Category Archives: Dinner

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington Lo mein with Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch

Lo Mein and Behold Jade Dew Booch®

Picture of New Zealand Winter BerriesAccording to google and facebook it was officially winter in New Zealand (NZ) the 21st of June! Winter means Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) and I’m excited to be a guest chef for an amazing WOAP winter food, cooking and styling masterclass in the country along with international stylist and florist Yvette Edwards for The Creative Table, there may be a few tickets left – just saying!

Photo of Yvette Edwards artistic table setting for promo of The Creative Table for Wellington on a Plate with chef Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand at the culinary helm
photo credit: Yvette Edwards

Winter lends itself to comfort food and drink. And even though it doesn’t feel as cold as most winters here in Wellington (touch or knock on wood), the lack of light at the beginning and end of the day definitely reminds you that it is.

Last week at Makaia Carr’s The Business Edition, I had the pleasure of meeting Alex and Amber of Goodbuzz brewing Co – although I forgot to tell them, even in winter, I’m becoming a booch a day person. In fact sometimes, I have three!

Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand's beverage selelection in her fridge

I always find it fascinating how people have different go-to foods or drinks for certain moments in their lives or even times of the day morning. I’m a “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” person. I’ll be pleasant as my partner and the MasterChef New Zealand contestants that lived in the house will know but I definitely don’t want a conversation.

If I’m feeling like an extra boost it’s a Coffee Booch®, but if I’m feeling under the weather it’s a hot Hakanoa Ginger first! For food, winter is all about porridge, bagels, hot rice breakfast bowls or omelettes with Be Nourished Sauerkraut, quinoa pudding and pancakes which are for anytime of the year, really.

When I was working in an office I was a ‘morning tea’ girl (morning snack) muffins and scones but I’m more of a – morning Booch® girl now, after a walk with the dogs.

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall's fur babies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch, I’m often busy in the kitchen, so I’ll be tasting along the way. But when I do get a chance to sit down winter is definitely the time for leftovers or hot lunches. Dinner, yes, I occasionally go for those stodgy pasta or potato meals of winter but my ultimate comfort food is Asian.

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Now when I say Asian, I mean all of Asia, every ethnicity and anytime of the day, even breakfast! Cerry and Mel used to make the most AMAZING breakfast noodle soup bowls in the MasterChef NZ house, just thinking about them is making me want to get up from the computer and make one! If you’re in Auckland though, you may be able to get one from Cerry herself at Cerry Kitchen just tell I sent you!

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch
One of my go-to lunches is leftover Lo Mein from the night before, it’s a Chinese-American dish and when I think Chinese, I think of green tea so what better Booch® to match than Goodbuzz Brewing Co Jade Dew Booch®.

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This recipe has been adapted from my mother’s Joyce Chen recipe. When I was a little kid we lived just outside of Boston, MA not too far from Chinatown.
Photot of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington ingredients for Lo mein with Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch

We used to go out for Chinese once a month maybe until mum decided to learn to make it at home. Lucky to live close Joyce Chen’s Oriental Market, we’d not only leave with ingredients, we’d leave with cooking tips and recipes from the Chens.

Lo Mein is still one of my favourites. And it’s a great way to breathe life into left over pasta and vegetables for dinner or for a warm winter’s lunch!

 

You’ll need:
250g Spaghetti or fresh Asian noodles (4 big handfuls) ~ San Remo have a fantastic GF version
2T Rice bran oil
3 Garlic cloves ~ approx 15g
Chilli ~ optional
1 bunch Spring onions
6T (90ml) Oyster Sauce ~ Ayam is good Gluten Free and non GMO brand
2T (30ml) Soy sauce ~ Kikoman is my go-to Gluten Free non GMO soy sauce
1t Sugar ~ totally optional
3‐4 cups of vegetables ~ suggestion of other veggies in TIPS section at bottom
1 Carrots (sliced or julienne)
1/8 Red cabbage (sliced or julienne)
½ bag Mung beans

Lemon juice

4-6 Jade Dew Booch®

The prep takes longer than the dish itself. If you’ve got everything ready including cooked pasta, it only takes 5minutes to cook!

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington mis en place for Lo mein with Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch Cook spaghetti or Asian noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and drizzle with rice bran oil. Or use leftover noodles.

Mince garlic and slice chilli then set aside. Mix together oyster sauce and soy sauce then set aside.

Slice spring onion and vegetables into similar sized pieces and set aside.

On med/high heat add rice bran oil to wok. When hot sweat garlic and chilli.

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington garlic and chilli for Lo mein with Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch

Add spring onions then liquid. Stir through until sauce starts to bubble then add vegetables – except mung beans!

