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Kiwi Kitchen

Series One Recipes - Episode Seven

Boiled Salted Birds. Thanks Jan!

Put bird(s) in a big pot, just cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins.
Drain the water, replace the water and repeat the process, and again. Then gently simmer birds until tender.
Cut birds in half and 'pop' under the grill with the aim of crisping the skin and rendering out more fat.
I put mine (with a weight on top) in a heavy pan over a low heat and crisp the skin that way, AND on Jean's recommendation I added a clove of Garlic.

Serving instructions.
Eat with fingers.

NOTE: the smell is pervasive and not to everyone's liking. Some lovers of the bird are made to boil them out in the shed by other family members who object. I know.

Richard's Vietnamese spring rolls


1 bird prepared as above.
When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones, suck bones and shred meat.
1 packet rice spring roll wrappers
Finely grated carrot
Minced spring onion


Dip the rice rounds in warm water and place on a damp tea towel.
They'll be soft enough to roll in a minute.
Add little bits of each of muttonbird, cress, carrot, spring onion.
Roll up.

Dipping sauce
Nam pla (fish sauce) 2 Tbl
Lime juice 2 Tbl
Mandy's horseradish 2 Tbl. Doesn't have to Mandy's but it needs to be good and hot.
Mix together.


Jean's beef and prawn chow mein


200g rump steak, sliced thinly across the grain.
Frozen 'green' (uncooked) prawn tail meat, thawed and butterflied. 8 each.
300 g dried egg noodles (follow packet instructions to rehydrate)
1/2 head broccoli cut into flourettes.
1/2 small head cauliflower cut into florets.
Canned baby corn
Sesame oil
Chinese rice wine
Soya sauce. Use a light sauce.
Potato starch
Oyster sauce.
Knob of ginger
Prepare vegetables.
(Remember to choose your vegetables to suit your wishes.)
Slice vegetables with consideration given to making the dimensions pleasant to look and scaled to suit the wok cooking. Short fast cooking.
Blanch if you can be bothered or, if necessary, to soften vegetables to your liking.

Marinate the beef in
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbl sesame oil
1 tsp potato starch.

Heat up the wok. As in make it really hot and stir fry the noodles in sesame oil. Crisping them slightly. Sprinkle with a little light soy.
Place noodles on a plate and keep warm.

Stir fry the beef with garlic, set aside and keep warm.
Stir fry the prawns until just cooked and keep warm

Stir fry the vegetables With ginger and garlic.
Salt, sugar, splash soy sauce, some water, a dash of oyster sauce and potato starch to achieve the desired thickness in the sauce.
Remember when adding potato starch; you can add more, but can't take any out.
Add beef and prawns, a final dash of sesame oil and heap on top of noodles.

Richard's Sweet and Sour Fish, foodcourt style.


Fish. Enough to satisfy each diner.
I used Blue Cod. Use what you want. Read the Royal Forest and Bird Society list of overfished fishes if you want to choose wisely. You can do your bit to save them, or make sure you get your share of a species before it's fished out forever.
Cut the fish into chunks.
Potato starch
Light soy
Rice wine vinegar
Sesame oil
Regular oil
Lime juice
Cabbage (of some kind) hacked up roughly
Onion sliced thinly
Capsicum sliced thinly
Brown sugar
Chilli flakes (optional)



Grate a knob of ginger, chop up garlic and add to a slurry of potato starch and water.
Add a little light soy sauce, and salt
(about 1 Tbl soy, 1 tsp salt, about 1/2 cup potato starch and water to consistency)

It's a strange mixture.
The potato starch will settle out of the batter and form a hard, squeaky lump in the bottom of the bowl if it stands. It is always possible to stir it back up. It is hard to get started, but it always mixes up again.
Best to make it RIGHT when you need it, and keep stirring it to prevent that happening if you are of a nervous disposition.

Cooking the Fish

Dip the fish into potato starch and then the batter and drop into a hot pan with about 2 cm of heated oil in the bottom. It should sizzle. It will be crisp.
Cook giving consideration to the size of the bits of fish.

