If I need to take something to a barbecue I like to do all the hard work beforehand. Making a jar of this pickle a few days ahead turns the nectarines a vivid mauve-red. The dukkah can be made ahead and if you’ve cut and marinated the chicken the day before, then you only have to barbecue the chicken and fennel on the day (or alternatively use chicken thighs or drums instead, which you’d need to cook for a longer time). I’ve used nectarines for the pickle, but substitute with other stone fruit such as plums or peaches if needs be.
Recipe Category: Ginny Grant
I have pretty much given up on cooking a whole bird, unless there is a huge crowd for Christmas – a boned-out breast is pretty easy and fuss free. For the stuffing I use tart dried apricots from Bridge Hill in Central Otago, but you could change the fruit as you prefer. Currants, cranberries, prunes or other dried fruit would be lovely here. The accompanying salad and dressing are inspired by one that LA-based chef Nancy Silverton served at her VWOAP dinner in August.
A classic terrine is perfect for eating on hot days. Paired with a salad and a good chutney it is simplicity itself. I prefer pancetta over streaky bacon, as it’s thinner, less chunky and ultimately easier to cut. A good coarse sausage meat is perfect to use here as it has a decent amount of fat to keep the terrine moist.
Food that can be served either cold or warm is always a good thing in my opinion. This salad can do either – the duck is lusciously rich when served warm, while the smokiness comes to the fore when cold. This is a brilliant one for a party and while duck is expensive, a little goes a long way here. It’s a good dish to do ahead.
The advantage of a small bird is that there’s no argument of who is having the drum or breast, just plenty of meat and finger-licking goodness without much of a fuss. The pancetta and mascarpone provide richness and also help provide a sauce for the birds.
I love the delicate smoked flavour the fish imparts here and the sour sweetness of the tamarind – but vary the tartness to taste by adding another tablespoon of tamarind paste if you love it or omitting altogether if you prefer.
I think of celeriac as one of the most underrated winter vegetables with its delicate celery flavour and a light nuttiness. Its versatility makes it a valuable addition to a gratin, mashes, soups and of course raw in a remoulade.
I’d been toying with the idea of treating a vegetable in southern barbecue style for a while, and while this version is cooked in the oven, there is no reason why you couldn’t do it in a barbecue. Be aware that many barbecue sauces often contain fish, so if you are vegetarian look out for a sauce that is suitable for you. I like to use a tangy, sweet and lightly smoked sauce here.
When my eldest recently got braces, this vegetable-laden mac and cheese was one of the few things he could manage to eat (minus the crunchy topping). Vegetables, puréed until silky, go surprisingly well as pasta sauces, especially if they are cooked in a well-flavoured stock. I vary the mix to what I have around – parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and turnips also work well and I always have a jar of roasted red capsicums in the fridge. The cheese varies depending on what I have to hand; sometimes it’s a mix of cheeses using up odd bits. Sometimes, too, I might have cream that needs using up so I replace the crème fraîche with that. The straight purée can also do double duty as soup.
Tart dried apricots from Central Otago are ideal to use here, where the fruit melts into the sauce and helps cut the richness of the lamb. It’s a wonderful dish to make ahead, too, just add the herbs and toasted nuts once you have reheated the lamb and chickpeas.
I’ve long been a fan of pastéis de nata, the Portuguese custard tart with crisp pastry and sweet eggy filling, ever since I discovered Lisboa Patisserie on London’s Golborne Road. There is nothing better to have with a strong espresso. It’s pastry that has travelled the world courtesy of Portuguese colonisation or sailing routes, as popular in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan as it is in Portugal. It does vary though, sometimes the pastry is short crust rather than puff pastry, sometimes the egg has the dark caramelised exterior from the hot oven, at other times it is glossy and plain. I’ve used a bought butter puff pastry here, and have found that it is difficult to get that scorched top in my oven when using muffin tins, however they are still delectable without it, especially when the custard is infused with lemongrass. These are best eaten on the day they are made either warm or cold. However all the components can be prepared the day ahead.