Cooking on a budget
MasterChef runner-up shares her skillsALEX FENSOME
Masterchef finalist Jax Hamilton was in Riverton today to lend her cooking skills to families on a budget.
Ms Hamilton, who came second in the 2011 series of the show, was invited down by the Riverton Community Trust.
Her Caribbean style won over a lot of the New Zealand public during her run on the show and now she was trying to pass on to Kiwis some of the skills her mother taught her.
"I always say you should have a veggie garden," she said.
Growing up in Stratford, east London, her mother managed to keep the family well fed despite having hardly any money thanks to her garden, Ms Hamilton said.
It was also important to plan and not buy things on a whim.
"You should buy on special and fill the freezer ... stock up and you’re never really going to run out. The worst time to shop is when you’re not really sure what you’re doing."
There were masses of ways to add a spark to even simple meals.
"Herbs are always really good," she said. "Dry herbs last a long time ... you can’t go wrong. An omlette — a couple of eggs, couple of herbs thrown in and it’s French."
Southland delicacies such as muttonbirds were a mystery to her but one she’d like to find out more about: "How do you get the oil out of them?"
She was a bit more sceptical about the culinary value of Southland’s winter staple, swede.
"Swede? What do you do with that?" she asked.
"(You could) mash it with parsnips and curry powder to bring out the flavours. That kind of vege has a lot of water content and not really a lot of flavour. Have you tried roasting them?"
- © Fairfax NZ News