Vegetable mix

In a hot wok
Add regular oil and sesame oil
Throw in garlic, ginger, capsicums, carrots and onions, brown quickly and add cabbage.
Brown quickly
Add light soy sauce 3 Tbl, 3 Tbl rice wine vinegar, 3 Tbl brown sugar and 4 tbl lime juice.
Cook briefly stirring together
Check seasoning and add salt if needed (and a few chilli flakes if you like it hot) (and some coriander leaves too!)
Thicken with a little potato starch if necessary.
Serve with the crisp, battered fish.

Helen and Mary's Festive Fruit Cake

And I'm handing over to Mary here...

A dark, moist cake full of fruit and minus the fat!

My thanks go to Joan Bishop, food writer of Dunedin, who developed this superb recipe to produce a rich tasting cake without fat. Her recipe was published in the Otago Daily Times, 4th December 2002. Traditional fruitcakes contain large quantities of butter that many of us are better to avoid. Joan's version tastes so 'rich' that fruitcake lovers don't notice the omission.

A purée made from dates and prunes, cooked in freshly squeezed orange juice, is the substitute for butter. The resulting cake is moist and has excellent keeping qualities.

In the original recipe, Joan gave instructions for making almond paste and royal icing. My version uses nuts and glacé fruits as an alternative decorative topping.

1Kg mixed dried fruit
100g crystallised ginger, chopped
100g dried apricots (preferably from Central Otago), chopped
150ml whisky, brandy or dry sherry

90g dates, chopped
90g pitted prunes, chopped
200ml freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 oranges)

2 eggs (size 7)
150g dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons treacle, warmed

300g high-grade flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice

200g whole unskinned almonds or Brazil nuts, roughly chopped into halves

Topping decoration-
blanched whole almonds or Brazil nuts cut into halves or quarters
cherries, sliced in half
crystallised ginger, cut in quarters
whole slices of crystallised orange, cut into segments
or use any combination of glacé fruits and nuts

4 tablespoons extra whisky, brandy or dry sherry to pour over the cooked cake

  1. Start preparations the day before cooking. Place the dried fruit, ginger and apricots into a non-metallic bowl. Pour the alcohol over the fruit and mix well. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, line a 20cm square or 22cm round cake tin with a layer of brown paper and then a layer of non-stick baking paper.
  3. Place the dates, prunes and orange juice into a small saucepan, bring to the boil, cover with the lid and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Mash the fruit until the mixture is a thick purée. Set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
  5. Beat the eggs and brown sugar until light-coloured and creamy. Add the treacle and beat again. Stir in the puréed fruit and mix well. Pour this into the soaked dried fruit and stir to combine.
  6. Into a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice. Add the fruit mixture and the almonds. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the extra nuts and glacé fruits in an attractive pattern on the top.
  8. Bake for 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. If the cake starts to darken too much during cooking, loosely cover the top with a circle of brown or baking paper. Remove from the oven and pour the extra whisky, brandy or sherry over the hot cake. Leave to cool in the tin. When completely cool, turn out carefully and wrap with greaseproof paper. Store in an airtight tin.

Serving suggestion
Serve with a quality single malt whisky (eg Lammerlaw, distilled in Dunedin and bottled by Meenan Wine and Spirits Ltd) and wedges of a farmhouse-style cheese (eg Evansdale Farmhouse Brie or Whitestone Farmhouse).

Richard's Fruitcake.

I've written the recipe in pounds. I like the way it makes the recipe easier to remember. Half a pound, half a pound, a pound, three and a half pounds. All much more mind friendly than the equivalent in grams.
Conversions 1lb = 450g (close enough)


1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb sugar
1 lb flour
3 eggs
Small cup of milk
1 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 lb mixed fruit.
1 tbl golden syrup
1 tsp each of vanilla, lemon essences
1 tsp rum


Bring milk to the boil and tip over the chopped butter.
When the butter is melted, add the sugar and stir
Add the eggs and stir
Add the soda
Add this to a bowl with the fruit and flour mixed together
Add essences and rum
Stir well,
Add 2 Tbl boiling water and stir

Put in a greased and paper lined tin,
Bake for 3 1/2 hours at 130 - 135 depending on your oven.

I served it with port and blue cheese.