I’m back in my peaceful place! Home on my beautiful Island roost again.
It’s only been a year since I was home last but what a difference a year can make! It’s a new and exciting year I’m about to get stuck into and I can’t think of a better place to set my intentions and focus my energy than the place where it all began!
I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep up the ‘food research’ by trying out each and every reputable cafe and restaurant on Waiheke and in Auckland. I’ve found some absolute gems and have even started working part time at an incredibly inspiring wee joint – The Orphans Kitchen! (More on this to come)
One of the things I love most about New Zealand Cuisine, is the quality of the produce and the creative techniques chefs here are using to really highlight homegrown seasonal ingredients.
Most of the cafes I’m inspired by grow their own herbs and vegetables on site or have access to organic gardens nearby.
The meat is grass fed, the fish locally caught.
Orphans Kitchen even have their own honey hives on the rooftop….LIFE GOALS!
I went to a friends place for dinner the other night and he introduced me to his brand new hot-smoker. This is a new technique for me and one that I don’t think would translate well in my tiny galley but out in the garden this ‘smoking aparatus’ opened me up to a world of different possibilities.
It’s amazing the difference in flavour you can bring to your dish by changing the wood you use. On this particular night we used Manuka wood and Feijoa, but I’ve now learnt of many other woods you can use that bring a new dimension to your smoking, from Apple, Maple, Hickory and Pohutukawa!
Coming back to New Zealand this year has brought a brand new light on the place I once called home. I’ve travelled the world and cooked in many different continents, sourcing local and exotic produce. But it’s here in little old NZ where I’m mostly wow’ed by food!
This beautiful land is where I think I find my greatest influence.
Today’s recipe is a bit of a basic one but most great ones are I think.
I’ve taken some purple kale straight out of the garden, teamed it with manuka smoked Salmon and a special avocado dressing recipe I recently learnt from one of my lovely Waiheke Wahines.
Manuka smoked Salmon, purple kale, sesame, avocado ginger and lime dressing.
1/2 cup of red cabbage thinly sliced
1 carrot grated or julienned
1/2 avocado thinly sliced
2 heads of kale thinly sliced
Small handful of capers
3/4 cup hot smoked salmon, shredded
Sprinkle of sesame seeds
For the dressing
1/2 small avocado
juice of 3 limes
Small handful of coriander
1/2 cup quality olive oil. I used Man-o-war bay from Waiheke Is.
1 thumb of grated ginger
Himalayan rock salt
A dash of maple syrup.
For the dressing: Blend all ingredients until smooth. You may need to add more olive oil for a better consistency.
Toss all the salad ingredients together with the dressing and plate as desired.