Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harbour Light Bistro Nelson - something special

The Harbour Light Bistro - located on Wakefield Quay in Nelson has lovely food... and the world's most Romantic views.

It is a place - to take someone special - and enjoy great food... and bask in a fantastic atmosphere.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moa Beer

I was reading that Moa beer has had some investment from Geoff Ross (42Below) - and that Geoff has been scouting around New Zealand's craft brew market.

What - reportedly - Geoff saw in Moa - was:
  • A cool name,
  • Use of aquifer water - as opposed to treated tap water,
  • A good story - a) the water comes from Moa land (i.e. Blenheim where there are apparently heaps of Moa fossils)... cool spin.... b) a winemaker is making the beer (more spin!)
  • Also Moa beer has managed to get a small following in the USA - a market Ross understands - and also the fact the beer is in the USA - means a good years worth of paperwork has already been done,
  • There is an opportunity - to make an iconic NZ beer brand.... as all the large brands have largely decomposed into a ubiquitous global mush - and most craft beers don't have the means or maybe even will... to take it to the next level (i.e. get bought out by an American Company... or Japanese).
  • Moa can be sold at a premium!
  • AND finally - Moa needs more investment.
You can tell Ross is on board (please someone tell me if I'm wrong) - by the first radio commercial for Moa... very 42below humour.

Having said all of this... I'm going to try some.... I like the bottle they use.

Radio ad here:

Kiwifruit Jam Fiona's

Pete Lamb Fishing Trips

Although you can't say that a Pete Lamb Charter is a gourmet experience - the results can be.

In fact I went out on a Pete Lamb charter - out from Mana several years back with the father and law - it was dam rough - but everyone went back home with some Grouper steaks.

There is not much better than Grouper - washed in sea salt... then barbecued with garlic butter the same day... well nothing in my opinion.

I thought I would recount my experience - some of it.

Basically we got up early in the morning and went to Mana - to the boat.

It was already blowing a bit.

There was me - the father n law - and what looked to be a corporate team building thing... all guys... so no doubt IT. There was also a couple of Indian fullas.

It was really rough over the Mana bar.. my god it was rough... so rough that two of the corporates had already crawled into fetal position up the front of the boat on the way out. The miserable thing... sorry guys... errr were actually just on our way out... your suffering is just in its infancy.

We got to the fishing spot... and chucked the lines in... it was so rough you could not stand on the deck.

I managed to tangle my line with a couple of people... and hauled all their sinkers to the surface... I'd though I'd caught a fish.... nah just lead.

The father n law snagged a nice Grouper.

Several other Grouper also came on board.. and some large shark things - Tope? and some red cod.

The fishing method was to sort of drift.. each drift talking half an hour or so.

Each drift - meant more people retiring sea sick to the cabin.

After a few drifts... Pete asked "So shall we do another drift - or head into Mana Island - for shelter".

The sea sick - looking - much like Gollum by now... pale... desperate... cuddling pudding bowls and the like.. crawled out from the cabin... surprisingly they voted to go in... they were out voted by the Indian gentleman... nah lets have another crack at it.... and out we went again... the dim light of hope visibly vansihing in the eye's of the sick.

They returned to their sick poses/stations.

One man - I swear - chucked up continuously for two hours straight. I asked him whether he had taken his "sea legs" - he just looked at me as if I was taking the piss.

The funny thing was - when we eventually moved to calm waters and lit up the barbecue... that he tucked into the barely cooked... fatty ginormous snaggers!

So - the food on the boat not gourmet.... it was a macabre buffet... in a cabin filled with Gollums hugging pots and pans.

But fresh Grouper steaks that evening - defiantly!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Te Horo - Jam


Welcome to Te Horo Foods Ltd

At Te Horo Foods we make our jam from 100% pure New Zealand fruit. Only New Zealand fruit and only from growers that we know and trust. 

And because it's our favourite, we grow our own plump blackberries right here on the fertile Te Horo plains.

But we do a lot more than that.  We do everything to ensure our jams are simply the best it is possible to make. So that's pure NZ fruit, natural sugar and a trace of butter to help the cooking process.
Nothing else except a little love in each pot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oamaru Jersey Bennies - Otago Potato

Ask any south islander - where the best potato's come from ... and they will say 'Oamaru Jersey Bennies'.

It is almost a religion... the Jersey Bennie is bought in boxes - and must be fresh.. you tell this by gently scrapping the potato with your finger nail. The father in law - also squeezes them to make sure they are firm... he is very particular with his Bennie's!

Basically gently wash off the dirt with warm water - and boil with mint - and you too will be a convert.

