Tag Archives: MacLean Fraser

Chipotle pulled pork burger with cucumber pickle

hunters kitchen spread

This recipe calls for pork shoulder which is a tougher secondary cut of meat and benefits from a slow, wet cooking method. You can get canned chipotle chilies from the supermarket and can serve the burger with a nice fresh coleslaw. Wild pork is great here, however any pork could be used but stick to a tough cut such as shoulder or belly.

 Pork Burger Fullsize

Chipotle pulled pork burger
Serves 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Chipotle pulled pork
1.5kg (or there about) bone in pork shoulder
2 shallots (or 1 small onion)
6 cloves garlic
1Tbs smoked paprika
3Tbs brown sugar
100g can chipotle (use ½ to 1 whole can depending on how hot you want it)
250g can tomato paste
3Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2C water (use 1.5C if using an oven instead of a slow cooker)
1Tbs chopped rosemary (or dried herbs)
1Tbs salt
1/2tspn white pepper
Cucumber pickle
500g (about 2) cucumbers
1 onion
1/4C salt
1.5C white wine vinegar
3/4C sugar
1Tbs wholegrain mustard
1tspn turmeric
For the burger
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and rub all over the pork. Place the pork along with any left-over marinade in your slow cooker and cook for about 8 hours or place in a roasting tray covered with tin foil and bake at 150 for 4-5hrs until tender and falling off the bone. If there is any liquid left then place in a pot and simmer until it thickens. Once cool enough to touch shred the meat and mix with any remaining cooked marinade and reduced cooking liquid.
For the pickle
Slice the cucumber and onion and toss with the salt in a bowl. Cover the cucumber salt mix with cold water and leave for an hour. Drain the salt water in a colander. Combine the remaining ingredients in pot and bring to boil. Pour the hot vinegar mix over the cucumber and onions then leave to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Apple crumble

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Apple crumble
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Apple crumble
8-10 apples (can also substitute/mix with other fruit such as pears, rhubarb etc)
1/4C sugar
Water if required
5 Cardamom pods (optional)
Crumble topping
1C flour
125g butter, diced
1/2C sugar
1tsp mixed spice
For the apples
Peel, core and dice the apples. Add to a pot along with the sugar and a little water (and the cardamom if using). Cook on a low heat until the apples are soft and starting to break up. Depending on the variety of the apple they may require some water added if becoming too dry and starting to stick.
For the crumble topping
In a bowl mix together all the topping ingredients and crumble together with your hands until well combined.
To bake
In a baking dish spoon in the apple mix and top with the flour topping.
Bake at 170C for 30-45 mins or until nice and golden brown and bubbling.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Pan fried fish on truffled mash, petit pois a la Francais, lemon beurre blanc

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Pan fried fish on truffled mash, petit pois a la Francais, lemon beurre blanc
Serves 4
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Fish
700g Fish fillets
Beurre blanc
150ml White wine
2 Lemons juice/zest
¼ Onion
150g Butter
Salt and pepper
Potato mash
500g Potato
100g Butter
75ml Cream
20ml Truffle oil (optional)
Salt and white pepper
French style peas
200g Peas
½ Lettuce
1/2C Chicken stock
40g Butter
Salt and pepper
Chicken Stock
Left over chicken frame/bones
Vegetable offcuts and ends (carrot, onion, leek, celery, garlic)
Any herb stalks (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
Peppercorns (optional)
For the Beurre Blanc
Finely dice the onion and add to a small pot along with the white wine and the juice and zest of one lemon and simmer until reduced by ¾. Dice the cold butter and over a very low heat whisk onto the wine reduction piece by piece to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and the juice from the remaining lemon if you want more of a lemon flavour.
For the potato mash
Peel and cut up the potatoes into even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate then place them in a pot of cold salted water and bring to the boil and cook until tender. In another pot heat the butter and milk together. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot, stirring over heat until they become fluffy. Mash with a potato masher or use a ricer or meuli. Fold in the hot cream butter mix and the truffle oil (if using) and season to taste.
For the peas
Boil the peas until cooked, add to a pan or pot with ¼ of the butter. Add the chicken stock and reduce by 2/3 then shake in the remaining cold diced butter to emulsify. Finely shred the lettuce and add to the pea mix to wilt and warm through. Season to taste.
For the chicken stock
In a pot place your left over chicken frame along with any vegetable off cuts or trimmings (and peppercorns) and cover with cold water. Bring to the simmer and leave to simmer for 4 hours. Pass through a sieve and you have chicken stock to use in any recipe you like such as soups, sauces, stews/curries, noodle broth etc.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Roast chicken and spiced pumpkin w citrus slaw and croutons

