Annual post-Christmas BBQ Spectacular

1/13/2010 08:08:00 PM

Perfect coffee macaron - made by Duncan

You know, all this entertaining can get quite expensive. (Even when you're not splashing out on expensive free range rare breed Wessex Saddleback pork shoulders). And any dinner party or BBQ can take up the better part of a weekend if you, like me, are incredibly pedantic and like to cook every little thing yourself. I have finally learnt to let go. For this year's post-Christmas BBQ, which was held on Sunday, Sandra and I prepared the meat and a few little extras, and got everyone else to bring-a-dish. (Last year's post-Christmas BBQ was duly blogged here).

One of the bonuses of "bring-a-dish" is that friends will (duh) - bring a dish. Even better if they have wicked cooking and baking skills. Case in point: the perfect coffee macaron you see at the top of this post, made by macaron-master Duncan. When he unveiled the box, my cousin exclaimed: "Oh wow, they look like little quarter pounders!". I assure you they tasted much better.

I can't not make a dip when entertaining, and the one I chose this time was Nigella's herb, walnut and feta salad from Forever Summer (she calls it a salad, but it's a dip). The main reason I chose this was so I could use up some of the crazy fertile herbs from our garden! Parsley, basil and mint are required.

Whizz it all up, and serve with crackers!

We tried to keep the meats (relatively) simple, and bought most of it on the cheap at Vic Market the day before.

There were crispy garlic chicken wings, which were marinated in garlic overnight. Sandra made her famous baked feta, with cherry tomatoes from the garden. The little patties are not hamburgers, but Frikadellen, (i.e. German meatballs). We made half beef, and half lamb. The lamb ones we filled with feta for added deliciousness. I'm not usually a fan of home-made burgers, but I loved these Frikadellen! There are a couple of little twists that make them so much tastier than burgers. I've been craving them all week! We also got sausages, half pork, half beef.

My bro's gf brought a pecan coleslaw (Tyler's Ultimate), whilst my cousin made one of my favourites - Tessa Kiros' chickpea and feta salad.

Funnily enough, even though this was a barbecue, it was waaay too hot on Sunday to be standing outside barbecueing, so we all stayed inside the whole day and everything was cooked on the stove or in the oven.

Whilst we were at Vic market, meat bargains weren't the only ones to be had. We also picked up a tray of mangoes for $5, and a tray of strawberries (15 punnets) for $5!!! Woo woo!

We washed and hulled the strawberries the night before, saving some for the BBQ, and freezing the rest for smoothies. We did the same with the mangoes...

... except some of the sweet sweet mango flesh found its way into my passionfruit, mango and mascarpone trifle (pic down the bottom!).

My friend Tim brought raspberry and mango sorbets to the lunch, and because it was so hot, Sandra had the great idea of making slushies for everyone! Frozen fruit + sorbet + juice + blender power!
Berry Slushie

Mango slushie

They were so incredibly refreshing and, unintentionally, became palate cleansers before dessert.

And speaking of which...
The container of fruit salad at the back is from my friend Adri - apparently the Safeway in Tunstall Square has a salad bar where you can pick whichever fruits you want! Lots of pink grapefruit, kiwis, grapes and strawberries appeared in this one. (Good work Adri!)

Thanh made these super-delicious pandan cupcakes - AKA "WICKED GREEN CUPCAKES".
These cupcakes are a pandan chiffon cake, with pandan fudge icing (recipe here). They were unbelievably light and fluffy, and the icing was rich and decadent. I only managed to eat one - I'm pretty sure my dad ate three, and Sandra ate 6!!!

A repeat of last year's Christmas Pudini bonbons. They looked better this year thanks to the holly sprinkles I found, but I thought they were a little dry. More chocolate and brandy next time!

Finally we have the passionfruit, mango and mascarpone trifle. Summer in a bowl! I was really proud of this, and I'll give it its own blog entry at some stage this week.

We had a fun, chillaxed day, with people popping in and out over the course of the afternoon and evening. The fun started at about 11:40 when my cousin came over, and ended around 8 with the last few of us drinking the remaining beer and cider and sitting around chatting. Lovely way to spend a sunny Sunday!

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  1. wow - looks like you had a fun day eating! and how cheap are the tray of mangoes and strawberries, bargain!!

  2. all i read was "feta".


  3. Oh, those trays of mangos and strawberries... so envious! Almost more than the warmth, I miss the summer fruit you all have got back home in Aus right now! Fiddlesticks upon chasing winter accidentally by travelling overseas! :P

    Can't wait to see details about the trifle!

  4. What a great bargain with the fruit! Was it at the end of the day?

    Fantastic looking food, especially the trifle.

  5. A-mazing!!!!!! "Spectacular" is right!

  6. The trifle was mindblowing! And the slushies were a great way to round it off. Thanks Sarah!!

  7. Hannah - duly posted!

    Bri - Yeah, we hit the markets at about 1pm on a Saturday so everyone was starting to discount their stuff. Our mangoes were a little overripe - you could buy a tray of perfect ones for $16, but we wanted them for smoothies so we got the cheaper ones.

    Thank-you to Panda Bri Lisa and Duncan!!

    xox Sarah

  8. Great BBQ Sarah, I loved the frikadellen and coleslaw so much. You have to give me the recipe for both.

  9. Yum yum Sarah! That salad bar at Tunstall Sq is actually Coles (not Safeway)...but it has all sorts of other yummy salads you can pick out too :)

    Great work...what a success!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.