Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books


7 March 2012


This is a recipe inspired by Dean Brettschneider, Global Baker whom "I co-authored three baking books. To begin you must make the sour dough starter, which can last for years if stored properly and continually attended to. Keep the sourdough in the fridge in a covered container and feed it every 10 days or so, then bring it out a day before baking and feed it twice to make it healthy and strong again for using.

Rye Sourdough Starter To get started;

  • 25g strong bread flour
  • 25g rye flour (coarsely ground or stone ground if possible)
  • 30g natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 20g warm water
  • ⅛ tsp active dried yeast

Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed in and cover. Stand at moderate room temperature and to ferment for a minimum of 12 hours.

To feed the dough;

  • 25g strong bread flour
  • 25g rye flour (as above)
  • 50g cold water

Using a wooden spoon, mix the bread flour, rye flour and water into the fermented starter until evenly mixed in and cover. Ferment for a further minimum of 12 hours when it will be ready to use. You will now have 200g of rye sourdough; use 100g for the recipe and keep 100g in the covered container and feed with the above amounts again as you wish to make more bread.

Once the starter is on its way, you will be ready to make the bread. This is made in two stages. The first step is to soak the grains, which must be prepared 16 – 24 hours in advance. At this point feed the sourdough ready for use. The soaked grains are then mixed thoroughly in a mixer with the dough ingredients.

Danish Rugbrod (Rye Bread)

For the soaked grains,

  • 215g whole rye grains (or could be whole wheat grains or a mixture of both)
  • 75g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted if desired
  • 75g linseed
  • 15g salt
  • 340g cold water

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix to coat with the water, cover and stand at room temperature for a minimum of 16 hours up to 24 hours.

For the dough:

  • 200g strong bread flour
  • 80g rye flour (coarsely ground or stone ground)
  • 10g liquid malt extract or molasses
  • 100g rye sourdough (as above)
  • 150g water – approx 30°C
  • ¼ teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 75g grated carrot (optional)
  • Soaked grains from above
  • 50g sesame seeds (for the topping)

Place all the ingredients, except the sesame seeds into a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on slow speed for 10 minutes. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl down and the dough hook to ensure an even mixture. Alternatively you can do this by hand using a large metal spoon. This will take some effort at the dough almost like a very stiff cake batter. Once the batter is mixed, spoon it into a loaf tin greased with butter and using your knuckles dipped in water, squash the batter into the corners of the tin. Smooth out with a spatula or scraper until level. If desired sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Or alternatively scrape the dough out onto a wet bench surface and roll into an oblong fat log shape, 2cm shorter than the width of your tin.

Cover the tin loosely with plastic wrap and allow the mixture to rise for approximately 2 ½ hours, but no longer as the dough will collapse due to over rising. In the last 30 - 45 minutes of the loaf rising, preheat the oven to 250°C. Remove the plastic and place the loaf into the preheated oven and immediately lower then temperature to 180°C, then quickly throw 3- 4 ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake for 60 minutes or until the internal temperature is 95°C when using a temperature probe.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out the loaf onto a wire cooling rack to cool, wrapped in a clean tea towel, for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. If the loaf is not cooled correctly before cutting the internal texture will not have set correctly and the knife will ‘gum up’ with what seems like unbaked dough, making it difficult when slicing.

Makes 1 loaf (approximately 19cm long x 11cm high x 11cm wide)

6 February 2012


Kahawai, with its almost meaty texture is perfect for smoking. Be sure to bleed the fish as soon as it is caught and eat while it’s still warm from the smoker. Use ponzu, a citrusy soy sauce, that’s available from some supermarkets and Asian food stores.

