Monday, 21 January 2013

Good Food, Good Wine and Great Company

Yesterday, my sister-in-sortof-law and I went to the Food and Wine Expo on the Gold Coast. Belinda and I like Moscato so, we're not your average wine cognisors... being that we don't really like posh wine. We bought our tickets for $4.50, left the 6 children with the Dads and we went off to have a romping good time.

We met up with some girlfriends for a brief time, and watched two former Master Chef contestants cook up a storm. Firstly, Courtney Roulston prepared amazing granite belt lamb, coated in dukkah on top of a bed of cous-cous with egg plant and lots of fresh herbs. She also made a couple of dressings. She was so inspirational, giving the audience plenty of doable ideas for mid week meals, and even breakfasts using cous-cous. While I have seen people cooking cous-cous on TV so many times, I haven't thought to try it myself, because it's not something I am used to cooking. Believe me, the sampler was amazing! I loved the greek yoghurt dressing for the lamb, and while I'd leave the coriander out of the cous-cous, I loved the freshness and texture of the whole dish. She presented it in the way I love best, bang it on a platter. It was really impressive.

However, Justine Schofield took "cooking" to the next level, by not cooking at all! She showed us how to make Ceviche, which is fish that is cooked in lemon juice. Belinda and I were very sceptical. In fact, we thought Ms Schofield might have been telling us whoppers. But, before our eyes, even in the short amount of time we were there, we saw the opaque Snapper slices turn white. I'm not sure if I'll give this a go, but it was really interesting to see.

Something I will do (probably many times) is make CREPES! She taught us of her recipe, which is simple as 1, 2, 3.

Justine Schofield's Crepe Recipe.

1 cup of plain flour (sifted)
2 cups of milk
3 eggs
(and a little sugar for sweet ones).

In a bowl, make a well in the centre of the flour.
Crack the eggs in, and whisk gently to bring in a small amount of flour from around the edges of your well.
Slowly add the milk and whisk until combined.
Crepe batter should be the consistency of pouring cream.
Spray a medium hot pan with non-stick spray and pour half a ladle full of batter into the centre of the pan, and very quickly swirl the mixture around until it's coated the bottom and up the skids of the pan.
WAIT and have patience. The crepe will come away at the sides, and start to turn golden at the edge. It shouldn't need much coaxing to get to it to move freely around the pan when cooked.

You can serve crepes savoury or sweet. Fill with cheese, ham spinach etc, or top with lemon and sugar, syrup and ice-cream or strawberries and chocolate sauce.

Justine told us of a family tradition, of holding a gold coin in your hand, and if you flip the crepe evenly, you'll have a prosperous and lucky year. Well, I'm pretty lucky anyway, but I volunteered to hop up on stage, and give it a go.

I did it... yeah, the only one out of the three women who tried... first time.. bam, flipped. Looks like the luck will continue!
I was really excited to meet Justine. I have series recorded her show, Everyday Gourmet and loved her on MasterChef. Just by seeing her demonstration, I feel more inspired to love the food I cook for my family, and to try new things.

Now, this brings us until about 12pm, so the rest of the afternoon will be summarised quickly, I promise.

Belinda and I lost the girls for a while, but we had such a great time.

Now, it's not like Belinda and I are uncultured, or it's not like we were really drunk, but we were really appreciated the glasses of water some of the vendors were giving us between the samples... It wasn't until we followed some posh men who tipped their water out into the provided buckets that we realised we weren't supposed to be drinking it! Belinda laughed so hard, she tipped her wine water down the front of her dress!

All in all, I loved the day, and the night, hanging out with some great people, and eating and drinking some great food.

My selection of delicious items you MUST try if you get the chance are as follows. (BY the way none of these endorsements are being paid for with merchandise or cash... but you know, if they want to flick some products my way, I will give them away in a competition).


Fehlbergs have combined the best of pickled onions, and onions on the BBQ and puts them in a little jar for you to nom on plain, or to use in cooking. I'm intending on smearing these little beauties on some bruschetta.

They also had marinated garlic, which I'm kicking myself I didn't buy.

Sirromet wines have released a range that's perfect for a hot QLD Summer. The "Love my" range comes in a "sweet lite red", a "sweet fruity white" and a "sweet sparkling rose". Sirromet Winery is located at Mt Cotton, so not too far to drive to visit and they do tours! I have two passes, and if anyone would sincerely like to go there to do a tour and tasting, let me know and the tickets are yours.

They are the type of wine I like. Easy to drink and they actually taste good.

 This Roza's Gourmet Sauces, Aioli garlic mayonnaise is amazing. In fact, the entire range was amazing. I could have spent all my money on their goodies. You can buy this is lots of locations, but on the Gold Coast, it's at Harbour Side Market (across the road from Harbour Town). If you want to try some, click here, to find a stockist near you.
This was a bit of a random buy. It's beautiful though. A pink Moscato (I think the only one that was at the expo) made by Hidden Creek on the Granite Belt.
 Apple vodka... yeah. Need I say more? The website for Keglevich is in Russian, so you know it's gotta be good. We mixed it with lemonade and it was pretty great. Belinda got a melon one, and I tried the blood orange, mixed with cranberry juice and it was delicious.

Lastly, I bought Chris a port. It's called Moonshine Madness by Heritage Wines. It's a coffee chocolate liqueur port made with a fortified wine base, and I must say, not the most epic drink for a 35 degree day, but it'll go down very nicely in Winter time. I'm all about planning for the future.

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