For those of you who only know Elise on line I can tell you she is a delight. We spent several pleasant hours chatting over lunch yesterday. Also with us was my delightful French blogging friend, the angelic Celine.
I'd like to have gone all out and presented Elise with a traditional New Zealand Lamb Roast followed by a Pavlova for dessert but energy was not on my side. A reader of Elise's blog had left a comment she should try Kumura chips with sour cream and chili sauce while she was in New Zealand which gave me a starting point for what I might prepare.
I'd decided to do a "hunting and gathering " lunch which is where you go to the shops hunting and gathering a selection of food that takes little preparation. Because I never deep fry the kumara chips were never going to be part of my menu...but Kumara Soup...now there's a thought.
Kumaras are a sweet potato and legend has it the kumara originated in South America and was brought to New Zealand by the Maori. I have read some complicated DNA research that points to kumara coming from China. There are three varieties of Kumara available - white, orange or purple. The orange kumara are a more delicate taste and ideal for soup. Usually I would add some grated ginger and a splash of orange juice to the recipe. It was important Elise should understand the taste of kumara so I made a plain and simple soup without the addition of any other flavours.
1 oz butter
1 onion chopped
4 medium kumara peeled and chopped into chunks
Chicken stock to cover
Melt butter in saucepan, add onion and soften.
Add kumara and cover with chicken stock.
Simmer until tender.
Cool soup and blend until smooth.
Reheat soup and serve with a dollop of sour cream and sweet chili sauce.
Our next course was based on a recipe from the Zuni Café Cookbook and so simple.
CARPACCIO OF PERSIMMON AND PROSCIUTTO
Layer thinly sliced ripe Fuyu Persimmon with prosciutto, drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and serve.
We followed this with a selection of New Zealand cheeses, quince paste and almond wafers.
And finally a selection of yummy cakes Celine had gathered from a new Auckland Cake shop.
Chatting with fellow bloggers is a very pleasant way to spend a cold and wet Saturday in Auckland.
Click on photos to enlarge