In this third series of her international television series Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook, we follow New Zealand’s favourite celebrity cook through the seasons of an entire year as she cooks easy but delicious dishes inspired by the ever-changing produce she harvests from her abundant garden and orchard on the shores of Lake Wanaka.
Episode 1 – Asian Inspiration
Spring has sprung in Annabel Langbein’s Wanaka garden and she’s already picking the first crisp snow peas of the season to use in a zingy Thai Carrot Salad. She heads off in her trusty yellow truck to meet an artisan chocolate maker, then invites her new friend back for an Asian-inspired dinner of caramelised pork belly with ginger miso greens and sticky rice. And what could be better for dessert than silky chocolate and orange pots made using artisan chocolate and oranges from Annabel’s courtyard garden?
Recipes from this episode
- Thai Carrot Salad 
- Sticky Rice with Chives and Tamarind 
- Duck Salad with Marmalade Dressing 
- Golden Marmalade 
Episode 2 – A Celebration of Spring
Annabel heads north to sunny Hawkes Bay to meet a farmer who specialises in tender, grass-fed wagyu beef. After stopping at a local organic asparagus farm along the way, she has all the ingredients she needs for a special spring celebration meal. She barbecues the beef over vine clippings on the banks of the scenic Tukituki River, then whips up a fuss-free Hollandaise Sauce to serve with the asparagus. Finishing this special meal are simple but spectacular individual Rhubarb Tarts.
Recipes from this episode
Episode 3 – Fresh from the Farm
Annabel Langbein loves to forage, and spring is the perfect time of year to gather tender watercress. She is in her element visiting a sustainable farm, where she also collects fresh eggs to use in a hearty and healthy meal she whips up on the back of her flat-bed truck for the hungry farm workers. As well as Chermoula Stuffed Eggs and a peppery watercress salad, Annabel’s menu features Turkish Lentil Kofte, a creamy fish and scallop risotto, and the easiest-ever Strawberry Friands.
Episode 4 – Dinner in a Flash
Nothing sings spring like strawberries, so Annabel Langbein is keen to get her hands on the first berries of the new season. She ventures north to a Hawkes Bay strawberry farm bearing a gift of Buttery Shortbread to share with the farmer. Returning to her cabin with her booty of plump, fresh berries, she makes quick work of preparing a delicious Asian-inspired dinner, including Spicy Seafood Fritters, Speedy Salmon with Vietnamese Dressing and a surprisingly simple Strawberry Fool.
Episode 5 –Tex-Mex on the Grill
Back in spring, Annabel Langbein planted a traditional Mexican three-sisters garden of corn, beans and zucchini, and now it’s time to harvest her fresh produce and transform it into a delicious Tex-Mex style meal. She combines the corn, beans and zucchini in a salad with the fashionable gluten-free grain quinoa and whizzes her homegrown tomatoes and chillies into a fat-free salsa. A smoked chipotle pepper dressing transforms a classic Caesar salad into something special, and even an after-dinner chocolate treat is enlivened by a dash of chilli.
Episode 6 – Salad Days
Always up for an adventure, Annabel Langbein treks north to a buffalo farm to meet a couple making sublime buffalo yoghurt and cheeses. She arrives armed with an intensely rich Black Velvet Cake, the perfect companion to creamy buffalo yoghurt and blackberries foraged from the farm. Returning to her cabin she tries her hand at her own yoghurt, then pairs some buffalo mozzarella with sweet, ripe figs from her tree. It’s the perfect starter for a lakeside meal of Seared Chilli Lemon Tuna, nicoise salad and slow-baked summer stonefruit.
Episode 7 – Catch of the Day
Annabel Langbein is up early, roasting a chicken to take on a fishing expedition. She’s in her element as she helps the local fishermen bait their kontiki torpedo and then prepares them lunch of fresh roast chicken and coleslaw rolls. The catch safely ashore, Annabel shows how easy it is to fillet fresh fish, then whips up a dinner of Beachside Ceviche followed by Fragrant Fish Curry on the back of her flatbed truck. As the sun sets, she and her new friends enjoy the fruits of their labours in a picnic on the sand.
Episode 8 –At My Italian Table
It’s autumn and Annabel Langbein is making the most of her seasonal harvests, cooking up a big batch of a versatile tomato passata to use as the base for winter recipes. She takes a jar with her when she ventures out to visit a local winemaker who is becoming as famous for his prosciutto as his pinot noir, and cooks up a meal of Chicken Prosciutto Parcels and Savoury Polenta on the back of her trusty yellow truck. For dessert, a deliciously rich date lumberjack cake, finished with a crunchy coconut topping.
Episode 9 – A touch of spice
Annabel Langbein celebrates autumn’s bountiful natural harvests with a foraging expedition to a neighbour’s prolific walnut tree. In return she invites him and his family for dinner and treats them to an Indian-inspired meal featuring her homemade Paratha Bread, spicy kasundi and slow-roasted lamb shoulder with a crunchy Walnut Salad – followed by a simple but spectacular Caramel and Pistachio Ice Cream.
Episode 10 – A Harvest Feast
Annabel Langbein joins a local organic baker on her early-morning bicycle delivery rounds, then uses the sourdough in her take on a classic Italian Panzanella Salad. She makes a meltingly tender Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu then shares her tips for making crème caramels and brandy snaps.
Episode 11 – Food for a Frosty Night
Annabel Langbein heads up into the snow on a winter dog-sledding adventure, and treats her companions to a picnic of hot Chicken Noodle Soup and her famous The Ultimate Banana Cake. That night they feast on Coq au Vin Pie followed by sticky caramel Pineapple Upside-Down Puddings.
Episode 12 – Middle-Eastern Magic
It’s winter shearing time in the South Island high-country so Annabel Langbein visits a local sheep station to cook a portable feast of Piadini Steak Sandwiches for the farmer and his crew. Her Middle-Eastern dinner menu features a tender lamb tagine and a spectacular dessert of Toffeed Oranges.
Episode 13 – Midwinter Feast
Annabel Langbein hunts for truffles in the South Island of New Zealand, then uses her precious bounty in a solstice feast featuring Roast Turkey with all the trimmings and her take on a Kiwi classic dessert, Brown Sugar Pavlovas.