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HAF sauce

Hot sauce addiction can be an expensive hobby – just ask my husband, who brings hot sauce on holiday with us, and probably only shies away from bringing it out to restaurants or friends’ homes because he knows I’ll tut-tut him… The really hot stuff, made with the really high-Scoville rated chillies, costs a fair whack. READ MORE

About

I’m Anna King Shahab. I run my own company, Radish Media Ltd, which mostly sees me writing on food and travel for a whole host of magazines, newspapers and digital platforms, as well as editing, consulting and copywriting for clients. I come from a magazine background and further back, as a qualified English as a second language teacher I taught in school in both Auckland and London.

I live in Auckland, New Zealand READ MORE

Digging the Scene in Waipara

 

Last winter I was invited by Black Estate to travel down to their North Canterbury idyll and experience their annual Truffle Lunch, which began with a truffle hunt with Jax Lee of King’s Truffles, on their farm in the pretty limestone hills close Waipara.

Wandering among the orchard of evergreen oaks and hazelnuts, Jax’s number one truffle dog Freddy sniffed out the goods; READ MORE

Leftovers to love: fried rice

 

Take whatever you have leftover – scraps of vegetables from the fridge, a few strips of steak from the barbecue, a bit of roast chicken perhaps – add cooked, cooled rice and an egg or two and voila, you’ve got one of the tastiest meals ever. READ MORE

Seedy Sprouted Buckwheat Loaf

 

 

This is my version of the loaf popularised by My New Roots and other bloggers and bakers, including the local-to-me The Midnight Baker, who makes an excellent Freedom Loaf. I don’t avoid gluten or any other ingredients, but I love the way a slice of this dense oaf, loaded with seeds and nuts and the distinctive flavour and texture of sprouted buckwheat, fills me up and provides me with energy.

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Red lentil soup

 

Enjoyed all through the Middle East, my abiding memories of enjoying this simple soup of red lentils come from the 6 weeks I spent backpacking through Turkey with my younger sister the best part of two decades ago. There, every meal began with a bowl of çorba (soup), almost always of this type, accompanied by crusty bread.

So as a 22 year-old, this soup entered my culinary lexicon where’s it’s stayed ever since, although I often forget how good it is, then remember again when my Iraqi mother-in-law visits and cooks ups endless pots of shorba, again, most often made with red lentils.

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Best ever bliss balls

 

I’ve experimented with lots of different nuts, seeds and fruit in bliss balls and I’ve finally hit on a winner! The key ingredient is sunflower seeds. There’s something about their flavour and creamy texture when blitzed into a butter that makes other contenders pale in comparison. And blitzing them into a butter on their own first is indeed vital if you want lovely smooth, fudgy balls. Bonus for those with nut allergies, too!

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Love affair: assam laksa

 

I hadn’t ever tasted assam laksa until I visited Penang in May 2017. I was travelling with a group and the numbers were polarised by this dish, with half of us loving it and the other half really not. It is a dish that divides: spicy, tangy and very fishy, it rushes up and smacks your tastebuds with a thick rubber band.

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Blinging blinis

 

Stuck in an hors d’oeuvres rut? Blinis are the answer. It’s hard to go wrong with them – they’re quick and easy to make and you can top with whatever you have to hand, plus it’s super easy to pretty them up with a few sprigs of fresh herbage or a little flower action. I made these ones the other day to take to a birthday party.

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