Thursday, June 13, 2013

International Dinner: New Zealand

International Dinner: New Zealand

About a month ago I bought Addie a Summer Bridge book. It's a workbook that is designed to help kids 'bridge' from one grade to another over the summer. One night we were looking through it and a social studies activity gave us the idea to do a once-a-week International Dinner night. Every week Addie will pick a country (we made a big list organized by Continent), and then help me research some traditional food and recipes.
Her first choice was New Zealand - which of course means lamb!  I personally have never enjoyed lamb. However my Aunt Marilyn keeps raving about a recipe for grilled lamb chops. I thought we should give it a try, and if I didn't like it, well, at least I tried it. The chops were way out of our price range, so I bought a butterflied leg. You can substitute the chops if you prefer, although the cooking time might vary.
Also, my lamb caught on fire on the grill! So just be careful that doesn't happen by keeping the heat on medium while cooking, and keep a water bottle near you just in case :)   Up this week - Argentina!

Menu (for 4):
Grilled leg of lamb
Roasted asparagus
Grilled sweet potatoes
Strawberry Pavlova

Grilled Leg of Lamb (with sweet potatoes)
1 butterflied leg of lamb, rinsed and patted dry
1 bottle Soy-vey Island Terriyaki marinade
2 large sweet potatoes

 Place the lamb in a plastic bowl or container. Cover with the marinade and let sit for several hours, or overnight. Preheat the grill on high for at least 10 minutes. Pre-cook the potatoes in the microwave for 10 minutes. Remove the lamb from the mariande and let drip to get off the excess liquid. Place the lamb on the hot grill and seer for 2 minutes per side. Place the potatoes on the grill. Reduce to medium and cook for 6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 6 minutes. When you flip the meat, flip the potatoes. Remove the meat and potatoes, and let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes, covered with foil.

Roasted Asparagus
2 bundles of thin, fresh asparagus, ends snapped
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the asparagus on the sheet in a single layer, then coat lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt as desired. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until medium brown and crisp. Since oven temperatures vary keep checking after 20 minutes to ensure that they don't burn or get too dark.


4 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar, plus 1 tbsp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 container frozen, sweetened strawberries - defrosted to make a sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). 


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper. I found that my dinner plates are exactly 9 inches, so I traced that.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. 

Gradually add in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Lightly mix in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch.  It will look sort of like marshmallow Fluff.

Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center. 


Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack. It is very fragile, so be careful when transporting it - maybe leave it on the parchment if you want it to look perfect. Once fully cooled place on a flat plate.

In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form, add 1 tbsp of sugar or to taste. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with strawberry sauce.

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