Northern Thai Pork Sausage ‘Sai Oua’

Pandawan Cooking School is one of a number of cooking schools based in Chiang Mai. What makes Pandawan different is their luxurious cooking facilities upstairs, with views out towards the gardens. That’s not a must have, however, when you’re sweating about what you have to cook, you don’t also want to be physically sweating in a stuffy working kitchen in Chiang Mai’s old town!

The first stop on the tour was to the local markets. Just as you’d expect anywhere, there’s a plethora of what you recognise and a wide array of ingredients you’d rarely find in New Zealand. Our guide explained the difference between Holy Basil and Sweet Thai Basil. (Sweet Thai has a anise clove flavour) and then the difference between lime (used for it’s juices) and the wrinkly kaffir lime (used for it’s skin, similar to lemon rind).


Chiang Mai Market Butchery

The butcher is a different place altogether from what you’re used to at Gourmet Direct. Meat is presented in the open, in a slightly cooled room with every part of the animal there to be bartered for. Chicken doesn’t just come in breasts and thighs, there is no wasted parts of the chicken, after all, Thailand has 67 million people to feed!


The prize chickens are the fighting ones, well the fighting cocks that lost. They are well looked after, at least when they’re alive, so they taste the best, so we’re told. 

prize fighting chickens

Angry bird shaped precooked meat helps kids eat their soup as fast as any other trick.


Chiang Mai Market Butchery

On to the first tasting and it’s pork scratchings with a northern green chilli paste delicacy that is sweeter than most with a fire that fills the mouth not the throat. I decide to buy a little of both as they go great with a Beer Chang or Singha. Ideal for the cooler evenings, after these super hot and dry days in their 30’s.


Marinate then make the sausage

Last stop on the way out of the market, is also the first stop for most during the evenings so I’m told with queues ready to buy 3 – 4 kg at a time.  The Pork Sausage looks like the South Africa boerewors yet taste a world apart. Here it’s about spicing the sausage for marination before making the sausage not after. That way the marinate is integral to the sausage.


Inside the sausage goes turmeric, galanga, lemon grass and chilli paste, but despite some smiles and wrangling, I was unable to get the exact measure of each to make these beauties. Needless to say the chilli paste is more important than the pork in these 100% pork sausages. We decided to take up the challenge and make Northern Thai Pork Sausages, now available at the link below.

Gourmet Direct Northern Thai Pork Sausage

>> Link to pork sausage

Order your Corporate Gifts from Gourmet Direct

Every year hundreds of New Zealand businesses send Gourmet Direct food hampers to their valued clients. We offer a highly reliable, tailored service that will delight your clients. There’s no need to leave the office, you can request your order below or phone Kate, Pia or Amy on 0800 737 800.

Place your Order

Place your order request here and we will respond to you with 24 hours, usually same day. Note, for large quantities or multiple delivery addresses, please call 0800 737 800 for best quote.




On the go? Use our app

This is a great way to walk around the office, checking what everyone needs, then placing your order. Note, for large quantities or multiple delivery addresses, please call 0800 737 800 for best quote.

corporate gift app 2014


Download Corporate Gift Catalogue 2014/15

Download Gourmet Direct 2014/15 VIP Gift Catalogue


We are here Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and will be happy to answer your questions and help you design a gift pack that exceeds your expectations.


Gift Vouchers & Cards

Gourmet Direct can create customised gift vouchers. These can be sent to your gift recipients with a full colour catalogue, to redeem a particular pack at their leisure, or to spend a predetermined value on a selection of their own.

You may choose to send us your own corporate gift cards with a list of recipients, or we can make all the arrangements ourselves and supply the cards.

Delivery and Freight

Gourmet Direct gift packs are delivered in a reusable polybin cooler packed with ice and plenty of care. All products are vacuum packed for maximum shelf-life, making them ideal for taking on holiday, or to put in the freezer for later use.

We offer nationwide delivery to individual addresses or in bulk to one address. You will need to nominate an urban delivery point for gift recipients at rural addresses. Pack prices do not include freight. Freight is added at our current rates for individual deliveries or on application for bulk deliveries.

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We pride ourselves on maintaining strict standards when it comes to product procurement. We deliver hand-picked products with an outstandingly consistent quality. We absolutely guarantee our products. In the unlikely event that your recipients are not completely thrilled with their Gourmet Direct gift – for any reason at all – we will happily replace the product or refund your money.

Quick and Easy Stuffed Turkey Breast (serves 6)

You can put this together in 10 to 15 minutes prep time.

Cooking time is only 1 – 1 1/2 hours and then rest.

