Zap 2

It’s hard to find good Thai cuisine in New Zealand. I don’t know why. Maybe it can be found in the kitchens and dining rooms of Thai immigrants here, but sadly, what exists in restaurants and takeaway joints isn’t exactly going to bring about flashbacks to tropical downpours and Bangkok nights. Too much sugar. Not enough (if any) fresh herbs. And soupy curries that taste … Continue reading Zap 2

Read it and Eat

The New Zealand Cook’s Bible: Classic Recipes & Step-by-Step Techniques, by Lesley Christensen-Yule & Hamish McRae This comprehensive overview of how to work a kitchen is a must-have on your bookshelf, and will, I promise you, become one of your most-used and trusted companions. It has a reassuring text-book tone which makes you feel you’re in good hands, and you are, since both Christensen-Yule and … Continue reading Read it and Eat

Shefco Lebanese Cuisine

You can barely walk half a block in most parts of Sydney without passing a shawarma joint. Whether the shopkeepers are Lebanese, Syrian, or Iraqi, Middle Eastern food is everywhere in that multicultural metropolis. We have our fair share of immigrants from the Levant here in New Zealand, too, so I’ve never understood why every kebab joint here purports to have Turkish origins. In fact, … Continue reading Shefco Lebanese Cuisine

Cook’s Cupboard: dried Asian mushrooms

Beautifully delicate, fresh locally grown oyster, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms can now be found at many supermarkets, greengrocers’ and produce markets. The ones in my picture below came from the Avondale Markets. But you can also buy these same varieties (individually or mixed) dried and packaged, meaning you can keep them in your pantry to be used whenever you fancy a bit of fungi, … Continue reading Cook’s Cupboard: dried Asian mushrooms

And we think the odd hair is bad…

We’ve all experienced that slightly stomach-churning occurrence of spotting a foreign body in food that was about to make its way into your mouth, but spare a thought for those poor souls in less enlightened times who, as Bill Bryson tells in his fascinating recent compendium At Home,  faced a constant barrage of non-food additives festering in their fodder. Baked goods and mustard glowed with the help … Continue reading And we think the odd hair is bad…