Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook

Celebrity cook, food writer and author Annabel Langbein invites viewers to her idyllic lakeside cabin on New Zealand's scenic South Island, where she creates simple, healthy and delicious meals for family and friends. The self-taught cook, with more than 20 years of experience working in professional kitchens, stays true to her philosophy that quality, natural ingredients need little in the way of fussy preparation. In each episode, Annabel ventures out in her trusty yellow truck to gather ingredients from local food producers and from her own vegetable garden and orchard. She then combines this seasonal produce with affordable, everyday food items drawn from her global pantry of flavors and her signature "Fridge Fixings" to create bang-bang chicken, corn and Israeli cous cous salad and other internationally inspired recipes.

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Annabel Langbein

Annabel Langbein

New Zealand-born cook, food writer and author Annabel Langbein has written and self-published 21 cookbooks. Her down-to-earth and free-spirited approach, no-fail recipes and clever kitchen tips and tricks have earned her a passionate worldwide following.

Lunch on the Grill

Episode #101H · Annabel Langbein cooks a Middle Eastern-inspired al fresco lunch for the grape pickers at Mt. Maude vineyard in New Zealand's Central Otago. On the menu are home-made Turkish bread, a spicy steak salad and her famous orange lightning cake. Recipes from this episode: Turkish bread, Turkish bride soup, spicy beef with harvest vegetables. garlic dressing, nutty cumin dukkah, corn and pearl couscous salad, orange lightning cake and vin d'orange.

A Decadent Dinner

Episode #102H · Annabel Langbein helicopters deep into the Southern Alps high country of New Zealand to cook a hearty lunch for the deer musterers. Returning to her lakeside Wanaka cabin, she cooks a simple but indulgent dinner of venison tataki, duck confit and a sublime flourless chocolate cake. Recipes from this episode: Moroccan tomato sauce, Moroccan eggs, cowboy hash, venison tataki, duck confit, fragrant lentils, crispy parsnip peels, flourless chocolate cake, raspberry coulis.

Paella Party

Episode #103H · Annabel Langbein cooks up a seafood celebration feast on the back of her truck at one of New Zealand's stunning golden beaches. The seaside meal includes the most spectacular beachside paella and flambeed peaches from her Wanaka orchard. Recipes from this episode: onion and herb frittata, birdseed bar, aromatic steamed mussels, watermelon and avocado salad, beachside paella, flambeed peaches, sparkling sangria.

Italian Inspiration

Episode #104H · Annabel Langbein visits actor Sam Neill's Two Paddocks vineyard to harvest saffron and pick heritage pears, then invites him and his team to her cabin to try her modern take on classic Italian osso bucco and saffron risotto. Her pear and prune custard cream dessert has everyone swooning. Recipes from this episode: choconut slice, balsamic glaze, beet, fennel and goat cheese salad, osso bucco, gremolata, saffron spinach risotto, pear and prune custard cream, coffee liqueur, extra-special coffees.

Cooking for a Crowd

Episode #105H · Annabel Langbein tries her hand at fly fishing on the lake near her Wanaka cabin, then shows how to cook the most succulent trout enrobed in salt. As her neighbors arrive for a cookout she whips up help-yourself hamburgers and blueberry crepes over the outdoor fire. Recipes from this episode: vegetable samosas, minty yogurt dipping sauce, salt-crusted fish, speedy mayo, dill and caper mayo, mango salsa, sesame beef patties, help-yourself hamburgers, holiday crepes, blueberry sauce, retro fruit punch.

The Perfect Roast

Episode #106H · Annabel Langbein visits and gathers culinary lavender and merino lamb from local farms to make a roast dinner with a difference. Also on the menu are deep-fried zucchini flowers and a divine maple and apple tarte tatin. Recipes from this episode: cookie sampler, chevre-stuffed zucchini flowers, roast lamb with herb crust, vegetable tian, green beans with olives and garlic, maple and apple tarte tatin, and lavender syrup.

