If you are spending Australia day with a bunch of people, then this is the menu for you. Focused on a few small things done well, with this is a take-what-you-want spread you can offer your guests that chance to pick and choose what they want to eat as you celebrate the always long and hot Australia day.
Most of this can be done in advance and simply cooked or heated on the day. We want everyone to take it easy after all!
Refreshing tomato soup served cold
- Half a loaf of bread, crusts removed and soaked in water for 10 minutes
- Half a kilo very ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 Spanish onion roughly chopped
- 2 roasted red capsicums, skins removed and then sliced
- 1 cucumber, skin removed and chopped
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 2 tablespoons vinegar and olive oil
Blitz all ingredients in a food processor and add cold water to attain the desired consistency. Mixture should be entirely pureed and smooth, slightly thick but easily pourable. Chill in your fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
Optional: serve with some croutons and freshly diced cucumber on top
Devils on horseback
Delicious and easy hors d'oeuvre
- Large dates (as many as you want)
- Prosciutto (one slice per date)
- Blue cheese (enough to put a little inside each date)
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Meanwhile, slice open your dates lengthwise and place a small amount of blue cheese inside. Close the date around the cheese and wrap with a slice of prosciutto. Place parcels on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for around 20 minutes.
Note: If your diners will not enjoy blue cheese you can substitute for a washed rind cheese like camembert.
Prawns and Ma Po Tofu on rice (pictured)
Amazing main course
- One cooked king prawn per diner (peeled)
- 250gms cooked long grain rice
- Ma Po Tofu:
- 2 Tbsp. red bean paste
- 1 Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns crushed or powdered
- Bunch of shallots, sliced (white and green parts)
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 300gms silken tofu, sliced into small 5mm cubes
- 100gms minced pork
- 1 cup beef stock
Add sesame oil to hot saucepan and fry the minced pork until cooked and remove pork from pan. Fry the red bean paste for a minute then add in garlic, ginger and shallots until starting to cook then add Szechuan peppercorns. Add beef stock, stir to combine and bring to boil. Add tofu and pork mince, reduce heat and simmer for around 10 minutes allowing sauce to thicken as the water evaporates.
Serve in individual small bowls by placing a small amount of rice on the bottom, spooning over a portion of Ma Po Tofu then topping with a prawn and extra sliced shallots.
Optional: garnish with some edible flowers for that restaurant quality finishing touch (as pictured)
Balsamic Beets and Goats cheese salad
- 3 large or 6 medium beetroots
- 1 Tbsp. whole rosemary leaves
- 3 Tbsp. each balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- 150gm goats cheese/chévre log
- Approx. 4 cups / 1 bag of salad greens
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Clean beetroots and slice in half and arrange cut side up on a baking pan lined with foil. Cover beetroots generously with olive oil then top with some rosemary leaves and add one cup of water to the bottom of the pan to avoid burning. Roast for around 45 minutes or until beetroots are cooked through. Cool, remove skins and cut into rough chunks or wedges. Combine balsamic vinegar with a slug of olive oil and whisk with a fork to combine then toss through the beetroots and salad greens. Serve in a large bowl with goats cheese scattered on top.
Note: you can substitute goats cheese with feta