Saturday, March 26, 2011
Rick Stein is in town on his Australian Tour and invited me (as well as other Aussie Bloggers) to introduce what is the "Ultimate Australian dish" in a Blogger Competition. Describing Australian cuisine is difficult as it can't be summed up in just a few words. For me it's not only the freshness of the dishes, and the fantastic produce available in this country, but also the relaxed atmosphere that goes along with any great Modern Australian feast.
The quintessential Aussie BBQ is one of the most enjoyable occasions with food aplenty, beer and wine flowing, fabulous weather and great company.
It was at my last BBQ that I prepared a canapé that for me epitomises Aussie tucker. It was a take on Valli Little's breakfast recipe from the December 2009 Edition of Delicious Magazine on p. 88 that I adapted for our late summer barbie. Scallops are such a delicious Aussie seafood and the other components on the dish put a unique, fresh spin on some favourite flavours from other countries. The creaminess of the adapted Mexican guacamole, the crunch of the French baguette and the flavour of the more sophisticated version of famous American "bacon bit" worked perfectly with the BBQ seared scallops, having our guests come back for more.... and more!
Devoured on a summer evening with a bunch of mates on the balcony, what more could you ask for? The ultimate Aussie experience!
BBQ Scallop Canapé with Bacon Dust and Avocado Salsa
3 rashers of bacon
2 birds eye chilli
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeds removed, chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves chopped
zest of one lime
1 tbs lime juice
lime wedges to serve
20 scallops without roe
Preheat oven to 190°C and line a tray with baking paper. Lay bacon on the tray and bake for 15 mins until crisp and quite dry. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool. Place bacon and coriander seeds in a small processor or pestle and mortar and ground to a fine dust.
Thinly slice 1 chilli and set aside to garnish, then finely chop remaining chilli and place in a bowl with avocado, red onion, tomato, coriander leaves, zest of the lime and lime juice. Mash with a fork until you have a chunky paste. Season to taste.
Thinly slice the baguette and lightly toast on the grill portion of the BBQ.
Heat the plate of the barbeque and brush with oil. Pat scallops dry with paper towel, and season. Cook scallops for 30 seconds on each side, or until just opaque.
Spread avocado mixture on the baguette slices. Top with a scallop, a sprinkle of bacon dust, sliver of chilli and serve on a platter with lime wedges.