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Pumpkin, Sundried Tomato & Feta Ravioloni in a Sage Cream Sauce


This exceptional recipe from Pasta Vera is a delicious way to get through autumn.

Traditional Italian meal, ravioli with sage butter

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS
400g Pasta Vera Pumpkin, Sundried Tomato & Feta Ravioloni
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1-2 tablespoons dried chopped sage or 1/4 cup of chopped fresh sage
3/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese shavings
Fresh sage to garnish

METHOD
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat.

Add pecans and stir until fragrant and slightly darkened in colour (about three minutes). Transfer the pecans into a small bowl.

Add the onion and sage to the same frying pan and sauté until fragrant for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cream and increase the heat, bringing the pan to a simmer until the sauce has reduced for around five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large saucepan, cook Pasta Vera Pumpkin, Sundried Tomato & Feta Ravioloni in boiling water for three to four minutes.

Serve the sauce over the ravioloni and top with pecans, parmesan shavings and fresh sage.


 

Never Fail Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Cake


This three-layered six-inch cake is sure to wow the most hard-to-impress guests!

 

By Sara Kidd

 

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 27 mins

INGREDIENTS
Dry
1 ½ cup white rice flour
3/4 cup almond meal (almond flour is even better)
1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Wet
1 ½ cup soy milk
1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Egg Replacer
3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
7 ½ tbsp hot water

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.

Grease and line three six-inch cake tins with vegetable oil and baking paper, and then dust the cake tin with a tiny amount of gluten-free flour to coat.

Make your flaxseed ‘egg’ by mixing flaxseed and water together and set aside to thicken.

In a large mixing bowl sieve flours, starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together and give it a quick whisk to combine ingredients.

In a large jug, mix vinegar with soy milk until it becomes thick. Then add oil and vanilla and mix together. Add thickened flax ‘egg’ and stir.

Pour liquid into flour bowl and gently fold ingredients together with a whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into each cake tin making sure they both have the same amount of batter and tap on the bench to release air bubbles.

Place tins into the middle of your oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out almost clean.

Allow to sit in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.

Run a knife around the outside of the cake before flipping it onto your cooling rack.

Let it completely cool down and ice with your favourite vegan buttercream.


Pork & Coriander Pot Sticker Dumplings: NZ Pork Recipe


Golden, crispy and incredibly moreish, these homemade pork and coriander pot stickers are a seriously fine showcase of New Zealand pork. Simple to whip up, they make the ideal sharing platter for visitors or a way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

 

Recipe and photo supplied by NZ Pork

 

 

INGREDIENTS
Pot sticker dumplings
2 cups finely of chopped Chinese cabbage
½ tbsp salt
250g NZ pork mince
1 tbsp ground garlic
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup of water
1 packet of wonton or dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce
Equal parts soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli paste
1 large spring onion, sliced

METHOD
1. To make the filling, mix together the cabbage, pork, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and coriander.

2. Place a small amount of filling in the middle of each dumping wrapper, folding them over to form a half moon shape.

3. Starting at one end, fold and pinch the wrapper tightly together, continuing this method until the dumpling is completely sealed. Set the dumplings aside to rest for about 15 minutes.

4. In a pan, heat the sesame oil until it’s really hot, then fry one side of the dumplings until golden brown. Carefully pour in one cup of water and cover with a lid immediately – allowing the top side of the dumplings to steam.

5. Once the water has evaporated, let the bottom crisp up. Remove from the pan and serve on a platter or in individual servings.

6. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl.


 

Culinary Downsizing


We’re all about embracing our inner foodies and even more so when it comes to entertaining after all, this is your opportunity to show off your inner Nigella.

 

But who wants to try balancing a plate of pasta while mixing and mingling, right?

Pint-sized portions are the name of the culinary game when it comes to cocktail-hour convenience, after all, it’s called finger food for a reason!

The ability for the edibles to safely sit at the end of a toothpick makes for a smear-free, quick and easy eat for your next event.

We wouldn’t recommend downsizing without giving you a few options to try out. We check out the latest and greatest in bite-sized entertaining.

1. Mr Meat-yagi: Give your next event a (karate) kick with cocktail meatballs. By adding a dipping sauce that’s sweet, smoking or salty – this appetiser will fight its way into the heart of your guests. Sauce on, sauce off: either way is enjoyable.

2. Mamma Mia: We all know a lover of lasagne. The creamy cheese combined with the hearty meat sauce is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Bring the classic from plate to platter and watch as everyone’s eyes light up when it’s brought around the room in bite-sized portions.

