A butcher's hook
The barbecue season is just around the corner and the butcher boys are already thinking about the summer months.
A trip to the South Island gave Stephen Morrison a gem of an idea for alfresco dining and he reckons it's a good choice for indoors as well.
Three marinated chops from the loin of a lamb, packed side by side on a skewer was what caught the eye of the man from The Kiwi Butcher.
"I called in to see what a mate was up to in his butchery in Ashburton and there they were," Morrison said.
"I don't get to see too many gourmet butcheries and thought these would be perfect on the barbie. I trialled them on a few mates at the weekend and they raved about them."
The secret was the absence of any bone.
"A lot of people shy away from chops because of the bone factor and the mess of your fingers when you eat them. This gets rid of that hassle and they are easy to chomp."
The secret to a perfect cook was to have the barbecue or pan on a medium heat.
"You don't want it searing hot as you'll just burn the marinade. Five minutes each side is plenty and they're perfect with a beer or wine."
The marinade of choice on the ones I sampled was a honey, mint and rosemary mix.
"But you can use any marinade you like and we have packs of plain chops for that very reason."
They're reasonably priced at $4.99 a skewer (or $1.63 a chop).
The marinated numbers look pretty appealing and when I returned to the office with a few samples, photographer Robert Charles, licked his lips.
Being a kind-hearted soul, I tossed a pack at the confirmed bachelor once he'd photographed these beauties, gave him the cooking instructions and told him to report back.
Giving instructions to photographers often requires you to go the extra yard. That should have happened on this occasion.
"What were they like Charlie?"
"Sweet. I cooked them just like you said but there wasn't enough."
"But you had a few veges with them, eh?"
"Nah. Not into that."
Geez there are some people beyond help.
Taranaki Daily News