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How to quinelle – making your food look fancy!

Once in awhile you just have the extra bit of time and you want to wow your guests with top notch presentation! So, here’s a trick up your sleeves that you can use, with both savoury and sweet items! All you need is two spoons!
  1. Top left image: hold a spoon in each hand, with concave side facing each other.
  2. Top right image: scoop up mince/falafel/ice cream etc. with one spoon, the mash it on to the other spoon so the ingredients are packed down.
  3. Bottom left image: using the empty spoon, scoop content – always scoop content with empty spoon towards you. Do this a few times.
  4. Bottom right image: end result – a very presentable rugby-shaped ‘meatball’/falafel/ice cream!
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Pytt i panna with leftover Christmas meat

  Ever find yourself staring at the leftovers piled high in your fridge after a Christmas get-together? Well, don’t worry, we are here to help you avoid food waste! Instead of shoving everything into the freezer before you drive off to the beach, why not try to clear your fridge as much as possible and bring the food with you to the bach in a chilly bin? Leftovers are so good for making quick picnic lunches, or something light and easy for dinner. In Sweden, we have a dish called pytt i panna – a beef and potato hash. It’s a very versatile recipe, so you can substitute the beef with other types of meats.   Serves 4

For the beetroot:

1 tbsp white wine vinegar; 400g beetroot

For the pytt:

2 tbsp rice bran oil; 800g potatoes, diced; 2 carrots, diced; 1 brown onion, diced; 300g leftover meat, diced;

For the eggs:

4 eggs; Rice bran oil for frying; Salt and pepper to taste;

Method:

Heat the oven to 200°C. Peel and slice the beetroot. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and add the beetroot slices and vinegar. Simmer, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes, then remove from the heat and drain. Set aside until serving. While the beetroot is cooking, start preparing the rest of the meal. Scrub and dice potatoes and carrot into ½-1 cm pieces. Bring a large pot with water to the boil. Add the potatoes and carrots to the boiling water and parboil for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile dice the beef and onion into ½ – 1 cm cubes. Drain the potatoes and carrots and place back over a low heat to steam out excess moisture. Place beef, carrots, potatoes and onion in a large oven tray, drizzle with the oil and bake for 20-25 minutes until the veges start to crisp up to a golden brown colour. Towards the end of the baking time, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat with some oil and crack in the eggs. Fry how you like, sunny side up or easy over. Foodie fact: In Sweden this dish is traditionally served with a raw egg yolk cracked on top of the hot plate of food, so give this a go if you’re brave. However, it’s now more common to serve with a fried egg on top, which is how I prefer it! To serve, mound the beef and potato hash onto a plate. Top with egg and serve beetroot on the side. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper at the table.
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Lussebullar – Swedish saffron buns

Today is Lucia Day in Sweden, one of my favourite traditions. This beautiful celebration of light takes place during the darkest time of the year, right in the middle of winter. It’s celebrated by a procession of men and women, dressed primarily in white gowns, singing traditional songs. One woman, who represents Saint Lucia, a Sicilian saint, carries a crown of candles on her head. The remaining participants carry a candle in their hands. The men have cone-shaped hats with stars on them… Don’t look at me like that, I’m not making this up! Growing up I didn’t really reflect on how odd this tradition actually seems to someone who isn’t Swedish… I think Kiwis especially find it a bit odd because there is just nothing quite like it here. I love Christmas in Sweden, and the build up to it! When I’m over there the excitement builds up for weeks before the big day (which, by the way, is the 24th in Northern Europe – we celebrate Christmas Eve). The anticipation, the preparations, the decorations, I love everything about Christmas! One thing that makes Christmas in a cold and dark country very special is how it lights up one of the darker months of the year – it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Here in NZ, because it’s lovely and sunny and warm… I actually forget that Christmas is coming… Until someone randomly asks me if I’ve bought all my presents, and I panic, and then forget again until next time someone asks. In the few years that I have been here I have sort of started making Lucia Day my start of Christmas. I can now start decorating, preparing and anticipating the big day (which in our household more accurately is days because we celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). For the last few years I have attempted baking Lussebullar on Lucia Day, as is the tradition. My first attempt was not great (rock hard and nowhere near enough saffron) and I think the last two years were ok-ish but I don’t know what recipe I was following so I wouldn’t be able to replicate it. This year though… This year I wanted to make a recipe of my own. It pretty much follows the same style as the traditional Swedish recipes but it makes it a bit more Kiwi friendly. In Sweden fresh yeast is commonly used along with ground saffron and a unique curd cheese called kesella. Here in NZ dry yeast is much more common and saffron is bought in threads. Instead of kesella I used natural yoghurt and it worked really well. So here it is, my start of the Christmas season, enjoy!

