Home' Greymouth Star : December 18th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 9
Because everybody looks forward to
mum s cooking , Christmas dinner is
a treat for the family but something
of a challenge even for the most
experienced cook and Christmas
simply isn t Christmas without special
meat treats as the focus of festive dinners.
While traditional celebration foods inherited from
the Northern Hemisphere still remain favourites,
barbecues are gaining in popularity.
Whole turkeys, chickens, roasts of pork and lamb
can be successfully cooked in covered outdoor
kitchens. Alternatively, barbecue the vegetable
accompaniments while the meat is cocooned in the
e cost of many larger meat cuts is prohibitive and
unless it s a large festive family gathering, then smaller
cuts dressed attractively can suffice. If there are just
two of you for Christmas then nothing can beat
simple barbecued fillet steaks --- forget the roast.
Ham is always a favourite as its easy to prepare and
tasty and there are many sizes available for two to
four people or larger ones to feed 20 plus.
Do not forget a special vegetable dish for those who
do not appreciate meat.
Layer baked pumpkin and steamed spinach in a
loaf pan, cover with well-seasoned beaten eggs and
bake. is is also a great accompaniment for beef. Or
serve an old-fashioned cheese and onion pudding
that is also excellent with poultry. Stuff courgettes
with a cheesy risotto or slow-cook a vegetable tagine.
A mixture of vegetables marinated in olive oil and
herbs is also excellent when barbecued. ey could be
served topped with fresh mozzarella.
Ensure there is a selection of trimmings to serve
with your meats. Two or three different flavoured
mustards could accompany beef or ham. Kiwifruit,
pineapple and mint salsa and-or red or guava currant
jelly complement lamb. Make your own cranberry
sauce using frozen berries to serve with turkey or
Roast beef fillet with salsa verde
To test for doneness: Rare beef feels soft and spongy
when you push it with your finger. Medium beef feels
firmer and springs back. Well-done meat feels very
Suggested wine match: Cabernet Sauvignon or
1.2kg beef fillet Marinade
½ cup red wine
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup capers, rinsed and chopped
1 packed cup each: coriander, basil, mint leaves,
¼-½ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oilTopping
3-4 tablespoons horseradish and apricot mustard
Place the beef in a plastic bag together with the
wine, garlic and olive oil. Massage the marinade
into the beef. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To
make the Salsa Verde, combine the garlic, capers,
herbs, lime juice and olive oil. Cover and keep cool
until 15 minutes before serving. Preheat the oven to
190degC. Remove the beef from the marinade, pat
dry and place in a small roasting pan. Brush with the
horseradish mustard. Roast for about 20-25 minutes,
turning twice during cooking depending on the
thickness of the meat. For medium-rare, the internal
temperature should be about 60degC. Ser ves about 6.
Ham glazed with maple
syrup and wasabi
Look for the 100% New Zealand Ham logo which
means that your ham comes from pork raised in this
country and therefore has to comply with stringent
regulations for animal welfare and food safety. As
a guide, a 4kg ham will serve 20 people for a buffet
meal or 10 for dinner.
1 leg or half leg precooked 100% New Zealand ham
1 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons wasabi paste
1 tablespoon cornflourGarnish
12 large slices pink pickled ginger
2 tablespoons lightly toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 160degC.
Cut the skin around the shank end, about 8cm
down from the top. Starting from the thicker end of
the ham, carefully run your clean fingers under the
skin of the pork and carefully remove the skin. Leave
the shank end intact. You should finish with a smooth
layer of fat. Line a baking pan with foil. Place the
ham on top. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, score
the fat diagonally across the face of the ham, about
every 2cm. Turn the ham and repeat the scoring at
right angles. is will produce a diamond effect.
Combine the maple syrup with the wasabi paste
and cornflour. Brush over the ham. If the ham is to
be ser ved hot, cook for about 10 minutes per 500g.
If the ham is to be served cold, cook at 180degC for
about 45 minutes. Baste occasionally during cooking.
Remove from the oven.
Secure twists of pink ginger with cocktail sticks
then decorate the top. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Tie a ribbon or secure a paper frill around the shank.
Slow-roasted lamb with fennel
Slow cooking allows the chef time to join in the
celebrations. A rolled shoulder is an economical
choice for this roast with the most.
2kg lamb leg or boned and rolled shoulder
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
2 large red onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
6 sprigs thyme
2 cups white wine
Preheat the oven to 120degC. Rub the meat with a
little olive oil. Score the lamb as you would for a ham.
Crush the fennel seeds and salt together in a pestle
and mortar. Pat firmly over the lamb. Brush a roasting
pan with olive oil. Place the prepared vegetables and
garlic in a pile in the centre. Rest the lamb on this pile
and garnish with thyme. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Cover the meat loosely with foil and cook for three
hours. Remove the foil and cook for a further hour.
Remove the lamb to a warm platter. Tent with foil
and drape with a thick towel. Rest for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, drain any fat from the roasting pan.
