Home' Greymouth Star : September 23rd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 7
Spring fever faves
uddenly, I am thinking
salads for lunch instead of
soup. It must be spring. The
first spears of asparagus
are thrusting up through
the soil, my rhubarb is
sprouting bright red stalks and our
local hydroponic strawberries are in full
blush. If you listen to what your body
wants at any time of year, it is usually in
sync with what the earth is offering up.
Why are strawberries called
strawberries? It maybe due to the fact
that in early days farmers took berries
to the market threaded on straw. Today
growers still put down layers of straw to
cover and protect strawberry beds.
Choose brightly coloured, plump,
even-sized berries that still have their
green caps or calyxes attached. Do
not wash until ready to use. Store —
preferably in a single layer on a paper
towel — in a moisture-proof container
in the refrigerator for up to two to three
Though not often used today, the
word “rhubarb” can also mean “a heated
argument or dispute”. Strictly speaking,
rhubarb is a vegetable. However, it is
nearly always used as a fruit. The new
stems of rhubarb are very tender and
do not require peeling. The older the
stems the more woody they become. No
matter how enticing, green and crisp
rhubarb leaves look, they should always
be discarded as they are quite toxic.
Why does eating asparagus make
your pee smell? The veggie contains a
sulphurous compound called mercaptan
that is broken down by your digestive
system. The by-products released cause
the strange smell that often develops as
quickly as 15 to 30 minutes after eating.
However, only some people appear
to have the enzyme that breaks down
mercaptan or can actually smell it.
Do not be put off though: asparagus
is high in antioxidants, vitamin B2 and
folate; it has no fat or cholesterol; and is
versatile and delicious.
Ser ve with coffee or add extra rhubarb
and whipped cream and ser ve as a
400g trimmed rhubarb
1⁄4 cup caster sugar
1⁄2 cup thick custard
3⁄4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon each: finely grated orange
rind, vanilla essence
4 large eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 200degC.
To roast the rhubarb, wash the
rhubarb, shake off the excess water and
cut into 5cm lengths. Place in a roasting
pan just large enough to hold it in a
single layer. Sprinkle with the caster
sugar and toss to cover evenly. Cover
with foil. Roast for about 20 minutes,
remove the foil and continue cooking
until the juices are syrupy. Cool.
To prepare the cake, first lightly grease
a 23cm spring-form cake pan. Line
with baking paper. Preheat the oven to
Place 3 tablespoons of the custard
aside in a bowl.
Beat the butter, remaining custard,
caster sugar, orange rind and vanilla
essence, until smooth. Add the eggs
one at a time beating well after each
addition. Sift in the flour and baking
powder and mix to combine.
Spoon one-third of the mixture into
the cake pan then scatter with a third of
the rhubarb. Repeat twice. Dot the tops
with the reser ved custard.
Bake for 40 minutes, cover with foil
and continue baking for another 10-15
minutes, until a skewer inserted in the
centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan.
Great ser ved dusted with icing sugar.
These pinwheels may be reheated
briefly in the microwave and ser ved
with whipped cream or yoghurt. For
extra tang, drizzle with pomegranate
200g strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3⁄4 cup self-raising flour
finely grated rind 1 lemon
4-5 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon strawberry jam, warmed
icing sugar and mint leaves to ser ve
Place the strawberries in a bowl and
sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the caster
Preheat the oven to 225degC. Lightly
grease four non-stick Texas muffin
Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the
remaining caster sugar and lemon rind.
Add the yoghurt and mix to a soft
dough. Turn on to a lightly floured
surface and knead gently, until smooth.
Roll into a 20cm square.
Brush with the jam. Place two-thirds
of the strawberries in a single layer over
the dough leaving a 2cm border at the
top and bottom. Roll up to form a log.
Cut into 4 even pinwheels.
Place 1 pinwheel in each muffin hole,
cut-side up. Press down gently.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly
golden. Stand for 5 minutes then
turn on to ser ving plates. Spoon the
remaining strawberries and their juice
on top. Dust with icing sugar, and
garnish with mint leave. Ser ves 4.
I used Earl Grey tea for smoking the
asparagus but lap sang souchong tea or
hickory chips are also good.
