Cooking Down the Kitchen, Moving & Taking a Break

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Some of the easy and delicious recipes you can find on Rachel’s Kitchen NZ

It’s been 18 months since we sold our home of nearly 10 years and in that time we have been living in a studio apartment with most of our belongings in storage, but we will be moving into our new home sometime in the next few weeks.

So I am busy cooking down the kitchen (using as much food as I can so I don’t have to move it) and packing up our few belongings which include a few more cookbooks than the three I chose not to put into storage!

We have built a new home and no it hasn’t taken us 18 months to build the house, we have just had a few hiccups along the way which includes the place in which we have been living being sold and us having to move out about a week before we are can move into our new home!

So I have decided between cooking down the kitchen, moving from here and moving into our new home that Rachel’s Kitchen is taking a bit of break, so for the rest of November you won’t be seeing much activity here, but I will back in December with some great ideas and recipes for the holiday season.

And, remember if you are looking for dinner inspiration you can
always search Rachel’s Kitchen.

Happy cooking and eating.

Rachel

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Beef & Cauliflower Curry

Beef & Cauliflower Curry

This easy vegetable and beef curry uses mince for the beef making it a great family meal that’s packed with vegetables and easy on the budget.

While it is a one-dish meal, for extra bulk serve it can be served over steamed rice or smashed potatoes or accompanied by pappadums.

Beef & Cauliflower Curry

Serves 4-6

1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
2 sticks celery, sliced
vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
8 fresh, frozen or dried curry leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam marsala
½ tsp ground turmeric
chilli powder, to taste (optional)
500g beef mince
1 cup beef stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
sea salt
a good handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1              Place onion, carrot, celery and a splash of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring
occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until soft and translucent.

2              Add garlic, ginger, curry leaves, cumin, coriander, garam
masala, turmeric and chilli powder, if using, cover, bring to
simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens.

3              Add cauliflower, cover and cook for 10 minutes longer or
until cauliflower is tender. Season with a good grind of salt. Add most of the chopped coriander, reserving some for scattering.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Mince: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Onion, carrot, celery, garlic, fresh coriander, cauliflower: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Chilli powder – Spitfire: Orcona Chillis ‘n Peppers – Hastings; Store Cupboard
Ingredients:
vegetable oil, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam marsala, ginger, curry leaves, salt.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Spicy Yogurt Marinated Lamb

Spicy Yogurt Marinated Lamb

Spring lamb, sheep milk yogurt, asparagus and new potatoes – a meal that shouts spring is here!

As I have mentioned before I work for a boutique dairy company and while we produce cow milk products year round during the sheep milk season (mid-September to late January) we also produce a range of sheep milk products including sheep milk yogurt and a range of cheeses.

We have millions of sheep in New Zealand, but the sheep milk
industry is still fairly young and while there is a lot of work being done by Massey University and Land Corp sheep milk is still a very seasonal product and one that is currently produced by only a few farmers and only used by a very few boutique cheese makers.

Spicy Yogurt Marinated Lamb

On this occasion I used a ready-trimmed rack of lamb, but I have also used this marinade on lamb rump.

While I used sheep milk yogurt here, cow milk yogurt also works.

Serves 4

½ cup natural sheep milk yogurt
1 tbsp harissa paste
2 lamb racks, each with 6-8 chops/cutlets, trimmed
olive oil
3 large onions, thickly sliced
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1              Place yogurt and harissa paste in a bowl and mix to combine. Place lamb in a shallow dish, pour over yogurt and turn to coat.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.

2              One hour before cooking, remove lamb from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking dish with foil and brush lightly with oil.

3              Scatter onions over base of prepared dish. Remove lamb from marinade and allow any excess to drain off, then place lamb on top of onions and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 200°C and cook for 10 minutes per 500g or until cooked to desired
doneness. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

4              To serve, cut lamb into cutlets, place onion on serving plates, top with lamb cutlets and scatter with fresh coriander.

