Three ways with . . . Boxing Day breakfasts
It’s useful to have a few tricks up your sleeve for the morning after, says Lucy Corry.
heat. Remove from the heat and set aside until just lukewarm, then add to the dry ingredients with the beaten egg and stem ginger and combine.
Roll the mixture into 24 walnut-sized balls and put them on the prepared trays, giving them plenty of room as they will spread out. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until they have spread out and are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute or two on the tray (this will firm them up a bit) then slide them off on to a rack. Preserved ginger is rarely used in savoury cooking, but it can be where there’s already a mixture of sweet and sour in the sauce, or where the meat is very fatty – say game, ham or duck. Try stuffing chopped stem ginger and garlic into a leg of lamb before roasting. About 40 minutes before it is finished cooking, add plums, rosemary, port and the stem ginger syrup as a glaze.
This chicken recipe also makes use of the ginger’s sweet flavours.
STICKY SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN
Serves 2 Preparation 10 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes 3 globes stem ginger in syrup 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons soy sauce finely grated zest of 2 limes juice of 1 lime 2 garlic cloves, crushed 6 skinless chicken thighs Preheat the oven to 230°C. Drain and finely dice the stem ginger and mix in a bowl with the honey, soy sauce, lime zest and juice and garlic. Add the chicken and mix together well.
Spread out in a foil-lined baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, turning over halfway through, until cooked through. Serve with rice.
Asking the chief cook in your house ‘‘what’s for breakfast?’’ on Boxing Day is a bit like asking a marathon runner if they’d fancy a jog the day after a big race. If you’re in charge of cooking, the whole point of Christmas (pushing aside the obvious religious observances involving church and shopping) is to ensure Boxing Day is an oasis of calm and leftovers. From my point of view, the best Boxing Day breakfasts involve a bowl of leftover trifle, a large spoon and a bit of peace and quiet. But if your household, like mine, is usually short on leftover trifle or peace and quiet, it can be useful to have a few simple tricks up your sleeve to delay the inevitable ‘‘what’s for lunch?’’
1. BLACK DORIS BIRCHER DELUXE
Serves 4-6 Preparation: 15 minutes (plus overnight soaking) Cooking: nil Bircher muesli has long been a favourite of the healthy-living crowd, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be hijacked for more luxurious purposes. This is very low-effort and a good way to use up any leftover whipped cream. 1 x 850g tin black doris plums (I use Wattie’s) 2 cups rolled oats 4 tablespoons ground almonds or LSA 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
cup cream, whipped (or about 11⁄ cups whipped cream) 6 squares good-quality dark chocolate (I use Whittaker’s), finely chopped Drain the plums, reserving 1 cup of the syrup. Remove the stones and put the plums in a large bowl with the reserved syrup. Stir in the rolled oats, ground almonds or LSA and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, gently fold through the whipped cream to achieve a marbled effect. Divide between bowls and top each with a sprinkle of dark chocolate.
2. FRENCH CRUMPETS
Serves 2 Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking: 10 minutes This is the kind of cooking for beginners (of all ages) that should be encouraged often. I like these with a generous layer of honey, but you could always push the boat out and top them with fried eggs. 2 free-range eggs cup milk or cream teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar 4-6 crumpets (the large, square ones made by Golden Crumpets are particularly good) 3-4 tablespoons butter toppings: jam, honey, lemon juice and sugar, maple syrup, fried rashers of bacon, fried tomatoes Put the eggs, milk or cream, salt and sugar in a shallow bowl and whisk well. Dip the crumpets in the mixture, letting them soak up as much liquid as possible. Set a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. When it foams, add 2 or 3 dipped crumpets. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Add more butter to the pan as necessary and cook the remaining crumpets in the same way. Slide onto a waiting plate, anoint with the toppings suggested above and serve with a strong cup of tea.
3. PINEAPPLE, MINT AND LYCHEE SMOOTHIES
Serves 2-3 (makes about 600ml) Preparation: 5 minutes Cooking: Nil If you overdid it the day before, this will see you right. It can also be turned into a rather heady cocktail with a hefty splash of white rum or vodka (though I wouldn’t advise that at breakfast time). 11⁄ cups diced fresh pineapple (about
pineapple) 1 x 565g tin lychees in syrup, drained (about 11⁄ cups drained fruit) 1 ripe banana, sliced 1 cup cold water 10 mint leaves, shredded ice cubes, optional Put all the ingredients in a blender (I use an ancient stick blender in a large Agee jar) and whiz until smooth. You may need to stop, scrape down the sides and start again, but it won’t take long. Pour into 2 or 3 glasses and serve. See kitchen-maid.blogspot.co.nz for more of Lucy’s creations.
Golden globes: Stem ginger has myriad uses, including being the star of these quick biscuits.
Plum job: Black doris bircher deluxe is a decadent take on the healthy-living favourite.
Smooth operator: If you overdid it the day before, a smoothie will see you right.