Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A recipe free easy Australia Day Lunch

(Australia Day lunch at home 2010)

26 January marks the date (in 1788) in which the First Fleet (11 ships in all) first sailed into Sydney Cove and Captain Arthur Philip raised the Union Jack over the soil of Terra Nullius.

Now, Australia Day is a day of parades, citizenship ceremonies, the announcement of the Australian of the year (congratulations Maggie Beer, wonderful SA cook) the Big Day Out (music festival in Melbourne), pompous speechifying by politicians and of course, most importantly, a barbeque.

Australia Day has become more and more popular over the last few decades. To me, it is all a bit forced and I never like rampant nationalism anyway (what is with all those caps and hats with the flag on them?). My preferred Australian symbolic day is ANZAC day.

Anyway, in keeping with the Aussie tradition we hauled our ugly, rarely used but very effective barbeque out from the scary side of the house for its annual Australia Day glimpse of sunshine.

I don't know why an Australia Day barbeque makes me think Greek, but it does.

So this is what we ate:

First, Greek Salad: chop cos lettuce, roma tomatoes, lebanese cucumber, red onion into shapes of your choosing (I do wedges), sprinkle with some chopped mint and oregano, scatter with Australian fetta and dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar and mustard dressing. Divine. I could live on this salad.

Then, crispy potatoes: peel and chop potatoes* into evenly sized chunks, toss in a non stick saucepan with a lid along with a large spoonful of duck fat, 6 squashed garlic cloves and some sprigs of rosemary, put the lid on and cook on medium heat (the lid makes them cook more quickly you should be able to do this in about 35 minutes)
* I use Nicola but any waxy potato should do.

Then we had lamb. Unfortunately I have no photos because we were all so starving we ate it all before I could photograph it. I marinated french cut lamb cutlets overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic chopped and mint. Cook for 3 mins max on each side on the ugly bbq.

To finish - pavlova: actually this does require a recipe - Nigella Lawson has one in a couple of her books, the original and best is a Stephanie Alexander from The Cooks Companion. Once you have mastered the chewy crunchy meringue base of this dish there is no going back.

I couldn't find passionfruit so I sliced up some mango, and in fact I rather like the clean yellow and white appearance of this pavlova.


And if your bbq is really getting you down, why not this one designed for Electrolux by Jeppe Utzon, grandson of the architect of Sydney Opera House, Jorn Utzon. Only $5,900 and all that beauty can be yours.


brismod said...

I love what you cooked on Australia Day. Greek salad - we are such a multi-cultural country. I made pizza. And I love the minimalist BBQ - it mocks our Webber.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

What a delicious repast for Australia Day, Jane..... and I think tht I will get a couple of those Jeppe Utzon bbq's. It's always worth having a spare !!
I love the way that you have laid your table , oh, and the gardenia's from your garden on your sidebar look beautiful. XXXX

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Jane
the food looks yummy and I have to agree I prefer ANZAC day... maybe as historically it has always been the preferred celebration.. [well at least in my family home] have fun xx Julie

Laura said...

I cannot eat enough pavlova I loev it so, and I think the mango looks far better than passion fruit pulp would have! I'm loving the idea of the duck fat with the wonderfully decadent. Excuse me, I must go eat now, you've made me far too hungry.

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