Serving suggestion: Accompany with roast new potatoes and a steamed green vegetable of your choice.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Lamb: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Onions, coriander: Krismaw
Gardens – Hastings; Yoghurt: Origin Earth – Havelock North;
Harissa: Orcona Chillis ‘n Peppers – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Chicken with Mushrooms & Garlic

Chicken with Mushrooms & Garlic

Chicken, mushrooms and garlic are a great combination and in this easy pan dish they make a great family meal that is good enough for mid-week entertaining.

Chicken with Mushrooms & Garlic

In this dish I have used whole, non-homogenized milk – this milk is so creamy and delicious that I use it rather than cream when just a small amount of creaminess is needed in a dish.

We are lucky enough in Hawke’s Bay to have a boutique dairy company (Origin Earth – who I work for) that produce this wonderfully creamy milk, but if you don’t have something similar in your part of the world use half milk and half cream.

Serves 4

butter
olive oil
4 chicken thighs
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves, peeled
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup whole milk
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped

1              Place a knob of butter and a splash of oil in deep-frying pan with a lid, over a medium heat, once butter melts and foams, add chicken skin-side down and cook, for 4-5 minutes or until brown, turn over and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

2              Reduce heat, add mushrooms, garlic and thyme to pan, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until mushrooms start to soften. Remove from pan and set aside.

3              Add stock and bring to simmering, stirring, to loosen any bits on the base of the pan. Stir in milk, bring back to simmering and
simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until liquid
reduces by about half.

4              Return chicken to pan, cover and cook for 30 minutes or
until chicken is cooked through. Stir in parsley and serve with a new or mashed potatoes and a steamed green vegetable of your choice.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Chicken: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Mushrooms: Te Mata
Mushrooms
– Havelock North; Garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Milk: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: butter, thyme.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other easy chicken recipes you might like to try:

Roast Chicken & Cauliflower

Roast Chicken & Cauliflower

Chicken, Bacon, Chickpea & Kale Bake

Chicken, Bacon, Chickpea & Kale Bake

Cheesy Chicken, Potato & Bacon Bake

Cheesy Chicken, Potato & Bacon Bake

 

Steak & Chard Sandwich

Steak & Chard Sandwich

Minute steaks are an economic family option and as the name
indicates only take a minute or so each side to cook.

Here, in New Zealand, this steak can be cut from a variety of areas of the animal, but is often from the thick flank. Ideal for steak
sandwiches these thin cut steaks need to be cooked quickly at high temperature to ensure a juicy result.

Steak & Chard Sandwich

Serves 4

2 large onions, sliced
olive oil
1 bunch chard, stems removed, leaves shredded
8 asparagus spears
4 minute steaks
sea salt
4 bread rolls of your choice, split

1              Place onions and a good splash of oil in a frying pan over a low heat, cover and cook, stirring, occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent and starting to caramelise.

2              Steam or microwave chard and asparagus.

3              Remove onions from pan and set aside. Season steaks with salt. Return pan to heat, increase heat and when oil is shimmering, add steaks and cook for 45-60 seconds each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove steaks from pan, cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat and return onions to pan to heat through.

4              To assemble, top bottom half of each roll with chard, then steak, onions and asparagus and finally top of roll. Serve.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Steak: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Onions: Krismaw Gardens –
Hastings; Chard, asparagus: JJ’s Organics – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: bread rolls, salt.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other sandwiches you might like to try:

Cheesy Steak, Mushroom & Onion Sandwiches

Cheesy Steak, Mushroom & Onion Sandwiches

Pork & Bacon Open Sandwiches with Chunky BBQ Sauce

Pork & Bacon Open Sandwiches with Chunky BBQ Sauce

Beef, Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches

Beef, Bacon & Cheese Sandwiches

 

Leek, Parsley & Dill Sauce (Microwave Method)

Leek, Parsley & Dill Sauce

Early in my food career I had several jobs where I taught people how to cook using their microwaves – it was through the mid 80’s and the microwave was the kitchen appliance of the decade.

In those days I tried all sorts of dishes using this new flanged gadget – it has got to be said with varying success! But there are some things were the microwave is still my preferred cooking appliance, these include cooking green vegetables, melting chocolate and
butter and making sauces.