1 Turkey Breast (1.2kg)

1/2 cup sliced almonds

salt and pepper

1 cup white wine

1/2 – 1 cup apricot chutney, date or tamarillo. (I used a lovely homemade spicy apricot)

4 – 8 spinach leaves from the garden (just pull the centre stalk off)

4 – 6 slices dry cured bacon (rind removed)

 rolled turkey breast

Take skin off the turkey breast and set aside.

Remove fillets – small pieces loose meat from the breast.

Place breast between 2 clean tea towels and thump with your rolling pin to flatten.

Lay the beaten breast on your board and smother with your chutney of choice.

Sprinkle almonds, lay spinach leaves on, with a wee bit of salt and peppter on top.

Roll up and then smoth more chutney on the inside of the turkey skin and roll breast in skin.

Lay bacon slices over rolled breast. Tie up with sting and place in roasting dish.

Pour in white wine and roast for 1 – 1.5 hours @ 170 degrees.

Rest for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve.

Pour over pan juices.

So easy!

stuffed_turkey_breast recipe

Pia’s Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb Recipe

Serves 4-6

1 Boneless Lamb Leg (1.3kg)
Salt and Pepper
500g Spinach, stalks removed
½ cup Olive oil
200g Halloumi grated
4 Tablespoons fresh Mint washed and stalks removed
2 Lemons zested
½ cup Almonds sliced and toasted
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
375 ml Verjuice
200ml Meat Glaze


Preheat Oven to 180c. Take your Boneless Lamb Leg and slice thru from the fat end horizontally till nearly all the way so you can open to butterfly and lay on your board.
Season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach in a bowl and pour boiling water over to blanch, drain and squeeze out water. Spread the spinach over the lamb.
Combine the mint, zest, almonds, garlic and halloumi in a bowl and then spread over one side of the spinach in the lamb. Cover the mix with the top side of the lamb so it is closed.
Tie securely both ways. In a pan big enough to fit the Lamb that is ovenproof, heat a little oil and sear Lamb all over. Remove pan from heat and add the Verjuice and 1 cup water to the dish. Cover and roast for 2 ½ hours. Let rest for 20 minutes and put your sauce mix into a pan and add Meat Glaze, simmer for 10-20 minutes till reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper and add a little butter to the sauce before serving.

How to cook a Christmas Turkey

Cooking the Christmas Turkey doesn’t need to be a chore but there’s two tricks. The first trick is prepare and freeze the stuffing in advance to free your up to enjoy more of your Christmas day champagne! The second is choose a turkey stuffing flavour that you love. Citrus, country sage, cashews even spinach and ricotta can make for a delicious day for the family. Whatever you choose, the preparation of the turkey remains the same.

Preparing the Turkey

Remove the neck and giblets from inside and wash the turkey well. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels.

Make the stuffing you prefer and loosely stuff into the turkey. Remember to stuff just before cooking!  Make sure to tuck the wings underneath and join the cavity with a skewer. Tie the legs together and place on a rack in a baking dish.

Roast for 2 hours, basting with the combined oil and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. We recommend our ‘made by the masters’ Chicken Stock. Cover the breast and legs with foil after 1 hour if the turkey is over browning.

Remove from the oven, cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Making the gravy

When making the gravy, remove all but 2 tablespoons of delicious turkey pan juices and place on the stove over low heat, add flour and stir well. Stir over medium heat until browned. Gradually add the remaining stock, stirring until the gravy boils and thickens.

Pia’s adopted American Turkey recipe

“This is a recipe from a beautiful American friend of my mothers and it is their recipe for Thanksgiving turkey but my family has adopted it as our traditional christmas turkey. It is delicious and you can adapt it to use a boneless turkey which I will be doing two of this year for feeding the family” says Pia.

Read Traditional stuffed turkey with hazelnut butter recipe.

Julie Biuso – Roasted lamb nuggets with anchovy, bacon and shallot stuffing

Julie Biuso Roasted Lamb nuggets

Recipe extracted from ‘Julie Biuso at Home‘, with photography by Aaron McLean. Published by New Holland and available at all good bookstores now, $65.00.


This is a really tasty roast which is not that much bother to prepare. It’s also easy to slice. Serve it with an aubergine and bean salad, or lemony kumara (sweet potatoes) and green beans. And bring out the pinot!


