Tamarillo treat perfect for winter

NADIA LIM

Tamarillos (aka tree tomatoes) are sweet, tangy, and chock-full of vitamin C and antioxidants.

THE cold may have come to Central Otago, but that is no reason for us to stay snuggled under the blankets (although there undoubtedly will be some of that).
I love the brisk air of winter; it is so revitalising. And I always eagerly await the first snow. When we wake to a complete white-out, I’m like a kid in a candy shop. You always know that it has snowed heavily overnight as the morning is dead silent.
How pretty it is hanging in the trees, blanketing the ground, and covering up all those outdoor projects we just didn’t have time for in autumn! But also, it helps to knock back the bugs and pests.
Some crops — Brussels sprouts among them — love a good temperature plunge. By prompting the plant to turn some of its starches into sugars to help prevent water in its cells from freezing, it improves their flavour and makes them sweeter. How clever is that?
On a snowy winter’s day, there is nothing better than going out for a snow fight and building a snowman, then coming back to the kitchen’s warmth and something cooking away in the oven.
One of my fave winter puddings is a crumble — you just can’t beat it (though I must tell you, it’s even better for winter breakfast!) And I don’t think there’s a better winter fruit to make a crumble with than tamarillos.
Some people love tamarillos; some don’t. But they are wonderfully versatile, delivering a good hit of vitamin C right in the winter months when needed most. Consider tempting the tastebuds with a sweeter variety if you are still on the fence. Tango, for example, seems to appeal to many. There are yellow varieties, too, such as Bold Gold, which is also less acidic. But if you are already a diehard tamarillo lover, you may prefer the tangier varieties, such as Lairds Large, Mulligan and Teds Red.

It keeps on giving

It seems somewhat contrary that this heat-loving plant — no fan of frost and wind — fruits in the middle of winter. It is harvested by hand, making it labour-intensive for growers and a reason you won’t see an abundance in grocery stores. It’s not hard to grow and harvest your own and, because the fruit does not ripen all at once, you can pick tamarillos from April to September, depending on where you live. It might be a subtropical plant, but it can be grown anywhere, even in the colder south, provided there is protection from frosts — a greenhouse maybe, or a warm, sheltered courtyard or sunroom.
Harvest when the whole fruit is coloured; if you pick when there is still some green showing at the top of the skin, it won’t ripen enough to eat. Snip off the egg-shaped fruit with secateurs so the stalk remains intact — tamarillos will keep longer this way.

Just a little sensitive

Wait until frosts have passed until planting out new trees. Typically, the best time to plant is from October or November onwards. If you are worried about hard winter frosts, grow them in large containers, and bring them indoors when the mercury drops.
Tamarillos will tolerate the odd light frost — in fact, light frost results in natural pruning, but continuous, heavy frosts will kill plants. If your tamarillos do get frosted, leave pruning until spring. Winds also can be a problem because the tamarillo’s branches are fairly brittle. Ensure plants are sheltered from the wind; erect a windbreak, if necessary, such as a windbreak cloth or strategically planted trees.

Give them food and water

Plant in a warm, sunny spot in free-draining soil, digging in a helping of compost and blood and bone. Keep well-watered and feed with a fruit fertiliser in summer. If fed and watered, your trees should produce their first crop in their second year.
Tamarillos dislike prolonged periods of drought. Where water or nutrients are lacking, the fruit may develop hard, sometimes sharp stones, called stone cells, in the outer layer of the fruit. You can largely avoid this with proper watering and feeding. At the same time, tamarillos won’t tolerate wet feet. Plant on mounds or in raised beds if drainage is an issue.

Fan the growth

When plants have reached about 1m high, snip the tips to ensure the bush branches out instead of producing a single branch that grows straight up. If you are feeling adventurous, train it into a fan shape. Prune yearly, as fruit forms on the new spring growth and after frosts have passed.

NADIA LIM. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

NADIA LIM. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Tamarillo, apple & chocolate crumble

The sweet tangy taste of tamarillos goes so well with apple to liven it up, and it is made even more delicious with little chunks of dark chocolate, which come as a surprise when you tuck in.

