Christmas is just around the corner. Are you starting to think about what you’re cooking up on the big day? Here’s a few ideas to inspire you.
#1 AWESOME NZ LAMB
SPICE RUBBED LEG OF LAMB
2-2.5kg lamb leg (bone in)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp sweet paprika
3 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
5cm piece (25g) ginger, finely grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup (160ml) olive oil
- Place lamb in a dish then using the tip of a sharp knife, make several 8cm-long scores in the lamb. Combine spices, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, oil and 2 tsp salt flakes in a bowl. Rub the spice mix into lamb, then chill overnight or for at least 4 hours to marinate.
- One hour before roasting, remove lamb from fridge to come to room temperature. Preheat BBQ to 200°C.
- Cook lamb for 30 minutes using an indirect heat in your BBQ with the lid down. Then reduce the temperature to 170°C and roast for a further 35 minutes for medium-rare.
- Baste with a little tomato paste for the last 20 minutes of lamb cooking time,
- Once lamb is cooked, remove from BBQ, cover with baking paper and foil, and set aside for 20-30 minutes to rest.
- Carve the rested lamb into slices.
#2 AMAZING NZ KUMARA
KUMARA WITH RED PEPPER & HALLOUMI INGREDIENTS
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
8 mint leaves, finely chopped
225g halloumi cut into 4 slices
4 fat strips grilled red pepper
1 lemon, halved
small bunch parsley, chopped
- Rub each potato with a little oil and salt, then wrap in a double layer of foil.
- Pour the oil into a bowl and stir in the mint. Add the halloumi and toss until well coated in the minty oil. Wrap each piece in a strip of pepper. Cut four lengths of foil about 1cm wide and wrap one around the middle of each parcel to hold them together. You could use skewers instead, but be careful not to split the cheese.
- Heat the barbecue. When the coals glow red, put the potatoes directly on them. Cook for 30 mins, turning halfway. Unwrap a potato and check if it is cooked through. If not, rewrap and cook more, checking every 10 mins. Alternatively, bake in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 50 mins-1 hr.
- Meanwhile, cook the pepper parcels on the barbecue or a griddle pan for 3-4 mins each side or until the pepper chars and the cheese melts a bit. Remove from the grill and unwind the foil or remove the skewers.
- Split the potatoes, add butter if you like, then lay a parcel in the centre of each. Add a squeeze of lemon and scatter over some parsley to serve
#3 DELICIOUS NZ FISH
GRILLED LEMON BASIL SNAPPER FILLETS
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine basil, water, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon rind, salt and pepper.
- Pour the marinade on top of the fish fillets. Let soak for 15 minutes.
- Remove fish from the marinade and place fish on a heated, oiled grill rack. Grill 5 minutes on each side, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with remaining marinade.
- Serve garnished with chopped chives. Serves 4.
#4 FLAVOURSOME PINOT NOIR
Wine-Marinated Flank Steak With Pinot Noir Mushroom Sauce
2 to 3 pounds flank steak
3 cups Pinot Noir
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for brushing the steaks
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 strip bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slivers
6 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup beef stock
- Lightly score the steak(s) in a crosshatch pattern on both sides. Make the cuts 1/4 inch apart and not more than 1/8 inch deep.
- Place the steaks(s) in a large shallow bowl. Pour the wine over them and stir in the shallots, garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Drain the steak(s) in a colander over a bowl. Transfer the meat to a plate and blot dry. Reserve the veggies and wine.
- Make the sauce:
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the bacon and sauté over medium heat to render some of the fat, 2 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic from the marinade and the mushrooms and cook over medium heat until the ingredients are lightly browned, 3 minutes. Place the cornstarch in a tiny bowl, stir in 1 tablespoon of the reserved wine, and set aside. Add the reserved wine and beef stock to the shallot mixture and increase the heat to high. Boil the mixture until reduced to about 1 cup. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture: the sauce will thicken slightly. Whisk in the remaining butter and salt and pepper to taste: the sauce should be highly seasoned. Keep warm.
- Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.
- Grill the steaks until cooked to taste—they taste best served rare or medium-rare, roughly 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a platter or plates. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with the chopped fresh chives.
#5 A TRULY ‘SWEET AS’ DESSERT
GRILLED PINEAPPLE DESSERT WITH RUM AND COCONUT
1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 6 slices
2 to 3 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup whipped cream
¼ cup shredded coconut, toasted
WHY GRILLED PINEAPPLE?
The high sugar content of pineapple makes it easy to caramelize, forming beautiful grill marks on the bright yellow flesh of the fruit. Light and full of juicy flavour, pineapple makes for a luxurious treat, and when paired with rum and coconut, tastes like a delicacy straight from the island. Don’t forget the sunscreen as you head off into pineapple paradise!
- Pour the rum and sugar into a bowl with the pineapple.
- Mix to coat the slices evenly; cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Lightly sear the pineapple directly over the heat for about 10 minutes, using tongs to turn once. Make sure the fruit does not become overly charred.
- Remove pineapple from grill and top with whipped cream and coconut. You can also add a heaping scoop of your favourite ice cream if desired.