Point of difference: Recipes inspired by the NZ Food Awards
It was with great pleasure and interest that I acted as one of the judges for the 2016 New Zealand Food Awards, in association with Massey University. Not only do I find it very useful to keep one’s judging abilities up to scratch, it is also interesting to see a snapshot of the great food people are producing here.
I was reassured to see that the best products weren’t those that relied on additives to preserve them or do the other two things that old-school food processing is based on; diluting the food with additives to increase volume and merely make cheaper products.
Good food costs money or as American chef Alice Waters once said, “there is no such thing as cheap food — you either pay now or pay later”. Processed food using chemical additives relies on technology that does not suit our biology.
The best products indeed use technology but use this know-how to bring to us good, wholesome fresh food.The following are ideas for using some of the finalist products I tasted.
The organic raw apple cider vinegar is a beautiful product, made traditionally and not needing any additives.
Ghost Chilli Ciabatta is a collaboration between the Kapiti Artisan Bakehouse and Culley’s Hot Sauces and is just that, a fresh traditional product with a Kiwi twist that I later found freezes well.
Keewai koura, or freshwater crayfish, are sold live so there is nothing chemical going on there. Mamia’s Wat Cooking Sauce and Relish is an additive-free preserve — real food in a jar with a great flavour.
This is good with warm flatbread. Get the recipe
If you can’t get Keewai freshwater crayfish, (koura), large prawns, crayfish (kill it the same way as the koura) or scallops, poached until just cooked in simmering salted water, are good with this dressing. Good with plenty of hot, boiled baby or new potatoes. Get the recipe
Don’t be put off by the three-hour cooking time for the pork — the oven does all the work and you can cook it in advance. If cooking in advance, once cooked, leave the pork in the casserole to cool and reheat at 180C for 20 minutes or until the pork is very hot, then proceed with the recipe. Get the recipe