I was reminded the other day, when I saw someone I know buying a packet sauce, that not everyone knows how to make a basic white sauce, even in the microwave which has to be easiest way – no
constant stirring and all the milk can be added at once – but you do need to stir several times to ensure a smooth sauce.

Leek, Parsley & Dill Sauce (Microwave Method)

Parsley sauce is a tasty and easy accompaniment for white fish and
vegetables, here with the addition of leeks and dill it really takes it up a notch.

This makes quite a thick sauce, if you prefer a thinner sauce, reduce the flour a little or add additional milk.

Onions can be used instead of leeks or can be omitted altogether if you wish. Ring the changes by adding herbs of your choice or make a cheese sauce by adding grated cheese at the end and mix to melt.

Makes about 2½ cups

4 baby leeks, sliced
30g butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
a good handful of parsley, chopped
a good handful of dill, chopped

1              Place leeks and butter in a large microwave-safe jug and cook, on HIGH (100%), stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes or until leeks soften.

2             Stir in flour, then milk and cook on HIGH (100%), stirring
every 2 minutes, for 4-6 minutes longer or until sauce thickens and boils. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Just prior to serving, stir in parsley and dill.

So tell me, how do you use your microwave these days?

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Milk: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Leeks, parsley: JJ’s Organics – Napier; From the garden: lemon; Store Cupboard Ingredients:
butter, flour, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Spiced Pumpkin Dal

Spiced Pumpkin Dal

Dal is a wonderfully warming, comforting and satisfying traditional Indian dish that makes a great main vegetarian meal or side dish to pan-cooked or grilled lamb, chicken or fish.

Here red lentils are teamed with pumpkin and spices for a simple, easy and aromatic dish that is affordable with leftovers being great for lunch the next day.

Spiced Pumpkin Dal

Serves 4

1 small onion, diced
vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
about 10 fresh, frozen or dried curry leaves
smoked chipotle flake
1 cup red lentils, rinsed under cold running water
500g peeled, diced pumpkin
3 cups vegetable stock
sea salt
a good handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1              Place onion and a splash of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.

2              Add ginger, garlic, cumin and mustard seeds, turmeric, curry leaves and a pinch chipotle flake or to taste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.

3              Add lentils and pumpkin and mix well to combine. Pour in stock, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, and adding water, if
necessary for 25-30 minutes or until lentils and pumpkin are tender. Season to taste with a good grind of salt. Stir most of the coriander into the dal reserving a little for scattering.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Onion, pumpkin, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Coriander: JJ Organics – Napier; Smoked Chipotle Flake: Orcona Chillis ‘n
Peppers
– Hastings; From the freezer: curry leaves; Store Cupboard Ingredients: vegetable oil, ginger, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, salt, vegetable stock.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other lentil dishes you might like to try:

Spiced Lentils with Spinach

Spiced Lentils with Spinach

Spicy Winter Vegetables & Lentils

Spicy Winter Vegetables & Lentils

Spicy Lentils & Mince Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Lentils & Mince Lettuce Wraps

 

Pork with Braised Fennel

Pork with Braised Fennel

Pork, fennel and mustard are natural partners and here a simple dish only needs some boiled new potatoes and a steamed green
vegetable, if you wish to make a fabulously easy family or mid-week entertaining meal.

If you can’t be bothered cooking potatoes, serve with crusty bread to mop up any juices from the braised fennel.

Pork with Braised Fennel

To ramp this dish up use half wine, half stock.

Serves 4

4 pork loin steaks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
paprika
olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut lengthwise into wedges, any feathery tops chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, zest grated and fruit reserved

1              Season both sides of pork with a good grind of salt and black pepper and a sprinkle of paprika. Set aside.

2              Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil and cook, pork for 5-6 minutes each side or until browned.
Remove pork from pan, set aside and keep warm.

3              Reduce heat, add fennel, onion and garlic to pan and mix to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes or until fennel and onion is soft and starts to caramelise.

