Monday, April 22, 2019

Otago Peninsula, cosa visitare vicino a Dunedin.


Siamo in vacanza al Sud, erano 25 anni che non vedevo Dunedin!! Abbiamo affittato un cottage di sasso fuori città, in una fattoria proprio all'inizio della Penisola di Otago.  Il cottage è del 1870 circa, e la fattoria nella stessa famiglia da 5 generazioni. Il posto ideale per esplorare la penisola!






Pausa caffè a Portobello (dove siamo tornati anche a pranzo, ma nulla di che...).






Uno dei posti migliori è sicuramente questo dove si possono fare tour per vedere gli albatri, la foto sotto è solo del poster, ne abbiamo visto uno volare, ma troppo veloce e troppo da lontano per essere fotografato, ma la foto che segue... 


Sì! Un pulcino di albatro! Abbiamo visto 4 pulcini... o meglio, pulcioni! Sono grossi e grassi! 


Consiglio vivamente una visita al Royal Albatross Centre, che organizza anche tour per vedere i pinguini. Nella penisola non mancano poi le foche, che si trovano su molte delle spiagge.




I  pinguini solo il simbolo della zona, ci sono i little blue penguin e yellow eye penguin (rari). 
Eccoli anche raffigurati in questa simpatica fermata dell'autobus (completa con poltrona!) 






Non si può perdere una visita al 'Castello' di Larnach, l'unico castello della Nuova Zelanda. Veramente non è proprio un castello, diciamo un 'castelletto', ma molto eccentrico e divertente per prendere il tè e fare un tuffo nel passato coloniale del profondo sud del paese. 

 

 Il giardino è grande, anche se non troppo ben tenuto (forse troppo impegnativo?) 


All'interno del castello c'è una collezione eclettica di mobili e oggetti vecchi, mi è piaciuto questo libro di ricette,


... e questo copriletto fatto ad uncinetto che assomiglia da matti a quello che mia madre ha fatto anni fa, e che ora ho in camera mia in Italia!












Penso che più che il castello di Larnach, che è poi una meta più turistica che storica, preferisco 
 Otakou Runanga Marae (e questa non è per turisti!).








Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, April 8, 2019

Salsa verde with petals


I usually make this when I have some stale bread and lots of parsley. Also when I have some leftover vinegar from a pickle jar. Waste not waste not!!

Soak the bread with the vinegar (if you don't have vinegar from a pickle jar use white wine vinegar - do not use dark vinegar!). Add one hard boiled egg, a few capers, and all the parsley you can find (stalks good too!). Blend. Add more vinegar if too thick, and also a little extra virgin olive oil. Add salt to taste and blend until smooth. Add a few more capers (whole) and petals and stir. I used Friarielli flowers (cime di rapa), nasturtium and borage flowers here. Leave some on top for decoration.

In Italy salsa verde is usually served with boiled meat, but as I don't eat meat I like it with boiled eggs, and also with bread, or as a dip.


Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Fried paneer with turmeric and cornflowers



My family love paneer, most of our curries have it, and if they don't I often fry some on the side to add to warm roti or chapati breads. For this recipe I added some spices, including a little turmeric, so the blue cornflower petals looked stunning!

Cut the paneer in slices. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan, add a few coriander seeds and a few cumin seeds and then, when the oil is hot, the paneer slices. Fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, then turn, add a pinch of salt and a little turmeric powder and fry on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Turn one last time so the paneer slices are completely coated with turmeric and then turn the element off.  Sprinkle with cornflower petals and serve immediately.


And now some flowers from the garden and from the home for Pinterest











Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, March 18, 2019

After dinner chocolate kawakawa


This is better than after dinner chocolate mints, and very much a New Zealand foraging option! Kawakawa abounds in the 'bush' (forest) where I live and it is by far my favourite NZ foraged leaf. I often make tea, use it for custards instead of vanilla, and in other recipes (just click here for a few ideas).

But these chocolates are my best creation to date, or so I think - so if you copy them please credit me ;-) (I had far too many recipes from this and my other blogs taken without credits, a bit cheeky really, especially if Kiwis do it: New Zealand is a small place, too small to do this!!).

I used some 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate from Whittaker's, which is a NZ product, making this a truly Kiwi treat! Melt the chocolate in a deep plate or terrine (not in a bowl - you want something with more surface than deepness) over a pot of hot water. Forage your kawakawa leaves, wash them well and pat them dry. Holding the stem place them shiny side down onto the chocolate, and then on a tray lined with cooking paper, chocolate side facing up. Add a little chocolate with a teaspoon if you missed a bit - you want to cover the whole surface of the leaf. Don't make it too thick though, thin after dinner chocolates are more 'refined'.

Refrigerate until set, then turn upside down and gently peal the leaves off the chocolate (they will come out easily). Keep in the fridge until serving time. One side will be darker, while the other (the one that touched the leaf) shiny. The chocolate will be coated with the scent and mild peppery taste of kawakawa. I prefer them to chocolate mints, and so did my family, plus they look so cool!

A part from being served as an option to after dinner mints, they are also great with ice cream and to decorate cakes, cupcakes and desserts.



Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Friday, March 8, 2019

How to make candied flowers


You will need some fresh organic edible flowers and petals, clean them well with kitchen paper and a little water, if necessary, but make sure that they are not wet before starting.

Mix an egg white lightly with a fork (do not whip). Coat the petals with the egg white.


Next step: coat with sugar. I find caster sugar a bit to rough, and icing sugar too fine, so I just put some normal white sugar in a mixer and grind it a little until it is finer but not as fine as icing sugar.


I keep the egg white, sugar bowl and a tray all in a line so I can work more easily.


Let the flowers and petal dry completely and then store away in a dry place until needed.


And now some flowers for Pinterest! 














Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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