Family Favourite Rocky Road

For a minute I thought about commercialising rocky road, being so disappointed with what I see in stores.  Auckland summer and humidity is certainly not easy for setting chocolate and while the ingredients are not exotic, like many things it was hard to make enough margin without compromising on ingredients.
So instead the recipe is here for you!
It does make a big slab so scale it to suit.
Helen

It’s All about the Christmas Ham

A glazed ham at Christmas is essential for many of us and a treat we really look forward to.  Warm from the oven and served with new potatoes and steamed greens, it is an annual favourite.
The left overs can be pan fried for Boxing Day breakfast with eggs and stuffed into rolls and sandwiches for quite a few days to follow.

The type of ham you buy will depend totally on your family requirements and also personal preference.

For smaller numbers you are probably best buying a half ham but if you like the aesthetics of the shank then you will need to get in early or at least pre-order.

A champagne ham has had most of the bone removed so therefore you are not paying for the excess bone but often there will be gluten or another additive to help the meat stick back together from where the bone has been removed.  A champagne ham, if cared for, should last longer than a traditional ham on the bone as meat on the bone will sour first.

Traditional hams have a bone running all the way through them and are trickier to carve.  The benefit is hopefully that they haven’t had any extra “glue” to hold the meat in shape.
In New Zealand much of our ham is imported from Canada, China etc…  If this is an issue for you then check the origin of your ham.
Free range hams are also available but these are in smaller quantities – the most authentic free range are from farms such as Havoc in South Canterbury.
(available from both Havoc and Gourmet Direct).
My family like the flavour of Freedom Farms free farmed hams.

*A large amount of ham is uses imported pork. NZ pork should have a sticker that identifies itself as being so but if in doubt read the packaging carefully.  Words such as “manuka smoked” do not mean that the pork is from NZ.

* Ham flavour is often a personal preference but if you are buying an unknown ham then look at the ingredient list and pay attention to water content.  Water is always added to ham as this is how the salt and flavour get into the meat.  This is generally done by injecting the liquid in during the curing process. How much liquid goes in will depend on the company and sometimes you will find cheaper hams have more added liquid.

* Ham when purchased is generally cooked and only needs to be heated for the glaze to caramelise and for taste preference – warm ham is much nicer than fridge cold.

* Glazes are generally high in sugar from either fruit juice, jam, maple syrup or brown sugar – this then caramellises and you get lovely flavour and also an attractive ham.

*Hams can be studded with cloves, covered in pineapple slices and cherries or simply scored and glazed.

Below are some of our favourite glazes and a simple method for preparing your ham. Please do post your favourite glaze combinations as well.

Apricot Mustard Glaze

1 cup apricot jam (I use Anatoth brand)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Marmalade and Bourbon Glaze

1 cup fine-cut home made marmalade
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Bourbon

Apricot Glaze
420g can apricots
1/2 cup brown sugar
(puree together)

Pineapple Glaze
3/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

Maple Glaze
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

Kate King from Gourmet Direct Glaze
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup soft brown sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
cloves to stud

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Remove the ham from all packaging and using a sharp knife make a zig zag pattern in the ham skin where the shank (narrow end) joins the ham leg. Be careful not to cut into the white fat, the aim is just to cut through the skin.

With the shank towards you, lean over the ham and gently use your thumbs to loosen the skin of the ham away from the fat layer across the rounded end of the ham, (ie the opposite end to the shank) carefully ease the skin off, trying not to disturb the layer of fat.
Once the skin is removed then score the fat by marking lines with a sharp fine blade knife, horizontally and vertically across the ham to make diamond patterns. Take care not to cut below the fat layer and into the meat.
Sit the ham in a large roasting dish,  stud with cloves if using or cover with pineapple slices.  Spread your glaze of choice evenly over the ham. Any excess can be used to baste during cooking.

* Pour 1 cup of water into the pan to prevent the glaze from burning as it drips off.

Cook for 30-45 minutes until the ham is a rich golden colour, basting with extra glaze several times during this time. You may need to turn the ham around during cooking if one side colours too quickly.

Serve the ham warm or at room temperature.

* Left over ham can be covered with a clean, damp tea towel or in a ham bag and stored in the fridge for 1 week. Change the tea towel daily or wash the bag.

* Ham can be sliced and frozen and used later in soups and quiche.  It will lose texture once thawed so not ideal for sandwiches.

What is your favourite glaze combination and any interesting ideas for using up left overs?

