THE COUNTRY CALENDAR COOKBOOK features engaging stories from the top-rating television show, Country Calendar, and is a tribute to rural New Zealand. Allyson Gofton travels to high country farms, fishing towns, sun-kissed orchards and beyond. En route she collects treasured recipes handed down through generations of farmers, adding her own trusted homestead classics and family favourites.
GRILLED LAMB CUTLETS WITH SOFT CHEESY POLENTA
- 2 small fresh red chillies, deseeded
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
- 2-3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 8-12 lamb cutlets
- Soft Cheesy Polenta
- 3-4 cups stock
- 1 cup polenta
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
Chop the chillies and thyme leaves and mix with the lemon rind, juice and olive oil. Brush the mixture over both sides of the lamb cutlets and set aside, in a covered dish, for 10–15 minutes at room temperature for the marinade to flavour the meat. If leaving any longer, refrigerate until ready to cook.
Cook on a hot, preheated barbecue grill for 2–3 minutes each side. Transfer to a serving platter and allow the cutlets to rest for a few minutes before serving. Any juices that collect on the platter can be poured over the polenta when serving.
Soft Cheesy Polenta:
Bring 3 cups of stock to the boil in a large saucepan and, when hot, whisk in the polenta. Turn the heat to low and continue to stir for 30 minutes or until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan and a smooth texture is reached, adding more stock if required. There should be no gritty texture when tasted. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
LEMON MERINGUE ICE CREAM TRIFLE
- 1½ cups cream
- ½ cup milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 6 ready-made small meringues, roughly broken
- 1 single pre-made 20cm sponge
- ¼ cup Limoncello or fruit juice
- ¼ – ½ cup blueberry or raspberry jam
- Line the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Bring the cream and milk to scalding point. Mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and cornflour together in a large jug and gradually stir about ½ cup of the hot milk and cream into the jug.
Once this is blended, add the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan and stir constantly over a low heat until thick, being careful not to boil the mixture as the egg yolks will scramble. Once thick, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, chill.
Cut the sponge in half horizontally and place one piece – with the cut side uppermost – into the prepared cake tin. Spread over half the jam. Mix the meringues into the chilled custard and pour into the cake tin. Spread the remaining jam on top of the cut surface of the remaining sponge cake and place jam-side-down onto the custard. Press down firmly and cover with plastic wrap.
Place in the freezer and freeze overnight. Transfer from the freezer to the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve, dust with icing sugar and accompany with additional berries, if wished.
REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION FROM COUNTRY CALENDAR COOKBOOK WITH ALLYSON GOFTON – PHOTOGRAPHY ALAN GILLARD. PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN GROUP (NZ). COPYRIGHT © ALLYSON GOFTON AND ALAN GILLARD, 2011.