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Roast chicken and spiced pumpkin w citrus slaw and croutons
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Chicken Salad
300g cooked chicken, shredded
200g pumpkin
¼ cabbage
1 carrot
½ onion
3 slices stale bread, diced
Citrus mayo
2 whole egg
500ml canola (or other neutral) oil
1 teaspon Dijon mustard
Salt, pepper, sugar
Juice of 3 citrus fruit ie grapefruit, lemon, limes, oranges
Spice mix
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp allspice
For the mayo
Reserve 1Tbs of the juiced citrus and place the rest in a pot and simmer until reduced by ¾. Using a stick blender or in a blender or food processor blend the whole eggs with the mustard and reserved Tbs of citrus juice until it becomes pale in appearance. Drizzle in the canola oil slowly to emulsify. Once all the oil is incorporated and the mayo is nice and thick fold in the citrus reduction and then season with a little salt and pepper and sugar (if required) to taste. If the mayo is too thick you can thin down with 1Tbs of hot water.
To make the salad
Dice the pumpkin, toss in a little oil and then toss with the spice mix. Season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking tray at 180C until tender, about 15minutes. Cool. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a little oil, season and bake in the oven until lightly browned and crispy. Chiffonade/shred the cabbage thinly, julienne/finely slice the onion (red or white onion ok) and grate the peeled carrot. Fold through enough of the citrus mayo so the slaw is nicely coated. Serve with the pumpkin, chicken and croutons.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding with Rum Caramel and Fried Banana

Bread and butter pudding

Got some croissants left over after the weekend? Put them to good use with this bread and butter pudding recipe. If you don’t have any pastries on hand you can use any sort of white bread but using pastries or croissants raises it to the next level.

 

Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding with Rum Caramel and Fried Banana
Serves 8
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Fried bread pudding
12 small or 6-7 large croissants/Danish pastries
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 Cup sugar
450ml cream
1/2tsp vanilla essence
Rum caramel
150g sugar
75ml water
50ml cream
30ml rum
50g butter
For the bread pudding
Whisk the whole eggs and the yolks with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Scald the cream with the vanilla and whisk onto egg mix, pass through a fine sieve.
Slice the pastries and arrange in layers in a greased terrine mould or loaf tin making sure to ladel some of the custard mix over the pastries between each layer.
Push down the pastry and custard mix to ensure everything is well combined and leave to rest for 30mins for the pastries to fully absorb the custard.
Bake at 120C for approximately 30 minutes until nicely puffed up and golden brown.
Cool, slice and then pan fry in butter or reheat in the oven to serve.
For the Rum Caramel
Simmer the sugar and water to golden caramel.
Carefully and off the heat, stir in the butter and then the cream and lastly the rum.
Serve warm.
Notes
Serve with some fried bananas and some good quality vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Thai Green Chicken Curry

During my travels cooking I have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic Thai chefs both when in Malaysia and when working for a Thai resort in the Maldives. To me Thai cuisine is all about punchy vibrant flavours, which I love. You’ve got to have the right balance between salty (fish sauce), sour (lime juice), spicy (a good kick of chili) and sweet (sugar) to make sure you get an authentic taste, and if you’re not sure what that authentic taste is then what better excuse than to book a flight to Thailand!

Thai Green Curry
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Thai Green Curry Paste
1/2 stalk lemongrass
1 green chili
1/2 shallot
2 cloves garlic
8g galangal
1/4 cup coriander (leaves and stalks)
1/4 cup basil
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. coconut cream
Thai Green Chicken Curry
400ml coconut cream
100g bamboo shoots
70g green curry paste
1tbs fish sauce
200g chicken thighs
½ tsp palm sugar
1/2tsp green chilli – seeds removed, fine chop
8 kaffir lime leaves
200ml water
1tbs basil – chopped
To serve
12 Basil leaves
4tsp Red chilli - sliced
For the Curry Paste
Roughly chop and blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until well combined.
For the Thai Green Curry
Simmer 1 cup of coconut cream and curry paste over moderate heat, stirring until it becomes fragrant and the oil starts to separate from the coconut cream.
Add the Chicken and cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently until the chicken changes colour.
Add the remaining coconut cream and sufficient water to cover the chicken.
Add Lime Leaves and Bamboo Shoots.
Bring to the boil (stirring), reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is tender.
Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, green chilli and basil.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter with the fresh Basil and Chilli slices.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Rhubarb Frangipane tart w honey mascarpone and mulled wine syrup