  • 2 apples or pears, peeled, diced
  • juice of ½ orange
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 tamarillos, cut in half, flesh scooped out
  • 60g dark chocolate (60-72% cocoa), broken into pieces

    Crumble topping
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • ²⁄3 cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • Vanilla ice cream or custard, to serve

Method
Put the apples (or pears), orange juice and zest in a pot on medium heat and cook for a few minutes until the fruit starts to soften. Take off the heat and stir in sugar and tamarillos. Leave to cool while you make the crumble topping.
Preheat oven to 200degC. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, ground nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger, adding a pinch of salt. Add butter and rub into the oat mixture with your fingertips until the mixture reassembles breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor to speed things up (just pulse ingredients together a few times until you get a coarse crumb).
Spoon fruit into an oven-proof dish (avoid adding excess juice/liquid) and spread out. Dot with chocolate chunks. Scatter over the crumble topping and bake for about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fruit is hot and bubbly.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Tamarillo salsa

Tamarillos take centre stage, teaming with red onion, coriander and lime juice to make a delicious salsa, best served alongside a batch of nachos with creamy guacamole.

  • 500g tamarillos
  • 1 small red onion, quartered, finely sliced
  • ½ cup coriander, finely chopped
  • juice 2 limes

Method
Score the base of each tamarillo with a cross. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then carefully drop in the fruit and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and drain, then run them under cold water for a minute to cool. Peel and discard the skins.
Finely chop the skinned tamarillos and put them into a small bowl. Add in the red onion, coriander and lime juice. Stir well before serving.

Tamarillos (aka tree tomatoes) are sweet, tangy, and chock-full of vitamin C and antioxidants.

THE cold may have come to Central Otago, but that is no reason for us to stay snuggled under the blankets (although there undoubtedly will be some of that).
I love the brisk air of winter; it is so revitalising. And I always eagerly await the first snow. When we wake to a complete white-out, I’m like a kid in a candy shop. You always know that it has snowed heavily overnight as the morning is dead silent.
How pretty it is hanging in the trees, blanketing the ground, and covering up all those outdoor projects we just didn’t have time for in autumn! But also, it helps to knock back the bugs and pests.
Some crops — Brussels sprouts among them — love a good temperature plunge. By prompting the plant to turn some of its starches into sugars to help prevent water in its cells from freezing, it improves their flavour and makes them sweeter. How clever is that?
On a snowy winter’s day, there is nothing better than going out for a snow fight and building a snowman, then coming back to the kitchen’s warmth and something cooking away in the oven.

NADIA LIM. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

NADIA LIM. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

One of my fave winter puddings is a crumble — you just can’t beat it (though I must tell you, it’s even better for winter breakfast!) And I don’t think there’s a better winter fruit to make a crumble with than tamarillos.
Some people love tamarillos; some don’t. But they are wonderfully versatile, delivering a good hit of vitamin C right in the winter months when needed most. Consider tempting the tastebuds with a sweeter variety if you are still on the fence. Tango, for example, seems to appeal to many. There are yellow varieties, too, such as Bold Gold, which is also less acidic. But if you are already a diehard tamarillo lover, you may prefer the tangier varieties, such as Lairds Large, Mulligan and Teds Red.

It keeps on giving

It seems somewhat contrary that this heat-loving plant — no fan of frost and wind — fruits in the middle of winter. It is harvested by hand, making it labour-intensive for growers and a reason you won’t see an abundance in grocery stores. It’s not hard to grow and harvest your own and, because the fruit does not ripen all at once, you can pick tamarillos from April to September, depending on where you live. It might be a subtropical plant, but it can be grown anywhere, even in the colder south, provided there is protection from frosts — a greenhouse maybe, or a warm, sheltered courtyard or sunroom.
Harvest when the whole fruit is coloured; if you pick when there is still some green showing at the top of the skin, it won’t ripen enough to eat. Snip off the egg-shaped fruit with secateurs so the stalk remains intact — tamarillos will keep longer this way.