  • 1kg-2kg medium sized kahawai, skinned and filleted
  • 3 tbsps ponzu sauce
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps aromatic tea (Earl Grey or similar)

Rub the fillets with the ponzu and sugar and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Place the tea on the base of a smoker, and put the marinated fish on the smoker’s rack over the tea. Light the meth burner under the smoker and leave for 10 minutes as the fish smokes. Alternatively you can do this process in a wok on the stove top, by placing the tea in the base of the wok and putting the marinated fish in a steamer over the top. Place over the gas flame and allow to smoke over heat for 8-10 minutes. Serve the fish immediately with mayonnaise, lemon or lime wedges, thinly sliced onion rings and crackers or fresh wholemeal bread. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetiser.

6 February 2012


Juicy venison rack makes a truly celebratory meal. It’s at it best when served rare, so take care not to overcook the meat.

  • 1 rack farm-raised venison
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2 tbsps hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Wipe the venison rack dry, and place in a shallow dish. Whisk the other ingredient together to make a marinade and pour this over the meat, coating well. Refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to cook, fire up the barbecue, close the lid and allow the temperature to reach about 250°C. Place the rack on the heated grill, reduce the heat on the burner directly below the meat to low, leaving the adjoining burner at medium heat. Close the lid and allow the venison to cook slowly, turning occasionally. When the meat is starting to firm (test by pressing the outer surface with your fingers, it should feel slightly shimmery) take it from the grill, put onto a carving board and cover loosely with foil. Allow the venison to rest for at least 10 minutes, then carve into generous chops and serve with the following vegetables. Pour the dressing over the veges and the meat. Serves 8.
(Note; You could roast the rack in an oven preheated to 200°C for about 20 minutes as an alternative to the grill.)

For the vegetables and dressing:

  • 1 fresh fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 3 fresh courgettes, sliced diagonally
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 300g tender green beans, trimmed
  • 200g fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 750g small potatoes, scrubbed

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced

  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Place the fennel and courgettes in a saucepan and toss together with the oil over the heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so the vegetables do not burn. When they have softened, add the beans and peas with the vege stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Drain well and place on a heated serving platter. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until well combined and dress the vegetable mixture and the meat with the dressing. Serve while still hot with the venison ‘chops’ and potatoes that have been boiled until tender, lightly crushed and finished in the oven in a little oil and butter until they are crunchy.

Accompany the platter with a soft red wine such as pinot noir.

27 January 2012



  • 1kg flank or skirt steak (well trimmed of fat and sinew)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • strip of orange rind
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion, sliced

Cut the meat into two strips lengthwise. Heat the oil to very hot in a frying pan and brown the strips on all sides. Drain on a paper towel. Bring all the remaining ingredients to a simmer in a deep wide saucepan. Add the browned beef strips and simmer very slowly over a low heat for 90 minutes, until the beef is very tender. Leave to cool in the liquid. Refrigerate until needed. To serve, take the cold meat from the broth, and slice across the grain into neat slices. Arrange the meat on a serving platter alongside the salad (recipe below) and pour some of the salad dressing over the meat to keep it moist. Serves 6. Wine match: A summer rosé.


  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 300g beans, trimmed
  • 300g snowpeas
  • 2 cups light vegetable stock
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 orange, grated rind and juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil Trim and slice the fennel bulbs thinly. Bring the stock to a simmer and add the fennel to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans and snowpeas and continue to simmer for 2 minutes so they remain a little crisp. Drain well. Make a dressing by whisking together the spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, orange rind and juice, sesame oil and olive oil. To serve: Pile the fennel or celery onto a serving plate, and sprinkle over half the dressing. Serves 8.

Pic by ELizabeth Clarkson

20 December 2011


  • 500g small tender green beans
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 8 baby radishes
  • 300g ham, cut into 5cm strips
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 6 small gherkins, finely chopped
  • 120mls crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsps finely chopped parsley

Blanch the beans in salted boiling water for about three minutes until tender but still a little crisp, and then refresh in cold water. Pat beans dry with kitchen paper. Cut the cucumber into very thin rounds with a mandolin or a very sharp knife. Slice the radish length wise into match sticks. Slice the ham and then cut again into thin strips. To make the dressing, mix the mustard and chopped gherkins together in a small bow. Add the crème fraiche, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Put the beans, cucumber, radish and ham in a shallow serving bowl, and toss the dressing through to coat. Scatter over the parsley and serve with fresh bread. Serves 6. Wine match: sauvignon blanc

13 December 2011


Fabulous beef and salmon recipes: that's my choice this year for a perfect summer Christmas Day.

