The end of daylight-saving signals the end of an almost perfect summer, especially where we are. I appreciate that some people have not been so lucky and have had to cope with endless rain and floods, especially up north.
I have just picked the last of the bounty from our garden (photo below) – a large carrot, a small pumpkin and the last of the broad beans. I’ve still got spinach, peas, and another pumpkin, but mostly I’ve got monarch butterfly chrysalises all over the place which is fun.
If you want some more information about the Zone and how you can get, or get back, in the Zone, you can contact me via my Contact Form.
While the Omicron outbreak is in full swing, we are living at our place at Himatangi Beach which feels safer and far more pleasant than being in town.
I am back in town after Anzac weekend, after which we will probably be more permanently in town as hopefully the worst of the Covid wave will have passed by then.
If you are getting low on protein, fish oil or protein crisps, please order early so you don’t have to wait too long for your order. Also, the couriers are still being slammed so please get your orders to me in plenty of time before you run out and for me to get them to you.
Even though it is late in the season we are still enjoying barbecues and drinks with friends. Here are some snacks we like to make and share:
1. Instead of using crackers or baguettes, slice up a telegraph cucumber and top with whatever you like such as:
* Low fat cream cheese with a bit of smoked salmon and a caper or parsley on top. You can use salami instead of salmon – I buy the lean Danish salami. It is best kept as an occasional treat and not to eat too much.
* Hummus with a bit of parsley on top. If you don’t make your own, buy a red one and another one and alternate them on a plate. They look very attractive. Just have some cheese or cold meat available with them so you can balance them.
* Blue cheese and smoked salmon or tuna.
2. Another snack idea is to drain a tin of lychees. Fill them with blue cheese and stuff half a walnut in the top. It’s a fabulous combination for a wee snack with a drink.
3. Small satays with chicken or beef are a nice choice.
4. And, of course, cheeses and cold meats with gherkins and olives on a platter.
For more snack ideas, visit the ProZone Shop and purchase our ProZone Recipe and Zone Guide.
Sam Mannering’s Butterflied Lamb
with Cumin and Balsamic
We have been buying the occasional butterflied leg of lamb when it is on special, which it has been lately. We use a wonderful recipe from Sam Mannering that was in the paper a while ago. It is really quick and easy to prepare, doesn’t take a lot of cooking and is delicious.
You can substitute the lamb for skirt steak or even a butterflied chicken. With lamb, make sure the oven or barbecue is properly hot so it can be cooked fast.
Here is the recipe.
1 butterflied lamb leg about 1 kg in weight
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 tbsp balsamic
1 tsp brown sugar (Sam’s recipe says 1 tbsp but I can’t bring myself to use that much, and it doesn’t need it)
Salt & pepper
Bring your lamb to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius on fan grill, or bring your barbecue up as hot as you can get it.
In the meantime, combine the cumin, chopped garlic, a few glugs of olive oil, the balsamic and brown sugar together along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and smear all over the lamb, rubbing into the meat. Let it rest as the oven or barbecue heats up.
If you are cooking it in the oven, spread the meat out flat on a roasting tray and season with a bit more salt. Otherwise, just plonk it straight on the barbecue and season well.
Grill for about 20-25 minutes, depending on how rare you like it, until lovely and caramelised on the outside, but still with a bit of give when you prod it. Don’t let it get too firm. On the barbecue might take a little longer, but not that much.
Allow the lamb to rest for at least five minutes, before carving up and serving.
To serve, the recipe for zucchini salad with mint and pecorino goes well with it (below), but I have also served it on a bed of spinach with diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, basil, coriander, and roasted pine nuts. It looks attractive and tastes delicious.
Zucchini Salad with Mint and Pecorino
3 reasonably proportioned zucchini
Two large handfuls of mint
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Pecorino or parmesan, shaved (up to you but I think about 60g)
Few glugs of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Using a peeler, shave the zucchinis into rustic peelings into a mixing bowl – the less uniform the better, I think.
Roughly chop the mint and add to the bowl, along with the lemon zest, juice, shaved pecorino or parmesan, about 3 tbsp of olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
Toss everything together, making sure the zucchini is well dressed in the oil and lemon juice. Taste and season, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve.
Sha is based in Palmerston North and can be contacted via:
Cellphone: 021 274 2226
Our mailing address is:
PO Box 25 077, Wellington 6140
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