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All a pickle: Gordon’s Pickles


Someone once said, “Good pickles are crisp, enduring and devilishly hard to make”. That person clearly had not met the team at Gordon’s Pickles. They are passionate experts on pickles of all shapes and flavours from sliced and whole gherkins with dill or chilli and honey, to traditional pickled onions.

 

One of the company’s most popular products is its table, or Quirky Gherkins, with a tangy punch from the vinegar complemented with spices and turmeric.

Gordon’s Pickles is so accomplished at creating its impressive range of quality pickles that the team even have time to give their customers recipes for their products.

With Christmas fast approaching the store also has a great variety of gift ideas.

Gordon’s Pickles retail shop The Picklery is open at 1 Timothy Place, Wigram weekdays from 8am to 4pm.

 

GORDON’S ‘QUIRKY’ GHERKIN ROLLS

1 loaf of thin bread
1 pottle of cream cheese
1 jar of Gordon’s Quirky Gherkins
Cracked black pepper

Trim crusts off bread. Lay 12 slices on your bench. Spread with cream cheese and pepper. Lay gherkins in a row near the bottom of each bread slice. Roll up and wrap in tin foil. Store in the fridge until ready to eat and enjoy.

You could substitute Original Gordon’s Dill Pickle with its hit of dill and garlic (and no added sugar) for the Quirky Gherkins.


 

On route: Route 72 Cafe & Emporium


It can only be called a complete experience – not simply a cafe and a store, but a destination with so much variety and pizzazz you need hours to take it all in. Set in the quaint and picturesque village of Cust is Route 72 Cafe & Emporium, a country cafe/ bar and retail outlet.

 

Marrying tempting culinary dishes with an impressive range of gifts, clothing and other treasures – there can be few more enticing rural spots for an end of year group or workplace celebration.

It’s just a 40-minute drive out of the city to this relaxing environment.

Choose from the extensive menu for breakfast, brunch or lunch while dining upstairs and admiring the stunning views over the Cust River and valley and to the mountains beyond.

Replete with the delicious food, you can hit the shop – and what a shop it is, a real Aladdin’s Cave.

Christmas gifts for the whole family are here – everything from art and homewares, to candles, skincare, gemstone jewellery, shoes and handbags.

Are you a lover of quality fabrics? Then the Helga May clothing range of mainly Italian linen is for you.

It’s a unique linen range that is “edgy”, utilising bright colours and prints that are a little bit different.

Discover this North Canterbury gem at 1697 Cust Road. Phone (03) 312 5595.


 

Salad Season


‘tis the season of backyard barbecues and beachside picnics. We’ve pulled together summer’s hottest selection of seasonal salads to make eating well, easy!

 

 

RAW BROCCOLI & SMOKED SALMON
Packed with all the goodies – including fibre, protein, iron and a bunch of B vitamins – raw broccoli makes the perfect salad. Pair it with smoked salmon, black olives, toasted seeds, a creamy avocado dressing and plenty of garlic and lemon for a serious flavour kick.

GRILLED SPRING ONIONS WITH CAPERS & PARMESAN
Grilled to perfection, spring onions make the perfect partnership with ripe slices of avocado. Toss in a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of salty parmesan, some lightly roasted pumpkin kernels, a drizzle of olive oil and some cracked pepper. It’s the stuff summer dreams are made of.

TRADITIONAL GREEK SALAD
Mix this Mediterranean beauty up with what you have to hand. As a base, throw together cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, red onion, creamy feta cheese, olives, diced capsicum and capers. Dress it with salt, pepper, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil – perfection on a plate.

STRAWBERRY SALAD & ROAST STRAWBERRY DRESSING
Add fresh strawberries, fresh basil and mint leaves, crunchy walnuts, red onion and crumbled feta to a bed of cos lettuce. To dress, blitz roast strawberries with a teaspoon of dijon mustard, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and half a cup of olive oil – divine!