3. Ex-skewers me: Meat on a stick… what’s not to love? Insert various other foods in between each bite-sized meat piece and we have a winner. Eat them separately or altogether in one mouthful – it’s up to you.

4. Mini morsels: The world really is your oyster when it comes to bite-sized portions after all, just about anything can be shrunk. So get clever, get creative and try something random like baby burgers, pint-sized pancakes or itty-bitty ice creams.

PRO TIP: Fancy toothpicks with decorated ends are a must when it comes to bite-sized party favour utensils; just because you’re downsizing doesn’t mean you’re downgrading!


 

Spicy Sprout & Mushroom Noodles with Five-Spice


INGREDIENTS
300g brussels sprouts and their sprout tops, the sprouts halved or quartered, the sprout tops shredded
1 tbsp oil or ghee
400g mushrooms, any type, roughly chopped
3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 fresh red chilli, seeds too, finely chopped
3/4 tsp five-spice
2 bundles of noodles
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice or vinegar
1 tsp fish sauce or extra tamari
2 tbsp black sesame seeds or chopped nuts or seeds, to serve
Fresh herbs such as coriander or mint, to serve (optional)
Chilli garlic sauce to serve (optional)

 

Fry the sprouts in oil or ghee in a wok or large deep-sided frying pan over a high heat for four minutes. For the first few minutes, fry them in an even layer, untouched for a minute or so, then stir or shake the pan to get to the other side.

This will give you nice golden edges, which adds flavour.

Chop the mushrooms, then add them too, stir-frying for five minutes along with the ginger, garlic, chilli and five-spice. If you’ve got sprout tops, add them now to briefly fry.

Meanwhile, get the noodles cooking in a second saucepan following the label instructions; they should be ready once the sprouts are.

Once the sprouts are tender and the mushrooms have started to go golden and any liquid they have released has been cooked off, add the maple syrup, tamari, citrus (and fish sauce if using) to the sprouts pan and mix everything together.

Finish by adding the cooked noodles and tossing everything together for 30 seconds so the noodles pick up the flavours, adding a tiny splash of water if you need to. Serve with the sesame seeds, fresh herbs and chilli sauce (if using) on top.

Extracted from Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley, published by Random House UK, RRP $50. Copyright © Melissa Hemsley 2020. Photography © Philippa Langley 2020


 

Decadent Chocolate Truffles


Truffles are an easy recipe that will reap many brownie points from your Valentine this year, especially when you personalise them with their favourite flavour combo.

 

 

INGREDIENTS
250g high quality dark chocolate (62 percent cacao or higher)
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

OPTIONAL FLAVOUR FUSIONS
Mint leaves (chopped with stems removed, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and cardamom (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Espresso powder (1 tablespoon) and coffee liqueur (1 tablespoon)
Hazelnut essence (1/2 teaspoon) and toasted chopped hazelnuts
Orange oil (1/8 teaspoon) and orange liqueur (1-2 tablespoons)

OPTIONAL COATINGS
Truffle coatings
Cocoa powder
Finely chopped hazelnuts
Finely chopped almonds
Chocolate sprinkles
Drizzle with melted chocolate

METHOD
In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (stir and scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the optional flavour fusions, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Strain away any solids and return the cream to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.

Ganache:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a separate bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and add the vanilla. Allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours.

Use a teaspoon to roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands), then roll them in your optional coatings.

Place the truffles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the refrigerator overnight.


 

Black forest in a glass


Whether you’ve got leftover brownie or cake to use up, or you make one from scratch, this rich Black Forest is a treat to tempt any Valentine.

 

INGREDIENTS
Cake and cherry mix
4 slices of chocolate cake or brownie
2 tablespoons of a cherry liqueur
410g can of pitted black cherries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornflour
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Sauce
100g chocolate, melted
1/2 cup of cream

METHOD
Cake and cherry mix
Break cake or brownie into small pieces, sprinkle with cherry liqueur and set aside.

Drain and reserve half a cup of liquid from the pitted black cherries. Place 1/2 cup of the cherry syrup in a saucepan with white sugar and the cinnamon stick. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring this to the boil, before removing from heat.

Dissolve the two teaspoons of cornflour in one tablespoon of water, then add this cornflour mixture to the cherry syrup mixture and cook over a medium heat until sauce boils and thickens.

Remove pan from heat, discard cinnamon stick, then stir in cherries and set aside.

