Home' Greymouth Star : October 4th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
the arrival of spring
— the season of fresh
The name is derived
from the Greek word
asparagos — ‘sprout ’ or ‘shoot ’. It is a hardy
perennial, a member of the lily family and a
close relative to onions, garlic and leeks.
Most of New Zealand’s asparagus is
green but a purple variety is also becoming
In Europe, white asparagus is sought after
— it is white because it is grown covered
in soil and is not exposed to sunlight so the
green chlorophyll does not develop.
September 1 was the official start to
the whitebait season on the West Coast.
Considered a delicacy and a luxury, New
Zealand whitebait are the young of
five different native fish. They measure
between four-and-a -half to five-and-a -half
centimetres long and are caught during
spring in tidal river estuaries as the fish
move upstream from the sea. They are not
related to the European whitebait, which are
Rhubarb shoots bright red tender stalks in
September. It is usually ser ved cooked but it
can be eaten raw. But do not eat the leaves.
They contain oxalic acid that can poison you.
To enjoy raw rhubarb, it is best dipped in
something sweet first such as maple syrup
asparagus and bacon
I used Henderson’s cured and manuka
smoked streaky bacon — no chemicals, no
added water and gluten-free.
16 asparagus spears
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 tablespoons each: olive oil, maple
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 190degC. Line a
large roasting pan with baking paper.
Place a wire rack on top. Snap the tough
ends off the asparagus. Cut the stalks
to measure about 15cm. If the bacon
is thick, run the blunt edge of a heavy
knife along the bacon to ‘stretch’ it. Take
four spears of asparagus and wrap the
bacon around the bunch. Place on the
rack, bacon ends down. Repeat with the
remaining asparagus and bacon.
Combine the oil, syrup and sauce.
Brush thoroughly over the asparagus
and bacon. Bake for 15-20 minutes,
until the bacon is cooked. Ser ves 4.
This shortcake is cooked in a
350g rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths
1⁄3 cup brown sugar
25g butter, diced
1 each: cinnamon stick, star anise
1⁄2 cup icing sugar, sifted
3 drops almond essence
11⁄2 cups flour
50g ground almonds
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
few drops vanilla essence
To prepare the rhubarb, preheat the oven
to 170degC. Place the rhubarb in a medium
oven pan together with the remaining
Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20
minutes, stirring once. Cool.
To make the shortcake, cream the butter,
sugar and almond essence then gradually
work in the flour and almonds. Knead the
mixture until it clings together.
Divide dough in half and press each half
into a 20cm round on a piece of baking
paper. Microwave each round for about
4 minutes. Stand for 2 minutes.
Gently place a 20cm cake pan over each
shortbread round and neaten the edges. Cut
one round into eight wedges. Cool.
Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla
essence, until thick.
Place the whole shortbread round on a
ser ving plate. Spread with half the whipped
cream, some rhubarb pieces and a little more
cream. Arrange the shortbread wedges on
top and dust with icing sugar.
Ser ves 6-8.
Shaved asparagus and
Use the asparagus stalks only and reser ve
the tips for another dish.
Satay salad dressing
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, diced
1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder
1⁄2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon each: soy sauce lemon juice
5 tender asparagus spears
2 cups mesclun leaves
2 medium potatoes, steamed and cut into
1 cup crispy noodles
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1⁄2 cup each: snow pea sprouts, alfalfa and
To make the dressing, heat the oil in a
saucepan and saute the onion, until softened.
Add the remaining ingredients. Stir, until
well mixed and bubbling. Cool.
Shave the asparagus using a potato peeler.
Combine with the mesclun and noodles.
Drizzle with a little of the dressing.
Layer the potatoes and salad on a ser ving
plate. Top with the eggs and sprouts and
drizzle with a little more sauce. Ser ve at
room temperature. Ser ves 2-4.
Whitebait and kaffir
Whitebait fritters are a favourite but you
might also like to try them in omelettes and
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons milk
2 large eggs, separated
salt and pepper to taste
1 kaffir lime leaf, julienned
lemon-infused oil for frying
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Rinse the whitebait and pat dry with
paper towels. Whisk the flour and milk until
smooth then beat in the egg yolks, salt and
pepper. Add the kaffir lime leaf.
