Apricot & ginger ham

Cooking time: 3 hrs, 30 mins Plus optional soaking. Serves; 15 – 20.


4-5kg raw smoked ham on the bone (ask your butcher if your ham needs to be soaked before cooking- some are pre-soaked to save you time)
2l bottle ginger beer
2 bay leaves
6 whole allspice berries
6 black peppercorns
30-40 whole cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
340g apricot jam

Method; If your ham needs soaking, do this the day before cooking. Put it in a large pan (a preserving pan is great for this). Cover the ham with cold water and leave to soak in the fridge for 24 hrs, changing the water twice.Pour away the soaking water and rinse the pan. Return the ham to the pan and add the ginger beer, bay leaves, allspice, peppercorns and 6 of the cloves. Top up the liquid with enough water to cover the ham. If the bone sticks out of the liquid, don’t worry – just rotate the ham halfway through cooking.Put over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid or a piece of foil. Leave to cook for 2½ hrs, topping up with water as it cooks.Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. When the ham is cool enough to handle, discard the cooking liquid and pat the ham dry. Use a small, sharp knife to pare the rind away from the ham, leaving a layer of fat attached to the meat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and stud all over with the remaining cloves.Put the ham in a roasting tin. Mix together the ginger and jam and brush the mixture over the ham. Roast for 1 hr until golden and glistening. Serve hot or cold.



Harissa Lamb & olives with a Warm Pearl barley lemon dressing salad

Pearl barley salad;
1/2 cup pearl barley
juice and finely grated zest of 1&1/2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 small clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, skinned and diced
2 cups combined fresh parsley, coriander and mint, coarsely chopped

Cook the barley in boiling salted water for 30 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice and zest, sea salt, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, garlic and olive oil.Drain the barley and mix in the dressing. When ready to serve, add the tomatoes and herbs and combine well.

Yoghurt dressing;
1/2 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix together all the ingredients and refrigerate until needed.

For the lamb;
800g mid-loin lamb, boned in one piece, skin on and excess fat removed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons harissa
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons olive oil

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Combine the olives, garlic, thyme. harissa and cumin seeds, and rub this mixture along the inside of the lamb. Roll up the lamb then tie with string at 3cm intervals.
Pan fry the lamb in the olive oil over medium heat to brown and crisp up the skin.You can then roast the lamb for 15 minutes in a 200°C oven for medium rare, or cut the lamb between the string into 3cm-thick pieces and pan fry on each side for 3-4 minutes or until medium rare. In both cases, set aside to rest for 5 minutes before removing the string to serve.


Basic Stir-Fry Sauce, a good all round sauce.

2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup rice wine or rice vinegar
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 Tbsp. cornstarch.


Moroccan carrot & orange blossom salad.

1 lb carrots peeled and coarsely grated
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp freshly juiced lemon juice
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp orange blossom water
3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste
lightly sprinkle salt & pepper to taste
garnish with chopped fresh mint

Method; Combine all the ingredients except mint. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Serve garnished with mint leaves.
Some lightly toasted almond flakes or pine nuts also go well with this salad.


Salmon with Sweet Chili and ginger Glaze
Serves 4

Four 6-ounce pieces salmon, skin on or off
6 tablespoons First world Sweet Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced

Method; Set oven rack roughly 5-6 inches from top and preheat Grill on medium setting.
Make marinade by combining sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a shallow baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup marinade into a small dish and set aside (this will be the sauce for the cooked fish). Add salmon fillets, skin side up, to remaining marinade and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and spray or lightly coat with sunflower oil. Transfer salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and drizzle a bit of the marinade over top. Go easy — you don’t want it to pool too much on the baking sheet because it will burn in the oven. Grill salmon for 6-10 minutes, or until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center. Transfer salmon to serving platter and pour reserved sauce over top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.


Herb & spice beef roast.

1 beef tenderloin roast, about 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground pimento(allspice powder)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Method; Heat oven to 200°. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan.
Combine the rosemary, thyme, garlic, nutmeg, pimento, salt, tarragon, pepper, and mustard. Rub the mixture all over the roast.
Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers about 145F or 63C° when inserted into the thickest part of the roast.
Remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Temaki Sushi
Serves: 4

3 cups Sushi Rice, Cooked
½ cup (125ml)  Sushi Seasoning
4 sheets  Yaki Nori for Sushi
1 tsp Wasabi
1 tbsp Soy Sauce Japanese Style
50g  Sliced Pickled Ginger to serve

How to prepare Sushi Rice
Cook rice as per packet instructions.
Sprinkle sushi seasoning over cooked rice, stir through gently and fan the rice to cool.
Method: Cut nori sheets in half and place shiny side down. Place sushi rice and desired fillings on to nori.
Fold the nearest corner of the nori over the filling and start to shape.
The finished sushi should be cone-shaped to prevent the rice from falling from the bottom.
Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce and pickled ginger.
Hot tip: Experiment with any combination of filling. Try teriyaki chicken, duck, egg omelet, prawn, salmon, tofu, tuna, avocado, asparagus, capsicum, cucumber, carrot, radish, or mayonnaise.