Wash and clean unpeeled potatoes. Prick with a fork, and place in any available oven (or wrap in foil on coals) until cooked through. When cooked, halve, and scoop out the inside. Mash with some mustard, cheese and salt, put back to the heat until the cheese melts. Top with sauerkraut.
Travels to Whanganui, Manawatu.
Halve fresh figs, add a dark chocolate slither and a walnut half, and bake (drizzled in honey or port). Serve with a little mascarpone. Dried figs can be used, but fresh figs when in season are the best.
Travels to Hawke’s Bay.
Take skin off oranges (using a knife is best, it helps remove all pith). Slice and arrange on a plate. Top with fresh mint. Sprinkle with orange blossom water, if available.
Travels to Gisborne.
Take an unwrapped round cheese and place in a round tapas or ovenproof dish. Score the top of the cheese and sprinkle with a spice seasoning (here a seasoning, of juniper berry, pink peppercorns and fennel). Bake in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes, and serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping - it’s a lovely gooey cheese dip. It could be done on a closed barbecue too.
Travels to Port Chalmers, Dunedin.
Steam some clams in New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc, for just a few minutes, until they open. Serve with their own broth, some toasted pine nuts, lemon wedges and greens.
Travels to Marlborough.
Chop a couple of fresh apples. Add to this some very finely chopped spring onion, a dressing with a good splash of apple cider vinegar, honey or apple syrup, mustard and olive oil, and plenty of chopped fresh herbs - mint, coriander or fennel (or a combination of them) work really well. This slaw is a great change from traditional apple sauces, and works brilliantly as a side with cold cuts and barbeques.
Top large lavash or crackers with soft goats’ cheese and cured meat, and finish with herbs and fresh or sundried tomatoes, or roasted peppers. It can be a big snack, or a small meal…
Travels to Greytown, Wairarapa.
Take chicken drumsticks, and toss in a marinade of a few tablespoons of marmalade mixed with a tablespoon or so wholegrain mustard, watered down with a little water to make it just a bit runny. Put everything (chicken and marinade) into a baking dish and cook in the oven.
Take two ginger biscuits and sandwich in between them a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Bake for a very short time, perhaps two or three minutes, in a hot oven.
Travels to Mangawhai, Northland.
Halve apricots, and stuff with ricotta or other soft cheese. Top with chilli, basil or nuts to have with drinks. Or drizzle with honey or sticky balsamic for a sweet treat.
Travels to Central Otago.