Just a little sensitive

Wait until frosts have passed until planting out new trees. Typically, the best time to plant is from October or November onwards. If you are worried about hard winter frosts, grow them in large containers, and bring them indoors when the mercury drops.
Tamarillos will tolerate the odd light frost — in fact, light frost results in natural pruning, but continuous, heavy frosts will kill plants. If your tamarillos do get frosted, leave pruning until spring. Winds also can be a problem because the tamarillo’s branches are fairly brittle. Ensure plants are sheltered from the wind; erect a windbreak, if necessary, such as a windbreak cloth or strategically planted trees.

Give them food and water

Plant in a warm, sunny spot in free-draining soil, digging in a helping of compost and blood and bone. Keep well-watered and feed with a fruit fertiliser in summer. If fed and watered, your trees should produce their first crop in their second year.
Tamarillos dislike prolonged periods of drought. Where water or nutrients are lacking, the fruit may develop hard, sometimes sharp stones, called stone cells, in the outer layer of the fruit. You can largely avoid this with proper watering and feeding. At the same time, tamarillos won’t tolerate wet feet. Plant on mounds or in raised beds if drainage is an issue.

Fan the growth

When plants have reached about 1m high, snip the tips to ensure the bush branches out instead of producing a single branch that grows straight up. If you are feeling adventurous, train it into a fan shape. Prune yearly, as fruit forms on the new spring growth and after frosts have passed.

Tamarillo, apple & chocolate crumble

The sweet tangy taste of tamarillos goes so well with apple to liven it up, and it is made even more delicious with little chunks of dark chocolate, which come as a surprise when you tuck in.

  • 2 apples or pears, peeled, diced
  • juice of ½ orange
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 tamarillos, cut in half, flesh scooped out
  • 60g dark chocolate (60-72% cocoa), broken into pieces

    Crumble topping
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • ²⁄3 cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • Vanilla ice cream or custard, to serve

Method
Put the apples (or pears), orange juice and zest in a pot on medium heat and cook for a few minutes until the fruit starts to soften. Take off the heat and stir in sugar and tamarillos. Leave to cool while you make the crumble topping.
Preheat oven to 200degC. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, ground nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger, adding a pinch of salt. Add butter and rub into the oat mixture with your fingertips until the mixture reassembles breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor to speed things up (just pulse ingredients together a few times until you get a coarse crumb).
Spoon fruit into an oven-proof dish (avoid adding excess juice/liquid) and spread out. Dot with chocolate chunks. Scatter over the crumble topping and bake for about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fruit is hot and bubbly.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or custard.

Tamarillo salsa

Tamarillos take centre stage, teaming with red onion, coriander and lime juice to make a delicious salsa, best served alongside a batch of nachos with creamy guacamole.

  • 500g tamarillos
  • 1 small red onion, quartered, finely sliced
  • ½ cup coriander, finely chopped
  • juice 2 limes

Method
Score the base of each tamarillo with a cross. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then carefully drop in the fruit and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and drain, then run them under cold water for a minute to cool. Peel and discard the skins.
Finely chop the skinned tamarillos and put them into a small bowl. Add in the red onion, coriander and lime juice. Stir well before serving.

Winter warmers

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

ALISON LAMBERT

THE days have become shorter and cooler as if almost overnight. The array of available ingredients have dramatically changed and we are now into hearty ingredients which require at times more preparation and longer cooking. I have always cooked within the seasons and the flavours and textures effortlessly work together.
We need the punchy greens, and broths to keep us nourished and comforted.
Food has such a big role to play in our daily lives. It not only nourishes us, it comforts us and it is vital in keeping us strong to fight the winter blues.
I love to simmer a pot of soup or slow cook a ragu or make robust winter salads and I also like to make warming syrups to soothe the throat and soul.
I find making dishes that boost our well-being is rewarding for all. Eat well and make smart food choices and you will feel better inside and out!

Bone broth with turmeric and lemon

Bone broths are used in many cultures in one way or another. Slow cooking good quality bones, aromatics and vegetables extracts this elixir of flavour which is rich in nutrients. It also has this soothing, satisfying feel to it and you somehow just feel enriched and better.
You can warm a cup of bone broth up for breakfast to get you started for your day or you can use it as a base for a bowl of nourishing soup. I add a variety of goodies depending on what is on hand such as greens, torn or finely shredded, sprouts, kimchi or similar varieties of ferment, a little hint of chilli always works a treat.
I like to make a large batch and then it can be frozen into smaller amounts.