Lussebullar – Swedish Saffron Buns:

Ingredients:

800g-1kg white flour (approx. 6 cups) 120g sugar (approx. ½ cup) 3 tsp dry yeast – dissolved in ¼ cup warm water or 50g fresh yeast 130g salted butter 1-1.5g saffron 400 ml milk (I used full fat Organic milk from Jersey girl) ½ cup natural yoghurt (I used De Winkel’s Natural yoghurt) Pinch of salt (optional) 1 egg, beaten (for brushing) Sultanas or raisins for garnish

Method:

Measure out all the ingredients before starting, I find his really helps because I am a cook, not a baker. The saffron needs to be ground so if using saffron threads bash them up in a pestle and mortar until finely ground.

Place the butter in a small pot over a low heat and gently melt. Add the milk once the butter is liquid and warm gently. Add the ground saffron and sugar, and stir to dissolve. The mixture will now change colour to an intense dark yellow – that’s the saffron speaking! While the butter is melting dissolve the dry yeast in warm water (ideally about 40-42°C) in a small bowl. Mix in a teaspoon of sugar to really kick the yeast along. Cover with cling film or beeswax wrap  and keep in a warm place. If this has worked properly, the mixture will start to bubble and rise. If not throw it away and start again. Pour the butter-saffron mixture into a very large mixing bowl and add the yoghurt. Mix in about half of the flour and combine well. Stir in the activated yeast and mix in. Sift in the remaining flour and work the dough with your hands. Add enough flour so that the dough is still a little tacky and shiny but not totally sticky and hard to get off your hands. Transfer the dough to another large, completely clean bowl (I don’t know why it needs to be clean but this is what my grandmother taught me so I am sticking with it). Cover with a tea towel and keep in a warm place to let it rise. Now is the time to close all the windows – the dough will never rise if it’s drafty and cold. Set aside for 30-45 minutes, the dough should just about double in size. This is a good time to catch up on something you’ve been meaning to do for a while. For me that was writing Christmas cards… Transfer the dough to a lightly floured workbench and divide into four pieces. Cut each of those into eight small pieces – this dough will make 32 saffron buns. To make the traditionally shaped saffron bun; roll out each piece into a long snake and then twist in the opposite side of each end towards the middle, creating a short of S-shape. Keep the others covered with a tea towel in the meantime.          Place a raisin in the centre of each twist.  Repeat this for all the pieces of dough and transfer to a baking paper lined oven rack – make sure they have enough space between them to double in size again. Set aside to rise for 20-30 minutes in a warm place and heat the oven to 200°C. Brush the buns lightly with the beaten egg just before baking. Place each tray in the oven for 5-8 minutes (the others can sit and rise for a little longer – I ended up with three trays). Keep a close eye towards the end – they want a light golden brown colour. Cool on a wire rack. Promise me you will enjoy one straight from the oven with a glass of cold milk. Promise?
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Lagom – one of the most useful words ever

