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Recipes: Dinner To Die For

In this programme Peta lays on a gastronomic occasion to be proud of and meets the producers whose devotion to their product made it possible. Featuring; Sweet Koura from Alexandra, Havoc Pork of Waimate, white asparagus from Ridgevale Farm in Cambridge and homemade cheese with Auckland's Katherine Mowbray.

Sweet Koura

When Peter and Francie Diver bought their Central Otago property it was a somewhat barren piece of real estate. Today it's a verdant oasis of ponds surrounded by lush willows and birch. These ponds provide the ideal environment for the Divers rather unusual farm stock - sweet koura. Koura is the Maori name for fresh water crayfish which are a prized delicacy in this neck of the woods. Francie and Peter are pioneers in that they are the first registered farmers of sweet koura. Francie and Peter sell directly from the farm gate from October through to May. Tours of the ponds are available by appointment.

Contact: Sweet Koura Enterprises

  • Francie and Peter Diver
  • 1RD Dunstan Road
  • Alexandra
  • Tel: (03) 448 6741


For the koura, bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop the koura in for five minutes and then drain.  Arrange on a platter and serve a bowl of garlic, olive and lime mayonnaise on the side.

  • For the Garlic, Olive and Lime Mayonnaise
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500mls extra virgin olive oil or half olive and half vegetable oil
  • Lime Juice
  • Grated lime zest
  • 8 large black olives

Cut the garlic heads in half and place cut side up in an oven proof dish.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with dill salt and pepper. Roast in a medium oven for 40 minutes or until the soft cloves start popping out of their skins. Allow the garlic to cool and then squeeze the cloves into a bowl, add some salt and mix with a mortar and pestle.  Stir in the egg yolks and mustard and gradually add the oil drop by drop. When half the oil is mixed in add a little lime juice and warm water and continue the stream of oil, stirring with the pestle until all is incorporated. You may want to add more salt or lime juice to taste. Stone the olives, chop into little bits and stir in with the grated lime.

Creating Havoc

South Canterbury provides the perfect climate for farming pigs outdoors so this is where Ian and Linda McCallum-Jackson of Havoc Farm chose to raise their highly prized pigs.  They believe that happy pigs produce the tastiest meat so they do what they can ensure their pigs lead a blissful life.  However once that life is over Havoc pigs are processed into a delicious range of pork products including gourmet sausages, bacon, proscuitto, gammon steaks and hams, as well as fresh cuts.  Havoc pork can be purchased online at

Contact: Havoc Pig Farm

  • Ian and Linda McCallum-Jackson
  • Bussells Road
  • RD1 Timaru
  • Tel: 03 689 5782 (office phone)


  • 1 leg of Havoc pork
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 20 Juniper berries
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Wet hay
  • 1 old tea towel

Roughly smash the peppercorns and juniper berries with a mortar and pestle.  Place the pork, bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns in the tea towel and wrap it up to prevent the hay from seeping in. Put a generous layer of hay in the bottom of a large pot and place the pork on top. Stuff the rest of the hay around and on top of the pork to cover it. Pour 4 cups of boiling water into the pot, cover and simmer on the stove for around 3 1/2 hours. Serve hot, sliced at the table with green sauce.

Green Sauce

  • 1/2 cup rocket leaves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp of capers
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

Depending on the kind you consistency you prefer, you can either finely chop all the ingredients and just mix together with a fork or mix in a food processor until thick.

White Gold

John Snodgrass of Ridgvale Farm by Cambridge has been growing green asparagus for 16 years but recently he's enjoyed success growing the much more unusual white variety. White asparagus is common in Europe but John is one of a small handful of growers here in New Zealand. John supplies many local chefs who like the sweeter nutty flavour of white asparagus but you can also buy directly from the Ridgevale Farm gate from September through to December.

Contact: Ridgevale Farm


  • 32 fat asparagus spears (white or green)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sugar
  • 2 sprigs of mint or tarragon
  • Parchment or baking paper

Pre heat oven to 100C. If using white asparagus, peel from 2/3 down the stalk with a carrot peeler, with the green variety just break the ends off and wash the stalks. Tear off a 90cm strip of baking paper and lay it across a shallow roasting tray. Place asparagus on the baking paper and drizzle with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper a little sugar and top with the herb. Fold the baking paper over the asparagus and bake for one hour.

To Serve
Slide baking paper parcel on to a platter and slit open at the table.

The Big Cheese
Katherine Mowbray has been making cheese since she was a teenager on her parent's farm in Zimbabwe. Her first cheese was a haloumi which she learned from a Greek who worked on the farm. Katherine went on to study dairy production and cheesemaking in the U.K and eventually ended up in New Zealand in 1990 where she has been teaching people how to make their own cheese ever since. Katherine holds classes once a month at the Epsom Community Centre in Auckland and travels the country taking classes when she is invited to do so.

Contact: Home Cheesemaker

  • Katherine Mowbray
  • Tel: (09) 276 8411


Serves 6

  • 1 cup Manuka honey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange flower water
  • 2 tbsp hot pepper Vincotto
  • 6 large tomatoes with stalks on
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Kapiti fig and honey ice cream

In a pot, place the water, honey, cinnamon, orange flower water and Vincotto and dissolve together over a warm heat.  Add the tomatoes and poach gently for � of an hour.  Carefully remove the tomatoes and place in serving bowls.  Spoon some juice over the tomatoes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place a scoop of ice cream on the side.