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Packing your picnic basket

Packing a picnic basket is a quintessential summer experience, but deciding what to pack can be daunting! That’s why we’re here to help.

Food & Drink

  • Cheese – click here to view our guide on choosing the perfect cheese platter
  • Crusty Bread
  • Dips (we have a wide range of gourmet dips available, but we recommend one of our pestos and our french onion dip)
  • Olives and other antipasto
  • Sliced meats (we recommend a shaved prosciutto and a salami)
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Fresh crusty bread
  • Fruit (for example sliced pear, strawberries and grapes)
  • Dark chocolate (for an easy dessert)
  • For alcoholic drinks we recommend a Sparkling Rosé. This refreshing drink will satisfy both red and white wine fans. 


  • Glasses
  • Small cheese board & knife
  • Blanket
  • Bottle opening/corkscrew
  • Napkins
  • Plastic plates

Cooking with Blue Cheese



Blue cheese pizza

Generally people tend to only use blue cheese as a snack or as a part of a cheese board.

With know how, Blue Cheese is however a very versatile cheese, that can produce amazing results when incorporated into cooking.

We would like to share a number of recipes:

Click here to see our range of blue cheese!

How To Store Cheese at Home

Learning how to correctly store your cheese is vital, as it will ensure the cheese is delicious for eating for the longest period possible.

Once you open the cheese from Carine Cuisine, we recommend storing it in the following ways (of course, that is if you’ve got any leftovers):

  • Hard, aged cheeses (Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Gouda etc): First wrap in wax or parchment paper, then add a layer of plastic wrap.
  • Blue cheeses (Gorgonzola, Roquefort etc): Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Semi-hard and hard cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere etc): Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Soft, semi-soft, and stinky cheeses (Goat, Camembert, Brie, Limburger etc): Place in a resealable plastic container.
  • Fresh cheeses in water (Mozzarella, Feta etc): Leave the cheese in the original packaging, changing the water every couple of days.

As a general rule: the firmer the cheese, the longer it will last.

Gorgonzola Mauri

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

chicken and chorizo paella


  • 4 cups chicken stock (found in-store)
  • 1 small pinch saffron threads
  • 4 chicken drumsticks, or 2 large chicken breasts – diced small (found in-store)
  • 4 T olive oil (found in-store)
  • 1 chorizo sausage (cut into slices) (found in-store)
  • 1/2 red capsicum (cut into strips)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups paella rice (found in-store)
  • 1 spring onion (sliced)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Position a rack in the lower third of oven and preheat the oven to 180′C

Place the saffron in a cup of hot water, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan (or paella pan) over med-high heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan, then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.

Add the chorizo to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and paprika and cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pan is dry and the rice is coated with oil. Stir in the warm saffron water.

Nestle the chicken into the rice mixture, spacing evenly, and pour any accumulated chicken juices over, and the stock to just cover the rice. Sprinkle with the tomato and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the paella to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and crisp around the sides of the pan and the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the paella from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with the spring onion and serve.

Note: Do not over season with salt as the flavours of the chorizo and stock will release once cooked in the dish.  Leave the last seasoning to taste, once the dish has completed cooking.

Grilled Chorizo with Lemon


Grilled Chorizo with Lemon

This dish is a perfect appetizer for any function – large or small.  Chorizo is predominantly a full flavoured pork sausage.  This recipe is simply, yet, it will please every palate.

Selecting the style of chorizo to use is up to you, however, we do have a variety at our deli, and you will sure enough see that there will be many favourites! Ask one of our staff if you aren’t sure which one to choose.

Rule of thumb, one Chorizo usually serves 2-4 people as an antipasto with olives and fresh bread.

chorizo tapas


Chorizo – Mild or Hot

Splash of Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic – sliced

Fresh Lemon Cut into wedges



Slice the Chorizo horizontally but not too thin.

Heat the olive oil in a pan on a low – med heat, and add the chorizo.

Make sure the pan is not too hot, as the chorizo will burn on the outside.

Turn several times to cook evenly on both sides, then add garlic, and cook for another minute.

Turn off heat, and squeeze 2-3 lemon wedges over the chorizo.

Serve in a bowl making sure all the chorizo flavoured liquid is included.

Accompany this dish with Fresh Bread and Wild Olives!

Christmas Edition Newsletter


Please click here to view our latest Newsletter

Cheese and Wine Pairing


Also check out our guide to choosing the perfect cheese platter.