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When vegetables are almost cooked to your liking add noodles by stirring though then take off the heat. Add mung beans.

Serve with a garnish of spring onion, chilli and a squeeze of lemon and a cold Jade Dew Booch®. Serves 4-6.

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Specialty Cooking Classes Catering and Cakes Wellington Lo mein with Jade Dew Goodbuzz booch

This can be enjoyed ANY time of the year. Let me know what you think!

TIPS & TRICKS

  • If using rice noodles, use 180g, cover in boiling water then cover with plate letting it sit 5-10mins, drain & mix through some rice bran oil.
  • Want some protein?!?! Try using tempeh, chicken, pork, or prawns – 500g.
  • Prefer more vegetables? Add sliced broccoli stalks, bok choy, baby corn, bamboo shoots etc
  • Adding a little squeeze of lemon can really lift a dish.
Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Macaroni and Cheese in Wellington

The Roux to Béchamel – and ultimately cheese sauce!

Say cheese! I have fond memories of food from my childhood but one of my favourites… my mother’s macaroni and cheese.

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Macaroni and Cheese in Wellington

Crunchy on the outside and smooth in the centre, it was worlds apart from the artificial bright orange Kraft macaroni, and fake, cheese out of the box from the USA… Mum made hers from scratch. Actually, she made pretty much everything from scratch something I’m still thankful for everyday.

In New Zealand, it was broccoli or cauliflower with cheese sauce. And I remember in restaurants seafood mornay so rich and fatty you could see pools of oil dabbled across the gooey top that even this cheese lover would struggle to finish!

From my travels around the world, I fell in love with many a cheese and white sauce but learned not every white or cheese sauce is created equal!

There are different methods to creating a smooth and glossy sauce: adding cornflour, egg yolks, or beurre manié (a kneaded butter flour mixture), or reducing liquid down and adding cream/or butter at the end.

Then there’s roux. A mixture of fat and flour that not only thickens sauces, soups, casseroles, meat pie filling, and gravy, it boosts the flavour. And the darker the roux the deeper the flavour!

So you may be worried because we’re making a light sauce it will lack in flavour. Not to worry, there is plenty of room to add extra flavour along the way. Unlike the classic French method, I infuse my béchamel milk before adding it to the roux.

The other key to a beautiful béchamel is the temperature. Gluggy lumpy sauces are not becoming. A fabulous sauce is flavourful, smooth and glossy. The trick is to make sure your roux is room temp and your infused milk slightly warm. If you add hot milk into a hot roux, not only do you have a high chance of burning yourself with steam, your result may be lumpy.

White Roux

  • 25g Flour or cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 25g Butter
  • Salt if using unsalted butter

Cook together over medium-low heat for a few minutes whisking constantly until sandy in texture. Remove from heat to cool. If you’re using cornflour the mixture won’t get to a sandy texture, instead it will look more like a runny paste. 

Picture of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Sandy Roux Wellington
Classic Flour Roux

If you want the science behind it – the heat and whisking allows the starch molecules to expand binding to the fat. The longer you heat a roux, for example a brown roux, the more the starch will break down so you’ll actually need more roux to thicken whatever you’re thickening!

 

Picture of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Cornflour Roux Wellington
Cornflour “Roux”

The next step is to add warm milk, while whisking, to your room temperature roux over a medium-low heat to make your béchamel. Simmer until desired consistency et voila! You have a white sauce!

From there you are only limited by your imagination and for me I quite like my cheesy sauce. So much better than the packet stuff too! Add a cup or more of your favourite cheese to your béchamel and try two of my secret ingredients – a little Worcestershire sauce (my mother’s trick) and a few drops of hot sauce (cause I like to heat things up!).

Photo of Elizabeth Marshall MasterChef New Zealand Cheese Sauce Wellington

Béchamel 

  • 25g (88oz) Flour or cornflour
  • 25g (88oz) Butter
  • 375ml (1 1/2cup) Milk
  • Salt (if you’ve used unsalted butter)
  • Whatever ingredients you want to infuse the milk

Heat milk on medium-low heat to infuse whatever ingredients you choose. Do not boil!!! A classic combo is onion, bay leaf, a few cloves, dash of grated nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne. Once infused and flavoured to your liking, remove from heat and strain.

Melt butter with flour in a different pot over medium-low heat for a few minutes whisking constantly until sandy in texture. If you’re using cornflour the mixture won’t get to a sandy texture, instead it will look more like a runny paste. Remove from heat to cool.

Once cool gradually add warm milk while whisking and return to a low heat. Whisk until smooth and then simmer to desired consistency.

Enjoy!