ROAST CHICKEN SALAD
Toss shredded roast chicken with fresh thyme, a dash of lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, garlic, cooked streaky bacon, green beans, croutons, parsley, mint and spring onions. Dress with extra virgin olive oil, the wholegrain mustard and a few good swigs of apple cider vinegar.


 

In season


As the days continue to warm and the sunshine hours increase, summer fruit and vegetables flourish to provide us with deliciously ripened produce for our plates – often ready to just be rinsed and eaten right away.

 

BETTER FOR YOU
Not only does our produce taste better when in season, but the fresher the fare – the higher its nutritional value. Studies show fruits and vegetables stored, for example while being transported long distances, can lose nutritional value.

WALLET FRIENDLY
Prices tend to be lower with in-season produce because there is more of it and it doesn’t need to travel far to arrive still fresh for your plate. And as we head into summer, that means no more extortionate courgettes.

ON THE MENU
Look forward to locals like courgette, avocado, tomatoes, artichokes, eggplant, asparagus, beans, beetroot, peas, butternut squash and capsicum to fill your vege drawer. While the fruit bowl bursts with blueberries, apricots, cherries, apples, peaches, raspberries, blackberries and plums.

NATURE KNOWS
As the warm weather approaches, summer vegetables not only act to cool down our bodies, but they provide us with the vitamins and minerals needed to get through the typically more active and longer summer days.

SUPPORT LOCAL
Eating seasonal also means consuming local, which not only means a reduced carbon footprint as it travels less, but also a reduced need for preservatives. And not to mention the support you’ll be giving local growers!

Serving suggestions:

Grilled eggplants, asparagus and capsicum are an instant flavour and nutrition boost to any meal

Try some inventive salad combinations like those mentioned on page 46

Replace winter comfort foods like pasta with vegetables like eggplant or courgette

Try and start your meal from a vege base instead of a protein

Freeze fruit which is about to turn and use it for making smoothies


 

Paprika Spiced Cutlets


Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 18 mins | Serves: 8

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Lamb
2 x Quality Mark 8 bone lamb racks, trimmed of any silver skin
oil for rubbing

Smoked paprika mayonnaise
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup olive oil
lemon juice, to taste
1 teaspoon good quality smoked paprika (we used bittersweet smoked paprika)

TO SERVE

1 punnet watercress micro greens

Smoked paprika mayonnaise
Place the egg yolks and Dijon mustard in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until combined, then very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add lemon juice as the mixture thickens. Season with salt and more lemon juice to taste. Stir through the smoked paprika. Transfer to a bowl, cover and keep in the fridge.

Lamb
Heat a barbecue plate until hot.
Rub lamb racks with a little oil and season. Place on the barbecue, flesh-side-down and barbecue for 3-4 minutes. Turn racks (on to bones), cover each with foil and barbecue for a further 15 minutes, for lamb that is only slightly pink. Remove to a board, cover loosely with foil and a tea towel and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.

To serve
Slice the lamb racks into cutlets and place on a serving plate. Top each with a dollop of smoked paprika mayonnaise and a sprinkling of micro greens. If wished, sprinkle with smoked paprika.


 

Passionfruit slice: Two Raw Sisters


 

Ingredients

base
¾ cup dried coconut
½ cup almonds
½ cup buckwheat or rolled oats
¾ cup dates, softened in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, then drained
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Pinch of sea salt

filling
½ cup cashew butter
1 overripe banana
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Pinch of sea salt
Pulp of 3 passionfruit

to serve
Coconut yoghurt
Pulp of 1 passionfruit
Drizzle of honey

Method

To make the base, place the coconut, almonds and buckwheat into a blender or food processor, and blend until you have a rough flour.

Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until you have a cookie-dough consistency. Line a tart tin with beeswax wraps or cling film, and press the base into the tin, using the back of a spoon.

