A Taste Of Christmas: Recipes | TASTE | TV ONE | tvnz.co.nz [an error occurred while processing this directive]
A Taste Of Christmas: Recipes
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New Zealand's flamboyant foodie, Peta Mathias, hits the gastronomic road with three festive picnic ideas for the holiday season.

First Course, Kaikoura
First of the picnic courses is a seafood offering set in a magnificent Kaikoura setting. Kaikoura's speciality is crayfish and Peta takes a fishing trip with Kaikoura Fishing Charters. With crays in the pot local chef Josh Spooner demonstrates an adapted Japanese celebration crayfish dish, -Christmas Coloured Crays. No Christmas can be complete without  salmon dish on the menu. Peta demonstrates Potted Salmon with Lemon Wasabi Soldiers.

Kaikoura contacts

Kaikoura Fishing Charters

Josh Spooner, chef

  • C/o White Morph Restaurant, Kaikoura
  • Phone 03 319 5676

Kaikoura Winery

  • The picnic was served with Sauvignon Blanc from the Kaikoura Winery.
  • Contact: Neroli Gold: 03 3197966
  • www.kaikourawines.co.nz 

For information on Kaikoura visit

Picnic recipes - first course.

Peta's Potted Salmon with Lemon Wasabi Soldiers.

Potted Salmon
(Serves 6)

  • 600g salmon fillet, skinned
  • 200g butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a branch of lemon basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped lemon basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 6 X 8cm ramekins

1. Melt the butter in a shallow pan. Lay in salmon, salt, pepper and lemon basil. Poach very gently for 5 mins or till just cooked.
2. Remove salmon from butter and gently pull apart with 2 forks. Lightly mix in the herbs and a little more salt and pepper.
3. Spoon salmon into the six ramekins and cover with a layer of the cooking butter. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

When you arrive at the picnic, break off the protective butter layer and eat salmon out of the ramekin with a teaspoon.

Lemon Wasabi Soldiers
(Serves 6)

  • 3 thin skinned, unwaxed lemons
  • butter
  • 12 slices thin whole grain bread
  • sea salt
  • wasabi paste

1. Pour boiling water over the lemons to cover for 5 mins.
2. Drain and slice very thinly.
3. Remove crusts and butter bread. Arrange lemon slices on half the bread and sprinkle with salt. Spread wasabi paste on the remaining slices, put them together, slice the crusts off and cut into soldiers.

Josh Spooner's Christmas Coloured Crays

Make a standard Béchamel sauce
Chop onions and sauté.
Boil crays, half them, remove meat from tail
Chop up cray meat and mix with some of the Bechamel sauce and sautéed onions
Spoon back into the cray.
Puree red capsicum and spinach to provide red and green colouring agents and mix separately into Béchamel Sauce. Keep some sauce white for colouring.
Spoon into three piping bags.
Pipe cray with red, green and white stripes.
Briefly bake and then finish under the grill.

Japanese Celebration Rice (Sekihan)

Soak Azuki beans over night.
Steam rice and soaked azuki beans together
When rice has cooled slightly form into triangles
Season with black sesame seeds and salt.

Octopus Salsa
(This recipe works best with octopus 600gm and under)
Briefly blanch octopus so still raw in the centre but the skin can be removed
Peel off skin and finely slice.
Make salsa. Capsicum, tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar.
chopped coriander and salt and pepper.
Marinate all together overnight to tenderise octopus.

Second course, Central Otago

Second course is a meaty offering served at Northburn Vineyard, Cromwell. There are pates and terrines from Bendigo Game Birds, Northburn Station Merino Lamb in a tortilla wrap, and chutneys from Cromwell's Provisions Preserves. 
Accompanying the picnic is Pinot Noir from Richardson Wines and Northburn Vineyard, both wines made by winemaker Michelle Richardson.

Central Otago Farmers Market

The market takes place at the picturesque and historic precinct of Old Cromwell Town. This seasonal market runs every first and third Sunday through until Easter 16 April.  During January the market is held every Sunday. The market is open from 9am to 1pm.


Provisions of Central Otago

  • Jane Shaw and Pauline Murphy.
  • Melmore Tce, Old Cromwell Town, ph: 03-445 4048.
  • Email: info@provisions.co.nz

Bendigo Game Birds

Michelle Richardson winemaker

Northburn Vineyards

Second course recipe:
Jan Pinkney's Northburn Station Merino Lamb Tortilla

Brush lamb fillets with Pinot Noir Jelly and roll in dukkah
Fry or grill the lamb fillets, rest and then cut into small slices
Fry aubergine, tomatoes and shallots.
Lightly brown the tortillas in the frying pan
Brush the tortilla with more Pinot Noir Jelly and add the lamb and vegetable mixture
Add extra salad to taste, and roll up the tortilla to contain all the ingredients

Third course, Bay of Islands/Kerikeri

The third picnic course is served on the Kerikeri River Steamboat. There's award winning cheese from producers, Mahoe, -Bay of Island's celebrity chef Paul Jobin dreams up a citrus flavoured torte made with quark, lemon, limoncello and macadamia nuts, and to wash it all down there's Italian styled limoncello spirit from LemonZ.

Bay of Islands/Kerikeri contacts

Chef Paul Jobin, 'Pure Tastes.'

Lemon Z, (limoncello)

Mahoe Cheese - Bob and Anna Rosevear

Bay of Islands Farmers Market

Contact Peter Jessop 03 407 8281 or Lloyd at casegilbert@xtra co.nz

Steamboat Cruises

Tourist information, Destination Northland
Melissa Irace

Recipe: Paul Jobin's Quark, Lemon & Macadamia Nut Torte
(Makes 1 springform tin)


  • Crust: 3 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 2/3cup brown sugar
  • 1cup ground almonds
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 250g, very cold butter, diced

1.Combine all ingredients except the butter in a food processor
2. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
3. Line the ring mould with greased baking paper, placed on a baking sheet
4. Place a layer of crust onto the bottom of the tin and press down
5. Line the sides with the crust and refrigerate until hard.  Keep some of the crust back to do the top of the torte 


  • 400g Mahoe Quark
  • 400g Cream cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp LemonZ (limoncello)
  • 1cup Macadamia nuts, crushed & toasted
  • 60g Dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1cup Caster sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 large lemon, zested

1. Combine cheeses, egg and limoncello in a food processor
2. Fold in the remaining ingredients
3. Spoon in the filling  into the prepared tin upto the crust height
4. Cover the filling with the remaining crust mixture
5. Bake in a pre-heated 150C oven for 1 hour, refrigerate overnight
6. Serve at room temperature dusted thickly with icing sugar and lemongrass sorbet

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