Whisk the egg whites, until stiff. Fold in
the flour mixture and the whitebait. Heat
1-2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick
frying pan. Shallow-fry heaped tablespoons
of the whitebait mixture, until golden on
both sides — 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper
towels. Ser ve immediately with lemon
wedges. Ser ves 6 as a starter.
6 - Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Caramelised asparagus and bacon
The best white wine in the
world is chardonnay.
A few of those are made
Why is chardonnay so special? It
grows well in all the wine regions —
warm and cool.
It can make ordinary very cheap
simple wine in huge stainless steel
If the crop of grapes is thinned and
the yield reduced it can be an intense
complex wine that will mature in
oak barrels and become beautiful and
mature with years of bottle age and
cost a thousand dollars a bottle.
We make the full range in New
Zealand from budget simple
$10 wines to exotic $200 wines in
heavy glass bottles and artistic labels.
It is the exciting middle range that
you and I are interested in — $15 to
Year after year Villa Maria take
away the prizes in this area with their
labels — Vidal, Te Awa, Esk Valley,
Thornbury and Left Field. You can rely
on any of their chardonnays as being
excellent for quality and value.
We are blessed with hundreds of fine
chardonnays at fair prices. Look for
Hunters, Lake Chalice, Ngatarawa,
Selak, Mission, Babich, Kumeu
Village, Coopers Creek, Spy Valley.
You can expect to taste butterscotch,
peaches, melons and-or grapefruit and
some signs of time in oak barrels such
as vanilla or coconut and some creamy
nutty oatmeal aftertaste.
The more money you pay for the
bottle the more flavour and complexity
Give sauvignon blanc and pinot gris
a rest and drink the best white wine in
You have a ‘sober-self ’, that is you
having a social time with friends, and
controlling your drinking. Now you
can get your ‘sober-self ’ to tell you
when to stop drinking and go home
with a Uber taxi.
The responsible drinking campaign
‘Cheers!’ has combined with Uber and
Facebook Messenger Bot to make
you up a Sober Self Bot. You can
programme your Sober Self Bot to
remind you to drink water, eat food
and when to go home.
It is a way to counteract that urge to
drink more than you planned because
your judgment becomes affected by the
You can even press a button and a
Uber ride will turn up.
In New Zealand it is honey hive
robbers and avocado thieves while in
France it is grape robbers.
Wine-pickers are raiding vineyards
at night because of the serious
shortage of grapes this year due to
A winemaker said: “ The grapes were
picked by hand in an isolated part of
our land. It has been stripped bare. We
have lost $20,000 worth”.
The police have been stepping up
their vineyard patrols at night to cope
with these new robbers. Winemakers
are desperate to sur vive with 25%
reduction in yield, the worst since
Americano — Into an ice-filled
highball glass pour 30ml Campari,
30ml sweet vermouth, top with soda
water, stir and garnish with a twist of
A doctor tells a woman she can’t
touch anything alcoholic. So she gets
Nekta Kiwi+Melon — dense rich mix of these
two fruits make a pleasant refreshing drink that
is not too sweet. 1000ml. $3.80.
Emersons Bird Dog IPA — Dunedin beer with
an inviting gold colour, light fizz, medium aromas of
grapefruit and pine resin, big and well balanced flavours
of malt and hops. Brewers like to label their brews and
Richard Emerson, though deaf, has a favourite rock
album Bird Dog by the Verlaines and he hopes this beer
is music to a hophead’s ears. Ser ve at Dunedin room
temperature 10degC. 7%. 500ml. $9.50.
White wine choice
Left Field Chardonnay 2016 — light gold colour,
citrus aromas. lovely flavours of grapefruit, apricot,
oatmeal and an interesting funky minerality. Good
wine at a good price from Hawke’s Bay. Drink now till
2020. Dry. $14 to $18.
Red wine choice
Browns Shiraz 2013 — from the Padthaway region
south of Adelaide that produces huge quantities of un-
acknowledged premium wine for the major Australian
wine companies comes a small family producer with a
beautiful mature shiraz with mellow ripe fruit, savoury
spicy complexities and long oaky aftertaste. Drink now
till 2018. Dry. $20.
The best white wine
in the world
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