Otago Farmers Market
31 July 2010

2 large burgers

500g minced venison
1 onion, grated and excess liquid removed
1 clove garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, roughly chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
2 slices stale bread, soaked in water and then squeezed to remove all liquid
1 egg
Oil for cooking

In a good size mixing bowl add the venison, grated onion, garlic, herbs and seasoning. Mix really well with your hands. Add the egg and bread and mix well to combine. It is essential that you have got stuck in so the ingredients are evenly mixed. I always cook a little tester off before moulding the burgers, just to ensure it has the right seasoning. When ready divide the mixture in two and mould into nice fat burgers. Heat up a fry pan or the BBQ until nice and hot. Season the burgers with a little salt and pepper and a light rubbing of oil and place into the pan. Let it cook on one side for 3- 5 minutes, turn carefully and cook on the other for a further 3-5 minutes ( it will depend on the thickness of the burger). Serve in a bread bun with some crunchy lettuce, selection of fillings and some beetroot relish. Or as I often do, instead of the bread bun wrap a big crunchy lettuce leaf around it!

Makes about 3 cups

800g beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated or cut into small chunks
1 red onion, finely chopped
½ cup sugar
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and carry on cooking until liquid has all but evaporated and beets are tender and glossy. Stored in the fridge, it will keep for a couple of weeks. Great with game and cold meats.

Serves 6-8

1.5kg yams, washed
75 ml maple syrup
90 ml olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 litre vegetable stock (may need more if to thick)
Salt and ground black pepper
Roasted seeds (something to crow about) great scattered on top for a crunchy healthy garnish

Preheat oven 190`C
In a large bowl combine yams, maple syrup and oil. Pour into a roasting tray and cook for about 30 minutes. Give the tray a shake every so often to prevent any yams burning.
Meanwhile in a good size pot add some oil and sweat off the onions and garlic until soft - about 10 minutes.
Once the yams have caramelised add them to the pot and if there is a lot of sticky bits left on the pan, add a little stock and scrap all them into the pot (lots of flavour). Add the remainder stock, pinch of cayenne and season lightly. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree with hand blender or in food processor, return to heat and check flavour. Adjust seasoning if needed. Bring back to the boil and serve.

Yam Salad

500g yams, washed
1 red onion, finely sliced
Good handful parsley, roughly chopped
Baby spinach leaves, washed and drained
100 ml olive oil
25 ml red wine vinegar
Salt and cracked pepper
100g feta cheese
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or paprika
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons something to crow about -roasted seeds

Preheat oven 200`C
Toss the yams with a little oil, spices and seasoning cook until tender and caramelised. Mix the vinegar with the remainder oil, set aside.
Put the spinach leaves, chopped parsley, red onion and crumbled feta into a large bowl. When the yams are ready add to the spinach and drizzle over the dressing. Toss gently and scatter over the roasted seeds. It is best eaten whilst warm!

BRIOUATES (Moroccan sweet pies)
Makes about 30

225g roasted hazelnuts (Corydon)
100g quince conserve
25g butter (softened)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup icing sugar
30 ml orange flower water
10 sheets filo pastry
50g melted butter
120ml fragrant honey

Grind the hazelnuts in food processor until coarse crumbs. Add the quince conserve, butter, cinnamon, icing sugar and a little orange flower water. Blitz until the mixture is combined.
Preheat the oven to 180`C
Working quickly as filo pastry becomes brittle very fast if exposed to the air. If necessary cover with a slightly damp cloth, or a piece of glad wrap. Brush a sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and cut into four equal strips. Place a walnut-size piece of hazelnut paste at the bottom of each strip. Fold one corner over the filling to make a triangle and then fold up, in triangles, to make a neat package. Brush again with a little butter. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to make about 30 pastries. Place the pastries on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. You can eat then as they are with perhaps a little dusting of icing sugar. Or as they would do in Morocco immediately submerge in warm good quality honey , and a dash of orange flower water. Transfer to a plate and cool a little before serving. Amazing!!