Asiago Hard
  • Bardolino
  • Malbec
  • Riesling
  • Rioja
  • Sauvignon Blanc
Blue Castello Soft
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Madeira
  • Sherry
  • Riesling
Brie Soft
  • Bardolino
  • Champagne
  • Merlot
  • Sherry
  • Chardonnay
Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Chianti
Camembert Soft
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Champagne
Cheddar Semi-Hard
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Champagne
  • Chardonnay
  • Rioja
  • Sauvignon Blanc
Colby Semi-Soft
  • Champagne
  • Malbec
  • Riesling
Danish blue Semi-Hard
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
Edam Hard
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Beaujolais
Fontina Semi-Soft
  • Barbaresco
  • Barolo
  • Nebbiolo
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Bardolino
Fresh mozzarella Soft
  • Chianti
Goat Soft
  • Sancerre
  • Vouvray
Gorgonzola Soft
  • Malbec
  • Red Bordeaux
  • Sauternes
  • Port
Gouda Semi-Hard
  • Champagne
  • Malbec
  • Riesling
  • Merlot
Gruyere Hard
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
Jarlsberg Hard
  • Chardonnay
  • Zinfandel
Mascarpone Soft
  • Champagne
  • Riesling
  • Sauvignon Blanc
Parmigiano Regiano Hard
  • Chardonnay
  • Chianti
Pecorino Hard
  • Chianti
Provolone Semi-Hard
  • Bardolino
  • Barolo
  • Chianti
Stilton Semi-Hard
  • Port
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Choosing the perfect cheese platter


Creating a perfect cheese platter may seem overwhelming for some. Though our friendly staff at Carine Cuisine are more than happy to help you out in your selection, we would like to share with you a hassle-free guide to choosing the right cheese.

A range of about five different cheeses will generally be enough. We suggest choosing one cheese from the following types.

More cheeses can be found here or come down to the store to see our full range.

Allow the cheese to come to room temperature before serving. This will bring out the full flavour in the cheese.


  • Serve with crackers and a variety of breads including sliced baguette and bread sticks, or for something different try our vegetable ‘flats’
  • Serving with a dip, pesto, pate or paste is also another great option to include in your platter. We stock a range of Maggie Beers Pates and Pastes (including apricot paste, plum paste, fig & fennel paste, cabernet paste, and pate). We also have a range of dips and pesto’s in store
  • Cured meats such as prosciutto, coppa and salami
  • Assorted seasonal and dried fruits can include figs, cherries, apples, apricots and pears.

We suggest having about 100 grams of cheese per person.


Also check out our Wine Pairing Guide.

What oil should I cook with?


So what are fats? If you break it down fats are simply a chain of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms bonded together in a particular way. For instance in the picture above is simply an ester group (The red section) connected to fatty acid chains ( the black/green section).

It is this fatty acid chain that determines whether the fat in oil is saturated or non saturated.

What this means chemistry wise is simply how much a carbon chain is connected by single bonds.


This is seen in the top chain above. As you can see of the two chains only the top chain is considered saturated ( due to all the bonds being singly linked).

Conversely the bottom chain is considered unsaturated due to the double bond (green section).

“So what’s the difference?” I hear you ask, Well due to this difference in chemical structure these fats behave differently when reacting in different environments say for example inside your body or in the hot environment of cooking.

The main behavior that we are interested in is how reactive each chain is. Now you may think that because the unsaturated fat has a double bond the bond is stronger and thus less reactive. Wrong. Infact the opposite is true. Double bonds are weaker then single bonds and result in a higher reactivity due to to its tendency to break more often.

What does this mean for you?

Healthwise oils with unsaturated fats are healthier by being more reactive than saturated fats. By being more reactive the body has an easier time to break unsaturated fats down as your internal chemical systems attack the double bond weak point.

In contrast to unsaturated fats due to all the bonds being single bonds there is far more stability and a higher chance for it to linger in your systems.

Cooking and Storage wise oils with saturated fats are the better choice. Especially with recepies of high temperatures, saturated fats are more unlikely than unsaturated fats to breakdown into other compounds where unsaturated fats do.

This reactivity we described earlier will also affect how long the oil will keep from rotting. Here saturated fats are the better choice.

The Choice you will have to make

In the end the choice between unsaturated and saturated oils really depends on what you are planning to cook it with and how healthy you want to eat. The trade off between saturated and unsaturated is an economical choice( as in how long you plan to keep it for), a health choice( how healthy you want to be) and an variety choice( what recepies you plan to cook due to temperature limitaions on unsaturated fats). Its a good thing that there are many oils to choose from all of which have different ratios of unsaturated fats to saturated fats. Here’s a few ratios typical of some oils.

Saturated Unsaturated
Coconut Oil 92% 8%
Palm Oil 81% 19%
Butter 68% 32%
Olive Oil 14% 86%
Canola Oil 7.3% 96.4%

Heres a few protips to end the article

1. To help keep your oils keep for longer it is recommended to keep your oils in a dark cool place to prevent your oil going rancid.

2. Dont buy unsaturated oils in large batches. This way you are more likely to finish your portions before the oil goes rancid.

3. Try to only bring out the oil when you plan to use it and screw the lid on tight. This way you minimise the exposure of the oil to light and oxygen. The main drivers of oil going rancid.

I hope that helps in choosing the right oils to cook with. Until Next time!


Social Media Representative
Carine Cusine