To toast my American cyber friends for their national holiday and 4th July Independence Day, I decided to cook up an American feast. Wine with ingredients that seem American-influenced to me.
Here's what I came up with -
* Turkey or Chicken Breast with A Cranberry and Orange Sauce
* Spicy Hamburgers on Homemade Whole Kernel Corn Bread.
* Juicy Steak with a Zinfandel Wine Reduction
* Roast Fillet of Lamb with mint and garlic
* Creamy Spiced Pumpkin
Turkey or Chicken Breast with A Cranberry and Orange Sauce
The sauce is prepared in advanced and finished off while the meat is cooking.
If using Turkey Breast, cut into serving sized portions. If using chicken breasts, trim the fillet off and use for something else. Coat the meat in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper then pan-fry in butter, or a mixture of butter and oil, until cooked through.
For the sauce you will need -
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)
Juice and zest of a small orange
1 stick of cinnamon, broken in half.
Half a cup of zinfandel wine.
Put the sauce ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for at least one hour to let the cranberries soak up the juices and infuse the flavours. Remove the cinnamon stick pieces. Reheat the sauce and cook until thickened, if necessary, before serving.
Spicy Hamburgers on Homemade Whole Kernel Corn Bread.
Home Made Whole Kernel Corn Bread.
Open a 310 gram tin of whole kernel corn and drain liquid into a cup. Add milk to the liquid to fill the cup.
In a bowl mix together one and a half cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, salt and pepper.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add 1 beaten egg, then the cup of liquid and stir to make a batter.
Now add the drained corn kernels. If the batter seems too dry, add a little more milk.
Pour the batter in a cake tin or slice tin and bake at 180 degrees C for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the batter in the tin.
When cooked, turn on to a cooling rack and when cool enough, cut the corn bread into sliced bread shapes.
Allow 50 grams of minced beef per hamburger patty.
For four patties (200 grams of minced beef) add salt and fresh ground black pepper to season together with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1-2 teaspoons of sweet chilli sauce and 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce. Mix together, form into four patties, place on a plate and refrigerate for at least half an hour. Sizzle in a pan to cook, ensuring that the burger stays moist.
Serve the hamburger patties on top of the freshly made corn bread.
Juicy Steak with a Zinfandel Wine Reduction
Choose steak cut of your choice, e.g. fillet, porterhouse, sirloin.
First prepare the wine reduction.
Pour a cup of zinfandel wine into a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, a few sprigs of thyme picked straight from the and a piece of a rosemary twig that you picked about a week before, so it has dried a little.
Boil the liquid until the contents have reduced to about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup.
Sizzle the steaks in a hot pan until cooked to rare or medium rare - whatever you prefer. Remove the steaks to the serving plates to rest. Add the zinfandel wine reduction to the pan drippings to deglaze the pan and thicken up - the pan should be hot and the sauce will quickly come to the boil. Stir to gather up all the pan drippings and pour over the steaks. Serves 2.
Roast Fillet of Lamb with mint and garlicMarinate lamb loin fillets in olive oil, salt, ground black pepper, a handful of chopped mint and a crushed big clove of garlic.
Pan fry in a hot pan to seal the meat. Place into an oven proof pan and cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until fillets are cooked to rare to medium-rare.
Allow 1 to 2 fillets per person.
Creamy Spiced Pumpkin
Cut 300 grams of peeled grey-skinned pumpkin into cubes. Place in a well greased casserole dish, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Pour over 150 mls of cream and sprinkle with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover and bake at 180 degrees C until pumpkin is soft.
This favourite recipe comes from the 'New Zealand Radio and Television Cookbook' (1976 edition), where it is called 'Pumpkin baked with Cinnamon and Cream'.