Australia fare • 01.28.09
We’ve just returned from a long weekend in Mudgee, NSW to celebrate Australia Day. Australia Day is a little bit like the 4th of July… big summer holiday with lots of BBQ’s, heat and fireworks. We didn’t see any fireworks, but we did sweat a lot and cook on the barbie, so I guess we did ok.
Mudgee is about 4.5 hours from Sydney and is known for making some great red wines. It is also, in my opinion, in possession of a hilarious and fun-to-say name. This was actually our second trip to Mudgee and we had a blast. We went with our friends Steve and Maja, got a little apartment near town, tasted wines all day and drank wine while watching the Australian Open all night. With the glaring exception of a wedding / bar fight that we witnessed on the first night, it was a quiet and relaxing weekend away.
We used the barbie in our little back yard for every meal, which was both delicious and very Australian of us. On Saturday night, we enjoyed prawns marinated in lemon, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil as a starter. Perfectly cooked (thanks Steve!), the prawns were gorgeous with a cold glass of white wine at the end of a scorching day. These pics aren’t great, but I’d already enjoyed a few glasses of that white wine by this point.
Steve throws another prawn on the barbie
Continuing the streak of light and delicious food that’s perfectly matched for crisp, lemon-y white wine, we enjoyed skewers of marinated chicken, chunks of capsicum (bell pepper) and haloumi cheese. The skewers were so nice served over a small bed of white rice and eaten outside, dodging the grasshoppers. A few pieces of the haloumi escaped from their skewers, but we forgave Steve for that. He’d had plenty of wine, too. I didn’t get a picture of the skewers after they were cooked (we were pretty hungry), but here’s a shot of the skewers all prepped and ready to be grilled.
We also had toast for brekkie, eggs cooked on the barbie, a cheese plate for lunch and sandwiches for a late afternoon filler. The food was simple, but that’s what you want when it’s hot outside. Lots of cold white wine doesn’t hurt, either.