Rustic Cuisine on Rutherford St is owned by my two favourite French people, Mylene and Greg Auphan who used to own La Gourmandise. Their latest venture is to develop a range of French style foods in jars ready for you to take home and enjoy.
It goes without saying that when you are developing a new concept you need to earn a living so they took over the building opposite Nelson College for Girls and are producing the wonderful crepes and galettes everyone enjoyed at La Gourmandise as well as making cabinet food for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
Rustic Cuisine is a regular morning stop for me, the coffee is too good to go past, and I have noticed a large number of regulars doing the same thing. The fact they sell outstanding pastries doesn’t hurt their reputation for quality either.
However it is the food-in-a-jar that is the future for this young business, Greg told me they have invested in high quality equipment so they can produce enough to take to a much bigger New Zealand market. He also told me he is developing new recipes and has had to refine how he prepares his current recipes because the equipment cooks the food quite differently.
“Because it’s quite a long cook at a high temperature I need to adjust recipes to make sure the food doesn’t break down in the jars, we are doing lots of small trials to refine everything before we go into full production.”
In the meantime you and I get to try the new recipes he is developing before he adjusts the cooking process for each one. Dishes like Coq au vin, Beef Bolognese, Lentil Dahl, Onion Soup and their wonderful Cassoulet are prepared and packaged in jars ready for us to take home, heat up and enjoy.
My top tip for your next visit to Rustic Cuisine – if you see some in the food cabinet don’t even try to resist the lemon meringue tarts, they are outstandingly tasty.
This week’s recipe from the Hopgood’s team is for Walnut Rye Bread, Aaron says now that people have rediscovered baking during lockdown you should stretch yourself a little and make this bread that’s perfect with things like pork & duck rillettes or one of the outstanding pates from Craft French Pate (you can buy these at Rustic Cuisine).
“It takes a bit of time and if you haven’t got a food mixer with a dough attachment you will have to knead it by hand so you get a bit of a workout too. Slice it thinly and enjoy with cheeses, pates or just toasted for breakfast”
HOPGOOD’S WALNUT RYE BREAD
- 500g plain flour
- 250g rye flour
- 1 peeled and grated apple
- 5g instant yeast
- 330ml Cider, ice cold
- 200ml ice cold water
- 5g flaky sea salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Place the flours, grated apple and yeast in the bowl of a kitchen aid, or similar mixer. Fit with the dough attachment. Turn the machine on a low speed.
- Gradually add the cider and cold water. Let the dough knead for about 10 minutes, then add the salt. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic like.
- Add the chopped walnut, knead for 2 more minutes to evenly distribute, then turn off the machine. Shape the dough into a ball shape, then place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with cling film, then place in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, remove the dough from the fridge and allow to prove slowly until double in size.
- Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench, being careful not to knock out too much of the gases. Divide the dough into two even pieces, then shape into loaves or baguettes. Place the loaves on to a non-stick paper lined oven tray. Allow to double in size.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 250C. Once the loaves have doubled in size, carefully transfer them into the oven.
- Spray a little water on the bottom of the oven to create some steam and bake the loaves for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, spray in a little more water, then turn the heat down to 180C. Continue baking the loaves for 25 minutes, or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool.