Monday, April 18, 2011


What a beautiful time of the year - the trees don their ball dresses and display their gold and red leaves and the sunny windless days hint at the chillier days to come. It's a wonderful time to think of preparing warming delicious dishes for those you love - to use the rich, deep flavours we all so enjoy.

What a time we've had! The earthquake in February has changed our lives and I send my heartfelt good wishes to you and your loved ones at this very difficult time. The night of the earthquake I had family and friends gathered at my home and we cooked kedgeree on the barbecue - no power, or water, but it was still wonderful to be able to comfort and share in the way I love best - cooking!

As the days went on we were delighted to help clients and friends from out of town who wanted to help their own loved ones in a practical way - we made up food parcels and beautiful dinners to keep residents of Christchurch going in the darkest of times - and we are still doing this as residents return or we receive the message "more, please!".

We have also had a major change - we've moved into beautiful ground floor premises at 84 Gasson Street in Sydenham - which is going to be the new business hub of Christchurch for some time to come.

Easter weekend is just around the corner - a wonderful opportunity for us all to get together and catch up - families and friends - sharing laughter and the tears as we all do - as well as the chocolate! One of my favourite dishes to prepare when we have a crowd in is a delicious but simple Chicken Marbella. The flavours so reflective of autumn, the combination of the capers and olives so divine with the chicken! Cook it Love it!

Chicken Marbella
12 portions
24 thighs
1 small head of garlic, peeled and crushed
¼ cup dried oregano
Salt and pepper
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 cup prunes
½ cup pitted green olives
½ capers and some juice
6 bay leaves

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
¼ cup parsley

Arrange chicken in a single layer in roasting dish. Combine garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and bay leaves and spoon over chicken. Marinate overnight, and the next day sprinkle with brown sugar and pour around white wine. Cook at 180˚C, basting occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour. Sprinkle parsley through before serving.