Apologies for the unexplained absence. I’ve been in Byron Bay enjoying the culinary joys of others for a change and then had a beautiful weekend away with my extended family (25 members in total) to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday.
The weekend long party involved a cosy lodge in the heart of Wilson’s Promontory in South Gippsland, Victoria. With a family of foodies, mealtime did not consist of the usual camping fare.
On Friday night we were treated with a gourmet bbq, followed by a well nourished (with brandy) christmas pudding, all handmade courtesy of my brother Simon. On both Saturday & Sunday mornings we were treated with a hot breakfast, made to order. Crepes with nutella & banana, fruit bread with ricotta, maple syrup & strawberries, bacon & eggs, grilled tomatoes & sauteed mushrooms & homemade bircher muesli, all lovingly prepared by my brother David. A deli lunch supplied and arranged by my brother Paul was a welcome respite from all the decadent dining.
I was on duty for Saturday night and along with dinner we dressed up in black & red to honor my dad’s beloved football team – Essendon, we discoed and split into teams for a competitive game of spicks & specks.
The cooking was easy due to the fantastic help of my niece Stephy and my sister in law Barb. We dined on yummy crumbed swiss brown mushrooms with herbs to start (see recipe below).
Bruschetta topped with a cannelini bean puree & a hazlenut & thyme dressing, followed by lamb shoulder rolled & roasted with a rosemary, pinenut & currant stuffing served on a pea puree and hasselback potatoes. Mum made a moorish orange and almond cake and Barb a delicious chocolate tart with shards of toffee. Hmm hmmmm.
Herby crumbed mushrooms
Serves 25 as an appetiser
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups breadcrumbs (best to make them yourself with day old bread)
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
500g button swiss brown mushrooms
Sea salt & lemon wedges to serve
Mix together the breadcrumbs & herbs and season well with salt & pepper.
Dip the mushrooms in the egg and then in the breadcrumb mix.
Heat canola or vegetable oil in a large pot until hot. Fry the mushrooms in batches and drain on paper towelling.
Scatter mushrooms with sea salt and serve with lemon wedges.