This year we decided to celebrate Mr BBB’s birthday on Australia Day – for the whole family had the day off (and his actual birthday is only a day later in any event).
It seemed only appropriate to go with a very Australian theme, but I struggled to settle on a menu. For every region of this beautiful Country seems to have its own unique flavours, tastes and influences – and it would be shame to overlook them.
Then I had a lightbulb moment. I would create a menu of ‘tastes’, and take our family on a culinary tour of Australia. Inspired by and hopefully highlighting local and native flavours.
My big goal was to use only Australian produce and ingredients, and I am pleased to report that with the help of the markets, delis and local stores, that goal was met
We started our tour in Tasmania – a State that I have never visited but heard so many wonderful things about.
Our first dish was created using Tasmanian Huon smoked salmon, dill crème fraiche (Yea) and cucumber – resulting in a lovely little canapé to start our meal.
From there we headed across the Bass Straight to Victoria, where ricotta and Beechworth honey were the key ingredients in our second dish.
On the menu? Ricotta crostini with ricotta, pear, walnuts and honey.
Washed down with a Napoleone & Co apple / pear cider from the Yarra Valley.
Australian Capital Territory
We headed to my hometown next, and I knew that smoked chicken from Poacher’s Pantry had to feature (yes, yes, I know it is technically located just over the border but we can claim it as our own surely??!).
Our third dish of the day was a smoked chicken tarlet, with a homemade rocket pesto and bush tomato relish from Posh Nosh (a local creator of all things relish!).
New South Wales
We then continued our journey north, stopping in New South Wales for a salad.
Created with spinach, apples, feta and wild cherries, dressed with a tasty black genoa fig vinegar from the Hunter Valley.
Next stop – the Sunshine state. With gorgeous Tiger prawns and an abundance of tropical fruit as our focus.
I marinated the prawns in a little oil and lemon zest, then they were cooked on the BBQ. Accompanied by a fruit salsa – comprising pineapple, mango, nectarine and mint.
Served with a Pepper Tree Pinot Gris.
Then it was onto the Northern Territory – with barramundi as our key ingredient.
Seasoned with native lemon pepper from Herbies, and cooked on the BBQ. Finished with a little Murrumbooee mango and tamarind chutney on the side.
On the side? Some freshly baked wattleseed damper rolls.
We then headed west for our last savoury dish of the day (letting out our belt-buckles as we went). I couldn’t resist including kangaroo on the menu (and it turns out that Little J is a big fan!).
Marinated in white wine and ground pepperberry, and cooked on the BBQ. Served on a carrot puree with a red wine and pepperberry jus.
Enjoyed with a glass of Marmaduke Shiraz.
Our last stop for the day was South Australia. With inspiration taken from its gorgeous wine regions.
To conclude our meal? Sparkling Shiraz jellies – with raspberries and blueberries. A sweet ending.
And just like that our culinary trip around Australia was complete. Although not before squeezing in a few games of Australia Day bingo (or should that be Australia Day ‘cooee’).
It was definitely a fun afternoon, sampling so many unique flavours. Not to mention rekindling a love for local ingredients and suppliers, discovering some new favourite products along the way.
What about you? How did you spend your Australia Day?