By the way Fisher and Paykel (believe it or not) have a smashing recipe including Bennie's below:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Zealand King Crab

New Zealand's own 'Deadliest Catch'.

Really tasty... amazing if they were served up here.

Article here:

Edesia Restaurant Christchurch

Absolutely delicious experience!


Confit Akaroa Salmon with sourdough mayonnaise, ruby   21
grapefruit gel and almonds

Clevedon Coast Oysters with citrus ceviche     24

Braised ox tail tortellini with capers and broccoli    18

Seared Scallops with crisp prosciutto, baby peas and a Caesar  21
salad foam

Warm goats cheese with beetroot vanilla relish and hazelnuts  18

Classic Mains 

Coq au vin, braised chicken leg with red wine, button mushrooms  27
and bacon

Porcini and Portobello mushroom risotto with rocket   27

Pappardelle with braised venison, Belgium chocolate and   27

Paella, saffron pilaf with chorizo, chicken and mussels   27


Black Angus sirloin and braised cheek with spiced carrot purée,  37
roasted tomato, saffron couscous and carrot cannelloni
Leg fillet of Venison and braised shin croquette with    39
almond milk gel, mushroom purée and baby onions  

Canterbury duck breast with Puy lentils, roast baby beetroot,  37
mandarin gel and parsnip

Caramelised pork belly, fondant potatoes, braised cabbage and 35
apple purée      

Pan seared Groper with sage gnocchi, pumpkin purée   33
and chestnuts  


Polenta Fries         7

Green Salad          7

Broccoli with almond beurre noisette      9.5

Potato purée with black truffle salt      8.5

Roast Beetroot with Swiss Chard      9.5


Lemon meringue pie, raspberry sorbet and mascarpone   15

Carrot cake, frosting sorbet, walnut brittle, white chocolate   15
mousse, candied carrot and orange purée

Dark chocolate fondant, milk sorbet, espresso gel, caramel   15
roasted peanuts

Apple crumble with lavender ice cream, rhubarb gel and    16

Roast pineapple bavarois with coconut sorbet, mango and lime  16
shot w/ coconut & ginger foam and a lychee and paw paw salad

Cheese plate         15

Delamain XO Cognac chocolate truffle     5 

Fish Mousse

Delicious dish - that will impress.


1 x 1 kilogram Tarakihi
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups cream
3 teaspoons salt
Pinch cayenne pepper


2 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 onion
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
3 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
50 grams butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup strained fish stock
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Crayfish meat or prawns
2 or 3 hard boiled eggs

Mousse: Skin the fish fillets and remove bones. Save the trimmings for the fish stock.

Mince the fish. Place in a bowl standing in a large bowl of ice.

With a wire whisk, beat in the unbeaten egg whites a little at a time, until a smooth paste like mixture has formed. Gradually beat in the milk, salt and cayenne pepper.

Turn the mixture into a well buttered mold of about  cup capacity. Cover this with a piece of buttered paper fitted closely and neatly to the mixture.

Stand the mould in a dish of hot water, and put in a 10 degree c oven.

Cook in this way for about 45 minutes or until set.

Sauce: Take the skin and the bones of the fish - add water - wine - sliced onion, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt, and simmer for 1 hour - strain and keep stock.

Melt butter in saucepan - and stir in flour. Add stock and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Blend in milk and tomato paste - season.

When ready to serve - unmould the mousse - arrange crayfish or prawns around the mould - and carefully spoon the sauce over it.

Ground Culinary Center - Lyttelton Christchurch

Lyttelton - has always been one of the coolest parts of Canterbury - slightly alternative... a weird mix of freaks living in the surrounding hills.. cool cafe's... seedy bars...

GROUND is more than a deli or cafe, it is
  • a purveyor of fine wines and boutique beers
  • a cheesemongers 
  • a gelateria
  •  a norcineria 
  • a Middle Eastern souk, trading in whole and hand ground spices a grocery store a dairy featuring organically produced milk, butter and yoghurt. 
It also offers:
  • Cookware 
  • Cookery books, and
  • a sense of community where advice on food and wine is available from people with knowledge and a passion for food and cooking.

Open: Monday to Friday .8.00am - 7.30pm, Saturday 9.00am - 7.30 pm and Sunday 9.00am - 6.00pm.


Mussel Chowder

12 large or 24 small fresh mussels, or 250g mussel meats cooked
500g potatoes, peeled & finely chopped
3 cups boiling water
Salt to taste
1 tsp grated lemon rind
4 Tbsp cream
Freshly ground black pepper
If using fresh mussels, follow directions for cleaning & cooking.  Remove meat from shells.  Chop cooked meat finely or mince.
Cook chopped potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender.
Add chopped or minced mussels, lemon rind, cream & black pepper.
Simmer gently for 5 minutes, do not boil.

