Craving your Friday night fish and chips fix? Yearning for a weekend burger binge? Hankering for a ramen? RNZ has you covered. (Provided you had the foresight to mask up and get to the supermarket before now!)
Here are our picks for some great "fakeaways."
Fish and chips
"When they're fresh out of the pan and they're really golden crunchy, a good amount of salt on them … ah, there's nothing like them."
For crispy chips, and beer-battered fish, one of the legends of New Zealand food, Julie Buiso gets us started off strong.
Serves about 4.
(It may not make enough chips for your family. Mmmm. Well, here's the deal: you can't simply chuck in more potatoes to feed more mouths. You can get away with maybe one extra potato but if you add too many, they'll steam and you'll never get them crisp and golden.)
• 3 large floury potatoes - choose long potatoes rather than squat ones
• ½ cup olive oil
• flaky sea salt
Peel potatoes and cut into long fat fingers. Soak chips in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, then pat thoroughly dry with a clean tea towel.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (you'll need a pan with a lid) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully lower in potatoes - they do not have to be in one layer.
Immediately cover pan with a lid and turn heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove lid, inverting it quickly so moisture stays in the lid and doesn't fall back into the pan.
Turn chips over with a slotted spatula and tongs. Drain off moisture from lid. Replace lid quickly and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking until golden and crusty, turning chips frequently with a spatula. The chips should stay in clumps, not be separate. Don't worry if they break apart - these are not meant to look like they were made under golden arches!
When they're ready, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve hot.
Do not use pre-washed "salad" potatoes. You need floury potatoes, the sort good for roasting.
Do not substitute rice bran oil or other oils for olive oil - or if you do, be it on your head (don't call me up, disappointed). Use olive oil.
You need a large frying pan with a lid, but if you don't have a lid, you can cover the pan with a baking sheet, but lift it off quickly the same way as described in the recipe, so moisture doesn't drip back onto the chips, and wipe the lid dry with paper towels before replacing it for further cooking.
Hot chips are called hot chips for a reason: eat them nice and hot, with plenty of sea salt. Scrumptious!
Crispy beer-battered fish
This is a great fish batter - crisp, puffy and fluffy, with an underlying yeasty aroma, and an ability to stay crisp for some time.
• 750g filleted white fish
• olive oil for frying
• sea salt, vinegar, tomato ketchup, lemon wedges for serving
(For the beer batter)
• 1 tsp dried yeast
• 1 cup flat beer, at room temperature (plus a little more if required)
• 150g standard flour
• Pinch of salt
• 1 Tbsp oil
Mix yeast in a small bowl with ¼ cup of the beer and stir on and off, squashing the yeast granules with the back of the spoon until soft and nearly dissolved. Add remaining beer. Sift flour and salt together into a warmed basin, make a well and pour in beer and yeast and the oil. Stir until blended (it will look a little lumpy), then leave to rise in a warm spot.
It will take 20-40 minutes. The batter should be risen, well aerated and bubbly. (If it is too thick, thin it with a little extra beer; the batter should cling and excess should drip off.)
Heat a good depth of oil to 180C in a sturdy pot (the oil should come ⅓ of the way up the pot, no higher). Dunk pieces of fish in batter one at a time, letting excess drip off, then carefully lower into hot oil; cook in batches. Cook until golden, flip over and cook the other side. Remove with a large slotted spoon or spatula and drain on a cake rack set over a tray. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
The perfect burger
If you're missing Wellington on a Plate's Burger Wellington, here's a simpler version with a master, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt].
For a homegrown version, how about a beef and cheese burger from Auckland chain Burger Burger.
• 1 buttered bun
• 170g beef patty mince from your local butcher - we recommend a mix of 2 cuts of meat from the forequarter.
• pickles - we recommend McClure's crinkle cut
• tomato jam to taste
• thick slice of aged cheddar
• mayo to taste
• mustard to taste
• flaky sea salt to taste
• ground black pepper to taste
Roll and press the mince into a patty-like shape. Cook the beef patty for 2 mins on each side for medium or longer for well done.
Season each side of the patty whilst cooking with sea salt and ground pepper for extra flavour.
Melt the cheese on top of the patty when it is almost done.
Cut the buns in half, butter them and then toast under the grill for a few seconds. Take the two toasted buns and place on the bench. With a dessert spoon, add your tomato jam to the bottom half of the bun, making sure to cover generously. On top of that, add the beef and cheese patty.
On the top half of the bun, evenly spread your mayo and mustard. Place pickles on top making sure there are no gaps. Place the top of the bun onto the bottom bun.
The juicy classic beef and cheese burger is complete and ready to serve - enjoy!
Miso Pork Ramen with Kimchi & Egg
After something a little less heavy, how about some noodle soup?
Homemade ramen has never been this easy. And this recipe is as tasty as those chemical-filled instant versions, so you can drop those into the "treat food" category. Swap out the pork for any other protein, even tofu, and this dish will generously accommodate that.
• 1kg free-farmed pork belly slices
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp crushed or grated ginger
• 3 cups water
• 2 spring onions, stems crushed with the back of a knife
• 3 tbsp miso paste
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2 tbsp Japanese rice wine
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp white pepper
• 3 tbsp kimchi
• 4 eggs
• 4 packets dry Chinese noodles (or 375g)
• 1 cup bean sprouts
• 1 spring onion, sliced
• 1 sheet nori, sliced
Slice pork into 1cm-thick pieces. Place garlic powder and soy sauce in a bowl, add pork and stir to coat, then set aside to marinate.
In a pot deep enough to hold the broth, fry pork in a teaspoon of the oil until golden on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the second teaspoon to the pan, add garlic and ginger and fry over a medium heat, just for 2 minutes. Then add the pork and the rest of the broth ingredients. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a separate pot, bring plenty of water to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and gently lower eggs into simmering water. Cook for 7 minutes, then remove eggs and transfer to a bowl filled with cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, remove shells and set peeled eggs aside.
Cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water as per the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
To serve, pour broth into serving bowls and place a handful of noodles in each bowl. Cut eggs in half and place on top of noodles. Garnish with bean sprouts, sliced spring onion and sliced nori.
Chicken Delhi Dhaiwala
After some spice? How about Chicken Delhi Dhaiwala from Wellington mainstay Planet Spice?
• Bay leaves
• Green cardamom whole
• Turmeric powder (for colour)
• Whole mace
• Dried fenugreek leaves
• Chickpea powder fine
• Green chilli for spice
• salt according to taste
• Yogurt (main base)
• Fresh coriander leaves
• Fresh cream
• Lemon Juice
• Home made ground spices powder(garam masala)
Heat up oil and add cloves, green whole cardamom, bay leaves, whole mace, then turmeric powder mix it well and add chickpea powder , keep mixing (fine not course) until it gets golden in colour with heating. Leave for the whole night or few hours, to come to a good texture and get cold.
When you can see it release the extra oil then add the fresh yogurt to it , again blend it until yogurt is mixed in with the base properly.
The base sauce is ready now so put some of the ready sauce into the pan and add some fresh cream, dried fenugreek leaves, green chilli paste(according to spice level),lemon Juice and cook it for 2-3 minutes and add boiled or roasted chicken or boiled mixed vegetables, Add salt according to taste then garam masala, cook for 2-3 minutes then finish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
An absolute classic Pad Thai is quick and pretty simple.
• 500 g thin rice noodles (soaked in water until noodles turn soft approximately 2-3 hours)
• 2 tbs vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• 400 gms thinly sliced skinless chicken breast meat (marinated in 2 tbs vegetable oil, 2 tbs light soy sauce and 1 tbs white sugar)
• 6 black tiger prawns (skinned, de veined and de-headed)
• 2 pieces fried firm tofu, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• 3 tbs soy sauce
• 3 tbs white sugar
• 2 tbs white vinegar
• 1 tbs dark soy sauce
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 1/4 cup chives (cut in 1 inch lengths)
• 2 tbs roasted peanuts
• 4 lemon wedges
Boil the water in a pot, and blanch sliced chicken breast and black tiger prawns until they are cooked. Remove from the heat and transfer chicken breast and black tiger prawns to a bowl.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan, crack the eggs into the pan and fry until eggs are cooked.
Add chicken, prawns, tofu, and noodles.
Add chicken stock to make noodles turn soft and keep stirring.
Add the soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and dark soy sauce. Stir and mix together with the noodles.
Add bean sprouts, chives, and roasted peanuts, and keep stirring and mix together with the noodles.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with roasted peanuts, bean sprouts, and lemon halved on the side.
Low Fodmap (and vegetarian) fried rice
Here's one for those with allergies and intolerances, an absolute classic - Low Fodmap (and vegetarian) fried rice. Here's another one without the adaptations. Serves 6.
• 1 and 1/2 cups of brown rice (measured dry)
• 2 tbsps oil (we use rice bran)
• 1 leek, sliced (if you're low-FODMAP, only use the leafy end of the leek, and discard the stem)
• 400 gm of mushrooms, sliced (or a cup of edamame beans, defrosted in the microwave, if you can't tolerate mushrooms)
• 1 cup of peas, defrosted in the microwave
• 5 eggs, whisked in a bowl, and seasoned with salt and pepper
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• Quarter of a cup of oyster sauce (replace with Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce, to make the dish vegetarian).
• 3 tbsps soy sauce (we buy the gluten-free kind)
Cook the rice the day before, allow to cool briefly, and refrigerate in a sealed container. Shake the container up before opening it. Mix the sesame oil, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in a cup and set aside. Put 1 tbsp of oil into a frying pan or wok, and cook the mushrooms for about eight minutes. Add the leeks, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add peas, or edamame if using, and cook for a further minute.
In a separate saucepan or pan, heat an element to high heat, and pour in egg mixture, turning the heat down once it starts to cook. Once the omelette is solid, flip it. You don't need a soft, fluffy omelette - slightly firmer and dryer is fine. Chop the omelette into small pieces in the pan. Back at you wok or frypan, add another tbsp of oil, and tip in your rice, breaking it up with a spoon and coating it in oil. Fry for about four minutes. Turn off the heat. Pour in the sauce and mix through the rice and veggies, and then do the same with the egg.
Creamy Chicken Saagwala
This curry is a favourite in Kelly Gibney's household, she says.
"When we eat Indian it's go-to comfort food. It's easy to recreate at home. I use frozen spinach because I always have some on hand and it makes the dish very quick to pull together."
• onion - finely diced
• 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
• 4 x large garlic cloves - finely diced
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 500g frozen spinach leaves
• 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 1 x 400g can coconut cream
• 1 1/2 cups (375ml) vegetable stock
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Juice of 1 lime or lemon
• 800g free-range chicken thighs - cut into chunks
• Salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning
• Coconut oil for sauteing
Heat a generous dollop of oil in a saute pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the spices and cayenne pepper. Stir for a further minute, adding more oil if the pan is dry.
Add the spinach (fine to add it frozen), tomatoes, salt, coconut cream and stock. Bring to a boil and stir until the spinach has thawed and is thoroughly combined. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir through the lime juice.
Place in a food processor or blender and blitz until the spinach is finely chopped and the sauce is green. A blender will give a very fine result and a food processor a more roughly chopped sauce.
Heat a very generous dollop of oil in a saute pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook for two minutes on both sides until browned. Add the spinach sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with steamed millet, brown rice or quinoa. Leftover curry will last 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge.