edited by Sue Courtney
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
But it is Christmas time. How do you combine the tradition of Christmas feasting with summery wines? Well, here's an idea or two.
Peppered Strawberry Bites
You will need
Cut a wedge of fruit out of the strawberry along the length of the fruit.
This is just a delicious appetiser to serve with a dry RosÚ. I recommend the Unison RosÚ 2002, reviewed as a Wine of the Week here.
Spiced Orange Turkey Breast
Gewurztraminer may not be a traditional match for turkey but if you steep the turkey cuts in a spicy orange marinade, the combination can be quite delicious.
For a large turkey breast you will need
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
Combine the ingredients and steep the turkey breast for a couple of hours at least.
Either roast the meat in the oven before going to the beach or you can slice the boneless cuts and barbecue it once you get there.
I tested my recipes with some new releases and the two that came out tops are absolute stunners to serve on Christmas Day.
The sweetly scented Montana 'P' Gewurztraminer 2002 from the Patutahi region in Gisborne is definitely the most delicious and drinkable gewurztraminer on the market right now. This slightly oily textured off-dry wine is beautifully balanced with flavours of exotic spices and freshly squeezed juicy oranges that linger more-ishly in the mouth.
Cloudy Bay Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2000, the first commercial release from the country's most iconic winery, is a richly flavoured luscious wine with orange toffee, roses, honey, lychees, lots of orange flavours and 5-spices to sweetly top it off. It was just terrific with the turkey.
Crispy Skinned Spiced Turkey Drumsticks
Take 2 tablespoons of butter
Combine the butter and orange zest and mix together until the butter is creamy. Rub the orange juice into the skin of the drumstick. Then smear the drum with the butter mixture so the drum is well coated. Now rub in the five spice power. Back the drum in the oven according to directions on the packet, until the meat is cooked and the skin is crispy.
Traditional Glazed Ham
These days you can buy cooked ham so you only have to glaze it with this classic combination of brown sugar and pineapple.
You will need
- Cooked Ham
If the cooked ham has an outer rind, remove this quite carefully.
Score the ham to make diamond shapes and place cloves in the corner of each diamond.
Open the can(s) of pineapple rings and reserve the juice.
Place 1 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan and add half a cup of pineapple juice. Heat, stirring until dissolved, then remove from heat.
Place the ham onto a rack in a baking dish.
Liberally baste the ham with the pineapple and brown sugar glaze, reserving just a little to brush on the pineapple and cherries later.
Bake at 180░ C for 35 to 45 minutes, basting with the pan drippings about every 10 minutes.
Add the pineapple rings to the outside of the ham about halfway through cooking, securing with half toothpicks or cloves.
About 15 minutes before cooking is complete, add the cherries to the centre of the pineapple rings and elsewhere if desired. Brush with the remaining glaze as well as the pan drippings.
When the glaze is crunchy, remove the ham from then oven.
Allow the ham to cool and store in the refrigerator until serving.
Alternatively rub the brown sugar into the skin before decorating with the pineapple and cherries. Bake 10 minutes to start caramelising the sugar, then baste with the pineapple juice.
The New Zealand Pork Industry website www.pork.co.nz has guidelines for reheating cooked hams that say "Weigh the ham and allow 10 minutes per 500 grams. Cook in oven preheated to 160 degrees centigrade for calculated time. Brush with the glaze 3 to 4 times during cooking".
Ham is a salty meat and fruity rieslings are an excellent match especially with the fruity glaze. I recommend the super Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2002, a spicy spritzy wine with citrus, apricot and tropical flavours. It is a sweet summery style and needs to be served chilled. It's a great label to have gracing the table on Christmas Day.
You will need
The key to success with this recipe is that you have to know how sweet the wine and fruit is and then you will know how much sugar to add. If it is too sweet, the flavour will be cloying rather than refreshing.
Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. This is the sugar syrup. Mix the blended fruit with the wine and add the cooled sugar syrup slowly, taste testing for sweetness as you go.
Stir to combine and pour into a freezer tray. Stir occasionally as it freezes. Because of the wine content it should not freeze solid. Break up the ice with the prongs of a fork before serving.
This looks quite nice served in small crystal wineglasses.
If using strawberries, blend the fruit with a couple of sprigs of mint and use mint leaves as a garnish.
© Sue Courtney
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