Three ways with . . . Box­ing Day break­fasts

It’s use­ful to have a few tricks up your sleeve for the morn­ing after, says Lucy Corry.

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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.

Pho­tos: DEAN KOZANIC/FAIR­FAX NZ

Golden globes: Stem ginger has myr­iad uses, in­clud­ing be­ing the star of th­ese quick bis­cuits.

Photo: KENT BLECHYN­DEN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Plum job: Black doris bircher deluxe is a deca­dent take on the healthy-liv­ing favourite.

Photo: IS­TOCK

Smooth op­er­a­tor: If you over­did it the day be­fore, a smoothie will see you right.

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