1/2 cup chopped peeled shallots

100g free-range streaky bacon, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 Tbsp butter

3 anchovies in oil

1 Tbsp chopped rosemary

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 medium (size 6) free-range egg, lightly beaten

2 x 375g lamb nuggets (single muscle ‘roasts’ sometimes called pan roasts)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine


1. Put shallots, bacon and garlic in a small frying pan with butter, cover with a lid and set on a low heat. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, until tender and lightly golden. Cool.


2. Drain anchovies, mop with paper towels, then mash with a fork. Add rosemary and anchovies to shallot mixture, then mix in crumbs and egg.


3. Remove silverskin (membrane) from lamb by slipping a small sharp knife between silverskin and meat, and pulling away the silverskin as you slide the knife over the meat (this makes the lamb more tender). Slit lamb roasts open to form a deep cavity for the stuffing. Season meat with salt and black pepper. Fill cavities with stuffing and tie up roasts neatly with string.


4. Preheat oven to 200°C (fanbake). Heat olive oil in a shallow roasting tin over medium heat – choose one which fits the lamb snugly. Add lamb and brown quickly on one side. Turn meat over, then transfer to oven. Cook for 15 minutes, turning lamb once during cooking. Remove from oven, salt lightly, then let lamb rest for about 7 minutes before slicing thinly. Pour wine into roasting tin, set tin over medium heat and bubble up.


5. Arrange meat on a heated platter and pour over pan juices. Serve immediately.

Julie Biuso – T Bone steak with man-sized chips and spicy BBQ sauce



Recipe extracted from ‘Julie Biuso at Home‘, with photography by Aaron McLean. Published by New Holland and available at all good bookstores now, $65.00.


T bone steak

T-bone steaks are one of the most difficult steaks to cook well because the texture of the meat varies on each side of the bone. The smaller piece of meat (the fillet) is more tender than the other piece (the sirloin), and the meat on both sides is thicker around the top of the bone where the bone is T-shaped. The bone also slows cooking. Position the steaks on the barbecue so that the smaller piece of meat and the bone end are on the hottest part of the plate to avoid the larger and thinner piece of meat drying out. Regarding the chips, why settle for little thin ones when you can have these – great chunky truncheons!

Spicy barbecue sauce

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp finely chopped peeled shallots

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup tomato ketchup

1 Tbsp sweet Thai chilli sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp soft brown sugar

Flaky sea salt



2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp creamy Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 aged beef T-bone steaks



2–3 large floury potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

Flaky sea salt


1. To make the spicy barbecue sauce, put olive oil and shallots in a small frying pan and sizzle gently for several minutes until shallots have softened; make sure they don’t darken too much or they will taste bitter. Stir in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add cumin, mustard, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir until combined, then remove from heat. The sauce can be served immediately, or at room temperature. Alternatively, transfer to a small dish, cover, refrigerate and use within 2 days.


2. To marinate steaks, mix olive oil, mustard and plenty of black pepper in a shallow dish. Put in steaks and turn them to coat both sides with seasonings and oil. Let steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate until 1 hour before cooking.


3. Make the chips next. Peel potatoes and cut into long fat fingers. Soak chips in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, then pat thoroughly dry with a clean tea towel.


4. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (you’ll need a pan with a lid) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully lower in potatoes – they do not have to be in one layer. Immediately cover pan with a lid and turn heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, inverting it quickly so moisture stays in the lid and doesn’t fall back into the pan. Turn chips over with a slotted spatula and tongs. Drain off moisture from lid. Replace lid quickly and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking until golden and crusty, turning chips frequently with a spatula. The chips should stay in clumps, not be separate.


5. When they’re ready, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve hot.


6. Meanwhile, cook steaks to medium-rare on a preheated barbecue hot plate over very high heat as described in introduction; do not over-cook them. Dish steaks onto a heated platter and season both sides generously with salt. Leave them to settle their juices for 5 minutes before serving with spicy barbecue sauce and chips.

How to Glaze a Christmas Ham

Hams must feel firm and appear dry

When at the store, “Insert a hatpin deep to the bone, and if there was an ounce of moisture on the pin, look for another.” would say the late Isabella Beaton renowned for her Book of Household Management first published in 1861.

This approach will get you kicked out of the store nowadays, so look for a ham with a firm constitution. “Wobbly hams are no good, because a ham is a cooked cured product so it wants to be firm to the touch. If it’s not firm to the touch, don’t touch it!” says Kate King.

“The colour of the ham should be a rose wine, preferably free of bruising evidence or blemishes. It should have white fat under the cap. If it’s a cut ham you can look for any blemishes. It should look dry and shouldn’t have a lot of liquid in the bag with it. The cap should be a golden brown colour. If the colour looks unusally bright, it probably is! Oh and don’t try and stick your hatpin in to test it, you will get thrown out of the store!”