4              Add stock, bring to simmering and simmer, stirring
occasionally, until liquid reduces by about half. Return pork to pan and cook for 5-6 minutes longer or until pork is cooked through and tender. Remove pork from pan and keep warm. Add mustard, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan, mix to combine. Season with salt and black pepper.

5              To serve, divide fennel mixture between serving plates, top with a pork steak and scatter with a little chopped fennel top.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Pork: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Fennel, onion, garlic: Krismaw
Gardens – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: mustard, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Would you like to receive more great recipes and news from Rachel’s Kitchen NZ?

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Other easy pork dishes you might like to try:

Creamy Pork & Mushroom Casserole

Creamy Pork & Mushroom Casserole

Braised Pork Chops in Orange & Onion Sauce

Braised Pork Chops in Orange & Onion Sauce

Honey & Sage Marinated Pork Chops

Honey & Sage Marinated Pork Chops

 

Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs

Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs

This very simple asparagus side still allows the asparagus to shine, but gets an added boost of flavour from crispy breadcrumbs
flavoured with anchovies and lemon. The breadcrumb mixture can be prepared in advance and scattered over the asparagus just prior to serving

Asparagus with Lemony Breadcrumbs

Serves 4-6

1kg asparagus, trimmed
sea salt
LEMONY BREADCRUMBS
olive oil
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, zest grated and fruit reserved

1              For the breadcrumbs, place ¼ cup oil and anchovies in frying pan over a medium heat, bring to simmering and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until anchovies dissolve. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, taking care not to burn. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until crumbs are crispy. Remove pan from heat, add parsley and lemon zest and toss to combine.

2              Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave asparagus until tender.

3              To serve, pile asparagus on a serving platter, squeeze over lemon juice, season with a good grind of black pepper and scatter with Lemony Breadcrumbs.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Asparagus, parsley: JJ’s Organics – Napier; Garlic: Krismaw
Gardens – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; From the garden: lemons; Store Cupboard Ingredients: black pepper,
anchovies, panko breadcrumbs.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Would you like to receive more great recipes and news from Rachel’s Kitchen NZ?

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Other recipes using asparagus you might like to try:

New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise

New Potato, Leek & Asparagus Braise

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

Sesame Salmon & Asparagus Salad

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

New Potato & Asparagus Salad with Sheep Curd

 

Roast Chicken & Potatoes with Cabbage & Bacon Sautè

Roast Chicken & Potatoes with Cabbage & Bacon Sautè

As regular readers know I often post recipes for one-dish meals or vegetable sides. Here I have combined a side with roasted chicken and potatoes to give you an idea of how I serve often serve those side dishes and to show how a simple meal of roasted chicken thighs and potatoes becomes a little more interesting when teamed with an easy cabbage and bacon sauté.

Roast Chicken & Potatoes with Cabbage & Bacon Sautè

The addition of vinegar keeps the cabbage lovely and crisp.

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs or drumsticks
4 potatoes, scrubbed and halved
olive oil
sea salt
CABBAGE & BACON SAUTE
2 rashers bacon, rind removed, meat chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 head cabbage, shredded

1              Preheat oven to 200°C. Place chicken and potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with oil and season with a good grind of salt. Toss to coat with oil and salt. Place chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are golden and cooked through.

2              Meanwhile prepare and cook sauté. Place bacon and onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring
occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent and bacon is cooked.

3              Add mustard and vinegar, mix to combine and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until cabbage wilts. Serve with chicken and potatoes.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Chicken: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Bacon: Holly Bacon – Hastings; Onion, cabbage: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Apple cider vinegar: Te Koha Organics – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: mustard, salt.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

Would you like to receive more great recipes and news from Rachel’s Kitchen NZ?

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Other easy roast chicken dishes you might like to try:

Roast Chicken & Cauliflower

Roast Chicken & Cauliflower

Roast Chicken, Fennel, Leeks & Potatoes with Lemon

Roast Chicken, Fennel, Leeks & Potatoes with Lemon

Harissa Chicken Roasted on Capsicums & Leeks

Harissa Chicken Roasted on Capsicums & Leeks

 

Cooking & Eating in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand