Recipes from Elsewhere

Culinary ideas picked up from various places around the world, most very easily made with readily available ingredients and a bit of effort -- which will be rewarded when you sit and enjoy your labours.

Try these, and send in your recipes (and the story behind them). You'll get full credit. Let's share the chow-down Elsewhere experiences.

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David's Spanish lamb and red pepper stew

23 May 2022  |  1 min read

David says this is a deliciously simple recipe that can withstand a few variances in the amount of ingredients used, the only caution being that you use very good quality paprika. The Spanish brand La Chinata seems to be readily available in New Zealand, and the bittersweet smoked version suits the dish best. This will serve four.  INGREDIENTS I kg, or a little more, of lean... > Read more

Stir-fry noodles with chicken and macadamia nuts

13 Apr 2022  |  <1 min read

To be honest I can't remember quite where this one came from but the hand written and much stained recipe reminds me how often we have used it. Dead simple. Sort of meal-in-a-minute stuff. INGREDIENTS noodles (hokkien seem to work best) 250g chicken breasts skinned and sliced into strips a few onions a red capsicum roasted macadamia nuts sesame oil a lime... > Read more

Pecan crusted chicken breasts

30 Mar 2022  |  1 min read

In early 2005 Megan and I went on a drive around the Pacific Northwest of the States: San Francisco to Sacramento then up through Oregon to Seattle, and back down the coast. Before we left I mentioned on we'd be going to see friends in Victoria on Vancouver Island. I got an e-mail from Shayne Stuchbery who with his wife Andrea and in-laws was opening a lodge way up in... > Read more

Seafood gumbo, Cajun-style

16 Mar 2022  |  1 min read

Anyone who has had the good fortune to be in Cajun country in Louisiana knows that the food is often spectacularly good. I've only spent too short a time there -- I have a chapter in Postcards From Elsewhere about the small town of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana -- but I did ask around for recipes. On a napkin I had scribbled notes for a gumbo which, over time and experimentation, turned into... > Read more

Elsewhere's Wish You Were Here cocktail for summer

12 Mar 2022  |  <1 min read

There are few things more pleasant than gently frying your brain in the summer sun (with Factor 5 and a hat of course), so in the interests of public health Elsewhere offers this recipe for a snappy cocktail which might have you talkin' trash, but no matter. No one will remember anyway. This we like because it is simple. You will need some good quality tequila, limes and Kahlua. And... > Read more

Prawns in Red Curry Sauce

2 Mar 2022  |  1 min read

Cannot tell a lie, I borrowed this one from a CD-cum-recipe set in the generic series called The Ideal . . . Dinner Party, and you fill in the gap there with Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican or French. The accompanying CD is gentle dinner party ambient music which refers too those regions. The chef whose name is attached to the series is Bettina Samain and with the Thai one she... > Read more

generic thai music

Lucio's trenette al pesto (trenette with pesto sauce)

23 Feb 2022  |  2 min read

What constitutes a great restaurant? Not just superb food . . . but the atmosphere, surely? Lucio's Italian in Sydney (see their website here) has won me every time on both counts (and interesting wine from Lucio's region of Liguria) and I've written about it before as a travel story (here). It's also like an art gallery-cum-restaurant, or vice-versa. So when the wonderfully... > Read more

Vij's prawns in coconut masala

21 Aug 2021  |  1 min read

Here's another one from Vij's deservedly famous Indian restaurant in Vancouver. He says this can be served as an appetizer or as part of a meal with naan or rice. You can substitute canola oil for ghee, but you'll lose some of the flavour. The recipe follows a French style of cooking, where the prawns are cooked with the sauce, Vij says, and makes servings for six. INGREDIENTS... > Read more

Excellent hot-pot beef with plum and cinnamon

13 Aug 2021  |  <1 min read  |  1

This is just one of those comfort food, soul-warmers for winter which, if cooked in a crockpot or in a big pot on a stove will also fill the house with rich flavours and smells. And best of all, it is simple. INGREDIENTS half a kg of diced beef one and a half cups of vegetable stock a glass of cheap red wine half a dozen peeled and pitted plums (or half a can of plum... > Read more

Mahi's West Coast Venison Hot Pot

26 Jul 2021  |  1 min read

This recipe was provided by Jayson Hussey, aka Mahi which means "work" because he was always working. He was the chef at the luxurious Franz Joseph Glacier Country Retreat near the Franz Joseph Glacier in New Zealand's South Island when I first met him, and that was about 15 years ago. He'd worked a number of places picking up ideas as he went and has doubtless taken many more... > Read more

Ayam Pongteh (Chicken and Potato Stew, Malaysian style)

17 Jul 2021  |  1 min read  |  2

In late 2007 I spent a couple of weeks travelling around Malaysia -- and notably went to Melaka, the food capital of the country where Baba Nyonya food is a local speciality. Baba Nyonya is the cuisine of the communities that emerged in the 15th century when migrant Chinese men married local Malay women. A feature of the food is the spicy quality using local herbs, calamansi (a local... > Read more

Jaron's Roast Duck Tacos

7 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

In late March the Auckland Craft Beer and Food Festival takes over the Spark Arena in downtown Auckland. With music, food trucks, craft beer and more, the ACBFF on Saturday March 27 (1-5pm) is not to be missed. To whet your appetites we have invited Jaron Archer of Brotisserie (who will of course be there at Spark) to let us publish one of their excellent taco recipes, and this is what... > Read more

Louisiana Shrimp Etoufee

10 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

In my travel book Postcards from Elsewhere I write about being in cajun country in Louisiana where the bayou seems mysterious and the food is exceptional. That chapter about Breaux Bridge and the people we met is reproduced here for your amusement. As I say, one of the great things about that part of the world is the food, so here is a recipe which is alarmingly simple and utterly... > Read more

Rockin' Sidney: Don't Mess With My Toot Toot

Ben Batterbury's Venison Tartare With Blackcurrants, Gin And Chocolate

8 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

In May 2011, 32-year old Bristol-born Ben Batterbury, the head chef at Queenstown's prestigious hotel The Rees, presented a menu of New Zealand flavours at the famous Beard House in New York, the home for food writers and chefs in America. His dishes were much acclaimed and the whole event received great press (see here for an example), yet Batterbury -- when I met him at The Rees in the... > Read more

Ikea's recipe for its famous meatballs

1 Aug 2020  |  1 min read

Anyone who has been to an Ikea is inevitably seduced into trying their famous Swedish meatballs. We do our own meatballs at home (with just beef, a splash of tough Texas bbq sauce and maybe some Worcestershire sauce) but here we share the official Ikea recipe which they have made available. Easier to put together than the flat-pack bookcase.  Ikea's Swedish meatballs with cream... > Read more

Megan's very easy but delicious beer bread

20 Apr 2020  |  <1 min read

Okay, this costs you a bottle of beer (small one though) but believe me it is worth it. Add whatever herbs you like but as you may see from what Megan writes, cumin or fennel is excellent. She says . . .  This is very easy! It comes out a bit like a bread scone and is best eaten within two days. Ingredients 375 g or 3 cups of of self-raising flour... > Read more

Vij's marinated lamb popsicles

30 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

I cannot tell a lie, the Vikram Vij who owns Vancouver's famous Vij's restaurant didn't give me this recipe himself. But it was published in the newspaper when I was there so I guess it is now public domain. (He's also posted a couple of other recipes on his website for you to try.) His lamb popsicles are a favourite at Vij's and he says he couldn't take them off the menu for fear of a... > Read more

Moroccan Roast Beef inna barbecue style

23 Dec 2019  |  1 min read  |  1

If you don't have a barbecue with a lid you might want to do this one in the oven, but there is nothing quite like the steamy aroma of the Moroccan flavours when you open the lid to check on this one. That'll have guests working up an appetite. This is a somewhat cobbled together recipe from a number of sources, but it works and should serve four to six, especially if you have a side... > Read more

Barbecued Duck Breasts

22 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

These days I, like most people, can toss together a very serviceable and reasonably impressive red curry with duck in just a matter of minutes. It helps when you have a shop selling cooked duck within a few minutes walk. But this recipe is something rather more challenging and I have to admit I stole it from a calendar that we were sent about two years ago. Goes great with raman noodles... > Read more

Keith's Christmas Tequila Cookies

21 Dec 2019  |  1 min read

Keith offers this marvellous recipe which I can unequivocally recommend. His injunction that you should use only the best tequila is very important however -- as you will see if you read on. If, for some strange reason, this doesn't work out you might want to have someone make the whisky-infused Wicked Chicken just in case. INGREDIENTS  1 cup dark brown sugar 1 cup (two... > Read more