GRILLED SPICY SALMON * 1 side of fresh salmon (about 1.5kg) * 2 cloves garlic, chopped * 2 small shallots, chopped * 2 stems lemongrass, chopped * 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped * 1 tbsp turmeric powder * ½ tsp salt * 1 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam) * 2 tsps sesame oil * ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped * 4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts

Remove the pin bones from the salmon with a tweezer (they run down the upper half of the fish, and can be felt by running your thumb lightly over the middle of the salmon. Set the salmon aside while you make the marinade. Pound the garlic, shallot, lemongrass, chilli, turmeric, and salt with the fish sauce and sesame oil with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor to form a paste. With the salmon skin side down, spread this over the surface and leave for an hour or so for the flavours to infuse. Preheat the grill until very hot then place the salmon under until cooked through and the surface is golden. Garnish with coriander leaves and peanuts, and serve on a large platter with a green salad. Serves 12 or more Wine match; riesling

ROASTED STUFFED SCOTCH FILLET OF BEEF * 2kg piece of Scotch fillet * 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips * 6 anchovies (or 2 tbsps anchovy paste) * 12 thin slices bacon

Pre heat the oven to 200°C. Cut down halfway down into the length of the scotch fillet and stuff the centre with red peppers and anchovies. Push the meat together again and wrap the entire length with the bacon slices. Place the meat in the oven and roast for 55 minutes to an hour, depending on how thick your meat is. (If cooking on the barbecue, pre-heat the barbecue, and turn off one of the burners and cook the meat so it is positioned over the extinguished burner with the hood closed. That way it will cook gently and not flare up or burn.) Remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for 20 minutes so the juices are re-absorbed, before carving into neat slices. Serves 12 or more. Wine match; pinot noir


13 December 2011


RED CHRISTMAS SALAD * 3 red peppers, de-seeded, stalks and membranes removed and cut into wedges * 3 small red onions, peeled and cut into wedges * 4 medium beetroot * 20 baby carrots, peeled * 2 large acid free tomatoes * Small punnet cherry tomatoes For the dressing: Juice of 1 orange, 2 tbsps sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon runny honey, 5 tbsps olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper, A handful fresh basil leaves for garnish

Heat the oven to 180ºC and roast the pepper and onion wedges until soft and mellow (about 25 minutes.) Keep aside To prepare the beetroot, boil in water for about 40 minutes until tender, cool and remove the skins. Cut into rough chunks. To prepare the carrots, cook in salted water with a pinch of sugar for about 10 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Keep aside. Wash the tomatoes well and cut into neat chunks. Shake the dressing ingredients together in a small screw top jar so they are well mixed. Place the vegetables on a large white platter, and drizzle over the dressing. Garnish with a few torn basil leaves and serve at room temperature. Serves 10-12.

GREEN CHRISTMAS SALAD * 500g beans * 1 kg frozen peas * 500g asparagus * Baby courgettes * 1 cup Italian parsley leaves * 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil * 100g fresh white cheese (a crumbly feta, or I used Whangaripo Buffalo Fresca)

Trim the beans and cook in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, so they are tender but retain their bright green colour. Refresh under cold water and drain well. Bring another pan of salted water to the boil and cook the peas for 2 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Trim the asparagus and cook in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, so they are tender but retain their bright green colour. Refresh under cold water and drain well. Trim the courgettes and cut in half lengthwise. Brush with a little olive oil and fry gently in a pan or on a grill until the surface is golden and they are tender.
To assemble the salad, toss all the vegetables and parsley leaves together on a large serving plate or bowl, and drizzle over the olive oil. Top with the crumbled cheese and grind black pepper over everything. Serves 12.