Press the mixture up the sides to create a crust. Set aside. To make the filling, place all of the ingredients, except for the passionfruit pulp, into the blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.

Pour the filling over the base and bang  the tin on the bench top a couple of times  to get rid of any air bubbles and get a smooth finish.

Spoon the passionfruit pulp over the filling, and with the handle of a spoon or a wooden skewer gently make a ripple effect.

Place the slice in the freezer for two hours, to set. Once the slice is set, remove it from the freezer, and top it with coconut yoghurt, passionfruit, and a drizzle of honey.

Cut it into slices and enjoy.

Store the slices in an airtight container in the freezer, where they will keep for up  to four months.

When you are wanting to eat a slice, allow about 10 to 15 minutes for it to thaw.

 

Two Raw Sisters All Eaters Welcome by Rosa and Margo Flanagan, food photography by Margo Flanagan, RRP $39.99, available now, published by Bateman Books.

 

Healthy hacks


We’re quickly heading into the social – and too often, stressful – season. So, what are some simple seasonal habits we can adopt to keep fighting fit for the festivities?

 

 

ULTIMATE ELIXIR
It’s time to take the work out of working out. Soak up the sun – and a healthy dose of vitamin D – on the tennis court, in the pool or on a hike around Hagley. Known as the happy hormone, vitamin D has been shown to regulate mood and ward off depression, but it also helps support strong bones, muscles and overall health. Combined with fresh air and exercise and you’ve got the ultimate elixir.

A SWEET SWAP
There’s a clever way to eat well that means you can have your cake and eat it too – not that we want you thinking of cake! But if you are, why not think of a healthy wholefood one? That’s right, you can make nutrient-dense sweet foods using vegetables! Think rich beetroot mud cake or kumara brownies. It’s a thing! So why not let you fingers do the walking and find some sweet swaps of your own?

HEARTY HABITS
The key to heart health is to keep moving and that doesn’t just mean getting an extra kickboxing class in after work. From building a fence to mowing the lawn, all physical movement plays a role in keeping your heart healthy. So why not schedule some time in the garden or get your DIY hat on and paint the kitchen? Or maybe it’s just a matter of parking a couple of blocks away from the office in the mornings.

THE POWER OF PREP
Packing your lunch – it seems so simple and yet this small change in your daily routine can help control your mood, your calories and your spending! When you’ve got a healthy lunch to hand, you’re much less likely to find your hand in the company snack box when low sugars hit. Stay energised and productive throughout the day with nutritious options such as nuts, dried fruit, roasted chickpeas and bliss balls.

VEGE UP, NOT OUT
It’s time to vege up, not out, by increasing your vege intake. Aim to have fruits and vegetables make up half of each meal. Why not make half of breakfast fruit and half of lunch and dinner veges? Better yet, throw some green smoothies in the mix and you can have the best of both worlds! For simple summer dinners, combine a marinade with fresh grilled veggies and your favourite low-fat protein for a great-tasting, healthy weeknight meal.


 

Internationally designed for locals: The Option


The flair of European cuisine hides in plain sight in Northwood at The Option Bistro & Wines. Those who have visited the continent will know, there, hospitality transcends expertly cooked cuisine with matching wines, and combines excellent service and an atmosphere which fosters connection. And that’s exactly what happens at The Option.

 

Owners and Romanian ex-pats, Sabina and Sergiu Toader named The Option for its diverse menu offerings. But the philosophy of the enterprise is underpinned by following the motto of one of the world’s most famous hospitality brands, the Ritz-Carlton.

“Their motto is, ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’,” says Sabina. “Considering ourselves ladies and gentlemen means we do our serving job with excellence.

Unlike the Ritz-Carlton, we are not a luxury establishment, but we pride ourselves with our service and products and by treating our guests as royalty.”

Since its inception four years ago, it has gained a strong reputation as a portal into spectacular wines and internationally curated cuisine.

“We are continuously bringing the flair of European dining trends into this relaxed corner of the world,” says Sabina.