A Taste of Asia

Episode #107H · In sunny Nelson at the top of New Zealand's South Island, Annabel Langbein goes foraging and harvests mushrooms to use in a quick and easy teriyaki fish and mushroom bake. She also shares her recipe for a super-simple lemon and ginger ice cream served with crunchy ginger biscotti. Recipes from this episode: pan-fried mushrooms with pine nuts, lahmacun flatbread, salted edamame, teriyaki sauce, teriyaki fish and mushroom bake, Japanese-style rice, gingered bok choy, lemon and ginger ice cream, ginger biscotti, fresh flower tea.

Fiesta for Friends

Episode #108H · Annabel Langbein picks heritage apples from a family orchard dedicated to preserving rare varieties in sunny Nelson, New Zealand. Returning to her lakeside cabin, she cooks a Mexican-style feast of succulent slow-cooked pork with smoky chili beans and guacamole, followed by the easiest, most refreshing apple and raspberry sorbets ever. Recipes from this episode: cinnamon apple fritters, garden gazpacho, Mexican rub, Mexican pulled pork, smoky chili beans, chunky guacamole, fresh flour tortillas, apple and berry sorbets.

A French Country Table

Episode #109H · Annabel Langbein visits her neighbor's hazelnut orchard in New Zealand's Central Otago for the fall harvest, cooking up a rib-sticking pea and ham soup and a spiced apple cake for lunch. On the menu that night are artichokes fresh from the garden, chicken and leek gratin, and individual pear and hazelnut tarts. Recipes from this episode: rib-sticking pea and ham soup, one-pot spiced apple cake, artichokes with vinaigrette, Provencal crust, chicken and leek gratin, garlicky vegetable toss, hazelnut butter, individual pear and hazelnut tarts.

Fish on the Menu

Episode #110H · Always up for an adventure, Annabel Langbein wades in boots and all to net for flounder on a Nelson beach at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island. Her haul is the starting point for a Mediterranean-themed meal featuring a generous platter of tapas, the simplest baked fish and a delicious vanilla citrus terrine. Recipes from this episode: the ultimate chocolate brownie, sunshine carrot dip, roasted bell pepper boats, tapenade, mediterranean baked fish, parsley mashed potatoes, crisp romaine salad, vanilla citrus terrine, honeyed oranges.

Life's A Picnic

Episode #111H · Annabel Langbein and her daughter Rose head off to a local Wanaka orchard to pick one of the Central Otago's most eagerly anticipated stone fruits - apricots. The abundant harvest forms the basis of that evening's meal, both as a savory chili dipping sauce for crunchy spring rolls, and as a delicious dessert. For the main course, a brilliant speedy bang bang chicken salad. Recipes from this episode: sausage, tomato and olive pissaladiere, really useful apricot chili glaze, pork and cilantro spring rolls, aromatic poached chicken, bang bang chicken salad, speedy peanut sauce, apricots with macaroon topping, lemon syllabub, ginger mule.

Effortless Entertaining

Episode #112H · Annabel Langbein milks goats at her neighbors' organic farm and then shows how easy it is to make haloumi cheese. She turns this into a starter, grilled on skewers with shrimp and zucchini. Also on the menu are flash-roasted salmon fillets with home-made pesto, and decadent molten chocolate pots. Recipes from this episode: home-made haloumi, shrimp, haloumi and zucchini skewers, summer basil pesto, flash-roasted pesto salmon, potato rosti, braised fennel with lemon, molten chocolate pots, limoncello.

The Ultimate Cookout

Episode #113H · Annabel Langbein jetboats across Lake Wanaka to pick luscious raspberries, then returns to her cabin to cook a glorious dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables from her garden. Her silky lemon tart is a show-stopping finish to the ultimate summer meal. Recipes from this episode: love-me-tender sponge, ten-minute raspberry jam, raspberry vinegar, brined and grilled butterfly chicken, new potatoes with hazelnut pesto, grilled broccoli salad, char-grilled corn on the cob, silky lemon tart, tropical sundowners.