Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Local Food, wine and Cookbooks

Marlborough Farmers' Market: "To celebrate Marlborough Wine Festival, Bookworld Blenheim is hosting an evening of local food and wine tasting. Wine critic Belinda Jackson will discuss wine and food matching. Chris Fortune will talk about his enthusiasm for local food and for recipes that demonstrate the unique taste and flavour of Marlborough food; tastings of his recipes will be available. Copies of Chris’ cookbooks, and cookbooks by other local authors, will be on sale.

Taste Auntsfield wines and place an order (at 20% discount!) for your favourites. Taste and buy local food at Bookworld’s mini-market before you visit Marlborough Farmers’ Market on Sunday 13th February at the A&P grounds.

Auntsfield wine
Marlborough cookery and wine books.
Sherrington Grange cheese
“A Taste of Yesteryear” quality jams, chutneys & preserves
Canap├ęs by Chris Fortune

Event opens at 5.30 pm
Talk starts at 6pm
Please ring us by Tuesday 8th February to reserve a place

Bookworld Blenheim
67 Market Street
Blenheim. Tel 03 578 4909

Entry by gold coin donation to Marlborough Community Hospice"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Farmers' Market of the Year

Farmers' Market of the Year The Best Farmers' Market of the year as voted by the consumers of NZ

The Farmers' Market of the Year award is just one of the awards honoring farmers' markets around NZ as we shine the spotlight on the real food producers from the land and sea

“Shining the spotlight onto individual grassroots food producers who use Farmers’ Markets as a venue to sell directly to consumers”

Voting opens in March 2011, pre-register now and be into win a RETURN TRIP TO SINGAPORE WITH FARMERS' MARKETS NZ AND SINGAPORE AIRLINES CLICK HERE
To pre-register your interest in the Taste Famers' Markets NZ Awards 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The real cost of Seasonal Food 2011

“Food looks set to cost more at the till this year, although economists say higher commodity prices are good news for the economy” Food prices fell 0.6 per cent in November and 0.8 per cent last month, according to Statistics New Zealand, with seasonal falls in vegetable prices the main contributor

There a couple of things that stand out in  this statement that was published by the NZ Herald on the 18 Jan 2011.    It simplifies all food under a commodity price and then brings Mother Nature in as the discounter.  Masanobu Fukuoka, author of The One Straw Revolution (Japan, 1978) says  "If you think commercial vegetables are nature's own, you're in for a big surprise. These vegetables are a watery chemical concoction of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, with a little help from the seed. And that is just how they taste”
If we continue to treat all food as a commodity then America wins and we willalways  have the bland, tasteless, faceless vegetable products that line their supermarket shelves enforced upon us, they may look like vegetables as we know it but they have been designed to sit for as long as they can and travel vast distances with deterioration rather for taste or nutrition.  The key to real food is to eat seasonal, to choose what is best at that particular time of the year and enjoy, knowing that it will be available again for you 10 months later
So what is the real cost of food then, as Author  Michael Pollan puts it   “ Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies (American Chocolate Bar)  is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?” 
Why is water more expensive than coke or milk, why are potato chips cheaper than potatoes – why is all food treaded as a commodity rather than for what it really is ? To many questions and not enough words to answer but it really is a case of awareness of just what is happening around  you with seasonal food rather than just walking through life with eyes wide shut
While it almost seems a sin (some sins are good for you !!) to deep fry such a delicate thing the result is worth it because they remain just as delicate to eat. The batter coats the flowers ever so lightly but still has a satisfying crunch when you bite into its warm, creamy centre.
Sherrington Cheese & Garlic-stuffed Zucchini Blossom Recipe
6 zucchini blossoms
½ cup of soft Sherrington Cheese (ricotta cheese or similar)
1 large free-range egg
1 clove of garlic, minced¼ Cup of Fresh bread crumbs
4 fresh sweet basil leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of sea salt
2/3 cup & 1/8 cup of all-purposed flour
1 cup of soda water
1 1/2 cups of vegetable or canola oil
Mix cheese and egg with garlic and basil and breadcrumbs, gently fill the centre of the flower. Make the batter by mixing the flour and soda water.  Roll the stuffed blossoms in a little flour and then dip in the batter, and deepfry in oil until golden brown.  Drain and serve with a summer salsa or salad or green beans and extra virgin olive oil

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kiwi Sizzler - Keep it simple - Chris Fortune NZ Chef

Kiwi Sizzler - Keep it simple - Chris Fortune NZ Chef: "Keep it simple, is the top tip in The Kiwi Sizzler Smoking Book by Blenheim cook Chris Fortune. Sub-titled a 'how-to guide to smoking food', it follows his first book, the 2008, Pick, Preserve, Serve. That was a 'Nana book', Chris says.

'What I remember as a kid growing up, walking into my grandmother's pantry [full of preserves] – and working with my grandfather in the garden.'