“Our travels around the world taught us to appreciate and celebrate diversity. The Option Bistro & Wines is about diversity, and as many options as possible.

“Our current summer menu brings dishes from Europe: the Spanish Gazpacho, the French Escargot or the Italian Chicken Parmigiana, all next to the best beef fillet in the world – the New Zealand one – and the unbeatable seafood chowder.”

The beating heart of Styx Mill, The Option creates irresistable memories through landmark events and dining experiences.

It is popular with locals for casual catch ups, business meetings and special occasions. Monthly cultural-themed parties celebrating diversity through food, drinks and music are also a hit.

The team can also customise experience to suit any special celebration.

“We provide connectivity through our products, our friendly service, the atmosphere and experiences,” says Sabina.

The Option has a vast wine list (and popular tasting experience) which traverses more than 15 countries.

Sergiu is an accredited wine and spirits specialist who designs professional wine tasting experiences which double as culture, geography and history lessons.

The Option Bistro & Wines is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with Sunday and Monday nights reserved for bigger groups.


 

A cheesy celebration! Barrys Bay Cheese


October 6 marked a milestone worth cheesing over for Barrys Bay Cheese – 125 years in business as award winning cheesemakers! And the loved locals are not waning with old ages, that awards tally includes a record 19 medals at this year’s New Zealand Cheese Awards.

 

PHOTOS: Julie Gursha Photography

 

No birthday is complete without a party, so Barrys Bay Cheese celebrated in style over Labour weekend, attracting past employees, local community and alumni.

“We think it’s pretty special that we’re the oldest artisan cheese company in New Zealand, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate our 125th anniversary,” says sales and marketing coordinator Kate Crawford.

And celebrate they did, with the sweet sounds of The Eastern Band and stunning weather bringing in the crowd. Foodies were treated to Empire Chicken, Giulio Sturla’s Cheesebreads, local sausages and of course cheese platters by Barrys Bay.

The cheese is rich in taste and rich in heritage. “We have such a meaningful history, both on Banks Peninsula and in the NZ Dairy Industry. It has been invaluable collecting stories to share from the last 125 years,” says Kate.

Curious to see what a multi award-winning cheese tastes like? Stop in at the Barrys Bay Cheese Factory and Shop on Banks Peninsula, order online, or visit the list of stockists at the website below.

PHOTOS: Julie Gursha Photography

 

Sticky soy chicken with sesame noodles


Serves 4

PHOTOGRAPHY: CON POULOS
RECIPES AND STYLING: DONNA HAY

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil
150g (5¼ oz) dried soba noodles, cooked
2 zucchini shredded using a julienne peeler
2 tbsp white or black sesame seeds
coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

chicken meatballs
600g (1 lb ¼ oz) chicken mince
¼ cup (50g/1¾ oz) white chia seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 large green chilli, finely chopped
2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped

sticky soy sauce
½ cup (125ml/4¼ fl oz) soy sauce
1 tbsp white miso paste (shiro)
¾ cup (180ml/6 fl oz) mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
¼ cup (90g/3 oz) honey

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).

To make the chicken meatballs, place the chicken, chia seeds, garlic, ginger, hoisin, chilli and onion in a bowl and mix to combine. Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls, place on a tray lined with baking paper and set aside.

Pour the oil onto a large deep-sided baking tray. Bake for five minutes or until hot. Add the meatballs to the tray and bake for five minutes.

To make the sticky soy sauce, whisk together the soy, miso, mirin, sesame oil, vinegar and honey. Remove the meatballs from the oven and carefully pour the soy mixture over the meatballs. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the pan sauce is thickened.

To serve, place noodles and zucchini into serving bowls and sprinkle with sesame. Top with meatballs, sticky soy sauce and coriander.

 

Recipes extracted from Everyday Fresh by Donna Hay, published by HarperCollins, RRP$50