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Outstanding in their Fields

posted Aug 21, 2011, 4:26 PM by Chris Fortune
Out Standing in Their Fields is coming to Marlborough.

No, it's not a bunch of rugby players from all over the world throwing a ball around while wearing overpriced shirts!

The real Out Standing in Their Fields is all about cooks and chefs using fresh produce direct from local producers.

It is coming to Marlborough on September 3 and will then feature in 15 other towns around New Zealand in the next two months.

For more information, visit outstandingintheirfields.org.nz.

At a time when we are all looking at the cost of everyday things in life, it is important to remember to buy food seasonally. This means planning your meal with what you have, rather than what you want.

This is the key to lowering your food bills – you may want tomatoes and capsicums, but unless you are prepared to pay a small fortune, you are better off cooking with leeks and celery.

You want lamb racks or pork chops, but long, slow-braised lamb necks and sticky pork ribs are a cheaper and tastier option.

Out Standing in their Fields is all about showcasing the grassroots cooking of New Zealand – what comes from the farm fields, kitchen bench, paddock or sea to your dinner plate.

Of course, this is nothing new. This is what our mothers did, and what their mothers did before them – the ability to adapt and use what is around us rather than expecting everything to be available all the time.

Sometimes, cooks and chefs forget this very simple message and order goods from all over the world – snow peas from South Africa, capsicums and tomatoes from Australia, smallgoods from Italy and sauces and essences from France.

Out Standing in Their Fields is about reconnecting the dots that hold communities and businesses together, trading in your own communities first before exporting.

I am sure there will be some outstanding rugby played and some outstanding meals and parties all over New Zealand while we enjoy the sporting event of the decade, but the No1 outstanding event will be in our own backyard on September 3, Father's Day, at the Marlborough Farmers' Market, 10am to noon, Queen St car park, as local chefs and cooks use local products to provide you with an outstanding demonstration of grassroots cooking.

OUTSTANDING MARLBOROUGH MUSSELS WITH LEEKS, MARLBOROUGH GARLIC AND LEMON

2kg live Marlborough mussels

500g leeks

30g Marlborough garlic 1/3 cup sauvignon blanc white wine

Zest of 3 lemons

2 Tbsp grape seed oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp garden herbs

Sweat the leeks and garlic. Add the white wine and lemon zest and simmer for four minutes.

In a large separate pot, place the de-bearded and scrubbed mussels and cook over a high heat until opened (about three to six minutes). Remove any that do not open. Toss through the leeks and lemon. Tip on to a large platter and serve with crusty bread for all to share.

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