rhubarb frangipane tart

Rhubarb Frangipane tart w honey mascarpone and mulled wine syrup
Serves 10
A nice wintery dessert although you can be creative and replace the rhubarb with any fruit that's in season such as plums, figs or quince.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Rhubarb
6 Rhubarb sticks
1C sugar
1C water
Sweet pastry
-see Chocolate Tart Recipe
Frangipane
120g butter
120g sugar
130g ground almonds
3 eggs
Zest of one lemon
Mulled wine syrup
375ml rhubarb poaching liquor
250ml red wine
1 vanilla pod
2 clove
1/2 orange zest
1 cinnamon quill
Honey mascarpone
300ml mascarpone
75g honey
For the rhubarb
Cut rhubarb into lengths. Make a stock syrup by gently heating the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Cook the rhubarb in the syrup in a low oven covered with tin foil until just under cooked. Remove from liquor. Reserve the poaching liquid for the mulled wine syrup.
For the Frangipane
Make the sweet pastry and blind bake (see chocolate tart recipe). Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the finely grated lemon zest and almonds. Place the rhubarb in the baked pastry case, top with frangipane mix and bake at 160 for 30-35mins turning once, until golden brown and cooked through.
For the mulled wine syrup
Combine all the ingredients together and simmer until reduced by ¾. Should be able to coat the back of a spoon but not “sticky”.
For the mascarpone
Combine together gently. Be careful not to over mix or it will split. You can adjust the sweetness as desired.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Why do staff leave? (Or how to get the most out of your staff).

Why do people leave?

Hospitality traditionally has a high level of staff turnover. Why is this? In part it is inherent in the job. Hospitality has a lower average wage then most professions, has longer working hours, is stressful and has hot and difficult working conditions.  If you can create loyalty by looking after your staff, motivate them and give them good job satisfaction you can minimize it.  

It makes sense to hire the right people and try to hold onto them as long as you can. The hiring process costs money and training staff takes time and money.  The recruitment process can cost a lot of money and if you hire the wrong person it can end up costing your business big time, especially if you decide later on that they need to go. Identifying candidates who share the same core values as yourself and are going to work well within the culture of your business is of the utmost importance.

 

Why do people work?

To get money…? Because they have to…? It is true that we all have bills to pay and we all have to work but a lot of people work because they want to. The trick is to finding out what it is that people want and how the needs of the individual and the business can combine for mutual benefit.

 

What motivates people?

When I first stepped into a management position it was “my way or the highway”.  I have since learned that there is not one management style that works for everyone or will get the most out of every employee. Your management style needs to be flexible and change according to the situation and the people you are managing. There is a book called “The Human Side of Enterprise,” published in 1960 by Douglas McGregor. It takes the assumption that people inherently do not want to work and will avoid doing so at all times so one must maintain a system of control to force people to do that which they dislike or understand. So the solution to this is to impose rules and regulations to force people to work and to punish any deviation. But like Princess Leia says: “The more you tighten your gripTarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” To get the most out of your staff you need to find ways to make them WANT to work. You can’t play prison warden all of the time.

 In my experience the best solutions are pro-active. Stop a problem before it becomes one by identifying the root cause. Problems at work and staff dissatisfaction are like a creeper. First the seed is sewn then it grows one shoot, then from that first shoot it begins to branch out, each new growing creating more branches. The stem becomes strong and the foundation of all the other branches and they start taking over other plants. People want to feel wanted, feel important, needed. If you can give someone a sense of worth and responsibility they will often rise to the challenge.

 

So, how do you get the most out of your staff?

Being autocratic? Sometimes in a kitchen this is the only way forward but one needs to be flexible and there is a time and a place. When in service and the shit’s hitting the fan you need a strong leader who is going to make decisive decisions and lead from the front. During the battle of service is not the time for consultations. Overall the effects of this style of management is lack of motivation as staff aren’t involved in the decision making process. It promotes a lack of initiative because they are deterred from making independent decisions. Another likely result is lowered productivity because staff are dependent on the manager to make any decision for fear of being wrong. A management style that dissuades input from staff is ignoring a business’s most valuable resource: its employees.

