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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 7
Good times garlic
ne essential pleasure
gourmets cannot live
without is garlic.
It is almost as
cooking as salt and
pepper and is widely accepted as
long as it is used discreetly. Garlic is
enjoyed for its flavour more than for its
nutritional value although it can help
protect against heart disease and destroy
The majority of New Zealand garlic
is grown in the Marlborough region
although Central Otago now produces
a respectable crop. The combination of
a hard winter followed by a long dry
summer suits garlic growing perfectly.
Pukekohe south of Auckland also
produces garlic and many New
Zealanders grow their own, planting
cloves on the shortest day of the year
and har vesting bulbs close to the
New Zealand garlic is distinctively
fresh, juicy and pungent, especially
compared with the imported varieties.
One local clove is as strong as three
imports. New Zealand garlic is never
cool-stored — a process that causes
the bulbs to lose their juiciness — but
will keep for up to 11 months in a cool,
dark, well ventilated place.
There are several commercial varieties
grown ranging from white to cream to
stripy pink. Elephant garlic is a different
species with larger cloves and a milder
Smoked garlic is a seasonal product. It
is smoked over manuka and herbs that
impart a subtle, sweet, nutty flavour. For
best results, smoked garlic should be
stored in a covered container in a cool
place or the refrigerator.
Black garlic (garlic noir) is white
garlic that is given a low-heat treatment
in a confined enclosure for 60 days.
During that time the sugar levels
increase to 60 brix (the sugar level in an
aqueous solution), the garlic “ferments”
and becomes black. The texture is
soft and smooth and the flavour a
cross between balsamic vinegar and
liquorice. It is available from selected
supermarkets and many delis.
Garlic burns easily, so take care when
sauteing or frying. For a more pungent
flavour, I add crushed garlic to some
dishes at the end of cooking. I also
prefer to crush garlic by sprinkling it
with a little salt and mashing it to a
paste with the blade of a strong cook’s
Tomato, chilli, and
1.5 kg tomatoes
1 red chilli, diced
4 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon grated root ginger
3 cups sugar
1 3⁄4 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons each: mustard powder,
curry powder, cornflour
Prick the top of the tomatoes with a
sharp fork. Place in a bowl. Cover with
boiling water. Stand for 3 minutes then
refresh in cold water. Peel.
Chop the tomatoes and place in a
large saucepan. Add the chilli, onions,
garlic, ginger and sugar. Stir well. Add
11⁄2 cups of the cider vinegar and the
salt. Bring to the boil. Reduce the
heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring
Mix the mustard, curry powder,
cornflour and remaining vinegar, until
smooth. Stir into the tomato mixture,
until thickened. Makes about 6 cups.
Black garlic glazed
1⁄4 cup each: balsamic vinegar, medium
2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves black garlic, diced
1 teaspoon diced red chilli
2 teaspoons canola oil
400g boneless salmon loins or fillets
freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the vinegar, wine,
honey, black garlic and chilli.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan,
until a faint haze rises. Season the
salmon with the black pepper. Place,
skin-side down, in the pan. Cover and
cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn
the salmon over and cook for another
minute, if preferred. The centre should
still be a little transparent. Transfer to a
warm platter and tent with foil.
Add the black garlic mixture to the
pan and simmer for 1 minute. Place
in a small bowl and puree with a stick
blender. Spoon over the salmon.
Ser ves 4.
Smoked garlic, cavolo
nero and potato mash
500g mashing potatoes
2 cloves smoked garlic
1 cup finely sliced cavolo nero
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons butter or table spread
Leave the skins on the potatoes, if
preferred. Cut into chunks. Boil the
potatoes — covered — for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cavolo nero. Cover
and continue cooking until the potatoes
are soft. Drain well.
Season and add the butter or table
spread. Mash well. Ser ves 4.
Garlic puree for lamb
I used the pink stripe variety of garlic.
The cloves are large and the skins
readily removed. Use the flat blade of a
heavy knife to smash the cloves.
