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AUSTRALIA DAY 2011

February 7, 2011 5 Comments

This post contains recipes for ‘Lamb skewers with lemon couscous and herbed yoghurt’ and ‘Lamington Ice cream sandwich’

What is the ‘blogging’ etiquette? It is wrong to blog about a day that was 2 weeks ago? I have lots of posts that I would love to complete that are for past events but time does creep up on me these days. Trying to juggle too many things at once, a common handicap. I hope you  don’t mind being in a time warp for a little while. Taking you back to Australia Day 2011……

Happy (belated) Australia to all my followers :) I love celebrating this day. Its an opportunity to take stock of how lucky we are! I was reflecting this morning on all those who risk their lives to try by any means, through sheer desperation, risking everything to get here. Sure we can philosophise about it, intellectualise it, criticise etc but we can never really understand unless we have walked in their shoes.

I am one of the lucky migrants. We came here 27 years ago, not to escape persecution or tyranny but in search of a more prosperous life, one that was safe and full of opportunity. I for one, on this Australia Day, am so very grateful to have come here to grow up.

This land has given me so much happiness and opportunity. It has not always been easy, in fact it has been very hard for lots of it, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything. I am a proud Italian born woman who just 6 years ago became an Australian Citizen, it was a proud moment.

If you have ever been overseas, you realise that Australia is not only a massive place but a very unique one. It is special in so many ways. We, although young, have such spiritual roots to the land, rich influences, cultural diversity and one of the most open minded palates in the world.

I live in Melbourne and on any given night of the week you can say, I want… Indian, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Lebanese, Spanish, Japanese, French, Mexican… whatever takes your fancy, you can go out and get it right here in your own backyard. There are not many places in the world that can boast that. I think this says a lot about the true nature of our culture.

I remember at lunch times at school, my packed lunch was more often than not, pasta, everyone else had a sandwich. This was met with occasional teasing, how different things are today. Today kids would probably want to swap lunches with me. Australia has changed so much in the last 27 years.

I love the movie ‘Wog Boy’ Very funny representation of some migrant cultures in Australia… naturally they are ‘taking the piss’…. most of the time! lol

Anyway for our Australia Day BBQ I wanted to put on a plate of food that was very cross cultural.

For our main it was ‘Lamb skewers with lemon couscous and herbed yoghurt’. I chose this dish because of its components, simple yet tasty and divers in their origins. Lamb being such a popular Australian meat, couscous which is very multicultural. Wikipedia tells me its a staple food in West Africa, Sahel, France, Spain, and the Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Italy (particularly in western Sicily’s Province of Trapani), as well as in Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, parts of the Middle East and India and the list goes on, so I thought it perfect!

For desert I made ‘Lamington Ice cream sandwich’. We have one humble servant to thanks for these little treats. She worked for Lord Lamington a governor at Gorvernament House in Brisbane, when she accidentally dropped the Governor’s favourite sponge cake into some melted chocolate.

Lord Lamington was not a person of wasteful habits and suggested that it be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate to avoid messy fingers. Lord Lamington devoured this new taste sensation with great delight and the maid-servant’s error was proclaimed a magnificent success by all and the Lamington was born.

Lamb skewers with Lemon couscous and herbed yoghurt

Ingredients (serves 4)

800 g lean lamb steaks, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp lemon juice

ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

lemon wedges, to serve

For herbed yogurt:

200g natural yoghurt

1 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tbsp chopped mint

1 clove garlic, crushed

For Lemon couscous:

200g cup couscous

250g chicken stock

2 tsp grated organic lemon zest

2 tbsp chopped mixed coriander and mint

How to:

  1. Combine well the lamb, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, ground coriander and turmeric in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 1+ hours. The longer it is left to marinade the tastier it will be.
  2. To prepare the herbed yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until needed.
  3. Preheat a BBQ to medium. Thread the lamb onto skewers and cook for 2 – 3 minutes each side or until cooked. If you are using wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 mins before using, this will prevent them scorching.
  4. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Bring the stock to the boil and pour over the couscous, then cover and set aside for 5 mins. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and stir in the lemon zest and herbs.
  5. Serve the lamb skewers with the couscous, herded yoghurt.

Adapted from CSIRO wellbeing recipe book.

Lamington Ice Cream Sandwiches with warm chocolate sauce

Ingredients:

9 lamington squares

Chocolate chip ice cream

For warm chocolate sauce:

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup half dark/half milk chocolate melts

1 tsp vanilla extract

How to:

  • Take 9 lamingtons and cut in half through the centre. Line a 20cm-square tin with baking paper, allowing the paper to hang over the top of the tin. Arrange lamingtons over the base, cut-side up. Spread with a layer of softened choc chip ice cream (to soften ice cream take it out of freezer 20 mins before you want to assemble sandwiches). Cover with remaining lamingtons, cut-side down. Cover tin and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Heat chocolate and cream in saucepan over low heat and add vanilla. Mix well. (Can be then stored in the fridge to re-heat and use.)
  • When ready to serve, simply cut between lamingtons and place a square onto each serving plate. Serve drizzled with hot chocolate sauce.
Lamington ice cream sandwich was adapted from a Woolworths recipe. Chocolate sauce Foodie Goddess.

Buon Appetito :)

Tags: , , , , Articles, Australia Day 2011, Deserts, Events, Lamb, Lamb skewers w' Lemon couscous & herbed yoghurt, Lamb skewers with Lemon couscous and herbed yoghurt, Lamington Ice Cream Sandwiches w' warm chocolate sauce, Lamington Ice Cream Sandwiches with warm chocolate sauce
  • http://twitter.com/IronChefShellie Iron Chef Shellie

    mmmmm…… lamington icecream sanga? yes please!!

    Happy belated Australia Day :) xx

    • Anonymous

      Hi Ms Iron Chef Shellie…

      SANGA!!! Why didn’t I think of that?… its so much more fun than the word SANDWICH not to mention so Aussie! hehehe
      Thanks for stopping by. x

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  • Cookie @ Cook, Snap, Repeat!

    I didn’t realize that ready-made lamingtons existed! It’s amazing how every country has so many unique things to offer by way of food.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Cookie…Oh yeah! They are available all year round here in Oz. I love them this way.. on there own is pretty good too! This goes to prove I am a fully fledged Aussie. lol. I should have made them from scratch really but was time poor that day. Next time!

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