  • 3 kg beef bones , marrow bones, knuckles, ribs etc
  • 300g onions, peeled cut into large chunks
  • 300g leek, washed, outer leaves removed and remaining roughly cut
  • 300g carrots, roughly cut
  • 300g celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Handful parsley stalks
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (3 Tbsp for every litre of water)

    To serve
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method
Rinse the bones in cold water then place into a large, deep stock pot. Cover with cold water (3-5 litres depending on pot) and add the cider vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Place the bones and liquid on to the stove, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. (If you want a richer stock you can roast them in a hot oven until golden brown).
Remove any scum from the surface as these are impurities that need not be in your stock and will also make it go cloudy.
Lower the temperature to a gentle simmer for at least 6 hours and longer if possible.
Strain the stock through a sieve, keeping the delicious stock and discarding the bones and vegetables.
Cool and remove any fat or impurities that may have risen to the surface.
Return the pot of stock back to the heat, taste and reduce over a moderately high heat. You will only need to do this to intensify the flavour of the stock. The more you reduce this the stronger it will get.
Serve in cups or small bowls. With turmeric and lemon added.
I also like to serve this with cooked grains, cultured vegetables and organic greens to add even more goodness.

ALISON LAMBERT. PHOTOS: SIMON LAMBERT

ALISON LAMBERT. PHOTOS: SIMON LAMBERT

Honey, lemon, sage and ginger throat syrup

At home we always have a jar of lemons and ginger soaking in honey. It naturally turns into digestible syrup which we either take by the spoonful or combine with hot water for a soothing drink. We find it helps with sore and tickly throats.

  • 2 lemons, organic if possible, sliced thinly, seeds removed
  • 50g fresh ginger, sliced thinly
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 300-400g good quality runny honey

Method
Using a sterlised 300-400g jar
Layer the sliced lemons, ginger and sage leaves in the jar.
Pour over enough honey to cover the ingredients. Cover and let macerate for at least a day to get started, however the syrup seems to improve over time and will last for many months if the ingredients keep covered in the syrup which naturally forms.

Honey and ginger soothing lozenges

You know that feeling when you get a tickle in your throat and you are after a soothing, pleasant tasting lozenge. This recipe is just that! You probably haven’t thought about making your own? They are relatively easy to make, you can add aromatics or mix up the honey to create a different flavour profile. You will need a cooking/candy thermometer as it is important that you watch over the bubbling mixture until it reaches the 148degC no more no less.
If you own silicone lolly moulds this would be ideal. I carefully dropped teaspoonfuls on to a lightly greased tray.

  • 1 cup of hot infused elderberry, ginger or cinnamon tea
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Method
Begin by brewing your tea with 1 cup of boiling water. Add the ginger and herbs and let brew for 5 minutes.
Strain into a deep sided small saucepan.
Add the honey and lemon juice, stir to combine.
Place over a moderate to high heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil.
Check the temperature constantly with the thermometer as this is vital to get the mixture to a ‘hard crack’ and no more. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Stir the mixture frequently.
Have your moulds or tray at the ready as you have to act immediately.
You will notice the mixture will darken. I used dark honey so my lozenges were darker than if you are using light honey. The bubbles will get larger and mixture will start to look syrupy almost like toffee.
As soon as your thermometer reaches 148degC/300degF remove from the heat immediately and pour into your mould or carefully spoon small spoonfuls on to your prepared tray.
Let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

Chicken avgolemono soup

This soup originates from Greece and may be complicated to pronounce but it is an absolute delight to the senses when consumed.
I made this recently when the family was feeling a little run down and it genuinely lifted all our spirits. It is a simple, yet complex recipe full of layers almost like building blocks. It is important to enjoy the process of creating such a dish. When you sit down to enjoy this delicious soup you will inhale the warming chicken and lemon broth and taste the work that you have lovingly put into this soup.

