South is a glorious homage to the cuisine of South Island, and a celebration of the seasons, by Jonathan Rogers and Justin Craig, of Matakauri Lodge, in Queenstown.
In an extract from the book, we feature two autumnal recipes.
SKATE, GOLDEN BEETROOT, MANDARIN, BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Skate, or stingray wings, are an often overlooked seafood product. They have a unique fibrous and flakey texture, which is extremely delicious when cooked correctly. Intriguingly, you'll find skate in most New Zealand supermarkets and almost always at good fishmongers, yet very rarely have I seen it on menus in this country. It is considered a delicacy in Europe.
The beetroot and butternut squash provide sweet and earthy notes. The skate flesh is robust, yet subtle enough to handle these autumn vegetable flavours. Serves 4.
1 large skate wing, cartilage removed
500ml lemon brine (see below)
200g plain flour
20ml rice bran oil
50g unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
Trim the skate fillet into 4 rectangles. Place the fillets in a non-reactive container and cover with the lemon brine. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 180C and heat a large heavy-based saute pan over high heat. Dredge the skate in the flour. Add the rice bran oil to the saute pan.
Shake off the excess flour from the skate and place in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium. Sauté the skate wings for 2 minutes or until they are starting to brown. Add the butter and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and baste the skate with the melted butter. Remove the skate from the pan and pat dry with paper towels.
5 litres cold water
8 lemons, halved
500g caster sugar
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Whisk until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Removethe pot from the heat and allow lemon brine to cool.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE
1 medium butternut squash
80g unsalted butter
Peel the butternut squash. Cut open, discard the seeds and then roughly dice the flesh. Place the butternut squash dice in a vacuum bag and seal the bag on high. Place the vacuum bag in a water bath and cook at 85C for 45 minutes or until tender.
If you don't have a vacuum sealer, place the diced butternut in a small sauce pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the simmer. Simmer until the butternut is tender, strain, reserving the liquid. Place the butternut squash with the butter in a highspeed blender and blend on high until smooth. Use hot water to adjust the consistency as needed. Season to taste with sea salt.
200ml white balsamic pickling liquid (see below)
Peel the mandarins and break into individual segments. Soak the segments in cold water for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to remove the pith. Remove the pith from the segments and place them in a non-reactive container. Cover with the white balsamic pickling liquid and refrigerate until needed.
WHITE BALSAMIC PICKLING LIQUID
750g caster sugar
750ml white balsamic vinegar
Place all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat. Bring the white balsamic pickling liquid to a boil, then remove from heat. Whisk until sugar has fully dissolved and allow to cool.
CONFIT GOLDEN BEETROOT
12 small golden beetroot, washed
Pomace olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
Place the golden beetroot in a small sauce pot and cover with the pomace olive oil. Place the saucepot over low heat. Slowly simmer the beets until they are very tender. You do not want the oil to bubble or to become too hot, as they will start to deep fry. Once the beets are cooked, remove them from the oil. Gently rub them with a tea towel while they're still hot to remove the skins. Cut the beets into halves.
GOLDEN BEETROOT CITRUS VINAIGRETTE
100ml fresh golden beetroot juice
100ml fresh orange juice
100ml grapeseed oil
100ml pomace olive oil
2g xanthan gum
Place the juices, oils and xanthan gum in a high-speed blender. Blend until the xanthan gum has hydrated and the vinaigrette has lightly thickened. Season to taste with sea salt and pass through a chinois or a sieve.
CHARRED PICKLING ONIONS
4 small pickling onions
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 Tbsp table salt
20ml rice bran oil
Place all of the ingredients in a small pot and cover with water. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off and allow the onions to cool in the cooking liquid. Once the onions have cooled, use a sharp knife to remove the stem and peel the skins. Cut in half and chill in the refrigerator.
Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add the rice bran oil. Once the oil is almost smoking, add the onions, cut-side down. Turn the heat down to medium. Saute the onions until the cut side has blackened. Remove from the heat and cut in half lengthwise.
Place a skate portion in the top left-hand corner of each plate. Place two quenelles of warm butternut puree around the skate. Arrange the golden beets, pickled mandarins and charred pearl onions in a circular pattern around the skate.
Drizzle the golden beetroot and citrus vinaigrette in the middle of each plate.
NEW ZEALAND OYSTER TASTING
When I first started cooking in New Zealand, the only oysters commercially available throughout the year were already shucked on the half-shell, dry and tasteless. Bluff oysters were available in season only in pottles! So, honestly, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. I didn't really get oysters until I worked in Canada. The Bearfoot Bistro has an amazing oyster and champagne bar, where there are at least 15 varieties of oysters available, from all over both coasts of North America.
I now look at oysters like grapes; the terroir of the region where they are grown really comes through in each variety. It's amazing to see how far we've come in New Zealand and how many different varieties are now available live. For this dish, you can use any varieties you like. I've chosen Te Kouma Bay, Mahurangi Bay and Bluff oysters. I've kept the garnishes very simple and classical, hoping to showcase the intricacies of flavour inherent in each variety.
70g caster sugar
320ml champagne or sparkling wine
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Whisk lightly to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once the sugar syrup has cooled, whisk in the champagne and pour the mixture into a shallow tray or dish. Place the tray in the freezer and scrape regularly as its starting to freeze. It should resemble ice crystals once ready.
24 fresh live New Zealand oysters
Lemon vinaigrette (see below)
Horseradish root, freshly microplaned
Shuck the oysters and divide them evenly between four plates of freshly crushed ice. Top two of the oysters on each plate with the champagne granita. Dress the other four with lemon vinaigrette. Top two of these ones with freshly microplaned horseradish and the other two of them with wood sorrel.
6 lemons, juiced
100ml rice bran oil
Whisk ingredients together. season to taste with sea salt.
Celebrating the launch of his first cookbook South, executive chef Jonathan Rogers is set to host a fabulous weekend at Matakauri Lodge, June 12-14, taking guests on a gastronomic journey and sharing the story of Queenstown, its surrounds and the region he calls home.
In addition, a signed copy of South will be gifted to each suite. Event tariff for two nights is $1850 + GST per person, based on double occupancy and includes:
Two nights' accommodation at Matakauri Lodge - June 12 + June 13
Pre-dinner drinks and canapes, full daily breakfast, lunch and complimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar
Cooking demonstration with head chef Jonathan Rogers and pastry chef Justin Craig
A la carte dinner on Friday evening
Seven-course tasting menu dinner on Saturday night, with Burn Cottage wines to match
More Event Series weekends at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers will be announced in early 2020. See
For reservations at Matakauri Lodge, phone (09) 407 0065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org