Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pink Flamingo - the new taste sensation .............

Have you ever had a house full of people to look after and just wished that there was something quick and easy to prepare for dinner that would satisfy everybody, even the fussiest of eaters?
Have you ever looked at a chicken in the supermarket and thought, `That will never be big enough to feed the whole family'?
Are you looking for that larger-than-life type of bird that will satisfy the whole family, with leftovers for the next day ?
Well, Marlborough, I have the answer. Not only is it quick and easy, it will satisfy the fussiest of eaters and provide a nutritious and tasty meal for all to enjoy.
Let me introduce the taste sensation of tomorrow. But before I do, make sure you have your Visas and Mastercards ready and your chequebooks open, for I will be taking orders following today's article on the newest and hottest consumer item sweeping the culinary world.
A Marlborough pink flamingo is able to feed a whole family of fussy eaters, and is full of vitamins and essential minerals that can only be found in fresh, locally produced food products.
You need you to picture this: the gentle waves washing on to the sea shore at Lake Grassmere, the sun evaporating the salt ponds and turning them as pink as a little girl's favourite hair ribbon, the wildlife living in harmony with one another and the bird life living free, with no fear of the humans who harvest the salt fields.
Our flamingo farms are located on the shores of Lake Grassmere, right here in Marlborough. Look out for Marlborough pink flamingo appearing soon in your local supermarkets and farmers' market.
This is a great recipe that has a lot of lemon flavour. The key with whole flamingo is that once they are cooked, allow them to rest for as long as you have cooked them. This will ensure that they are succulent.
1 whole Marlborough pink flamingo (or use chicken if flamingos are out of season)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp salt
1 whole lemon, peeled
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp lemon thyme
1/2 cup fruit wood chipsClean the flamingo (or chicken) by rinsing inside with running water. Rub with lemon juice and salt.
Mix the breadcrumbs with the garlic, pepper and lemon thyme. Stuff flamingo (or chicken) with breadcrumbs, then add the lemon to seal the cavity.
Place in a hot smoker and use preferred smoking chips.
Smoke for 30 minutes or more, depending on the depth of smoke you want, then place in a hot oven or hooded barbecue to cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Allow to rest in a warm place for at least another 30 minutes. This ensures that the meat is tender.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Porridge - the new battle ground

eating his breakfast !
Dear Mr Fortune,   – HELP !
Please Help, breakfast time at our family has turned into a nightmare experience and I would rather stay in bed than face another morning at the table with our Seven year old son.  As a family we are trying to eat healthy and so breakfast now consists of Porridge and local Sherrington honey on toast, we have Marlborough Windsong organic blueberries from the Freezer and even local apples and pears purchased from the very good farmers market that I use as part of our weekly shop on Sunday mornings.    It is a shame that we cannot purchase local milk but I am sure that we will one day soon.  The problem is that Mr Seven Year Old wont eat his porridge even with all this goodness in it and is there refuses to even taste it saying that it is horrible, yucky, gross, vomit and a number of other things that I cant print.  Please help, we have sent him to his room for four hours, we have kept him at the table for 2 hours and we have taken away his privileges but he still refuses to eat his porridge.  We are not  asking him to eat much, just a teaspoon each morning to try it, Help me, what can I do.  PS – he used to love eating porridge and I have attached a photo for reference
Desperate Porridge Mother Enforcer
Gidday Chris Fortune,  - HELP!
Please help, my mother and father are trying to make me eat something I don’t like, PORRIDGE, !, they have sent me to my room, they have taken away my toys and TV time and even made me sit at the table until I have had a teaspoon full of it. YUCK – I wanted to spit it out and I did once but mummy and daddy told me off.  I have tried yelling at them that it is Gross, I have said that it is horrible, and I want to vomit when it is in my mouth – please help me as I don’t understand  why my parents are making me eat something that I don’t want to ! – can I sue my parents?, is there porridge police ? Mummy and daddy have said some naughty words to me which I don’t understand and now I am all confused.  Help me get my toys back. Help me, help me
From Porridge Hater Number One

Dear Desperate Porridge Mother enforcer and Porridge Hater Number One
It sounds like your breakfast table is the war-ground and the battle is over not the porridge but the fact that you have a young independent boy who is growing up and making decisions for himself as to what we like and dislikes.   Encourage his independence but also you do need to be firm and not allow bad behaviourisms and temper tantrums to rule the breakfast or dinner tables.  I don’t think that 1 teaspoon of porridge is asking too much, however if you were using imported out of season fruits then I would be concerned.  As for Mr Porridge Hater Number One, your mummy and daddy are not asking you to ear tripe or liver (yet) so I would just eat the porridge and leave the battles for something a little more serious
PS:  I found some other letters from another person with similar questions called Desperate Medicine Mother enforcer and Medicine Hater Number One, maybe you could form a support group and share encouraging ideas  for Seven year old independent boys?

Poached Pears for the breakfast table
300ml Water white wine
55g/2oz caster sugar
2 tbsp clear honey 
1 cinnamon stick 
8 Winter Cole pear, peeled and quartered
1. Place the water, sugar, honey, and  cinnamon a deep saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and then add the pears. Poach the pears over a low heat for 10-20 minutes or until translucent, turning occasionally.  Chill and serve with Porridge

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Love them, Hate them, Adore Them !

Feijoas can be used as an interesting addition to a fruit smoothie, and can be used to make feijoa wine or cider and feijoa-infused vodka.

Confused about feijoas? I'm not. Autumn is one of my favourite times of year for fresh produce. The figs are finishing, quinces are picked and preserved, olives are not far away from being picked and then along come feijoa. Loved by some and loathed by others, you can't escape from the wafting aroma of ripe and pungent feijoas.
It can be confusing to know which varieties to eat or grow as some are tastier and some are better at growing. It will depend on what you want to do with the end product: eat it raw, preserve it or process it.
Some of the different varieties are anatoki, emini, kakariki, pounamu (yummy), apollo, den's choice, mammoth, opal star and triumph. If you are not sure then you need to taste before you buy.
Ahhhh, you say, you are not allowed to taste before you buy. Well at the Marlborough Farmers' market you can and we encourage all to do so, for the only true way to satisfy the tastebuds is to sample produce fresh.
Also known as pineapple guava or guavasteen, the fruit is usually eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a spoon. The fruit has a juicy, sweet seed and pulp, and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin, with the flavour being aromatic and sweet.
If the utensils needed to eat it this way are not available, the feijoa can be torn or bitten in half, and the contents squeezed out and eaten.
An alternative is to bite the end off and then tear the fruit in half length ways, exposing a larger surface with less curvature. The teeth can then scrape the pulp out closer to the skin, with less wastage.
Feijoas also be used as an interesting addition to a fruit smoothie, and can be used to make feijoa wine or cider and feijoa-infused vodka. It is also possible to buy feijoa yoghurt, fruit drinks, jam, and icecream and it is a popular ingredient in chutneys and preserves.
1kg onions
300g raisins
300g dates
5 cups peeled, diced feijoas
450g brown sugar
4 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 litre vinegar
Peel and chop the onions. Put them in batches in a food processor with raisins and dates and mince.
Put this mixture into a saucepan.
Add remaining ingredients, and bring to the boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Turn down the heat and simmer hard for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring regularly until thick and syrupy. Ladle mixture into sterilised jars. Be sure they are well sealed.