Lagom Today I learnt that the word lagom has become a bit of a phenomenon in New Zealand and the world, which is funny because to me, and other Swedish speakers, it’s just a word that we use almost daily. I can see though, that upon greater reflection, this word signifies more than just a quantitative adjective, it’s a mentality. In many ways I can’t help but wonder how this word has shaped the psyche of the Swedish people, it’s so ingrained in our culture and has naturally affected our lifestyle choices as well. The word lagom roughly translates to not too little, but not too much – just right. As far as I know, the word stems from the Viking age. The story goes: the Viking dudes (and perhaps dudettes, what do I know) would gather around the table in the evenings (or middle of the day – again I don’t know, I wasn’t there) and drink beer. Rather than having a handle of beer each, they would have one drinking vessel for everyone to share (hygienic, right?). They would pass the cup around the table and each take a sip. The idea was that once everyone had had a drink, the beer would be gone, and everyone would have their fair share. You see lag means team and om means around. So the drink would go around the team and in order for everyone to get the fair amount of beer, you would have to drink lagom – not too little, and not too much. Just right. For me it’s such a useful word, it can answer almost any question: “How much coffee do you want?”, “Was the weather hot on your holiday?”, “How spicy should I make this curry?”, “How big is your house?” I think this word also reflects a beautiful way of life, and I guess that’s why it has gained some attention around the world in 2017. We have done the consumerist lifestyle, and the pendulum has swung the other way to minimalism. However, for most people a lagom way of life would be much more realistic then wither of the extremes. It’s comfortable. It’s easy. It’s just right. This word resonates with me personally because lagom is how I would like to see us use the worlds resources. If we adopted this to everything we do, imagine how different the world would be. Help yourself to the food at the buffet, but ensure there is enough for your whanau. Pick the flowers in the park, but remember that someone else might want to enjoy them as well. Build a house that is comfortable to live in but don’t use up more resources than you need, leave something for the future. Let your friends and your village help you, but not to the point that there is an imbalance – it’s give and take. Buy enough food, but not so little that you go hungry, or so much that you have to throw it away. Boom. Game changer! Don’t drain the beaker so that the last person around the table goes thirsty.
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What is this bag of food you speak of?

It’s Friday, the perfect day for a cheeky coffee in a cafe and an inspiring read… So today I thought I would tell you a little bit more about this fun foodie game we have been playing for nearly four years now – the food bag game. Many of you will already know this game well, and some of you will be asking – what is a food bag? 
The Food bag concept (or call it dinner kit, grocery bag, recipe bag)–  and dinner delivery services in general – have taken the world by storm in the last decade.
The food bag (matkasse) concept originates from my native Sweden and was first introduced to the market by Middagsfridin 2007. A lovely story comes from the largest food bag companies in the world, Linas Matkasse  –  founded by siblings Lina Geback and Niklas Aronson. It is said that one day Aronson’s wife came home frustrated from a day of work and school pick-ups stating “I wish you could just reach out and grab a grocery bag at a red light, rather than going to the supermarket”. Entrepreneur Aronson got right on it and the company was founded in 2008.
This idea has since seen around 20 different companies enter the Swedish food bag market, each with their own niche – organic, LCHF, vegetarian – you name it! The latest statistics show that this way of grocery shopping occupies 7-10% of the Swedish grocery market. The idea has since spread globally to Europe, the UK, America and Oceania. 
The concept is based on a model where grocery bags are delivered on a regular/subscription basis, directly to the consumer for simplified weeknight dinners. More often than not there is a nutritionally sound foundation to the menus, with an emphasis of a healthy balanced diet.
When we were getting ready to launch Emma’s Food Bag in early 2013 the dinner delivery services were only just making an appearance in the New Zealand marketplace. 
For us, the emphasis was always a little different from anyone else’s, and we believe that we are unique in the world with our “Love Local” approach. We have maintained our niche during these three years, providing food that is mainly locally sourced, and more often than not directly from the supplier – and always freshly picked!This allows us to keep the food mileage low, and we also get to support our local community – what a win! 
This concept certainly simplifies the weeknight dinner chore – there is no need for the dreaded question “What’s for dinner tonight” or rummaging around for ingredients only to find that an essential component of the meal you want is missing from the pantry. What’s more is the potential for reduced waste, with only the right amount of ingredient being supplied – so long sad packet of sushi rice sitting at the back of the cupboard, and that sad looking half cabbage from three weeks ago is no longer a feature in the chiller drawer. (That’s literally something I have experienced myself. So. Many. Times)
Personally, I think this beautiful concept meets a happy middle ground. It caters for the time-poor and the gastronomically challenged customer, but it does not go as far as pre-prepared meals that only requires heating in the microwave. It also appeals to foodies and gourmet lovers – as new exciting ideas are introduced weekly. Some culinary skills are honed and a healthy relationship with the foods that make the meals can be maintained. 
At EFB, I think we have a n exciting few years ahead! The food bag and dinner kit concept, and indeed the dinner delivery service in general, is still in in its infancy here in NZ and I believe we’ll have some great times of evolution ahead with more players entering this market. If Sweden is anything to go by, this idea can only grow and grow…
As always, would love to hear your comments below – what’s your favourite thing about ordering a food bag? Is there anything preventing you from ordering? How do you think this concept has been received in NZ? 
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Free Recipe Friday: Lamb and spinach meatballs on cauliflower and buttermilk mash and an update from HQ

