I really wanted to have this up in time for the long weekend - so I could use the conceit of 'having a long weekend get together? Maybe you could BRING THESE THINGS!!!! But then I found out that it wasn't even a long weekend in Queensland and I lost the will to blog/live.
Then I ate some leftover poached chicken dipped in mayonnaise and felt much better, so here it is. Not long weekend, but maybe you'll find these recipes useful for your winter solstice gathering on June 20. Only 6 more shopping days to go people!
Fig, Rocket and Feta Salad with Hazelnuts and Caramelised Balsamic
If it's possible for a salad to be lux, this one is pretty bloody lux. I made it for my best mate's birthday dinner and got exactly the amount of compliments about it that I wanted (heaps). Probably only make this one in fig season (late summer-autumn? Google it) if you don't wanna pay like six bucks a fig. If I could eat figs all year round though I would - they're my favourite fruit (bougie bitch). Rocket works so well with any dried fruit cause it's so bitter - then chuck some dill, fetta and hazlenuts on that baby and you've got a lot of fancy flavours working together. Suddenly you're a genius and everyone loves you.
'Bahn Mi' with Ginger Poached Chicken, Cucumber Salad, Spicy Carrot, and Wombok Mayo Salad.
I was a vegetarian for about 5 years, and for 3 of those I was vegan. I broke my vegetarianism on June 4, 2013 at the Madrid airport. We'd been delayed for 8 hours. I'd been smoking upwards of a pack of cigs a day for the month I'd been in Europe (they're real cheap ok) and going cold turkey was fucking hard when all I had to distract me was the bad YA novel I'd bought with my last ten euros,cause it was the only English book in the shop.
I was freaking out that I was gonna miss my connecting flight back to Brisbane. Then an airport worker came over and put something in my hand. A five dollar voucher for Starbucks. I walked straight up to the counter and bought a chicken lettuce and mayo sandwich and felt cvery slightly better. That combo of cold chicken and mayo is so comforting to me - white trash as hell, sure - but comforting.
This 'Bahn mi' is my attempt to make chicken and mayo a little bit more interesting. I put bahn mi in quotes cause even though it's 'asian-ish stuff in a bun' (what most Western places mean when they say bahn mi) these flavours are a mishmash of chinese, japanese and thai mostly more than vietnamese.
I brought these to a couple of friends houses, and I just put everything in tupperware containers and assembled the bahn mi there. Slightly higher maintenance than some of the recipes below, but worth it.
Spicy Pumpkin, Mint and Feta Filos
I use the word 'Spicy' very loosely here. In that there is 'some chilli' in there. These are really good when you have to throw something together for a 'bring a plate' with quite a few people, especially if it's a standing up party. Mine kind of exploded in the middle (I think because of the steam? There wasn't time to get the coroner in) but still tasted really good.
Miso mushroom and Dates on Toast
I lifted this flavour combination pretty much wholesale from my new favourite cookbook purchase, 'Savour' by Peter Gordon. Except he used eggplant instead of mushrooms, which I only like when it's cooked properly like in great Chinese dishes and I had no confidence in my ability to do that. You're gonna be like 'Miso! Feta!??? yogurt!???' but miso just provides the nicest salty-savoury flavour you can put it with heaps of stuff that you don't necessarily associate with Japanese food. I'm promising ya that these flavour combos work - but you don't have to believe me. Plenty of chicken and mayo for us all to enjoy.