13 December 2011


  • 1 medium cooked crayfish
  • 400g fresh scallops
  • 1 kg small mussels, scrubbed
  • 500g prawns
  • 1 large bunch watercress, picked over and stalks removed
  • 1 buttercrunch lettuce For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 lemons juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper Small bunch of chervil

To prepare the seafood: Pull the tail from the crayfish body by twisting it, and remove the meat from the shell and legs. Cut into neat chunks or slices. Put this meat aside. Keep the head and shell for another use such as a crayfish stock for risotto. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and sear in a little heated olive oil in a heavy pan so that the meat just sets. Heat about a cup of water in a deep saucepan and add the mussels. Simmer until the mussels open. Reserve the juices in a bowl. Open the mussels, remove the beard and the dark foot from within each mussel and place immediately in the juices so that the mussels remain plump and juicy. Discard the shells. Heat a little more olive oil in another frying pan and sauté the prawns for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque. Keep aside.
When ready to assemble the salad, arrange the washed and dried lettuce leaves on the platter. Very gently toss the crayfish, scallops, and drained mussels together. Place on the platter with the watercress. Make the vinaigrette, and pour this over. Finally decorate with chervil leaves. Serves 12 as a starter. Wine match; Champagne

13 December 2011


CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ LOG * 6 eggs * 2 tbsps cornflour * 1/3 cup sugar * Pinch vanilla essence * 2 tbsps cocoa For the icing: * 2 tbsps butter * 2 tbsps cocoa * ½ cup icing sugar * 2 tbsps boiling water For the filling: * 3 tbsps raspberry jam * 300mls whipped cream * 1 punnet each of strawberries and blueberries * 3 tbsps toasted almond slivers

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C. Prepare a 24x36 cm baking tray by lining with baking paper. Separate the egg yolks and sugar into two large bowls. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Sift the cornflour, cocoa and a pinch of salt together and gently fold into the egg yolk mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold carefully into the mixture, ensuring you do not lose any of the volume. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake 15 minutes or until the chocolate soufflé is light and firm to the touch. Turn out while still hot onto a clean tea towel, remove the paper and roll up. To finish, make the icing by melting the butter in a small pan. Remove from the heat and beat in the cocoa and icing sugar. Add just enough boiling water to make a thick but spreadable icing. Unroll the chocolate soufflé, and spread the jam over the surface. Spread the cream evenly on that and roll up, placing on a long serving platter. Spread the hot icing over the roll, and decorate with strawberries and blueberries. Serves 12 with extra berries and icecream.

4 December 2011


  • 3 sheets best quality butter puff pastry, 30cm x 12cm
  • 300mls cream, whipped
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • ½ cup redcurrant jelly
  • ½ cup strawberry jam

If using a block of puff pastry roll it out to size, place on baking sheets and allow to rest for 30 minutes before baking. If the pastry is pre-rolled you will not need to do this. Prick the surface of all the pastry with a fork. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Bake the pastry until golden and crisp (around 15 minutes.) Set aside. Whip the cream until it becomes it is lightly stiff. Remove the stalk each strawberry, and slice the fruit in half. Place the redcurrant jelly in a small pan, heating gently until it melts. To assemble the mille feuille, take a very sharp knife and trim the edge from the pastry strips to make it sharp.
Lay the first strip on a serving platter. Spread several tablespoonfuls of jam on this, top with half the cream. Spread the second pastry sheet with more jam, and place gently on top of the first pastry sheet and cream. Add the remaining cream to this and top with the third pastry sheet. Lay the halved strawberries on top and with a pastry brush paint the redcurrant glaze over the strawberries. It doesn’t matter if a little drizzles down. To serve cut into slices with a very sharp knife. Serves 6. Wine match: Asti Spumante