So there we have it. It’s officially autumn… well that’s great. I love autumn, it’s my favourite, but what I’m not quite sure about is how it rolled around so quickly… 
So what’s been going on here at EFB HQ lately? Not much, really…. Just kidding. As always in a young business driven by ambitious and creative people we are constantly working towards something. At the moment, the recipe creations team are working hard to get ahead of the game – we’re currently trialing recipes for end of April and May. The operations team are in the process of fine-tuning the packing and delivery procedures and it makes me so proud to say that everyone is working hard and showing such an amazing commitment to help improve the quality of our product and service. 
Proud business mama over here! 
Oh and then there’s the new website… how could i forget. We’re working with a cool cat called Samuel in Scotland (of all places) to build us a new sleek website which will help enhance the customer experience as well as allow us to launch a whole range of new products. 
Watch this space, that’s all I’m saying. Time’s are ‘a changin. Good things await. 
We’ve had some good times this week, and we’ve done some good eating. 
The last couple of weeks you have seen recipes produced by the wonderful Debby de Gouviea-Rennie. There’s definitely been a South African influence on the meals – Bunny chow and miele pap – lot’s of spices and herbs (to the packing team’s great delight). Debby is also great at inventing meals with a wholefood basis – something that makes me so happy inside. 
Here’s a picture of her posing, safely behind the camera still, in front of an array of wholesome meals, including lamb and spinach meatballs, cauliflower mash, chicken and roast vege salad, cauliflower taboouleh :
But enough about us, let’s talk about the food.I cooked this recipe for Kenzie and Harland on Wednesday and just added a little more cauliflower because 
a) Kenzie is a meatball monster 
b) We were all very hungry after a very active day
It was such a joy watching Kenzie tuck into these meatballs and loving every bite, knowing that she was getting the added goodness of green leafy vegetables.
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Free Recipe Friday: Steak served with stuffed garlic parmesan courgettes and grilled balsamic gourmet tomatoes

Ehm…. what just happened? How is it suddenly the last Friday of the month? I feel like it was just Christmas… We stepped off the plane on the 10th January and since then it’s been all go!
It’s been great being back, catching up with the team back at HQ – everyone’s in good spirits and looking forward to 2017.
Our operational dream team, Rach and Harland are spending the summer working on the systems that help us streamline the packing and delivering of the food. 
Debby and I have been writing recipes furiously and cooking up a storm! Needless to say we are looking forward to bringing some amazing menus to the table this year. 
It goes without saying that we have all been enjoying our dinners to. One of my favourite things at work is comparing notes on our dinners the night before, and also hearing what customers thought. There has been much talk about the steak dish this week, and no surprises there – it was a winner! 
Cooking a good steak is an art form, one that should be taken with the up most care. 
Here are a few key elements that may be helpful to cooking the perfect steak:
 Oil the steak, not the panSeason with salt and pepper just before cooking, not in advance (this retains moisture in the meat rather than drying it out)Use coarsely ground pepper and sea salt and don’t be stingy! This will form a tasty crust, keeping the meat juicy and deliciousHeat the pan to the point of smoking hot – for this you will need a pan that can high heats such as a cast iron panCheck that the pan is up to temperature by adding a few grains of sea salt – once they turn brown, the pan is ready for the steakIf you use a griddle pan, move turn the steak 90 degrees halfway through  cooking each side for a funky griddle mark criss- crossALWAYS let the meat rest before serving – covered in tinfoil – at least 1-2 minutes. Don’t worry – it won’t cool down. 
For the courgettes:
4 large courgettes, halved lengthways
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp parmesan, grated
½ cup breadcrumbs (wholemeal)
For the tomatoes:
5 gourmet tomatoes, halved
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For the steak:
800g prime rump steaks, cut to portion size
2 tbsp rice bran oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
Method:
Heat the oven to 200°C and line an oven dish with baking paper. Finely chop the shallot and garlic.
Slice the courgettes in half lengthways. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the softer core and place the pulp in a medium bowl. Add garlic and shallot to the bowl and mash with a fork before stirring through most of the parmesan (reserving some for serving).  Season with a little salt and pepper. Lay the deseeded courgettes flat side up on the lined oven tray. Stuff with the mashed courgette mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle with olive oil, place in the top of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Halve the tomatoes, and place tomatoes in the oven dish, cut sides facing up, in a single layer. Combine olive oil, sugar and balsamic vinegar and pour over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with oregano, and season with salt and pepper.
After the courgettes have been baking for 10 minutes, add tomatoes to the top rack in the oven, moving the courgettes down. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced in size and caramelised a little. The courgettes are done when they are soft and the breadcrumbs have slightly browned.
Cook the steak when the vegetables are nearly done. Heat a large flat-bottomed pan, griddle or barbeque to a high heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and rub with oil and salt and pepper. Once the pan is smoking hot, cook for 1-2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping once only. Add on a couple minutes per side if you like your steak more well done. Once the steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and place on a chopping board to rest, covered with tin foil.
To serve, lay the steak alongside the courgettes and dot with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the tomato juice from the oven dish, sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the vegetables and tuck in.
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Asparagus Season – my favourite time of year

