Australia: Crash Hot Potatoes, Meat Pie, Vegetable Pie, Roasted Carrots, Damper, Pavlova
Growing up, my family
was obsessed with watched a Disney television series called Five Mile Creek, which was set in Australia. The show made me fall in love with the idea of Australia, and Australia is on my bucket list of places to visit. My friend Lalita is Australian, and she gave me some great tips on Aussie recipes.
For an appetizer I made crash hot potatoes with gorgonzola. How amazing is that name?! These are so simple and really tasty.
Meat pie is a classic Aussie dish, and Lalita sent me the recipe she uses. It smelled so delicious while cooking for several hours, and my apartment smelled and felt so cozy and fall-y as this dish came together. It felt a bit like making beef bourguignon, which was fun since that was the first dish I made in this couch cuisine project.
I also made a vegetable pie since one of my guests is vegetarian. It was challenging to find a recipe for a vegetarian version of “meat” pie as I think Aussie’s are pretty pro meat! But I used this recipe since it had a nice fall feel to it, though I made it as a whole pie instead of small individual pies and I just used a regular saute pan. It was really flavorful, though the texture could have been better – I think pureeing half the vegetables would have improved the texture for a pie preparation.
I made damper, which is a rustic, simple bread I read is sometimes called Bush Bread. It was basically a big biscuit. Since the meal felt very hearty and autumnal I made roasted carrots as a side. I used this flavorful recipe, though I roasted the carrots for added flavor and excluded the chipotle peppers (though I think they’d be fun to add if everyone is pro spicy foods).
The dessert was so much fun to make! I was nervous about it because I’ve never made meringue before, but it turned out really well. I made pavlova, a very traditional Australian dessert made of meringue, fresh whipped cream and fruit that is light, sweet and fun. I whipped the meringue for about half the time that this recipe called for as several other recipes suggested shorter times. I also sifted the dry ingredients.
I held my breath while the meringue baked, but it turned out great!Kiwi and passionfruit were great toppings. I adore passionfruit, and it added a nice tang to balance out the sweetness of the meringue.
When you arrive, I will put you to work, the kitchen will be a mess, I’ll be a bit rumpled, and we will never eat on time. But, I’ll also be so glad you gave of your time to be here and hope that you feel comfortable and at home.
I have several more couch cuisines planned in the next few months (spoiler alert: the guest number will be more than double this group!) and I’m really enjoying being back in the swing of this. Community and food are high on my list of things I love, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to combine them.
Notes for Next Time:
More passionfruit on the pavlova! Make sure to put the parchment paper smooth side up – I did it the wrong way and the meringue stuck to the paper. I used puff pastry for the pies, but it didn’t rise and fluff like usual; I’m not sure why. I might try them with pie dough next time. The vegetable pie texture needed to be a bit different, as mentioned above. Find better Aussie music for ambiance 🙂