Category: Cook

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Eat Local Challenge: Spanakopita

There are so many things that you can’t go near when you’re trying to Eat Local. I had written this piece about Spanakopita ever before I started this challenge but, pressed for choice on Saturday night, it was something I happily turned to. I had spinach and onions from Canterbury, feta from Karikaas, ricotta from Zany Zeus (North Island but still New Zealand!), nutmeg (and couscous for the accompanying salad) from Piko, our brilliant local wholefoods/organic shop but I must admit failure with the pastry, which was Australian. If I had been a bit more organised ahead of time I could have made my own but still, it didn’t turn out too badly!

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The simple things in life: Pea and Ham Soup

As it’s winter at this side of the world – although the temperatures seem to have taken a turn for the better lately – I’ve been cooking lots of soups. I love making anything that just takes 20 minutes of chopping and frying, and then is happy to sit simmering on the cooker for an hour or longer, until it’s done. As a result of my interest in dried peas, beans and lentils, there’s always a cupboard full of various legumes to be incorporated into soup and one of the best soups around can be made with dried green split peas.

Pies in New Zealand: Chicken and Mushroom Pie 11

Pies in New Zealand: Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Pies truly are a New Zealand classic. Maybe it’s because of the British influence and their Pork Pies, although colonisation of Ireland didn’t leave us with any such culinary heritage. As I mentioned the other day, pies are eaten by Kiwis on long road trips – the guarantee of a good pie will encourage people to take major detours – and they are apparently the traditional accompaniment to a rugby match.

The Boyfriend’s birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie 3

The Boyfriend’s birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie

Yesterday was the Boyfriend’s birthday so I decided to throw a small surprise birthday dinner. The plotting and planning for this has been going on for a couple of weeks but, after pondering various options, I only decided on what we were going to eat fairly late in the day. Eventually I decided on one of the Boyfriend’s favourites – the good old Kiwi meat pie.

The Boyfriend's birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie 3

The Boyfriend's birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie

Yesterday was the Boyfriend’s birthday so I decided to throw a small surprise birthday dinner. The plotting and planning for this has been going on for a couple of weeks but, after pondering various options, I only decided on what we were going to eat fairly late in the day. Eventually I decided on one of the Boyfriend’s favourites – the good old Kiwi meat pie.

The glory of lamb shanks: Braised Lamb Shanks with Chickpea Mash 2

The glory of lamb shanks: Braised Lamb Shanks with Chickpea Mash

One of the nicest meals out that I ever had with my family occurred in a small, unpromising, cellar-type Italian restaurant on the Douglas promenade in the Isle of Man about five years ago.

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Red Onion Marmalade

Red Onion Marmalade Being flat stony broke these days, I like to try and bring my lunch to work with me rather than be dependent on cafés. Sometimes the lunch is leftovers from dinner the night – rice or pasta with some kind of sauce – but other days I am forced to rely on sandwiches.