Marvellous Mudbrick Vineyard #waiheke #aukland #nz

Had a delicious lunch at Mudbrick Vineyard on Boxing Day after catching the ferry from Auckland on a beautiful day. Scenery and views from Mudbrick Vineyard across the harbour to Auckland are divine as are the vegetable and herb gardens and landscaping in general.

All makes for a stunning setting for lunch.

The menu has a really interesting selection of food with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and the NZ wine is lovely. Servings are very generous ..we tried the charcuterie board, shared antipasto, beef shin, steak, whole flounder and roasted octupus…but there were ten of us! Take a group so you can try more. See photos below.

Loved our visit and highly recommend you try it if in NZ anytime soon.

Kingfish with orange chilli and sesame seeds

Shared antipasto plate – enough for 3 people

Charcuterie board with fillets and terrines
Whole flounder
Delicious roasted octupus

Annie’s Festive #Duck Roll Recipe

My friend Annie has made this beautiful duck roll for a number of years as part of our family Christmas feast and this year I noted down the recipe and took photos as we went.

It is stunning addition to the table and can of course be enjoyed at anytime of the year. The combination of duck, chicken mince, pistachios, cranberries and sour cherries is delicious and looks festive and is quite delicious.

Ingredients

1 duck skin-on deboned by your butcher

450g chicken mince

250g unsalted peeled pistachio nuts

100g cranberries chopped

1 can (400g) sour cherries drained

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Skewers and kitchen twine

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Lay duck flat on a board skin-side down, season skin with slat and pepper

Mix chicken mince with oregano, pistachios, chopped cranberries, season with salt and pepper

Spread chicken over inside (middle part) of duck in an even layer

Stud chicken with sour cherries, about four across, laying evenly in rows “down” the duck.

Roll the duck and secure pulling “skin” across the duck and through the wing holes on the other side

Tie the duck together with kitchen string.

Rub duck sparingly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dusting of dried oregano.

Put duck roll in roasting tin, along with wings and leftover chicken mixture formed into a patty.

Roast for an hour (about 40 minutes a kilogram) and until duck is golden brown.

Allow to rest for 20 minutes then slice into thin slices and place on a serving tray.

Serve with glazed carrots and a green salad for a lovely summer meal.

The best Turkey is a brined Turkey

Our Xmas turkey will enjoy a brining tonight before stuffing and cooking in the bbq tomorrow.

Here’s a link to Nigella Lawson’s Turkey brine recipe….use what spices you have on hand, anything is better than nothing!

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/spiced-and-superjuicy-roast-turkey

O’ Surf and Turf #timeoutmarkets #lisbon

There are mixed reviews of O’Surf and Turf, Famous Portuguese chef Kiko Martins’ Time Out Market restaurant in Lisbon, where he combines meat and seafood in innovative recipes.

However, we thought the opportunity to try his food without the fuss of organising a booking or the expense of his most famous restaurant A Cevercheria at this informal restaurant was a good one and it certainly worked out that way. It was also fun to soak in the busy, buzzy atmosphere of the markets and watch the chefs at work by sitting inside at the bar for lunch.

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Whilst I admittedly have had better prawns in garlic sauce that we shared as a starter, the other dishes and the bread and snacks were excellent.

The toasted corn kernels and the dips served with the bread, including the soft egg with Paprika was interesting to kick off the meal.

The cod served on a bed of chestnut purée was a fabulous combination of sweet and salty, and the roasted octopus with a smoky paprika sauce and sago flavoured with black squid ink was delicious.

Probably not the place for those looking for more traditional Portuguese fare but definitely a great place to sample some of the emerging and exciting foodie scene in Lisbon.

#Garlic #Pepper encrusted #steak with brandy cream sauce

On a gloomy, wet evening in Sydney our home cooked steak dinner was warming and delicious!

#Stellar Chicken Marabella, #chicken

Yottam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook Simple has some great recipes but sometimes not so simple in terms of quickly getting some of the specialist ingredients which might not be in your pantry.

However I have found that they are simple enough to understand the flavours being created and to play around with them using ingredients on hand to still create delicious meals.

For example his chicken marabella recipe calls for date molasses and dates….I substituted dried apricots and pomegranate molasses which I had in the cupboard which worked well.

The chicken can be marinated overnight to develop the flavours more and or just for 15 minutes.

The quantities can also easily be adapted if you are cooking for more than 2…or if you want to serve as part of a buffet shared style meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time(optional): 15 mins-12hrs
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

2 chicken Marylands skin on (thigh and drumstick still joined)
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of fresh picked oregano leaves
2 tbspoons red wine vinegar
2 tbspoons olive oil
50g pitted green olives
2 teaspoons capers and 1 tbspoon of their juice
3 tbspoons chopped dried apricots (about 100g)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and black pepper
Oregano leaves to garnish

Method

1. Score each piece of chicken 3 or 4 times to the bone.

2. Place in a bowl and add all the ingredients except the wine and molasses and gently mix along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper

3. Marinate for as long as you can …overnight if possible but not essential

4. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius in fan forced oven

5. Spread the chicken on a high sided snug baking dish that allows the marinade to surround chicken. Whisk together the wine and molasses and pour over chicken. (I lined my baking dish with baking paper to prevent the marinade from creating too much of a mess to clean up!)

6. Cook chicken in oven for 45 minutes, basting a few times through cooking process. You want the chicken to get golden brown and be cooked until juices run clear.

7. Sprinkle generously with fresh oregano leaves to garnish.

Serve with salad and accompaniments of your choice, goes well with cous cous lr with crusty bread as the sauce created with the marinade and chicken juices is delicious.

Serves 2