Thursday, October 21, 2010

Camelicious milk |

Camelicious milk |

Lisa from Sherrington Grange is selling fresh cow and goat milk at The Marlborough Farmers Market on Sundays


Essential musselsSavour springBleats lead to fresh goat's milkMatch winnersNaysayers eat their wordsDishing up a winnerNuts about nutsTrue cost of our favourite foods?Soup's up, but which is best?Gardening wisdom and tastebud treats

I made a promise in October last year that I would cook a 10 course degustation (not devastation) dinner and provide the wine to the first company or business people that set up a commercial dairy.

There is something special about tasting something that you know has been produced here in Marlborough from our own animals and not trucked out of the region in bulk and then returned in plastic some days or months later.

Lisa from Sherrington Grange, you are a true champion. Not only did I have goat milk butter last month but you are now providing fresh milk, goats' and cows', at the Marlborough Farmers' Market. I look forward to keeping my promise as you have delivered the goods.

Cows are not the only critters that produce milk for consumption. In fact, the United States is the only country in which cow's milk is more popular than milk from other mammals. The fact that New Zealand is following America in this mass production of primary products is of a concern, as a struggle to balance monocultures of food products is emerging. The sole function of milk in nature is as a food source, so it is not surprising that the nutritional value is high, even though milk is 85 per cent water

New Zealand cows' milk is a primary source for lots of things such as butter, cheese and milk powder, but maybe we have been sold on the wrong milk-producing animal. We should be looking at diversifying so that we are not reliant on just one bovine.

Milk from camels is a good staple food because it does not curdle like cows' milk and it has been used as a survival food for thousands of years by nomadic desert tribes (think coming climate change). Camels' milk contains six types of fatty acids such as lanolin acid, which helps control wrinkles and condition skin tone (think of all of the money we would save on makeup and Botox). Camels' milk contains high levels of insulin and antibodies that are good for regulating diabetes and other diseases. (We need to get our local health boards funding the herds of camels.) Unlike cows' milk, camels' milk is easily digestible for the lactose intolerant population. It also contains more vitamin C than cows' milk and is better for us.

I will cook a 15-course degustation dinner for the first person or business that set up a commercial camel dairy in New Zealand. I can see it now, camels grazing on our green pastures, being herded into milking sheds and chocolate and banana camels' milk being served in our local schools.


8 cups milk, cow, goat or camel

1/3 cup powdered milk (this is optional but will make a thicker yoghurt)

1/4 cup local honey, optional for sweetened yoghurt

1/2 cup starter yoghurt

Pour your milk into a large cooking pot. Heat the milk up to 85degC. Allow the milk to cool down to 43degC. If you want to speed the process up fill your sink with cold water and place the pot of milk in the water and stir. The temperature drops fairly quickly this way, so make sure to have your thermometer handy to keep checking.

Leave them there for 10 to 12 hours. Try not to disturb the jars too much. When the yoghurt is firm it is time to remove the jars and put them in the refrigerator to get nice and cold. Usually 12 to 24 hours.After you reach 43degC add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is dissolved well. Pour this mixture into your ready and waiting jars. Put the lids on and put them into whatever place you are planning to incubate and culture them (hot water cupboard).

If you make and incubate the yoghurt during the day it can refrigerate overnight and be ready for breakfast the next day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Four seasons in a year

Please don’t shoot the messenger, for he is only delivering what you knew already, were aware of, but because of your busy and hectic life you may have just passed it over, pushed it to the side or moved onto the next thing as it whizzes by.
Spring is here and Mother nature has let us know with rays of great sunshine, downpours of rain and blasts of chilled air, all while we are trying to shake the winter blues.  In the kitchen our style of cooking changes drastically as we move away from slow cooked meals, thick and tasty braises and roasts and more into a lighter, fresher and greener style,  that reflects the season that we are now living in.  With four seasons in the year it is easy to get lost as they all tend to blend into one another when we pretending to be busy with something that this much more important than what mother natures is doing.  Supermarkets keep us focused on consistency and availability 24/7 so that we never go without, so that our longing urges for seasonal food are kept hidden behind misters and mirrors, piles of sameness and structure and piped music.
We live in a world where we depend on just a few to deliver so much, where big food  companies pretend to be small companies so that we can become there Facebook friends, there marketing teams and there entertainment by dangling flashing lights, exotic promotions and competitions that promise to remove us from our dreary and boring subsistence of our everyday lives.    The Human brain is the most amazing thing yet it fails us every time when our taste buds are soured by the unripe nectarines,  cool stored and glassed apples, flavourless plums, sterlised milk, bland and air filled bread and artificial flavours and fillers that stretch our food dollars further than the rise in GST.
The real cost of food is not just what you pay over the counter, the real cost is the value that you receive from Mother nature as she tells you what is in season,  what is at its best and what you should be eating at this time of the year.  While spring heralds that start of a new beginning it is also one of the scarest times of the year as we move out of winter and we are waiting for all of the good  things to appear, mother nature is just telling use to be patient, good things come to those that wait, better things come to those that appreciate the simple things in life. 
Globe artichokes
Ensure the artichokes are at their freshest by only choosing ones that are tightly closed and firm to the touch. Once they have been cooked  you can use them in a multitude of ways: in salads, sautéed, with olives and cheese, or puréed as a dip.

