When is the sun going to shine again properly??? I feel like summer is over already. I’m not sure why I am acting as if living in the UK guarantees continuous sunshine but the sun did get off to a good start …….until the rain began to fall. This weather has made me want to hibernate. So much so, that I was forced to make a curry at the weekend to put some heat back in my body. Sad sad summer. Come back sun!!!
The last time the sun shone properly was 8th June…..yes, I know the exact date, and it was a solid 25°C ALL DAY LONG!!!!! (27°C last week doesn’t count since most of us were at work). I know this as I had my family over to mine for lunch. I was kind of stressing out (as I always do when my family come round) as they are my biggest critics and I know that both my Mama and my sister would be in MY kitchen asking what I was making, what I put in, why didn’t I add this, did I wash the meat with lemon (ahem, that’s my African Mama for you…bless), could they help…. Those are the women in my family – they can’t help but get involved when it comes to preparing a meal. We all love being in the kitchen, especially my Mama. Guess that is where I get my love of food from. So, on this occasion, I wanted to make sure that all the food was prepared ahead of their arrival so that they did not have the chance to interfere (the loving, family type of interference of course).
Back in January, when I cooked for a christening, I had wowed myself by making the most tasty marmalade and rosemary glazed ham….it was the bomb. Caramelised on the outside and so moist on the inside. It ran out fast. It had worked so well served cold, this was definitely going on the menu for my family lunch – and the added fact that I had a ham in the freezer!
Since the sun was shining bright, I decided to turn this lunch into a picnic in the beautiful communal gardens within my apartment block. Alongside the marmalade and rosemary glazed ham, I made some coleslaw (I used yoghurt instead of mayonnaise), houmous, mint and yoghurt dip and some cumin roasted sweet potatoes – all of this was so easy to throw together the night before, meaning I had no one in my kitchen with me and we could all spend time enjoying the sun.
So here are the recipes for you to use when the sun decides to shine again or, maybe don’t hold out for the sun and just make it.
The prep. part
Marmalade and rosemary glazed ham, serves about 20 people
- 2.2Kg unsmoked ham, off the bone – rinsed with water (no lemon was used, sorry Mama).
- ½ jar of marmalade
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, removed from the stems.
- Juice of an orange, and the zest for decoration if you want to be fancy.
Cumin roasted sweet potatoes, serves 6 – 8 people
- 1 kg of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon of olive of oil
Coleslaw with yoghurt, serves 15 people
- 0.5 kg white cabbage, sliced or grated by hand or use a food processor if you have one.
- 0.5 kg red cabbage, again sliced or grated by hand or use a food processor.
- 0.4 kg/3 – 4 large carrots, peeled to create ribbons but again you can throw this into a food processor and grate them.
- ½ white onion, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
- 15 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
- Juice of 1 ½ lemons
- Salt & pepper to season
Mint & Yoghurt Dip, serves 6 – 8 people
- 175g of natural yoghurt
- 1/3 of a cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 4 sprigs of mint, removed from stalk and roughly torn up
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Salt & pepper to season
As suggested by my sister (still managed to make an input), you can add garlic too if you wish.
- 200g chickpeas, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic
- 120ml of water
The cooking/assembling part
Marmalade and rosemary glazed ham
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Rinse the meat and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Remove any excess fat.
- Place in a deep oven tray.
- Place the marmalade in a pan to melt down.
- Once the marmalade has melted add the juice of an orange and the rosemary.
- Continue to heat for 1 min, then pour over the ham.
- Place in the oven for 2 hours. Check on your meat twice, and when you do, spoon the glaze in the tray over the meat.
- Once cooked, put a rack over a serving dish and place the ham onto the rack. Pour the glaze slowly over the ham once more and leave it to rest and cool down.
- Once the ham has cooled down, place on a wooden chopping board and sprinkle some orange zest on top.
Cumin roasted sweet potatoes
- Throw the cubes, olive oil and cumin seeds into a baking tray and toss to ensure all the sweet potatoes are coated.
- Put in the oven at the same time as the ham, on the bottom shelf, and remove after 1 hour.
Coleslaw with yoghurt
- Throw all the veg. into a bowl, pour in the yoghurt and mix!
Mint & Yoghurt Dip
- As you do with the coleslaw, throw all the ingredients into a bowl, pour in the yoghurt and mix!
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor, and blend.
I hope the sun is shining when you make this!