October 2017

It was an extremely relaxing weekend at the beach, with long walks in the rainy drizzle, barbecue brunches of haloumi and asparagus, and board games and golf and platters. My plans for a romantic Saturday night fish’n’chip picnic on said beach were thwarted by some aggressive spring wind, but a venue change to the couch (still with bubbles in paper cups) proved more than sufficient in comparison. Fresh battered snapper with chips doused in malt vinegar and Louis Roederer is quite the food and wine match, I can tell you.

The rainy Labour Day Monday morning was spent with coffee and friends and Settlers of Catan, and coming in hot taunting us on the family group chat were Mum’s utterly perfect cheese scones. My sister had requested the recipe a few weeks ago, which I dutifully sent her, and so then too we were taunted with photos of her fresh batch. The recipe is from Wellington’s Ministry of Food - they are, quite simply, the best cheese scones ever. I realised I’d had them on my old blog but it’s quite the travesty they aren’t yet here. So herewith, perfect for long weekends, taunting family members, or otherwise. Just don’t forget to slather them in butter.

Recipe inside!

Best Cheese Scones

Recipe from Wellington's Ministry of Food, as seen here on the Cuisine website.

Makes 8 cheese scones. Can easily be halved if you're on your own and having a craving. 

Seriously, best scones I've ever made. 

2 cups flour (plain flour is fine, but they work well with spelt flour) 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of smoked paprika (original recipe says use cayenne)
2 cups grated tasty cheese (a little parmesan on top works well)
1 cup full-cream milk

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper into a bowl.

Mix in the grated cheese.

Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk.

Mix lightly then turn out on a floured bench.

Shape into a rectangle about 3cm high. Cut into 8 and transfer on to a baking tray.

Bake at 220°C for 15-20 minutes until deep golden.

Serve slathered in butter with a cup of tea!

// Posted by Delaney at 1:15 PM // Labels: scones, cheese, baking

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and goodness knows I've spent the winter testing whether such a theory holds any such truth. There was a pretty last minute and mediocre chicken-broccoli-soba-noodle situation, and there were sticky date puddings, which after half had been eaten it was declared I'm going to be honest with you, I don't actually like dates. There was an attempt at pickled eggs, there was a near-perfect dish of salmon, and there was shortbread. 

A throwaway comment about a fondness for shortbread was dutifully stashed in my memory bank, only to be outsourced to my iphone notes section, where all important things (to-do lists, things to bake, life plans, invoices to send, random sentences which end up in articles, etc) get dutifully stashed. A few days later I googled recipes, purchased some fancy butter, learnt that my oven has a defect setting which burns everything on the bottom, bought more fancy butter, made a new lump of dough, and ate chunks of the aformentioned dough, before making the perfect batch and thus proving my love language is definitely acts of service. Let's just say they were melt in your mouth delicious, and they were very well received. I cannot recommend highly enough making these for someone who's heart you're paving your way into. 

Recipe inside!

Classic shortbread

Adapted from a number of recipes. 

Ingredients 

250g butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup cornflour

2 cup plain flour 

Cream the butter with the icing sugar until white and fluffy. Gradually add the cornflour and the plain flour. 

Knead the dough out onto a floured surface, then roll into two logs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (but can leave for longer). 

 

Preheat your oven to 150C and line two baking trays with baking paper. 

Slice the dough into rounds and place on the lined baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the tray and serve. 

Note: slice leftover dough into rounds and freeze in a snaplock bag if you aren't making the entire batch at once. 

 

 

// Posted by Delaney at 12:47 PM

About a year ago I was asked by Penguin Random House if I would like to undertake the NZ Restaurant Cookbook - choosing 50 restaurants across the country, asking them politely for a recipe or two, and writing an intro about each one, and to the book itself. Flattered, I thought that sounded simple enough (and fun) so enthusiastically I said yes. What proceeded was a rollercoaster of a project - of wrangling spreadsheets, and harassing chefs (during Christmas when they're insanely busy and January when they're on holiday) and tweaking recipes and generally, well, pulling a book together. It's fair to say I nearly lost the plot on more than one occasion, but it happened and now it's here!

Liz Clarkson photographed the entire thing - she traversed the country and faced cancelled flights, ash clouds, flooding, and earthquakes - to get stunning original photography of the restaurants, the people, and of course, the food.

Now that the book is in stores and in my hand, I can safely say it’s beautiful and I am thrilled.

// Posted by Delaney at 9:00 AM