  • 1.5kg organic/free range chicken
  • 1kg carrots, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1kg leeks, washed, dark green parts removed (cut in half horizontally)
  • 100g short grain/risotto rice
  • 2 medium eggs, separated
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Method
Put about 2 litres of water into a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the carrots and bay leaves, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and ensure it is submerged, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the leeks and and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and the vegetables and set aside.
You should have around 1.5 litres of chicken broth.
Add the rice and stir to prevent sticking. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
To finish the soup; whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, add 2 cups of hot stock and whisk well to combine.
Add the egg yolks and lemon juice and continue mixing.
Take the soup off the heat and slowly pour into the chicken broth, stirring continuously until the soup thickens.
Adjust the seasoning to taste
Serve in warm bowls with a little butter in the middle.

THE days have become shorter and cooler as if almost overnight. The array of available ingredients have dramatically changed and we are now into hearty ingredients which require at times more preparation and longer cooking. I have always cooked within the seasons and the flavours and textures effortlessly work together.
We need the punchy greens, and broths to keep us nourished and comforted.

ALISON LAMBERT. PHOTOS: SIMON LAMBERT

ALISON LAMBERT. PHOTOS: SIMON LAMBERT

Food has such a big role to play in our daily lives. It not only nourishes us, it comforts us and it is vital in keeping us strong to fight the winter blues.
I love to simmer a pot of soup or slow cook a ragu or make robust winter salads and I also like to make warming syrups to soothe the throat and soul.
I find making dishes that boost our well-being is rewarding for all. Eat well and make smart food choices and you will feel better inside and out!

Bone broth with turmeric and lemon

Bone broths are used in many cultures in one way or another. Slow cooking good quality bones, aromatics and vegetables extracts this elixir of flavour which is rich in nutrients. It also has this soothing, satisfying feel to it and you somehow just feel enriched and better.
You can warm a cup of bone broth up for breakfast to get you started for your day or you can use it as a base for a bowl of nourishing soup. I add a variety of goodies depending on what is on hand such as greens, torn or finely shredded, sprouts, kimchi or similar varieties of ferment, a little hint of chilli always works a treat.
I like to make a large batch and then it can be frozen into smaller amounts.

  • 3 kg beef bones , marrow bones, knuckles, ribs etc
  • 300g onions, peeled cut into large chunks
  • 300g leek, washed, outer leaves removed and remaining roughly cut
  • 300g carrots, roughly cut
  • 300g celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Handful parsley stalks
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (3 Tbsp for every litre of water)

    To serve
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Method
Rinse the bones in cold water then place into a large, deep stock pot. Cover with cold water (3-5 litres depending on pot) and add the cider vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Place the bones and liquid on to the stove, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. (If you want a richer stock you can roast them in a hot oven until golden brown).
Remove any scum from the surface as these are impurities that need not be in your stock and will also make it go cloudy.
Lower the temperature to a gentle simmer for at least 6 hours and longer if possible.
Strain the stock through a sieve, keeping the delicious stock and discarding the bones and vegetables.
Cool and remove any fat or impurities that may have risen to the surface.
Return the pot of stock back to the heat, taste and reduce over a moderately high heat. You will only need to do this to intensify the flavour of the stock. The more you reduce this the stronger it will get.
Serve in cups or small bowls. With turmeric and lemon added.
I also like to serve this with cooked grains, cultured vegetables and organic greens to add even more goodness.

Chicken avgolemono soup

This soup originates from Greece and may be complicated to pronounce but it is an absolute delight to the senses when consumed.
I made this recently when the family was feeling a little run down and it genuinely lifted all our spirits. It is a simple, yet complex recipe full of layers almost like building blocks. It is important to enjoy the process of creating such a dish. When you sit down to enjoy this delicious soup you will inhale the warming chicken and lemon broth and taste the work that you have lovingly put into this soup.

  • 1.5kg organic/free range chicken
  • 1kg carrots, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1kg leeks, washed, dark green parts removed (cut in half horizontally)
  • 100g short grain/risotto rice
  • 2 medium eggs, separated
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

Method
Put about 2 litres of water into a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the carrots and bay leaves, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and ensure it is submerged, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the leeks and and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and the vegetables and set aside.
You should have around 1.5 litres of chicken broth.
Add the rice and stir to prevent sticking. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
To finish the soup; whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, add 2 cups of hot stock and whisk well to combine.
Add the egg yolks and lemon juice and continue mixing.
Take the soup off the heat and slowly pour into the chicken broth, stirring continuously until the soup thickens.
Adjust the seasoning to taste
Serve in warm bowls with a little butter in the middle.

