Chef Mark Limacher shares one of his legendary dishes from Ortega Fish Shack in Wellington.
The wild thyme oatcakes were originally a canape I made using Milmore Downs oats in Guilio’s kitchen at Roots in Lyttleton. That recipe was developed by one of the Sherwood chefs, Jo, who added lard which was amazing making these creamy and crumbly, more like Scottish oat cakes. You can use what ever fat you like and whatever herbs or even add some dried fruit.I have used pumpkin seeds today but I also love poppy, sesame seeds or fennel seeds.
I normally use citrus zest, salt, oil, garlic and fresh herbs to marinate meat. But I think beef can handle a little dried spice too, and it’s great with a little crust on the barbeque. I started using Kaitaia Fire chillies about six years ago and have never looked back. Their cayenne is so light and flaky and super hot! We use secondary cuts in the restaurant as a reminder that there is a whole load of meat on a cow not just a fillet and sirloin. These cuts also work really well on the barbecue because of their marbled fat and texture.
At the restaurant we serve this nutritious and creamy sunflower dressing with baby leaves from the garden, activated sunflower and pumpkin seeds and currants. It is great with fresh raw vegetables and slices of fruit in the salad too.
I love to collect apples and in autumn there are so many wild trees here – the heritage varieties are small and every tree, or sometimes every apple, looks and tastes different. So with an abundance of spray-free skins and cores I started to make apple cider vinegar. I found this drink in winter when I was making countless lemon-ginger-honeys for a stuffy nose and I love it. Now, even my toddler will drink it.