To me, there are few things that signal the arrival of spring as strongly as asparagus. Those spears start popping out of the ground and making an appearance at the markets and that’s when you know the weather has turned. Summer is around the corner and everything feels a little lighter somehow. 
I like asparagus in every which way and because the season is so short I can get enough of it. I serve it raw in a salad, blanched as a side vegetable, in an Asian stir-fry, on its own with and hollandaise sauce or roasted with a light balsamic glaze. Dipped in a soft boiled egg, with crumbled feta on top or wrapped in Parma ham it makes a perfect lunch or light bite. 
You might not know this but a few years back Harland and I worked on an asparagus farm in Norfolk, England. While we were there we learnt a few tricks of the trade. Because the asparagus plant is closely related to lilies, it’s best stored like a flower in a glass of water in a cool place for optimal freshness. When trimming the bottom off the spear, bend the spear and allow it to snap naturally. That way you can remove the stringy wooden end which isn’t very pleasant to eat. Some people then peel the bottom of the spear but personally I find this a waste of time. Most people look for the big fat spears when shopping for asparagus but, honestly, I prefer the thin delicate thin ones. What you should look for though is a nice tight head that has not yet flowered. 
I’m sure you have one lingering question at this point. "Why does it make my wee smell?" I hear you cry. Well, simply put there’s a sulphurous component which is broken down in the intestine and makes its way to the urine in a very short space of time after eating asparagus. So it smells.  
Totally worth it, don’t you think?
If you’re not sure what do do with asparagus, or if you have been put off by overcooked stringy stems before here’s a simple and inspiring way to cook asparagus beautifully. We’ve served it alongside a stunning piece of rump steak along with a German potato salad. Tuck in and enjoy! 
Serves 4
Ingredients: 
For the potatoes:
1 kg potatoes, scrubbed and diced
20g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and grated
For the dressing:
½ lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
For the steak:
800g prime rump steaks
2 tbsp rice bran oil
½  tsp sea salt
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
For the sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup salt-reduced beef stock
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
For the asparagus:
500 g asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil for frying
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Dice potatoes into 2-3 cm pieces and place in pot, just covered with salted cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, until just tender. Once cooked, drain and run under a cold tap.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Gently bend one spear of asparagus and it will snap at the part where it is too woody to be eaten (bottom of spears). Gather the remaining spears and chop off roughly the same amount and discard the woody bottom bits. Finely chop the shallot and crush the garlic, measure out the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a large serving bowl. Once cooked and cooled, toss the potatoes in the dressing. Grate in the carrot, and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
Handy hint: The shallot-mustard sauce will be made in the same pan used for cooking the steak so a flat-bottomed pan is more suitable than a griddle or barbeque surface. You may need to cook the steaks in two pans to avoid stewing the steaks.
To cook the steak, heat a large flat-bottomed pan over a high heat. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and rub with oil and salt and pepper. Once the pan is smoking hot, cook steaks for 1-2 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping once only. Add on a couple minutes per side if you like your steak more well done. Once the steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and place on a chopping board to rest covered with tin foil.
Cook the sauce and asparagus at the same time while the steak is resting.
For the sauce, remove the steak pan from the heat for a minute to cool down. Place the pan back over a low heat and melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the beef stock and wholegrain mustard, then let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep shallots from sticking.
Once the sauce is underway, cook the asparagus. Heat a large pan with drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the asparagus to the pan and sizzle for a few minutes, until the spears turn to a lovely bright green. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, place rested steak on to a plate, along with potato salad and asparagus on the side. Drizzle some shallot-mustard sauce over the steaks and tuck in!
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Free recipe Friday: Thai basil beef pad-gra-prow served with jasmine rice

