Monday, 14 January 2013

New Zealand

Wow, December can really mess up your routines!! It's been awhile since we've taken a “culinary trip”, and I can't remember where we are supposed to travel to next.  It's been on my mind, but I pushed it aside to go out for another ski over the Christmas holidays (we got the boys skiing!!!) but as we were skiing it came to me, we would do New Zealand! OK, how did I get from skiing (cross country at that) to New Zealand? Well, here's the route I took:

We were getting dressed into our Icebreaker (a wonderful merino wool clothing and base layer company, from you guessed it New Zealand)) and it occurred  to me that my order was due when I returned to work. (for those of you who don't know what I do to earn money, I buy (among other things) for Trailhead, an outdoor store in Kingston) Thinking of work made me think of wine; well at least the bottle of New Zealand wine sitting in the wine rack given to me by my Icebreaker rep. Thinking of that wine made me think of the bag of lamb Shawn received as a birthday present. (That's another story: one of the guys we curled with knew that we liked to cook, and on Shawn's birthday, which fell on a curling night, he presented Shawn with a bag or organic lamb that he raised himself.....really what guy wouldn't love a bag of meat for his birthday?...ok maybe a vegetarian) Anyway, thinking of that lamb and wine reminded me we needed a plan for dinner that night.....and well you can probably put it all together now!
We marinated the lamb in red wine, (not the New Zealand Flying Kiwi, but some home brew given to us by our neighbour)garlic & rosemary.
When researching for this dinner, I learned that Kumara is a staple, and was delighted to learn that Kumara was the Maori word for sweet potato, which we are all a fan of in this house. And we happened to have some (which no one gave or grew for us, theses came from the grocery store) I found a recipe for Kumara Salad. It was a way I had never prepared sweet potato before, and I am happy to report it got rave reviews. The vinegar offsets some of the sweetness, which was quite nice.
The recipe is below. For dessert, I made Pavlova. I know that I had already made this when we were “in” Australia, but considering there is debate as to the origins of this dessert, I thought it fitting to make it again. Besides, it is wheat free, and delicious!!

After the lamb had marinated, Shawn decided to cook it over the open fire......a very yummy choice.

Kumara Salad
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1” pieces
3 tbs vegetable oil
4 slice of bacon, diced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ sugar
¼ cup parsley

1.Cook sweet potato in boiling water for about 8 minutes, you should be able to stick a fork in them, but still feel some resistance. Drain and cool
2.In a bowl, toss the potatoes with salt, pepper and vegetable oil. Grill them for 3-5 minutes until well browned. (we did them over the fire, if you don't have that, use your BBQ)
3.In a large pan over medium heat, cook bacon until they start to crisp, remove  to paper towels.
4.Pour out about half of the fat, add onions and cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic and cook for a few more. You don't want anything burnt, just nicely browned, caramelised would be tasty! Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar, olive oil, sugar and bacon. Salt & pepper to taste.
5.In a large serving dish, place your kumara, and toss with bacon  mixture, sprinkle with parsley and serve! is written, floor is vacuumed, load of laundry in and there a 4 hours before the kids get off the bus. I'm putting on some Icebreaker and going for a ski!!

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