 

Cooking the Christmas Turkey

If there is one part of Christmas dinner that is going to cause stress it is likely to be cooking the turkey.  How many times I have heard stories of dry overcooked turkeys or even worse under cooked turkeys? I think the worst story has to be from my radio co-host Tony Murrell who put the turkey into the oven on “auto clean” by mistake and completely cremated it!
Another friend was so proud of her achievement of cooking a perfect bird but while the meat was resting the friendly labrador had Christmas dinner first!
In our family growing up we had roast lamb and a ham and maybe some chicken but never a turkey.  Aside from reading about them in books it was something I don”t think I had even tasted until my mid 20’s or later.    Nowadays I do generally cook a turkey and we also have a glazed ham.

Turkey’s do need a little care to ensure that they are cooked just right but it is definitely achievable.
Many people opt for brining their turkey overnight in a salt solution with flavourings such as apple juice and spices.  This will definitely give moisture to the meat and is a method that is highly recommended for producing tender succulent turkey.
Another option is steaming and then browning it at the end.

Turkey portions are also available and you can buy breast on it’s own or the very affordable turkey drumsticks.  These are generally from Tegel turkeys.

Croziers free range turkeys are available at good food stores around NZ and are genuinely free range.

If you are roasting your turkey without brining then here is a simple method worth following.

1. Remove the turkey from the fridge at least 3 hours before cooking. To calculate the cooking time, remove the giblets, and reserve. Weigh the turkey. The turkey will need about 20 minutes per 450g plus an extra 25 minutes at the end of calculated time
.

2. Prepare stuffing mixes.

3.  Preheat the oven to 220°C.  Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat thoroughly wipe dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Lift into a roasting tin.

4. Stuff the main cavity and neck end of the turkey with stuffing, pushing the stuffing up between the flesh and the breast (not too tightly, as it will expand during cooking).

5. Pulling the skin back over and tucking underneath the bird to keep the stuffing in. Shape any remaining stuffing into balls. Wrap each one in half a bacon rasher and secure with a cocktail stick. Sew up the neck skin or secure it with a skewer, then truss the turkey to give it a good shape.
Place the bird breast side up on a wire rack in a roasting pan and cover loosely with foil. Do not wrap tightly or the bird will steam rather than roast in the oven.

Brush with  oil and season well. Roast for calculated cooking time which in this case would be 3 hours and 5 minutes.

6. Place the pan in the oven. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 180°C and continue cooking for a further 2 ½ hours, basting the turkey with the fat and pan juices every 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove the foil, baste the turkey again and increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Continue cooking the bird to brown the skin for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat is well cooked.To check the bird in cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh. The juices that run out should be clear and show no traces of pink. If are still a bit pink, continue cooking. Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carving.

Any turkey tales from you?
How do you cook your turkey and what flavours do you put in your stuffing?

 

 

 

 

Kea Cookies – gluten free, dairy free, egg free

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner – Petra Godnjavec

 

Kea Cookies® has been batch baking delicious, premium homemade style cookies free from gluten, wheat, dairy, and egg in New Zealand for over 30 years. The range comes in 10 flavours; Chocolate Chip, Double Choc Chip, Macadamia, Vanilla, Hokey Pokey, Gingernut, Almond, Peanut Brownie, Lemon Coconut, Coconut with a handful of Organic flavours, all suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Over the years more awareness has been focused around allergies and food intolerances, so Kea Cookies wanted to make sure there was an option for everyone. For more please visit www.keacookies.co.nz

I have one prize pack of Kea Cookies to giveaway to one lucky reader
10 x 250g packs – valued at over $60 worth of cookies
It will contain one of each of the original flavours – Chocolate Chip, Double Choc Chip, Macadamia, Vanilla, Hokey Pokey, Gingernut, Almond, Peanut Brownie, Lemon Coconut, Coconut.

 

 

November foodlovers

This month is a big one for me as I cycle the Alps to Ocean, eating delicious food along the way of course.  I had great intentions of being cycle fit but a few weekends blocked out cooking for a school fundraiser and rowers at the lake has meant I am not quite where I want to be.  At least the scenery, people and food will be fab.
A couple of new recipes include our Ultimate Caramel Slice, the photo shows just how thick that layer of caramel is, it is decadence in a bite.
Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tart Recipe is exactly as the title says.  Super easy and deliciously cheesy.
As the party season kicks into gear check out our range of Finger Food Recipes.
Happy Cooking!

NZ Ice Cream Awards Medal Winners 2020

 

NZ ICE CREAM AWARDS MEDALS ANNOUNCED
October 26th 2020
Gold and Silver Medal winners for the 2020 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards have been announced today.