This wee blog post is coming from a hectic test kitchen. We’re test cooking the Christmas menu here today and all the photography will take place tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, we’re planning on shooting it in the meadow! 
But you will have to wait a few weeks to tuck into this feast…
In the meantime, can I tempt you to a delicious and healthy Thai Friday dinner? This is new favourite here at HQ, created by our clever recipe creator and photographer Debby. Give it a shot! 
Ingredients: 
For the rice:
300g jasmine rice
2 cups water
For the pad-gra-prow:
600g beef stir-fry
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp rice bran oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
½ red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
300g sprouting broccoli, trimmed
2 carrots, julienned
20g Thai basil, leaves picked and stalk chopped
½ plant coriander, stalk chopped
For the sauce:
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
1 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp sugar
½ cup water
Method:
Place the rice in a small pot with salted water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, stir once then immediately reduce to a slow simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand, still covered with a lid, allowing the steam to finish cooking the rice. Only lift the lid during cooking if you suspect the rice is catching on the bottom of the pan, in which case add a bit more water.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Start preparing the vegetables. Slice the onion into petals, i.e. top to bottom. Julienne the carrot by cutting into 2-3 segments, then slicing lengthways and cutting into matchstick sized pieces. Chop the herb stalks finely and set aside the leaves for serving. The remaining vegetables can be prepared once the pad-gra-prow is underway.
Lightly dust the beef stir-fry in the cornflour. Heat your wok or deep frying pan over high heat, and add the oil. Sear the beef for 2 minutes until just browned, remove from the wok, and set aside.
Once the beef has been removed, reduce the heat to medium, and add another splash of oil to the pan along with the onion and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until browned and slightly caramelised. Add the broccoli and capsicum and fry for another 2-3 minutes, then add the beef back in. Crush in the garlic and add in herb stalks, stir through for 20 seconds until fragrant, then add the sauce and cook out for 2-3 minutes.
To serve, place a mound of rice on each plate and make a well in the middle. Divide the pad-gra-prow between plates and garnish with the Thai basil and coriander leaves.
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Produce of the week: Carrot

Ah… the humble carrot, these sweet and crunchy little everyday heroes – what would the world be without them!?
It’s a bit of a standing joke in the test kitchen that if a dish is lacking a bit of vege content it is our knee jerk reaction to add a carrot to it.
“Let’s grate a carrot in this”
Then we try to control ourselves and give the other vegetables a fair chance.
Although the orange variety is the most well know and readily available, these beautiful root veges come in more or less all the colours of the rainbow. The other day we were using some locally grown purple specimens in the test kitchen, a little earthier than the orange friends.
While it’s not entirely true that carrots can make you see in the dark, they are rich in beta carotene, which converts to retinol in the human body – vital for eye health and also general immunity. So tuck in!
Most of the carrots we source are grown in…. you guessed it…. Ohakune! Most of the baby carrots used in EFB dinners come from Southern Fresh just outside Cambridge. Delish!
Sure, carrots are great “on the side” but if you fancy getting a little creative I recommend trying this recipe: carrot taco shells/tostadas. They’re really grate! (see what I did there?)
Carrot Taco Shells 
Ingredients:
2 cups carrots, grated
¼ cup water
¼ cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp flour (wholemeal, gluten free or plain)
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the carrot taco shells, peel and grate carrots then place into a pot and cover with water. Place over a medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain them and spread out on clean tea towel. Firmly squeeze out any extra water until they are dry. Removing the excess water is crucial to prevent the taco shells from going soggy. 
Combine carrot with the grated cheese (reserving some for serving), egg, flour and salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 2-3 evenly sized portions per person. Spread out the portions onto the baking paper in thin layers, pressing down gently. Pop into the oven and cook for around 15 minutes until crisped up.
Test kitchen tip: This method will make flat taco shells, aka tostadas. If you prefer them bowed like a traditional taco shell, simply “bend” the rounds over a small bottle or glass. Gently transfer shells to the oven. As the shells cool after cooking they will harden up.
Serve with taco mince and crunchy veges.