 

It is important to have clearly defined rules and boundaries and to give people freedom to make decisions within these boundaries. But there has to be follow up and give good feedback. If you have your line in the sand which can’t be crossed, it often helps if people know WHYPeople have to be made accountable for not just things they do wrong but for the things they do right. Maybe this being recognized for doing tasks beyond and above the call of duty or even just doing everything perfect day in day out. Maybe even recognize people for giving it their 100% even if not perfect. What can be very frustrating and demoralizing is working extra hours, trying your best and not only not being recognized but still told off. This is very counter-productive.

 

Some people refuse to be managed or motivated. Maybe they never developed a good work ethic, are in the wrong job or have some other personal problem that stops them from performing at work. If you have to stand over someone and constantly bully them into doing their job then sometime it’s best for everyone to be honest and go your separate ways.

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Chocolate tart with blackberry compote & vanilla crème fraiche

With anything rich and creamy as this it is good to serve with something that acts as a foil and cuts through  the richness of the custard filling. Here I serve with blackberries and creme fraiche. Try and use the best quality chocolate and let it shine. I don’t use any sugar in the chocolate filling, I want to taste the chocolate, not sugar.

Copy of A48W3492

 

Chocolate Tart w blackberries and creme fraiche
Serves 10
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Sweet Pastry
125g Butter
125g Sugar
250g Flour
1 Egg
Flour for dusting
Melted butter
Blind baking rice
Eggwash
Chocolate Custard
600ml Cream
80ml milk
4 egg yolks
2 vanilla pod
480g chocolate
4 star anise
Vanilla Creme Fraiche
80g Creme Fraiche
1 Vanilla pod
Icing sugar to taste
Blackberry Compote
150g Sugar
100ml water
150g Blackberries
Sweet Pastry
Cream butter and sugar, add flour and egg, mix to combine.
Rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out pastry and chimise the tart tin with melted butter and flour.
Dock the pastry, line with baking paper filled with rice and blind bake at 140˚C until cooked.
Eggwash and return to the oven for 1 minute.
Cool.
Chocolate Custard
Scald the cream and milk with the split/scraped vanilla pod and star anise.
Whisk onto the egg yolks and then whisk in the chocolate.
Pass.
Pour custard into pastry case and cook at 140˚C until there is a slight wobble, about 20-35 minutes depending on your oven.
Vanilla Creme Fraiche
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod.
Mix the creme fraiche with the seeds and icing sugar to taste - not too sweet.
Blackberry Compote
Bring sugar and water to the boil, simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
Add blackberries to the pot and simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

 

 

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Top 5 tips for food photography with the iPhone

scallopsEver made or seen a dish that looks amazing but none of the photos you took do it justice? Most of us don’t carry around or own expensive cameras but smart phones these days have quite decent cameras and can take good quality photos. Follow these simple tips to help make your food shots look as best as they can.

1 – Use your grid

If you enable the grid on your camera it can help you be more precise when taking your photo. When taking a shot try to place a point of interest on one of the grid intersections to draw in the eye.

2 – Natural light

Whenever you can make sure you use natural light. If you have a high quality SLR camera or some light set ups then it doesn’t matter. But if like most of us the only thing you have on hand is the camera from your smart phone then natural light will give you the best quality picture.

3 – Rule of thirds

This is where the grid also comes in to play. Food photos look best if they have 1/3 negative space or background with 2/3 of the frame being the subject matter. The only time you would not apply this rule is if you are doing close up shots.

4 – Check your dish

Shoot your dish quick. Sauces run, salads wilt, garnishs become soggy so make sure everything is ready to go before hand and take your pics when the food is at it’s best. If you are taking a pic of a salad or vegetables you can spray with water to give a fresh look.

5 – Choose your angle

There are a few simple ways to frame your food picture that will look nice:

-Centered, From above, Angled, Diagonal and Close-Up.

For me all these work very well and my default go to if all other angles look strange is to shoot directly from above. Just ensure that if whatever you are shooting is square you rotate your camera so to avoid any parallel lines.

See the gallery below for some examples!

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