Kingfish steaks on the barbeque

This is on of my favorite summer dishes - Kingfish steaks on the barbecue.

  • 4 large Kingfish steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Lime 
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Fresh Coriander (chopped)
  • Fresh Parsley (Chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of Turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • Knob of butter.
All the ingredients go into a plastic bag (minus the Coriander and Parsely) - remember to also finely grate the lime - don't waste that!!

Put the steaks in the bag - and slosh - gently the marinade - over them.

Grill on a mice hot barbecue - 3 minutes first side turn.

Then mix the herbs with butter - and place a knob on each steak - the herb butter will dissolve into the fish

Serve with a mango chutney.

Real nice!

Blackberry Jam - Wild

Although too early - there is nothing better on the planet - than wild blackberry jam. Make sure you are picking from areas that have not been sprayed.

You can tell the spots - generally avid blackberry hunters will have trodden paths through the tangled mess of blackberry and grass.

The recipe simple:

500 grams of Sugar
500 grams of wild Blackberry

Mix the sugar into the  blackberry's - and bring slowly to the boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes.

Make sure your jars are sterilized in hot water!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Smoked Roe Dip

Another yummy summer recipe - in New Zealand - you can get smoked Hoki Roe, Mullet Roe etc...

  • Smoked Roe
  • Sour Cream
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Chives

Mix the smoked roe and sour cream together in equal amounts, and season with a dash of lemon juice and a scattering of chopped chives.

Chill until ready to serve as a dip or with crackers.

Sherried Kumara

Another old classic recipe for our favorite Kiwi Potato.

  • 1 kilogram Kumara
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Sale and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Cook the kumara in boiled salted water until tender. Drain, allow to cool, and peel off the skins. Mash until the kumara are smooth and creamy. Add the butter and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Spread into a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Place under a grill until the top is slightly browned and the sugar is bubbly.

Captain Cooker - Manuka Beer

Captain Cooker Beer seems to be doing rather well.

They sell it in Nelson - though I have not tried as the original labelling - didn't look very appetising. However the new labelling and cool bottle above looks fantastic - I've got to try it.

As an update I had a pint of Manuka Beer down at Mapua Wharf yesterday. And actually it was really good - I was expecting something - I guess herbal and bitter - but it was very palatable. You get that oily manuka tea like - flavour coming through - but in a balanced way. Captain Cook was definitely not roughing it - when he drank Manuka Beer - a fine drop. By the way - dam it is lovely down at Mapua Wharf.... some guys were catching Snapper off the wharf (at low tide!!) - there was a band playing... it really is a magic spot.

Seems like the are doing really well overseas - particularly in Belgium.

Captain Cooker is made from New Zealand Manuka - as opposed to hops. Manuka is also known as the tea tree - and indeed makes a lovely cuppa.

Captain Cook - used to drink Manuka Tea.

Captain Cook also made a beer from Manuka  thus Captain Cooker. 

Captain Cooker - uses his original recipe.

As for the "Cooker"... a captain Cooker is a small dark pig thought to be introduced to the pacific by Captain Cook. 

Recipe: Cold Snapper Casserole

A cold dish - for a hot day with our favorite recreational fish - the Snapper.

  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Shake Pepper
  • 1 cup tomato pulp
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 to 6 pieces of snapper steak or fillets

Peel and chop the onions and garlic. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until tender, but not coloured (glassy!). Sprinkle in the seasoning, add the tomato pulp and simmer the sauce for five minutes. Add the wine and cook for another two minutes.

Lay the fish prices into an oiled oven dish and pour the tomato mixture over them. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree C or until the fish is tender.

Chill in the fridge.

Serve with fresh parsley.

The Hangi - New Zealand

No New Zealand Food Blog could not mention the Hangi.

The Hangi is made by placing food in a pit filled with hot rocks. The food is covered in tin foil trays (these days) - or covered in bark and large leaves - or sacking. This is to prevent burning of the food.

Apparently the type of rock is important - as some rocks shatter in the heat (something you don't want).

For a comprehensive guide see

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Interesting site.

Good place to source New Zealand indigenous ingredients.

NZ Drinks

Bitter Lemon with Horopito is totally an NZ drink - made with Organic Lemon and Organic Horopito.

Horopito - is a plant found only in New Zealand - some call it the New Zealand Pepper Tree.

Horopito - has a floral/spicy taste - very unusual.