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Simply Divine
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Trentham Rabbit
Occaisonally I hunt in the Trentham area with a friend in the industry. Sometimes I take home the fare which could be hare or rabbit. Both can be a bit tricky to cook so I choose to keep it simple.

Holding the carcass around the middle, remove the front and back legs to be left with the saddle. Pair the ribs off high but not into the fillet flesh. Rinse the portion watching for any shards of bones. Dry it. Dust it in flour, pepper and salt and then in a lightly oiled heavy metal heated pot, slowly fry and brown the saddle/s with wheels of carrots, celery and mushrooms. Once coloured, turn down the heat, add sprigs of thyme, parsley and sage (or bouquet garni) and pour in two cups of chicken stock and put the lid on and let simmer for twenty minutes being careful not to dry out the pot. Then remove the saddle/s and place on a baking dish draping the them with fatty bacon. Bake on low for half an hour letting the render from the bacon add moisture to the rabbit. Remove from the dish and serve onto plates with your favourite sides (salad, mashed potatoes, gratin potatoes works well, steamed greens etc.).
This is best paired with the Daylesford Wine Co. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Cabernets.


Gisborne Yabbies
Such an under rated delicacy. The best size are those that cover the length of your hand. Wild fare are generally best. (And most fun to acquire.)

Place the live yabbies in the freezer for a couple of minutes to send them to sleep. Then bring them out and drop them into rapid boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from pot and let cool. Next, take a long sharp knife and cut down the length (middle) of the yabbie and quickly place them in a bowl saving any juices. Now bring a pan to heat (hot) and place two table spoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in the base, add a pinch of pepper, 6 yabbie halves and juices, chopped leaves of fresh oregano, diced tomato and a splash of Isis Blanc. Toss them about for a couple of minutes and then slide out onto a serving dish. Keep the pan fresh for each lot to ensure the natural sweet flavour of the yabbies are retained. Using oyster forks, toothpicks or similar, extract the flesh from the tails and claws and enjoy the pan juices with some quality sour dough bread. (Remember to get a few extras, for what you cook and what hits the table will be reduced by atleast 20% due to the chef performing regular quality control.) This recipe transfers well to Scampi or large prawns requiring some additional flavour.
Enjoy with Daylesford Wine Co. Sparkling Cuvee, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.


 

Daylesford Rainbow Trout
As a fly fishing nut I generally try and befriend anyone that mentions a body of water that holds any trout. And sometimes the following excursions are very fruitful indeed. One particular occasion resulted in a very fat 5lb Rainbow Trout on my second cast into a little lake on a fly that I designed and tied called 'Eternal Optimist'. It rarely fails me.

Take the whole cleaned fish and pat it dry with paper towel inside and out. Prepare tin foil by laying out flat on a bench and rubbing a great knob of butter along the centre length ways.(For large rainbows, generally wild caught not farmed, you will need to join two pieces of foil by laying one exactly over the other and performing a series of 3 x 5mm folds along the length, then open out.) Grind a small amount of pepper and salt along the same band and place place rings of sliced onion along the band also leaving enough room at the end for folding. Rub more butter along one side of the fish and lay this side on the prepared foil. Insert some onion rings inside the cavity and lay sprigs of fresh parsley inside. Now butter the top of the fish, salt and pepper, a few onion rings and then seal the foil buy folding over to the edge and then finely rolling the edge back on itself a few times to seal tight. Repeat for the short ends. (If you wish you can add a very fine splash of white wine into the cavity or lemon flesh(rind and pith excluded). I prefer to keep it natural to enjoy the flavour of the fish. Brown trout generally aren't as sweet as Rainbows so require more aromatic herbs and attention.
Bake the fish in a pre-heated medium-high oven, and bake for about 15 mins to half an hour to be safe for large fish. Serve by opening the foil along the top keeping the juices inside and cut up  crusty bread for dipping in the juices. Toss a  basic green salad together.
Enjoy with Daylesford Wine Co. Chardonnay.


 

Chicken Liver, Port & Sage Fettucine
Get the fettucine into some salted boing water to cook whilst preparing the dish.
Place the chicken livers (aim for 5 per peson) into a bowl cover with port. (Whisky, sherry or madeira is ok too). Whilst they are soaking begin to remove any excess membrane, 'strings' or other unwanted matter. Once these are clean they will have soaked long enough. Drain well. To a hot pan add two tablespoons of olive oil and one of butter, and one finley sliced onion and one clove of crushed garlic. Fry until transparent. Add chicken livers to hot pan with sliced sage (thyme works well too) leaves. Fry until moisture colour stops coming from the chicken liver. Add half a cup of chicken stock and a quarter a cup of cream and let reduce. Whilst this is reducing, drain the fettucine very well and put back in the hot pot. Add a spoon of butter and salt and pepper. Serve the pasta to individual bowls and then spoon on the chicken livers and share out the sauce accordinly. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper and serve. Fantastic with Daylesford Wine Co. Chardonnay or DWC Cabernets.


 

 Mornington Snapper
Whilst living in Mornington I used to fish off a tiny rocky point and float a pilchard about 20 metres off the shoreline and let it bob along the shelf. Often I would return home with a couple of nice sized (2 pound) snapper. Just perfect. 

                           
Clean and scale the freshest fish you can find. Pat the fish dry and put to one side. Peel and boil ten little new potatoes, once soft but not too soft, strain. Let the remaining heat dry them. Toss them through a hot pan of two tablespoons of olive oil and one of butter and sprinkle with generous amounts of crushed garlic, sage and parsley. Let them fry until almost dry fliping constantly. Then remove and put in a serving bowl.
Take the fish and pat it dry again, then wipe or paint it with the remaining oil and butter from the pan (if you need to add some more, this is fine but just reheat it to incorporate the flavours). Then place the fish in an oiled hot baking tray from the oven and let it fry a bit, absorbing the heat of the pan, then flip, cover with foil and put back into the oven. After about 20 minutes the fish should be cooked. Pull some flesh from the bones to be sure. Remove the fish to a serving plate and drizzle with some fresh olive oil and top with cracked pepper and salt.
Make a quick green salad and apply lots of dressing. (In a jar shake up 100ml of vinegar (most types fine) 50ml of olive oil, one crushed clove of garlic, one teaspoon of brown sugar, one teaspoon of a mustard (french or hot english works well), and any other additions you like (capers, herbs, anchovies, diced fruits e.g. mango). Adjust recipe to suit base ingredients.)
Place dishes in the middle of the table and enjoy the meal. Remember not to neglect the cheek of the snapper as this is sometimes the sweetest meat. Enjoy with Daylesford Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc or chilled Pinot Rose.

 


 Paprika Chicken (Old family recipe- coming soon)

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