In the days before mass refrigeration, smoked food was a form of food preservation. In the 21st century, when most New Zealanders can access year-round virtually all types of foods from restaurants and supermarkets, smoking produce at home is usually done for fun."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cheese making with Slow food Marlborough

23 January 2011 - 1 pm - 3 pm
A hands-on session making cheese with Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange -
cheeses to take home and enjoy

NMIT Training Kitchen - Block A at NMIT
$30 Members, $40 non-members

To book you space please click here

Sherrington cheeses are made from local Marlborough products. The milk comes from Linkwater valley, our salt is harvested from Lake Grasmere and our olive oil (rubbed on the rind of some cheeses) comes from near Blenheim. There is nothing artificial about our cheeses. No synthetic flavourings, colourings or preservatives are ever added. It's all about cheese in its purest, most natural form.

Taste Farmers Markets New Zealand Awards 2011

There are now over fifty Farmers’ Markets scattered throughout the country from Keri Keri in the North to Invercargill in the South. In New Zealand an authentic Farmers’ Market is one where the local growers and food producers sell their products directly to the consumers themselves. They may only sell what they grow, farm, catch, smoke, preserve, brew, bake or process themselves, and within a defined region."

Cook celebrates fresh produce |

Cook celebrates fresh produce | "'I love Marlborough and New Zealand produce and the seasons that mother nature gives us with the different flavours and tastes,' Chris Fortune says.

'But I hate the fact that Chinese garlic is being sold in our local supermarkets when we are the best garlic-producing region in the world.'

As president of the Marlborough Farmers' Market, he is juggling his responsibilities here with those of raising his young family, and said his children – Kacey, 8, and Holly, 4 – are both already keen cooks."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Press and Media - Chris Fortune NZ Chef

Press and Media - Chris Fortune NZ Chef

"I love Marlborough and New Zealand produce and the seasons that mother nature gives us with the different flavours and tastes," Chris Fortune says.

"But I hate the fact that Chinese garlic is being sold in our local supermarkets when we are the best garlic-producing region in the world."

As president of the Marlborough Farmers' Market, he is juggling his responsibilities here with those of raising his young family, and said his children – Kacey, 8, and Holly, 4 – are both already keen cooks.

"They're not afraid to peel, cut, grate or cook dinner with us," he said.

"They help mum in the garden and these are skills that will become invaluable later in life."

He remembers his own experiences of cooking as a child with fondness, saying his favourite chef moment came when he was 12, cooking mussels and cockles on the beach over an open fire, using a piece of corrugated iron as a skillet.

"I still remember the taste – and the sand and grit in the seafood," he said.

"It is often the simplest things that you remember the most."

This year, his enthusiasm will be channelled into overseeing the Taste Farmers' Markets New Zealand awards being held nationwide from the Bay of Islands to Bluff.

The awards would be "celebrating 50 farmers' markets and the real food producers who depend on them as our way of selling the produce they have grown or produced", he said.

"I'm also looking forward to doing more cooking demos in schools and at the Havelock mussel festival using the school gardens as a catalyst to encourage children to cook at home using simple techniques and some fun."

More immediately, he will be spending the rest of his holidays with more relaxing pursuits.

"I'll be swimming at the pool and river, as well as painting the outside of the house," he said.

"I have to say I'd rather be in the pool, though."

Hells Bitchen NZ - Chris Fortune profile - Hells Kitchen Winner

Wow, seems just like the other day, Hell's Bitchen - Jennie Crum and Nicola and Tina are the stars !

Marlborough Farmers' Market 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meet the queen of beets |

Meet the queen of beets |


Chioggia beetroot has been heaven-sent at the Marlborough Farmers' Market. Those who have only ever eaten tinned beetroot are missing out on a real taste of summer.

The chioggia beetroot is the queen of all beets and can be found on the stall of Sharyn and Neville White, who grow and sell heirloom vegetables and fruits.

An Italian variety that is best eaten raw (the beetroot does fade to light pink when cooked though), it is proving to be a popular addition to the dinner table during the summer months.

Sliced thinly or grated it is a very sweet tasting variety that does not bleed or stain your hands like other beets (10 points already). The young beetroot leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach/chard, adding a nice texture to your summer creations.

Chioggia is a sweet, round beet with a smooth, light red skin. The inside has concentric rings of red and white flesh with fluctuations in temperature enhancing these zones of colour.

This little-known beet comes from the coastal region of the Adriatic near Chioggia in Italy, hence its name.

Beetroot is a very highly regarded vegetable throughout the world for its health properties, and can be found in a multitude of colours from red or purple to yellow, with different countries producing different varieties, sizes and colours.

When consumed as a juice, beetroot offers many benefits and has plenty of nutrients including vitamin C, proteins, antioxidants, amino acids, sodium, potassium, silica, phosphorus and iron.

The deep red colour of beetroot is because of the antioxidant betacyanin. This antioxidant is essential for blood formation and a major benefit of beetroot is that it reduces anaemia (when the number of healthy red blood cells decreases).

Consumption of beetroot on a regular basis will help give you a healthy heart as it is loaded with plenty of vitamin C and other goodies.

Ask Sharyn and Neville what their favourite way of using the beet is.


200g beetroot, scrubbed and grated raw

300g pumpkin, peeled and grated raw

1 large apple or pear, sliced thinly

100g red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Handful of freshly picked parsley and/or mint, chopped

Juice and zest of one lemon

Drizzle of Marlborough olive oil

Sprinkle of Marlborough sea salt

Mix all ingredients well

Chill for 30 minutes before serving with chicken, seafood or lamb.