Honey, lemon, sage and ginger throat syrup

At home we always have a jar of lemons and ginger soaking in honey. It naturally turns into digestible syrup which we either take by the spoonful or combine with hot water for a soothing drink. We find it helps with sore and tickly throats.

  • 2 lemons, organic if possible, sliced thinly, seeds removed
  • 50g fresh ginger, sliced thinly
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 300-400g good quality runny honey

Method
Using a sterlised 300-400g jar
Layer the sliced lemons, ginger and sage leaves in the jar.
Pour over enough honey to cover the ingredients. Cover and let macerate for at least a day to get started, however the syrup seems to improve over time and will last for many months if the ingredients keep covered in the syrup which naturally forms.

Honey and ginger soothing lozenges

You know that feeling when you get a tickle in your throat and you are after a soothing, pleasant tasting lozenge. This recipe is just that! You probably haven’t thought about making your own? They are relatively easy to make, you can add aromatics or mix up the honey to create a different flavour profile. You will need a cooking/candy thermometer as it is important that you watch over the bubbling mixture until it reaches the 148degC no more no less.
If you own silicone lolly moulds this would be ideal. I carefully dropped teaspoonfuls on to a lightly greased tray.

  • 1 cup of hot infused elderberry, ginger or cinnamon tea
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Method
Begin by brewing your tea with 1 cup of boiling water. Add the ginger and herbs and let brew for 5 minutes.
Strain into a deep sided small saucepan.
Add the honey and lemon juice, stir to combine.
Place over a moderate to high heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil.
Check the temperature constantly with the thermometer as this is vital to get the mixture to a ‘hard crack’ and no more. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Stir the mixture frequently.
Have your moulds or tray at the ready as you have to act immediately.
You will notice the mixture will darken. I used dark honey so my lozenges were darker than if you are using light honey. The bubbles will get larger and mixture will start to look syrupy almost like toffee.
As soon as your thermometer reaches 148degC/300degF remove from the heat immediately and pour into your mould or carefully spoon small spoonfuls on to your prepared tray.
Let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

Rich winter stew

A SOUTHERN KITCHEN

JOAN BISHOP

A complete meal in a pot — this supremely succulent stew, a combination of chicken and creamy cannellini beans in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, is topped with a Parmesan crumble.
Easy to assemble and able to be prepared in advance, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours before reheating. A green salad is the only accompaniment needed.

PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Chicken in red wine with cannellini beans

  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs (approximately 10, trimmed of excess fat)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 400g red capsicums (2 large), deseeded and thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Quarter cup tomato paste
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked dried beans)
  • Half cup breadcrumbs (I use panko)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180degC.
Place the flour in a plastic bag, add the chicken pieces two at a time and shake to coat the chicken evenly. Shake off any excess.
Heat a large non-stick frypan, add 1 Tbsp oil. When hot, fry the chicken in batches until lightly brown. Place the chicken pieces in a flatish, casserole dish, 18cm x 30cm works well.
Add remaining oil to the frypan and add the onion and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the red capsicum and garlic and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to the frypan, stir well and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
(The chicken can be refrigerated at this stage for up to 24 hours).
Gently stir the cannellini beans into the sauce surrounding the chicken. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 50minutes. If reheating the chicken from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and allow an extra 15 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 200degC.
Combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Remove the lid or foil and sprinkle the cheese mixture over the top. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the topping is golden.

A SOUTHERN KITCHEN

JOAN BISHOP

A complete meal in a pot — this supremely succulent stew, a combination of chicken and creamy cannellini beans in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, is topped with a Parmesan crumble.
Easy to assemble and able to be prepared in advance, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours before reheating. A green salad is the only accompaniment needed.

PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Chicken in red wine with cannellini beans

  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs (approximately 10, trimmed of excess fat)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 400g red capsicums (2 large), deseeded and thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Quarter cup tomato paste
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked dried beans)
  • Half cup breadcrumbs (I use panko)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180degC.
Place the flour in a plastic bag, add the chicken pieces two at a time and shake to coat the chicken evenly. Shake off any excess.
Heat a large non-stick frypan, add 1 Tbsp oil. When hot, fry the chicken in batches until lightly brown. Place the chicken pieces in a flatish, casserole dish, 18cm x 30cm works well.
Add remaining oil to the frypan and add the onion and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the red capsicum and garlic and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to the frypan, stir well and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
(The chicken can be refrigerated at this stage for up to 24 hours).
Gently stir the cannellini beans into the sauce surrounding the chicken. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 50minutes. If reheating the chicken from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and allow an extra 15 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 200degC.
Combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Remove the lid or foil and sprinkle the cheese mixture over the top. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the topping is golden.

Now is the winter of our discontent

WINE TIMES

MARK HENDERSON

AFTER two years of dealing with the ongoing trials and tribulations of Covid, the famous quote from Shakespeare’s Richard III “now is the winter of our discontent” does seem a rather apt one. Taken alone, it represents the misery that many people are feeling. However, the second line of the poem “made glorious summer by this sun of York” puts things into a different context.

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson

I’m no thespian, and I’m dredging up my schoolboy English lessons here, but the sun of York quote is subtle word play alluding to both the summer sun, and also the King, a son of York. Rather than doom and gloom, it refers to Richard’s ascendance to the throne, the end of war, and the promise of better times ahead. Simply, that bad times are temporary, and now thankfully in the past. Hopefully, this is a state of mind that we can all move to, as people are able to travel and re-connect with family and friends once again, and life and business slowly regains a sense of normality.
That concept of ‘‘coming out from under a cloud’’ made me ponder the vagaries of fashion, as prevalent in wine as it is in all areas of life. That grape varieties and wine styles can ride waves of fashionability, at times in a period of gloom with their producers toiling for little reward, before finally basking in the glow of recognition.
Chardonnay would be a prime example: remember the ABC (anything but Chardonnay) movement? Beaujolais too, going from the dizzy heights of the Beaujolais Nouveau craze to being distinctly out of fashion, to once more rising again. Merlot another, triggered by the Sideways movie.
Semillon is a white grape variety that we now rarely see domestically. Alongside Sauvignon blanc it is the backbone of the wonderful dry and sweet white wines of Bordeaux in France, gaining recognition in South Africa, while also widely planted in Australia, with examples from the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and Margaret River once commonplace on shop shelves in my early days of wine enthusiasm.
Locally, it was mostly blended with Sauvignon blanc, where its characters of lemon, lime, apple and occasionally smoke and bramble could add layers of interest to the wine. Over ensuing years, Semillon seems to have gone missing in action, with the latest NZ Winegrowers figures showing only 28ha planted, while, it seems to have vanished from public perception. A sad end for this noble white grape?
Yet perhaps there is a glimmer of hope? Three wines recently crossed my path: two straight Semillons and a Sauvignon blanc/Semillon blend, and with all of them I thought, ‘‘gosh, I’d love to drink these’’. They won’t be easy to find, but perhaps may help to see this grape in the ascendancy, and once more into the light?

2021 Forrest Marlborough Semillon

Price: $27
Rating: Excellent

Smoky notes, citrus, fleeting apple notes shifting to stonefruit and wet wool. Musk, spice and citrus flood the initially supple and rounded palate before the acidity rushes in to provide an almost tingly freshness. The nose and palate builds nicely adding touches of lime zest and pineapple as the raciness increases. A match made in heaven with pan-fried fish!
www.forrest.co.nz

2020 Clearview Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Semillon

Price: $28
Rating: Excellent to Outstanding

Bolder nose, smoke, stony gravels, citrus, lanolin, gaining apple flesh and bonfire embers with aeration. Lovely fruit here, ripe yet dry, with citrus, apple, white peach, fruit sherbet and a brambly backdrop. There’s a creaminess to the texture, supple, rounded and mouthfilling with an acid line through the wine lending appealing freshness.
Delightful.
www.clearviewestate.co.nz

