Hummus For Everyday

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 […]

asian quinoa fish cakes

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 […]

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. […]

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

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 […]