1 cup frozen peas
400g can cannellini, drained and
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon each: olive oil, lemon
salt and pepper to taste
10 medium asparagus spears
1⁄4 cup tea for smoking
10 hearty slices ciabatta or similar,
herbs to garnish
Cook the peas, until soft. Mash
together with the cannellini beans,
garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and
seasonings. Set aside. Makes about 11⁄2
Trim the asparagus and place on a
wire rack in a single layer. Sprinkle
the tea into a wok. Place the rack
about 4cm over the tea. Cover with
foil. Place a lid on the wok and smoke
the asparagus on low heat until it is
crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Do
not over-smoke as the asparagus will
become too strong. Cut into 1cm
Spread the ciabatta with the garlic
cannellini then top with the asparagus.
Garnish. Makes 10.
asparagus with olive
Also excellent garnished with shaved
3⁄4 cup pitted black Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon capers, washed and
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
To make the tapenade, place the
olives, capers, garlic, olive oil and pepper
into a food processor or blender and
process, until finely chopped.
Preheat the oven to 200degC.
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus
and trim the stalks if necessary. Place
in a small roasting pan. Toss together
with the olive oil. Season. Roast for
5 minutes, turn the spears over then
continue roasting until crisp-tender,
about 5-10 minutes, depending on the
Ser ve the asparagus hot or at room
temperature topped with the tapenade.
Great accompanied by French bread.
Ser ves 4 as a starter or light meal.
Rhubarb custard cake.
How can you judge 800 beers?
wenty-five judges tasted 800
beers from 95 New Zealand
breweries big and small last
week and the Brewers Guild
of New Zealand announced
the awards on Saturday, with
the International Lager style going to Lion
for Becks, a German beer made here, under
licence, like other breweries that make
Heineken and Carlsberg etc.
The New Zealand Lager went to Panhead
(Wellington) for its Port Road Pilsner. The
British ale style went to Mike’s Brewing
(Taranaki) for his Organic Ale. The best
European ale style was decided as Garage
Project (Wellington) Tournesol.
American ale style was judged as Bach
Brewing (Auckland) Duskrider Red IPA. The
best pale ale was Fork Brewing (Wellington)
Godzone Beat. The monster strong pale
ale style went to Epic Brewing (Auckland)
Armageddon. The stout and porter award
was given to Raindogs Brewing Company
(Christchurch) for their Singularity Imperial
Stout. The best wheat beer was Dominion
Breweries Blackdog Blizzard.
The prize for flavoured and aged style
went to Good George Brewing (Hamilton)
for Blueberry Gose. On the wilder side
the experimental style was won by Garage
Project ’s (Wellington) Wabi Sabi. The top
cider was judged as Forbidden Brewing
(Auckland) Simply Apple Cider. Fruit
flavoured style was topped by Lion’s Isaac’s
There should have bee a prize for the most
unusual name as there are some very strange
ones out there.
Craft beer is on a high at the moment, with
sales increasing at 10% a year and 10 new
breweries emerging each year.
Adam’s Apple — Put six ice cubes into
a mixing glass and add 30ml apple brandy
(Calvados-French, Applejack-USA), 15ml gin,
15ml dry vermouth and stir to chill then strain
into a chilled cocktail glass.
Whisky in Space — One of the largest
whisky producers in the world, Suntory of
Japan, is sending some samples of its young
and aged whiskies to be stored in the Japanese
laboratory facility in the International Space
Station for a year. When they are returned
to earth they will be analysed by tasters and
chemical analysis to see if there are any affects
from stable temperature, movement and
gravity. It will be expensive.
“I’m trying a new wine diet. So far I’ve lost
three days.” — Anonymous
White Wine Choice
Peter Yealands Pinot Gris 2014 — Pears and
peaches are the fruity smell and taste of this
Marlborough wine from the largest private vineyard
in New Zealand, and also proudly Carbon zero. A
medium dry win with a good mouth-feel and long
aftertaste. Drink now till 2018. Medium dry.
Red Wine Choice
Sacred Hull Pinot Noir 2014 — Invigorating
aroma of those ripe cherries you get in December,
then you taste the smooth flavours of plums and
cherry spice with a light tingle of acidity and tannin
followed by some sleeky oak. Excellent example of a
budget Pinot Noir that only Marlborough can do so
well. Drink now till 2017. Dry. $13-$16.
Moa English Ale (Five Hop) — Do not be
frightened by fiv e hops. It is how the hops are used
and these are used carefully to back up the flavour
of the rich malt. It is a fine Kiwi version of that old
standard — English Bitter. 500ml. 62% $8.
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