food

Muddy Creek Cutting

Muddy Creek Cutting is the home of my friends Kevin and Ross.  It is on the Central Otago Rail Trail about 1 km from Lauder and I heartily recommend it as a place to go and spend a quiet night or two soaking up the Central sun, biking on the rail trail or driving around the local sights at St Bathans, Oturehua, Ophir and the Maniototo.  Lauder is only about 25 minutes drive from Alexandra, which is my home town.

On the website for Muddy Creek you can find all the details about the fabulous homestay but what you won’t find is an indication of how peaceful, beautiful and calm this place is.  Among it’s charms are the food and the art.  The food is prepared by Kevin, and there is a photo of the menu board below, the meals are just fantastic.  Lots of flavour, hearty servings and with freshness being the big focus.  Kevin and Ross tend gardens all summer which produce almost all of the produce used in the food and also farm chickens, ducks and sheep.  Then there is the decor, Ross has beautified the old homestead so that it is lovely, colourful and full of interesting treasures.  His art decorates the rooms and it is all very homey.

If you are Central Otago bound then do stay at Muddy Creek Cutting.  You will get a comfortable bed, lovely service and one of the most picturesque places on the planet.  While you are there please go and have a sauna in their home sauna.  It is just so mind clearing and you will feel all sparkly clean afterwards.  They also have a brand new Facebook Page.

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Tomato Kasundi

This is magnificently hot.  Hotter than a January Central Otago day. Hotter than hot sauce?  Well about the same as hot sauce. It is an Annabel Langbein recipe and it was recommended to me by my friend Judith who thinks it the best thing ever.  Thought I’d make it as the glut of tomatoes is ever present at the moment.  After I’d made it and frightened my taste buds a bit by it’s hotness, I had to find ways to use it.  It has a great deeply curry spicy taste.  So far we have had it with corn fritters, in guacamole, and to spice up a pasta dish.  Lots of uses and very tasty.

The quantities of the spices are really large.  Check your supplies before you start!

225g green ginger – grated, 100g garlic cloves peeled and chopped finely, 50g green chillies – I used red – sliced in half, seeds removed, 2 1/2 cups malt vinegar, 1 cup canola oil – I always use ricebran – 2 tblsp turmeric, 5 tblsp ground cumin, 3 tblsp chilli powder, 5 tblsp mustard seeds ground to a powder, 2 kg tomatoes chopped, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 3 tblsp salt.

Puree the ginger, garlic and chillies with a little of the vinegar to make a paste.  Heat the oil in a very big pot or preserving pan.  Add all the ground spices and fry until they exude a fragrant aroma.  Add the pureed paste, tomatoes, the rest of the vinegar, sugar and half of the salt. (Check near the end of cooking to see if more is required.) Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil floats on the top – about half an hour (I cooked it a lot longer).  Bottle in steralised jars while hot with a thin film of hot oil on the top of each jar to prevent the top from drying out.  cove with screw top seal lids.  Leave for a couple of weeks for the flavours to develop before using. Store in a cool place until you want to use it, it lasts indefinitely.  Makes about 2 litres.

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Classy Ambrosia

Nectar of the gods, ambrosia is heaven on a spoon

Summer deserts are all about fresh fruit for me.  This is a made up recipe, well it is really just a method and you can play around with it as you wish, adjust to whatever fruit you have available, you could make it with apricots (and apricot yoghurt), rhubarb etc.

In a nice big bowl put in the bottom good thick berry yoghurt, over the top sprinkle some marshmallows, over these layers add a pile of berries, it doesn’t matter what type and I used frozen this time but fresh is best.

In another bowl mix together whipped cream and a small pottle of cream cheese with a couple of desert spoons of icing sugar and some vanilla, this is your next layer then repeat the layers in so far as you have room.  Ending up with a good layer of the cream cheese mixture on the top.  Decorate with some spare marshmallows.  I have a new microplane chocolate grater so everything I make has grated chocolate on it at the moment, therefore this desert has grated chocolate!

 

Feijoa Cake

This is moist and yummy.  Only for those who really like feijoas of course, but if you like them you really like them.  The season is so incredibly short and they go off really quickly, so best get them inside you quickly!

Credit for the recipe goes to the lovely Michael.  He is in Year 11 at school and this is his Mum Alison’s recipe.  Michael gave me a piece of this cake one morning because he is a kind hearted young man and I have been dying to make it ever since.  I can thoroughly recommend it.  it certainly went down a treat at Bookclub last night.  The recipe originally comes from somewhere called Top of the dome, but I don’t know where that is.

300g self-raising flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnnamon

Photo from teara.govt.nz

1/2 tsp salt

250g demerara (or brown) sugar

125g butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

175ml milk

250g feijoas, peeled and chopped

Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Line your cake tin with baking paper and grease lightly.  Works in round or square but it is quite a big cake.

Sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.  Stir in the sugar and you can put in some raisins or cranberries at this point in you want (I don’t want)

In a separate bowl mix the butter, eggs, milk and feijoas and mix until smooth.  Combine the two mixtures and pour into the cake tin.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the cake is springy in the middle when you give it a little poke with your finger.  Take out of the oven and let it stand in the tin for a good 5 minutes.  Then, when coolish tip it out and put onto a wire rack to cool.  Serve it warm as a desert with cream or yoghurt.  Yum.

Pear Ginger Muffins

Autumn means pears!  Lovely juicy and dripping with sweetness.  I love pears.  So I made up this muffin recipe, well I should probably say I adapted a muffin recipe lurking in my folder.  I have always loved the combination of pears and ginger, I remember going to my grandmothers place when she had made pear ginger jam and thinking she was incredibly clever to have made something so lovely.  Must find out if an aunty has the recipe actually.  Here is a quick easy way to use up the pears which are getting overripe in the fruit bowl.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger (more if you like)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 small pears, peeled and chopped finely
1 egg
1/2 cup yoghurt, plain (or use milk if you must)
1/2 cup butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl

Mix together egg, yoghurt, vanilla and melted butter, add the chopped pear.  Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix or your muffins will get all peaky and tough and holey!  Put into greased muffin tin or in my case little loaves tin.

I think you could add walnuts if you wanted a little bit of extra crunch or crystallised ginger if you want a bit of extra bite.

Tuna and Lemon Pasta

This living alone business is tricky, well not so much the living but the cooking for one.  Every time I make something I make far too much of it, then I end up having to eat it for days and days and get tired of it, then it goes in the bin.  So I need to make quick, easy, healthyish food that fits in a bowl, with only a bit of leftover which can be taken to school for lunch the following day.  This is that recipe at the moment, I’m a little fixated on it.  Try it is is yummy.

This isn’t a recipe it is more of a method.

Cook some pasta – long pasta I think rather than spirals or other short types.  Drain it when cooked.

When it is cooked tip a small can of tuna with lemon and pepper flavour over the top and add some spinach leaves, some chopped fresh parsley or chives and mix them through the pasta.  Spring onions are good too!

Grab a lemon, grate a little bit of the zest finely and save it, squeeze the lemon over the pasta, sprinkle the zest over the top and add a grinding of black pepper and the zest.  If you have some lime flavoured oil, such as the one in the photo I think you should add a dash of this as well, delicious.

Voila dinner is ready

Kitchen news!

The photos are coming, and the oven will work tomorrow. Then there will be cooking, baking, grilling and stirring going on. Happy days!

A month and a half without a kitchen means I have yearnings to be cooking. The builder and project manager have been awesome and photos will be posted – but not till it is finished so that everyone can have the full before and after experience.

Now back to the painting!