Summer at The Rees Hotel Queenstown is rolling out the red carpet, dusting off those spectacular views and preparing summer feasts to celebrate.
To whet your appetite for a visit as soon as possible this Summer Corey Hume, Executive Chef at The Rees has put together some seasonal celebration menus to enjoy in-house at True South Dining Room along with suggestions of some of his favourite libations to accompany the local produce.
Christmas is not the only occasion to eat drink and be merry. We asked Corey Hume about his food philosophy to set the stage.
What is your favourite thing to cook this Summer and why?
I like cooking fresh fish due to its versatility and delicate flavour. It’s not something a lot of home cooks prepare at home and the availability is purely driven by seasonality and the weather which is what I like.
If you were cooking dinner at your place for friends what you most likely serve?
A multi-course menu based on local produce, seasonal seafood and something with a twist. I like to give people something to think about when they’re eating, to invoke a new memory of time and place amongst good company and conversation.
What ingredients do you always have on hand?
Butter, miso and wine
What is your favourite local summer produce in Queenstown?
We’re in BBQ season with summer this time of year. Meats, locally made sausages, seafood like crayfish and fresh fish. Fresh fruit and Pavlova are kiwi classics.
And if you can’t be in Queenstown this Summer, Corey Hume has included a couple of simple summer recipes to prepare here at home so no-one is left out. Great “go-to” recipes when you’re having friends and family over for any celebration this summer!
“For the festivities, I like making turkey in the form of a galantine. It’s a little nod to the Northern Hemisphere, but equally good around Christmas time. The left-overs can be used the next day from the fridge in sandwiches or as cold cuts at the family barbecue. For a side dish, as sometimes the weather can be cold and rainy on Christmas day in parts of New Zealand, a whipped kumara puree goes great with this.” says Chef Corey.
Corey’s Turkey Galantine with Prosciutto
1x Turkey breast, brined overnight
200gm Sliced prosciutto
1x bunch of fresh thyme, picked and finely chopped, leaves only (keep stalks for a the vegetable base)
½ a bunch of sage leaves picked and finely chopped
250gm Caul fat (Ask your butcher, most will have this available if you ask in advance), soaked in cold water overnight
1x carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
1x onion, peeled, roughly chopped
1x stalk celery, peeled, roughly chopped
4x cloves garlic, skin on, lightly crushed
- Drain the turkey breast and dry the excess moisture off it.
- Cut an incision lengthwise to make the breast in half and lay each piece inverted, end on end, so it’s of even width. (It will appear slightly longer.
- Lay plastic wrap onto your bench and lay the prosciutto overlapping each slice so it’s the same length as the turkey breast pieces. Season with freshly cracked pepper and evenly scatter the herbs over. Lay the turkey pieces overlapping as before on top of the prosciutto, and using the plastic wrap, roll it like it’s for sushi. You’ll have overlapping pieces of plastic. These are important as you ‘roll’ the galantine at each end which pushes and forms a cylindrical shape. Do this very tightly and leave in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to help set the shape. It should be an even cylinder of uniform shape. This is crucial for cooking.
- Lay the rinsed caul fat onto your workbench flat. Remove any edges which have big pieces of fat. Remove the plastic wrap from the turkey and place on the caul fat, just as you did with the prosciutto. Roll in the caul fat but not too many layers as it won’t render properly. About x2 layers is plenty. Trim a little off each end as this will shrink once it starts to cook.
- Wrap again loosely and leave in the fridge (This won’t take as long to cook as does a regular turkey breast.)
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Seal the turkey galantine in a large roasting dish over moderate heat and turn to brown all sides. Remove from the dish. Add the vegetables to the pan and colour in the fat. Remove the pan off the heat and bring the vegetables into the centre to make a base for the turkey to sit on.
- Place the turkey into the oven and let it roast, occasionally basting with the juices from the pan every 30 minutes until the core temperature reaches an instant read on a thermometer of 75C. Let rest somewhere warm for 45 minutes and briefly reheat in the oven before slicing.
2x fresh bay leaves
1x star anise
- Bring all to a boil and dissolve the salt and sugar. Leave off the heat to cool down, and when at room temperature, leave it covered in the refrigerator overnight.
Chefs note – The brine can be omitted, but it’s a great step as it adds moisture and seasons the muscle of the turkey. You can add things like maple syrup instead of the sugar as well.
- Caul fat is also called crepinette. It keeps the turkey moist during cooking and although it may be unpleasant for some to deal with, it has no taste or smell once cooked. It’s a thin fatty membrane from the internals of pork.
2kg kumara Beauregard (an orange fleshed variety or other sweet potato)
1x cinnamon stick
6x fresh oranges, juice squeezed, peel from x3 of the oranges
1x star anise
1x bay leaf
Qty sea salt flakes
200gm unsalted butter, cubed
- Pour cold water over the peeled kumara until just below being covered. Add the spices, zest, bay leaves, salt and orange juice.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until tender and slightly breaking apart. Drain and let sit for 1 minute. Discard zest, bay leaves and spices. Place the cooked kumara into a food processor. Blend on high speed until smooth, then add the butter piece by piece until emulsified into the kumara. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.
Chefs note – you can make this in advance and reheat on a low heat in a pot on the stove, stirring frequently. If you do plan to make it in advance, cool the puree in a bowl set over ice and water before placing in the refrigerator, covered.
A true kiwi classic which is now recognised officially as being of New Zealand origin, Christmas isn’t complete in my home without a pavlova. As everyone has a different recipe from their mum or grandparents, try to vary the toppings and experiment with others apart from whipped cream, which you can’t go wrong with anyway. Try these alternatives or as twists on the classic whipped cream. Berries are in season this time of year, so make the most of them and use them in abundance!
Chantilly Cream – like whipped cream, but with the addition of vanilla and white sugar
Mascarpone Crème – beat mascarpone cheese with vanilla bean, and fold in half the weight of lightly whipped cream. You can also fold in freeze dried or fresh berries or passionfruit to make an indulgent twist!
Dairy-Free alternatives – use things like fresh lemon or lime to introduce natural acids and include the zest to offset the sweetness of the berries and the pavlova itself. The world needs to consume less sugar!
The Rees’ Summer Cocktail 2021
This cocktail encompasses The Rees Hotel’s commitment to New Zealand, Tiaki (a commitment to care for New Zealand) and Te Reo Maori (the Maori language).
Ingredients can be sourced easily or substituted in Australia. A selection of their Summer cocktail list can be found here.
Karaka Fancy (Kakara (stative) to be aromatic, fragrant, sweet-smelling, scented)
45ml 42 Below Vodka or any other high-quality vodka
60ml Benjer Apple and Boysenberry Juice
30ml Sour Mix
Serve cold by shaking with ice and mint. Double strain into whiskey glass on ice. Garnish with mint tip and lemon slice.
You don’t have to be a lover of fine food, wine and farm-fresh produce to enjoy Queenstown New Zealand, but Chef promises the experience of taste.