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Simon & Alison Holst's recipe - Scallops, Beef Salad, Pikelets & Scones - 25 November


Grilled or Barbecued Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Scallops are always a treat! Pass them as a starter, or serve them, several per skewer, as a main part of a casual outdoors or summer meal.

It is best to wrap scallops in shaved streaky bacon, since it cooks quickly, ensuring that the scallops are not overcooked. Wood-smoked shaved bacon has a very good flavour.

A 180g packet of shaved bacon contains about 12 thin slices. You can use these to wrap 12 scallops, or you can cut the strips in half crosswise, so you can wrap 24 scallops (or 12 scallops and 12 button mushrooms).

Sprinkle the scallops with a little lemon juice and some freshly ground black pepper. If you are wrapping button mushrooms as well, toss them in a shallow bowl containing a little lemon juice, oil, garlic salt and pepper. Carefully separate the bacon strips and lay them flat. Halve them if you like. (This requires some dexterity, time and care.)

Wrap a strip of bacon around each scallops (or mushrooms) and thread them (alternately) on the skewers. (Always push the skewer through the end of the bacon strip to stop it unrolling as it cooks).

Cover with cling film and refrigerate (up to a few hours) until you cook them.

Cook close to a preheated grill or on a barbecue rack (in preference to a barbecue plate) until the bacon is lightly browned, then turn and brown the other side. (Long cooking overcooks, shrinks and toughens scallops).

When serving the scallops (and mushrooms) as starters gently slide them from the skewers and push a toothpick into each one.


East-West Beef Salad with Coriander Dressing

Asian-style salads have found their way in to hearts and minds (presumably via the stomachs!) of New Zealanders. We can't claim this main dish salad is completely authentic, but we think it captures the essential flavours and it's certainly delicious!

For 2 servings:

200-250g rump steak cut 2cm thick
1 Tbsp fish or soy sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil
Mixed salad leaves
Cucumber chunks
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced cooked green beans
Avocado slices
Basil leaves

Dressing:

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped lemon grass stalk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp chilli powder or minced red chilli
2-3 Tbsp chopped coriander leaf
1 chopped spring onion

Trim any fat from the steak. Coat steak with a little soy sauce and oil and leave to marinade for at least 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare the salad ingredients, as necessary, making two salads in shallow bowls.

About 15 minutes before serving, preheat a heavy pan over high heat and pan-grill steak in the dry pan for 1-2 minutes per side until brown on the outside but pink in the middle. Put steak on a carving board and leave to cool.

To make the dressing, finely chop the garlic and thinly sliced lemon grass in a food processor or blender. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and process until coriander leaves are chopped.

Just before serving, slice the cooled meat thinly into strips and coat with part of the dressing. Arrange slices on the individual salads and drizzle over extra dressing. Serve with crusty bread or with bowls of Basmati or Jasmine rice.


Pikelets

We're sure there are many, many Kiwis who can remember their mothers and grandmothers before them turning out plates of pikelets! This does attach an air of nostalgia, but pikelets remain a great for a quick snack for unexpected company, or a school holiday activity. Spread them with butter and jam, top the butter with hundreds and thousands for small children, or 'dress them up' with whipped cream, jam and fresh berries. Yum!

1 rounded household Tbsp golden syrup
25g butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup self-raising flour

Heat a frypan (use a high heat setting if frypan is electric).

Dip an ordinary tablespoon in hot water, and then use it to measure the syrup. Put the syrup to a bowl with the butter. Warm (microwaving is easiest) to soften both then mix in the sugar, milk and egg. Sprinkle or sieve the flour over the top, then mix it in briefly with a whisk or beater just until smooth.

Rub surface of the hot frypan with a little butter on a paper towel. Drop dessertspoon or tablespoon lots of mixture into the pan, pouring mixture off the tip of the spoon.*

Turn pikelets over as soon as the bubbles begin to burst on the surface. (Turn up the heat if the cooked side of each pikelet is not brown enough OR turn heat down if they browned too much by the time the first bubbles burst).

When the centres of the second side spring back when touched with your finger, the pikelets are ready. (If pikelets are too thick and are not spreading enough, add a little extra milk to mixture).

Cook in batches until all the batter is used. Keep cooked pikelets warm by putting them between the folds of a clean tea towel and transfer them to a plastic bag when cold. Serve soon after making as described above.

* If you can manage to hold the spoon handle upright and turn the spoon as you let the batter run off it, you should get perfectly round pikelets.


Lemonade & Cream Scones

This isn't the traditional version of scones, but it is so easy, good and reliable, we will probably never go back to grandma's version. Once you've tried them, we think that you will probably agree, too!

For 8 large square scones:
2 cups (260g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp lemonade

Turn oven on to 230degC, or 220degC if using a fan oven.

Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (Remember to fork the flour until light before measuring it, then to spoon it into the measuring cup and level off the top without packing it down or banging it.) Toss dry ingredients together, add the cream and lemonade, and mix to make a soft dough.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and sprinkle enough extra flour over the ball of soft dough to allow you to turn it out onto a floured board and handle it without sticking.

Knead dough lightly, half a dozen times, then pat or roll it out until it is about 2cm thick, and twice as long as it is wide.

Cut in half lengthwise, and in four crosswise, using a floured knife.

Arrange scones on a baking tray (close together if you like soft sides, or further apart for crusty sides). For a good colour, brush tops with a little milk or melted butter if you like.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops and bottoms are lightly browned.

Serve warm (or reheated), split, with butter and jam, or spread with jam and topped with whipped cream. If available, fresh strawberries or raspberries make an excellent addition.

Note: These scones stay fresh and soft for 48 hours - if they get the chance!


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