Synergy Best of Fruit Category, Gold Medals
Gellicious Gelato, Black Doris Plum Sorbet
Little ‘Lato, Mango Lassi

Synergy Best of Fruit Category, Silver Medal
Carrello del Gelato, Mango Sorbetto
Emerald Foods, Chateau Apricot Ripple Ice Cream
Gellicious Gelato, Mango Sorbet
INDULGENZ, Black Doris Plum
Patagonia Chocolates, Mango
Talley’s Ice Cream, Motueka Creamery Apricot
Zany Zeus, Mango

Hawkins Watts Dairy-Free Category, Gold Medals
Little ‘Lato, Raspberry Dark Chocolate Smash
Little Liberty Creamery, Almond Mocha
Little Liberty Creamery, Double Espresso

Hawkins Watts Dairy-Free Category, Silver Medals
Frozen Bliss, Vanilla Bean
Frozen Bliss, Salted Caramel Ripple
Little ‘Lato, Vegan Banoffee
Little ‘Lato, Vegan Latte
Little ‘Lato, Vegan Roasted Hazelnut
Little Liberty Creamery, Hazelnut Chocolate
Little Liberty Creamery, Mint Choc Chip
Little Liberty Creamery, Mixed Berry
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Crave Chocolate Honeycomb
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Crave Mango & Coconut

New Zealand Food Safety Export Ice Cream Category, Gold Medal
Dairyworks, Newlait Choc Caramel Brownie Ice Cream

New Zealand Food Safety Export Ice Cream Category, Silver Medals
Allied Faxi New Zealand Food Co, Vanilla Fresh Milk Ice Cream
Allied Faxi New Zealand Food Co, Chocolate Fresh Milk Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Rum and Raisin Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Killinchy Gold Affogato Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Killinchy Gold Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Awesome Foursome Cravings Ice Cream
Talley’s Ice Cream, Meiraku Vanilla Beans

Sensient Technologies Gelato Category, Gold Medals
Charlies Gelato, Dark Chocolate Gelato
Emerald Foods, Killinchy Gold Passionfruit & Vanilla Ice Cream
Gelissimo Gelato, Caffe Bianca
Gellicious Gelato, Chocolate Gelato
GelatoMio, Pana Cotta Gelato
Left Coast Gelato, Chai Latte
Little ‘Lato, Speculoos
PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, Boysenberry

Sensient Technologies Gelato Category, Silver Medals
Carrello del Gelato, Salted Caramel with Chocolate Gelato
Carrello del Gelato, Chocolate Gelato
Gellicious Gelato, Vanilla Bean Gelato
Gellicious Gelato, Sea Salt Caramel Gelato
Gellicious Gelato, Indian Summer Gelato
Gellicious Gelato, Blueberry Gelato
Ginellis, Apple Pie Gelato
Ginellis, Rocher
Left Coast Gelato Banoffee Pie
Left Coast Gelato Caramel Ginger Crunch
Little ‘Lato, Espresso Gelato
Little ‘Lato, Salted Butterscotch
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Mochaccino

Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice, Gold Medal
Talley’s Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream

Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice, Silver Medal
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Chocolate Cookies & Fudge Ice Cream

Pacific Flavours & Ingredients Kids’ Choice, Bronze Medal
Puhoi Valley Café, Choc Hokey

Kiwi Labels Low Fat or Frozen Yoghurt Category, Gold Medals
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Mango Lassi Frozen Yoghurt
Zany Zeus, Passionfruit

Kiwi Labels Low Fat or Frozen Yoghurt Category, Silver Medals
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Forestberry Frozen Yoghurt
Emerald Foods, Chateau Frozen Yoghurt
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Cool Bananas D’Lite Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Zilch Vanilla Ice Cream
Talley’s Ice Cream, Guilt Free Honeycomb
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Light Vanilla
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Frozen Yoghurt
Zany Zeus, Raspberry
Zany Zeus, Feijoa
Zany Zeus, Mango

NZ Life & Leisure Open Creative Category, Gold Medals
Kāpiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Keep Korma and Curry On
Lewis Road Creamery, Lemon and Gin Botanicals
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Don’t Waffle On

NZ Life & Leisure Open Creative, Silver Medals
Carrello del Gelato, Cucumber, Mint & Lime Sorbetto
Kāpiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Get Sticky with it
Kāpiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Like a Persian
Little ‘Lato, Cream Cheese & Asparagus Roll
Little ‘Lato, Maple Roasted Parsnip