water, to just cover
juice of 2 lemons
6 coriander seeds
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bayleaf
12 artichokes, med sized
Pour water into a pan and add lemon juice, pinch of salt, coriander seeds, thyme and bay leaf.
Remove stalk from artichoke by breaking it off and removing woody parts. Trim off the base and any rough outer leaves then cut off about the top 3cm/1¼in of leaves. Using a small knife peel the artichokes removing all the green leaf parts. Rub with half a lemon and place in the pan, adding a little more water to cover if necessary.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool in liquor - you may need to put a small plate on the artichokes to keep them submerged in the liquid. Leave artichokes in the liquor until you are ready to use them so they do not discolour.
Serve and eat or pack into hot sterilised jars for long term storage

Friday, October 8, 2010

Developing a ‘culture of food’ in Gisborne

The Marlborough-based chef met local food producers and sampled some of the region's food during his first visit to the Gisborne Farmers' Market on Saturday.

"I want to highlight what is good and tasty about Gisborne. I have been saving up an appetite for it. Fresh food grown here, sold directly from the producer, were the main ingredients of the Farmers' Market", he said.
"My key role is to help farmers' markets grow and to actively promote regional food products. I'm lucky, I get to taste my way around New Zealand. More and more, the question is being asked, 'what are we eating?' With the farmers' markets, you know where the food comes from and you can meet the producers face to face."
"It's about supporting all Farmers' Markets around New Zealand, have a taste of what's on offer, network, share information and help them to grow and diversify."
Celebrating regional diversification in New Zealand was an important element of Farmers' Markets, said Fortune.
"When you go to Europe you celebrate mushrooms, pasta and tomatoes. In New Zealand, what we're developing is a culture of food and what we're good at."
"Gisborne is world-renowned for citrus and is also becoming well known for other pip fruit and produce.
"Gisborne is also very rich in culture. There are a lot of iwi here and that's something you want to bring out and put in front of people because overseas, New Zealand is highly regarded for what it does. One of the main reasons behind the success of Farmers' Market is that you have the consumer wanting to buy directly from producers."
Farmers' markets have grown from 12 to 50 since starting in 2006

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It leaves the same feeling as local body elections, empty

Photos Jim Tannock
It's new, it's exciting, it is made with real cheese (35 per cent), has no added colours, artificial flavours and requires no refrigeration – it is the perfect food, no mess, and is a convenient cheese snack. It even comes in different flavours, tasty and mild, for the connoisseur of cheese.
Expectations are high, the marketing is colourful and stimulating, the promise is that it is made with real cheese and it is great in your sandwiches, on pizza and even on veggies
Like a lot of things in life it is a marketing person's dream: kids will love it, mums will love it because it saves time and space in the fridge, it is easy, no fuss and cheap. Did I say cheap? It is $7 for 226g, or $28 a kilo. However, that is for 35 per cent cheese, so the real cost for the cheese component is actually $80 per kilo. You get the preservatives, whey and propellant for free.
The consumer may choose to buy cheese in a can and may think that this is the best thing since sliced bread, but please don't complain about the cost of real food and real cheese. When are we going to realise that the real cost of food and food production is not about lots of propellant and little substance, but about food that is produced sustainably by real food producers.
250g Sherrington Grange cheese grated (pick your favourite) or one can of Mr Cheese, tasty
1 clove Marlborough garlic
1 cup white wine, Marlborough of course
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp flour (helps bind the fondue)
2 Tbsp Kirsch (optional)
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
Nutmeg and/or paprika to taste
Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove, add clove to pot. Heat the white wine and lemon juice, they should be hot but do not boil. Reduce heat to low and slowly add cheese while stirring. Slowly add remainder of ingredients while stirring. If fondue is too loose add more cheese. If fondue is too stiff add more wine.
To dip: Marlborough baguette or ciabatta bread (or any crusty bread) cut into bite-sized cubes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chris Fortune - Buy Chris Fortune Books at Mighty Ape NZ

Chris Fortune - Buy Chris Fortune Books at Mighty Ape NZ

All you need to know about smoking food from renowned New Zealand chef, Chris Fortune.

Includes . . .
• hot and cold smoking techniques
• smoking essentials and pre-smoking processes; including preparation of food
• information on the types of smoker you can use, including Kiwi Sizzler gas smokers
• which woods to choose for different flavours
• how to store smoked food
• a useful troubleshooting guide for when things go wrong, and much more.

Illustrated throughout with full-colour photographs, the book describes the basic methods for smoking a variety of foods, including handy suggestions on how to use your smoked product. The wide range of mouth-watering recipes encourages you to get more adventurous with your smoker. Try the Hot-smoked Oysters with Tomato and Chilli Salsa from the fish and seafood section or Hot-smoked Spicy Sausages in the red meats. Chris’ Pork Ribs Hot-smoked over Oak are hard to beat and the duck and chicken section includes a recipe for Green Tea Smoked Duck Breasts which can also be used for chicken breasts. The vegetable section has a yummy, versatile Smoky Tomato Ketchup and there are also delicious recipes for smoking cheese, nuts, chocolate and much more . . .

The recipes have all been developed by Chris to help you get the most out of your smoker.

About the Author

Chris Fortune is well known as a chef and as a leader in the Farmers' Market movement. He has worked as a chef on a super yacht and run restaurants and a seafood cooking school in Marlborough. His passion for honest, home-grown or home-produced foods is evident throughout this book.