Pour the vegetables and pan drippings into a saucepan
and add the wine. Boil for 15 minutes. Strain. icken
the liquid, if preferred, with 2 tablespoons of cornflour
combined with 2 tablespoons of soft butter. Whisk in
slowly simmering, until thick. Serves 8-10.
Rosemary-stuffed chicken breast
A yummy festive roast for a table of four.
4 small, single, skinned and boned chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
4-6 slices streaky bacon
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ cup dry white wine
¼ cup cream
Preheat the oven to 180degC. Cut the camembert
into 5mm slices. Pat the chicken dry and season with
pepper. Make a pocket in each chicken breast. Divide
the camembert and rosemary between pockets,
pressing in well. Wrap a strip of bacon around each
breast and secure with cocktail sticks, if required.
Heat the oil in a small, oven-proof pan also suitable
for the hob. Brown the chicken all over, about 1
minute each side. Transfer the pan to the middle of
the oven and bake until cooked through, about 12
minutes. Remove the chicken to a warm platter. Add
the wine to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer,
stirring, until reduced. Stir in the cream and warm
through. Pour over the chicken and ser ve. Serves 4.
They know you like Scotch
whisky so they buy you a
bottle of single malt scotch like
Glenlivet or Laphroaig as a
Christmas present, all wrapped up
It is a nice present but it throws you into
a state of doubt --- when should you drink
it and who with, or should you sip at it
yourself when no one is around?
Bottles of spirits, liqueurs or wine can be
enjoyable Christmas presents, especially if
likely to be there when they are opened.
For the brandy or wine drinker it has to
be a Cognac --- Remy Martin, Courvoisier,
Hennessey, Camus or Martell. For the
bourbon drinker there are some high class
ones from Kentucky.
For the rum drinker it should be the real
thing, like Havana Club Anejo Especial
For the gin drinker it should be
Plymouth Gin or our own South --- spirits
For your bubbly enthusiast you have
a huge selection from the $200 Dom
Perignon to the $9 Lindauer. ere is
some difference in taste but some people
may not be able to discern that. So do not
waste your money on a label or you might
be upset to find out later that they put
coke into your $80 bottle to make it more
When you give a special bottle to
a person as a present make it special
by inscribing on it with a white out
correction pen --- to whom, from who and
when and why.
ere are few drinks books you can give
A keen wine drinker needs the annual
Michael Coopers Buyers Guide to New
Zealand Wines 2014 and a five-star bottle
that he recommends.
Glasses make acceptable presents. Look
for wide bases and not too tall and fancy.
Govino make excellent polycarbonate
glasses that are clear and almost
indestructible that are perfect for picnics,
barbecues and your accident-prone friends.
Jamaica Joe --- shake with ice 20ml dark
rum, 20ml Tia Maria, 20ml Advocaat,
strain into a cocktail glass and drop in a
dash of grenadine.
Alcohol-free: Apricot Nectar --- into
a tall glass put a scoop of ice-cream and
60ml of thick apricot juice, stir and fill
with ginger ale.
Oysters and wine
ere is a competition to find the best
match of this classic combination. It is
the 19th annual Old Ebbitt Grill Oyster
Competition held November 22-23, in
Washington DC. ere were 20 different
oysters from around the world and 320
wines from 14 countries, with the judges
blind tasting to find the perfect pairing.
e grand champion wine turned out to be
Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2013, which
is very widely available here at a good
" e person who likes good wine is never
a drunkard; the pleasure is the appreciation
of quality, not the consumption of quantity,
which just lowers a human being to the
level of a brute."--- Marcel Boulestin, 1923
Campers in a remote camping ground
in north-west Australia were disturbed
during the night by a feral pig raiding
rubbish bins. In the morning they got up
to find not only strewn rubbish but the pig
had scrunched through 18 cans of their
beer and was lying drunkenly asleep under
Roast beef fillet with salsa verde.
Wow! thanks for the
Stoke Bomber KPA ---
From McCashin s Brewery in
Stoke, Nelson, now operated
by Dean McCashin, son
of Terry who established
Macs --- the first alternative
to DB and Lion. Delicious
blend of local Wai-iti hops,
caramel malt and yeast in a
light bodied refreshing style
of Kiwi Pale Ale. 5.5%. 650ml.
Red wine choice
Villa Maria Pinot Noir 2011
(cellar selection) --- A fine
example of a Marlborough pinot
with a harmony of flavours
from the ripe fruit, gentle
grippy tannins and spicy oak. A
medium bodied wine, it will go
well with a wide range of meals.
Great value at $19. Drink now
till 2014. Dry. $19 - $32.
Frank "Damn Tasty" Ginger
Beer --- Well said on the label;
it is spicy ginger with good
effervescence and leaves a pepper
bite at the back of your mouth.
Riesling 2012 --- is is
dangerously easy to drink
with lemon-lime fruit flavours
and a light zappy acidity
that lasts nicely long on your
palate. Drink now till 2016.
Medium dry. $10 - $17.
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