Chelsea Sugar Premium Ice Cream Category, Gold Medals
Appleby Farms, Boysenberry
Appleby Farms, Ginger Biscuit
Dairyworks, Deep South Choc Caramel Brownie Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Kāpiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Gingernut
Kāpiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Affogato
Lewis Road Creamery, Chocolate Truffle with Chocolate Ganache
Lewis Road Creamery, Double Mint and Dark Chocolate
Duck Island Ice Cream, White Chocolate Pomegranate Macadamia
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Creations Maple Fudge Walnut Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Passionfruit Ripple Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Creations Half Baked Brownie Ice Cream
Patagonia Chocolates, Dulce de Leche
Zany Zeus, Rose Water and Coconut

Chelsea Sugar Premium Ice Cream Category, Silver Medals
Appleby Farms, Passionfruit
Appleby Farms, Coffee
Appleby Farms, Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Dairyworks, Deep South Butterscotch Caramel Walnut Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Killinchy Gold Salted Caramel & Cashew Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural English Toffee Ice Cream
Ginellis, Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Ginellis, Chocolate Revenge Ice Cream
INDULGENZ, Liquorice
Kapiti Ice Cream, Kāpiti Fig & Manuka Honey
Lewis Road Creamery, Burnt Butter and Caramel Swirl
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Toffee Baked Churros Deluxe Ice Cream
Patagonia Chocolates, Dark Chocolate
Puhoi Valley Café, Matakana Rostered Coffee Affogato with Cashew Nuts
Puhoi Valley Café, Puhoi Hokey
PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, Salted Caramel
PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, Roasted White and Dark Chocolate
PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, Hokey Pokey
PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, Mascarpone, Date and Orange
Talley’s Ice Cream, Motueka Creamery Passionfruit
Talley’s Ice Cream, T’oBeray Cookies & Cream
Talley’s Ice Cream, TSF Chocolate
Zany Zeus, Greek Yoghurt and Raspberry
Zany Zeus, Liquorice
Zany Zeus, Ghana Chocolate

Givaudan/IMCD Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Category, Gold Medal
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Vanilla Ice Cream

Givaudan/IMCD Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Category, Silver Medals
Dairyworks, Deep South Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
INDULGENZ, Luxury Vanilla Bean
Patagonia Chocolates, Vanilla Bean
Zany Zeus, Vanilla

Infruit Sorbet Category, Gold Medals
Emerald Foods, Killinchy Gold Lemon Sorbet
Gellicious Gelato, Passionfruit Sorbet
Gellicious Gelato, Strawberry Sorbet
INDULGENZ, Mango Sorbet
Patagonia Chocolates, Chocolate Sorbet

Infruit Sorbet Category, Silver Medals
Carrello del Gelato, Feijoa Sorbetto
Carello del Gelato, Raspberry Sorbet
Carrello del Gelato, Rhubarb Sorbetto
Duck Island Ice Cream, Mango Passionfruit Sorbet
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Mango Sorbet
Emerald Foods, New Zealand Natural Berryfruit
Gellicious Gelato, Blackcurrant Sorbet
Gellicious Gelato, Lemon Sorbet
INDULGENZ, Raspberry Sorbet
Minoo Gelato, Feijoa Sorbet
Minoo Gelato, Lemon Sorbet
Puhoi Valley Café & Cheese Store, Strawberry Sorbet
Patagonia Chocolates, Raspberry Sorbet
Takapuna Beach Cafe & Store, Strawberry & Rosehip

Alto/PACT Group Standard Ice Cream Category, Gold Medals
Duck Island Ice Cream, Peppermint Slice
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Boysenberry Ripple
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Crave Peanut Butter Cup

Alto/PACT Group Standard Ice Cream Category, Silver Medals
Dairyworks, Deep South Double Chocolate Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Chateau Churro Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Wonders Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Salted Caramel Seduction Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Awesome Toffee Baked Churros Ice Cream
Talley’s Ice Cream, Green Tea
Talley’s Ice Cream, Eiger GT
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Hokey Pokey
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Caramel Ripple

Fonterra New Zealand Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Category, Gold Medal
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top French Vanilla

Fonterra New Zealand Standard Vanilla Ice Cream Category, Silver Medals
Dairyworks, Deep South French Vanilla Ice Cream
Emerald Foods, Chateau Vanilla Ice Cream
Much Moore Ice Cream Co, Much Moore Wonders Vanilla Ice Cream
Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Tip Top Creamy Vanilla