When you're stuck for last-minute gift ideas – give the gift of food!
A cookbook is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday or a house-warming present – who doesn't love a new cookbook to inspire one to get back into the kitchen. With hundreds of recipes in each of my three cookbooks, there's something for everyone. Our food at JUK is fuss-free, designed for the home cook and importantly, tastes delicious.
As we all scramble to finish this year's Christmas shopping, why not grab a JUK cookbook, or two. My Underground Kitchen is my first book – one that reflects my clear food philosophy – healthy, home-cooked meals that test new combinations of modern ingredients. My Underground Deli is my second labour of love and is a journal of life behind our buzzing Herne Bay deli. We have a great special that includes these two – to shop online, visit our website here.
For a teaser of what's inside my latest book, My Underground Everyday, I've shared a few of my favourite recipes below. Just in time for Christmas, I've included a delicious recipe for Dukkah-Rubbed Christmas Lamb. My Underground Everyday is packed full of the dishes I cook at home, with interesting flavours and recipes packed with inspiration for the home cook.
So, go on...get your loved ones cooking!
Dukkah-Rubbed Christmas Lamb
Is there anything more quintessentially Kiwi on Christmas Day than a roast lamb? The traditional leg gets a modern refresh with a Middle Eastern-inspired almond dukkah rub — baste when you remember for maximum tenderness. This is great to have in the fridge for Boxing Day leftovers, too!
¼ cup whole almonds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried mint
1 whole leg of lamb, approximately 1.6–1.8kg
3 tbsp olive oil
Makes 6–8 serves as a main dish
Takes 1 ½ hours
Gluten-free | Dairy-free
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a food processor, combine almonds, coriander, cumin, sesame, fennel and mint. Pulse until a coarse spice mix forms. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pat lamb dry, drizzle with olive oil and dress with the dukkah rub, pushing it onto the lamb as you go. Place in a roasting tray and bake for 1¼ hours for medium, or 1½ –2 hours for well done. Baste with juices 2–3 times during cooking. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Tip To barbecue your lamb, preheat a lidded barbecue to 200°C. Place lamb in the centre of the barbecue and turn the burners directly under the lamb off, so just the side burners are going. Close the lid and cook for 2½ –3 hours, until cooked to your liking. Remember to rest your lamb before serving, as above.
Pear Frangipane Tart
This classic baked tart is perfect for when you want to throw something together quickly, with minimal fuss. I found some pears at the market but you could use apples, stone fruit or even frozen berries to get delicious results. Serve warm with yoghurt for dessert or even breakfast!
5 medium pears
½ cup plain flour
½ cup almond flour
Pinch of salt
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ cup natural yoghurt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup honey, or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
Makes 1 large pie
Takes 55 minutes
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease a 20cm round baking dish or skillet pan.
Core the pears. Dice two of the pears finely, and thinly slice the remaining three pears to arrange on the top of the cake.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, almond flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and add the yoghurt, olive oil, honey, vanilla essence and diced pears, mixing to combine. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold together until just mixed. Pour the batter into the pre-greased baking dish. Arrange the sliced pairs over the top of the cake.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10–15 minutes. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.