Let's Cook with Joe Lam

TIME REALLY DOES FLY WHEN you are having a bit of fun.

It has been an eventful year with the Olympics, the Kiwis amazing Rugby League World Cup triumph (yeah!) and a new Government!

Since I’m not the political columnist, I’m not even going there. Besides, someone would tell me to get stuffed, and that’s exactly what we are doing today. Stuffing that is.

When it comes to traditional Christmas stuff I get a bit bored, so I begin to question; why we always do the same thing every year? It’s usually the same food, drinks, songs and always the same stuffing in the turkey or chicken. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I’m just a bit bored with the same traditional food, so this year, a little twist to the stuffing might not go astray.

There are two main reasons why I use stuffing, first: to make the meal bigger than what it is. The second and my favourite: is to enhance the flavour of the meal. The stuffing also prevents the poultry from drying out during the roasting. I say poultry now but for my Christmas-New Year’s twist this year I am stuffing a pork belly instead of turkey. So, again enjoy the recipe and have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

Joe with Christmas lunchtime guests Inga Va'aiga Tuigamala and Uatesoni Namoa. (Below) Brothers Jordan and Vaise Tuigamala (Inga's sons) with trainer Etu (right)

Ingredients

1 cup of chopped dried apricots
1 cup of chopped dried dates
Half a cup of pre cooked bacon chopped
1 small onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp of crushed dried fennel seeds
1tsp of finely chopped rosemary
1 chilli deseeded and chopped fi nely
1 egg
A dash of brandy (Jack Daniels is pretty good too)
300gms of pre cooked taro diced
Dash of olive oil
Salt
Pepper


• Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well
• It’s ready to use.
• Place the stuffing into the poultry and roast according to your recipe
• In my case I placed the stuffing on to the upside down pork belly and rolled it and tied it.
• Then I roasted according to the recipe I had, but that recipe might have to be on another issue!!!