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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Australia Day lunch

table setting

A good host is organised but not pedantic, relaxed but still attentive. Simple food that can be prepped beforehand is crucial, lending a casual carefree atmosphere that your guests will not appreciate until after they have gone home, and reflected on what an effortlessly pleasant time was had by all.

biscuits and dip
Dips and nibbles

An Australia Day lunch hosted by R, A and C was a classic textbook example. Despite A, T and I arriving late, our hosts were gracious and welcoming. There were delicious tidbits to nibble upon on arrival, lunch was simple but tasty and delicious, and everyone was relaxed and unharried.

Fresh crusty bread

Cubes of top-quality beef rump and peeled green prawns had been purchased then marinated and threaded onto skewers that morning.

surt and turf beef and prawn kebabs raw
Prepped-up surf and turf kebabs (prawns and beef)

As lunchtime neared, the chef politely excused herself and within fifteen minutes, lunch was cooked and ready.

surt and turf beef and prawn kebabs cooked
Three minutes on the grill pan

A fresh colourful salad of tabbouleh was livened with chilli-basted chargrilled zucchini (courgettes) and smashings of creamy goats cheese.

Call it surf-and-turf, beef-and-reef or whatever rhyming nickname you please, but the prawn and beef kebabs were tender, tasty and utterly delicious.

surt and turf beef and prawn kebabs with tabbouleh salad
Simple tasty Australia Day lunch:
surf and turf kebabs with tabbouleh salad

Plates were cleared and dessert materialised. Oranges had been peeled and soaked with a Cointreau sugar syrup, then baked in the oven to warm the boozy citrus.

A scoop of caramel swirl ice cream was all that was needed. Silence descended but for the clang of spoon upon ceramic, and then the furtive sound of a finger licking the bowl clean (sorry, that was me).

baked oranges with Cointreau and caramel swirled vanilla ice cream
Oranges baked with Cointreau and served with
caramel swirl vanilla ice cream

Thanks R, A and C for a delightful lunch and the most fascinating pre-dessert show-and-tell I've had for a long long time.

And let's not forget the excellent food of course. Encore! Encore! =)
2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 2/08/2006 09:42:00 pm


  • At 2/10/2006 7:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've always admired ppl who are so at ease at hosting parties.. and dinners.. or just get together. I go all frenzy for weeks.. and on the real day too.. when i need to host anything..! i'm a wreck..at hosting anything that has got food.. heh!!

  • At 2/11/2006 3:04 am, Blogger Rachel said…

    Wow what a great menu and that idea for surf and turf kebabs ... so easy and delicious! Glad you had a good time ... nothing heightens the appreciation of fine food more than good company.


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