Avoid high water ham

Ham is a cured product so the more fluid around the bone the shorter it will last. Purply colour around the bone can mean the cure hasn’t gone all the way through, and as a matter of choice I would avoid it. Quality ham should hang while it cures, not sit in brine. Look for NZ ham around the 5–7% water mark with a traditional dry cure. Higher than that, wonder how much pump you’re consuming rather than natural product.

The flavour of the ham should be sweet and the texture should be firm and just moist, not overly dry. You may find a top end ham slightly drier until you get used to the fact that you can actually taste the meat and your mouth isn’t full of saline solution. The secret to a really good ham is as little water as possible left in the ham after the cure.

The Ultimate Ham Glaze

First things first. Get your ham first. Remember 5% less water. Take the ham out of the fridge for at least an hour before you put it in the oven.

Get the biggest dish you can find with a deep side that can accommodate your ham, whether it’s a big one or a small one. Get a grilling rack that fits into the dish or a roasting cradle – they’re good. Put it into the dish. Then you pop your ham into the cradle or onto the rack, it has to be a deep rack because you’re going to pour half a litre of water into the dish.

Pre heat the oven to 160, with the whole ham in there with the cap on for half an hour, then check it. 30 minutes skewer the ham all over leaving the cap on. Return to oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes. If it’s a half ham then it will need less time. Then take ham out of the oven and remove the cap. Orange zest, cloves, cinammon, mustard or even grated ginger finish a ham beautifully. ‘To decorate the top, use slices of orange. This is when you can style it with cloves or put pineapple rings and glace cherries and invite Arthur from the 80’s!’ laughs Kate.


Putting the glaze on

Use the Jude’s Ham Glaze recipe, which comes with every Gourmet Direct ham. Paint it on. then back in the oven, increase temp to 175 degrees and allow your ham to glaze for about 20 minutes. The key to a good glaze is not too much honey or sweetener that will burn. Your recipe should be balanced enough to achieve a nice gloss.

You can eat your ham straight away as they are pre-cooked but go with the glaze to truly enjoy it. Retain some of the glaze, warm through in a pot and serve on the side of the ham for extra flavour.

The perfect glaze needs some sugar component and to give you a caramelised finish. Brown sugar and / or honey make an ideal glaze for this.

When shopping, you’ll see two types of ham.
1. Bone in ham, is well, has the bone left in.
2. Champagne ham is partially boned, leaving the knuckle in.

Shop for the Luxury Ham Pack

Shop for Free Range Whole Ham on the Bone

Shop for Half Ham on the Bone

Gourmet Holiday Shopping ideas – headstart

Get a headstart on holiday shopping this year by addings a little something to make kitchen work easier this holidays, or as a gift for the foodie in your family. These gifts have been chosen buy the Gourmet Direct team as must have items in their kitchen.

1. Sparkling Water from Sodastream

A soda stream machine can sparkle your chilled water as NZ water is fantastic, ‘who wants to buy imported water’ say Napier store manager Pia Russell. Watch the video below of how the SodaStream “Crystal” product works. You can even sparkle your white wine for bubbles! This is the only one in the range that serves direct to glassware (not plastic) so you can pop directly on your dining table afterwards. Buy for $159.99 from your nearest Briscoes or online.


2. Meat Thermometer from iGrill

The black digital grilling thermometer with dual probes means you’ll know exactly the minute your meat is cooked from the outside through to the bone. There’s an iPhone app that will notify you when your meat is ready. This is Ian Christie’s foodie tip. ‘If there’s a meat geek in your family, this is the ultimate gift for them’. Buy for $119.95 from BBQ’s and More here.


3. Gourmet Meat Packs

‘The best gifts are the ones that are experienced’ says Gourmet Direct Marketing Manager Ryan Jennings. ‘I give meat packs to family before Christmas and to business colleagues for their support throughout the year’. Gourmet meat packs can be made to suit your recipient or designed to exactly the right budget you have. ‘It’s an easy way to gift great memories, to people you care about’ says Ryan. Gift Packs are available from Gourmet Direct with great gift packs available for $250 or so.


4. Knife Sharpening

‘Sharp knives are safe knives’ says Lance our Remuera Butcher. You can slice and dice to your heart’s content to create culinary magic without any stress if you have sharp knives. Lance will sharpen your knives for you at our butcher in Remuera. Outside of Auckland, try a Steel Sharpeners. Buy for just $44.99 from Living and Giving or see us at our shop, map below.

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