Home' Greymouth Star : March 29th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 7
s I write this, over two
tonnes of New Zealand
cheese varieties are
being plugged, sniffed,
fingered, bent, chewed
and judged by eight
overseas cheese experts
as well as 26 local specialists.
Australian-based Master Judge Russell
Smith believes it provides an incredible
opportunity to showcase New Zealand to
The 2017 New Zealand Champions of
Cheese Awards has attracted more than 350
entries across 23 categories.
In recent years, New Zealand’s Dutch
cheesemakers have dominated the gold and
This year has seen a surge in Italian-style
cheeses and flavour-added cheeses, with
new cheesemakers and industry stalwarts
vying for accolades for their cheese as well as
yoghurt and butter.
I must admit to an addiction to goat ’s
cheese. My first ever foray into this
unknown world was in France 30 years ago
and my taste buds rebelled. However, as
New Zealand cheesemakers developed this
variety slowly but surely — first introducing
cheeses that were mild and sweet then
finally providing upfront goat ’s cheeses that
linger on the palate — my addiction became
intense. Spread on crostini and topped with
ripe tomatoes, melted into pasta dishes
or combined with chocolate and rolled
into truffles — goat ’s cheese has become a
Another love is fresh mozzarella. It is
traditionally prepared from buffalo milk but
delis and supermarkets also sell cow ’s milk
mozzarella. Boconccini are little balls of
Cheese and three veg! If the fresh pasta
is thick, pre-cook it before using. If the
tomatoes are pulpy, squeeze out the
400g each: courgettes, eggplant
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive
1 kg firm, ripe tomatoes, thinly
salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12 large basil leaves, torn
250g fresh mozzarella cheese,
300g fresh lasagne sheets
100g freshly grated parmesan
Top and tail the courgettes and
eggplant. Diagonally slice into 5mm
rounds. Brush both sides with olive
oil. Heat a ridged frying pan and
grill the courgettes and eggplant in
batches, until char-grilled. Cover
briefly to soften.
Preheat the oven to 190degC.
Lightly brush a 29cm x 21cm baking deep
pan baking with oil. Place a layer of the
sliced tomatoes — about 1⁄3 — on the base.
Next, layer with half of the courgette and
eggplant slices. Sprinkle with half each of
the garlic, balsamic vinegar, basil, mozzarella
and lasagne. Repeat, ending with a layer of
tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 60-70
minutes. Remove the foil and bake for
another 10 minutes or until the parmesan is
golden on top. Ser ves 6.
A light meal.
1 each: red, yellow capsicums, seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g fresh sliced white mushrooms
2 cups shredded aged smoked cheddar
8 medium soft flour tortillas
sour cream, coriander and chopped chillies
Finely slice the onion and capsicums. Heat
the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan
on medium-high. Saute the onion for 2-4
minutes or until soft. Add the capsicums
and saute for 5 minutes, until soft. Transfer
to a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan
and melt on medium-low heat. Saute the
mushrooms for 5 minutes or until golden
brown. Add to the capsicums and onions
and toss gently.
Wipe the pan clean. For each quesadilla,
melt a small knob of butter in the frying pan
then add a tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons
of cheese, a 1⁄4 cup of the capsicum mixture,
2 tablespoons of cheese then another tortilla.
When the underside is golden, press the
quesadilla with the back of a wide spatula
and carefully flip it over. Cook for 2-3
minutes or until the base is golden and the
Remove and cut into wedges. Repeat
to make the remaining quesadillas. Ser ve
topped with sour cream, coriander and
chopped chillies. Ser ves 4.
Goat ’s cheese pasta
The soft goat ’s cheese melts and forms a
sauce to coat the pasta.
2 plum tomatoes, quartered
salt and freshly ground black pepper to
2 tablespoons olive oil
11⁄4 cups (125g) small shell pasta
75g soft goat ’s cheese
2 cups baby rocket, chopped
1⁄4 cup flaked almonds, toasted until lightly
1-2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 190degC. Put the
tomatoes skin-side down on a lightly oiled
baking tray. Season and drizzle with half the
olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to
the packet instructions. Drain and place in
a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining
Crumble the goat ’s cheese over the top.
Gently stir until the cheese is melted and
the pasta is evenly coated. Season and fold
in the tomatoes, rocket and almonds.
If too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of warm
water. Top with freshly ground black pepper
and the parmesan. Ser ves 2.
Super tasty gougeres
Excellent cheese puff nibbles to ser ve with
1 cup water
100g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch cayenne pepper
11⁄2 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 190degC. Line two
oven trays with baking paper.
In a medium-size heavy saucepan, combine
the water, butter and salt and bring to the
boil. Remove from the heat and add the
flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the
dough starts to pull away from the sides of
the pan and form a lump. Set aside, without
stirring for 5 minutes.
Add an egg, mixing well until the mixture
combines. Repeat with each egg. Mix in the
mustard, cayenne and cheese. The dough will
be loose and sticky.
Place heaped teaspoons on the baking
trays. The mounds should be about 2.5cm in
diameter. Leave about 1.5cm between each
Bake until puffy and golden, about
25 minutes, rotating the trays halfway
through. Remove from the oven and ser ve
immediately. Alternatively, turn off the oven,
open the door slightly and keep the gougeres
warm for up to 1 hour. Makes about 30.
ome words on bottles
have meaning, some do
‘Reser ve’ once meant
that the wine was made
from their best grapes and reser ved
for longer maturation — top wine.
Some wine companies are
still there, like Villa Maria,
but for others it is just another
promotional word like ‘select ’ or
‘ winemaker’s selection’.
‘Barrel fermentation’ means
more oak contact usually for
Chardonnay. All reds and
Chardonnay have some time in
‘First pick’ correctly applies to the
first Sauvignon Blanc of the year
which may appear in May. It is not
the best and it is usually higher
in acidity but it is certainly fresh
‘Hand picked’ may be better and
more expensive but 95% of grapes
are machine picked.
‘Limited release’ means it will
be more expensive but may be no
better than the regular release.
‘Single vineyard’ means the wine
is not a blend of the company ’s
vineyards but from a particular
vineyard that they think produces
the best fruit but blended wine
often tastes more interesting as it
has more complex flavours.
Most larger wine companies have
three or four quality levels for each
of their grape varieties — entry
level (budget), middle quality and
their best (reser ve). Some will
sell their lowest to a dealer or
supermarket as a ‘Cleanskin’.
Your best guide is price and
region. Central Otago hype
up their Pinot Noir and you
can get as-good cheaper from
In France, the Champagne
producers spend millions every
year around the world on
promotion, which comes through
on the price of each bottle and the
same sparkler is made here at half
Beaujolais Nouveau is a light
freshly made fruity red wine to be
drunk young. Cru Beaujolais is
made from the same Gamay grape
but is a serious red wine that has
been cellared. In Italy, Chianti is an
ordinary cheap wine but Chianti
Classico has high standards and
Chianti Classico Riser va has an
extra year in oak barrels.
In Australia, some companies still
use bin numbers on their labels;
they have no meaning any more.
It refers to an old method of
storing bottles stacked on their
sides. Sometimes a wine may
be labelled ‘Old Vine’ Shiraz or
Most vines are replaced at 25
years as they yield less juice every
year after then, but it is more
concentrated and complex and
the wine more expensive. So, don’t
worry about the label, just enjoy
Railroad Spike — 60ml cold
strong coffee and 15ml (or more)
Drambuie into a short glass of ice.
Fruit Soda — 2 tbsp chopped
up fruit (peaches, berries etc) in a
tall glass, add 1 tbsp maple syrup,
tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp cream and 3⁄4 fill
glass with soda, stir and top with
“I don’t think I have drunk
enough beer to understand that.”
— Terry Pratchett
Mediterranean mozzarella lasagne
White wine choice
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc 2016 — One of the
best budget savvies, along with Montana and Selaks.
Pronounced aromas and tastes of tropical fruits and
cool climate herbaciousness with a fine acidity and
minerality. So don’t worry about the words, just enjoy
drinking a cheap world class savvy. Drink now. Dry.
$10 to $12.
Good George IPA — Pine and citrus aromas like
you are walking through a pine forest. Creamy full
bodied malt flavours that are easy and balanced with
a hoppy aftertaste. Called Good George because the
brewery/brewpub is in the old St George Church in
Hamilton. They use 945ml ‘squealer’ bottles which
you can refill, and as they say on the back label ‘and
it’s c lever like, science clever, small enough to drink
yourself (you probably will), big enough to share
(probably won’t), and handy enough to reseal and keep
fresh for tomorrow, now that ’s good thinking’. 945ml.
5.8% . $14.
V8 Vegetable Juice-Original — A meal in a
mouthful — tomato, carrot and celery juice that is
thick, delicious and real. It is not refreshing: it is a
food. The V8ers swear by its goodness and vouch for it
being the best vegetable juice in the market. Made by
Campbell Soups in Australia. 1.25 litre. $5 to $6.50.
Red wine choice
Gold River Pinot Noir 2014 — Made by one of
the first vineyards in Central Otago, Gibbston Valley
Wines, as a second label. It has aromas and flavours
of spicy cherries and plums with a medium bodied
palate and an interesting aftertaste of silky tannins.
Drink now or till 2018. Dry. $26.
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