Home Books Recipe Stash Cooking Tips Blog About Julie Appearances Newsletter Connections

Archive for the ‘Special Occasions’ Category

Something different for Christmas

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Chilli Beef with Lime and Palm Sugar DressingBored with hot traditional fare at Christmas time? While the sun is shining, enjoy life outdoors with these simple-to-prepare dishes — you’ll have everyone swooning and coming back for more. Start with a handful or two of Aussie prawns (I recommend them over Asian prawns) sizzled on the barbecue, then serve up a gobsmackingly gorgeous dish of tender beef dressed with lime juice, ginger, mint and coriander, with a selection of colourful and crunchy vegetables. Finish with a new take on plum pudding – crumble it up, toast it under the grill until crunchy and stir it through for Plum pudding ice cream. Yum-o!

Chilli Beef with Lime and Palm Sugar Dressing
Chilli Beef with Lime and Palm Sugar Dressing
Here’s the quintessential westernized Thai beef salad. It’s so good!

Plum pudding ice cream
Plum pudding ice cream
Christmas in a mouthful! And, a bonus, this can be made several days in advance, the problem being that you just might start tucking in! Time to prep 25 minutes plus chilling time.

A few rules for Christmas catering

  • Keep freshly cooked food at room temperature only as long as you need to, and keep it covered. Refrigerate it as soon as possible after serving.

  • Don’t reheat all the leftovers if they are not all going to be eaten in one meal, just serve up what you think you’ll eat and reheat it and keep the rest covered and refrigerated.
  • Watch out for full fridges — constant opening and closing and overloading can raise the temperature inside the fridge which can prevent food chilling quickly and cause spoilage.
  • Ensure all food is in leak-proof containers and covered with lids or food wrap to prevent leaking and contamination.
  • Food doesn’t usually improve in the fridge — it’s a slow death, so get to it before it dies!

Add a bit of spice to Father’s Day

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here’s a wickedly tasty treat to serve up on Father’s Day – golden, spicy chicken drumsticks, so tender that the meat falls off the bone. Serve to dad as a snack with a chilled beer, or as part of a meal with steamed rice, or a rice salad, and either a cucumber and yoghurt salad flavoured with mint, or a spicy eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. He’ll thank you for it!

Spicy chicken drumsticks

Best-ever 4th of July recipes

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Finger-licking’ Food To Cook Over Flames
The sun will be shining, the kids will be playing their rowdiest games and the dog will be running around like a mad thing trying to join in and, any minute, your friends will be dropping by. Get yourself organized – the 4th July is a-coming! With this selection you can’t go wrong. Everyone loves a good hamburger, but this one is a little different, made Kiwi-style, with beets and hard-cooked eggs. Check it out. The Big Burger. Chicken wings are loved by young and old. Either marinate the wings in a little spice, stick them on the grill until golden and spritz them with lime before serving Deviled Chicken Wings, or dunk them in butter to keep them succulent and coat with parmesan and crumbs and bake in the oven until crunchy and golden. Crispy Chicken Wings. Yum! The deviled chicken wings go perfectly with a colorful and fresh-tasting Pepper & Pineapple Salad.

Once the grill is fired up, you might like to try my quick recipe for Pork & Fennel Satay served with a Fresh Leaf Salad with Asian Flavors. This salad has to be tried – lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, garlic and chilli give a bunch of leaves, bean sprouts and some sliced cucumber a wickedly good kick. Everyone will be licking their lips and back for more!

For something a little different, make lamb meatballs with ground lamb, ginger, garam masala and coriander, spear them on skewers, grill until golden and aromatic and serve with dollops of Yoghurt, Mint and Chilli Sauce. Simple, fast, no fuss, and delicious! Spicy Lamb on Sticks with Yoghurt Sauce. The thing to serve with spicy lamb meatballs? A Greek salad, of course, choc-a-bloc with vine tomatoes, cucumber, romaine lettuce, red onions and black olives, with a smattering of fresh chopped dill and flat-leaf parsley. The Best Quick Greek Salad.

To finish –fresh fruit kebabs doused in Cointreau, dusted with confectioner’s sugar and cooked until golden in sizzling butter. Caramelized Fruit Kebabs.

If that lot doesn’t cause a sensational at the grill, throw in some easy-peasy garlic bread, made with healthy olive oil, not butter, and perfumed with rosemary (it’s simply delicious) Grilled Garlic Bread and a bowl of prawns marinated in coconut cream sparked with chili, coriander seed and kaffir lime leaves, to start. Prawns with Coconut & Lime. What a way to kick off the 4th July!

Wow your friends with this easy grill food, barbecue dishes that have the X-factor. For more grill recipes, see Sizzle Sensational Barbecue Food, which has a full chapter on Barbecue Know-how.

Have fun!

Pork & Fennel Satay
Crispy Chicken Wings
Spicy Lamb on Sticks with Yoghurt Sauce
The Big Burger
Grilled Garlic Bread
Prawns with Coconut & Lime
Deviled Chicken Wings
Pepper & Pineapple Salad
Fresh Leaf Salad with Asian Flavors
The Best Quick Greek Salad
Caramelized Fruit Kebabs
Grilling Tips: Skewers

Metal skewers conduct heat and so are good for chunky food and thicker pieces of meat.

Father’s Day Treat

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Help your kids cook something special for dad on Father’s DayAvocado, Bacon & Corn Baps
A little birdie told me that Father’s Day is just around the corner… well, in the US at least (we celebrate it in September in New Zealand). I remember making treats for my father on his special day, usually inappropriate sticky gooey things which he didn’t much like, but he ate them all the same! But here’s a much tastier idea -a fresh and scrumptious Avocado, Bacon & Corn Bap (a bap is a soft bread roll). The great thing about this recipe is that kids of all ages can take part in making it – removing husks and silks from corn, chopping cilantro, grilling bacon and slicing tomatoes and avocado, then layering it up – and the best bit, presenting it to dad. Check out the yummy photograph (from my book Sizzle, Sensational Barbecue Food) and help the kids make dad a delicious lunch this Father’s Day.