Gluten is a protein and is found in grains such as spelt, wheat and rye.  Gluten is a useful when making bread and pasta as when the flour (which contains gluten) is mixed with water, it creates a glue-like “sticky” consistency, making the dough strong and elastic.  It gives bread a delicious chewy texture. Salt also helps to preserve the strength of gluten. 

On the other hand, when butter is added to a dough mixture, it shortens the strands of gluten, making the dough “short”.  Butter contains fat, and the fat weakens the strands of gluten, so they can’t join together to make a strong elastic dough.  This is why butter is added to dough such as brioche, short pastry or baking which require a soft tender mixture.

Gluten is getting a bad wrap lately, and many people have the perception that gluten is harmful.  However, this is not the case unless you are intolerant or have Coeliac disease.  Although these come at a higher price point, there are a lot of great gluten free alternatives on the market these days such as gluten free flour, Spelt or rice flour which means that people with intolerance’s can still enjoy baking.  Some Baking Powders also contain a starch made of wheat, to give it a light powder like consistency and stop it avoiding moisture from the atmosphere, so make sure that you read the label before purchasing baking powder.

Gluten free meals are very simple, especially if you use a Gluten Free starch such as rice to base your dish around.  We love Jenny’s recipe for Teriyaki Salmon.  All ingredients can be found in well stocked food markets, and Asian Supermarkets.


Teriyaki Salmon, Miso cream, edamame beans & seaweed salad


Salmon fillet – 120g per portion (for 6 guests allow approx. 750g salmon)

1 cup edamame beans (fresh or frozen)

Fresh coriander (handful)

Fresh Vietnamese mint (handful)

Crispy shallots (handful – available at most Asian supermarkets)

120g seaweed salad (available at most Asian supermarkets)


2 cups soy sauce

8 tsp honey

3 tsp ginger (grated and finely chopped)


1 egg yolk

25g Dijon mustard

25ml white wine vinegar

35ml soy sauce

35g miso paste

30ml lemon juice

600ml oil

2 cloves crushed garlic


Portion salmon. Combine marinade ingredients, pour over salmon, cover and marinate overnight. To make the miso cream, blend the garlic, egg yolk, Dijon and miso until a paste is formed. Add the vinegar, soy sauce and lemon juice and blend until combined. Add the oil in a thin stream until combined. Season to taste. Cook the edamame beans for approx. seven minutes in seasoned boiling water, then refresh in cold water. To cook salmon: Sear flesh side down first in a hot pan then transfer to oven for 10 – 15 mins at 180°C.


Smear miso cream in a pool on the plate. Place salmon in the centre. Scatter edamame beans over the salmon and pile seaweed salad on top. Garnish with coriander, Vietnamese mint and crispy shallots. Serve with a side of Basmati rice.

If you are expecting guests for dinner, you may also wish to try this simple recipe for Salted Caramel Pot de crème.  You can accompany this with some gluten free biscotti, or some poached fruit.

Salted caramel pot de crème (makes 8)

Salted Caramel Pot de creme


56gr butter

165gr brown sugar

½ tsp salt

½ vanilla bean (split lengthways)

1 ¾ cup cream

¾ cup Milk

6 large egg yolks.


Put a rack in the centre of the oven, preheat to 160 degree C. Place 7x ramekins in a baking pan.

In a saucepan, melt butter whisk in sugar and salt, scrape out vanilla seeds and add to the mix.  Stir for 5 minutes until the mixture is nutty and caramelised.  Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cream.  Whisk for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and add the milk.

In a bowl, whisk the egg.  Gradually whisk in the warm caramel mixture.  Strain the custard with a sieve and pour into ramekins.

Pour hot water to half way up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover with tin foil and open one corner to allow the steam to release.  Bake until they just set around the edges. Remove the bubbles from the top.

Bake until the pots de crème are set but jiggle slightly when nudged, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm.


Recipes for TERIYAKI SALMON, MISO CREAM, EDAMAME BEANS & SEAWEED SALAD and Salted Caramel pot de creme

With these beautiful long summer days drawing to an end, many keen fishermen are eager to spend us much time out on the boat before winter sets in. Furthermore, many have exhausted their BBQ repertoire over the past couple of months. For this reason, we felt the need to give some fresh inspiration to the avid fisherman. Here is a great way to enjoy the catch of the day!

Begin with a whole snapper, gutted and descaled.

Cut 3-4 slits in each side of the salmon, fill with half lemon slices, thinly sliced pickled (or fresh) ginger and lime kaffir leaves.

