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What's for Tea this Week?

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Sabine Schneider
Sabine Schneider

Deciding what's for tea is almost as trying as the cooking process itself. That's why every Sunday I'll post a list of suggestions for the week following. Pick and choose, be adventurous and try something new. If you don't know how to cook something or have a suggestion just drop me a line.



Roast veggie salad: Preheat oven. Peel and/or trim seasonal veggies of your choice and cut into chunks. Place in roasting dish, drizzle with plenty of olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss. Place in oven and roast until just done, shaking the pan once to ensure even browning. Drizzle with the dressing you made yesterday. Let cool to room temperature, sprinkle with sesame seeds or gomasio and serve.
Lemon risotto: Mix white wine and vegetable stock and heat. Fry plenty of lemon zest and a finely chopped clove of garlic in a little oil and butter. Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine/stock mix, one ladle at a time, stirring slowly and constantly. Takes about 20 minutes, so make sure you multi task by talking to your partner/kids, listening to music/news or writing a shopping list/poem... Adjust seasoning with a little more fresh lemon zest, salt, grated parmesan cheese, finely chopped parsley and freshly ground white pepper. Serve without delay.
Potato salad with pan-fried fish: Use my mum’s potato salad recipe and add plenty of finely chopped spring onions. Serve with fish of your choice.
Thai-style beef salad: Marinade a good steak (rump is fine) in some oil, sesame oil and fish sauce. Grill until done to your liking. Serve on a bed of your favourite lettuce leaves (I love rocket) and drizzle with a dressing made of chillies, spring onions, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, plenty of crushed garlic, a little grated ginger and a shredded laksa leaf (also called rau ram, Vietnamese mint or Vietnamese coriander).
Pasta with tomato salsa: Dice tomatoes and mix with some crushed garlic, pepper, salt and plenty of olive oil. If the tomatoes are not from your own garden (what a shame!), add a pinch of sugar and maybe a drop or two of balsamic vinegar. Add herbs of your choice, for example plenty of basil (tear the leaves, don’t chop or they’ll discolour. Parsley, thyme, a little rosemary and sage etc. are good, too. Mix with freshly cooked and still steaming hot pasta of your choice and toss.
Kumara soup with crusty bread: Boil orange kumara with good-quality vegetable or chicken stock until tender. Adjust seasoning. Add some grated nutmeg. Puree with blender. (If you don’t have a blender, cook kumara with just enough stock to cover. Use masher to puree and add more stock to make it soupy.) Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve with ciabatta or some crusty sourdough.

The Works: Invite friends and/or family. Spike a leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary tips. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for the first 15 minutes, then turn to moderate. Add some chopped root vegetables. Don’t forget to include beetroot, they’re delicious when roasted. Also add a tomato to flavour the gravy. The lamb should take about an hour. To test for doneness, insert a knife deeply into the thickest point and leave there for a minute or so. Take out and hold to your lips. It should feel hot, not lukewarm. When it is done, take out of pan, cover and rest for 15 minutes. Take veggies out and keep warm. If there is a lot of fat floating in the roasting pan, take some off. Add a little boiling water to loosen bits ‘n’ pieces. I don’t bother straining – what’s the point? With a fork, mash some soft butter into flour until combined. Add to the juices in the roasting dish and cook on stove until thickened. Adjust seasoning. Make some mint sauce from fresh mint, hot water, sugar and white-wine or other good-quality vinegar. I’ve made mint sauce from a disembowelled tea bag, but that was an emergency... Serve with salad and a sumptious dessert for added effect.


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