A festive starter combination #peaches #proscuitto #scampi #goatscheese

Peaches grilled on bbq (allow to cool) then rolled with goats cheese and prosciutto, drizzled with balsamic and roasted in the oven.

New Zealand Scampi (or split large prawns) with a Coriander(dhania), chilli and lime dressing grilled on the bbq, with extra dressing sprinkled on afterwards.


Such a delicious starter combination.

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

Catalan #Chickpeas with #spinach and #raisins

These chickpeas are great as a side salad or as part of a tapas spread. A traditional Catalan dish, it is often a feature on Barcelona tapas or pinxtos menus. It appears the trick is to boil them until much softer than normal, even boil canned chickpeas which allows them to absorb more of the flavours from the dressing and gives a velvety smoothness to the dish.

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 bags of baby spinach leaves

1 red onion finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of sultanas or raisins

1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon paprika for sprinkling(optional)

Handful of parsley chopped

Method:

Boil canned chickpeas in 3 cups of water Until soft but not falling apart about 10 minutes, drain and set aside

Heat olive oil in a seperate pan over medium heat, then cook onions, chilli and crushed garlic until transparent and aromatic.

add raisins and spinach leaves and white wine to onion mixture and simmer until spinach wilts slightly

Toast pine nuts in seperate pan until golden

Mix through spinach mixture and chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika and pine nuts and serve.

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

Easy Homemade Sausage rolls

At this time of the year with friends and family popping over, having some of these homemade sausage rolls in the freezer is a great option for quick and easy but very yummy snacks.

They taste so much better than bought options, especially if you get your favourite sausages from the butcher. I like to use lamb merguez sausages with a bit of spice in them to make mine but you can use any sausage you like.

Ingredients:

3 sheets bought puff pastry

12 sausages cooked and cut into 3 pieces each (36 pieces)

1 egg beaten for wash

Method:

Cook sausages in a pan and cool completely

Cut sausages in thirds to make 36 pieces

Cut pasty sheet into thirds vertically and half across to make 12 bases from each sheet

Place cooled sausage on pastry and roll pasty over, seal with a fork, pressing down the tines to create a decorative edge

Freeze using plastic sheets from pastry to seperate the sausage rolls or,

Brush pastries with egg wash

Heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius fan forced

Bake for 10 minutes or so until pastry is puffed and golden.

Enjoy with your favourite sauce.