Cut 3-4 slits in each side of the salmon, fill with half lemon slices, thinly sliced pickled (or fresh) ginger and lime kaffir leaves.

Oil two large sheets of foil, place the fish on one of the oiled sheets, and place the other sheet of foil over the top, oiled side facing down.  Crimp the edges of the foil to seal.

Crimp the edges of the foil to seal in the heat and the juices from the fish.

Place the fish on the hot plate in a hooded oven and cook on medium heat for approximately 20-30 minutes.

Peel back the foil!

Once cooked, peel back the foil and place the fish on a platter and scatter with coriander.

Pan fry off Asian pancakes (Paratha) until nice and crispy. These can be purchased from most Asian supermarkets.

Prepare accompaniments such as Kimchi, coriander, lime wedges, sprouts, Japanese mayo, sushi rice and Nam Jim dressing.

Nam Jim is Thai for “Dipping sauce”. It is the perfect accompaniment to fish as it has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour, and is fiery and fragrant. Please enjoy this simple recipe below enlighten your taste buds!

BBQ Snapper, nam jim dressing and accompaniments

Dress the fish with lashings of Nam Jim, then place fish and accompaniments in the middle of the pancake and fold in half.  Enjoy!

1x red chilli

Recipe for Nam Jim Dressing

1x garlic clove

1x tbsp fresh ginger

¼  cup coriander

150 gr brown sugar

4 tbsp fish sauce

4 tbsp lime juice

Chop chilli finely (remove seeds).  Peel and finely chop ginger, garlic and coriander.  Mix all ingredients together.  Finally, set aside and leave for 12 hours before using, as this lets the flavours develop.

Recipes for TERIYAKI SALMON, MISO CREAM, EDAMAME BEANS & SEAWEED SALAD and Salted Caramel pot de creme

Here in the Hawkes Bay we have been enjoying some beautiful summer weather with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees, and it therefore seems very fitting to be cooking outside and making the most of these glorious mild evenings.  Even though the mere male is very comfortable his place in front of the BBQ grill, here are a few friendly tips to seal in all those delicious flavours and keep your meat succulent and flavoursome;

  • Start with a very hot grill
  • Remove your Protein from the fridge in advance, because meat is best cooked at room temperature
  • Season the meat with salt, pepper and a little oil. (Avoid oiling the grill because it can burn and char the meat).
  • Turn the protein only once.  Leave it on the grill until you can remove it easily to cook the other side.  If it sticks, it isn’t quite ready to be turned, so leave it for an extra minute.
  • The protein is Medium Rare when blood starts coming to the surface.
  • Good old Watties are a staple at most kiwi barbeques, however there are many different options to add flavour to your BBQ. Above all, you will impress your friends!

Chimichurri sauce is the perfect way to add flavour and freshness to proteins without over powering them.  This sauce is traditional of Argentinean BBQs, similar to pesto and is gluten free!


Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup Flat leaf parsley

2 Tbsp fresh oregano

2 tsp crushed garlic

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to season

1 tsp fresh chilli or ½ tsp dried chilli.

Put all ingredients in blender and blitz, season to taste.

This sauce is beautiful served with BBQ Lamb rump, fresh lettuce, coriander, and pomegranate seeds with a drizzle of fresh lime juice.


Recipes for TERIYAKI SALMON, MISO CREAM, EDAMAME BEANS & SEAWEED SALAD and Salted Caramel pot de creme

Spice dusted lamb, Indian potato cake, pea herb dressing tomato jam and Quinoa Feta balls

This beautiful dish currently features on the Summer menu at Church Road Winery Restaurant, Taradale, Napier, and was created by our Executive Chef, Jenny Parton.

The Quinoa feta balls are a delightful accompaniment to the dish.  The crispiness of the quinoa and the soft “melt in your mouth” texture of the feta is a pleasure on the palate.

Quinoa Feta balls are a perfect accompaniment to your Antipasto platter, a tomato and basil salad, a cheeseboard or  a beef or lamb dish.  Try out this simple recipe, and wow your guests at your next dinner party!

6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tsp Rosemary

150gr Feta

1/2 cup quinoa

Cook black quinoa.  Dry off and fry in deep fryer or a pot of hot oil with a metal sieve until popped.

Whip feta with a fork, mix with crushed garlic and rosemary. Chill down.  Roll into balls and before placing on your plate,  coat in crispy black quinoa.