3 whole bulbs garlic
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
few drops of lemon juice, optional
Break the bulbs into cloves. Smash the
cloves and pull off the skins.
Place in a small saucepan and add the
milk. Lightly cover then simmer on
very low heat for 10 minutes, until the
garlic is just soft. Add the olive oil, salt
Using a stick blender, puree the
mixture, until smooth. Add the lemon
juice, if using. Great ser ved with roast
or grilled lamb. Ser ves 4.
Tomato, chilli and garlic relish.
ou love Pinot Gris? Well, most
of you do because it is the fad
white wine in New Zealand
and it has been for some time.
You love it because it has that
lovely up-front fruitiness and none of that
sharp acidity of Sauvignon Blanc or the
butterscotch oakiness of Chardonnay. It fills
your palate with a nice ripe fruitiness and
nothing is going to surprise you. High fruit,
low acid, easy drinking, a clear winner in the
white wine world.
Yet, there was no Pinot Gris 30 years
ago. Muller Thurgau was the favourite
then. It was similar but even simpler. Then
Chardonnay took over as the popular white
wine. It had much more flavour complexity
and body oomph. Boredom set in after 20
years — ABC — ‘anything but Chardonnay’
was a mantra. It was the new kid on the
block, Pinot Gris.
So, what is going to be next? The normal
life of a fad wine is 15 to 20 years. Grape
growers and winemakers are searching the
world for other varieties and trying them
out — Viognier, Albarino, Gruner Veltliner,
Semillon, Arneis, Verdelho. None have that
special something yet. Viognier is showing
most promise but people cannot say the
word easily so that will kill it. You might
have to go back to Chardonnay when you
are tired of Pinot Gris.
There are two main styles of Pinot Gris.
The cheaper ones $10 to $18 from heavily
cropped vines is lighter and simpler; Pinot
Grigio in other parts of the world.
Low yielding vines make very aromatic
spicy wines with high alcohol (sometimes
too much) and flavours of pears and peaches.
Extended lees contact plus a little oak gives
better texture — $18 to $30. Look for
Waimea, Stoneleigh, Villa Maria Cellar,
Saint Clair Godfrey, Neudorf, Yealands,
Mudhouse, Lawsons, Greystone, Church
Popularity does not mean quality. In the
big wine competitions there are often no
gold medals awarded to Pinot Gris whereas
the other varieties get plenty. Yet the judges
are often winemakers so they obviously do
not need to make more effort with their
Pinot Gris because fad wines sell easily.
Brown Cow — Fill a tall glass with
ice cubes and pour in 60ml Tia Maria or
Kahlua, top up with cold milk, stir and
sprinkle with nutmeg.
Non-alcohol, Mocha Mix — Shake
together a scoop of ice-cream, 100ml cold
coffee, spoon drinking chocolate, pour into a
tall glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.
“The Germans are exceedingly fond of
their Rhine wines: they are put in tall bottles
and are considered a pleasant beverage. One
can tell them from vinegar by the label.”
— Mark Twain, 1880
Why do you drink so much pinot gris?
Red wine choice
Estate Syrah 2013 — Strong aromas of
plums and currants give a good start to a
purple tinted red wine from Hawke’s Bay.
Bold fruit flavours in a medium bodied style
make a very satisfying syrah with a light
aftertaste of soft tannins. Drink now till
2017. Dry. $16.
Macs Green Beret IPA — A craft beer
from Lion with clear gold amber colour and
a good head. It has herbal hoppy aromas,
a gentle sweet malty mouthfeel rather
over whelmed by the resins of the American
hops and New Zealand sauvin hops. Very
refreshing at the end of a hot day. 330ml.
White wine choice
Waimea Viognier 2014 — You will have
a job getting this wine past your nose as it
has such intense aromas of apricot, marzipan
and aniseed. Then you will have the lovely
stone fruit flavours and the warm alcohol
giving you a big mouthfeel, all the way from
Nelson. Drink now till 2019. Dry. $21.
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