  I am always looking for new inspiration and would love to hear from you. I thought to start the year with something basic that is a constant in my life, this ‘bread’ originated with Sarah Britton from My New Roots   Life Changing Loaf Of Bread,I have been making variations since she first posted it in 2013, and love it.  Over time I have made some changes to suit me,such as chopping the seeds and nuts, to make the bread and crackers hold together better for slicing and toasting.   I also use brown rice flakes which means it’s completely gluten free and changes up the ingredients we are eating on a regular basis.  The bread then led to the crackers, because I love crispy things and these are just a variation of the bread rolled and baked so it was a bit of a no brainer once you get the bread recipe down pat.   As with most things, I make these are very adaptable. You can swap the seeds and nuts, and add spices as you like, and the bread keeps well in the fridge – it lasts […]

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 […]

Raw Thai Noodle Salad
Gluten Free, Salad, Savoury, Spring, Summer

Raw Thai Spiralised ‘Noodle’ Salad

Super light, zesty and delicious for our warm spring and summer evenings. I fear that i may be killing you with gadgets (waffle irons and now spiralisers)!   I  blame my first food mentor and good friend Jan Pinkney a connoisseur, researcher and user of great gadgets, I confess to being easily led though!   My intention  in my culinary life was to be a good plain knife chef, but at a point I gave in to the temptation and am now fully gadgetised.  This said that they are not necessary, just toys, food and cooking enablers and enhancers for those of us like myself who, are very happy playing in the kitchen.  These noodles can easily be coarsely grated or peeled in strips using your usual kitchen peeler, the flavours will still be zesty and delicious. This recipe lends itself to adaptations depending on what vegetables you have to hand and, if you plan to serve it with fish, chicken, meat or vego, or have it as is as a simple and satisfying meal.  The dressing will keep for a week or so in the fridge. I often blend together ginger lemongrass kaffir lime leaves and chilli and freeze it in small wraps of clingfilm for dressings like this or as a base for my Thia’ish soups and salads, this way I make sure I use these ingredients when they are at there best price and quality. Thai Salad Dressing Chop dry ingredients roughly and blend in food processor […]