As caterers, we understand that food plating and presentation are vital to a guests experience.  People “eat with their eyes” so creative plating adds to the visual appeal of a dish.  Here are a few tips to plating up the perfect dish for your guests this Christmas.

Choose the perfect plate…..

Having the right plate to present your dish on is like having the perfect canvas or frame for your painting

  1. Size – Make sure that the plate is the right size to frame the food and that your food stands out.  A plate with a rim is great for creating a border around the food.  Make sure that the plate is not so big that it makes your meal size look too small!
  2. Colour – The colour of your plate is key to attractive food presentation.  Black or white plates provide a nice contrast to the colours of your food, so is nearly always a popular choice. There are also a lot of other modern colour options available on the market these days, so it’s a good excuse to go shopping and update your old dinner set!  So give some thought to the components of your dish and what colour plate would be complementary.

To plate…

  1. The wet ingredients – such as jus, puree or sauce should be put on the plate first. Consider how much you are putting on the plate so as not to drown your meal! On top of this you can then place your starch, or your dessert. 
  2. Odd Numbers – It is always visually appealing (and a trick of the trade) to plate an odd number of the small bite sized items on your plate such as scallops, onion rings.
  3. Colours –While the focus of the dish is usually on the protein, think about the colours and how they will contrast on the plate. We like to use ingredients such as crisp green vegetables or fresh herbs, bright orange carrot or pumpkin puree or pickled pink onions to create our masterpieces.  These vibrant colours add to the visual appeal of the dish.  Edible flowers are also a great way to add visual appeal to a meal!
  4. Height – here at Dish we like to experiment with height when presenting our meals. The main we achieve this is by adding garnishes that give height to the dish such as a wafer, which is placed at a 45-degree angle against the side of a protein. Pea tendrils also add a pop of colour while creating elegant height to our dishes.
  5. Texture – Contrasting texture with complementary flavours add visual appeal, as on the palate. Imagine a creamy Asian-inspired sauce served with grainy rice, a soft slice of salmon topped with crispy cucumber and pickled pink onions – Yum! Crispy shallots add a pleasing crunch to a dish too!
  6. Garnishing – Garnishes are key as they are the finishing touch to any dish. Garnishes need to be edible and the flavours need to be complementary to the dish.  Fresh Vietnamese mint and coriander go exceptionally well with Asian style dishes, and help to enhance the flavours on the plate.  A sugar wafer or biscotti placed on a creamy dessert such as crème brulee add both contrasting texture, height and taste amazing!


Recipes for TERIYAKI SALMON, MISO CREAM, EDAMAME BEANS & SEAWEED SALAD and Salted Caramel pot de creme

Peanut Butter Ice cream recipe

Peanut Butter Ice cream Recipe Courtesy of “Duck and Waffle” by Daniel Doherty

Here at Dish, we are always experimenting, trying new recipes, combining tastes and ideas to create new and tasty menus. And this is one of our new favourite recipes….

The recipe for this sumptuous and highly addictive Peanut Butter Ice cream is out of one of my all time favourite cookbooks “Duck and Waffle” by Daniel Doherty , and it is a compilation of recipes and dishes at the infamous 24/7 London Restaurant “Duck and Waffle” .

We are well and truly addicted to this ice cream and wanted to share the recipe with you!  Here we have combined it with a rich White Chocolate mud cake, Berry Coulis and Fairy Floss.  You could also make it into an Ice-cream sundae for the kids topped with caramelised nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts, drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped off with a healthy dollop of whipped cream! Yum!!


500ml milk

500ml double cream

1 vanilla pod

190g caster sugar

4 tablespoons good quality smooth peanut butter

10 egg yolks


To make the ice cream, bring the milk, cream and vanilla to the boil in a large saucepan.  Meanwhile, put the sugar, peanut butter and egg yolks into a bowl and whisk very well. (Sugar absorbs moisture, and if you don’t mix straight away you will have pieces of dried egg yolk where all the moisture has been removed by the sugar, so beware!)


Once the milk and cream comes to the boil, pour half in to the yolk mix and whisk together.  Pour this back into the remaining milk and cream in the saucepan and heat until gently thickened.  You can use a thermometer to check this. (84°C is the correct temperature – any higher and the eggs will scramble and the ice-cream will be lumpy) Alternatively if you don’t have a thermometer, cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and stays there without running off straight away.

Strain the mixture and transfer to another bowl to stop it cooking, then cool and churn.


