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Goats’ cheese & honeycomb filo cigars

Posted by Jess Daniell on

This afternoon on Saturday Fresh I shared one of my favourite filo pastry recipes  these goats' cheese & honeycomb filo cigars. Serve as a pre-dinner canapé or an impressive dessert that doubles as a cheese platter — because any dessert with cheese is a winner in my books.
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Roasted mushroom soup

Posted by Jess Daniell on

The weather outside is telling me it's time for SOUP! The beauty of this belly-warming mushroom soup is that everything is done in the oven — no stirring required. Roasting intensifies the mushroominess and also gives you the chance to add even more flavours — think garlic, fennel and thyme. You can finish this soup with coconut cream to keep it dairy-free.


800g Portobello mushrooms, washed & ends trimmed
10 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 onion, peeled & roughly cut into wedges
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1–2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cream
1 lemon, zest & juice
Parmesan, to serve
Salt & pepper

Makes 4 serves
Takes 40 minutes


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

Arrange mushrooms, bottom sides facing up, on the tray, along with garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary and fennel seeds. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 25–30 minutes, tossing several times during cooking, until mushrooms are tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Remove thyme stems and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin. Add the entire tray of mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs to the bowl of your food processor, including all of the juices. Add vegetable stock and blitz until smooth. Add cream, lemon zest and juice and blend until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve hot with an extra drizzle of cream, some shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of good-quality, extra-virgin olive oil.

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BBQ Season

Posted by Jess Daniell on

With spring in our step and daylight savings giving us an extra hour of sunlight it's time to get the BBQ's clean, the tongs out and the steak marinating. 

After what has seemed like the winter that went on forever, with the BBQ couped up under its cover, it's vital we get her all cleaned up for the summer months ahead. There are so many different tricks for cleaning BBQ's out there but I personally like the stress-free, mess-free option - oil the BBQ up, get it burning on a high heat and let the cleaning take place without moving another muscle. Another thing I like to do it to pour a little beer on it to really make sure shes squeaky clean. 

As quintessential kiwis, we all know what we like when it comes to BBQ'd proteins but what people sometimes put aside is the marinade, which in my opinion is one of the best things that can happen to a cut of meat or grilled veggies.

My personal favourite is the humble green dressing, it can be adapted with the smallest of tweaks to inspire a different flavour combination, poured over grilled veggies to create a Gado Gado salad or by adding some extra Dijon mustard it can be used as a marinade for steak, chicken or fish. 

Green Dressing 

2 garlic cloves 
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
3 Tbsp lemon juice 
1 Tbsp sugar 
1 tsp chilli flakes 
Large handful parsley, including stems 
Large handful coriander, including roots
Large handful spinach 
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar 
1 cup rice bran oil 
salt and pepper 

Makes 3 cups 
Takes  10 minutes 
DF | GF | Vegan 

Add garlic, mustard, lemon juice and chilli flakes to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse to break down the garlic. Add herbs and spinach, then blitz to a paste. With the food processor still running, add the vinegar and then drizzle in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

This recipe is such a great base - for a Mexican-inspired dressing I add a handful of jalapeños, for a Mediterranean touch I throw in a few anchovies and some capers - and it's a fantastic way to use up herbs that are bolting in your garden or looking slightly wilted in your fridge. Use it to dress salads, vegetables, eggs and meats. 

One final trick that is relatively unheard of is based around the kiwifruit - if you peel and mash a kiwifruit up and add it to your marinade, the natural enzymes will help tenderise the meat, especially steak. - NOW THIS will make for a seriously kiwi summer. 

Recipe from page 75 of My Underground Deli

check out my full interview with the AM show on how to create the ultimate summer BBQ here

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