2021 Riverby Estate Single Vineyard Marlborough Old Vines White Blend

Price: $35
Rating: Excellent to Outstanding

Grassy/green herb notes, ripe gooseberry, stonefruit, anise, developing tropical fruit and cream notes with aeration. Nice weight and power, textural richness, anise again, smoke, citrus, fruit pastille, a delightful creaminess. Layers of flavour, hits the refreshment factor too as it builds an appealing crunchy, zestiness. 70% Sauvignon blanc, 30% Semillon.
www.riverbyestate.com

AFTER two years of dealing with the ongoing trials and tribulations of Covid, the famous quote from Shakespeare’s Richard III “now is the winter of our discontent” does seem a rather apt one. Taken alone, it represents the misery that many people are feeling. However, the second line of the poem “made glorious summer by this sun of York” puts things into a different context.

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson

I’m no thespian, and I’m dredging up my schoolboy English lessons here, but the sun of York quote is subtle word play alluding to both the summer sun, and also the King, a son of York. Rather than doom and gloom, it refers to Richard’s ascendance to the throne, the end of war, and the promise of better times ahead. Simply, that bad times are temporary, and now thankfully in the past. Hopefully, this is a state of mind that we can all move to, as people are able to travel and re-connect with family and friends once again, and life and business slowly regains a sense of normality.
That concept of ‘‘coming out from under a cloud’’ made me ponder the vagaries of fashion, as prevalent in wine as it is in all areas of life. That grape varieties and wine styles can ride waves of fashionability, at times in a period of gloom with their producers toiling for little reward, before finally basking in the glow of recognition.
Chardonnay would be a prime example: remember the ABC (anything but Chardonnay) movement? Beaujolais too, going from the dizzy heights of the Beaujolais Nouveau craze to being distinctly out of fashion, to once more rising again. Merlot another, triggered by the Sideways movie.
Semillon is a white grape variety that we now rarely see domestically. Alongside Sauvignon blanc it is the backbone of the wonderful dry and sweet white wines of Bordeaux in France, gaining recognition in South Africa, while also widely planted in Australia, with examples from the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and Margaret River once commonplace on shop shelves in my early days of wine enthusiasm.
Locally, it was mostly blended with Sauvignon blanc, where its characters of lemon, lime, apple and occasionally smoke and bramble could add layers of interest to the wine. Over ensuing years, Semillon seems to have gone missing in action, with the latest NZ Winegrowers figures showing only 28ha planted, while, it seems to have vanished from public perception. A sad end for this noble white grape?
Yet perhaps there is a glimmer of hope? Three wines recently crossed my path: two straight Semillons and a Sauvignon blanc/Semillon blend, and with all of them I thought, ‘‘gosh, I’d love to drink these’’. They won’t be easy to find, but perhaps may help to see this grape in the ascendancy, and once more into the light?

2021 Forrest Marlborough Semillon

Price: $27
Rating: Excellent

Smoky notes, citrus, fleeting apple notes shifting to stonefruit and wet wool. Musk, spice and citrus flood the initially supple and rounded palate before the acidity rushes in to provide an almost tingly freshness. The nose and palate builds nicely adding touches of lime zest and pineapple as the raciness increases. A match made in heaven with pan-fried fish!
www.forrest.co.nz

2020 Clearview Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Semillon

Price: $28
Rating: Excellent to Outstanding

Bolder nose, smoke, stony gravels, citrus, lanolin, gaining apple flesh and bonfire embers with aeration. Lovely fruit here, ripe yet dry, with citrus, apple, white peach, fruit sherbet and a brambly backdrop. There’s a creaminess to the texture, supple, rounded and mouthfilling with an acid line through the wine lending appealing freshness.
Delightful.
www.clearviewestate.co.nz

2021 Riverby Estate Single Vineyard Marlborough Old Vines White Blend

Price: $35
Rating: Excellent to Outstanding

Grassy/green herb notes, ripe gooseberry, stonefruit, anise, developing tropical fruit and cream notes with aeration. Nice weight and power, textural richness, anise again, smoke, citrus, fruit pastille, a delightful creaminess. Layers of flavour, hits the refreshment factor too as it builds an appealing crunchy, zestiness. 70% Sauvignon blanc, 30% Semillon.
www.riverbyestate.com

Page design: Mathew Patchett