If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, freeze the mixture in four batches and once frozen, blend in a food processor. Return to the freezer after blending.

Havelock North High School Ball in the Opera House Plaza

Last Saturday night we were privileged to host the Havelock North High School Ball at the Hawkes Bay Opera House Plaza, it was such a special occasion. The Plaza is the ideal space for any type of large event, including school balls.

It was a glamorous setting once night fell and the lights twinkled. Rachel Stuart from The Flower Studio and Henry and Dane from Sight and Sound Services transformed the space into a magical night garden.

Our stunning guests enjoyed the following Menu:

Braised beef cheek, crispy roasted potatoes with rosemary and sea salt, red wine jus and salsa verde


Crispy pork belly with crispy roasted potatoes with rosemary and sea salt, cider jus, creamy savoy, bacon braise

Mains served with mesculin green salad served in bowls to the tables


Followed by:

A selection of Ice cream’s from the Rush Munroe’s’ Ice cream Cart


Image is courtesy of Simon Cartwright Photography


Contact us today to arrange your Special Occasion!

Havelock North High School Ball in the Opera House Plaza

Recipes for TERIYAKI SALMON, MISO CREAM, EDAMAME BEANS & SEAWEED SALAD and Salted Caramel pot de creme

Barbeque Spiced Pig's Ears

A strange recipe I know, but these crispy, salty, sweet and smokey pigs ears are incredible! I love challenging people out of their comfort zones with food, and recently did so with these at a dinner party. Reluctant to try them at first, my guests were all brave and needless to say, there were none left over!

Try the recipe, it is well worth it.  This recipe is out of one of my favourite cookbooks “Duck and Waffle” by Daniel Doherty , and it is a compilation of recipes and dishes at the infamous 24/7 London Restaurant “Duck and Waffle”

The spice mix is also fantastic on chicken, lamb or beef.


Serves: 6 as a snack

Day 1

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours


Day 2

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 minutes


For the pig’s ears

6 pig’s ears, washed

1 onion, peeled

2 sticks of celery

2 carrots, peeled

2 bay leaves

1 sprig of fresh thyme

10 peppercorns

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Plain flour, for dusting

Sea salt


For the spice mix

60g smoked paprika

20g onion powder

20g garlic powder

40g table salt

60g light brown sugar


Day 1

Give the ears a good scrub in cold water.  Place them in a saucepan and cover them with cold water.  Bring to the boil, then pour off the water and transfer the ears to a clean saucepan.  Fill with fresh, clean, cold water and add the whole vegetables, herbs and peppercorns.  Slowly bring to the boil, skimming constantly.  Once at the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 hours.

Allow to cool in the cooking liquid, then lift out and place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.  Place another sheet on top, and lay another tray on top of that.  Place in the fridge, and put anything heavy you may have on top – this could be a few tins or a couple of plates.  Leave overnight.


Day 2

Heat the oil to 180`C in your deep-fat fryer or in a heavy based saucepan.

When the ears are cold, they will be nice and firm; this makes them much easier to cut.  Slice them as thinly as you can, aiming for 1-2mm thick, and dust with four. Shake off the excess and place in the fryer for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp.  Be careful of any spitting fat here, and have a lid or splatter screen ready to slip on top of the fryer once the ears go in.

Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, as it can sometimes drop when you add the ears.  If it does, just tweak it up to 190`C so it regulates itself.

Remove from the fryer, place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix all the spice mix ingredients together. Add 2 teaspoons of the spice mix to the ears, shake them around until all of them are coated, and add a little sea salt too.

If you would like a copy of this fabulous book for yourself, you can find it at the Book Depository following the link.

Mothers Day menu

Looking to treat mum to lunch in the Hawke’s Bay this Mother’s Day? Look no further than Church Road Wines Restaurant, Taradale for an enjoyable family lunch. Church Road Wines and Dish catering have used their expertise and passion to wine match dishes on our special Mother’s Day menu, providing the complete wine and food experience. We’re offering a 3 course set menu with delicious platter and cheeseboard options.

Download our Mother’s Day menu.

For bookings, please contact 06 833 8224 or email

Opening hours 11.30am – 2.30pm, 7 days a week.

School Ball Package 2016

The Opera House Plaza is a modern blank canvas that allows you to keep it simple or dress it up according to your theme. The glass panels along the street can be raised and lowered giving you a range of options for where your guests can enter. And don’t forget the roof!!! It can be retracted so that your guests can mingle under the stars in the night sky….

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