Sauce
Combine melted chocolate and cream in a small bowl and mix well.

TO SERVE
Place half the cake into the base of four individual serving glasses.

Add half the cherry mixture to each glass, then top with remaining cake and cherry mixture. Place a scoop of ice cream on top then pour over chocolate sauce.

Serve immediately.


 

Alternative spicy kimchi dogs


 

MAKES 3 

INGREDIENTS
For Kimchi Slaw:
• 1 cup kimchi, minced
• 1 medium carrot, grated
• 1 cup grated purple radish, sliced
• 1 cup red and white
cabbage, chopped
• 4 shallots, white and light green
parts chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh coriander
• ½ teaspoon salt

For the Spicy Gochujang Sauce:
• 3 tablespoons chilli sauce, or to taste
• ½ lime, juiced

For the hot dogs:
• 350g Alternative Meat Co. Alternative Sausage (6 pack)
• 6 fresh hot dog buns
• Sesame seeds, to garnish

METHOD
1. In a large bowl, combine the minced kimchi, carrot, radish, cabbage, shallots and fresh coriander. Season with salt to taste. Let rest for 10 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Set aside for later.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the chilli sauce and lime juice to taste. For a creamier blend, add vegan chipotle or mayo.

3. To cook the dogs, heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Add the Alternative Sausages, turning frequently, and cook for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Add the buns to the grill, cook for approx. 30 seconds or until warm and crisp with light grill lines.

4. To serve, top each hot dog bun with a healthy amount of slaw and drizzle with chilli sauce. Garnish with fresh coriander and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

 

PROSECCO-BRINED TURKEY BREAST WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND SPECK


The ultimate Christmas feast, this prosecco brined turkey breast is the best way to get your guests talking.

 

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup (75g) rock salt
¼ cup (45g) light brown sugar
2 sprigs tarragon
2 bunches thyme (about 12 sprigs)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1.25L water
3 cups (750ml) prosecco
2 x 1.5kg turkey breast fillets, skin on
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
350g speck or bacon, chopped
500g brussels sprouts, halved
1 bunch thyme (about 6 sprigs), extra

Lemon garlic butter
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

 

METHOD
Place the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, lemon and two cups (500ml) of the water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for four minutes, stirring to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool slightly.

Pour the brining liquid into a large (five-litre-capacity) non-reactive container*.

Add the prosecco and another two cups (500ml) of the water. Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin from the flesh of the turkey breasts. Lower the turkey, skin-side down, into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for two hours (but no longer).

To make the lemon garlic butter, place the butter, garlic and lemon rind in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Using your hands, spread the lemon garlic butter under the skin.

Place the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Add one turkey breast to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for four minutes each side or until golden brown.

Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining turkey. Return both turkey breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Add the remaining one cup (250ml) of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the turkey from the pan, loosely cover with aluminium foil and reserve the cooking liquid.

Wipe the pan out and return to medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring, for four minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat to high, add the brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for one minute or until lightly charred.

Add the extra thyme and reserved liquid and cook for two minutes.

Serve turkey with the sprouts and crispy speck.

* Non-reactive materials include glass, plastic and stainless steel.


 

CHEWY CARAMELS WITH SALTED PEANUTS


Not only are these chewy caramels with salted peanuts a delectable treat for the Christmas table, they’re also the ultimate little gift, wrapped up for a loved one.

 

MAKES 50 

INGREDIENTS
3 cups (420g) salted peanuts
1.1kg white (granulated) sugar
1.125L single (pouring) cream
1 cup (350g) golden syrup
100g unsalted butter, chopped

 

METHOD
Line a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with non-stick baking paper. Sprinkle the base with half the peanuts and set aside.
Place the sugar, cream, golden syrup and butter in a large saucepan over high heat and stir with a metal spoon until the butter and sugar have melted. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 20–25 minutes or until the temperature reaches 122°C (251°F) on a sugar (candy) thermometer. Working quickly, pour the caramel into the tin and carefully sprinkle with the remaining 1½ cups (210g) of peanuts. Allow to cool completely at room temperature for 3–4 hours. Refrigerate for 25–30 minutes or until firm.
Turn the caramel out onto a board and, using a large sharp knife, cut into pieces*. Wrap each caramel in brown wax paper, twisting the ends to seal. Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature to serve.

* If the caramel becomes too soft to cut, simply return it to the refrigerator for five minutes.

Pro tip: Store caramels, wrapped in paper, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.